• Mind Games

    Posted by on May 19th, 2006 · Comments (13)

    While attending the big May 16th comeback game the other day, I told my game-mate for the evening, Alex Belth, that I remembered once going to a game at the Stadium where the Yankees were down 8-0, against Frank Tanana, when Tanana was a fire-balling ace, and they came back to score 8 runs in the bottom of the 9th inning.

    Thinking about that game some more today, I decided to look for it at Retrosheet.org.

    And, I found it: August 22, 1976

    What a game that was for me. I was almost 14-years-old at the time.

    Tanana shutout the Yankees for 8 innings – while Catfish Hunter and Ron Guidry allowed the Angels to score eight runs.

    That led to the bottom of the 9th, which went down like this (according to Retrosheet):

    Munson grounded out (shortstop to first);
    Piniella singled to right;
    Chambliss doubled to right [Piniella to third];
    Nettles singled to right [Piniella scored, Chambliss to third];
    Velez walked [Nettles to second];
    Healy singled to center [Chambliss scored, Nettles to third, Velez to second];
    Randolph doubled to right [Nettles scored, Velez scored, Healy to third];

    VERHOEVEN REPLACED TANANA (PITCHING);
    C. MAY BATTED FOR STANLEY;

    C. May singled to right [Healy scored, Randolph scored];
    White homered [C. May scored];
    Munson made an out to left;
    Piniella reached on an error by Remy [Piniella to first];

    RIVERS RAN FOR PINIELLA;
    MONGE REPLACED VERHOEVEN (PITCHING);

    Rivers was picked off and caught stealing second (pitcher to first to shortstop);

    Check that out. In the year where he won the MVP, Munson made the first two outs of the 9th inning where the Yankees scored 8 runs to comeback from 8-0. Wow. Imagine what the media would do today to A-Rod if he did what Munson did back then?

    Anyway, what’s funny (at least now) is that the Yankees blew the game in the 11th inning. It’s funny because I don’t remember that part at all – I just remember the fact that they scored 8 in the 9th after being shutout all day.

    What I also found interesting about this game, looking at it today, was the attendance: 52,864.

    It must have been a give-away day or something. I wonder where that give-away is today, 30 years later? I still have a THURMAN MUNSON bat and a MICKEY RIVERS bat in the garage that I got as a kid at various “Bat Day” games. Could one of them be from that game? I’ll never know.

    The May 16th game this year was a give-way night – Calendar Night. Somehow, I don’t think that I will be hanging on to that for 30 years.

    But, just like the 8-0 comeback from 1976, I’ll hang on to the memory of 5/16/06 for a long time……

    Comments on Mind Games

    1. festus
      May 19th, 2006 | 3:03 pm

      Awesome. Is that Fred “Chicken” Stanley I see being pinch hit for? Chicken Stanley…one of the all-time greats. I was at the 9-run comeback against the Red Sox in ’87, though I was in the concession line for 6 runs of the comeback. Still, great game.

    2. May 19th, 2006 | 3:06 pm

      Yup, that be the Chicken!

    3. May 19th, 2006 | 3:34 pm

      I just dug out (no pun intended) the bats from the garage and edited this entry to include a link to a picture of them. It’s the link on “that I got as a kid.” These two bats had to come from “Bat Days” sometime between 1976 and 1979.

    4. rbj
      May 19th, 2006 | 3:37 pm

      Ah yes, back in the day when you could hand out real sized bats.

    5. Jen
      May 19th, 2006 | 3:51 pm

      Tuesday technically wasn’t a give-away night. They just had a shitload of calendars left over from a month ago that they decided to get rid of.

    6. May 19th, 2006 | 4:08 pm

      Thanks Jen – it did seem strange that it was May and they were giving away calendars that started with April 2006.

    7. Jen
      May 19th, 2006 | 4:09 pm

      Sweet bats. I like the Burger Kind logo on the Munson one. Good to know that the logo creep on the giveaways isn’t a recent occurance. I still have my 1978 Yankees Burger King poster. Don’t know if it was a giveaway at the Stadium or at the restaurant though, as I stole it from my brother when he went away to college.

      http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v163/goddam/MISC/1978.jpg

    8. May 19th, 2006 | 4:40 pm

      Jen, it’s definitely not new. I remember when I was a kid (late 70s) the giveaways all had the interlocking-hearts logo of the Dellwood milk company. I particularly remember it on the back of the souvenir batting helmets that my brother and I used to wear when we played catch or stickball on our street. Dellwood milk doesn’t even exist any more, long since bought out by some dairy conglomerate or another. But I’ll never forget their logo.

    9. May 19th, 2006 | 5:01 pm

      OMG Jen, I had that poster. I have not thought about that one in, at least, 20 years. I’m 90% certain that was given away at BK and not the park.

      Mine probably bit the dust when I moved out of my parent’s house. Shame. That would be nice, framed, now.

    10. sanfrandan
      September 27th, 2006 | 3:04 am

      I just found this posting while I was searching for that game – I was 13 at the time. I remembered Munson making those two outs, but I had also forgotten the Yankees losing the game.

      It may very well have been bat day – I definitely remember going to bat day, and seeing a kid take a practice swing in the stands, and bloody some poor lady’s nose!

      Thanks for making my day!

    11. mchaim
      May 26th, 2009 | 2:21 pm

      i know its been years since anyone commented on this blog, but i came across it and had to comment. i was at that game in 1976, and although i was only 8 i’ll never forget that we lost in 11, though by then we were in the car on the way home.
      and YES, it WAS bat day. me and my three siblings all got bats which we kept for many years. i tell me kids about that day often.
      it was fun to relieve it.
      there was a guy behind us in the stands yelling “never say die” till the very end. he was right.
      thanks for the memories

    12. jak
      May 13th, 2014 | 2:51 am

      Loved your comments, Steve. I was 12 at the time, and watched the game on WPIX. I was ready to switch off the TV, then said ‘what the heck,’ let’s see this through. And wouldn’t you know…

      As I recall, there was a weird play just before Roy White’s homer that tied it 8-8. Someone hit a ground ball to second, and the ball took a bad hop, went way over the head of the second baseman, and put the Yanks in position to tie. At that point, I think we all felt the baseball gods were with us. Do you recall something like this?

    13. May 13th, 2014 | 9:33 am

      @ jak:
      I cannot recall – doesn’t mean it didn’t happen ‘tho!

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