August 26th: What a Date in New York Baseball History

From time to time I enjoy getting material for this blog by looking up what happened in baseball history on a particular date.   Although August 26th only has about two hours left in the day, there are lots of goodies that took place on this date particularly those pertaining to the two New York baseball clubs.  The timing may seem particularly cruel for Mets’ fans considering today’s news regarding Matt Harvey but some of these items are too good not to be mentioned.  So here is a rundown of what took place on this date over the years.  A big thanks goes out to

Classic Bobby V.  Image:

Classic Bobby V. Image:


1962-The Yankees were swept in a five game series by the Baltimore Orioles as Robin Roberts outdueled Whitey Ford 2-1 in a battle of future Hall of Famers.  The Yanks would go on to win the World Series later that season but whoever heard of a team dropping all five games of the rare five game series?

1991-Brien Taylor signed a record-setting $1.55 million contract with the Yankees as the number one pick in the June draft.  Taylor, a 19-year old pitcher from East Carteret High School in Beaufort, North Carolina had his price driven up thanks to suspended owner George Steinbrenner who said earlier, “If they (Yankee management) let him go, they ought to be shot”.  Taylor never pitched a game in the Major Leagues as his career was derailed by a shoulder injury suffered in 1993 while defending his brother in a bar fight.

1993-Vince Coleman was placed on administrative leave by the Mets following his admission that he tossed an M-100 firecracker at fans in the Dodger Stadium parking lot.  As result of Coleman’s recklessness, three people were injured in the July 24th.  It was just the latest in a string of embarrassments for a Mets squad that lost 103 games that season.  The atmosphere around the team was so toxic that the organization decided to enlist several eager college students (including yours truly) to create so a more fan-friendly vibe around Shea Stadium.

1996-The Mets replace Dallas Green as manager with Bobby Valentine.  Bobby V becomes one of the most successful managers in team has had and led the club to back-to-back playoff appearances for the only time in franchise history.  The 2000 team advanced to their fourth World Series in its history where it lost 4 games to 1 to the Yankees.  Valentine had many memorable moments as the skipper, perhaps none more so than the glasses and mustache “outfit” he wore in the dugout following an ejection.

2002-Two Yankees made history in the team’s 10-3 victory over the Texas RangersAlfonso Soriano hit is 31st home run of the season, setting a new club record for second basemen.  He surpassed Joe Gordon‘s mark which was set in 1940.  Derek Jeter became only the third player to score 100 or more runs in his first seven seasons.  He joined Hall of Famers Ted Williams and Earle Combs and will join them one day in Cooperstown.  Also noted about this game:  it was the first one where video was streamed over the Internet and was viewed by 30,000 fans.

2003-It was future Mets trade day as Oliver Perez and Jason Bay were traded by the San Diego Padres to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for Brian Giles.  The deal worked out in the Bucs’ favor as Bay would have several productive seasons in Pittsburgh including winning the 2004 National League Rookie of the Year Award.  Perez finished 2004 in the top five in ERA with a nice 2.98 mark.  Unfortunately, this kind of excellence was missing during the duo’s time in New York.

2008-David Wright becomes the first player in Mets’ history to have four 100 RBI seasons.  The euphoria doesn’t last as the Amazins’ blow a 7-0 lead and lose to the Philadelphia Phillies 8-7 in 13 innings.  The victory sent Philly into first place, a half game in front of New York.

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