New York Yankees: World Series only perfect game: Don Larsen

The New York Yankees Don Larsen, a not-so-perfect pitcher, put his name into the baseball history books yesterday 65 years ago when he pitched the only perfect game in World Series history.

On January 1, 2020, Don Larsen’s son Scott had announced that his father had entered hospice. He stated that his father, a former New York Yankee pitcher, had had treatments for esophageal cancer in recent months but had taken a turn for the worse and had entered hospice care. He died shortly after that in Hayden, Idaho, at the age of 90. Don Larsen holds the record for having pitched the only World Series perfect game in baseball history. I wanted to take this opportunity to post my Don Larsen Legend article that was previously published on November 10, 2019. Here are some excerpts.

Larsen was born in 1929 to a humble family in Michigan City, Indiana. When he was 15, he and his family moved to California, where his Dad was a department store salesman and his Mom a housekeeper. Larsen attended Point Loma High School, where he played basketball and baseball. Although Don got scholarships for basketball, he chose baseball, citing that he wasn’t all that good at his studies. While playing baseball there, he was noticed by a St. Louis Browns scout. He was offered a minor league contract, and he accepted. The Browns eventually became the Baltimore Orioles. Don was assigned to the Aberdeen Pheasants in 1947. He went 4-3 with an ERA of 3.42.

The following season he won 17 games. In 1949 he moved up to the Globe Miami Browns. Soon after, Larsen was promoted to the Wichita Indians of the Class-A Western League in the second half of the 1950 season. With the Indians, Larsen had a 6–4 record with a 3.14 ERA in 21 games. In 1951, Larsen was drafted to the United States Army for the Korean War. He spent the next two years in the Army, working in a variety of non-combat jobs. He was discharged from the Army in 1953 and made the St. Louis Browns roster before the beginning of the season. On April 17, 1947, he made his major league debut against the Detroit Tigers. His first game was a no-decision, but he won his second game giving up one earned run to the then Philadelphia Athletics. In 1954 the Browns became the Baltimore Orioles, where he was 3-21 (that’s not a misprint) with a 4.37 ERA.

In 1954 the Yankees lost the World Series to the Indians, and the Yankee Manager blamed it on the older pitching staff of the Yankees, who were in their late 30’s. Wanting to beef up the team in a 17 man trade, the Yankees acquired Don Larsen from the Baltimore Orioles. Larsen would pitch behind Yankee ACE Whitey Ford. The original deal was to get Bob Turley, but Manager Casey Stengel wanted Larsen in the trade because of how he beat down the Yankee hitters. From 1955 to 1959, Stengel used Larsen as a starter and reliever; during that period, he went 45-25 in 90 starts.

Larsen started the 1955 season with a sore arm, didn’t pitch well, and was demoted to the minors. He ended up pitching in 19 games, going 9–2 with a 3.07 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 97 innings pitched. On August 5 of the year, he would throw a shutout of the Tigers. His best year was 1956, when he went to an 11–5 record, with a career-best 107 strikeouts and a 3.26 ERA. He pitched another shut out, this one against the Orioles. Late in the season, he pitched five complete games out of seven. But these stats were not the highlight of his pitching year.

On October 8, 1956, Don Larsen pitched the only perfect game in World Series history. It was game 5 of the World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers. Larsen needed just 97 pitches to complete the classic game, and only one Dodger batter (Pee Wee Reese in the first inning) was able to get a 3-ball count. Brooklyn’s Maglie gave up only two runs on five hits. Mickey Mantle’s fourth-inning home run broke the scoreless tie. The Yankees added an insurance run in the sixth. After Roy Campanella grounded out to Billy Martin for the second out of the 9th inning, Larsen faced pinch hitter Dale Mitchell, a .311 career hitter.

Throwing fastballs, Larsen got ahead in the count at 1–2. On his 97th pitch, a called third strike by home plate umpire Babe Pinelli Larsen caught Mitchell looking for the 27th and last out. After the pitch, catcher Yogi Berra leaped into Larsen’s arms in celebration, setting up the “everlasting image” that you can see in my photo collage. Larsen’s unparalleled game earned him the World Series Most Valuable Player Award and Babe Ruth Award.

In 1957, Larsen had a 10–4 record with a 3.74 ERA in 27 games and 20 starts. Near the end of the season, he hurled a 3-hit shutout against the Kansas City Athletics on September 15, his fifth shutout with the Yankees. In seven innings in relief in game 3 of the World Series against the Braves, the Yankees won 12-3. He started game seven but only went 2 1/3 innings in the loss as the Braves won the series. Larsen had another winning season in 1958, although the Yankees did not make the World Series. In 1959 Larsen’s performance dropped considerably, and he was sent down to the minors. In the offseason, he was traded to the Kansas City Athletics.

In his first year with the Athletics, he had his worst year ever but rebounded in 1961, having his best year since 1955 with both the Athletics and the White Sox. From 1962 to 1967, he would play with the Giants, Colt 45’s, Orioles, and the Cubs but would never regain his pitching success. Don Larsen retired from baseball during the 1967 season. Little is ever said of Larsen’s hitting ability, but he was one of baseball’s best hitting pitchers, having 14 home runs and a career .242. In 1956 he had a grand slam against the Red Sox. He was a good enough hitter that he was used 66 times as a pinch hitter. Yankee fans hope to see Don at Old Timer’s Day for years to come.

Don Larsen was present at Yankee Stadium for two perfect games, his own in 1956 and David Cone’s in July 1999. Unfortunately, don passed away on New Year’s Day 2020.

New York Yankee History: A look at all the Yankee’s No-Hitters

Jim Abbott

The New York Yankees, the most illustrious winning sports franchise in all sports worldwide, has had their share of no-hitters in their history. They also own the only World Series perfect game in the history of baseball.

First, it’s important to know the difference between a no-hitter and a perfect game. A no-hitter seems pretty simple; you allow no hits. But there are some fine nuances. The definition, according to Baseball-Reference.com when a pitcher (or pitchers) allows no hits during the entire course of a game, which consists of at least nine innings. In a no-hit game, batters can get on base and even score, which leaves it open to you to decide whose no-hitter seems integral than another. Walks, errors, hit by pitches, passed and wild balls, and catcher interference that allows a hitter to reach or score is allowed, and it is still a no-hitter.

If you want to bring the integrity of a no-hitter up still another notch, we come to the definition of a perfect game, and it’s far easier to describe. No one gets on base, period in a nine or more inning game. In this writer’s opinion, the best no-hitter to take place in a Yankees uniform was Jim Abbott’s accomplishment on September 4, 1993. Although Abbott allowed 5 runners, none scored. He is the only pitcher to ever throw a no-hitter after being born with no right hand. Don Larsen threw the finest perfect game against the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1956 World Series. To date, it is the only perfect game to be thrown in a World Series.

A note of interest is that previous to 1991, MLB allowed no-hitters and perfect games to occur in games that only had seven innings. MLB and MLBPA (player’s union) changed that in an agreement before the 1991 season. Now they must occur in a nine or more inning game. Much to the chagrin of the Arizona Diamondbacks and their starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner, on April 25, 2021, as part of a seven-inning doubleheader on that day, Bumgarner had a “no-hitter outing.” Still, per MLB official rules, it will not be considered a no-hitter even though he had no control over the game’s length.

The New York Yankees has had 12 no-hitters, all 30 MLB teams have had 268 no-hitters recognized by MLB in the modern era. That is from 1901, when the American League was formed. According to Sporting News, the Los Angeles Dodgers (Brooklyn Dodgers) have had the greatest number of no-hitters (26). According to MLB.com, Nolan Ryan had the most no-hitters in his career (7).

Here are all the New York Yankee’s no-hitters:

  1. George Anthony Mogridge. April 24, 1917, against the Boston Red Sox. The final score was tied for the smallest victory, 2-1 with 3 baserunners allowed. It was the first no-hitter ever thrown at Boston’s Fenway Park. Morgridge played for the Yankees from 1915 to 1920. He accomplished his feat at the age of 28 and spent 15 years in the major leagues.
  2. Samuel Pond Jones. September 4, 1923, against the Philadelphia Athletics. The final score was 2-0, with 2 runners allowed. It is the only no-hitter in MLB hitter where the pitcher did not strike out a single batter. His 22 consecutive seasons pitching in one league is a major league record shared with Herb Pennock, Early Wynn, Red Ruffing, and Steve Carlton.
  3. Montgomery “Monte” Pearson. August 27, 1938, against the Cleveland Indians. The final score was a Yankee blowout, 13-0 with 2 runners allowed. It was in the second game of a weekend doubleheader and was the first no-hitter ever throw at Yankee Stadium.
  4. Allie Pierce Reynolds. July 12, 1951, against the Cleveland Indians. The final score was 1-0, tied for the smallest scoring game. He allowed 3 runners, two walks, and an error.
  5. Allie Pierce Reynolds. September 28, 1951, against the Boston Red Sox. The final score was 8-0 with 4 runners allowed. Reynolds is the only New York Yankee pitcher to ever have two no-hitters in his career; what made it even more amazing is that they were within the same season. He was one of only six MLB pitchers to pitch two no-hitters in the same season. Reynolds pitched for the Yankees for 8 years between 1947 and 1954. During that time, he was one of the best Yankee pitchers ever, going 131-60.
  6. Don James Larsen. October 8, 1956, against the Brooklyn Dodgers. The final score was 2-0 with no runners. It was the sixth ever perfect game in MLB history and the first for the New York Yankees. It was also the only perfect game during a World Series (Game 5, 1956). The odd thing is that Larsen had a five-year losing record with the Yankees, but on this one day, he was perfect. It just goes to show you why baseball is so wonderful; you never know what could happen on any given day.
  7. David Allan Righetti. July 4, 1983, against the Boston Red Sox. The final score was 4-0, with 4 runners allowed. The was a very special no-hitter for deceased Yankee owner George Steinbrenner as it was against his most hated team and occurred on his birthday. This is likely the first no-hitter thrown in most present-day Yankee fans’ memory.
  8. James Anthony Abbott. September 4, 1993, against the Cleveland Indians. The final score was 4-0, with 5 runners allowed. This is my favorite Yankee no-hitter for two reasons. Knowing the history of this player and what he achieved in his baseball career was already inspiring. He is the only pitcher to pitch a no-hitter with only one hand in MLB history. The other reason was that I was honored to be in attendance at the old Yankee stadium, far up the third tier, to witness this remarkable achievement.
  9. Dwight Eugene Gooden. May 14, 1996, against the Seattle Mariners. The final score was 2-0, with 7 runners allowed. This was the last non-perfect no-hitter to the thrown at the old Yankee Stadium. 
  10. David Lee Wells. May 17, 1998, against the Minnesota Twins. The final score was 4-0, and it was the second perfect game thrown in Yankee history and the 15th in major league history. Wells would later admit his accomplishment was made while pitching with a hangover. 
  11. David Brian Cone. July 18, 1999, against the Montreal Expos. The final score was 6-0, and it was the Yankees’ third perfect game thrown and the 16th in major league history. It was also the only perfect game to be thrown in interleague play. Notable is that it occurred on Yogi Berra day. The catcher that caught the first-ever perfect game for the Yankees. Joining him in the stands that day was the Yankees’ Don Larsen, who pitched the only perfect game in World Series history, a record still today.
  12. Corey Scott Kluber. May 19, 2021, against the Texas Rangers. The final score 2-0, with one runner allowed. What makes this no-hitter so remarkable is that it is the only no-hitter that was short, just a walk from becoming a perfect game. Also somewhat like Jim Abbott, Kluber overcame many struggles for the 2 time CY Young Award winner to return to form after not pitching for nearly two years.
 

New York Yankees: This week in Yankee History

New York Yankees, Babe Ruth

There probably isn’t a day that goes by that something in New York Yankee history hasn’t happened that is memorable in their 109-year history. Here is a look at this week’s happenings in that history.

1922 April 16th:

Babe Ruth signs a three year contract with the New York Yankees at $52,000 per year, which in 2021 money was worth $819,000. Quite a deal for the best baseball player the world has even known.

1923 April 18th:

The New York Yankees unveil their new 2.5 million dollar Stadium in the Bronx, New York. Babe Ruth hit the first home run in the new Stadium in front of 72,000 Yankee fans. The Stadium was the first to feature three decks. Ruth’s two-run homer defeated the Boston Red Sox 4-1.

1929 April 18th:

The Yankees become the second major league team to have numbers on their jerseys. Numbers were assigned by their place in the lineup. Earl Combs #1, Mark Koenig #2, Babe Ruth #3, Lou Gehrig #4, Bob Meusel #5, Tony Lazzeri #6, Leo Durocher #7, Johnny Grabowski #8, and Ben Bengough #9.

1972 April 18th:

For the first time in New York Yankee franchise history, the Yankees have an Opening Day game that was held at night at the Stadium in the Bronx. Steve Kline threw a three-hitter to beat the Brewers 3-0.

1949 April 19th:

It’s Opening Day at Yankees Stadium. The Yankees unveiled a monument honoring Babe Ruth eight months after his death. He joined Lou Gehrig and Miller Huggins with the honor. That area would later be called Monument Park and was actually on the playing field in the far center field.

1960 April 19th:

It’s Opening Day at Fenway Park in Boston. Newly acquired Roger Maris goes 4 for 5 on the day. Two homers,, a double,, and 11 runs scored. The Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 8-4.

2019 April 19th:

For the first time ever in the Major Leagues,, two players wearing the number 0 faced each other in a game. Adam Ottavino vs. the Kansas City Royals Terrance Gore. The New York Yankees won the game 6-2.

2007 April 20th:

Alex Rodriguez becomes the first player in baseball history to hit 12 home runs in his first 15 games. He hit two long balls in vain in this game as the Yankees lost the game to the Boston Red Sox.

1956 April 22nd:

New York Yankee pitcher Don Larsen hits a Grand Slam causing a 13-6 win over the Boston Red Sox. Larsen, known for his pitching fame actually for a pitcher, was a pretty good hitter, hitting 14 home runs and having a .242 batting average in his career.

1959 April 22nd:

Yankee pitcher Whitey Ford strikes out 15 Senator batters.

1959 April 22nd:

It was the 14th inning of a game between the New York Yankees and the Washington Senators. Bill Skowron entered the 0-0 14th and hit a homer to deep left field, winning the game for the Yankees 1-0. Yankee pitcher Whitey Ford pitched all 14 innings.

1985 April 23rd:

New York Yankee Don Baylor collected his 999th and 1000th RBI when he hit a two run homer in the sixth inning of a game the Yankees would lose to the Red Sox. Baylor would finish his Yankee career with 1,276 RBI’s

2000 April 23rd:

At the Toronto Skydome (now Rogers Center) Bernie William and Jorge Posada would be come the first players to ever hit homers from each side of the plate in the same game. The feat was repeated in 2009 by Tony Clark and Felipe Lopez  for the Arizona Diamondbackss

1977 April 21st:

After losing several games the New York Yankee manager Billy Martin pulls his lineup for the day out of a hat, and the Yankees win over the Toronto Blue Jays 8-6. Unbelivable yet true.

1987 April 24th:

At a Cleveland Indian game Yankee Ricky Henderson became the first player ever to homer off two different 300 game winners in the same game. The pitchers were Steve Carlton and Phil Niekro.

2008 April 24th:

A Red Sox David Ortiz jersey was secretly buried in cement at the under construction new Yankee Stadium. The secret wasn’t kept and the jersey retrieved. On this day in 2008 the jersey was auctioned off to benefit the Jimmy Fund. It sold for $175,100.

1988 April 20th:

New York Yankees score their 9,999th, 10,000th, and 10,000 home runs. Dave Winfield. Claudel Washington and Jack Clarke.

 

New York Yankees: Looking back at famous Yankee players that have passed on this year (videos)

New York Yankees, Whitey Ford

For New York York Yankees fans, 2020 is a year we would all like to forget and not repeat. Number one was the coronavirus that ravaged so many Americans and still does. We have lost family members and friends to the dreaded virus. Many have lost jobs, and several of us are financially stressed. Hopefully, with vaccines coming online, 2021 will see a safer, healthier, and more prosperous year.  Although subjected to a short baseball season for relief, Yankee fans did find some pleasure in our favorite sports pastime even if we exited the postseason far too early.

2020 also marked a year when we lost many favorite players, some famous others not so much, but as we look back, we have fond memories of all of them for their play, their antics, and was downright fun to watch. Some even include Hall of Famers. Today we look back and remember some of them.

Don James Larsen August 7, 1929 – January 1, 2020

2020 started out with a New Years Day with the news that Don Larson had died overnight. Larson is a famous Yankees and a record holder in all of baseball, which is likely never to be repeated. He is the only pitcher ever to pitch a perfect game in the World Series.  On October 8, 1956, he pitched his perfect game against the then Brooklyn Dodgers. Larson was not the greatest pitcher for the Yankees and was used mostly by manager Casey Stengel as a spot starter and reliever, but on this one day, he reached the baseball history books.  From George Steinbrenner’s time, he made every Old Timer’s Day celebration at Yankee Stadium, much to the delight of Yankee fans.

Edward Charles Ford October 21, 1928 – October 8, 2020

“Whitey” Ford was one of the most popular New York Yankees ever when he pitched for the Yankees. Ford signed with the Yankees as an amateur free agent in 1947 he made his Major League debut in 1950. From then until 1967. He had a record of 236-106 over sixteen years, all with the New York Yankees, making him the most successful Yankee pitchers of all time, and that still stands. He was so good he was eventually called “The Chairman of the Board,” as named by famous Yankee catcher Elston Howard, a title that stuck until his death two weeks short of his 92nd birthday. Ford had eleven seasons of 16 or more wins. He has a monument in Yankee Stadium Monument Park, is a Cy Young Award winner, and is enshrined in the Baseball Hall of fame.

Philip Henry Niekro April 1, 1939 – December 26, 2020

Just one day after Christmas, we learned of the passing of Phil Niekro. Niekro had one of the longest pitching careers in baseball, pitching for 24 years, two of them with the New York Yankees. He earned his 300th win in those two years and went 32-20 over the two years with a 3.59 ERA. He was the second oldest pitcher ever to have a complete game. He is also the second oldest to have a shutout. He finished the 1985 season with a 16–12 record, the final time he won 15 or more games in a single season. From 1984 through 1985, he was one of the most popular of Yankee players. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997.

Horace Meredith Clark June 2, 1939 – August 5, 2020

Horace Clark was a second baseman for the Yankees for then years, starting in 1965. Clarke made history, becoming the only big leaguer whose first two career homers were grand slams and becoming one of two players to break up three no-hitters in the ninth inning. Clarke wasn’t a great player, but he was a good solid player who played during the Yankees’ down years. However, because of those lousy teams, he never got the credit he deserved. He played all but one year of this career playing for the Yankees. He wasn’t the greatest hitter (.256) but was an excellent defender for the Yankees.

Robert Jose Watson April 10, 1946 – May 14, 2020

Bob Watson signed as a free agent with the New York Yankees after coming from the Red Sox. With the Yankees, he reached the post-season for the first time in his career, losing to the Royals. A year later, he reached the World Series for the first time. He hit two home runs and batted .318 with seven RBI’s in the Yankee’s loss to the Dodgers. But his claim to fame is not his playing days, which were pretty good too. He was the first and only black general manager in baseball. He was named the New York Yankees general manager in 1978 and won a World Championship.

Claudell Washington August 31, 1954 – June 10, 2020

Washington was a popular Yankee outfielder from 1986 to 1988. With the Yankees, he had a .277 batting average hitting 27 home runs. He hit the 10,000th home run in Yankee franchise history on April 20, 1988, facing Minnesota Twins pitcher Jeff Reardon in the ninth inning of a 7-6, 10-inning win in Minneapolis.

Several other Yankee players passed on this past year. The Yankees salute shortstop Tony Fernandez, one season 1995, he is one of only three Yankees to hit for the cycle. Outfielder Jimmy Wynn, one the year 1977. First baseman Hank Workman, one season 1950. Second baseman Damso Garcia, two seasons 1978-79. First baseman Bob Oliver, one season 1975. Pitcher Matt Keough, one season 1983. Pitcher Mike McCormick, one season 1970. Pitcher Jay Johnstone, two seasons 1978-79.

New York Yankees Top 10s: My Top Ten Yankee Moments in history, Videos

There is no question that the New York Yankees are the greatest sports franchise in the world. No other sports team has 27 World Championships.  Throughout their history, from the time they were the Baltimore Orioles, the Highlanders, and the New York Yankees, they have provided some of the most exciting and inspirational moments in all of the sports.  With such a long history picking just ten of those moments was a daunting task. But, below I will present my arbitrary picks and explain why they are on this list.

10. Mariano Rivera’s tearful exit

On September 26, 2013, it was a meaningless game, but would turn out to be far from meaningless.  Mariano Rivera the greatest reliever/closer of all time would make his last appearance at Yankee Stadium. Before a crowd of nearly 49k, Rivera would pitch his last one and two-thirds innings at Yankee Stadium.

In a last-minute decision manager, Joe Girardi would send Rivera’s greatest and long time teammates Andy Pettitte and Derek Jeter out to take the ball from Rivera in what would turn out to be one of the most iconic moments in Yankee history.  As the two approached Rivera he would hand over the ball to Pettitte and collapse into his arms in tearful built up emotion.

Rivera would go one to become the first baseball player to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame by unanimous of the writers.

9.  George M. Steinbrenner’s last time at Yankee Stadium

Before the start of the 79th Major League Baseball All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium, there was one surprise in a heavily scripted pre-game celebration. Yankees principal owner George Steinbrenner made an appearance on the field, handing out the balls for the ceremonial first pitch. The Boss made his way from the outfield via golf cart and handed balls to Reggie Jackson, Goose Gossage, Whitey Ford, and Yogi Berra. This was a rare public appearance by Steinbrenner, who has been out of the public eye for the past two years.

The “boss had been rumored to have suffered a stroke or was suffering from Alzheimer’s.  An emotional and obviously declining Steinbrenner made his last appearance at the Stadium, the same Stadium in which he bought the Yankees to new heights and a return to glory.

Steinbrenner was originally opposed to doing this as he thought he would be booed by fans, but the opposite turned out to be true as the Yankee faithful greeted him with immense applause, as they knew it might be the last time they would ever see the greatest sports team owner in history Almost two years to the day the “boss” would pass away from a massive heart attack.

 

8. Aaron Judge sets Rookie Record number of homers

2017 was a breakout year for the newest Yankee baby boomer.  Hardly a baby, the monster 6′ 7″ 282 pound giant of a player would be an All-Star, would be a Silver Slugger, and an MVP candidate.  He at the end of the season was crowned the Rookie of the Year.  But on September 25th of the year, he would go into the history books by beating Mark McGwire’s rookie home run record hitting his 50th home run of the season.

7. Gerrit Cole signs record New York Yankee contract

The New York Yankees at the MLB winter meeting in 2019 showed that they were tired of not winning a World Series since 2009, and made it a priority to sign the best pitcher in free agency, Gerrit Cole.

To the meeting, they brought with them manager Aaron Boone, general manager Brian Cashman, pitching coach Matt Blake and their ace in the hole pitcher Andy Pettitte, a childhood hero of Cole’s.  They presented him and his wife Amy with gifts and a Hal Steinbrenner approved $324MM contract to play for the Yankees for nine years.  After a private meeting with Andy Pettitte, Cole accepted the largest contract ever offered to an MLB pitcher in history.

Cole although a southern California native he had always been a Yankee fan. During the Arizona/Yankee World Series in 2001, the ten-year-old attended with a sign saying “Yankee Fan Today, Tomorrow, Forever!”.  Upon his signing and official news conference making him a New York Yankee he stunned all those in attendance by showing that sign he had saved since his childhood.

6. Bobby Mercer wins for Thurmon Munson

Bobby Mercer and Thurmon Munson were the best of friends that teammates could be. Each visiting each other’s families.  On August 2, 1979, Munson would stun the baseball world when he was killed landing his own plane near his Canton, Ohio family home.  A couple of days later Yankee Owner George M. Steinbrenner made the decision that the entire team would charter a plane and attend Munson’s funeral under the threat that they would have to default on that evening’s game if they didn’t get back in time for the game.

They did get back in time for the game with the Baltimore Orioles on that August 6th evening.  The game couldn’t have been choreographed any better.  The team was totally broken up by Munson’s death.  Mercer gave a eulogy at that day’s funeral.  Manager Billy Martin knowing how upset Mercer was told him he didn’t have to play that night, but Bobby Mercer insisted.

The rest is in baseball lore.  Mercer obviously emotional would go on that night to drive in all five runs in the Yankee win, for his friend Thurmon Munson.

5. Babe Ruth… so many moments

I could do an entire top 10 on the special moments that Babe Ruth delighted the baseball world with on his way to becoming the greatest baseball player of all time.  Here I will cover just two of those moments.

Few players in baseball have hit 3 home runs in a World Series game.  But Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson, and Albert Pujols have.  Only Ruth has done it twice.  In the World Series in 1926 Ruth would hit 3 home runs in Game 4. And repeated the feat at the same stadium in Game 4 of the 1928 World Series.

In a famous game in the 1932 World Series supposedly called a home run and where it would land.  In the video, it looks as if he was pointing to a spot in the outfield.  Although this would go down in Yankee lore, Ruth admitted later that he never called the shot.

4. Roger Maris breaks Babe Ruth’s home run record

On October 1, 1961, this about to turn 16-year-old writer was in the stands at Yankee stadium when Roger Maris broke Babe Ruth’s record of 60 home runs by hitting one last home run on the last day of the 162 game season.  There will always be an asterisk after this feat as it took Maris a 162 game season to do it, whereas Ruth did it in a 154 game season.

All during the 1961 season both Maris and fellow teammate Mickey Mantle battled for the home run title.  Mantle’s injuries late in the season allowed Maris to overtake him and eventually beat Ruth’s record.  It took an additional 37 years for that record to be beaten by Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa and later by Barry Bonds.  In this writer’s opinion, Maris still holds the record, as the aforementioned all visited the drug store before completing their feat.

In an interesting cultural note, notice in the video that most of the male fans are wearing ties and coats.

3. Lou Gehrig retires from baseball (the speech)

Lou Gehrig was most likely the second greatest baseball player in the history of the New York Yankees and most of baseball.  His stats were amazing including his recond number of consecutive games. It was on Independence Day in 1939, the beloved Lou Gehrig was dying.  He had Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis which would later be named after him as Lou Gehrig Disease (ALS).

On this day in July Lou Gehrig would show the guy he always was. He would not talk about his accomplishments but how proud he was to be a New York Yankee and the privilege it was to play with his teammates.  On this sad day in Yankee history, the famous Lou Gehrig would say goodbye to the Yankee fans for the last time. Gehrig would succumb to his disease on June 2, 1941.

2. The three openings of Yankee Stadium

After ten years of tenancy at the Polo Grounds, home of the New York Giants, the Yankees built their own stadium. The Yankees proved that they had become the gold standard in baseball by building the largest ever built baseball stadium. The franchise spent less than a year and $2.5 million erecting New York Yankee Stadium, a monstrous palace that housed some 20,000 more seats than the next largest major league facility. The Stadium was opened on April 2, 1909, and held 74,000 fans.  The first game played the Yankees would shut out the Sox 4-0.

In 1973 Yankee Stadium had shown signs of wear, especially during the ownership of CBS that failed to make repairs.  New New York Yankee owner George M. Steinbrenners decided it was time to update the stadium and the Yankees would play at Shea Stadium until the renovations were complete.  Steinbrenner revealed a completely remodeled Yankee Stadium to begin the 1976 season.  The new Stadium had more luxury boxes and amenities and held 57,545 fans in the stands.

In 2007 Steinbrenner and company decided it was time to retire the old Yankee Stadium and build a brand new state of the art ballpark for the Yankees and it’s fans.  Some fans were not pleased to leave the old park where so many historic players played.  On April 2, 2009, the new Yankee Stadium was introduced to the fans.  Steinbrenner did a superb job building a field second to none while maintaining the feel of the old Stadium. The new Stadium is just across the street from the old one and cost $2.3 billion dollars with expanded public spaces, restaurants, and group boxes. These three Stadiums produced everything else on this list.

1. Don Larsen’s World Series perfect game

In 1956 the New York Yankees were in their second Yankee dynasty after winning six of the last nine World Series.  Quite a feat in itself, but on October 8, 1956, the most iconic game in baseball history would be played by the New York Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers.  The Yankees had lost the series to the same Dodgers in the previous year and the Yankees were looking for redemption.

Don Larsen who had a career record of 81-91 over his 14 years, on this one day this unlikely pitcher would put his name in the history books to be the only pitcher ever to pitch a perfect game in a World Series, a record that still stands today.  It was game 5 of the 1956 World Series. Larsen faced the Dodgers Sal Maglie in the game.  Mickey Mantle would hit a home run in the fourth inning against Maglie.  In the sixth inning, Hank Bauer hit a single driving in Andy Carey for the two Yankee runs.  That is all they would need as Larsen set down 27 out of 27 Dodgers and caused one of the most iconic baseball photos ever taken.  Yogi Berra jumping into Larsen’s arms and causing me to select this as the most spectacular moment in Yankee History.

 

Honorable mentions for the best moments in Yankee history include Mister “October”, Mister “November,” Joe DiMaggio’s hitting streak, Jeter flying into the stands, and the flip, David Wells perfect game, David Cone’s perfect game, One-handed Jim Abbot’s no-hitter, Mickey Mantle’s Triple Crown, Derek Jeter’s 3000th hit, and more that are too lengthy to name.

 

 

New York Yankees Top 10’s: Examining Yankee Perfect games and no hitters

New York Yankees, Don Larsen

In the glorious history of the New York Yankees, magic moments are littered across a history spanning 107 years.  Fantastic players, great coaches, controversial managers, and owners have created a past filled with storylines.  For fans, nothing is more exciting than the no-hitter, unless its the very seldom seen perfect game.  Here we will examine the top 10 perfect and no-hitter games in Yankee history.

10. Sad Sam Jones’s No-Hitter

September 4, 1923. Jones’s no-hitter was against the Philadelphia Athletics, which later became the Kansas City Athletics and is now the Oakland Athletics.  The score was 2-0.  What makes this game unusual is that Jones never recorded a strikeout in the entire game.  The only baserunners were a walk in the first and an error in the eighth inning. Jones had a 21-8 season. He led the New York Yankees to their first-ever World Series.

9. Dave Righetti’s No-Hitter

July 4, 1983. Dave Righetti was one of the most popular of Yankee pitchers.  His no-hitter occurred against the Boston Red Sox in a 4-0 victory for Billy Martin’s Yankees.  Righetti is the only reliever on this list to achieve a no-hitter while being a reliever for the Yankees.  He was originally a starting pitcher before the Yankees converted him.  It was not unusual for him to start a game.  On the day of his no-hitter, Yankee owner George M. Steinbrenner celebrated his 53rd birthday.

8. Dwight Gooden’s No-Hitter

May 14, 1966. Just like Monte Pearson had the first no-hitter in Yankee Stadium, Dwight Gooden has the distinction of having the last non-perfect no-hitter thrown by a Yankee in the Old Yankee Stadium. His game for Joe Torre was a 2-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners.  Joe Girardi and Wade Boggs scored the two runs for the Yankees.

7. Alli Reynolds No-Hitter

July 12, 1951. Alli Reynolds’s no-hitter was tied for the smallest margin of victory in a no-hitter, and the only shut out. George Mogridge had a one-run margin in a game against the Red Sox at Fenway Park, although a run was scored due to an error.  Reynolds’s game was a 1-0 win against the Cleveland Indians for manager Casey Stengel.

6. Monte Pearson’s No-Hitter

August 27, 1938. Monte Pearson’s no-hitter had the distinction of being the first-ever no-hitter in the history of Yankee Stadium.  His game for manager Joe McCarthy was with the Cleveland Indians, a game that the Yankees won by a landslide 13-0.  It is also the New York Yankees widest margin of victory in a no-hitter or perfect game.

5. Alli Reynolds’s No-Hitter

September 28, 1951.  This no-hitter is the second of Reynolds’s career, and he is the only Yankee to have multiple no-hitters.  He is one of six pitchers to have more than one no-hitter in a season (Johnny Vander Meer, Virgil Trucks, Nolan Ryan, Roy Halladay, and Max Scherzer).  This no-hitter was an 8-0 victory over the Boston Red Sox.

4. Jim Abbott’s No-Hitter

September 4, 1993. Jim Abbott’s no-hitter rises to the top of the no-hitters list as Jim Abbott is the only pitcher in all of baseball to ever have a no-hitter while having just one hand. Abbot, despite being born with just one hand, learned baseball and pitching.  His career was an average one for any pitcher, but on this one day, he made pitching history by no-hitting the Cleveland Indians 4-0.  New York manager Buck Showalter would call the feat historic.

3. David Cone’s Perfect Game

July 18, 1999.  David Cone recorded the last no-hitter for the New York Yankees.  It was the third perfect game in Yankee history and the 16th in MLB history.  It was also the first no-hitter in interleague play.  In an odd coincidence, it happened on Yogi Berra Day at Yankee Stadium, with both Yogi and perfect game pitcher Don Larsen viewing in the stands.  The game was between the Yankees and the Montreal Expos.  The Yankees won the game 6-0.  It was the second perfect game under the tutelage of manager Joe Torre.

2. David Wells Perfect Game

May 17, 1998.   David Wells’s perfect game was the 15th in MLB history.  It was the second perfect game in Yankee history and the first since 1956. Wells admitted that he pitched the game while suffering a massive hangover.  Wells was one of the more colorful of Yankee pitchers.  His game was against the Minnesota Twins, a game the Yankees would win 4-0. It was also the first no-hitter during Joe Torre’s management.

1. Don Larsen’s Perfect Game

October 8, 1956.  Don Larsen was a pretty average pitcher that would rise to heights never before seen in baseball history.  During the 1956 World Series, Larsen would pitch the very first perfect game in a World Series.  His feat is still the first for the baseball history books. The game was the sixth perfect game in MLB history.  It happened in Game 5 of the World Series between the New York Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers (now the Los Angeles Dodgers).  The 2-0 win was the third no-hitter during Casey Stengel’s managership and the only perfect game. The game also produced one of the most icon baseball photos ever taken.  When the game was completed Yankee, catcher Yogi Berra jumped into the arms of pitcher Don Larsen.

Interesting No-Hitter facts:

The New York Yankees are the only team to have a perfect game in a World Series.  The Yankees have won more no-hitters against the Cleveland Indians that any other team (3).  The Yankees have the widest margin win than in any other no-hitter.  Joe Torre has the most perfect games of any baseball manager. The Yankees won the first-ever perfect game at the Boston Red Sox’s Fenway Park.  The first-ever no-hitter was accomplished by the American Association League’s Louisville Eclipse’s team on September 11, 1882.  The last no-hitter in MLB was on September 1, 1999, for the Houston Astros.   Possibly New York Yankee pitcher Gerrit Cole can update that stat in favor of the New York Yankees in 2020.

EmpireSportsMedia.com’s William Parlee is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research.

 

 

Yankees Lose an Icon With Don Larsen’s Passing

New York Yankees, Don Larsen

In 24 hours since Gerrit Cole announced the birth of his child, the Yankees lost a member of their historic family. Don Larsen, the only man in World Series history to throw a perfect game, passed away at the age of 90.

The Funny Thing About Baseball

All you have to do is look around. By pitching the first, and so far only, a perfect game in the World Series, Larsen is an icon in not just the baseball community, but a storied member of the Yankees from the ’50s. Yogi Berra leaping into Larsen’s arms after the 97th and final pitch of his perfect game is one for the record books.

But in a day and age where so much emphasis is placed on advanced metrics and analytics, Larsen proves that statistical analysis isn’t the best way to navigate a short, postseason series. Because Don Larsen was terrible as a starting pitcher… in the regular season.

The man has a career record of 10 games under .500, with a WAR of less than 20, who was forced into a reliever position while still in his prime as a starter. His career WHIP of 1.400 is pretty lackluster, and he ended up on 7 different teams.

But that all changed come the postseason. Sure, he got chased early in game 2 of the 56 series, but he’d come back to win the series MVP, if only because of the perfect game he through in game 5. A career 4-2 postseason record, with a dazzling 2.75 ERA, 24 strikeouts over 24 innings, 11 earned runs (vs 16 runs allowed so that’s not quite as impressive), and a much improved 1.194 WHIP, this man saved his legacy based on him in the playoffs alone. And these are all World Series numbers. This is BEFORE the Championship Series was devised.

The man, for lack of a better comparison, was the 50’s equivalent of Madison Bumgarner’s 10-14 World Series dominance.

And then he was traded to Kansas City in 1960 for another part-time Yankee great. His name was Roger Marris.

My condolences to the Larsen family for their loss. And while this guy may have underperformed in the regular season, he’d be in my starting 5 come October any day of the week.

 

New York Yankees: An Imperfect Man’s Perfect Day

New York Yankees, Don Larsen

The former New York Yankees pitcher had a career record of 81-91. One season he led the American League in losses with 21. He never won more than 11 games in any one season. Yet of all the men ever to start a World Series game, it was Don Larsen who would author the most incredible stories in the history of the Fall Classic by throwing a perfect game.

Larsen started Game Two of the 1956 World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field, but couldn’t get out of the second inning as the Yankees squandered an early 6-0 lead, losing 13-8. No one knew that just three days later, Larsen would weave his October magic.

Monday, October 8, was a beautiful day at Yankee Stadium as the teams prepared for the pivotal fifth game as the series was tied two games each. When Larsen came to his locker, he noticed a baseball in one of his spikes. That meant he was starting that day. Teammate Hank Bauer said that Larsen took a big gulp when he saw the ball.

Using a no windup delivery, Larsen had it going from the get-go. Of course, he did a couple of breaks go his way. In the second inning, Jackie Robinson hit a shot that hit off third baseman Andy Carey right to shortstop Gil McDougald, who threw Robinson out at first. In the fifth, Gil Hodges hit a shot to deep left-center, but center fielder Mickey Mantle ran it down to make a nice backhanded catch.

The Yankees gave Larsen a little offensive support starting in the fourth when Mantle hit a solo home run off Brooklyn starter Sal Maglie. They would add another run in the sixth when Bauer singled home, Carey.

Larsen would retire the Dodgers in order in the seventh and eighth. Now he was three outs away from something that hadn’t happened in 34 years, and never in the World Series: a perfect game.

First up was Carl Furillo; he flew out to his counterpart Bauer in right. Next up was Roy Campanella, who bounced out to second baseman Billy Martin. Now only one man stood between Larsen and a date with history: Dale Mitchell.

Mitchell was acquired from Cleveland in August as the Dodgers were looking for a left-handed off the bench. He fell behind Larsen 1-2. On his 97th pitch of the game, Larsen fired a fastball that Mitchell took. Home plate umpire Babe Pinelli, in his last World Series, called it strike three despite Mitchell’s protestations. Yogi Berra, who called a great game as Larsen’s catcher, ran to his pitcher and leaped into his arms as the Yankees poured out of their dugout to mob Larsen.

After his career ended, Larsen would come back to New York regularly to attend Old Timer’s Day, where he would receive a rousing ovation when being introduced. Larsen’s passing on New Year’s Day at age 90 now makes baseball a little less bright, a little less fun, a little less…well, perfect.

New York Yankees news, rumors: The Martian and other top prospects’ expected level of play, Possible Castro reunion, the passing of Don Larsen

New York Yankees, Estevan Florial

It is no secret that the New York Yankees are all in this year, but with all the eyes and attention on the Major League roster, there are still tons of things to be excited about in the minor league system as well.

Top Prospects’ Expected starting levels for 2020

For starters, it seems increasingly likely that Yankees’ 16-year-old phenom, Jasson Dominguez, will start the season skipping rookie ball altogether, thus finding himself in Staten Island or Charleston. It wouldn’t be the first time that an international prospect with his ceiling has skipped rookie ball entirely. Dominguez is without a doubt, a once in a lifetime type of player, and has been dubbed the “Teenage Mike Trout” thanks to his incredible tools, size, and talent. For Dominguez, expect him to rise throughout the system over the course of the next two seasons especially, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see him in AA at some point during the 2021 season — at only 18 years old.

Estevan Florial is one of the names that I’m sure some Yankees fans are getting sick of hearing at this point. Unfortunately for Florial, the previous two seasons have been shortened by freak injuries — a broken hamate bone and a broken right wrist — but there is no doubt that he has the talent and raw tools to be a great baseball player. Need I remind you that across his Spring Training time in 2019, while yes it was only 8 games, he flashed that potential and ability to be elite. In those 8 games he hit .368 with a HR and 4 SB’s as well. It looks as if Florial will come into Spring as part of the massive group of talented Outfielders wanting to showcase their abilities, but will likely begin the year in High A, or AA baseball.

As for the crop of extremely talented pitchers that the Yankees have in the minors; Deivi Garcia, Albert Abreu, Clarke Schmidt, and Luis Gil amongst others, expect them to be closely monitored throughout this season. For Garcia especially, I wouldn’t be surprised if he is to be dangled as trade bait — as my colleague Alexander Wilson mentioned in a previous article. However, should he be on the roster this upcoming year, both he and Abreu are the two most likely to be called up come September when rosters expand, should they both pitch well enough prior.

Starlin back to the New York Yankees?

As Free Agency swings to the new year, there are some interesting options sitting on the market. One of which is Starlin Castro, whom Yankees fans should be very familiar with. “All-Starlin”, across two seasons (’16-’17) in New York managed to bat .283 over 1029 AB’s along with the iconic Adrian Beltre “on one knee!” HR vs Baltimore and his familiarity with the team and system — as well as his ability to man either SS or 2B — could be just enticing enough for Cashman to give him a look. Ultimately, Castro’s 111 wRC+ he posted with the team in 2016 was the second-highest of his career, and it would be an unnecessary signing if anything.

I am personally a big fan of Tyler Wade, and if Castro is looking to get upwards of $8,000,000 — right around the amount to which Miami promptly said “no thank you” to — I would say the same thing if I were Cashman. For me, Wade brings more to the table than Castro does, as his ability to play both the Middle IF spots, as well as LF and CF at a more efficient rate, lead me to believe that he should have a place on this team. Add to that the fact that Wade is far quicker of the two, and his plate discipline dwarfs Castro’s, and that right there is already a strong enough case. However, what Castro does bring is stability and consistency, as you know what you’re going to get with him & not to mention he played 158 games for the Marlins in 2018, and all 162 games in 2019 — ah the dream to have a player healthy for the entire season, must be nice.

The Passing of Don Larsen (08/07/1929 – 01/01/2020)

Last night, former Yankee pitcher Don Larsen passed away at 90 years of age. Larsen is the ONLY pitcher to ever pitch a perfect game in the World Series & he did so on behalf of the New York Yankees organization. The Yankees released a statement saying that his perfect game was “A Defining Moment for our franchise” and continued with: “The unmitigated joy reflected in his embrace with Yogi Berra after the games final out will forever hold a place in Yankees lore. It was the pinnacle of baseball success and a reminder of the incredible, unforgettable things that can happen on a baseball field.” Larsen was able to retire many legendary players like: Gil Hodges, Pee Wee Reese, Roy Campanella, Duke Snyder, and of course Jackie Robinson, en route to the first — and to this day — only World Series perfect game performance.

Larsen was married to his wife Corinne for 63 years, as the two of them recently celebrated their 63rd Wedding Anniversary on December 16th, 2019. Larsen’s catching mate and lifelong friend — before baseball great — Yogi Berra stated it best: “Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good, too.” And don’t worry Don, everyone here loves you and baseball, and that won’t change anytime soon.

May one of the best personalities to ever put on the Pinstripes, and owner of the accolade that nobody else has, Rest in Peace.

New York Yankees lose World Series Perfect Game Pitcher Don Larsen

New York Yankees, Don Larsen

Yesterday it was announced that Don Larsen’s son Scott had announced that his father had entered hospice. He stated that his father, a former New York Yankees player, had had treatments for esophageal cancer in recent months, but had taken a turn for the worse and had entered hospice care. He died shortly thereafter in Hayden Idaho at the age of 90. Don Larsen holds the record for having pitched the only World Series perfect game in baseball history. I wanted to take this opportunity to post my Don Larsen Legend article that was previously published on November 10, 2019.

Don Larsen was not one of the greatest Yankee pitchers. In fact he’s probably not in the top twelve. But he does have a claim to fame for the Yankees and all of baseball. He is the only pitcher to have a perfect game in the World Series. As of this writing, Larsen is 90 years old and is a mainstay at the Yankees Old Timer’s Day Game.

Larsen was born in 1929 to a humble family in Michigan City, Indiana. When he was 15, he and his family moved to California, where his Dad was a department store salesman and his Mom a housekeeper. Larsen attended Point Loma High School, where he played basketball and baseball. Although Don got scholarships for basketball, he chose baseball, citing that he wasn’t all that good at his studies. While playing baseball there, he was noticed by a St. Louis Browns scout. He was offered a minor league contract, and he accepted. The Browns eventually became the Baltimore Orioles. Don was assigned to the Aberdeen Pheasants in 1947. He went 4-3 with an ERA of 3.42.

The next season he won 17 games. In 1949 he moved up to the Globe Miami Browns. Soon after, Larsen was promoted to the Wichita Indians of the Class-A Western League in the second half of the 1950 season. With the Indians, Larsen had a 6–4 record with a 3.14 ERA in 21 games. In 1951, Larsen was drafted to the United States Army for the Korean War. He spent the next two years in the Army, working in a variety of non-combat jobs. He was discharged from the Army in 1953 and made the St. Louis Browns roster before the beginning of the season. On April 17, 1947, he made his major league debut in a game against the Detroit Tigers. His first game was a no-decision, but he won his second game giving up one earned run to the then Philadelphia Athletics. In 1954 the Browns became the Baltimore Orioles where he was 3-21 (that’s not a misprint) with a 4.37 ERA.

In 1954 the Yankees lost the World Series to the Indians, and the Yankee Manager blamed it on the older pitching staff of the Yankees, who were in their late 30’s. Wanting to beef up the staff in a 17 man trade, the Yankees acquired Don Larsen from the Baltimore Orioles. Larsen would pitch behind Yankee ACE Whitey Ford. The original deal was to get Bob Turley, but Manager Casey Stengel wanted Larsen in the trade because of how he beat down the Yankee hitters. From 1955 to 1959, Stengel used Larsen as a starter and reliever, during that period he went 45-25 in 90 starts.

Larsen started out the 1955 season with a sore arm and didn’t pitch well and was demoted to the minors. He ended up pitching in 19 games going 9–2 record with a 3.07 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 97 innings pitched. On August 5 of the year, he would pitch a shutout of the Tigers. His best year was 1956 when he went to an 11–5 record, with a career-best 107 strikeouts and a 3.26 ERA. He pitched another shut out, this one against the Orioles. Late in the season, he pitched five complete games out of seven. But these stats were not the highlight of his pitching year.

On October 8, 1956, Don Larsen pitched the only perfect game in World Series history. It was game 5 of the World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers. Larsen needed just 97 pitches to complete the classic game, and only one Dodger batter (Pee Wee Reese in the first inning) was able to get a 3-ball count. Brooklyn’s Maglie gave up only two runs on five hits. Mickey Mantle’s fourth-inning home run broke the scoreless tie. The Yankees added an insurance run in the sixth. After Roy Campanella grounded out to Billy Martin for the second out of the 9th inning, Larsen faced pinch hitter Dale Mitchell, a .311 career hitter. Throwing fastballs, Larsen got ahead in the count at 1–2. On his 97th pitch, a called third strike by home plate umpire Babe Penelli Larsen caught Mitchell looking for the 27th and last out. After the pitch, catcher Yogi Berra leaped into Larsen’s arms in celebration, setting up the “everlasting image” that you can see in my photo collage. Larsen’s unparalleled game earned him the World Series Most Valuable Player Award and Babe Ruth Award.

In 1957, Larsen had a 10–4 record with 3.74 ERA in 27 games, 20 of them starts. Near the end of the season, he hurled a 3-hit shutout against the Kansas City Athletics on September 15, his fifth shutout with the Yankees. In seven innings in relief in game 3 of the World Series against the Braves as the Yankees won 12-3. He started game seven but only went 2 1/3 innings in the loss as the Braves won the series. Larsen had another winning season in 1958, although the Yankees did not make the World Series. In 1959 Larsen’s performance dropped considerably, and he was sent down to the minors. In the offseason, he was traded to the Kansas City Athletics.

In his first year with the Athletics, he had his worst year ever but rebounded in 1961, having his best year since 1955 with both the Athletics and the White Sox. From 1962 to 1967, he would play with the Giants, Colt 45’s, Orioles, and the Cubs, but would never regain his pitching success. Don Larsen retired from baseball during the 1967 season. Little is ever said of Larsen’s hitting ability, but he was one of baseball’s best hitting pitchers, having 14 home runs and a career .242. In 1956 he had a grand slam against the Red Sox. He was a good enough hitter that he was used 66 times as pinch hitter. Yankee fans hope to see Don at Old Timer’s Day for years to come.

Don Larsen was present at Yankee Stadium for two perfect games, his own in 1956 and David Cone’s in July 1999. Don passed away on New Year’s Day 2020.