Last Updated on October 7, 2023 at 8:01 am by Inna Zeyger
October 6 holds immense significance in the New York Yankees lore. The team won two World Series titles on this very day while it was also associated with a record-breaking home-run quest by legendary Babe Ruth. Let’s find out the significance of this day forever bronzed in the annals of New York’s baseball history.
October 6, 1926: Babe Ruth sets a World Series record
On October 6, 1926, the legendary Babe Ruth made World Series history at St. Louis’ Sportsman Park. Batting against the hometown Cardinals, Ruth smashed three towering home runs to lead the New York Yankees to a 10-5 Game 4 victory. His first blast in the opening frame sailed an estimated 395 feet over the right field bleachers off pitcher Flint Rhem.
Ruth’s second moonshot cleared the right-center bleachers an astonishing 515 feet away, shattering a window across Grand Avenue. However, his third home run stands as Ruth’s masterpiece – a towering 530-foot clout into Sportsman’s Park centerfield bleachers, the deepest area ever reached.
According to broadcaster Graham McNamee, even Ruth’s crucial outfield assist that afternoon, gunning down a runner at home plate, was executed with peerless excellence: “Babe shot it like an arrow.” With this historic performance, Ruth also made good on a fabled promise to hit a home run for ailing youth Johnny Sylvester.
October 6, 1936: Yankees routed Giants 13-5 to win World Series
On October 6, 1936, the Yankees bested their intra-city rivals, the New York Giants, in Game 6 by a score of 13-5 to secure another World Series title. The Bronx Bombers and Giants were knotted early, with Mel Ott and Jake Powell trading first-inning homers at Polo Grounds. But the Yankees soon pulled away, plating Lou Gehrig for a 3-2 edge and tacking on two more runs in the fourth frame.
The Giants closed within 5-4 in the seventh, only for Tony Lazzeri to provide an insurance run in the eighth. After Jo-Jo Moore’s homer again sliced the deficit to one, the Yankees erupted for seven ninth-inning runs, burying the Giants under an avalanche of base hits and walks. Reliever Johnny Murphy retired the Giants in order to seal the Yankees’ fifth championship in six seasons.
October 6, 1941: Yankees win World Series no. 9 and fifth in six years
On October 6, 1941, at Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field, the Yankees beat the Dodgers 3-1 to capture the World Series in five games. Pitching ace Tiny Bonham went the distance for New York, yielding just four hits. He set down the Dodger side on a mere three pitches in one inning, stifling Brooklyn’s offense. Joe Gordon plated two runs in the second frame to give the Bombers an early lead they would not relinquish. Tommy Henrich added a solo homer in the fifth off Dodgers starter Whit Wyatt. The Yankees’ fifth title in six years further cemented their dominance in the decade.
October 6, 1947: Yankees win World Series no. 11
In Game 7 of the 1947 World Series at Yankee Stadium, the Bronx Bombers rallied to beat the Brooklyn Dodgers 5-2 and earn an incredible 11th championship. The Dodgers grabbed a 2-0 lead in the second inning on three straight hits against New York starter Spec Shea. But the Yankees immediately responded with a Phil Rizzuto RBI single in the bottom half.
Then, with the bases loaded in the fourth, pinch hitter Bobby Brown laced a two-run double off Hal Gregg to put the Yankees ahead 3-2. Tommy Henrich added an insurance run in the sixth, before the Bombers plated their fifth and final run on an Aaron Robinson sacrifice fly in the seventh. Fireballing reliever Joe Page was lights-out, retiring 13 consecutive Dodgers over five innings to seal the Yankees’ dramatic Game 7 triumph.
October 6, 1978: Munson’s heroic overshadows Brett’s 3 HRs
On October 6, 1978, Yankees catcher Thurman Munson crushed a go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth inning off Royals reliever Mark Littell to give New York a 6-5 playoff victory. Earlier, Kansas City’s George Brett had belted three solo shots off Catfish Hunter. But with the game knotted 5-5, Munson drilled Littell’s high fastball deep into the left-center bullpen, sparking a huge comeback win. It was sweet redemption for Munson, who had not homered in two months. His clutch blast propelled the Yankees into the ALCS against their bitter rivals, the Red Sox.
October 6, 1985: Yankees knuckleballer Phil Niekro makes history in style
Veteran knuckleballer Phil Niekro made history on October 6, 1985, becoming the 18th pitcher to reach 300 career wins. At 46 years old, Niekro hurled a complete game shutout to lead the Yankees over Toronto 8-0 in their regular season finale. In doing so, he also broke Satchel Paige’s record to become the oldest hurler to throw a shutout. Niekro’s milestone victory capped a storybook season spent pitching alongside his brother Joe Niekro, first in Atlanta and later with the Yankees. In his 300th win, Niekro demonstrated that knuckleball mastery has no age limit.
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