This Week in Yankees History
December 18th - December 24th
1918 - Outfielder Duffy Lewis returns from the military, he is traded by the Boston Red Sox to the New York Yankees. He goes along with front-line pitchers Ernie Shore and Dutch Leonard for P Ray Caldwell, P Elmer “Slim” Love, C Roxy Walters, OF Frank Gilhooley, and $15,000. The Detroit Tigers had turned down a deal for Dutch Leonard on the 16th. The Boston Post newspaper reports, "It will take a lot to convince Boston fans that they got the best of this one."
1930 - Former Yankees 1B Bill "Moose" Skowron (1954-1962) was born. Bill Skowron hit .296 in 12 years with the Yankees with 156 HRs and 672 RBI's. He was named to the AL All Star team 1957-1961. In 1958, he led the AL 1st baseman in fielding. He appeared in 7 World Series with the Yankees and 1 with the Dodgers (1963). Bill was traded to the Dodgers for starter Stan Williams during the winter of 1962. Now Bill works with the Chicago White Sox community relations department. He is still a very popular player with the Yankees fans on Old Timer’s Day games.
1930 - Former Yankees minor league INF Mike Baxes was born. Before the start of 1951 AL season, the New York Yankees obtained Mike Baxes from San Francisco Seals (PCL) as part of a minor league working agreement. Before the start of the 1952 AL season, the Yankees returned Mike to San Francisco Seals (PCL), after expiration of minor league working agreement. On September 21,1955, he was purchased by the Kansas City A’s from the Seals (PCL). Mike played 2B and shortstop for the A’s. On April 12,1959, Mike was traded by the Kansas City A’s along with OF Bob Martyn to the Yankees for INF Tom Carroll and minor league OF Russ Snyder. Mike never played for the Yankees at the MLB level, he was sent to Richmond (AAA). Also his brother Jim played in the majors during the 1950’s with the Dodgers.
1950 - New York Yankees OF great Tommy "Old Reliable" Henrich calls it a career as a MLB player. He accepts a MLB coaching position with the Yankees.
1956 - Former New York Yankees American League All Star and MVP (1950) shortstop Phil Rizzuto signs as a Yankee radio-TV announcer. The New York Yankees will have him replaced veteran baseball announcer Jim Woods. The Yankees will have him join Red Barber and Mel Allen in the booth.
1957 - Former Yankees P Bob Ojeda (1994) was born. On January 28, 1994, Bob Ojeda was signed as a MLB free agent with the New York Yankees. Bob appeared in only 1 game for the Yankees in 1994. On May 5, 1994, Bob was released by the Yankees.
1958 - Former Yankees P Scott Nielsen (1986, 1988-1989) was born. On February 14, 1984, Scott was traded by the Seattle Mariners along with P Eric Parent (minors) to the New York Yankees for INF Larry Milbourne. In 1986, Scott went 4-4 for the Yankees. On January 5,1987, he was traded by the Yankees along with P Mike Soper (minors) to the Chicago White Sox for P Pete Filson and INF Randy Velarde. On November 12,1987, Scott was traded by the White Sox along with P Richard Dotson to the Yankees for OF/1B Dan Pasqua, P Steve Rosenberg and C/DH/1B Mark Salas. In 1988, he went 1-2 and in 1989 he posted a 1-0 mark for the Yankees. On July 10,1989, Scott was traded by the Yankees to the New York Mets for OF Marcus Lawton.
1967 - The Chicago White Sox send veteran 3B/1B slugger Pete Ward to the Yankees for P Mickey Scott and cash. Pete Ward was at the end of his MLB career playing with back problems.
1968 - Former Yankees reserve C Hank Severeid (1926) passed away (1891-1968). On July 22, 1926, Hank Severeid was selected off waivers by the New York Yankees from the Washington Senators. He appeared in 41 games for the 1926 Yankees, hitting .268. In the 1926 World Series, he played in all 7 games for the Yankees, hitting .273.
1973 - The New York Yankees announced the signing of Richard Williams as manager, precipitating a legal showdown with Oakland A's Owner Charlie Finley. Two days later, American League President Joe Cronin rules that the Yankees cannot sign Williams that he is still legally contracted with the Oakland A’s.
1993 - Top New York Yankees pitching prospect Brien Taylor injures his shoulder in a fight near his home in North Carolina. The Injury will require surgery and cause Taylor to miss the entire 1994 season. Taylor, who signed for a $1.55 million bonus in 1991, has yet to make it to the majors.
2002 - The New York Yankees signed MLB free agent 3B Todd Zeile to a contract. Todd will appear in 66 games for the 2002 Yankees, hitting just .210. On August 18,2003, Todd was released by the Yankees.
2009 - The New York Yankees sign MLB free agent and former Yankee 1B/DH Nick Johnson to a one-year contract with an option for 2011 American League season. He is expected to play DH and bat second in place of Johnny Damon, whom the Yankees announced they would not seek to re-sign. Damon will sign with the Detroit Tigers. Nick Johnson will miss most of the 2010 AL season due to wrist injury that required surgery.
1915 - Former Yankees PH/INF Nicholas “Mickey” Witek (1949) was born (1915-1990). Mickey Witek was the 1939 International League Most Valuable Player for the Newark Bears. He was brought up to the majors with the New York Giants. He spent the 1943-1946 MLB seasons in the U.S. Coast Guard. He appeared in one game for the 1949 New York Yankees, as a pinch hitter.
1930 - Former Yankees reserve OF Gordon Windhorn (1959) was born. On March 14, 1957, Gordon Windhorn was traded by the Boston Red Sox along with P Eli Grba to the New York Yankees for OF Bill Renna. In 1958 with the Denver Bears in the American Association (AAA), Gordon won the league’s batting crown. Gordon was selected as the 1959 James P. Dawson Award for being the best Yankees rookie in the 1959 spring training camp. Gordon appeared in only 7 games for the 1959 Yankees. On April 5,1960, Gordon was traded by the Yankees along with minor league player Dick Sanders to the Dodgers for veteran hurler Fred Kipp.
1934 - The New York Yankees send 5 players to San Francisco Seals (PCL) as part of the payment for OF Joe DiMaggio. He will play another season in the Pacific Coast League with the Seals. Joe will report to the New York Yankees at the end of 1935 PCL season.
1943 - Former Yankees OF/DH Walt "No Neck" Williams (1974-1975) was born. Walt Williams hit .113 and 281 for the New York Yankees. After the 1975 AL season, the Yankees released Walt. He went to Japan to play baseball. New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner helped Walt get a contact with a Japanese team.
1944 - Former Yankees P Rob Gardner (1970-1972) was born. Rob Gardner went 9-5 in 2 tours with the New York Yankees between trades to the Oakland A's. He was traded for both of the Alou brothers. His best Yankees season was in 1972, when he went 8-5 in 14 starts for the Yankees.
1962 - Former Yankees P Clay Parker (1989-1990) was born. On December 22, 1987, Clay Parker was traded by the Seattle Mariners along with hurlers Lee Guetterman and Wade Taylor to the New York Yankees for starter Steve Trout and OF Henry Cotto. Clay went 5-6 in 32 games for the Yankees. On June 4,1990, Clay was traded by the Yankees along with P Lance McCullers to the Detroit Tigers for OF/DH/C Matt Nokes.
1970 -Former Yankees minor league C Tom Wilson was born. On June 4, 1990, Tom Wilson was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 23rd round of the 1990 MLB amateur player draft. Tom never played for the Yankees at the MLB level. On April 6,1996, he was traded by the New York Yankees to the Cleveland Indians for 2 minor league players: Marc Marini and Ryan Martindale. In 1997 and 1999, he rejoined the New York Yankees organization; he played at Columbus (AAA).
1974 - The race to sign MLB free agent All Star hurler Catfish Hunter begins in the law offices of Cherry, Cherry & Flythe in Ahoskie, North Carolina. New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox representatives are the 1st arrivals.
1978 - Former Yankee reserve INF Andy Cannizaro (2006) was born. The New York Yankees drafted him in the 7th round of the 2001 MLB amateur player draft. They assigned him to the Staten Island Yankees, where he batted .283, but only stole 5 bases in 8 tries and grounded into 15 double plays, the most in the New York-Penn League. Moving up to the Tampa Yankees (A), he hit .249 then followed with a .276 year for the Trenton Thunder (AA). In 2004, Cannizaro returned to Trenton, he improved to .314. He split 2005 minor league season between the Thunder (.248) and the Columbus Clippers (.253). The next year, he had a .276 BA with 32 doubles for the Clippers. Andy made his MLB debut with the Yankees, going 2 for 8 (.250) with 1 HR with 5 runs as a pinch-hitter and pinch runner. In the fall of 2007, the Yankees granted him MLB free agency. He signed with the Tampa Bay Rays.
1979 - Current Yankees P Rafael Soriano (2011) was born. On January 18, 2011, Rafael Soriano was signed as a MLB Free Agent with the New York Yankees. He had been a closer for 2010 Tampa Bay Rays. He had made the 2010 AL All Star team. He posted a 2-3 record in 42 games with 2 saves for the 2011 Yankees.
1991 - New York Yankees reliever Steve Howe is arrested in Montana on a charge of possession of cocaine. Howe has been suspended from baseball 5 times for drug and alcohol problems.
2003 - Former Yankees minor league OF Carmen Mauro passed away (1926-2003). In a 10-player trade, the New York Yankees send 1B Vic Power, infielders Jimmy Finigan and Don Bollweg, OF Bill Renna, C Jim Robertson, and P John Gray to the Philadelphia A's. While the A’s send veteran 1B Eddie Robinson, 3B Loren Babe, P Harry Byrd, and outfielders Tom Hamilton and Carmen Mauro to the Yankees. Carmen Mauro never appeared with the Yankees at the MLB level. He would spend the next 5 seasons in the minor leagues. He would retire from professional baseball in 1958.
2008 - Former Yankees P Dock Ellis (1976-1977) passed away. (1945-2008). On December 11,1975, Dock Ellis was traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates along with P Ken Brett and minor league 2B Willie Randolph to the New York Yankees for P George “Doc” Medich. Dock went 17-8 with the 1976 Yankees. In 1977, he was 1-1. On April 27,1977, Dock was traded by the Yankees along with OF Larry Murray and reserve INF Marty Perez to the Oakland A’s for starter Mike Torrez.
1876 - Former Yankees 2B James “Buttons” Williams (1903-1907) was born (1876-1965). Before the 1901 AL Season, James Williams jumped from the Pittsburgh Pirates to the Baltimore Orioles (pre-Highlanders). He appeared in 940 games with the Yankees hitting .277. On November 5,1907, he was traded by the Highlanders along with Hobe Ferris and Danny Hoffman to the St. Louis Browns for P Fred Glade, OF Charlie Hemphill and INF Harry Niles.
1881 - Former Yankees C and Hall Of Fame Baseball executive Wesley “Branch” Rickey (1907) was born (1881-1965). On February 28, 1907, catcher Branch Rickey was traded by the St. Louis Browns to the New York Highlanders for INF Joe Yeager. Branch playing with a bad shoulder appeared in 52 games hitting just .182 for the Yankees. In 1967, he was elected to Baseball Hall Of Fame as a baseball executive. He was the creator of the minor league farm system in the 1930’s with the St. Louis Cardinals, the signing Jackie Robinson with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947 to break the MLB color player barrier.
1885 - Former Yankees 2B Charles “Paddy” Baumann (1915-1917) was born (1885-1969). After being obtained from the Detroit Tigers, Paddy Bauman hit.276 in 204 games for the Yankees.
1888 - Former Yankees 1B and MLB Coach Fred Merkle (1925-1926) was born (1888-1956). On June 17, 1925, Fred Merkle was purchased by the New York Yankees from Rochester (International League) for $6,000. Fred was at the end of his MLB career when he joined the Yankees. He appeared in only 8 games for the Yankees, hitting .333. He would become a Yankees MLB Coach.
1899 - Former Yankees P and AL Umpire George Pipgras (1923-1924, 1927-1933) was born (1899-1986). On January 3, 1923, George Pipgras was traded by the Boston Red Sox along with OF Harvey Hendrick to the New York Yankees for C Al DeVormer and cash. George went 93-64 in 247 games for the Yankees. He appeared in three World Series (1927-1928, 1932) for the Yankees, posting a 3-0 record. On May 12,1933, George was purchased by the Boston Red Sox from the Yankees for $100,000. He was a minor league umpire in the New York-Penn League in 1936-1937; he worked in the Eastern League in 1938. George Pipgras was then an American League umpire from 1939 to 1946. Afterwards he was a MLB scout and instructed umpires.
1903 - In an unpopular trade in Boston, the Pilgrims send Long Tom Hughes to the New York Highlanders for lefty P Jesse Tannehill. Hughes, 20-7 winner for the American League champs, had jumped to the AL from the NL Chicago team in 1902. Hughes will come up short in the Bronx. He will be shipped to the Washington Senators in July, while Jesse Tannehill will win 20 for the Pilgrims (aka the Red Sox).
1921 - The New York Yankees raided the Boston Red Sox again, and come away with P Bullet Joe Bush, Shortstop Everett Scott, and P Sad Sam Jones in exchange for Shortstop Roger Peckinpaugh (who goes on to Washington Senators), pitchers Jack Quinn, Rip Collins, and Bill Piercy, and $50,000.
1928 - The New York Yankees released reserve INF Mike Gazella (1923, 1926-1928). Mike had appeared in 162 games for the Yankees, hitting .241. He appeared in 1 game of the 1926 World Series with no hits.
1940 - Former Yankees P Thad Tillotson (1967-1968) was born. Thad Tillotson went 4-9 for the Yankees in 50 games after being obtained from the Dodgers for veteran MLB INF Richard “Ducky” Schofield.
1946 - With the trade for veteran C Al Lopez, the Cleveland Indians send young C Sherm Lollar and 2B Ray Mack to the New York Yankees for minor league pitchers Gene Bearden, Al Gettel, and OF Hal Peck. Peck never played for the Yankees after they acquired him in June. Sherman Lollar will play just 33 games in 2-seasons with Yankees having Yogi Berra and Ralph Houk ahead of him. Meanwhile 2B Ray Mack is swapped after appearing in 1 game during the 1947 AL season. Gene Bearden, as a rookie knuckle-ball pitcher in 1948, will win 20 games and the lead the American League in ERA. It will be his best season as a MLB pitcher.
1949 - Former Yankees OF/DH Oscar Gamble (1976,1979-1984) was born. On November 22, 1975, Oscar Gamble was traded by the Cleveland Indians to the New York Yankees for veteran starter Pat Dobson. Oscar hit will hit only .232 in 1976. On April 5,1977, Oscar was traded by the Yankees along with minor league hurlers Bob Polinsky, La Marr Hoyt, and $200,000 to the Chicago White Sox for INF Bucky Dent. On August 1,1979, Oscar was traded by the Texas Rangers along with players to be named later and Amos Lewis (minors) to the Yankees for players to be named later and OF Mickey Rivers. The Rangers would send hurlers Ray Fontenot and Gene Nelson on October 8, 1979 to the Yankees to complete the trade. The Yankees will send minor league pitchers Bob Polinsky, Neal Mersch, and Mark Softy on October 8,1979 to the Rangers to complete the trade. Oscar would hit well for the Yankees, until injuries finally slowed him down. In 7 seasons with the Yankees, Oscar Gamble appeared in 540 games for the Yankees with 87 HRs, 276 RBI’s with a .259 BA. In 2 World Series with the Yankees, Oscar would hit .285. He will finish his MLB career with the Chicago White Sox in 1985.
1966 - The New York Yankees acquired veteran shortstop Richard Howser from the Cleveland Indians for minor leaguer P Gil Downs and cash. Howser was at the end of his fine MLB career because of back problems. Later he would become the Yankees 3B MLB Coach after retiring as an active player. He would later manage the Yankees in 1980 and then the Kansas City Royals before dying of cancer in 1985.
1973 - In siding with the Oakland A's, American League President Joe Cronin rules that the New York Yankees cannot sign the A’s former manager Richard Williams. The Yankees had announced a deal with the former Oakland skipper two days earlier, he was replacing former Yankees Manager Ralph Houk who had resigned as Yankees manager at the end of the 1973 AL season. The Yankees will end up signing former MLB manager Bill Vidron as their manager for the 1974 AL season. Bill had originally signed with the New York Yankees, but was traded away in 1954 to the St. Louis Cardinals in the Enos Slaughter trade. He was a National League All Star CF for the Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates during his MLB playing career. Ralph Houk will sign with the Detroit Tigers as their manager for the 1974 AL season.
1974 - The New York Yankees released veteran All Star starter Sam Mc Dowell. After being purchased from the San Francisco Giants in 1973, Sam went 6-10 in 34 games for the Yankees. Sam was battling drinking problems that eventually ended his MLB career. He would retire from MLB in 1975, after finishing out his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates, going 2-1 in 14 games. He originally came up to the majors with the Cleveland Indians.
1986 - The New York Yankees released veteran hurler Bob Shirley. The team will resign him in January of 1987. Bob will post a 14-20 record in 165 games with 5 saves as a Yankee.
1988 - The New York Yankees signed MLB free agent veteran C Jamie Quirk. He will appear in only 13 games, hitting only .083 before being released by the Yankees.
1989 - The New York Yankees signed MLB free agent veteran C Rick Cerone. He will appear in 49 games as reserve catcher, hitting .302.
1993 - The New York Yankees signed free agent OF/DH Luis Polonia (1989-1990, 1994-1995, 2000). Luis Polonia would be a reserve OF and occasional DH for the Yankees during his 3 tours with the team. He will appear in 276 games with 6 HRs, 88 RBI’s with a .296 BA.
1996 - The New York Yankees granted MLB free agency to the following players: P Billy Brewer, P Scott Kamieniecki and INF Luis Sojo.
2002 - The Japan's most heralded player, 28-year-old OF slugger Hideki Matsui (.334, 50 HRs, 107 RBIs), reaches a preliminary agreement with the New York Yankees on a $21 million, three-year contract. "Godzilla" the three-time Most Valuable Player of Japan's Central League, had rejected the Yomiuri Giant's $33 million, four-year offer opting to play for the Yankees. He will play for the Yankees 2003-2009. Matsui appeared in 916 games, hitting 140 HR’s and 597 RBI’s with a Yankee career BA of .290. In 2003-2004, he was named to the AL All Star team. In 2005, he hit .305 for the Yankees. He was named the 2009 MLB World series MVP for hitting .615 (8 for 13) with 3 HRs and 8 RBI’s against the Philadelphia Phillies. Overall in two World Series, Matsui finished with a .389 BA, with 4 HR’s and 12 RBI’s. In 6 ALDS, he hit .261 with 3 HR’s and 10 RBI’s. In 3 ALCS, Matsui hit .333 (10 for 81) with 2 HR’s and 17 RBI’s. After the 2009 World Series, Matsui left the New York Yankees to sign a MLB free agent contract of 6.5 million dollars with the Angels.
2003 - The New York Yankees signed MLB free agent INF Homer Bush. He will appear in 4 games with no hits for the 2004 Yankees, unable to comeback from his various leg injuries.
2004 - The New York Yankees signed MLB free agent starter Carl Pavano. Carl Pavano posted a 9-8 record in 26 games during his injury riddled 4-year stay with the Yankees (2005-2008).
2004 - The New York Yankees signed MLB free agent veteran INF Tony Womack. Tony will hit only .249 in 108 games for the 2005 Yankees. On December 8,2005, Tony was traded by the Yankees along with cash to the Cincinnati Reds for 2 minor league players Benjamin Himes (minors) and Kevin Howard.
2007 - Former Yankees P Tommy Byrne (1943,1946-1951,1954-1957) passed away (1919-2007). Before the 1940 AL season, the New York Yankees signed Tommy Byrne as an MLB amateur free agent. Tommy went 73-50 in 249 games in 10 seasons with the Yankees. He won 15 games each during the 1949 and 1950 AL seasons. Tom was named to the 1950 AL All Star team. On June 15,1951, he was traded by the Yankees along with $25,000 to the St. Louis Browns for veteran P Stubby Overmire. Tommy was re-obtained by the Yankees in September of 1954 from Seattle Rainers (Pacific Coast League). In 1955, he won the American League Comeback Player of the Year Award by going 16-5 for the Yankees. He would pitch 2 more seasons for the team, before retiring in 1957. He would become the Mayor and Owner of the Wake Forrest, NC Country Club.
1927 - The New York Yankees signed veteran MLB starter Stan Coveleski after his release by the Washington Senators. Stan will go 5-1 in 12 games for the 1928 Yankees. He was elected to Baseball’s Hall Of Fame in 1969. He finished his MLB career with a 215-142 pitching record.
1934 - The New York Yankees sell reserve OF Sammy Byrd to the Cincinnati Reds. Sammy Byrd was known as ” Babe Ruth’s legs” as a late inning defensive replacement for the Babe. He played in 565 games for the Yankees, hitting .281 with 27 HRs and 155 RBI’s.
1947 - Former Yankees OF Elliot Maddox (1974-1976) was born. In March 23,1974, Elliot Maddox was purchased by the New York Yankees from the Texas Rangers. Elliot played well for the Yankees in OF, replacing Bobby Mercer as the Yankees CF during the 1974 AL season with Mercer moving to RF. He hit .303 and .307 for the Yankees in 1974-1975 AL seasons. During the 1975 AL season, he injured his leg on the outfield turf at Shea Stadium. With the arrival of Billy Martin as Yankees manager in 1975, Elliot's days as a Yankee player were numbered. On January 20,1977, he was traded by the Yankees along with reserve OF Rick Bladt to the Baltimore Orioles for veteran golden glove OF Paul Blair.
1948 - Former Yankees DH/OF Dave Kingman (1977) was born. Dave Kingman appeared in 8 games for the 1997 New York Yankees hitting .250 before leaving for MLB free agency signing with the Chicago Cubs. 1972 - Former Yankees reliever La Troy Hawkins (2008) was born. La Troy Hawkins went 1-1 in 11 games before being sent on July 30, 2008 by the Yankees along with cash to the Houston Astros for minor league player Matthew Cusick.
1973 - American League President Joe Cronin rules that former Yankees Manager Ralph Houk is free from all contractual obligations with the New York Yankees. He is free to sign with any MLB team. He will sign with the Detroit Tigers for the 1974 AL season.
1977 - Former Yankees reserve INF D'Angelo Jimenez (1999) was born. The New York Yankees signed D’Angelo Jimenez, as an MLB amateur free agent in 1994. He was in their organization from 1995 through part of 2001. He was with Columbus (AAA) in parts of 5 seasons, blossoming in 1999 when he posted hitting stats of .327, a highly touted prospect often mentioned in the same breath with then up-and-coming Alfonso Soriano. Jimenez was brought up for a cup of coffee in 1999 for the New York Yankees; he hit .400 in 7 games. Then a serious car crash almost curtailed his career and his life that winter. He survived with a broken neck, spending all of 2000 and into 2001 recovering from his injuries. As questions abounded if he would ever return to form, the Yankees, in urgent need of relief pitching, traded him to the San Diego Padres for reliever Jay Witasick on June 23,2001. Also he has played for the Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds and the Washington Nationals.
1977 - Current Yankees P Buddy Carlyle (2011) was born. On December 23, 2003, Buddy Carlyle was signed as a MLB free agent with the New York Yankees. Buddy spent the 2004 baseball season with the Columbus Clippers (International League). On October 15 2004, the Yankees granted Buddy free agency. On December 2, 2010, Buddy was signed as a MLB free agent with the Yankees. He posted a 0-1 record in 8 games for the 2011 Yankees.
1980 - Former Yankees P Royce Ring (2010) was born. On January 5, 2010, Royce Ring signed as a free agent with the New York Yankees. Royce appeared in 5 games with the 2010 Yankees with no record. On November 5, 2010, the Yankees granted Royce MLB free agency.
1987 - The New York Yankees released veterans OF/1B/DH Mike Easler and OF/DH Ron Kittle. Also they signed veteran starter Tommy John as a MLB free agent.
1995 - After considering an attractive offer from the AL East rival Baltimore Orioles, free agent starter David Cone re-signs with the New York Yankees for a 3-year deal worth $18 million.
1995 - The New York Yankees sold veteran hurler Rick Honeycutt to the St. Louis Cardinals. Rick went 0-0 in 3 games with the Yankees after being purchased from the Oakland A’s on September 25, 1995.
1997 - The New York Yankees signed free agent P Darren Holmes. He would post a 0-3 record in 34 games with 2 saves for the 1998 Yankees. On March 30,1999, he as traded by the Yankees with cash to the Arizona Diamondbacks for P Ben Ford and Izzy Molina.
1998 - The New York Yankees grant OF/DH Daryl Strawberry MLB free agency. Daryl had hit .247 with 24 HRs with 57 RBIs. He will re-sign with the Yankees in April of 1999.
2002 - The New York Yankees grant OF Spence Spencer and P Christian Parker MLB free agency. Christian Parker will resign with the team on December 30th.
2003 - The New York Yankees grant OF Karim Garcia and OF/DH Dave Dellucci, MLB free agency.
2005 - Former Yankees reserve C (1976-1977) and long time Orioles MLB Coach and player Elrod Hendricks passes away (1940-2005). On June 15, 1976, Elrod Hendricks was traded by the Baltimore Orioles along with P Doyle Alexander, OF Jimmy Freeman, P Ken Holtzman and P Grant Jackson to the New York Yankees for C Rick Dempsey, Pitchers Tippy Martinez, Rudy May, Scott McGregor and Dave Pagan. Elrod appeared in 34 games with the Yankees as a reserve catcher, hitting just .234. On October 20,1977, Elrod was granted MLB free agency by the Yankees, he signed with the Orioles.
2005 -The New York Yankees grant reliever Wayne Franklin MLB free agency. In April 4, 2005, Wayne Franklin was signed as a free agent with the Yankees. He posted a 0-1 record in 13 games for the 2005 Yankees.
1938 - Former Yankees OF/1B/DH Matty Alou (1973) was born (1938-2011). On November 24, 1972, Matty Alou was traded by the Oakland A’s to the New York Yankees for a player to be named later and P Rob Gardner. He joined his older brother Felipe Alou. The Yankees would send INF Rich McKinney on December 1,1972 to the A’s to complete the trade. Matty was a major disappointment for the Yankees, hitting .296 but with only 2 HRs and 28 RBIs in 123 games. On September 6,1973, Matty was purchased by the St. Louis Cardinals from the Yankees. His brother Felipe was sold to the Montreal Expos.
1940 - Former Yankees reserve C Elrod Hendricks (1976-1977) was born.
1953 - Former Yankees P Tommy Underwood (1980-1981) was born (1953-2010). On November 1, 1979, Tom Underwood was traded by the Toronto Blue Jays along with C Rick Cerone and OF Ted Wilborn to the Yankees for 1B Chris Chambliss, INF Damaso Garcia, and P Paul Mirabella. Tom would go 13-9 in 1980 for the Yankees, before slipping to a 1-4 record in 1981, before being traded on May 20,1981 by the Yankees along with veteran 1B/DH Jim Spencer to the Oakland A’s for 1B Dave Revering, Mike Patterson, and Chuck Dougherty (minors). His brother Pat also played in MLB with the Detroit Tigers (1979-1983). Tom Underwood passed away on November 22, 2010.
1955 - Former Yankees OF/INF James “Queenie” O’Rourke (1908) passed away (1883-1955). Queenie was son of Hall of Famer Jim O'Rourke. He attended Yale University in 1901 and the College of the Holy Cross in 1904-1905. He came to the majors in 1908 after his father had retired from MLB. He got 108 at-bats with the 1908 New York Highlanders towards the end of the 1908 season, playing mostly outfield and shortstop.
1968 - Former Yankees reserve C Benny Bengough (1923-1930) passed away (1898-1968). Benny Bengough hit .253 in 317 games for the Yankees as a reserve catcher. He finished up his MLB career with the St. Louis Browns in 1931-1932. After his playing days in the majors were over, Benny Bengough played in the minors and also managed in the New York Yankees farm system. He managed the Washington Generals in 1934-1935. Then he moved up to the Joplin Miners in 1936-1937. He was a coach for the Newark Bears (International League) in 1938-1939. Bengough was a MLB coach for the Washington Senators from 1940 to 1943, then the Boston Braves in 1944-1945 and for the Philadelphia Phillies from 1946-1958.
1976 - Former Yankee minor league OF Jason Lane was born. On January 15, 2008, Jason Lane was signed as a free agent with the New York Yankees. He spent most of the 2008 baseball season with the Scranton AAA team until his release by the Yankees on August 18, 2008.
1982 - Versatile OF/DH/1B Lee Mazzilli is traded for the 3rd time this year. The New York Yankees send him to the Pittsburgh Pirates for P Tim Burke and 3 minor league players: Don Aubin, John Holland and Jose Rivera.
1986- The New York Yankees released veteran reliever Mike Armstrong. He will resign with team in January of 1987.
1987 - The New York Yankees send troubled starter Steve Trout and OF Henry Cotto to the Seattle Mariners for pitchers Lee Guetterman, Clay Parker and minor leaguer P Wade Taylor.
1988 - The New York Yankees signed P Richard Noles as an MLB free agent. Noles will not pitch for the Yankees at the MLB level.
1989 - The New York Yankees signed INF Damaso Garcia as a MLB free agent. He will spend the 1990 season with the Columbus Clippers (AAA).
1993 - The New York Yankees signed DH/1B Sam Horn as a MLB free agent. He will spend most of his time playing with the Columbus Clippers (AAA) in 1994.
1999 - The Montreal Expos obtained P Hideki Irabu from the New York Yankees in exchange for P Jake Westbrook and 2 players to be named. Pitcher Christian Parker will be one of those players named. The Expos will later send P Ted Lilly to the Yankees on March 17, 2000 to complete the trade.
2005 - The New York Yankees agreed to terms with veteran AL All Star OF Bernie Williams on a 1-year contract.
2006 - The New York Yankees signed former Cuban national team baseball player 1B Juan Miranda as an MLB amateur free agent. In 3 seasons with the Yankees, Juan appeared in 46 games hitting .253 with 4 HRs with 14 RBI’s. On November 18, 2010, Juan was traded by the Yankees to the Arizona Diamondbacks for minor league player Scott Allen.
2009 - The New York Yankees acquired P Javier Vazquez from the Atlanta Braves in a 5-player deal that sees CF Melky Cabrera and 2 minor leaguers head for Atlanta while P Boone Logan joins Vazquez in the Bronx. Vazquez pitched for the Yankees in 2004. The Montreal Expos received 1B Nick Johnson, P Randy Chaoe and OF Juan Rivera for Vazquez.
1882 - Former Yankees reserve OF George Whiteman (1913) was born (1882-1947). George Whiteman appeared in only 11 games for the 1913 Yankees, hitting .344.
1889 - Former Yankees INF/OF Fritz Maisel (1913-1917) was born (1889-1967). Fritz Maisel appeared in 502 games with the Yankees hitting .243, while stealing 183 bases. On January 22,1918, Fritz was traded by the Yankees along with P Nick Cullop, 2B Joe Gedeon, P Les Nunamaker, P Urban Shocker and $15,000 to the St. Louis Browns for P Eddie Plank and 2B Del Pratt.
1889 - Former Yankees OF Cozy Dolan (1911-1912) was born (1889-1958). Cozy Dolan appeared in 37 games for the Yankees, hitting.256. On May 31,1912, Cozy Dolan was purchased by Rochester (International) League from the New York Highlanders. Also Dolan played for the Reds, Phillies, Pirates, Cardinals and the Giants. Dolan was a New York Giants MLB coach from 1922 to 1924 and appeared in one game for the club in his first season on their staff. He was banned from baseball for an incident that happened late in the 1924 season. On September 27th, Jimmy O'Connell offered Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Heinie Sand $500 to throw a game. When questioned by MLB Commissioner Judge Landis, O'Connell said that he was told by Dolan to make the offer. Dolan's response to each question was "I don't remember." Both men were banned from baseball.
1898 - Former Yankees reserve OF Henry “Hinky” Haines (1923) was born (1898-1979). Henry Haines appeared in 28 games for the 1923 Yankees, hitting only .160. He appeared in two games of the 1923 World Series with no hits.
1924 - Former Yankees minor league OF Bob Marquis was born (1924-2007). Bob Marquis began his professional career in 1947 with the Lufkin Foresters (Lone Star League), hitting .346 with 22 doubles and 16 triples in 140 games. His 145 runs tied Lew Morton for the Lone Star League lead; no player scored more runs in the league's history. He was sent to the Beaumont Exporters (Texas League) in the New York Yankees system in an unknown transaction. He played in 4 games for the Exporters, going 0-for-1 at the plate. In 1948, he played for Beaumont (2 games) and the Quincy Gems (126 games), hitting a combined .333 with 15 HRs, 18 triples and 21 doubles. He led the Three-I League with 108 runs and 164 hits. Marquis split the 1949 season between Beaumont (20 games) and the Binghamton Triplets (Eastern League) playing in 106 games, hitting a combined .236 in 453 at-bats. He hit .293 in 151 games for Beaumont in 1950. In 1951, Bob played for the Kansas City Blues (AAA) in the American Association where he hit .278 in 123 games. He played for the Blues again in 1952, hitting .246 in 97 games. On August 28,1952, he was traded by the New York Yankees to the Cincinnati Reds along with OF Jim Greengrass, Pitchers Ernie Nevel and Johnny Schmitz and $35,000 for veteran hurler Ewell Blackwell. He appeared in 40 games for the 1953 Cincinnati Reds, hitting .273. On July 11, 1953, Bob was purchased by Portland Beavers (Pacific Coast League) from the Cincinnati Reds. He spent 61 games in the minors in 1953 with the Portland Beavers, he hit .271. He hit .282 with 16 triples in 143 games for Beaumont.
1929 - Former Yankees P AL “Bozo” Cicotte (1957) was born (1929-1982). In 1948, the New York Yankees signed Al Cicotte as an MLB amateur free agent. He went 2-2 in 20 games with 2 saves for the Yankees in 1957. On May 14,1958, he was purchased by the Washington Senators from the Yankees. Al was the great-nephew of Hall Of Fame starter Eddie Cicotte.
1958 - Former Yankees P Tim Leary (1990-1992) was born. Tim Leary was a former #1 draft pick by the New York Mets in 1979. On December 12,1989, he was traded by the Cincinnati Reds along with OF Van Snider to the Yankees for OF/1B Hal Morris and P Rodney Imes (minors). Tim went 9-19 in 31 games in 1990, then 4-10 in 28 games in 1991. He went 5-6 in 18 games before being traded by the Yankees on August 22,1992, along with cash to the Seattle Mariners for minor league player Sean Twitty.
1969 - The New York Yankees signed OF/1B Otto Velez as an amateur MLB free agent. Otto will play for the Yankees from 1973-1976, appearing in 65 games hitting .255 with 6 HRs and 28 RBI’s. On November 5,1976, Otto was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays from the Yankees as the 53rd pick in the 1976 American League expansion player draft.
1977 - Former Yankees P Shawn Chacon (2005-2006) was born. On July 28, 2005, Shawn Chacon was traded by the Colorado Rockies to the New York Yankees for Eduardo Sierra (minors) and Ramon Ramirez. Shawn went 12-6 in 31 games for the Yankees. On July 31,2006, Shawn was traded by the Yankees to the Pittsburgh Pirates for INF/OF Craig Wilson.
1981 - The New York Yankees signed free agent OF/1B Dave Collins for a reported $750,000 a year for at least three seasons. Collins, who stole 79 bases for the Cincinnati Reds in 1979, he will end up being a bust in pinstripes. He will be traded after one season to the Toronto Blue Jays.
1987 - The New York Yankees signed closer Dave Righetti as a MLB free agent.
1994 - The New York Yankees grant starter Jim Abbott and INF Randy Velarde MLB free agency. Randy Velarde will sign a 3-year deal with the California Angels.
1996 - The New York Yankees signed MLB free agent P Dave Eiland. He will spend the 1997 season with the Columbus Clippers (AAA).
2004 - Former Yankees reserve C (1980-1981) and MLB Manager Johnny Oates passes away (1946-2004). In 1980-1981, John Oates appeared in 49 games, hitting .189 as a reserve catcher for the Yankees. Oates quickly became a manager in the New York Yankees minor league organization, managing with the Nashville Sounds (AA) and with the Columbus Clippers (AAA) in 1982-1983. He was a MLB coach for the Chicago Cubs from 1984-1987. He then managed the Rochester Red Wings in the Baltimore Orioles organization in 1988, before moving up to become an Orioles MLB coach from 1989-1991. Oates was named manager of the Orioles in May of 1991, and from 1991-2001 managed the Orioles, then the Texas Rangers. Seven of his eleven teams played over .500 baseball, while he managed them.
2005 - Former Boston Red Sox AL All Star CF free agent Johnny Damon signs a 4-year contract with the New York Yankees. Johnny has appeared in 576 games for the Yankees, hitting .285 with 77 HRs and 296 RBI’s. He hit .364 for the Yankees in the 2009 World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies. In the winter of 2009, Johnny will leave the Yankees for MLB free agency, signing with the Detroit Tigers for the 2010 AL season.
1978 - Former Yankees 1B George Mc Quinn (1947-1948) passed away (1910-1978). First baseman George McQuinn began his professional career in the New York Yankees farm system, but Lou Gehrig blocked him at 1B. Before the 1936 MLB season started, George was purchased by the Cincinnati Reds. However, he struggled with the Reds, he was soon returned to the New York Yankees organization. After the 1937 American League season, George was drafted by the St. Louis Browns in the MLB Rule 5 player draft. He spent the next 8 seasons as the team's regular 1st baseman. In 1947, George Mc Quinn hit .304 with 80 RBIs after being signed by New York Yankees; after his released by the Philadelphia A’s. In 1948, he slipped to .248 BA, but still recorded a .421 slugging percentage. He retired from MLB after the 1948 AL season. He would manage in the minors and later became a MLB scout.
1986 - MLB free agent OF Gary Ward signs with the New York Yankees. Gary Ward will hit .255 for the Yankees in 145 games, before being released by the team.
1996 - The New York Yankees signed MLB free agent starter David ”Boomer” Wells. David will go 34-14 in 62 games for the Yankees. On February 18,1999, David was traded by the Yankees along with INF Homer Bush and P Graeme Lloyd to the Toronto Blue Jays for AL All Star starter Roger Clemens.
2002 - In a deal which prompts a Boston Red Sox official to call the New York Yankees an "Evil Empire", Cuban defector Jose Contreras agree to terms on a 4-year contract with Yankees. Contreras, who was considered the top pitcher on Cuba's national team, was declared a MLB free agent after gaining residency in Nicaragua.