On October 22, 2001, the Yanks confronted the Seattle Mariners in Yankee Stadium after the M’s had played a regular season better than the one New York had put together in 1998, but the Bombers sent them home one round short of the World Series. Andy Pettitte got the 12-3 win over Aaron Sele, and Bernie Williams, Paul O’Neill, and Tino Martinez went yard. A favorite sign from that night in The Big Ballpark graced the Tier facade on the first base side in Section 11: 1998 New York Yankees 125 wins 2001 Seattle Mariners 120 wins
One year earlier, on October 22, 2000, the Yanks took a two games to none World Series lead as Roger Clemens dominated the Mets in a 6-5 Yankees win. It is also the night of the Clemens/Mike Piazza first-inning broken-bat incident, a truly bizarre play, on a truly bizarre night. But following the dustup, Clemens was dominant, and the close final score was due to five runs on two Mets ninth-inning home runs. In this game, Jorge Posada reached safely four times; Derek Jeter, Tino Martinez, and Paul O’Neill stroked three hits apiece; and each of those four players scored one run.
With a chance to close out the 2009 ALCS, A.J. Burnett had a rough four-run first inning in Anaheim on October 22, 2009, then toughened, and the Yanks plated six in the top of the sixth. The Angels came back in the bottom half, and three runs gave Anaheim a 7-6 lead, which their bullpen held. The series headed back to New York with the Yanks up 3-2 in games.
After devastating losses by 12-1 and 4-0 in New York to the mighty Atlanta Braves and their “Chop,” David Cone drew a line in the sand with his Game Three 5-2 victory in Atlanta on October 22, 1996. Bernie Williams knocked in three, and John Wetteland notched the first of four consecutive saves that earned him the Series MVP Award.
October 22, 1992, was a sad day in Yankee land, as that is the day the “old Redhead,” Red Barber, passed away at the age of 84. A Hall of Fame broadcaster, Red was a man of integrity who teamed with Mel Allen on Yankee coverage for years.
His one-year stay in New York was a success for Bobby Bonds once he was traded to the Yanks for Bobby Murcer on October 22, 1974. But the deal had a devastating effect on the fan faithful and on the favorite Murcer, who had links to the days when Mickey Mantle donned the Pinstripes, a sacred time in Yankee lore, equal (if that’s possible) to the days of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. A year of play in Shea Stadium had killed Murcer’s career, and the trade didn’t help, as he suffered through tough years in San Francisco and Chicago before returning to his beloved Yanks.
Frustration with the numbers of second baseman and recent free agent signee Tony Womack in early 2005, the Yankees promoted young Robinson Cano, who was born on October 22, 1982, and the results were eye-popping. A talented defender with a slight downward swing, Cano took the position by storm, and by the time the Yankees made the unprecedented move of letting him walk following the 2013 season, he had put up 204 home runs with 822 rbi’s. Second in the 2005 AL ROTY vote to Oakland’s Huston Street, Cano would have a third-, a fourth-, a fifth-, and a sixth-place finish in the AL MVP race during those years.
Cano is joined on the list of birthdayers this day by Ichiro Suzuki (1973), whom the Yankees acquired by trade in July 2012. Much beloved in the Bronx, as he has been everywhere he has played, Ichiro hit 13 home runs in New York, and drove in 84 runs through the 2014 season. A nonYankee Hall of Famer of note also born this day is first baseman Jimmie Foxx (1907), who played 11 years with the Philly A’s and seven with the Red Sox, accumulating 534 homers and 1,922 rbi’s from 1925 through 1945.