Sunday, March 13, 2011

This Week in Yankees History (3/13-3/19)

This Week in Yankees History 

March 13th - March 19th

March 13th

1886- Future Yankees INF and Hall Of Fame 3B Frank “Home Run” Baker (1916-1919, 1921-1922) was born. A 3B and left handed hitter, Baker will guide the A’s to 3 World Series championships. Nicknamed "Home Run" during the 1911 World Series, in which he hit a go-ahead HR off of Giants starter Rube Marquard in Game 2. A 9th-inning game-tying homer off of Giants starter Christy Mathewson in Game 3. Baker will led the American League in HR’s for four consecutive seasons, twice he led the AL in RBI’s. Frank Baker hit .363 in six World Series with the Philadelphia A’s and New York Yankees. Frank played 3B for the New York Yankees from 1916-1919,1921-1922. He took the 1920 American League season off, after his wife passed away to take care of his two children. Frank Baker will earn Hall Of Fame honors in 1955.

1922 - Former Yankees OF Cliff Mapes (1948-1951) was born. On November 1, 1946, Cliff Mapes was drafted by the New York Yankees from the Cleveland Indians organization in the 1946 MLB Rule 5 Player Draft. Cliff spent the 1947 season with the Kansas City Blues (AAA) of the American Association. 1947 was his best year in the minors. Cliff had 167 hits, 107 runs, 27 doubles, 11 triples, 21 HRs and 117 RBIs at .308 in 155 games. He led the American Association in RBI’s that season. He won a MLB job with the 1948 Yankees in spring training. In 1948, Mapes had 11 doubles and only 9 singles, making him 1 of only 11 MLB players to ever have more doubles than singles (in 90 or more plate appearances).

On July 5, 1950, in a sloppy game that featured 18 walks, Mapes drove in 5 runs with a HR and single to pace the Yankees to a 12–8 win over the A’s. Mapes walked twice in the 3rd inning to tie a MLB record. He was also involved in a collision with at 2nd base with Eddie Joost in the 7th inning, in which Joost tore ligaments in his left knee. On August 11,1950, Mapes replaced Joe DiMaggio in CF, who was benched for the 1st time in his MLB career. Cliff met the challenge of replacing the “Yankee Clipper” by hitting a 7th-inning HR to give the Yankees a 7–6 win over the Philadelphia A's. In 1950, Cliff had his best year in the MLB; he had 88 hits, 60 runs, 14 doubles, 6 triples, 12 HRs, 61 RBIs and 1 stolen base for a batting line of .247 in 108 games. In the 1949 and 1950 World Series, he had 1 hit (but one that mattered), 3 runs, 1 double and 2 RBI while batting .071 in 5 games. He was the last active Yankees player to wear Babe Ruth’s No. 3 uniform. Also he wore Yankee uniform No. 7 in 1951, 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 St. Louis Browns from the Yankees.

1937 - American League All Star 1B Lou Gehrig signs with the New York Yankees for $38,000 with a $750 signing bonus. Gehrig will play his 1st spring training game on March 20th, collecting 2 runs batted in as the Yankees beat the Boston Bees (the Braves) by the score of 5-3.

1963 - Former Yankees INF Mariano Duncan (1996-1997) was born. Mariano Duncan was signed as a MLB free agent in 1996. He hit .340 in 109 games in 1996. Mariano appeared in 50 games hitting .244, before being traded by the Yankees on July 29, 1997, to the Toronto Blue Jays for Angel Ramirez.

1991 - Yankees minor league P Manny Bannuelos was born. Manny Bannuelos signed with the New York Yankees in 2008. He debuted with them the same year, going 4-1 with a 2.57 ERA for the GCL Yankees. After a strong start with the 2009 Charleston Riverdogs, the Mexican southpaw was chosen for the 2009 Futures Game. In 2011, Bannuelos attended the Yankees' spring training for the 1st time and impressed with his poise and polish after pitching a perfect inning against the Detroit Tigers and two scoreless frames against the Boston Red Sox in his 1st taste of Grapefruit League action.

1994 - Former Yankees C Buddy Rosar (1939-1942) passed away. In 1934, the New York Yankees signed Buddy Rosar, as an MLB amateur free agent. He hit .387 with the Newark Bears in 1938 to win the International League batting crown despite missing several weeks after being hit on the head by a pitched ball. In 1939, he reached the majors with the Yankees. Buddy hit for the cycle in a July 19,1940 game against the Cleveland Indians. Buddy Rosar was the back-up catcher for Bill Dickey on the Yankees. In 1942, Buddy was selected to AL All Star team. On December 17,1942, he was traded by the Yankees along with OF Roy Cullenbine to the Cleveland Indians for OF Roy Weatherly and INF Oscar Grimes. Also he later played for the Philadelphia A’s and Boston Red Sox during his 13-year MLB career.

2000 - Former Yankees reserve INF Harry Bright (1963-1964) passed away. In 1946, the New York Yankees signed Harry Bright as an MLB amateur free agent. In 1947, the Yankees in a minor league transaction sold him. The Yankees reacquired Harry from the Cincinnati Reds in April of 1963 to back up their INF off the bench. His addition to the Yankees 40 man roster cost the Yankees a young minor league OF named Curt Belfry, who was at Greensboro. The Baltimore Orioles immediately claimed Curt Belfry. Harry was a good field, no-hit player, who could play a lot of positions, including catcher. He hit .236 in 1963, but missed most of the 1964 American League season due to injuries. On September 11,1964, Harry was released by the Yankees. Harry would finish his MLB career with the Chicago Cubs in 1965.

2008 - Longtime New York Yankees fan, Hollywood Actor and Comedian 59-year-old Billy Crystal makes an appearance in a spring training game, playing for the Yankees. He strikes out on a full count from hurler Paul Maholm after hitting one ball just foul.

March 14th

1944 - Former Yankees OF /1B John Miller (1966) was born. In 1962, the New York Yankees signed John Miller as an MLB amateur free agent. He appeared in only 6 games for the Yankees hitting just .087. He hit a HR at his 1st MLB at bat with the Yankees. He would be traded to the Dodgers, where he hit a HR in his last MLB at bat. John would play baseball in Japan.

1956 - Former Yankees C/DH/1B Butch Wynegar (1982-1986) was born. On May 12, 1982, Butch was traded by the Minnesota Twins along with P Roger Erickson to the Yankees for P John Pacella, INF Larry Milbourne, P Pete Filson, and cash. Butch hit .248 in 449 games for the Yankees. On December 19,1986, he was traded by the Yankees to the California Angels for a player to be named later and Ron Romanick. The Angels would send P Alan Mills on June 22,1987 to the Yankees to complete the trade. Butch is currently the hitting coach for the Yankees AAA team at Scranton.

1965 - Former Yankees P Kevin Brown (2004-2005) was born. On December 13, 2003, Kevin Brown was traded by the Dodgers to the New York Yankees for P Jeff Weaver, minor league players P Yhency Brazoban, P Brandon Weeden and cash. He posted a 14-13 record in 35 games for the Yankees.

1966 - Former Yankees OF Lee Magee (1916-1917) passed away (1899-1966). Lee Magee was purchased by the New York Yankees from the Brooklyn Tip-Tops in the Federal League for $22,500 and played for them in 1916 and 1917. He hit .257 for the Yankees. On June 28, 1916, Magee collected a record-tying four assists in the outfield. The next day, he was caught stealing three times by the Philadelphia Athletics; not until Rickey Henderson in 1982 would another American League runner be cut down thrice in a game. On July 15, 1917, he was traded by the Yankees to the St. Louis Browns for OF Armando Marsans and finished the 1917 AL season with the Browns. Lee Magee left baseball after being involved in gambling charges over betting on games with former Yankee 1B Hal Chase in the National League, while playing with the Cincinnati Reds in 1918.

1969 - Former Yankees minor league OF Jalal Leach was born. On June 4, 1990, Jalal Leach was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 7th round of the 1990 MLB amateur player draft. He never appears with the Yankees at the MLB level. On December 4,1995, he was drafted by the Montreal Expos from the New York Yankees organization in the 1995 minor league player draft.

1969 - The New York Yankees purchased veteran OF Jimmy Hall from the Cleveland Indians for cash. He hit .236 in 80 games for the Yankees, before being sent to the Chicago Cubs.

2003 - Able to maintain the organization's "long standing philosophy", which lets Cablevision customers choose whether or not to receive paid programming, the cable giant agrees one-year interim deal to offer YES Network to New York Yankees fans for a fee ending a bitter and costly yearlong feud. The arrangement makes YES a premium channel instead of basic cable channel which the new network had previously mandated and would have made every subscriber pay for the channel regardless of the viewer's choice.

March 15th

1889 - Former Yankees INF/OF Charley Mullen (1914-1916) was born. Charley Mullen hit .264 in 192 games for the Yankees.

1898 - Former Yankees P Wilfred “Rosy” Ryan (1928) was born. Rosy Ryan appeared in only 3 games for the Yankees with no record in 1928.

1919 - The New York Yankees sell veteran P Ray Fisher to the Cincinnati Reds for undisclosed amount of cash. Before the start of the 1910 AL Season, Ray was purchased by the Highlanders from Hartford (Connecticut). Ray went 76-78 in 214 games with 5 saves for the Yankees. His best Yankees season was in 1915, when he posted an 18-11 mark. On March 15,1919, Ray was selected off waivers by the Cincinnati Reds from the New York Yankees. He appeared in 1919 World Series with the Reds, losing one game to the Chicago White Sox.

1944 - Former Yankees P Wayne Granger (1973) was born. Wayne Granger was obtained from the St. Louis Cardinals for minor league P Ken Crosby. He went 0-1 in 7 games for the 1973 Yankees.

1946 - Former Yankees All Star OF Bobby Bonds (1975) was born. In 1974, the San Francisco Giants traded OF Bobby Bonds to New York Yankees for All Star OF Bobby Mercer. Bobby hit .270, slugging 32 HRS with 85 RBIs in 145 games. On December 11,1975, he was traded to the California Angels for OF Mickey Rivers and P Ed Figueroa.

1960 - Former Yankees 3B Mike Pagliarulo (1984-1989) was born. In 1981, the New York Yankees in the 6th round of the MLB amateur player draft drafted 3B Mike Pagliarulo. He was the Yankees regular 3B from 1985-1989, hitting 95 HRS with 337 RBIs in 703 games. On July 22,1989, he was traded by the Yankees along with P Don Schulze to the San Diego Padres for P Walt Terrell and a player to be named later, which would be P Freddie Toliver. Mike is currently a baseball sports writer.

1982 - Former Yankees minor league P Steve Jackson was born. Steve Jackson was traded by the Arizona Diamondbacks along with INF Alberto Gonzalez, P Ross Ohlendorf and P Luis Vizcaino to the New York Yankees for All Star starter Randy Johnson. In 2007, Steven struggled with the Scranton Yankees (4-8, 5.87 ERA,) and Trenton Thunder (0-1, 1 Save, 3.86 ERA). For the Peoria Javelinas (AFL) that fall, he had a 0-1, with 5.63 ERA, but fanned 19 batters in 16 innings. Steven split 2008 baseball season between Trenton (1-3, 2 Saves, 5.74 in 15 Games) and Scranton (3-0, 4 Save, 3.17 in 34 Games, 54 K in 48 1/3 IP). He started 2009 season with the Scranton (AAA), he allowed 3 runs in 14 1/3 IP with saved 1 game. He was called up to the Yankees but did not pitch in a game for them. They placed him on waivers, the Pittsburgh Pirates claimed him.

2010 - Former Yankees P Ken Holcombe (1945) passed away. Before the 1941 MLB season, the St. Louis Cardinals sent Ken Holcombe to the New York Yankees in an unknown transaction. Ken had three good years (1942-1944) with the Newark Bears of the International League. After winning 17 games in 1944, he made it to Yankee Stadium in 1945; he did some effective work out of the Yankees bullpen, going 3-3 with an excellent 1.80 ERA in 23 appearances. Holcombe was back in the minors in 1946 with the Newark Bears and the Kansas City Blues (American Association) but he did not pitch well. On November 1,1946, he was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1946 Rule V player draft. The Pirates did not like what they got, they sent Ken back to the New York Yankees, where on April 15, 1947, he was purchased by the Sacramento Solons (Pacific Coast League). Ken would later pitch for the Cincinnati Reds, Chicago White Sox and the Boston Red Sox before retiring from baseball in 1954. 

March 16th

1927- Former Yankees reserve C Clint “Scraps” Courtney (1951) was born (1927 - 1975). In 1947, the New York Yankees as an MLB amateur free agent signed Clint Courtney. Clint appeared in one game with the 1951 Yankees before being traded to the St. Louis Browns for P Jim McDonald. Clint’s MLB career with the Yankees was blocked by presence of All Star C Yogi Berra. He was nick named “Scraps” for the game fights and fines that he collected during his MLB career. He was one of the 1st modern MLB catchers to wear glasses behind the catcher’s mask. He played for the New York Yankees, St. Louis Browns, Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox, Washington Senators and the Kansas City A’s during his 11 year MLB career. In 1965, he was a MLB coach for the Houston Astros. In 1970, he began managing in the Atlanta Braves minor league system. On June 16,1975, he died of a massive heart attack, while as the manager of the Richmond Braves (AAA) in the Atlanta Braves organization.

1932 - In St. Petersburg, Fla. spring training camp, Babe Ruth signs a one-year player contract for $75,000 and a percentage of the exhibition gate. Legend has it the Bambino signed a blank players contract with the amount filled in later by New York Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert.

1956 - Former Yankees reserve C Juan Espino (1982-1983,1984-1986) was born. On December 26, 1974, Juan Espino was signed by the New York Yankees as an MLB amateur free agent. He batted .219 appearing in only 49 games for the Yankees. On March 31, 1984, Juan was purchased by the Cleveland Indians. On January 8, 1985, he was reacquired by the Yankees from the Indians.

1959 - Former Yankees P Charlie Hudson (1987-1988) was born. On December 11, 1986, Charlie Hudson was traded by the Philadelphia Phillies along with P Jeff Knox to the New York Yankees for INF Tom Barrett and OF/DH Mike Easler. He went 17-13 in 63 games for the Yankees with 2 saves. On March 23,1989, he was traded to the Detroit Tigers for INF Tom Brookens.

1978 - High-priced free agent hurler Andy Messersmith separates his shoulder in a spring exhibition game for the New York Yankees. A 20-game winner both for the Angels and Dodgers, Messersmith will never win a game for the Yankees. He ran into Yankees 1B Cliff Johnson during a play at first base.

1981 - Current Yankees CF Curtis Granderson was born. On December 9, 2009, Curtis Granderson was traded to the New York Yankees in a 3-team trade. In the deal, the Yankees received Granderson, while sending P Phil Coke and minor league OF prospect Austin Jackson to Detroit Tigers. The Arizona Diamondbacks received Yankees P Ian Kennedy and Tigers P Edwin Jackson in return for young P Max Scherzer and Daniel Schlereth, who joined the Tigers. Curtis will wear #14 with the Yankees, a change from his uniform number of #28 with the Tigers, as Yankees Manager Joe Girardi will wear #28, symbolizing the team's drive for its 28th World Series championship. Curtis was named to the 2009 AL All Star team. In the game, he hit a triple in the top of the 8th inning and eventually scored the winning run. The MLB Players Association for his off-field work chose Granderson as the 2009 Marvin Miller Man of the Year

March 17th - Happy Saint Patty’s Day

1888 - Former Yankees P Edward “Big Ed” Klepfer (1911,1913) was born. Ed Klepfer went 0-1 in 10 games for the Yankees.

1921 - With spring training in Shreveport, Louisiana, the New York Yankees journey to Lake Charles to play a game against the St. Louis Cardinals, who are based in Orange, Texas. The game was proclaimed "Ruth-Hornsby Day," but Hornsby hits only a single while Babe Ruth lofts a HR over the short RF fence. The Yankees win the game by a score of 14-5.

1936 - Much-heralded New York Yankees rookie OF Joe DiMaggio makes his debut with the team, collecting 4 hits including a triple. The day is marred when the St. Louis Cardinals win the game by a score of 8-7.

1938 - Former Yankees OF Jimmy Hall (1969) was born. After Jimmy Hall was obtained from the Cleveland Indians, he hit .236 in 80 games, before being sent to the Chicago Cubs.

1956 - Former Yankees P Tim Lollar (1980) was born. In 1978, Tim Lollar was drafted in the 4th round of the MLB amateur player draft by the New York Yankees. Tim appeared in 14 games with the 1980 Yankees with a 1-0 mark with 2 saves. On March 31,1981, Chris was traded by the Yankees along with OF Ruppert Jones, OF Joe Lefebvre, and P Chris Welsh to the San Diego Padres for OF Jerry Mumphrey and P John Pacella.

1956 - Former Yankees P Ron Scurry (1985) was born. On December 6, 1986, Ron Scurry was signed as a MLB Free Agent with the New York Yankees. He appeared in 5 games for the 1985 Yankees, posting a 1-0 record with 1 save. On March 27,1987, Ron was released by the New York Yankees. In 1992 Ron Scurry died from drug problems.

1958 - Former Yankees minor league OF Frank Wren was born. The New York Yankees in the 17th round of the 1976 MLB amateur player draft chose Frank Wren. He never played for the Yankees at MLB level. Frank Wren served as General Manager of the 1999 Baltimore Orioles. Previously, he had played 5 years in the minor leagues (New York Yankees and Montreal Expos). He was in the Florida Marlins front office for 8 years. Since his days as a General Manager ended, he has been in the Atlanta Braves front office.

1980 - Former MLB Pitcher Bob Hooper (1950-1955) passed away (1922-1980). Clippers Note: He was my High School Gym teacher at New Brunswick Senior High School in New Jersey. He was the 1st MLB player that I ever met. He spoke very highly of the New York Yankee players that he had played against during the early 1950’s. In 1969, when he spoke at the Senior Sports Dinner, saying how proud he was to be MLB player, when there were only 16 teams. He felt that expansion and big money was corrupting the game. We talked many times about baseball, it was an honor to meet and know such a man.

Bob Hooper served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. He pitched 6 years in the MLB for the Philadelphia A's, Cleveland Indians and the Cincinnati Reds and another 10 years in the minor leagues. Before the 1940 MLB season, the New York Giants originally signed Bob Hooper. As a 28 year old rookie in 1950, he was the Philadelphia A’s closer, posting a 15-10 mark with 5 saves. In 1951, he became a starter for the A’s, posting a 12-10 record. With the Cleveland Indians, he was Early Wynn’s roommate. He was on the 1954 Cleveland Indians, but he didn’t appear in the 1954 World Series against the New York Giants. His final MLB career record was 40-41.Bob Hooper managed in the Baltimore Orioles minor league system from 1957 to 1960. Then he scouted for the New York Mets in 1963. One of his Orioles minor league teams included future MLB players Brooks Robinson, Dean Chance and John “Boog” Powell. He was a physical education teacher at New Brunswick Senior High School in Central New Jersey until his retirement in 1979. He died at age 57 from a heart attack in his home.

1978 - For a St. Patrick's Day exhibition game, the Cincinnati Reds wear special green uniforms, rather than their traditional red, starting an annual ritual. The good luck works and the Reds beat the New York Yankees by the score of 9-2. The St. Louis Cardinals, between other teams, will be the next to follow suit. Although the Reds will never use the uniforms in regular season play, the green colors will become a spring training tradition for the team that will last a few seasons.

1985 - Former Yankees minor league 1B Taylor Mattingly was born. The son of former New York Yankees captain Don Mattingly and brother of Preston Mattingly were drafted by the New York Yankees in the 42nd round of the 2003 MLB amateur player draft. He hit .224 in 24 games, half of them at 1st base. His brother Preston is in the Dodgers organization.

1988 - Recently acquired slugger Jack Clark tears a calf tendon while hitting a HR for the Yankees in a spring exhibition game. The oft-injured Clark had signed a MLB free agent contract during the winter. He will miss the start of the 1988 American League season, but will return to hit only .242 with 27 HRs and 93 RBIs.

March 18th

1901 - Former Yankees OF John Cooney (1944) was born. On June 17, 1944, John Cooney was signed as a MLB free agent with the New York Yankees. John only appeared in 10 games with the 1944 Yankees, hitting .125 before being released by the team.

1928 - Former Yankees minor league P Chi-Chi Olivo was born. (1928-1977)
On November 29,1966, he was traded by the Atlanta Braves along with OF Bill Robinson to the New York Yankees for veteran 3B Clete Boyer. He never pitched for the Yankees at the MLB level,

1943 - Due to wartime travel restrictions, MLB spring training camps begin opening in northern locations. Some of the locales include Bear Mountain, New York (Brooklyn Dodgers), French Lick Springs, Indiana (Chicago Cubs and White Sox), Asbury Park, New Jersey ( New York Yankees), Medford, Massachusetts ( Boston Red Sox) and Wallingford, Connecticut ( Boston Braves).

1960 - Former Yankees minor league OF Matt Winters was born. On June 6, 1978, Matt Winters was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 1st round (24th pick) of the 1978 MLB amateur player draft. On November 12,1985, he was released by the team. On December 22, 1985, Matt was signed as a MLB free agent by the Chicago White Sox. On February 13, 1986, he was traded by the Chicago White Sox along with Chris Alvarez, Eric Schmidt, and C Ron Hassey to the New York Yankees for P Neil Allen, Catcher Scott Bradley, Glen Braxton and cash. He played at Columbus (AAA) that season. On October 15, 1986, he was granted MLB free agency by the Yankees. Matt would later play professional baseball in Japan.

1962 - Former Yankees P Brian Fisher (1985-1986) was born. On December 5, 1984, Brian Fisher was traded by the Atlanta Braves to the New York Yankees for veteran C Rick Cerone. He went 13-9 with the Yankees with 20 saves. On November 26, 1986, he was traded by the Yankees along with pitchers Doug Drabek and Logan Easley to the Pittsburgh Pirates for pitchers Rick Rhoden, Cecilio Guante, and Pat Clements.

1984 - Former Yankees Batting Coach Charlie Lau, a renowned MLB batting instructor, dies in Key Colony Beach, FL, at age 50, after a long bout with cancer. Lau, whose MLB career batting average was .255, earned his fame as the Kansas City Royals batting coach from 1971-1978, where his star pupil was George Brett. Lau also served as a batting coach for the Baltimore Orioles, Oakland A’s, New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox.

1985 - MLB Commissioner Peter Ueberroth reinstates Hall Of Fame members Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle, who had been banned from association with organized baseball by former MLB commissioner Bowie Kuhn due to their employment by Atlantic City casinos. Ueberroth's ruling will allow both men to pursue employment with MLB teams.

2004 - Former Yankees minor league P Gene Bearden passed away. Before the 1939 MLB season, the Philadelphia Phillies signed Gene. In June of 1942, Gene was sent from the Savannah (South Atlantic) to the Yankees in an unknown transaction. He never appeared with the Yankees at the MLB level. On December 6,1946, Gene was traded by the Yankees along with Al Gettel and Hal Peck to the Cleveland Indians for C Sherm Lollar and INF Ray Mack. He would have one good season with the Indians in 1948, posting a 20-7 mark.

March 19th

1884 - Former Yankees OF Clyde “Hack” Engle (1909-1910) was born. Clyde Engle appeared in 140 games for the Yankees, hitting .275. On May 10,1910, Hack was purchased by the Boston Red Sox from the Yankees.

1935 - Former Yankees reserve INF Fritz “Fritzie” Brickell (1958-1959) was born (1935- 1965). He batted .256 in 20 games with the New York Yankees in 1958-1959, as a reserve infielder. He was the son of former MLB OF Fritz Brickell, who played for the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Philadelphia Phillies (1926-1933). Before the 1953 AL season, the New York Yankees signed shortstop Fritz Brickell, as an MLB amateur free agent. Fritz, who stood just 5'5½", was optioned out to the Joplin Miners (Class C) of the Western association. The 18 year old Kansas native got into only 37 games his 1st year, hitting .221. Fritz was in the same league in 1954 but with the St. Joseph Saints, where he played 121 games at short and hit .306. He would spend the next few years in the high minors until he had a look-see in a couple games, with no record, for the Yankees in 1958. They gave him another look 1959 AL season and he appeared in 18 games at shortstop. He hit .256 before being sent back to the Richmond Virginians (International League) where he finished out the 1959 baseball season, hitting .247 in 88 games. 

Brickell stayed in the New York Yankees organization until April 4,1961, when they traded him to the Los Angeles Angels for veteran P Duke Maas. Fritz became the 1st starting shortstop for the expansion LA Angels but was waylaid by injuries, appearing in only 21 games. He was dispatched to the Toronto Maple Leafs (International League), where after he healed a bit, had probably his best season yet, hitting .307 in 108 games and fielding .985, while holding down the 2B position. Fritz was with both the Toronto Maple Leafs squad and the Louisville Colonels team in 1962 hitting a combined .234 in 68 games. It was apparent he wasn't his old self and he called it a career after the 1962 baseball season. He had spent 10 years in professional baseball from 1953-1962. Fritz's minor league records show, he appeared in 982 games with 3,549 at bats, 979 base hits, including 82 HRs and had a .275 career BA. When he was diagnosed with cancer, Fritz Brickell Night was held in August of 1965 at the National Semi-Pro Tournament in Wichita, Kansas with his former New York Yankees teammate Mickey Mantle on hand to stage a hitting exhibition as part of the activities. Fritz died just a few months later on October 15, 1965, at age 30 in his hometown of Wichita. 

1940 - In an exhibition game that might be a spring training record of sorts, the Triple-A Kansas City Blues (New York Yankees organization) pound the Washington Senators by the score of 22-5. The Blues collect 23 hits for 46 total bases. Frenchy Bordagaray starts the scoring with a home run in the 1st inning; Jack Saltzgaver hits 3 triples in 3 at-bats with 5 RBIs. Another familiar name, future Yankee Johnny Lindell yields 3 hits in 3 innings for the Blues.

1974 - In a five-player, three-team deal involving the Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, and the New York Yankees, P Jim Perry joins his pitching brother, Gaylord in Cleveland. The Detroit Tigers send Jim Perry to Indians and P Ed Farmer to the New York Yankees, who sent C Jerry Moses to Tigers, and the Tribe send P Rick Sawyer and OF Walt Williams to the Yankees. The 1974 MLB season will mark the Perry’s 1st season as teammates during their MLB careers.

1989 - With All Star OF Dave Winfield sidelined, the New York Yankees traded C Joel Skinner and minor leaguer OF Turner Ward to the Cleveland Indians for OF Mel Hall (1989-1992). Dave Winfield will miss all of the 1989 American League season after undergoing back surgery next week for central disc herination.

2003 - Former Yankees shortstop (1945) and long time Minor League Team Owner Joe Buzas died. Joe Buzas owned 82 minor league teams at some point in a 47-year period. At the time of his death, he owned the Salt Lake Stingers. He was the opening day shortstop for the New York Yankees in 1945, he badly injured his shoulder during the 1945 American League season, ending his MLB playing career. The 1st minor league team that he owned was the Syracuse Chiefs (International League). Joe Buzas was known for turning a profit when times were poor financially in the minors.

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

blog comments powered by Disqus