Sunday, November 30, 2008

This Week in Yankees History (11/30-12/6)

November 30th - December 6th


November 30th

1909 - Former Yankees P Jimmy DeShong (1934-35) was born. Jimmy went 10-8 in 60 games with the Yankees. On January 17,1936, Jim was traded by the Yankees along with OF Jesse Hill to the Senators for P Bump Hadley and OF Roy Johnson.

1936 - Former Yankees reliever Steve Hamilton (1963-1970) was born (1936-1997). Steve was obtained from the Senators for P Jim Coates in April of 1963. Steve worked out of the Yankees bullpen until September of 1970, going 34-20 in 312 games with 36 saves. On September 9,1970, Steve was selected off waivers by the White Sox from the Yankees. Also Steve played basketball in the NBA in the late 1950's for the Minnesota Lakers.

1952 - On a local TV program, Brooklyn Dodgers All Star INF Jackie Robinson charges that the Yankees management is racist for its failure to bring up a black player. Yankees General Manager George Weiss denies Robinson’s allegations of racism. In reality, GM Weiss will release or trade away all minority players in the Yankees farm system except for C Elston Howard, who will become the 1st black Yankee MLB player in 1955. Among those who were traded away or released by the Yankees were future AL All Star 1B Vic Power and MLB P Ruben Gomez.

1953 - The Yankees lose minor league OF Jerry Lynch to the Pirates in the MLB Rule 5 Player Draft. Lynch would later become a successful pinch MLB hitter for the Reds during the 1950-1960’s. Lynch was another talented player who was stuck in the Yankees farm system because of the amount of talent the team had in the majors.

1960 - Former Yankees P Bob Tewksbury (1986-87) was born. Bob was drafted by the Yankees in the 19th round of the 1981 MLB amateur player draft. In 1986, Bob went 9-5 in 23 games with 2 complete games. Bob was 1-4 in 8 games with the team, when on July 13, 1987; he was traded by the Yankees along with minor league hurlers Rich Scheid and Dean Wilkins to the Cubs for starter Steve Trout.

1964 - The Yankees drafted C Ellie Rodríguez from the A’s organization in the 1964 MLB 1st-year player draft.

1964 - 1B/OF Duke Carmel was drafted by the Yankees from the Mets in the 1964 MLB Rule 5 Player draft.

1967 - The Yankees purchased shortstop Gene ”Stick” Michael from the Dodgers for cash. He will be the Yankees starting shortstop until the 1975 AL season. After retiring as a MLB player, he will return to the Yankees organization to be a coach, Manager (MLB and minor leagues), General Manager. Currently Gene is serving as a Special Consultant in the Yankees front office.

1976 - The Yankees purchased OF/DH Jimmy ”Toy Cannon” Wynn from the Braves for $100,000. He hit a disappointing .133 in 43 games for the Yankees before being released on July 14, 1977.

1976 - Former Yankees 1B/OF Craig Wilson (2006) was born. After being traded by the Pirates for P Shawn Chacon, Craig only hit .212 in 40 games in pinstripes. He left the Yankees for free agency in the fall of 2006, signing with the Braves.

1981 - The Yankees rookie left-handed starter Dave Righetti, who had of 8-4 record with a 2.06 ERA in 1981, wins the 1981 AL Rookie of the Year Award. The Yankees had obtained him from the Rangers in the winter of 1978.

2000 - Free agent starter Mike Mussina inks an $88.5 million, 6-year contract with the Yankees. The 10-year veteran compiled a 147-81 record with a 3.53 ERA as an Oriole hurler. Mike Mussina tells the NYC media that a deciding factor to sign with the Yankees was a telephone call from Yankees Manager Joe Torre.

December 1st

1940 - Former Yankees P Cecil Perkins (1967) was born. He went 0-1 in 2 games with the Yankees in 1967.

1951 - Yankees released former player Tommy “Old Reliable” Henrich as an MLB coach.

1954 - The Yankees and Orioles complete the largest trade in MLB history as 17 players, including stars P Don Larsen, OF Gene Woodling, and P Bob Turley change teams. The 1st phase of the transaction began on November 18th and will conclude today after the 1954 MLB draft. The Yankees obtained 1B Richard Kryhoski, P Mike Blayzka, C Darrell Johnson, and outfielders Jim Fridley and Tel Del Guercio from the Orioles, with the Yankees sending them P Bill Miller, 3B Kal Segrist, 2B Don Leppert and 2 minor leaguers to be named later. Only C Darrell Johnson remained with the Yankees as a back-up catcher for Yogi Berra in 1958-1959, before he was traded to the Cardinals organization after the 1959 AL season. The rest of the players involved in the trade were traded away or never played for the Yankees at the MLB level.

1956 - Former Yankees minor league P Tom Filer was born. Tom was signed by the Yankees, as an amateur free agent in 1978. On December 8, 1980, Tom was drafted by the A’s from the Yankees in the 1980 MLB Rule 5 player draft. On April 9, 1981, he was returned by the A’s to the Yankees. On April 27, 1981, Tom was traded by the Yankees along with cash to the Cubs for veteran C Barry Foote.

1969 - OF/1B Tom Shopay was drafted by the Orioles from the Yankees organization in the 1969 MLB Rule 5 player draft.

1971 - The Yankees obtained 2B Bernie Allen from the Rangers for pitchers Terry Ley and Gary Jones. Bernie Allen would be a successful pinch hitter for the Yankees during the 1972 AL season.

1978 - The Yankees assigned the contract of left-handed reliever Paul Linblad to the Mariners for future considerations. Paul went 0-0 in 7 games with the Yankees after joining them from the Rangers in August of 1978.

1982 - The Yankees signed onetime AL MVP Don Baylor to a free agent contract. Baylor won the AL MVP Award in 1979, when he hit 24 HRs and 93 RBI’s for the Angels. The Yanks signed him to a reported 5-year, $5 million contract. After hitting .303 with 21 HRS and 85 RBIs in 1982, Don dropped off in his next 2 seasons with the Yankees just hitting only .262 and .231. On March 28, 1986, Don was traded by the Yankees to the Red Sox for OF/DH Mike Easler.

1991 - Former Yankees OF (1940) and MLB Manager Buster Mills passed away. (1908-1991). Buster hit .397 in 14 games for the Yankees in 1940. In 1953, Buster managed the Reds for 8 games, posting a 4-4 mark.

December 2nd

1889 - Former Yankees INF Ray Morehart (1927) was born. On January 13, 1927, Ray was traded by the White Sox along with C Johnny Grabowski to the Yankees for INF Aaron Ward. Ray was a reserve INF on the 1927 Yankees bench, appearing in 73 games and hitting .256. He retired from MLB after the 1927 World Series.

1903 - Former Yankees P Don Brennan (1933) was born. Don went 5-1 in18 games with 3 saves for the Yankees in 1933.

1950 - Former Yankees P Robert “Bob” Kammeyer (1978-79) was born (1950-2003). Bob was drafted by the Yankees in the 21st round of the 1972 MLB amateur player draft. He attended Dartmouth University, majoring in Economics. Bob went 0-0 in 8 games for the Yankees during the 1978-79 AL seasons. In 1980, Bob was named International League Pitcher of the Year, while pitching with the Columbus Clippers. Bob passed away in 2003.

1952 - Brooklyn Dodgers executive Buzzie Bavasi dismisses the Yankees front office’s reaction to Jackie Robinson's charges of racism. MLB Commissioner Ford Frick plans to take no action against Jackie Robinson for his remarks to the NYC media. Two days earlier Jackie Robinson had called the Yankees, a racist organization for its failure to promote a black player to the parent club. The 1st black Yankees MLB player would be C Elston Howard in 1955.

1967 - The Yankees purchased C John Boccabella from Cubs for cash. He never played for the Yankees at the MLB level. He would be sold to the Expos.

1974 - The Yankees purchased OF/1B/DH Bob Oliver from the Orioles for cash. Bob hit only .132 in 18 games before being released by the Yankees on July 15, 1975.

1997 - Former Yankees P Steve Hamilton (1963-1969) passed away.(1936-1997). Steve was obtained from the Senators for P Jim Coates in April of 1963. Steve worked out of the Yankees bullpen until September of 1970, going 34-20 in 312 games with 36 saves. On September 9,1970, Steve was selected off waivers by the White Sox from the Yankees.

December 3rd

1922 - Former Yankees 1B/OF Joe Collins (1948-1957) was born. Before 1939 AL Season, Joe was signed by the Yankees as an amateur free agent. In 10 seasons with the Yankees Joe hit .256, never really living up to the hitting promise that the Yankees had hoped for. Joe appeared in 7 World Series with the Yankees. During the 1957 AL season Joe was replaced by Bill Skowron as the regular Yankees 1B. On March 20,1958, Joe was purchased by the Phillies from the Yankees. Joe retired from MLB, turning down a $100,000 player contract offer from the Phillies. He told the NYC media that he wanted to be remembered as a Yankee.

1925 - Former Yankees OF Harry “The Suitcase” Simpson was born (1925-1979). On June 15,1957, Harry was traded by the A’s along with P Ryne Duren and OF Jim Pisoni to the Yankees for INF Billy Martin, P Ralph Terry, INF/OF Woodie Held, and OF Bob Martyn. In 1957, Harry hit .270 in 75 games for the Yankees. In 1958, he hit only .216 in 24 games, before being traded back to the A’s along with P Bob Grim for A’s P Duke Maas and P Virgil Trucks.

1960 - Former Yankees P Gene Nelson (1981) was born. On October 8, 1979, Gene was sent to the Yankees by the Rangers to complete the Oscar Gamble-Mickey Rivers trade made earlier in August of 1979. Gene would go 3-1 in 8 games in 1981. In 1982 spring training camp, he made the Yankees starting rotation, but once again the Yankees front office decided to bring in a veteran pitcher rather than go with a young pitcher. On April 1, 1982, Gene was traded by the Yankees along with a player to be named later, P Bill Caudill to the Mariners for starter Shane Rawley. At 1st report of the trade, Mariners informs Nelson that he would be pitching for their AAA team. Nelson balks telling them that he had just made the Yankees starting rotation, he will not report to AAA, finally both sides reached an agreement. The Yankees would later send OF Bobby Brown on April 6, 1982, to the Mariners to complete the trade. Gene would go 6-9 in 22 starts for the Mariners during the 1982 AL season.

1962 - Former MLB players Frank Crosetti (Yankees) and Johnny Schulte (Cubs and Phillies) file suit to halt any increased MLB pension benefits that fail to include old-time MLB players.

1968 - The MLB Rules Committee adopts a series of changes designed to increase the amount of offensive run production in both leagues. In the most significant alterations, the committee agrees to decrease the size of the strike zone and lower the height of the pitcher's mound from 15 inches to 10 inches. The rules changes will result in increased run scoring in 1969.

1974 - The Yankees obtained P Skip Lockwood from the Angels for C/INF Bill Sudakis. Skip Lockwood would be released by the Yankees during spring training, then signing on with the Mets.

1988 - Free agent P Dave LaPoint signs a 3-year contract with the Yankees. Dave would go 14-19 in 48 games with the Yankees. On February 17,1991, Dave was released by the Yankees.

2005 - Former Yankees set-up man Tom “Flash” Gordon agreed to terms with the Phillies on a 3-year contract.

December 4th

1890 - Former Yankees P Robert “Sailor Bob” Shawkey (1915-1927) was born.Bob Shawkey finished his Yankee pitching career with a record of 168-131. He was a 4-time 20 game winner for the Yankees after being obtained from the A’s in 1915 for $85,000. Bob will manage the Yankees in 1930 to an 86-68 record before being replaced by veteran NL Cubs Manager Joe McCarthy.

1938 - Former Yankees C/1B Bill Bryan (1966-67) was born. On June 10, 1966, Bill was traded by the A’s along with P Fred Talbot to the Yankees for OF Roger Repoz, P Gil Blanco and P Bill Stafford. Bill hit .217 and .166 for the Yankees. On November 28, 1967, Bill was drafted by the Senators from the Yankees organization in the 1967 MLB Rule 5 Player Draft.

1954 - Former Yankees INF Tucker Ashford (1981) was born. On October 24, 1980, Tucker was traded by the Rangers with cash to the Yankees for INF Roger Holt. In 1981, Tucker will appear in only 3 games with the Yankees with no hits. On October 27, 1982, he was purchased by the Blue Jays from the Yankees. On April 5, 1983, Tucker is returned to the Yankees by the Blue Jays. On April 18, 1983, Tucker is traded by the Yankees to the Mets for a player to be named later and Steve Ray (minors). The Mets would send Felix Perdomo (minors) on May 3, 1983 to the Yankees to complete the trade.

1957 - The MLB baseball kills the bonus rule and raises the minimum MLB player salary to $7,000.

1957 - Former Yankees P Lee Smith (1993) was born. The former NL All Star Cardinals closer Lee appeared in 8 games with a 0-0 record with 3 saves in September of 1993, before leaving the Yankees for free agency. He would sign with the Orioles.

1957 - Former Yankees reserve OF Pat Sheridan (1991) was born. On January 24, 1991, Pat was signed as a free agent with the Yankees. He would bat only .204 in 62 games for the Yankees during the 1991 AL season.

1962 - Former Yankees reserve OF Stanley “Stan” Jefferson (1989) was born. On October 24, 1988, Stan was traded by the Padres along with P Jimmy Jones and P Lance McCullers to the Yankees for 1B Jack Clark and P Pat Clements. Stan appeared in only 10 games with the Yankees, just hitting only .083. On July 20, 1989, Stan was traded by the Yankees to the Orioles for P John Habyan

1964 - The MLB restore to the commissioner's office all powers rescinded after Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis's death in 1944. Principally, they waived their right to take legal action in the event of disagreements with the MLB Commissioner and grant him authority to judge whether actions taken by the owners in concert are, automatically "in the best interests of baseball." Voting for the annual MLB All-Star teams is turned back to the fans.

1964 - The MLB approves a free-agent draft. At their winter meetings in Houston, the minor league and major league organizations establish a system, basically like that of professional football, which will take effect in January of 1965 and be held every 4 months thereafter. Choices will be exercised by clubs in reverse order of their previous year's league standings. Draftees must be included in their club's 40-man roster or be susceptible to claim at the waiver price the following season. This move by the MLB owners would end the dominance of the Yankees and Dodgers from spending big money to sign young players, giving the poorer teams a chance to sign young talented players.

1968 - The Yankees obtained OF Richard Simpson from the Astros for P Dooley Womack. Simpson hit .273 in 6 games before being sent to the Pilots. Dooley Womack was never effective after leaving the Yankees.

1968 -The Dodgers traded P Mike Kekich to the Yankees for OF Andy Kosco. Kosco never really showed the promise of being a power hitter, while playing for the Yankees. Mike Kelich is more known for his wife trade with fellow Yankees teammate P Fritz Peterson than for his pitching with the Yankees.

1969 - The Yankees send veteran starter Al Downing and C Frank Fernandez to A’s for 1B Danny Cater and C Ossie Chavarria. Al Downing was still coming back from pitching arm problems. Frank Fernandez was a weak hitting catcher. Danny Cater would be traded to the Red Sox for reliever Sparky Lyle in March of 1972.

1969 - The Yankees traded former AL Golden Glove winner 1B/OF Joe Pepitone to the Astros for 1B/OF/C Curt Blefary. Curt returns to the Yankees, the MLB team that he originally signed with in the early 1960’s. He was lost by the Yankees in a 40-man roster move made during the 1963 AL season, adding veteran INF Harry Bright. Curt, who was playing at Greensboro (AA), was immediately claimed by the Orioles. Curt will be a major disappointment for the Yankees, never showing the power hitting that he had with the Orioles during the mid 1960’s. Joe Pepitone had worn out his welcome with the Yankees front office with his disputes with the team.

1975 - Former Yankees P Ed Yarnell (1999-2000) was born. On February 1, 1999, Ed was traded by the Marlins along with Todd Noel (minors) and Mark J. Johnson to the Yankees for INF Mike Lowell. Ed went 1-0 in 7 games with the Yankees. On July 12, 2000, Ed was traded by the Yankees along with OF Jackson Melian (minors), 3B Drew Henson, and Brian Reith to the Reds for OF Mike Frank and veteran starter Denny Neagle.

1992 - The Yankees signed free agent shortstop Spike Owen (1993) to a 3-year contract. Spike hit .234 in 103 games with the Yankees, before being traded on December 9, 1993, along with cash to the Angels for minor leaguer Jose Musset.

December 5th

1928 - Former Yankees minor league P Jack Urban was born. In 1949, Jack was signed by the Yankees as an amateur free agent. He never appeared with the Yankees at the MLB level. On April 5,1957, Jack was sent by the Yankees to the A’s to complete an earlier deal made on February 19,1957. The Yankees sent a player to be named later, along with OF Irv Noren, INF Milt Graff, P Mickey McDermott, P Tom Morgan, P Rip Coleman, and INF Billy Hunter to the A’s for players to be named later, along with P Art Ditmar, P Bobby Shantz, P Jack McMahan, and INF Wayne Belardi. The Yankees would send P Jack Urban on April 5, 1957 to the A’s to complete the trade. The Athletics would send Curt Roberts on April 4, 1957 and then INF Clete Boyer on June 4, 1957 to the Yankees to complete the trade. On April 8, 1959, Jack was traded by the A’s back to the Yankees for P Mark Freeman. On May 12, 1959, Jack was purchased by the Cardinals from the Yankees. Despite of all of this trade activity, Jack managed to have MLB career record of 15-15 in 69 games with the A’s and the Cardinals. His best MLB season was in 1957, posting a 7-4 record with the A’s.

1958 - The Phillies, hoping to fill the NL void in New York City caused by departure of the Giants and Dodgers to California, drop any plans for 1959 regular season broadcasts into New York City after the Yankees threaten to broadcast their 1959 AL season games into Philadelphia TV market.

1959 - Representing MLB, the Yankees' AL All Star and MVP catcher Yogi Berra visits Italy to present baseball equipment and aid in the sport's development in the country.

1964 - Former Yankees OF Gary Roenicke (1986) was born. On December 12, 1985, Gary was traded by the Orioles with a player to be named later to the Yankees for P Rich Bordi and INF Rex Hudler. The Orioles would send Leo Hernandez on December 16, 1985 to the Yankees to complete the trade. Gary would hit .265 in 69 games with the Yankees, before leaving the team for free agency.

1974 - Yankees obtained INF Eddie Leon from the White Sox for P Cecil Upshaw. Ed would only appear in 1 game for the Yankees before being released by the team on May 5, 1975.

1984 - The A's send All Star base stealing OF Rickey Henderson and P Bert Bradley to the Yankees in exchange for P Jay Howell and P Jose Rijo, OF Stanley Javier, and minor leaguer pitchers Tim Birtsas and Eric Plunk.

1984 - The Yankees traded veteran C Rick Cerone to the Braves for P Brian Fisher.

1996 - Two days after signing C Joe Girardi, the Yankees send back-up C Jim Leyritz to the Angels in exchange for minor leaguer players Ryan Kane and Jeremy Blevins. Jim Leyritz, the Yankee player with the longest tenure of 5 years, 126 days was vulnerable because of his $1.75 million yearly contract.

1996 - Former Yankees reserve OF Cliff Mapes (1948-1951) passed away (1922-1996). On November 1, 1946, Cliff was drafted by the Yankees from the Indians in the 1946 MLB Rule 5 player draft. He was the last active Yankee player to wear Babe Ruth’s No. 3 Yankees uniform. Also he wore No. 7 during the 1951 AL season, the number that rookie OF Mickey Mantle would get after returning from Kansas City Blues (AAA). On July 31, 1951, Cliff was purchased by the Browns from the Yankees.

2001 - New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani announces he wants to complete new stadium deals for the Mets and Yankees before he leaves office at the end of the month. Before the September 11 attacks, which dramatically changed the city's financial stature, the mayor thought an arrangement in which the city, the state and the owners agreed to pay one-third of the cost of the new stadiums might complete the negotiations with the teams.

December 6th

1873 - Former Yankees 3B and Manager Harry Wolverton (1912) was born. The Yankees would go 50-102 in 1912 under Harry’s leadership. He would replace by former Cubs great INF Frank Chance in 1913.

1903 - Former Yankees HOF 2B Tony “Poosh 'Em Up Tony” Lazzeri (1926-1937) was born. (1903-1946). Tony Lazzeri set what were then organized baseball records with 60 HRs with 222 RBIs for the Salt Lake City Bees in 1925, not to mention a .355 batting average. On August 1, 1925, Tony was traded by the Salt Lake City Bees (PCL) to the Yankees for players to be named later and $50,000. The Yankees would send in March of 1926, Mack Hillis, Frank Zoellers and Curt Fullerton to the Salt Lake City (PCL) to complete the trade. Tony had a lifetime BA of .293 with Yankees. He appeared in 7 World Series hitting .262 with 4 HRs with 19 RBIs. His best Yankees season was in 1929, when he hit.354 with 18 HRs with 106 RBIs. Tony had seven 100 RBI Seasons: (1926-27,1929-1930 1932-33 and in 1936). He was on the 1st AL All Star team in 1933. On October 15, 1937, Tony was released by the Yankees, upon his request to retire from MLB. Tony was elected to MLB’s Hall Of Fame in 1991.

1920 - Former Yankees back-up C Gus Niarhos (1946-1950) was born. In 1941, Gus was signed by the Yankees as an amateur free agent. On June 27, 1950, Gus was selected off waivers by the White Sox from the Yankees for $10,000. Gus was another one of the young Yankee catchers, who were blocked by the presence of Yogi Berra, starting behind home plate.

1945 - Former Yankees MLB 3B Coach Larry Bowa (2005-2007) was born. Larry left the Yankees after the 2007 AL season to join former Yankees Manager Joe Torre, who took over the Dodgers manager’s job.

1946 - The Yankees obtained 2B Ray Mack and C Sherman Lollar from the Indians for P Al Gettel, P Gene Beardon and OF Hal Peck. Mack would be sent to the White Sox during the 1947 AL season. In 2 seasons with the Yankees, Lollar would catch 19 games as back-up catcher, before being sent to the Browns.

1953 - Former Yankees OF Gary Ward (1987-1989) was born. On December 24, 1986, Gary was signed as a free agent with the Yankees. During with his stay with the Yankees, Gary never hit like he had done with the Twins earlier in his MLB career. On April 16,1989, Gary was released by the Yankees.

1968 - The Yankees obtained INF Nate Oliver from the Giants for 3B Charlie Smith (A classic nothing for nothing trade that leaves nothing).

1971 - Former Yankees P Jose Contreras (2003-04) was born in Cuba. In 2003, Jose was signed by the Yankees as an amateur free agent. A former pitching star in Cuba, Jose never really felt comfortable with the Yankees. In 2003, he posted a 7-2 record. In 2004, Jose was 8-5 with the Yankees, when he was traded in July to the White Sox for P Esteban Loaiza.

1973 - Yankees purchased shortstop Jim Mason from the Rangers for $100,000. Jim would hit .250 for the Yankees in 1975, before dropping off to .152 and .180, before being drafted by the Blue Jays from the Yankees as the 30th pick in the 1976 AL expansion player draft.

1997 - Former Yankees OF Lou Clinton (1966-67) passed away (1937-1997). On January 14,1966, Lou was traded by the Indians to the Yankees for C Doc Edwards. Lou hit .220 in 80 games in 1966. He appeared in only 6 games for the Yankees in 1967.


(As always I'd like to thank Fw57Clipper51 for his great contribution.)

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