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……