Top of Yankees’ epic October moments

A Yankees vs. Red Sox game in October

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More than any other team, the New York Yankees made it to the postseason. In October, they had more important and memorable baseball moments to add to their already rich history. Let’s find out what their “epic” performances were that stood for great moments and wins in the Yankees’ postseason history and gave fans a special feeling.

Don Larsen’s Perfect Game

  • When: October 8, 1956
  • Where: Yankee Stadium
  • Against: Brooklyn Dodgers
  • Famous for: Larsen’s only single-player no-hitter in World Series
  • Result: Yankees won World Series Game 5

Before Game Five of the 1956 World Series, there had only been three perfect games in the 20th century, and none in the previous 34 years. But Don Larsen did the unthinkable for the Yankees against the Dodgers.

Clever throwing by Larsen ensured that the ball would land in a Yankee’s glove or hit the foul pole when the Dodgers seemed to hit a home run. He struck out 27 hitters. In the fourth inning, Mantle hit a solo home run, and two innings later, Hank Bauer hit a single that scored a run. The Yankees won it 2-0.

Roger Maris’ AL home run record

It was the last day of the regular season for the Yankees and Roger Maris hit his 61st homer to surpass Babe Ruth‘s 1927 record of 60 home runs in a season. Maris’ record stood for 61 years until Aaron Judge, another Yankee, scored 62 home runs in 2022.

Maris drove the ball over the right field in the fourth inning. Though the ballpark’s two-thirds of seats were empty, it became one of the most poignant moments in baseball lore for over six decades.

The end of the 12-year drought

  • When: October 14, 1976
  • Where: Yankee Stadium
  • Against: Kansas City Royals
  • Famous for: The hardest fought ALCS Game 5
  • Result: Yankees won 7-6

It was the toughest ALCS Game 5 the Yankees had ever played. The Yankees won Games 1 and 4 while the Royals claimed a comeback with Game 2 and 3 victories. Game 5 saw a do-or-die struggle by both teams.

Kansas City took a lead in the first but the Yankees tied it soon. In the fourth, they regain the lead but the Royals fought hard to tie. A big homer by Kansas City’s George Brett in the eighth tied the game at 6-6. However, Chris Chambliss lifted the ball for a homer in the ninth to give the Yankees their AL Pennant.

Mr. October’s 3-homer 1977 World Series Game 6

  • When: October 18, 1977
  • Where: Yankee Stadium
  • Against: Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Famous for: Reggie Jackson’s 3 homers and 1977 World Series win (Game 6)
  • Result: Yankees won 8-4

Reggie Jackson hit three home runs that ended the Yankees’ 15-year drought to win a World Series. The slugger, who had a rough season marred by his ego, vented his ire on the Dodgers. Mr. October hit a two-run homer in the fourth that helped the Yankees come back. In the fifth, another of his home run and the ball landed outside the stadium. Another huge homer came in the eighth amid the chants of “Reggie! Reggie! Reggie!”

The AL East tie-breaker

  • When: October 2, 1978
  • Where: Fenway Park
  • Against: Boston Red Sox
  • Famous for: American League East tie-breaker game
  • Result: Yankees won 5-4

The season ended with both the Yankees and the Red Sox 99–63 (.611) records. This necessitated the AL East tie-breaker game on October 2, 1978. Among a galaxy of stars, an unlikely hero emerged in Bucky Dent and he gave the Yankees the vital comeback and lead that remained until they won the game.

The Red Sox took the lead 2-0 in the first six innings. But Dunt smashed a three-run homer in the seventh. The unbelievable three-run shot helped the Yankees come back and put them 3-2 ahead. New York won the game 5-2.

Jeffrey Maier Incident

  • When: October 9, 1996
  • Where: Yankee Stadium
  • Against: Baltimore Orioles
  • Famous for: 1996 ALCS Game 1
  • Result: Yankees won 5-4

One of the most keenly contested games in the MLB playoffs, this Game 1 of the 1996 ALC was decided by a 12-year-old boy. The Yankees drew the first blood with a lead but the Orioles roared back. The lead was swapped hands multiple times until Baltimore went 4-3 ahead in the seventh.

Derek Jeter came to bat next and hit the ball to the deep right. While an Oriole fielder was trying to reach the ball, Jeffrey Maier, a boy aged 12, caught it over the wall.

To the dismay of outfielder Tony Tarasco, the right-field linesman gave Jeter a homer. But then the game went into extra innings. Another homer by Bernie Williams handed the game to the Yankees.

Do you have any other October games to list here? Let’s know.

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