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The New York Yankees have officially been eliminated from playoff contention

Government officials around the country advise employers to expect workers to be absent and to show up tomorrow smelling of cigars and top shelf booze, possibly still wearing yesterday's clothes.

Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports


With a 9-5 victory Wednesday night, one highlighted by 4 hits from Nelson Cruz, the Baltimore Orioles kicked off one of the happiest celebrations in sports: Yankee Death Day. That's right, another fall shall pass without the indignity of seeing the New York Yankees celebrate a World Series victory. Though surely celebrated informally as far back as 1913, Yankee Death Day did not become an official holiday* until November 4, 2001, when a three-year reign of terror was ended by a bloop single off the bat of Luis Gonzalez.

*Off the record I'll acknowledge that Yankee Death Day still is not an official holiday, but I did begin celebrating it in 2001, when it really did feel like the Yankees were just going to keep winning and winning. When Derek Jeter hit the late-night home run that got him the "Mr. November" nickname and won Game 4, I was at a bar, dressed up as Han Solo (because it was Halloween you see; it's not like I always dressed like that when I went out back in college... so far as you know), and I immediately chugged what was left of my beer, then grabbed a friend's beer and did the same, then grabbed another friend's... it's a good thing the rest of my friends were standing further away.

Citizens, who'd grown to fear the Yankees would simply win the World Series every year forever, took to the streets and celebrated for three weeks, until they realized Thanksgiving was upon them, and if they didn't get to the store for cranberry sauce and a pumpkin pie, the in-laws would kill them.

Here is rundown of each Yankee Death Day since then:

  • 2002 (October 5th): In game 4 of the ALDS, the Anaheim Angels scored 8 runs off David Wells to end the Yankees' season.
  • 2003 (October 25): In Game 6 of the World Series, Josh Beckett pitched a shutout as the Florida Marlins ended the Yankees' season.
  • 2004 (October 20): In Game 7 of the ALCS, the Boston Red Sox completed the first and only comeback in MLB history from a 3 games to 0 series deficit and ended the Yankees' season.
  • 2005 (October 10): In Game 5 of the ALDS, Garret Anderson and Adam Kennedy each drove in a pair of runs as the Angels again ended the Yankees' season.
  • 2006 (October 7): In Game 4 of the ALDS, the Detroit Tigers made quick work of things by taking an 8-0 lead and holding on to end the Yankees' season.
  • 2007 (October 8): In Game 4 of the ALDS, Grady Sizemore led things off with a home run and Jhonny Perlata added 3 hits as the Cleveland Indians ended the Yankees' season.
  • 2008 (September 23): On the final Tuesday of the regular season, with a 5-3 win over Cleveland the Red Sox made sure the Yankees would miss the playoffs for the first time since 1994.
  • 2009: Not observed.
  • 2010 (October 22): In Game 6 of the ALCS, Colby Lewis pitched 8 strong innings and Nelson Cruz homered as the Texas Rangers ended the Yankees' season.
  • 2011 (October 6): In Game 5 of the ALDS, Don Kelly and Delmon Young hit back-to-back home runs in the 1st inning, giving the Tigers a lead they would not relinquish as they ended the Yankees' season.
  • 2012 (October 18): In Game 4 of the ALCS, the Detroit Tigers hit four home runs (including a pair by Jhonny Perlata) and became the first team to sweep New York in a playoff series since 1980, ending the Yankees' season.
  • 2013 (September 25): On the final Wednesday of the regular season, with a 7-2 win over Chicago that featured 3 hits by Michael Brantley, the Indians made sure the Yankees would miss the playoffs.

Please take to the comments to share your favorite memories of Yankee Death Days past, and your hopes for Yankee Death Days future.