Monday, January 18, 2010

This Week in Yankees History (1/17-1/23)

This Week in Yankees History

January 17th - January 23rd

January 18th

1903 - Former Yankees INF Clifford “Nolan” Richardson (1935) was born. Nolan appeared in 12 games for the Yankees, hitting .217 in 1935.

1954 - Former Yankees minor league P Scott McGregor (1975-76) was born. Scott was drafted by the Yankees in the 1st round (14th pick) of the 1972 MLB amateur player draft. He never appeared with the club at the MLB level. On June 15,1976, Scott was traded by the Yankees along with C Rick Dempsey, pitchers Tippy Martinez, Rudy May, and Dave Pagan to the Orioles for veteran pitchers Ken Holtzman, Doyle Alexander, Grant Jackson, C Ellie Hendricks, and minor league OF Jimmy Freeman. Scott will have a MLB career record of 138-108 with the Orioles (1976-1988).

January 19th

1888 - Former Yankees reserve OF Patsy Maloney (1912) was born. Pat appeared in only 25 games in 1912, just hitting .215.

1944 - Former Yankees minor league INF Chet Trail was born. Chet Trail was the only player ever who was on a postseason roster, but who never appeared in a regular MLB season or postseason game. This strange occurrence happened when the Yankees put him on their 25-man roster for the 1964 World Series. He was their 25th player during the season under a special 1964 rule permitting 1 bonus player to play in the minors, while being charged to the 25-man MLB roster. Commissioner Ford Frick ruled that Trail was eligible for the World Series roster, but he was not formally activated, and the Yanks played with 24 players during the 1964 World Series, which they lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in 7 games. Chet Trail's minor league career lasted from 1963 to 1969. He spent all or part of every season from 1966 to 1969 in AAA. Chet Trail was traded by the Yankees to the Orioles to complete the Steve Barber trade. On July 4, 1967, Steve Barber was traded by the Orioles to the Yankees for players to be named later, 1B Ray “Buddy” Baker and cash. The Yankees sent minor league players: INF Chet Trail and OF Joe Brady on December 15, 1967 to the Orioles to complete the trade.

1971 - Former Yankees P Jeff Juden (1999) was born. Jeff appeared in 2 games during the 1999 AL season, posting a 0-2 record.

1972- The Yankees obtained P Fred Beene (1972-1974) from the Orioles. Fred would go 7-3 in 54 games with 5 saves before being sent to the Indians in the Chris Chambliss trade during the 1974 AL season.

1972 - The BWAA elects Dodgers P Sandy Koufax (344 votes), Yankees C Yogi Berra (339 votes), and P Early Wynn (301 votes) to the HOF. One year earlier, the BWAA had failed to elect anyone to the Hall of Fame. The Dodgers Ace Sandy Koufax makes it in his 1st try and, at age of 36, is the youngest honoree in Hall Of Fame history.

1972 - The Yankees acquired veteran All Star OF Johnny Callison on a conditional basis from the Cubs. The Yankees will end up keeping him. They will complete the deal by shipping veteran reliever Jack Aker to the Cubs on May 17, 1972.

1975 - Former Yankees 1B/DH Fernando Seguignol (2003) was born. Fernando Seguignol was 1st signed by the Yankees 10 days after his 18th birthday. He was assigned to the 1993 GCL Yankees and struggled, batting only .217 as an OF. In 1994, the teenager improved to .289, though he struck out 61 times in 266 AB’s. He led the NY-PA League with 9 triples that year. In 1995, he was traded to the Expos for P John Wetteland. In 2003, Fernando returned from Japan to play in the USA, signing with the Yankees. He was 5 for 7 in limited appearances with the Yankees. He was 5 for 13 with the Tampa Yankees. He spent most of 2003 season, producing at a .341 clip with 28 HRs in 402 AB’s for the Columbus Clippers (AAA). He led the IL in HRs and BA, led all of full-season MIL baseball in slugging percentage. He was named the DH on the IL All-Star team and won the IL MVP award. In 2004, he went back to play in Japan, where he is still active.

1987 - Former Yankees All Star OF (1934-1942) and MLB Executive George “Twinkletoes” Selkirk passed away (1908-1987). George Selkirk succeeded Babe Ruth as the Yankees right fielder, after Ruth was sent to the Braves following the 1934 AL season. George played for 9 seasons with the Yankees finishing with lifetime BA of .290. He was a member of AL All Star team twice (1936 and 1939). George hit .265 in 6 World Series. He served in the military during WWII. When he was release by the Yankees in May of 1946, he would become a minor league manager. During the 1957-1958 AL seasons, he worked in the A’s front office as their General Manager. Then he would become the General Manager of new Senators expansion team in 1963, holding the position until 1968.

1991 - Former Yankees reserve OF Roy Weatherly (1943, 1946) passed away. Roy hit .266 in 79 games for the Yankees.

1992 - The Yankees released veteran P Dave Eiland (1988-1991). On June 2, 1987, Dave was drafted by the Yankees in the 7th round of the 1987 MLB amateur player draft. Dave went 5-11 with the Yankees. After retiring as an active player, Dave would rejoin the Yankees organization, as a pitching coach. He is now the Yankees MLB pitching coach.

1996 - The Yankees signed 2 free agents: INF Matt Howard and P Dave Pavlas. Matt Howard will be a reserve INF appearing in 35 games, hitting .204 for the 1996 Yankees. Dave Pavlas will appear in 16 games with no record with 1 save for the Yankees.

2001 - Former Yankees minor league P Johnny Babich passed away. (1913-2001). Pitcher Johnny Babich grew up in the San Francisco area. He began his pro career with the San Francisco Seals (Pacific Coast League) in 1931. In 1933, he was traded to the San Francisco Missions and went on to win 20 games. He won 10 games the next season before being acquired by the Dodgers, for whom, he was 7-11 as a MLB rookie. After posting a 6.66 ERA for the Dodgers the next season, he was sent back down to the minors. The following year, Babich spent most of the season in the PCL, he did play in 3 games for the Boston Bees ( aka the Braves). After going 19-17 with a 3.27 ERA for the Hollywood Stars (PCL) in 1938, he was acquired by the Yankees, who sent him to their minor league AAA team, the Kansas City Blues. One year later, he was acquired by the A’s in the MLB Rule 5 player draft. With the 1940 A’s, he posted a 14-13 record with a 3.73 ERA. Johnny posted a 5-0 record against the 1940 Yankees. He played 1 more year in the MLB, going 2-7 for the 1941 A’s. Following his MLB career, Babich managed in the minors and continued to pitch as well. He led the 1947 Stockton Ports to the California League title, while going 5-2 on the mound.

January 20th

1907 - Former Yankees OF Jesse Hill (1937) was born. On January 19, 1932, Jesse was traded by the Hollywood Stars (PCL) to the Yankees for Myles Thomas, George Quellich, and cash. He would hit .293 in 107 games in 1937, before being sent to the Senators.

1912 - Former Yankees P Frank Makosky (1937) was born. He went 5-2 in 26 games with 3 saves in 1937.

1921 - Yankees obtained OF Bob Roth from Senators for OF Duffy Lewis and P George Mogridge. Roth would hit .283 in 1921, and then he was released by the Yankees.

1926 - The Yankees obtained 1B Spencer Adams from the Senators for cash. He hit .120 as a reserve INF in 1926.

1931 - Joe Sewell, released by the Indians after the 1930 AL season, signs with the Yankees. The future HOF shortstop will finish his 14-season MLB career in 1933. He will hit .302 for the Yankees in 1931. With the Yankees, Joe will be the regular 3B for the 1931-1933 teams.

1936 - Former Yankees reserve C Jesse Gonder (1960-1961) was born (1936-2004). Before the 1960 AL Season, Jesse was sent from the Reds to the Yankees in an unknown trade. He was the starting catcher for the Yankees AAA team at Richmond in 1960. Jesse appeared in only 17 games for the Yankees as a reserve catcher, before being sent on December 14, 1961 to the Reds for veteran reliever Marshall Bridges. With the Yankees, Jesse was blocked by Elston Howard, Yogi Berra and Johnny Blanchard on the 25 man Yankees roster. Jesse would play for the Reds, Mets, Pirates and Braves in the NL, before retiring as a MLB player. Later he wrote a book about his experiences with racism as a baseball player in the 1950-1960’s.

1944 - Former Yankees 1B/DH Kevin Maas (1990-1993) was born. Kevin was drafted by the Yankees in the 22nd round of the 1986 MLB amateur player draft. Kevin would hit .231 with 65 HRs with 164 RBIs in 384 games with the Yankees, before being released by the team in 1993.

1977 - The Yankees obtained veteran golden glove OF Paul Blair from the Orioles for veteran OF Elliot Maddox and minor league OF Rich Bladt. Paul Blair will prove a fine defensive addition to the Yankees. He will be used as a late inning defensive replacement for Reggie Jackson in RF.

1998 - The Yankees selected Hector Ramirez off of waivers from the Orioles. He will never play for the Yankees at the MLB level. On January 30, 1998, Hector is selected off waivers by the Orioles from the Yankees.

2000 - The 30 MLB owners vote to give all their Internet rights to the Commissioner's office. Bud Selig is expected to parcel out monies in equal amounts. The Yankees lose their great web site to MLB’s cookie cutter web site format. Now gone are Eddie Layton’s organ playing of “Take me out to the Ballgame” and Bob Shepard’s “Welcome to Yankee Stadium” greeting.

2002 - The Yankees signed free agent P David Manning. David will be released by the team during the 2002 Yankees spring training camp.

January 21st

1916 - The Yankees buy P Nick Cullop from the Kansas City Packers (Federal League), Infielders Joe Gedeon from the Salt Lake Bees (PCL), and Germany Schaefer from Newark Peppers (FL). Schaefer will announce that he is changing his nickname to "Liberty" because of the World War I. He noticed that "sauerkraut" had been renamed "liberty cabbage".

1938 - The Yankees All Star CF Joe DiMaggio begins a player contract holdout that will last for nearly 3 months. After meeting with Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert and GM Ed Barrow, Joe DiMaggio rejects a 1-year offer of $25,000. DiMaggio counters their offer by asking for $45,000 player contract. His holdout with the Yankees will last until April 20th, 2 days after the start of the 1938 AL season. Joe will appear in 145 games for the 1938 Yankees, hitting .324 with 32 HRs and 140 RBIs.

1941 - Former Yankees P Rick Beck (1965) was born. In 1962, Rick Beck was signed by the Yankees, as an MLB amateur free agent. He was drafted by the Phillies from the Yankees organization in 1962 MLB 1st year player draft. In 1965, Rick Beck was reacquired by the Yankees from the Phillies. He appeared in 3 games, posting a 2-1 record with 2.14 ERA, before going into the Army for 2 years. He never returned to play in the MLB, after finishing his Army active duty time.

1946 - Former Yankees reserve C and MLB Manager Johnny Oates (1980-1981) was born. John appeared in only 49 games for the Yankees, hitting only .190.

1955 - The BWAA passes over Yankees ALL Star CF Joe DiMaggio in his 1st year of Hall Of Fame eligibility. The writers elected former All Star P Dizzy Dean and A’s slugger OF Al Simmons to the HOF. Joe DiMaggio finishes 8th place in the BWAA voting.

1960 - Former Yankees P Andy Hawkins (1989-1991) was born. A MLB free agent signing, Andy went 20-29 in 66 games before being released by the Yankees in 1991.

1966 - Former Yankees P Chris Hammond (2003) was born. Chris went 3-2 in 62 games with 1 save for the 2003 Yankees. On December 18, 2003, Chris was traded by the Yankees along with cash to the A’s for minor league players Eduardo Sierra and J.T. Stotts

1969 - The Yankees signed P Tom Buskey as an MLB amateur free agent. Tom went 0-2 in 12 games with 2 saves with the Yankees during the 1973-1974 AL seasons. On April 26, 1974, Tom was traded by the Yankees along with Pitchers Fred Beene, Steve Kline, and Fritz Peterson to the Indians for 1B Chris Chambliss, P Richard “Dirt” Tidrow, and reliever Cecil Upshaw. Tom died in an auto accident in 1998 in Harrisburg, Pa.

1971 - No player receives three-fourths of the necessary votes to be elected into Baseball’s Hall Of Fame, with Yankees C Yogi Berra (242) and Indians starter Early Wynn (240) coming the closest. Yogi Berra and Early Wynn will be elected to the Hall Of Fame in 1972.

1975 - The Yankees released veteran shortstop Gene Michael. He had been the Yankees regular shortstop from 1968-1974. He would finish his MLB career with the Tigers in 1975, hitting just .214 in 56 games. After his MLB playing career was over in 1975, he rejoined the Yankees organization.

1983 - The Yankees signed free agent P Steve Comer. He will be released by the Yankees during their spring training camp in March.

1987 - MLB free agent OF Gary Roenicke, who spent the 1986 AL season with the Yankees, after 8 seasons with the Orioles, is signed by the Braves. Gary had played 69 games for the Yankees hitting .265.

1992 - The Yankees signed free agent C/DH/1B Mike Stanley. Mike would become the Yankees regular catcher, until the arrival of new Yankees Manager Joe Torre in winter of 1995. Torre would trade him and bring in Joe Girardi to become the team’s regular catcher, despite being the weaker hitter; he was a better defensive catcher than Mike Stanley.

1998 - The Yankees signed free agent C Phil Hiatt. He never plays for the Yankees. He will be cut during the 1998 spring training camp.

2005 - The Yankees signed two free agents INF Damian Rolls and P Aaron Small. Aaron Small will go 10-0 for the Yankees in 2005. Aaron Small’s overall Yankees pitching career record will be 10-3, before arm injuries force him to retire from MLB in 2006. Rolls will never play for the Yankees at the MLB level. He will spend the 2005 season playing at Columbus (AAA).

January 22nd

1881 - Former Yankees C/1B Ira Thomas (1906-1907) was born. Ira appeared in 124 games with Yankees, before being sent to the Tigers.

1913 - The Giants give the Yankees permission to use the Polo Grounds for the 1913 AL season only, as their lease on the Hilltop Park has expired. The Yankees will remain as tenants at the Polo Grounds through 1922 AL season, then moving to the new Yankee Stadium in the Bronx in April of 1923.

1918 - The Yankees traded C Les Nunamaker, 3B Fritz Maisel, INF Joe Gedeon, and Pitchers Nick Cullop and Urban Shocker to the Browns in exchange for P Eddie Plank and 2B Del Pratt. Eddie Plank, a 300-game winner, retires from MLB, but Dell Pratt gives the Yankees 3 good years of services at 2B. Urban Shocker is the gem, posting 4 straight seasons of 20 or more wins with the Browns. Fritz Maisel, who the Yankees refused to trade in early 1916 for either Red Sox OF Tris Speaker (and cash) or White Sox OF Shoeless Joe Jackson, will hit just .232 in 90 games and be released by the team.

1927 - The Yankees released veteran reserve C Hank Severeid. He retired from MLB. Hank hit .268 in 41 games in 1927, after being obtained from the Senators.

1929 - The Yankees announced that they will be putting numbers on the backs of their team uniforms, becoming the 1st baseball team to start continuous use of the numbers. The first numbers are based on positions in the batting order; thus, Babe Ruth will wear number 3 and Lou Gehrig number 4. In a few weeks, the Indians announce that they, too, will put numbers on their player uniforms. By 1931, all AL teams will use them. It will be 1933 before all NL players are numbered.

1943 - The Yankees obtained 1B Nick Etten from the Phillies for C Tom Padden, P Al Gerhauser and cash. Nick Etten will be the Yankees regular 1B for 3 AL seasons. Nick will lead the AL with 22 HRs in 1944. He will be an AL All Star 1B in 1945. As a Yankee, Nick will hit .272 with 63 HRs and 358 RBIs.

1957 - Former Yankees OF/INF Brian Dayett (1983-1984) was born. Brian was drafted by the Yankees in the 16th round of the 1978 MLB amateur player draft. Brian hit .276 in 75 games for the Yankees, before being traded on December 4, 1984, along with P Ray Fontenot to the Cubs for P Porfi Altamirano, P Rich Bordi, OF Henry Cotto, and C Ron Hassey.

1976 - MLB Pitchers Robin Roberts and Bob Lemon are voted into the Hall of Fame by the BWAA. Roberts led the NL in starts and innings pitched for 5 straight seasons and was tops in victories for 4 consecutive years on his way to 286 MLB career wins. After the 1961 NL season, Robin Roberts was purchased by the Yankees from the Phillies for $100,000. Hewas released by the Yankees at the end of their 1962 spring training camp. Robin would be picked-up by the Orioles. Bob Lemon earned 20 victories in a season-six times and won 207 MLB career games for the Indians. Lemon had become a MLB manager, who would manage the Royals, White Sox and Yankees during the 1970’s. His 1978 Yankee team made a 14 ½ game comeback against the Red Sox to win the AL flag and 1978 World Championship.

1982 - Free agent All Star OF/DH Reggie Jackson signs a 4-year, nearly 4-million dollar contract with the Angels, ending his 5-year roller coaster ride with the Yankees.

1997 - The Yankees All-Star 1B Don Mattingly officially announces his MLB retirement at a media conference held at Yankee Stadium.

2002 - The Yankees signed MLB free agent P Jay Tessmer. Jay will appear in 2 games with no record for the Yankees during the 2002 AL season. Jay was drafted by the Yankees in the 19th round of the 1995 MLB amateur player draft. He went 1-0 in 20 games for the Yankees (1998-2000). On January 3, 2001, Jay was traded by the Yankees along with Seth Taylor (minors) to the Rockies for P David Lee. Jay was a successful bullpen closer at Columbus (AAA), but he could never repeat that success at the MLB level for the Yankees.

2009 - Former Yankees INF Billy Werber (1930, 1933) passed away at the age of 100; he was the oldest living ex-MLB player. Known for his good defensive range, 3B Bill Werber had an 11-year career in the ML, leading the AL in stolen bases 3 times. Werber attended Duke University, where he was an All-American basketball player. He was the 2nd MLB ballplayer to come out of the school (the 1st was Wade Lefler). Among MLB players, who came out of Duke, he had the most at-bats until Dick Groat came along. After college, Werber was signed by the Yankees and spent spring training with the would-be Murderers' Row team in 1927, but did not make the squad. He did play for the Yankees briefly in both 1930 and 1933 and was the last living teammate of Babe Ruth. He appeared in only 7 games for the Yankees, hitting .250. On May 12, 1933, Billy was purchased by the Red Sox from the Yankees. While with the Reds, Werber became the 1st player to bat in the 1st televised MLB game, a contest against the Dodgers on August 26, 1939. The next year he batted leadoff for the Reds and hit .370 in the 1940 World Series. At the end of his career, he also played with the Giants in 1942, which featured future HOF players Mel Ott and Johnny Mize. In the middle, he was with the Red Sox of Jimmie Foxx, the Reds of Ernie Lombardi, and the A’s when Nick Etten was a rookie. Werber's lifetime MLB batting average was .271. Based on the similarity scores method, the most similar player is former Yankees 3B Red Rolfe. He is a member of the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame.

January 23rd

1904 - The Highlanders send P Long Tom Hughes and Bill Wolfe to the Senators for veteran starter Al Orth. Hughes, who posted a 20-7 record with the Boston Pilgrims in 1903, came to New York in December swap with the Pilgrims, who had received P Jesse Tannehill.
1916 - Former Yankees 1B Johnny Sturm (1941) was born. Johnny Sturm made his MLB debut with the Yankees in 1941, hitting .239 as the club's regular 1B. In the 1941 World Series, he got a hit in each of the 5 games played. After that season, he enlisted in the Army and served in World War II. During his time in the military, he lost the tip of his right index finger in a tractor accident. Sturm tried to make a comeback with the Yankees in 1946, but a broken wrist ended the attempt, before he played in a game. After his playing days ended, he was a minor league manager who was largely responsible for discovering Mickey Mantle, when he gave the young player a tryout. He also spent time as a big league scout.

1918 - Former Yankees P Randy Gumpert (1946-1948) was born. Randy went 16-4 in 72 games with 1 save with the Yankees. His best Yankees season was in 1946, when he posted an 11-3 record. During July of 1939, Randy was sent from the Athletics to the Yankees in an unknown transaction. On July 25, 1948, Randy was purchased by the White Sox from the Yankees.

1936 - Former Yankees P Don Nottebart (1969) was born. On October 21, 1968, Don was purchased by the Yankees from the Reds. He appeared in only 4 games for the Yankees with no record, before being returned to the Reds on April 26, 1969. Don had pitched against the Yankees, as a member of the Braves bullpen in the 1957-1958 World Series.

1939 - Eddie Collins, Willie Keeler and George Sisler are elected to the HOF by the BWAA. George Sisler set a MLB season-record with 257 hits in 1920 and batted .420 in 1922 on his way to a .340 career average. Eddie Collins batted an even .333 for his career and stole 744 bases as a member of 4 World Series teams. Yankees Willie Keeler, who was known as "hit 'em where they ain't", batted a MLB career .341 with 2,932 hits. Willie’s Yankees lifetime BA was .293 (1903-1909).

1951 - Former Yankees OF Charley Spikes (1972) was born. Charley was drafted by the Yankees in the 1st round (11th pick) of the 1969 MLB amateur player draft. Charlie appeared in only 12 games with the Yankees, hitting just .147 before being sent to Indians as part of the Graig Nettles trade.

1957 - Former Yankees P Alfonso Pulido (1986) was born. On December 20, 1984, he was traded by the Pirates along with INF Dale Berra and minor league Jay Buhner to the Yankees for INF Tim Foli, OF Steve Kemp and cash. Alfonso appeared in 10 games with a 1-1 record with 1 save for the 1986 Yankees.

1970 - Former Yankees P Alan Embree (2005) was born. Alan went 1-1 in 24 games out of the Yankees bullpen in 2005.

1970 - Former Yankees minor league OF Sherman Obando was born. Sherman Obando was signed by the Yankees as an MLB amateur free agent in 1987. He never appeared with the Yankees at the MLB level. On December 7, 1992, he was drafted by the Orioles from the Yankees in the 1992 MLB rule 5 player draft. Sherman never appeared with the Yankees at the MLB level. He hit 102 HRs while playing for the Nippon Ham Fighters in Japan from 1999-2005. In 2009, Sherman Obando began his 1st season with the Charleston River Dogs as the 1st base coach.

1970 - Former Yankees P Mark Wohlers (2001) was born. On July 1, 2001, Mark was traded by the Reds to the Yankees for P Ricardo Aramboles. He went 1-0 in 31 games for the 2001 Yankees.

1976 - The Yankees traded P Gerry Pirtle to the Cubs for C Rick Stelmaszek. Neither player appeared with the Yankees at the MLB level.

1982 - Former Yankees minor league OF Wily Mo Pena was born. On April 5, 1999, he was signed as a MLB free agent with the Yankees. Wily never appeared with the Yankees at the MLB level. On March 21, 2001, he was traded by the Yankees to the Reds for INF Drew Henson and OF Michael Coleman.

2005 - The Yankees signed MLB free agent veteran INF Rey Sanchez. He will appear in only 23 games in 2005 due to injuries. He hit .279 for the Yankees.

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

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