Sunday, December 23, 2007

This Week in Yankees History

December 23rd - December 29th

-December 23rd

Former Yankee pitcher AL “Bozo” Cicotte (1957) was born.(1929-1982) Al was signed by the Yankees as an amateur free agent in 1948. He went 2-2 in 20 games with 2 saves for the Yankees in 1957. On May 14, 1958, he was purchased by the Washington Senators from the Yankees. Al was Great-nephew of HOF pitcher Eddie Cicotte.

Former Yankee pitcher Tim Leary (1990-92) was born Tim was a former 1 draft pick by the Mets in 1979. On
December 12, 1989: He was traded by the Cincinnati Reds along with OF Van Snider to the Yankees for OF/1B Hal Morris and pitcher Rodney Imes (minors). Tim went 9-19 in 31 games in 1990, 4-10 in 28 games in 1991 and 5-6 in 18 games before being traded by the Yankees on August 22, 1992, along with cash to the Seattle Mariners for Sean Twitty (minors).

The Yankees sign free agent OF/1B Dave Collins for a reported $750,000 a year for at least 3 seasons. Collins, who stole 79 bases for the Cincinnati Reds in 1979, will end up a bust in
New York and will be traded after 1 season to the Blue Jays.

Former Red Sox AL All Star CF free agent Johnny Damon signs a 4-year contract with the Yankees.

-December 24th

Former Yankee 1B George Mc Quinn (1947-48) passed away. (1910-1978) In 1947, George hit .304 with 80 RBIs after being signed by Yankees after being released by the Philadelphia A’s. In 1948 he slipped to .248, but recorded a .421 slugging percentage. He retired after the 1948 AL season.

Free agent OF Gary Ward signs with the Yankees.

In a deal which prompts a Boston Red Sox official to call the New York Yankees an "evil empire", Cuban defector Jose Contreras agree to terms on a 4-year contract with Yankees. Contreras, who was considered the top pitcher on
Cuba's national team, was declared a free agent after gaining residency in Nicaragua.

-December 25th - Merry Christmas!!!

Former Yankee Al All Star OF (1930-1936) and MLB Manager (Phillies 1945-1948) Ben Chapman was born. Ben was a .305 Lifetime hitter for the Yankees. He was a member of the AL All Star teams from 1933-35. On
June 14, 1936, Ben was traded by the Yankees to the Washington Senators for OF Jake Powell. Ben was the Phillies Manager who gave Jackie Robinson problems in 1947; he was a racist, which is why the Yankees got rid of him in 1936.

Boston Red Sox owner Harry Frazee makes a secret agreement to sell Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees for $100,000 (one-fourth cash, plus $25,000 a year at 6 percent) plus guaranteeing a $300,000 loan with
Fenway Park as collateral. The transaction will be announced publicly one week later.

Former Yankee minor league pitcher Richard Anderson was born. Rick Anderson was the 1979 International League Pitcher of the Year. With the New York Yankees'
Columbus farm club that season, he was 13-3 with a 1.63 ERA and 21 saves. He was unable to break into the Yankees bullpen with Rich Gossage and others around. After being traded to the Seattle Mariners, he was 6-0 with the Spokane Indians in 1980. However, he developed arm problems and was released by the club in 1982. Anderson weighed over 400 pounds at the time of his death. He was found dead with an autograph request in his hand.

Former Yankee AL ALL Star LF Rickey Henderson (1985-1988) was born. On
December 5, 1984, Rickey was traded by the Oakland Athletics along with Bert Bradley and cash to the Yankees for OF Stan Javier, Pitchers Jay Howell, Jose Rijo, Eric Plunk, and Tim Birtsas. As a Yankee, Rickey appeared on the 1985-1988 AL All Star teams. His best Yankee season was in 1985, when he hit .314 with 24 HRs and 72 RBIs. On June 21, 1989, Rickey was traded by the Yankees to the Oakland A’s for pitchers Greg Cadaret, Eric Plunk, and OF Luis Polonia.

Billy Martin, an AL All-Star infielder with the Yankees (1950-1957) and former manager of the Minnesota Twins, Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers, New York Yankees and Oakland A’s, dies in a car accident in Johnson City, NY, at the age of 61. Martin, a 5-time Yankees manager under owner George Steinbrenner, was rumored to be a candidate to replace current Yankees skipper Bucky Dent. During his 18-year managerial career in the
AL, Martin posted a 1253-1013 record, led his teams to 5- AL Championship titles and guided the Yankees to the 1977 World Championship. He will be buried in Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Westchester, NY, in a plot near Babe Ruth. Steinbrenner, who fired Billy Martin 4 times (he resigned the 5th time) purchases the plot for Martin.

The Associated Press selects Cal Ripken, Jr. as the top sports story of the year, followed by the death of Yankee Hall Of Fame CF Mickey Mantle.

-December 26th

Former Yankees 1st Baseman and Coach Chris Chambliss (1974-1979,1988) was born. On April 26, 1974, Chris was traded by the Cleveland Indians along with pitchers Richard Tidrow and Cecil Upshaw to the Yankees for pitchers Fritz Peterson, Steve Kline, Fred Beene, and Tom Buskey. Chis hit the game winning HR in the 1976 ALCS to bring the Yankees back into the World Series for the 1st time since 1964. He was an AL All Star 1B in 1976. In 1978, he won the AL Golden Glove for 1st basemen. In the post season for the Yankees Chris hit .281 with 3 HRs with 15 RBIs. He appeared in 3 World Series with the Yankees (1976-1978) hitting .275 with 1 HR, 5 RBIs. To get a replacement for the late Thurman Munson the Yankees traded Chris away after the 1979 AL season. On November 1, 1979, Chris was traded by the Yankees along with INF Damaso Garcia and pitcher Paul Mirabella to the Toronto Blue Jays for pitcher Tom Underwood, catcher Rick Cerone, and OF Ted Wilborn. During the 1988 AL season, Chris had a brief 1 game comeback with the Yankees.

Former Yankee pitcher Jay Tessmer (1998-2000, 2002) was born. Jay was drafted by the Yankees in the 19th round of the 1995 amateur player draft. Although he was very successful coming out the pen at
Columbus, he couldn’t repeat that in pinstripes. He appeared in 22 games with 1-0 record. On January 3, 2001, Jay was traded by the Yankees along with Seth Taylor (minors) to the Colorado Rockies for David Lee. Jay would return to the Yankees as a free agent in 2002.

Former Yankee pitcher Tom Gorman (1952-54) passed away. Tom went 10-7 in 75 games with 9 saves for the Yanks before being sold to the
Kansas City A’s in 1955.

Former Yankee HOF and AL All Star pitcher Allie “Super Chief “Reynolds (1947-1954) passed away. Allie was obtained from the Indians, he went 19-8 .704 in 1947. He was one of the mainstays of the Yankee starting rotation that won 5 straight World Championships (1949-1953) with Eddie Lopat, Vic Raschi, and later Whitey Ford. His World Series pitching record was 7-2. Allie went 131-60 in 8 seasons with the Yankees, including a 20-8 with an ERA 2.06 in 1952. During the 1951 season, he pitched 2- no-hitters, including one against the Red Sox. A back injury during a bus accident during the 1954 season forced Allie to retire at the end of the season. He later became the Baseball Commissioner of the American Association (AAA).

-December 27th

Former Yankee OF and Coach Roy White (1965-79) was born. Roy was signed by the Yankees as an amateur free agent in 1961.He was originally INF converted to OF. Roy played for 14 years for the Yankees finishing with a lifetime BA of .271 with 160 HRs and 758 RBIs in 1,881 games. He was a 2-time AL All Star team member (1969-70). His best Yankee season was in 1970, when Roy hit .292 with 22 HRS and 94 RBIs. He played in 3 World Series for the Yanks (76-78) hitting .244. After leaving the Yankees in 1979, Roy played with the Tokyo Giants.

Former Yankees C/DH/INF Jim Leyritz (1990-96,1999-2000) was born. Jim was signed by the Yankees as an amateur free agent in 1985. With the arrival of catcher Joe Gardli, Jim became expendable. On
December 5, 1996, Jim was traded by the Yankees to the Angels for players to be named later. The Angels sent Jeremy Blevins (minors) (December 9, 1996) and Ryan Kane (minors) (December 9, 1996) to the Yankees to complete the trade. On July 31, 1999, Jim was traded by the San Diego Padres to the Yankees for Geraldo Padua (minors). Jim only batted .213 in the post season but that included 8 HRs and 20 RBIs. On June 20, 2000, he was traded by the Yankees to the Dodgers for INF Jose Vizcaino and cash.

Free agent pitcher Ed Whitson, who went 14-8 for the NL champion San Diego Padres, begins a nightmarish association with the Yankees by signing a 5-year $4.4 million contract. By the middle of his 2nd year with the club, Whitson gets so rattled in Yankee Stadium that manager Lou Piniella will refuse to use him in Yankee Stadium games. He can only pitch on the road. His Yankee pitching record will be 15-10 in 44 games. The Yankees ship him back to
San Diego, on July 9, 1986, for pitcher Tim Stoddard, where he will have 4 solid seasons.

After 21 years being heard on WABC-AM radio, the Yankees will broadcast its spring training, regular-season and postseason games on all -news station WCBS-AM, which is owned by Infinity Broadcasting. The 5-year deal with the Yankees' YES Network, created earlier this year, is worth approximately about $50 million.

-December 28th

Former Yankee reserve INF Aurelio Rodriguez (19801-81) was born. (1947-2000) On August 4, 1980, he was purchased by the Yankees from the San Diego Padres. Aurelio would play in 77 games for the Yankees, hitting .283. On November 17, 1981, he was traded by the Yankees to the Toronto Blue Jays for a player to be named later. The Blue Jays sent Mike Lebo (minors) (December 9, 1981) to the Yankees to complete the trade. In 2000, he passed away from injuries after being struck by car in Detriot.

Former Yankee pitcher and long-time NL post-season rival (Dodgers and Giants) Sal “The Barber” Maglie (1957-58) passed away. (1917-1992) Sal was purchased by the Yankees from the Dodgers for $25,000 cash and 2 minor league players in September of 1957. Sal went 2-0 with 4 saves for the Yankees. In 1958, he faded going 1-1 in 7 games and was sold to the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Chicago White Sox trade veteran OF Tim Raines to the Yankees in exchange for future considerations. The New York Yankees sent Blaise Kozeniewski (minors) (February 6, 1996) to the Chicago White Sox to complete the trade.

Outgoing NYC Mayor Rudolph Giuliani announces the Yankees and Mets have reached a tentative agreement with the city to build a pair of $800 million, retractable-roof stadiums. Mayor-elect Michael Bloomberg, who is concerned if the city can afford what is believed to be the largest private-public venture history, will have final word on the $1.6 billion cost of the proposed new ballparks agreements.

Yankees LF Hideki Matsui has decided not to play for
Japan at next year's World Baseball Classic games, so he can concentrate his efforts on winning a World Series with the Yankees.

-December 29th

Former Yankee reserve INF Billy Knickerbocker (1938-40) was born. On February 15, 1938, Billy was traded by the St. Louis Browns to the Yankees for INF Don Heffner and $10,000. Billy took over Don Heffner’s role as Yankees reserve INF. On December 31, 1940, Billy was traded by the Yankees to the Chicago White Sox for catcher Ken Silvestri.

Yankees waived veteran 3rd Joe Dugan to the Boston Braves.

New York Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert refuses to release All Star OF Slugger Babe Ruth from his contract, thus preventing him from becoming the manager of the Cincinnati Reds. Ruth will never receive another chance to manage a MLB team.

Former Yankee reserve INF Dennis Werth (1979-1981) was born. Dennis was drafted by the Yankees in the 19th round of the 1974 amateur player draft. He hit .222 in 76 games with the Yankees. His best Yankee season was in 1980, hitting .308 in 39 games On
March 24, 1982, Dennis was traded by the Yankees to the Kansas City Royals for Scot Behan (minors).

1972 –
Former Yankee Pitcher Jim Brower (2007) was born. Jim appeared in 3 games in 2007 with no record, before returning to Scranton (AAA).

Former Yankee Pitcher Jaret Wright (2005-6) was born.December 28, 2004; he was Ssigned as a Free Agent with the Yankees. He went 16-12 in 43 games with the Yankees.
November 12, 2006, he was traded by the Yankees with cash to the Baltimore Orioles for pitcher Chris Britton.

Melissa Ludtke, female Sports Illustrated sports writer, files suit against MLB, the Yankees and NYC officials for denying her access to the locker room to interview players during the 1977 World Series.

Former Yankee reserve catcher Gus Niarhos (1946, 1948-1950) passed away. (1920-2004). He was attending
Auburn University on scholarship when he was signed by a scout for the Yankees. After World War II broke out, he served in the U.S. Navy. Gus spent his 1st 3-years in the ML with the Yankees. Yogi Berra was the up-and-coming catcher, and in 1948 Gus platooned at catcher with him while Yogi also played in the outfield. He appeared in 1 game in the 1949 World Series against the Dodgers, which the Yankees won. The Chicago White Sox picked him off waivers from the Yankees in 1950. Looking back at his start with the Yankees, “That was a tough organization, if you were a catcher. They had Bill Dickey. Then Yogi came up. From '49 on, it was just forget about being a catcher with the Yankees." – Gus Niarhos.

(This will be a weekly feature on this blog, we thank "Fw57Clipper51" for his great contributions)


Greg M said...

Nice work with the Yankee History segment. We as fans need to stay in touch with our roots. Keep the cool info coming!

Anonymous said...

At the time Martin passed on, the Yankees Manger was Bucky Dent.

Anonymous said...


Been thinking Christmas too much!!

Manger.... LOL