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Birthday Baseball (An Occasional Series): Game 19- July 12, 1995

By now our readers know the story… I am looking back to see how the Yankees performed on my birthday each year since I’ve been born and then telling the story of what took place on that summer day.

As always, whenever I do research like this, my first two stops are always Retrosheet and Baseball-Reference.

Let’s head back to 1995, Wednesday, July 12, to be exact, to see what took place in the Yankees game that night…

***

On Wednesday, July 12, 1995, the Yankees were at home in the Bronx to play against the Kansas City Royals.

This was the first game of a… one game mid-week series?

That makes no sense.

The first great mystery of this game was why the Royals would be coming into Yankee Stadium to play in a one game series.

My first guess was that this was a game that was being made-up because of an earlier rain out, but the Royals hadn’t been in Yankees Stadium to even be rained out that season. (The Yankees had played three games in Kansas City in April that season.)

I wondered, “Where did this game come from?”

.I searched the Internet for an explanation, and found none. (I did find that Allie Reynolds’ first no-hitter of 1951 occurred on July 12. I guess that’s something, but it wasn’t what I was looking for.)

This forced me to make the following conclusions:

The 1995 season had a delayed start because of the on-going negotiations between the players and the owners

With a delayed start, the schedule makers had to create creative ways for teams to get as many games as possible into the season

The Yankees had already been in Kansas City which means that it was likely that the games that the Royals had scheduled to play in New York were some that were missed due to the season’s delayed start.

The Royals would be playing on July 13 in Baltimore following the All-Star Game.

The Yankees were already home

They cut the All-Star break back a day (the All-Star Game itself was played on July 11) to get another game into the schedule

I believe my reasoning here is flawless (or at least correct).

***

The Royals entered the contest with a 33-32 record.

The Yankees were 30-36. (Wasn’t this the beginning of the good years?)

Chris Haney (3-3) took the mound for the Royals against Andrew Eugene Pettitte of the Yankees (3-6), After throwing some games out of the bullpen to begin his career, this was Pettitte’s tenth Major League start.

***

The Royals sent the following line-up to face the Yankees:

Vince Coleman – lf

Wally Joyner – 1b

Chris James – dh

Gary Gaetti – 3b

Phil Hiatt – rf

Edgar Caceres -ss

Chris Stynes – 2b

David Howard – cf

Pat Borders – c

The Yankees countered with the following:

Bernie Williams – cf

Jim Leyritz – c

Paul O’Neill – rf

Danny Tartabull – dh

Gerald Williams -lf

Don Mattingly – 1b

Tony Fernandez -ss

Russ Davis – 3b

Pat Kelly – 2b

***

In the top of the first, the Royals went down in order. 1, 2, 3. Done. Two ground outs and a strikeout (Chris James).

The Yankees played ugly in the bottom of the first.

Bernie Williams walked. He was caught stealing. Jim Leyritz walked. Paul O’Neill grounded into a double play. Uggg.

Andy Pettitte again set down the Royals in order in the second inning, striking out two more batters (Gaetti and Caceres).

In the Yankees’ second, the bats came alive, well, after Danny Tartabull began the inning by striking out. Gerald Williams walked. Don Mattingly doubled him to third. And then, one out later, Russ Davis (who was supposed to be a future star) hit a three run homer. This was Davis’ second homer of the year – and the last one he’d ever hit as a Yankee. (After the season, he was traded to the Mariners in the trade that brought the Yankees Tino Martinez.)

Still, the Yankees weren’t done. Pat Kelly singled. Bernie Williams doubled. Jim Leyritz then hit a two-run double to make the score 5-0. Paul O’Neill then came up and singled home Leyritz to make it 6-0. O’Neill, though was thrown out trying to stretch his single to a double. Still, six runs on six hits is baseball at its finest.

The game was now Andy Pettitte’s to win.

The Royals got two singles and a walk, but couldn’t score in the third.

Dave Fleming came in to pitch for the Royals and got Danny Tartabull, Gerald Williams, and Don Mattingly to all fly out to center field.

Pettitte then retired the Royals in order in the fourth recording two more strikeouts (Hiatt and Caceres).

In the bottom of the fourth, the Yankees poured it on. With one out, Russ Davis walked. Pat Kelly then doubled. Bernie Williams then walked to load the bases. Jim Leyritz scored them both on a single making it 8-0 in favor of the good guys from the Bronx. With Paul O’Neill up, Williams scored on a wild pitch. Paul O’Neill then hit into his second double play of the night ending the inning.

The Royals went down in order in the fifth (David Howard struck out).

Dilson Torres came in to pitch for the Royals. Save for a walk to Don Mattingly, he was flawless that inning.

In the sixth, the Royals got a single from Wally Joyner, but did no other damage. (Gary Gaetti struck out.)

The Yankees got a double from Bernie Williams, but that was it. The score stayed 9-0 in favor of the Yankees.

The Royals went down in order in the seventh.

Now facing MIke Magnante, the Yankees got a two-out walk to Gerald Williams followed by a Don Mattingly single – and then a wild pitch advanced the runners – but Tony Fernandez struck out. That single would be Don Mattingly’s last ever hit on July 12. For his career, Don Mattingly hit .387 on July 12. It tuned out to be a good day for him.

The Royals went down in order in the eighth. In the bottom of the frame, now facing Hipolito Pichardo, the Yankees only managed a two-out single from Bernie Williams.

By the ninth, Andy Pettitte was gassed. He had nothing left. The Royals put together a few singles and a run before Scott Bankhead was called on to close out the game.

The Yankees won this easily and decisively 9-1.

***

The next time the Yankees would play on July 12 would be 1997. It looks as though the game in 1996 was rained out as the Yankees played a double header on July 13 against the Orioles after also playing them on July 11.

When we next see the Yankees, David Cone will take the mound, Derek Jeter will be leading off, and Mariano Rivera will close it out against the Tigers in the Bronx.

***

Yankees Record on July 12 (in this series – since 1968): 16-3

(There were no games played on July 12 in 1971, 1976, 1978, 1981, 1982, 1988, 1989, 1993, and 1994.)

Don Mattingly on July 12 (as a Yankee on July 12): 12 for 31 (.387), 2 2b, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 2 BB, SO

Graig Nettles (as a Yankee on July 12): 33 AB, 7 hits (.212), 1 run, 5 strikeouts, 4 walks. 1 RBI (I had hoped that my favorite player would have done better on my birthday.)

#BirthdayBaseball

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