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Yankees Daily Facts and Trivia Thread
10 years ago  ::  Mar 19, 2011 - 7:47PM #3121
Posts: 32,868

MLB Power Rankings: New York Yankees' 25  Greatest Pitchers in Team History
10 years ago  ::  Mar 20, 2011 - 4:07PM #3122
Posts: 15,765

The New York Yankees declared Yankee Stadium a No New York City new NL expansion team zone


March 20, 1961-  New  York Yankees announced that the team will opposed any plans that  would  enabled the new National League expansion franchise to use  Yankee  Stadium for the 1962 MLB season. This decision leaves the only  the old  Polo Grounds as the only viable option for the new National  League team,  the New York Mets to play in.

color print of original Yankee Stadium 1961

10 years ago  ::  Mar 20, 2011 - 4:24PM #3123
Posts: 32,868

Classic Yankees: Bob Meusel bob-meusel


It’s hard for a New York Yankee to be  underappreciated, underrated or undervalued. Especially now since the  Yankees brand is probably the most famous brand in the world. It’s even  harder when you were part of what many consider the finest baseball team  ever assembled.

But as the years go by, it seems like that is what “Long” Bob Meusel is. An underappreciated star of the 1920’s Yankees. It seems that many forget just how good Meusel was.

When we think of the 1927 Yankees, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig immediately come to mind. But that team had other stars, one of which (Earle Combs) I profiled earlier. Others, like Combs, Meusel, Waite Hoyt, and Tony Lazzeri seem to be overlooked given the brilliance of Ruth and Gehrig, despite  the fact that Combs, Hoyt and Lazzeri are all in the Hall of Fame.

For instance, from 1918 through 1931,  Ruth led or tied for the AL HR lead in every season except two. Those  two years were 1922 and 1925. In fact, of all the years Ruth led the AL  in homers during that period, he led the majors as well, except for  1930, when Hack Wilson hit 56 in the NL to Ruth’s 49 in the AL.

In 1922, Ken Williams led the AL in HR with 39. Ruth had 35. Ruth probably would have won in  1922 had he not been suspended for the first six weeks of the year due  to his appearing in a barnstorming tour (along with Meusel) after the  1921 World Series.

As for that 1925 season, well, that was known as the year of the “Babe’s Big Bellyache.”

Guess who was the HR champ that year? Bob Meusel.

Meusel, born in 1896, joined the Navy  during WWI. He made his MLB debut for the Yankees in 1920. By that time,  his brother, Emil “Irish” Meusel, was a major league player. The  Meusels would go up against each other in three consecutive World Series  from 1921-1923, when Emil played for the NY Giants.

Meusel was known to have a gun for an  arm. In fact, in 1921 he had 28 assists, and he followed it with 24 in  1922. In his rookie year, Meusel hit .328-11-83 (eleven HR was a lot for  anyone not named Ruth back then), OPS+ 126. Primarily a corner  outfielder, Meusel did play some first and third base in his career.

Now for some quotes on Meusel’s arm, from various sources:

“He had lightnin’ on the ball”—Casey Stengel

“I never saw a better thrower”—Babe Ruth

“Meusel’s arm was the best I ever  saw. And I’m talking about strong arms, not merely accurate ones. Meusel  threw strikes to any base from the outfield.”
Bob Quinn, former Red Sox and Braves President

Meusel hit .318-24-135 in 1921,  providing lineup protection to the Great Bambino as the Yanks won their  first pennant. Meusel also stole 17 bases and had an OPS+ of 128. He was  6 for 30 in the Series with 3 RBI. He even stole home in Game 3 of the  Series. In one game that season, he had four assists.

In 1922, Meusel and Ruth were suspended  for the first six weeks of the season for breaking a baseball rule  forbidding barnstorming after the season by World Series participants.  The loss of both Meusel and Ruth hurt the Yanks, and it contributed to  them barely winning the AL pennant by the slimmest of margins—just one  game. Meusel was 6 for 20 in the WS, with 2 RBI, but the Yanks were  swept by the Giants as Ruth only hit .118. Despite missing those six  weeks, Meusel finished 15th in MVP voting with a season of .319-16-84 and 13 SB, OPS+ 130.

1923 brought a new Stadium and the  Yankees’ first World Championship. Meusel hit .313-9-91, with 13 SB and  an OPS+ of 116. He was 7 for 26 in the Series with 8 RBI.

1924 and .325-12-120 with a career high 26 SB. OPS+ 120 but the Yanks finished 2nd. Before that season, a tragedy occurred. From Wikipedia: Before the 1924 season started, Meusel’s close friend Tony Boeckel,  shortstop for the Boston Braves, was killed when the car in which he  was riding flipped over in San Diego. Meusel was a passenger in the  vehicle but escaped unhurt.

Also during that 1924 season (Wikipedia, again): In  a game against the Tigers on June 13, Meusel was involved in one of the  most notorious brawls in baseball history. With the Yankees leading  10–6 in the top of the ninth inning, Ty Cobb, the star and manager of the Tigers, gave pitcher Bert Cole the signal to hit Meusel with a pitch. Ruth saw the signal and warned  Meusel, who was hit in the back and rushed to fight Cole. Both teams  rushed onto the field to brawl, and Cobb and Ruth started fighting as  well. Over a thousand fans also rushed onto the field, and a riot  erupted. The police managed to control the brawl and arrested several  fans. The umpire of the game, Billy Evans, pushed Meusel and Ruth out of Navin Field to safety. American League President Ban Johnson punished Meusel and Cole by fining them and issuing a ten-day suspension.

Meusel was one of the few bright spots in that 1925 “Babe’s Bellyache” season in which the Yankees plunged to 7th (in an 8-team league). He led the league in HR and RBI, hitting .290-33-138, 13 SB, and an OPS+ of 125. He finished 18th in the MVP vote.

Now for a bit of historical perspective.  As you may recall, it was 301 down the LF line at the old Stadium, 402  to LF, 457 to LCF, 461 to CF and 407 to RCF. In Meusel’s day, LCF to RCF  were even deeper.

In the old Stadium, 1923-1973, only three right-handed batters had seasons of 30 or more HR in a season. Bob Meusel, Joe DiMaggio, and Joe Gordon. The Stadium was murder on righty hitters.

Even now, it’s difficult. When the  Stadium reopened in 1976, it was still 387 to LF and 430 to LCF, 417 to  CF. From 1985-1987, LCF was narrowed down to 411, then in 1988 to 399,  which is what the new Stadium has. CF was cut down from 417 to 408. It’s  still deep out there. Dave Winfield and
  are two righty hitters who were able to top 30  with the shortened configuration. But the old Stadium saw only Meusel,  DiMag, and Gordon do it.

1926 saw another typical Meusel year but with a strange ending. Meusel hit .315 with 12 HR, 81 RBI and 16 SB. OPS+ 120, 21st in MVP voting despite missing some 40-45 games. But in the WS, in Game  7, Meusel made a key error and failed twice with men on. Still, in the 9th,  he could have won the Series for the Yanks. With two out, Ruth walked.  Meusel came up (not Gehrig, as the myth persists; Meusel hit cleanup in  this game. Gehrig became the cleanup hitter in 1927). Ruth however, with  Meusel in the batter’s box and Gehrig on deck, inexplicably tried to  steal second. He was gunned down, ending the series—one in which Meusel  went 5 for 21.

For that great 1927 team, Meusel hit  .337 with 8 HR, 103 RBI and 24 SB. OPS+135. He was just 2 for 17 in the  WS. In one game that year, he stole second, third and home in the same  game.

1928 was Meusel’s last great year. He  turned just 32 in midseason, but faded fast after 1928. His 1928 season  saw him hit .297 with 11 HR and 113 RBI. It was the fifth time he topped  100 RBI. His OPS+ was 114. In the WS, Meusel was 3 for 15 with his only  WS HR, and 3 RBI. In 34 WS games, Meusel hit just .225 with 1 HR and 17  RBI. He was on six pennant winners, and three World Series Champions.  That year saw Meusel set a record that he still shares; he hit for the  cycle three times in his career.

1929 saw Meusel collapse along with the  Stock Market. The career .309 hitter slumped to .261, with just 10 HR  and 57 RBI. OPS+ a poor 79. He was sold to the Cincinnati Reds, for whom  he played just one year, 1930. After hitting .289-10-62, OPS+ 93, his  major league days were over.

Meusel ended his career with a .309  batting average, 156 HR and an OPS+ of 118. His 162 g. average would  translate to .309-18-123 with 16 SB.

Meusel’s HOF chances were hurt by  several different things. For one, his career only lasted eleven  seasons. For another, the perception of him. He wasn’t the most popular  of players among his teammates, opponents, fans or the media. Meusel has  been described as a heavy drinker and womanizer who did not get along  with his teammates. His manager Miller Huggins called him “indifferent”.  He was quiet and reserved, rarely giving newspaper interviews until his  career was winding down. He was also known for his lazy attitude, such  as refusing to run out ground balls, which many said kept him from  achieving greatness. Another description of Meusel said that “he played  the game with such ease that some thought he didn’t give 100% all of the  time.” Obviously I never saw him play. The numbers show a very good  ballplayer whose career needed to be a bit longer for true greatness.  The era shows someone overshadowed by Ruth and later by Gehrig as well.  But there is no doubt that the brevity of his career, as well as the  perception of Meusel, helped keep him from the Hall.

Meusel worked as a security guard at a  U.S. Naval base after retirement. If you catch the movies “The Pride of  the Yankees” (a good movie, despite some flaws) or “The Babe Ruth Story”  (downright awful), you will see Meusel playing himself. You also will  see Meusel in old film footage of Gehrig’s July 4, 1939 speech.

The Yanks were the first team in the  majors to put uniform numbers on the backs of their uniforms. They  started it in 1929, Meusel’s last year with the team. Numbers were given  out according to one’s position in the batting order, then the pitchers  and bench players came later. Meusel batted fifth, hence he got #5. #5,  of course, is retired in honor of Joe Dimaggio.

Meusel’s brother Emil died in 1963 at the age of 69. As for “Long Bob,” he passed on in 1977 at the age of 81.

10 years ago  ::  Mar 20, 2011 - 4:35PM #3124
Posts: 15,765

Mar 19, 2011 -- 7:47PM, MajorYankFan wrote:

MLB Power Rankings: New York Yankees' 25  Greatest Pitchers in Team History

I think Whitey Ford should be No. 1 and Mo Rivera  should be No. 2. Whitey Ford was the New York Yankees starting Ace from 1955-1965. Drop Al Downing  from the list replace him with Herb Pennock (1923-1933) with 162 wins. CC is stiil too new be on the top 25 pitchers  list replace him with Waite Hoyt (1921-1930) who had 157 wins.



10 years ago  ::  Mar 21, 2011 - 8:38AM #3125
Posts: 15,765

New York Yankees Britt Burns trade ends in diaster


March 21, 1986- The  New York Yankees announced that their most celebrated off-season  acquisition, 26-year-old P Britt Burns, will not pitch at all this 1986  American League season because of a chronic deteriorating hip condition.  He never again pitches in the MLB. On December 12, 1985, Britt Burns  was traded by the Chicago White Sox along with minor league pitchers  Glen Braxton and Mike Soper to the Yankees for C Ron Hassey and P Joe  Cowley. The Yankees front office had advised Yankees Owner George  Steinnbrenner not to make the deal because of Burns major health  concerns, but he ignored their advice.


1985 Baseball Card

10 years ago  ::  Mar 21, 2011 - 8:57AM #3126
Posts: 15,765

The New York Yankees trade Danny Cater to Boston Red Sox for P Sparky Lyle


March 22, 1972-  In  one of the best trades in the New York Yankees franchise history,  the  Bronx Bombers acquired reliever Sparky Lyle from the Boston Red Sox  in  exchange for 1B/OF Danny Cater and  minor league INF Mario  Guerrero. In  seven seasons with the Yankees, Lyle will post a 57-40  record with 141  saves and a 2.41 ERA, winning a 1977 American League Cy  Young Award,  helping the team to win two World Series Championships.

Much  as  later Yankees closer Mariano Rivera has entered games to the tune  of  "Enter Sandman," Lyle has also been associated with a trademark song  to  herald his entry into games, "Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 in  D"  played by Yankee Stadium organist Toby Wrigh  He was most famous  for  co-authoring with Peter Golenbock "The Bronx Zoo", a 1979 tell-all  book  which chronicled the dissension within the New York Yankees in its  World Series  Championship seasons of 1977 and 1978.
But  despite the fact Lyle  had won the 1977 American League Cy Young Award,  the Yankees signed  Goose Gossage as a  MLB free agent during the 1977  off-season. Gossage  followed with an outstanding 1978 season which made  Lyle expendable. On  November 10, 1978, Sparky Lyle was part of a major  trade that sent him,  along with 4 other players and cash, to the Texas  Rangers in exchange  for  OF Juan Beníquez and 4 other players,  including a young minor  league Pitcher Dave Righetti. During the 1978  AL season, Yankees  teammate Graig Nettles famously quipped that Lyle  went "from Cy Young to  sayonara.”

Sparky  Lyle played for the  Texas Rangers,  Philadelphia Phillies and  the Chicago White Sox before  retiring from  MLB in the  Fall of 1982. In 1998, he became the manager  of the Somerset  Patriots, a minor league team based in Bridgewater, New  Jersey. He  managed the team to Atlantic League pennants in 2001, 2003,  2005, 2008  and 2009, and has been the only manager the team has had  since its  inception.


1973 Topps Baseball Card

10 years ago  ::  Mar 22, 2011 - 7:44PM #3127
Posts: 15,765


Joltin' Joe DiMaggio's  1941 Spring Training Camp  Game debut


March 23, 1941- New  York Yankees All Star CF Joe DiMaggio, a 1941 MLB contract hold out and  late arrival in spring training camp, plays his first exhibition game for  the team. In 1941, Joe would hit .341 in 139 games with 30 HRs and 125  RBI’s. He would hit in 56 straight games, establishing a new MLB hitting  record. Joe would win the 1941 American League Most Valuable Player  Award beating out his Boston Red Sox rival Ted Williams.


Joe DiMaggio Biography

10 years ago  ::  Mar 22, 2011 - 10:01PM #3128
Posts: 32,868

An interview with Jim Bouton

Lenny Neslin of Lenny’s Yankees recently spoke with Jim  Bouton, former Yankee and author of one of the more controversial baseball books ever published, “Ball Four.”

Be sure to give the interview a listen when you have a chance.

10 years ago  ::  Mar 22, 2011 - 10:03PM #3129
Posts: 32,868

Question: Derek Jeter has played short stop for the  Yankees every season since 1996. During that stretch he’s been an All  Star 11 times. Who was the last short stop to represent the Yankees in  the All Star game before the Captain?

















Answer: Bucky Dent (1981)

10 years ago  ::  Mar 25, 2011 - 12:02AM #3130
Posts: 15,765

Remembering Former Yankee 1B Richard Kryhoski

March 24, 1925- Former Yankees 1B Richard Kryhoski (1949) was born.

In   1946, the New York Yankees signed Richard Kryhoski as a MLB amateur   free agent. Kryhoski attended at Upsala College in East Orange, New   Jersey. He had a promising baseball career before injuries, deep  slumps,  and frequent trades forced his premature retirement. He served  in the military during World War II. In 1946, Kryhoski hit .396 with 19  HRs  with 85 RBI’s with the Wellsville Yankees of the PONY League that   season. As a member of the 1948 Kansas City Blues (American   Association,) he hit .294 (160-for-545) with 30 doubles, 7 triples, 13   HRs with 87 RBI’s. In 1949, he hit .328 with 5 HRs and 50 RBI’s with  the Oakland Oaks (Pacific Coast League), joining the New York Yankees  late  in the season. He batted .294 in 54 games during the 1949 AL  season for  the Yankees. On December 17,1949, he was traded by the  Yankees to the  Detroit Tigers for 1B Richard Wakefield (1950).

On  December 1,  1954, the Baltimore Orioles sent P Mike Blyzka, OF Jim  Fridley, C  Darrell Johnson and 1B Richard Kryhoski to the New York  Yankees to  complete an earlier deal made on November 17, 1954. On  November 17,  1954, the Baltimore Orioles sent players to be named  later, INF Billy  Hunter,  Pitchers Don Larsen and Bob Turley to the New  York Yankees for  players to be named later, P Harry Byrd, P Jim  McDonald, INF Willy  Miranda, C Hal Smith, C Gus Triandos and OF Gene  Woodling. On March 30,  1955, he was purchased by the Kansas City A’s  from the New York Yankees.  In a seven-season MLB career, Kryhoski was a  .265 hitter (475-for-1794), 45  HR’s with 231 RBI’s in 569 games,  including 203 runs, 85 doubles, 14  triples, 5 stolen bases, and a .314  on-base percentage.

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