Whenever the month of September comes around, thoughts
turn to BUCKY DENT'S HOME RUN – October 2, 1978 and THE BOSTON
MASSACRE, September 7, 1978. But there have been other marker moments
that linger in memory. A brief list follows: .
SAM JONES, NO HITTER, SEPTEMBER 4,
His major league career began with the Cleveland
Indians in 1914, continued with the Red Sox from 1916-21, with the
Yankees (1922-26), the Browns (1927), the Senators (1928-31), and the
White Sox (1932-35). Twice a 20-game winner, Samuel Pond Jones won 229
games and lost 217 in 22 seasons pitching in the American League.
A stylish right-hander, one of the first major
leaguers to wear eyeglasses on the field, Jones had his ups and downs.
Like most pitchers of his time, he relieved and started. His eight saves
in 1922 were tops in the league.. In 1923, he won 21 games, but lost a
league-high 21 in 1925 as the Yanks dropped to seventh place
Jones won 67 games as a Yankee in five seasons. No
game was more dramatic for him than his September 4, 1923 no-hitter, a
2-0 gem against the Athletics. It capped his career year, a time he was
the Yankee ace, hurling New York to its first World Championship.
JIM ABBOTT NO HITTER, September 4, 1993
The Yankees traded for him on December 6, 1992. He was
born without a right hand, but he persevered, more than persevered. A
graduate of the University of Michigan, Jim Abbott carried the United
States flag during the opening ceremonies at the 1987 Pan American Games
in Indianapolis and pitched for the 1988 U.S. Olympic team.
In 1989, he went directly from the University of
Michigan to the Angels' starting rotation. A solidly built southpaw,
the intense Abbott won a dozen games and posted a 3.92 ERA in his rookie
season. On the mound, he wore a right-hander's fielder's glove over the
stump at the end of his right arm. After delivering a pitch and when
completing his follow-through, he adroitly switched the glove to his
left hand to be in a position to handle any balls batted back to him.
In 1991 he looked like one of the best young
left-handers in the game after winning 18 games for the Angels while
posting a 2.89 ERA. The Yankees traded their best prospect first baseman
J.T. Snow and pitchers Russ Spring and Jerry Nielsen to California for
Abbott. The media spotlight in New York City seemed to be on him
daily. Abbott said he wanted to be like Nolan Ryan and not like Pete
Gray, the one handed pitcher.
With the Yankees, Abbott had his ups and downs in two
seasons in the Bronx. His record was 20-22. But he did have one
especially shining moment. It came just six days after he had been
touched for ten hits and seven runs in only three and a third innings
against Cleveland. Facing Cleveland again, in the in the heat
of the pennant race, Abbott tossed a 4-0 no-hitter against the Indians.
“I remember it was a cloudy day. A day game, the kind of game I like to
CAL RIPKEN: LAST YANKEE STADIUM GAME,
SEPTEMBER 30, 2001
The day was drizzly and cold. The Yankees played
against the Orioles for 15 innings, and the game was called finally
because of rain. There were 55,351 fans around at the start and much
less at the finish.
Many in the crowd had come out to see Cal Ripken, Jr.
in his 126th game at Yankee Stadium, the most by an opposing player.
His first game there was June 18, 1982.
There was an orange No. 8 painted on third base, as
well as the Orioles' on-deck circle. Ripken was given the honor of
throwing out the first pitch to Derek Jeter. Gifts presented to Ripken
included a sterling silver press pin from Don Mattingly, a watch, an
enlarged and framed copy of the commemorative ticket each fan was given
reading “Farewell Cal Ripken.'' Black-and-white pictures of Ripken and
Gehrig were on the tickets.
Ripken's pregame speech near home plate was staged
near where Lou Gehrig, dying, said goodbye. “I know there will be many
things that I'll miss about baseball, but coming to New York and playing
in Yankee Stadium will always be at the top….
"I remember Graig Nettles making diving catches. I
remember Louisiana Lightning I didn't like facing him that much. . .
Willie Randolph and Dave Winfield. One of my all-time favorites at first
base, Don Mattingly. It's really been a great run," Ripken said. "Let's
get to the game."
The game was in Ripken’s words: “Eerie. The weather,
the gray sky, the wind, the rain. I was punched out four times and went
0-for-7, but I still had a lot of fun competing."
# # #
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Harvey Frommer at:
About the Author:
Harvey Frommer is in his 38th year of writing books.
A noted oral historian and sports journalist, the author of 42 sports
books including the classics: "New York City Baseball,1947-1957" and
"Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball," his acclaimed REMEMBERING YANKEE
STADIUM was published in 2008 and his REMEMBERING FENWAY PARK: AN ORAL
AND NARRATIVE HISTORY OF THE HOME OF RED SOX NATION was published to
acclaim in 2011. The prolific Frommer is at work on When It Was
Just a Game, An Oral History on Super Bowel One.
His work has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times,
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