February 2 is a great Baseball Hall of Fame day, and by logical extension it’s a great day in Yankee history too. To start with, Babe Ruth was inducted into the very first class this day in 1936, along with Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Christy Matthewson, and Walter Johnson. And Yankee pitching greats from both sides of the plate were voted into the Hall on February 2 also, with righty Waite Hoyt (in 1969) and Lefty Gomez (in 1972). Hoyt went 157-98 with 28 saves for the Bombers; Gomez 189-101. Also the Yankee Manager under whom the World Championship magic began received the honor on February 2 when Miller Huggins (12 seasons, six pennants, three titles) was tabbed posthumously in 1964.
TV Game Show “What’s My Line?” (ask your parents, or that one crazy aunt or uncle – it was a hoot) premiered on February 2, 1950, with the Scooter, Phil Rizzuto, as the first mystery guest.
Although the former would struggle with injuries for much of the upcoming season, the Yanks did well in signing Orlando “el duque” Hernandez and Ramiro “el brujo” Mendoza to one-year deals on February 2, 2002. The Duke would win eight of 13 decisions with one save, while Mendoza would win eight, lose four, and save four games in 2002.
Although he has paltry baseball credentials, George Halas (1895) is certainly the most famous one-time Yankee player born on February 2. The legendary football coach and owner played his only major league baseball season with the Yankees in 1919, patrolling the outfield. He had two hits in 22 at bats during 12 games, with no homers or rbi’s.
Read more history for February 2 on TakeHimDowntown.com