He wasn’t “Mr. October” until the 18th of the month in 1977. The Yanks had fallen behind the Dodgers, but not for long. Reggie Jackson hit three home runs on three pitched balls on October 18, 1977, and the Yankees prevailed over the Dodgers, 8-4, to win the game and the Series. It was the first Yankee Championship in 15 years.
With their backs to the wall in the 2019 ALCS, down three games to one, the Yankees reached Justin Verlander for four quick scores on DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Hicks first-inning jacks in a 4-1 win on October 18, 2019. A game James Paxton, although he faced baserunners in all six of his innings, delivered the three-run lead to the bullpen, largely on the strength of nine strike outs, all of them swinging. Least surprising call of the night? The Stadium loudspeakers played Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’ in their ’19 “Eighties in the Eighth” feature.
The Yanks made it a home sweep of three games in the 2017 ALCS over Houston with a 5-0 victory on October 18, to give them a three games to two lead in the series. Masahiro Tanaka gave up three hits while striking out eight through seven. The Yanks reached one-time nemesis Dallas Keuchel for four of their five runs through five, and Gary Sanchez homered, knocked in two and scored one. Aaron Judge both drove in a run and scored one as well.
It was all for pride when the Yanks played the Mariners in the 2001 ALCS. But despite the Mariners’ glorious regular season during which they surpassed most of the grand numbers the Yanks had put up in 1998, the Bombers proved that playoff baseball is a different animal. They beat Freddy Garcia and the Mariners 3-2 behind Mike Mussina on October 18, to go ahead two games to none.
On this day in 2003, Brad Penny outdueled David Wells in World Series Game One in Yankee Stadium, 3-2. Speedy Juan Pierre‘s two-run single broke up a 1-1 tie in the top of the fifth, and the Bomber answer in the form of Bernie Williams‘s sixth-inning singleton jack fell one run short. The Yanks could plate none of the five baserunners they managed over the last three frames.
In Game Two of the World Series vs. the Padres on October 18, 1998, New York scored three runs each in the first and second innings and coasted to a 9-3 win behind the pitching of Orlando “el duque” Hernandez and home runs by Bernie Williams and Jorge Posada.
Casey Stengel was relieved of his duties as manager of the Yankees on October 18, 1960, ostensibly because he had reached and passed retirement age. Casey’s take? “I wasn’t retired — they fired me.”
Lefty-hitting first baseman Nick Etten, who passed away on October 18, 1990, proudly earns a spot next to some other portsiders to have played the position in the Bronx. In 568 games from 1943-1946, Etten cleared 63 fences good for 358 rbi’s on 562-for-2,044 hitting.
Third baseman Andy Carey, whose birthday fell on October 18, 1931, debuted with the Yanks. From 1952 through 1960 he collected 47 homers and 259 rbi’s, before finishing that final Bronx season and then the next two in Kansas City, Chicago, and Los Angeles.