Sunday, January 16, 2011

This Week in Yankees History (1/16-1/22)

This Week in Yankees History 

January 16th - January 22nd

January 16th

1957 - Former Yankees 1B/DH Steve “Bye-Bye” Balboni (1981-1983,1989-1990) was born. The New York Yankees in the 2nd round of the 1978 MLB amateur player draft drafted Steve Balboni. After seeing limited action with the Yankees, Steve Balboni was traded on December 8,1983, along with P Roger Erickson to the Kansas City Royals for P Mike Armstrong and minor league player Duane Dewey. On March 27, 1989, Steve was traded by the Seattle Mariners to the Yankees for minor league P Dana Ridenour. He only hit .232 and .219 before being released by the Yankees in 1990.

1966 - Former Yankees P Jack McDowell (1995) was born. On December 14, 1994, Jack McDowell was traded by the Chicago White Sox to the Yankees for a player to be named later (OF Lyle Mouton) and minor league player Keith Heberling. He went 15-10 in 30 games for the Yankees in 1995.

1970 - Former Yankees P Ron Villone (2006-2007) was born. On November 16, 2005, Ron Villone was traded by the Florida Marlins to the New York Yankees for minor league player Ben Julianel. Ron went 3-3 in 107 games for the Yankees.

1974 - The BWAA selects former New York Yankees teammates Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford to the Hall Of Fame. Mickey Mantle becomes only the seventh player to make it in his first try. His 536 MLB career HRs with the New York Yankees ranked second only to Babe Ruth and he played in more games (2,401) than any other Yankee player, including Lou Gehrig. Whitey Ford was arguably the greatest New York Yankees pitcher of all time, retiring with more wins (236), more innings pitched (3,171), more strikeouts (1,956), and more shutouts (45) than any pitcher in the club’s history.

1977 - Former Yankees P Colter Bean (2005-2007) was born. In 2000, the New York Yankees as an MLB amateur free agent signed hurler Colter Bean. He went 0-1 in 6 games for the Yankees.

1994 - The New York Yankees signed MLB free agent reliever Donnie Pall. Don went 1-2 in 26 games for the 1994 Yankees.

2003 - The New York Yankees signed MLB free agent C John “Flash” Flaherty. He will make the team in Yankees spring training camp as the reserve catcher for the 2003 American League season, replacing Chris Wedger.

January 17th

1915 - Former Yankees minor league manager MLB scout and MLB Manager Mayo Smith was born (1915-1977). For the 1949 baseball season, the New York Yankees hired him as a player-manager for the Amsterdam Rugmakers of the Canadian-American League (Class C league). Smith led by example, hitting .297 with 19 HRs and 116 RBIs in 119 games. Never known for his power, he lit up that lower circuit and was tied for 3rd in HRs and was 3rd in RBI’s despite missing 20 games. His team went 67-71-1 and finished in 5th place. The next year he batted .323 with 10 HRs and 53 RBI’s in only 66 games; the team finished in 4th place with a 72-65-1 record. They won in the 1st playoff round, but they lost in the finals. Smith would not play regularly again, getting into 1 game in 1952; he had completed his 2-year run as a player-manager. 

In 1951, Mayo Smith was promoted to the class B Piedmont League to manage the Norfolk Tars. He led the team to a title in 1951 - and again in 1952, when the team posted the second-best winning percentage (.727) in the history of the Piedmont League. He moved up another rung in the Yankees organization. Mayo managed in the AA Southern Association for two years, leading the Birmingham Barons. He was a MLB scout for the Yankees for seven years. He managed in the MLB with the Philadelphia Phillies (1955-1959), Cincinnati Reds (1959) and the Detroit Tigers (1966-1970), winning the 1968 AL pennant and the World Championship. He was named the 1968 AL Manager of the year.

1931 - Former Yankees Bench Coach, MLB player and longtime MLB Manager Don Zimmer was born. In 1949, the Brooklyn Dodgers signed shortstop Don Zimmer. After several seasons with the Dodgers as a reserve infielder, he was traded to the Chicago Cubs. Don appeared in 1955 and 1959 World Series with the Dodgers. Also he played for the 1962 New York Mets and Cincinnati Reds, Dodgers and the Washington Senators. He spent one season playing in Japan. He began his minor league manager career in 1967 working until 1970. In 1971, he became a MLB coach with the Montreal Expos, 1972, San Diego Padres, 1974-1976, Boston Red Sox, 1983 New York Yankees, 1984-1986 Chicago Cubs, 1987 San Francisco Giants, 1992 Boston Red Sox, 1993-1995 Colorado Rockies, and the 1996-2003 New York Yankees. He was a MLB Manager with the following teams: 1972-1973, San Diego Padres; 1976-1980, Boston Red Sox; 1981-1982, Texas Rangers; 1988-1991, Chicago Cubs. In 1989, Don won NL Division championship with the Cubs. He was named 1989 NL Manager of the Year. With the New York Yankees, he was Manager Joe Torre’s MLB bench coach. Since 2004, Don has worked as a special advisor for the Tampa Bay Rays.

1936 - The New York Yankees obtained P Irving “Bump” Hadley and OF Roy Johnson for Senators for P Jimmy DeShong and OF Jesse Hill.

1939 - The New York Yankees elected long time General Manager Ed Barrow as the club president. Edward Barrow replaces Owner Jacob Ruppert, who had died four days earlier. Barrow will remain as the New York Yankees president until 1945, when the team is bought by new owners Dan Topping, Larry Mc Phail and Del Webb from the Jacob Ruppert Estate.

1960 - Former Yankees DH/OF Chilli Davis (1998-1999) was born. Chilli Davis hit .291 and .261 for the New York Yankees before retiring from MLB, after the 1999 World Series.

1970 - MLB teams select a record 357 players in the January phase of the annual free-agent draft, including top pick Chris Chambliss by the Cleveland Indians, and Chris Speier. Fred Lynn, who was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 1st round, will not sign with the team.

1984 - The New York Yankees drafted P Tim Belcher in the 1st round (1st pick) of the 1984 MLB amateur player draft (Secondary Phase). In a Yankees front office paperwork mistake, the Yankees would lose Belcher to the Oakland A’s as a free agent compensation pick on February 8, 1984.

1989 - Free agent OF/DH Claudell Washington leaves the New York Yankees to sign a three-year contract with the California Angels.

2002 - The New York Yankees released reserve INF/OF Clay Bellinger. Despite his ability to play many positions on the field, Clay couldn’t hit for any kind of average.

2002 - The New York Yankees signed veteran MLB free agent starter David Wells. He will go 19-7 and 15-7 for the Yankees, before leaving the team for MLB free agency in the winter of 2003.

January 18th

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

1954 - Former Yankees minor league P Scott McGregor (1975-76) was born. Scott McGregor 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 New York Yankees along with C Rick Dempsey, pitchers Tippy Martinez, Rudy May, and Dave Pagan to the Baltimore 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 Baltimore Orioles (1976-1988).

January 19th

1888 - Former Yankees reserve OF Patsy Maloney (1912) was born. Pat Maloney appeared in only 25 games for the Yankees 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 AL 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 Yankees played with 24 players during the 1964 World Series, which they lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games. Chet Trail's minor league career lasted from 1963 to 1969. He spent all or part of every season from 1966-1969 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 Baltimore Orioles to the New York Yankees for players to be named later, 1B Ray “Buddy” Baker and cash. The Yankees sent 2 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 Juden appeared in two games for the New York Yankees during the 1999 American League season, posting a 0-2 record.

1972 - The New York Yankees obtained P Fred Beene (1972-1974) from the Baltimore Orioles. Fred would go 7-3 in 54 games with five saves before being sent to the Cleveland Indians in the Chris Chambliss trade during the 1974 American League 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 Hall Of Fame. One year earlier, the BWAA had failed to elect anyone to the Hall of Fame. The Dodgers Ace Sandy Koufax makes it in his first try and, at age of 36, is the youngest honoree in Hall Of Fame history.

1972 - The New York Yankees acquired veteran All Star OF Johnny Callison on a conditional basis from the Chicago 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 ten 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 Montreal 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 International League in HRs and BA, led all of full-season MIL baseball in slugging percentage. He was named the DH on the International League All-Star team and won the league’s Most Valuable Player 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). On November 4, 1931, the New York Yankees purchased OF George Selkirk from Jersey City (International League. George Selkirk succeeded Babe Ruth as the Yankees right fielder, after Ruth was sent to the Boston Braves following the 1934 AL season. George played for nine seasons with the Yankees finishing with lifetime BA of .290. He was a member of American League All Star team twice (1936 and 1939). George hit .265 in six 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 Kansas City A’s front office as their General Manager. Then he would become the General Manager of new Washington Senators expansion team in 1963, holding the position until 1968.

1991 - Former Yankees reserve OF Roy Weatherly (1943,1946) passed away. On December 17,1942, OF Roy Weathery and INF Oscar Grimes were obtained from the Cleveland Indians for C Buddy Rosar and OF Roy Cullenbine. In 1943, Roy hit .264 as a reserve outfielder for the Yankees. Roy hit .266 in 79 games for the New York Yankees.

1992 - The New York Yankees released veteran P Dave Eiland (1988-1991). On June 2, 1987, Dave Eiland was drafted by the New York 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 New York Yankees organization, as a pitching coach. He was the Yankees MLB pitching coach in 2009-2010. He joined the Tampa Bay Rays organization as a special advisor in December of 2010.

1996 - The New York Yankees signed two 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 one save for the 1996 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 professional career with the San Francisco Seals (Pacific Coast League) in 1931. In 1933, he was traded by the Seals to the San Francisco Missions and went on to win 20 games. He won 10 games the next season before being acquired by the Brooklyn 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 three 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 New York Yankees, who sent him to their minor league AAA team, the Kansas City Blues (American Association). One year later, he was acquired by the Philadelphia 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 New York Yankees. He played one 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 Hill was traded by the Hollywood Stars (PCL) to the New York Yankees for Myles Thomas, George Quellich, and cash. He would hit .293 in 107 games in 1937, before being sent to the Washington Senators.

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

1921 - The New York Yankees obtained OF Bob Roth from Washington Senators for OF Duffy Lewis and P George Mogridge. Roth would hit .283 in 1921, and then the Yankees released him.

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

1931 - Joe Sewell, who was released by the Cleveland Indians after the 1930 American League season, signs with the New York Yankees. The future Hall Of Fame infielder 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 third baseman for the 1931-1933 teams.

1936 - Former Yankees reserve C Jesse Gonder (1960-1961) was born (1936-2004). Before the 1960 AL Season, Jesse Gonder was sent from the Cincinnati Reds to the New York Yankees in an unknown trade. He was the starting catcher for the Yankees AAA team at Richmond (International League) 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, veterans Elston Howard, Yogi Berra and Johnny Blanchard on the 25-man Yankees MLB roster blocked Jesse Gonder. Jesse would play for the Cincinnati Reds, New York Mets, Pittsburgh Pirates and Milwaukee Braves in the National League, 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. The New York Yankees in the 22nd round of the 1986 MLB amateur player draft drafted Kevin Maas. 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 New York Yankees obtained veteran golden glove OF Paul Blair from the Baltimore Orioles for veteran OF Elliot Maddox and minor league OF Rich Bladt. Paul Blair will prove a fine defensive addition to the Yankees outfield. He will be used as a late inning defensive replacement for Reggie Jackson in RF.

1998 - The New York Yankees selected Hector Ramirez off of waivers from the Baltimore 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 New York 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 New York Yankees signed free agent P David Manning. The team will release David during the 2002 Yankees spring training camp.

January 21st

1916 - The New York 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 (Federal League). 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 New York Yankees All Star CF Joe DiMaggio begins a player contract holdout that will last for nearly three months. After meeting with Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert and GM Ed Barrow, Joe DiMaggio rejects a one-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, two days after the start of the 1938 American League 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, the New York Yankees signed Rick Beck, as an MLB amateur free agent. He was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies from the New York 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 U.S. Army for two 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. Oates would go on to a fine managerial career managing for the Ranger and Orioles. Sadly, Oates passed away from cancer in 2004.

1955 - The BWAA passes over Yankees All Star CF Joe DiMaggio in his first year of Hall Of Fame eligibility. The writers elected former All Star P Dizzy Dean and A’s slugger OF Al Simmons to the Hall Of Fame. 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 Hawkins 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 Oakland A’s for minor league players Eduardo Sierra and J.T. Stotts

1969 - The New York 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 Cleveland 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 New York Yankees C Yogi Berra (242) and Cleveland 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 New York Yankees released veteran shortstop Gene Michael. He had been the Yankees regular shortstop from 1968-1974. He would finish his MLB career with the Detroit Tigers in 1975, hitting just .214 in 56 games. After his MLB playing career was over in 1975, he rejoined the New York Yankees organization.

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

1987 - The Atlanta Braves sign MLB free agent OF Gary Roenicke, who had spent the 1986 AL season with the New York Yankees, after eight seasons with the Baltimore Orioles. Gary had played in 69 games for the 1986 Yankees hitting .265.

1992 - The New York 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 New York Yankees signed MLB free agent C Phil Hiatt. He never plays for the Yankees. He will be cut during the 1998 spring training camp.

2005 - The New York 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 Thomas appeared in 124 games with Yankees, before being sent to the Detroit Tigers.

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

1918 - The New York Yankees traded C Les Nunamaker, 3B Fritz Maisel, INF Joe Gedeon, Pitchers Nick Cullop and Urban Shocker to the St. Louis 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 three good years of services at second base. Urban Shocker is the gem, posting four 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 New York Yankees released veteran reserve C Hank Severeid. He had retired from MLB. Hank hit .268 in 41 games in 1927, after being obtained from the Washington Senators.

1929 - The New York Yankees announced that they would 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 Cleveland Indians announce that they, too, will put numbers on their player uniforms. By 1931, all American League teams will use them. It will be 1933 before all National League players are numbered.

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

1957 - Former Yankees OF/INF Brian Dayett (1983-1984) was born. The New York Yankees in the 16th round of the 1978 MLB amateur player draft drafted Brian Dayett. Brian hit .276 in 75 games for the Yankees, before being traded on December 4,1984, along with P Ray Fontenot to the Chicago 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 National League season, the New York Yankees purchased Robin Roberts from the Philadelphia Phillies for $100,000. He was released by the Yankees at the end of their 1962 spring training camp. Robin would be picked-up by the Baltimore Orioles. Bob Lemon earned 20 victories in season-six times and won 207 MLB career games for the Cleveland Indians. Lemon had become a MLB manager, who would manage the Kansas City Royals, Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees during the 1970’s. His 1978 Yankee team made a 14 ½ game comeback against the Boston Red Sox to win the AL flag and 1978 World Championship.

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

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

2002 - The New York Yankees signed MLB free agent P Jay Tessmer. Jay Tessmer will appear in two games with no record for the New York Yankees during the 2002 American League season. The New York Yankees in the 19th round of the 1995 MLB amateur player draft drafted Jay. He went 1-0 in 20 games for the Yankees (1998-2000). On January 3,2001, Jay was traded by the Yankees along with minor league player Seth Taylor to the Colorado 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 eleven-year career in the majors, leading the American League in stolen bases three times. Werber attended Duke University, where he was an All-American basketball player. He was the second 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 Richard Groat came along. After college, the New York Yankees signed Bill Werber. Billy spent spring training with the would-be Murderers' Row team in 1927, but did not make the MLB squad. He did play for the Yankees briefly in both 1930 and 1933 AL seasons and was the last living teammate of Babe Ruth. He appeared in only seven games for the Yankees, hitting .250. On May 12,1933, Billy was purchased by the Boston Red Sox from the Yankees. While with the Cincinnati Reds, Werber became the 1st player to bat in the 1st televised MLB game, a contest against the Brooklyn 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 New York Giants in 1942. Bill Werber’s lifetime MLB batting average was .271. He is a member of the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame. 

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

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