The more than 36 hours spent on line (physically, not virtually) to purchase tickets for Game 6 of the 1996 World Series, played on October 26, pales in comparison to the 18 years the Yankees and their fans waited since they had won their last Championship. Jimmy Key triumphed over Greg Maddux and the Braves 3-2, largely behind Joe Girardi‘s booming triple.
The Yanks won their 26th World Championship when they beat the Mets, four games to one, on October 26, 2000. Luis Sojo‘s rbi single that plated both Scott Brosius and Jorge Posada was the game winner in the 4-2 Yankee victory. Both Bernie Williams and Derek Jeter homered to account for the first two Bombers runs, and the latter took home the World Series MVP award, in the same year he had been honored with the All Star Game MVP award.
It looked to be the game in which the Braves would avoid being swept on October 26, 1999, when they took a 5-1 lead in Yankee Stadium in Game Three. Tino Martinez and Chad Curtis homered to start the comeback, and the magical bat of Chuck Knoblauch contributed its second multi-run, come-from-behind, game-tying World Series home run in as many years in the eighth. Then Mr. Curtis homered leading off the bottom of the 10th for a 6-5 Yankee win.
A league-leading 72 appearances and a 13-5 record, 26 saves, and a 2.17 era garnered New York Yankee Sparky Lyle the 1977 American League Cy Young Award on October 26. Lyle became the first relief pitcher in the AL to be so honored. It sweetens the pot for Yankee fans that Lyle was pried from the Red Sox in a trade for Danny Cater in 1972. And he was sent to Texas following the 1978 Championship in a multiplayer trade that brought Dave Righetti to New York.
The baseball writers honored Yankee shortstop Phil “The Scooter” Rizzuto with the American League MVP Award on October 26, 1950.
After having piloted the St. Louis Cardinals to a third-place finish in the just concluded season, Miller Huggins was hired by Yankee owner Jacob Ruppert to manage the Yanks on October 26, 1917.
Pre-1903 World Series are regarded as little more than exhibitions looking back, but in the only one to be played to 15 games, the National League Detroit Wolverines beat the St. Louis Browns of the American Association 10 games to five in a battle that ended on October 26, 1887.
Lefty-hitting, righty-throwing outfielder Russ Derry, who debuted with the 1944 Yankees, collected 17 homers with 59 rbi’s the next two years with 13/45 of those coming in 1945. Derry, who passed away on October 26, 2004, is the first of two Yankee players to have died on this date. Righthander Bill Bevens (1991) played only with the Yanks from 1944-1947, with a 40-36 record.
All Star second baseman Snuffy Stirnweiss, who was born on October 26, 1918, hit 27 homers and knocked in 253 runs while playing much of his 10-year career with the 1943-1950 Bombers. Joining him on the pinstriped birthday list is Toby Harrah (1948), who averaged 16 homers a year in the 11 seasons before playing for the 1984 Yanks, but hit only one with 26 rbi’s in the Bronx, in 88 games.