The inside-the-park homer, a grand slam, that New York Yankees’Â Â Lou GehrigÂ hit on July 5, 1934, was the big blow in the Yanksâ€™ 8-3 win over the Senators. It was the 17th of the Iron Horseâ€™s career-record 23 grand slams, a record that would not be matched for more than 70 years.
A sinking batting average and hobbled play on a deteriorating knee in need of surgery eventually sapped much of the good fromÂ Hideki Matsuiâ€˜s 2007 season, but his July AL Player of the Month Award was well earned.
A Yankees victory:
Homering for the second straight day, his two-run tape-measure shot off Minnesota setup manÂ Pat NeshekÂ in the eighth inning lifted the Yanks to a 7-6 victory, on July 5. Staked to an early 5-2 lead,Â Kei IgawaÂ failed to make a quality start yet again, and four relievers carried the home team to victory.
The cream of the crop of good Yankee players born July 5 are mound menÂ Jack QuinnÂ (1883) andÂ Rich â€œGooseâ€ GossageÂ (1951). Knuckleballer Quinn went 81-65 over two New York AL stints that spanned seven years.Â He pitched until he was almost 50 years old, and won 247 and lost 218, all told.
The King of Intimidation, reliever Gossage (1951) saved 151 games for the Bronx Bombers. His career total of 310 is truly amazing when you consider that he won 124 as well. The Veterans Committee finally righted a wrong, and inducted Goose into the Hall of Fame in 2007.
Hall of Fame lefty-hitting outfielderÂ Ted WilliamsÂ (2002) is easily the most famous ballplayer to die July 5. Playing exclusively with the Red Sox from 1939-1942 and 1946-1960, the Splendid Splitter hit 521 home runs and knocked in 1,839 runs.