The 1995 Trade Deadline that Brought the Yankees a Playoff Berth

On July 28, 1995, the Yankees were 40-40 and seeking the team’s first playoff appearance since 1981.  For much of the season, pitching was the problem for the Yankees.

The rotation was led by “Blackjack” Jack McDowell, a young lefty who had six career victories to that point- Andy Pettitte, and the oft-injured Scott Kamieniecki and Melido Perez.  Mariano Rivera had also made 10 starts, without much success.

On that day, the Yankees acquired David Cone from the Blue Jays.  Cone, who was 9-6 with a 3.38 ERA that season with the Jays (pretty good numbers for the Steroid Era), went on to win 9 of his 13 starts with the Yankees, leading them to the first-ever Wild Card.

The players the Yankees included in the deal were highly-regarded pitching prospect Marty Janzen and less-regarded pitchers Jason Jarvis and Mike Gordon. None of them would have much of an MLB career.

While the Yankees were unable to advance beyond the divisional round of the playoffs, Cone pitched them to a win in game 1, and put up a valiant effort in the decisive game 5 – one of the most exciting games in baseball history – which the Yankees ultimately lost.  Cone would go on to win four championships with the Yankees after re-signing with the team in the winter of 1996.

Also acquired at the deadline of 1995 was Ruben Sierra, who had some crucial home runs during that 5-game series, subsequently showing off his dance moves…


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