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Yankees Daily Facts and Trivia Thread
10 years ago  ::  Mar 30, 2011 - 9:12PM #3141
Posts: 32,868

Classic Yankees: Miller Huggins New York Yankees Miller Huggins

Yankee legends weren’t just players.  Some were coaches, some were managers, some were broadcasters, some were  owners, and some were front office personnel.

For many years, people would visit the  monuments. They still do. For a while in the Old Stadium, they were on  the field, in front of the fence, some 450 feet or so from home plate.  Starting in 1976, they were behind the fence in Monument Park. Many go  to Monument Park today to visit the monuments, plaques and retired  numbers.

The first monument went up in 1932. I’d  ask the question, but being that you are reading this profile, you’ll  probably guess the answer. Whose monument was the first monument put up  by the Yankees?

It’s by the smallest person you could imagine. There are monuments out there for Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle. There is another for 9/11, but the first one ever is the one in the middle.

Miller Huggins may have been small in stature, but at 5’6” (some say 5’4”), he was  more than big enough to stand up to Ruth and other incorrigible Yankees  of his era.

Huggins, known as “Hug” or the “Mighty  Mite”, was a scrappy second baseman who played for the Reds and  Cardinals from 1904 to 1916. He never played in any postseasons. Four  times he led the NL in walks. He finished 6th for the MVP award (then known as the Chalmers Award) in its inaugural season of 1911. He was 16th the following year. Huggins stole 324 bases in his career, and hit .265  with an OPS+ of 107. The little Huggins had 9 HR in his whole career.  He had one season where he hit over .300—.304 in 1912.

Huggins had gone to the University of  Cincinnati, where he got a law degree. One of his professors was future  President William Howard Taft.

Huggins was the player-manager of the  Cardinals from 1913-1916. He managed St. Louis from 1913-1917. He  finished last in 1913, but turned the Cardinals into a contender in a  hurry. He finished 3rd in 1914, but after years of 6th, 7th and 3rd from 1915-1917, he was available.

Looking for a new manager, Jake Ruppert hired Huggins for the 1918 season. Ruppert’s co-owner, Tillinghast  L’Hommedieu Huston, was overseas fighting in WWI and did not approve of  the move. Huston preferred Wilbert Robinson of Brooklyn.

From 1918-1920, Huggins managed the Yankees to 4th, 3rd, and 3rd place finishes. That last 3rd, in 1920, was the first year with Babe Ruth.

Huggins then won three consecutive  pennants from 1921-1923. After the Yanks were swept in the 1922 WS,  Huston wanted Huggins out. Instead, it was Huston who left, as Ruppert  bought him out.

Huggins rewarded Ruppert by winning the 1923 World Championship. In 1924 the Yanks finished 2nd, and they then collapsed in 1925. That year, and also in 1926, Huggins made changes. In 1925, Huggins dumped Wally Pipp, and started a youngster at 1B—Lou Gehrig. That same year, Huggins eased in Earle Combs in CF, and started using Mark Koenig at SS. In 1926, Huggins went with Tony Lazzeri at 2B.

In 1925, Huggins, fed up with Ruth’s  attitude and insubordination, went to Ruppert, and secured a $5000 fine  against Ruth. This was a lot for the time.

Once, Ruth took Huggins by the heels and dangled him from a moving train. Huggins didn’t care for Carl Mays or Joe Bush.  He said, “Any ballplayer that played for me could come to me if he were  in need and I would give him a helping hand. I made only two  exceptions, Carl Mays and Joe Bush. If they were in a gutter, I’d kick  them.”

Huggins won three consecutive pennants  from 1926-1928, winning the WS in 1927 and 1928. In eight years, Huggins  had won six pennants and three WS titles, the last two in back-to-back  sweeps.

In their book Baseball Dynasties,  Rob Neyer and Eddie Epstein have an interesting quote from Huggins from  May, 1929, when the Yanks were lagging behind the eventual World  Champion Philadelphia Athletics. When asked if he thought the Yanks  would snap out of it, Huggins replied:

No, […] I don‘t think the Yanks are  going to catch the Athletics. I don’t think these Yanks are going to win  any more pennants, or at least, not this one. They’re getting older and  they’re becoming glutted with success. They’ve been in three World  Series in a row, remember, and they’ve won the last two Series in four  straight.

They’ve been getting fairly high  salaries and they’ve taken a lot of money out of baseball, a whole lot  of money. They have stock market investments and these investments are  giving them excellent returns at the moment. When they pick up a  newspaper now, they turn to the financial page first and the sports page  later. Those things aren’t good for a club, not a club which is trying  to beat a club like the one Mr. Mack has.

In 1929, the Yanks finished 2nd,  but Huggins would not see the end of the season. Huggins was getting  more and more sickly, tired and thin (he only weighed about 140 when  healthy) as the year went on. Near the end of the season, Huggins  checked himself into the hospital on September 20th with a form of blood  poisoning, which at first seemed like just a boil under his eye, which  was noticeable. It was erysipelas, which evolved into sepsis (Not being a  doctor, I won’t go into the medical details). Five days later, Huggins  was dead at the age of just 51. The league canceled games on September  26th out of respect for Huggins. The viewing of his casket at  Yankee Stadium drew thousands. While Huggins winning pct. was just .455  with the Cardinals, it was .597 with the Yankees. Overall, he went  1413-1134, .555. He won six pennants and three World Series.

A few days later, the stock market  crashed. But even at that, Huggins premonition proved correct, for  between 1929 and 1935, the Yanks only won one pennant.

Ruth, it was said, bawled like a baby upon Huggins’ passing.

In A Yankee Century, Harvey Frommer has a Waite Hoyt comment on Huggins, “[He] was almost like a schoolmaster in the dugout.  There was no goofing off. You watched the game and you kept track not  only of the score and the number of outs, but of the count on the  batter. At any moment Hug may ask you what the situation was.”

In 1964, the Veterans’ Committee elected  Huggins to the Hall of Fame. Huggins’ last year of his life, 1929, was  the first year that the Yankees wore numbers. Huggins never wore a  number.

In 1932, the Yanks dedicated a monument  to Huggins, the first of what would be many. I remember talk once about a  ball DiMaggio caught behind the monuments off of Hank Greenberg. The  way the talk evolved, you would have thought Joe D. caught the ball  behind three monuments, for people remember the three that were out  there for so many years. I e-mailed WFAN in NY, explaining that there  was only one season in which DiMaggio could have caught that ball behind  TWO monuments, and NEVER three of them. DiMaggio came up in 1936. From  1936 to 1941, there was just the one monument—Huggins. In the summer of  1941, after Gehrig passed on, the Gehrig monument joined Huggins. But  Greenberg was not there at the time. Before Gehrig died, Greenberg went  into the service—months BEFORE Pearl Harbor. Therefore, he was not there  in the time of the 1941 season when Gehrig’s monument was there.  Greenberg was discharged in time to play half of the 1945 season, but  DiMaggio was in the service at that time. The only season Greenberg  played in the A.L. when the Yankees had two monuments was the 1946  season. Greenberg played with the Pirates in 1947, then retired. The  third monument, for Ruth, wasn’t placed until 1949.

He may have been small in stature (think  Freddie “the Flea” Patek), but Miller Huggins will forever loom large  in Yankees history.

10 years ago  ::  Mar 31, 2011 - 7:52AM #3142
Posts: 15,765

Happy Birthday to Former Yankees Pitcher Chien-Ming Wang


March 31, 1980- Former Yankees starter Chien-Ming Wang (2005-2009) was born.

In   2000, the New York Yankees signed Pitcher Chien-Ming Wang as an MLB amateur  free agent.  Wang went 55-26 in 109 games for the Yankees. His best  season as a  Yankees starter was in 2006, when he posted a 19-6 record.  He was 1-3 in  the American League postseason playoffs for the Yankees.  After the 2009  World Series, Wang left the New York Yankees signing  with the  Washington Nationals. He is still working on his recovery with  injury  issues.

2008 Bowman Baseball Card

10 years ago  ::  Apr 01, 2011 - 9:33PM #3143
Posts: 32,868

Classic Yankees: Mike MussinaNew York Yankees pitcher Mike Mussina

editor’s note: Mike Mussina got  quite the standing ovation when he went out to the mount to throw out  the first pitch yesterday, so we though our readers might enjoy looking  back at his career with us. So enjoy while Mike takes a look back at the  man ESPN NY recently named the no. 50 greatest Yankee of all-time.

Williamsport, PA is the home of Little League baseball. One member of their international board of directors is Mike  Mussina,  who lives in Montoursville, not far away. Montoursville is a small  town. So small that you could take the population of the town, put all  the people into a sold-out Yankee Stadium, and that population would be  just about 10% of the total attendance. Although Mussina hit the  big-time, he never left Montoursville and still lives there today.   Montoursville became famous worldwide when, on July 17, 1996, TWA Flight  800 exploded off East Moriches, New York, with the loss of 230 lives.  On board were 16 students from Montoursville High School and their five  adult chaperones that were on a class trip to France as part of a  student exchange program. Buster Olney wrote about that tragedy, and how  it affected Mussina, in a 1997 article (open the hyperlink for the article, which I encourage you to read).

Mussina won 20 games for the first and  only time in his major league career in 2008. He then retired, becoming  the first pitcher to retire after a 20-win season since Sandy Koufax did  so in 1966. It also happened to be the final year of the Old Yankee  Stadium. The one thing Mussina wanted as a remembrance was the flagpole.  I haven’t driven past Williamsport or Montoursville in a while (I used  to drive past there as I made my way from the Lehigh Valley of PA to  Penn State University) but wonder if that flagpole has been erected. It  would be great if you could actually see it from I-80.

Mussina will throw out the honorary  first pitch at Yankee Stadium on Opening Day this year. With the  questions surrounding the Yankees’ starting rotation, there are already  jokes about the 42 year old Mussina auditioning for the #5 spot in the  Yankees’ rotation with the pitch.

What Mussina could be doing instead, is an early audition for Cooperstown. It will be a close call.

Mussina won at least 11 games in 17  consecutive seasons, a record. He won 270 games, was a five-time  All-Star, won seven Gold Gloves, and was steady as she comes from 1991  to 2000 with the Orioles, and 2001-2008 with the Yankees. Should the  “Moose” get elected into the Hall of Fame, the choice of his cap could  be a very interesting one.

Mussina was a very intellectual athlete,  graduating from Stanford with an economics degree. He was known to love  doing crossword puzzles in the clubhouse.

His rookie year was 1991 for the  Orioles. He started 12 games, and although his record was just 4-5, his  ERA was a superb 2.87 (ERA+ 139). The next year, in his first full  season, he went 18-5, 2.54, ERA+ 157. His winning pct. led the majors.  He was an all-star, finished 4th for the CYA, and 21st for the MVP. What an introduction to AL batters.

1993 brought a 14-6, 4.46 record, ERA+ 100. Still, he was an all-star.

In 1994, “Moose” went 16-5, 3.06, ERA+  164. If not for the strike, Mussina might not have had to wait until his  final season to become a 20-game winner. His ERA+ was 164. He was once  again an All-Star. Mussina finished 4th in the CYA voting (which he never won) and 20th in MVP voting.

1995 and 19 wins (although a 20-game  winner only once, he won 19 twice and 18 three times). His record was  19-9, 3.29, ERA+ 145. He led the majors in wins. Once again, his bid for  20 wins was thwarted, this time by a 144 game season due to the  remnants of the 1994-1995 strike. It cost him three or four starts.  Mussina led the majors with four shutouts that year, led the league in  walks per 9 inning ratio, and finished 5th in the CYA voting.  It was Mussina who started and won the game in which Cal Ripken Jr.  broke Lou Gehrig’s consecutive games played streak.

Mussina made his first postseason in  1996 after a year in which he once again won 19 games (the Orioles’  bullpen blew what should have been Mussina’s 20th win). The ERA was a bit high, 4.81, ERA+ 103. He led the majors in games started with 36. Despite the ERA, he still finished 5th in CYA voting, and won the first of his seven Gold Glove Awards. In the  postseason, he had a ND (6 IP, 4 R, 3 ER) against the Indians in the  ALDS. He started Game 3 of the ALCS against the Yankees and took a 2-1  lead into the 8th. He got the first two men out. After that,  the Yankees exploded. Jeter doubled. Bernie tied the game with a single.  Tino doubled and Bernie scored on an error by 3B Todd Zeile. Fielder  homered. Mussina was pulled. The 2-1 Orioles’ lead became a 5-2 Yankees  lead. Mussina went 7 2/3 and got the loss, giving up the 5 runs. It was  in the middle of that year when Mussina’s hometown suffered its tragedy.

Mussina went 15-8, 3.20 in 1997 with an ERA+ of 137. All-Star, Gold Glove and 6th in the CYA vote. He had a superb ALDS vs. the Mariners, winning both starts. Both times he outpitched Randy  Johnson.  He got no decisions in his two ALCS starts, despite pitching to an ERA  of 0.60. Mussina couldn’t pitch any better than he did. In Game 3, he  gave up just 1 run on 3 hits in 7 IP. He walked two and struck out 15.  In Game 6, he tossed eight shutout innings, giving up just one hit,  walking two and striking out 10. Despite his efforts, the Orioles lost  the ALCS.

In 1998, Mussina went 13-10, 3.49 (ERA+  130) and won another Gold Glove. In 1999 he went 18-7, 3.50, with an  ERA+ of 134. This brought another Gold Glove, another all-star  selection, and a second-place finish to Pedro  Martinez for the CYA. 2000 brought a losing season of 11-15, 3.79 with an ERA+ of 125. Despite the losing season, Mussina finished 6th for the CYA, and led the AL in IP.

He then became a free agent and the Yankees won the bidding.

Mussina rewarded the Yankees in 2001 by winning another Gold Glove, finishing 5th in the CYA voting and going 17-11, 3.15 (ERA+ 143). Down two games to  none against the A’s in the ALDS, Mussina turned in one of his signature  Yankees’ moments, tossing 7 shutout innings in what would be a 1-0  Yankees win. Mussina gave up just 4 hits. The Yanks got only two hits  themselves, but one was a HR by Jorge  Posada.  This game is remembered for Jeter’s flip to Posada to nail Jeremy  Giambi at the plate. Mussina went on to beat Seattle in the ALCS,  pitching 6 innings and giving up just 2 runs. He finally made it to the  World Series, but was just 0-1, 4.09 in that Series, losing Game 1 and  getting a ND in Game 5. In one game during this season, Mussina was just  one strike away from becoming the fourth Yankee to pitch a perfect game  when he threw a one-hit shutout against Boston in Fenway Park.

Mussina went 18-10, 4.05 in 2002, ERA+ 109. He gave up 4 runs in 4 innings and got a ND as the Yanks lost in the ALDS.

2003, and Mussina was 17-8, 3.40, ERA+  130, another Gold Glove. Despite pitching well (7 IP, 3 R) he lost his  ALDS start. He went on to lose Games 1 and 4 of the ALCS. But with the  Yanks trailing 4-0 in the top of the 4th in game seven, Mussina came out of the bullpen to relieve Roger  Clemens with two on and no one out. The game and the pennant were slipping away  from the Yankees. Mussina got a K and a GIDP to stop the bleeding. He  pitched three scoreless innings of relief, buying the Yankees time to  claw back into the ballgame. This, of course, was the “Aaron  Boone”  game in which the Yankees won the 2003 AL pennant. Although Mussina was  just 0-2, 4.11 in the ALCS, his relief job in this game will be forever  remembered. Mussina won his WS start, giving up just 1 run in 7 innings  in Game 3 of the 2003 WS, but the Yankees lost the Series.

Mussina struggled through 2004, going  12-9, 4.59, ERA+ 98. It was the first time in his career that Moose’s  ERA+ dropped below 100. He was 35, and from this point on wouldn’t be  quite the same pitcher. Despite a good ALDS start (7 IP, 2 R) he took  the loss. He started two games against Boston in the ALCS, going 1-0,  4.26.

Mussina was 13-8, 4.41 in 2005, as once  again he was effective, but age was making him a middle of the rotation  pitcher and not the ace he used to be. Once again the ERA+ was a tick  below 100, this time at 96. He went 1-1, 5.40 in the ALDS, losing the  fifth and deciding game when he was knocked out in the third inning.

Mussina went 15-7, 3.51 in 2006, a bit  of a comeback for the aging veteran. The ERA+ was 129. He lost his ALDS  start, giving up 4 runs in 7 innings.

In 2007, it appeared as if Mussina’s  best days were behind him. Things got so bad that he was pulled from the  rotation for a while, and he didn’t merit a postseason start. He had a  winning record, 11-10, but the ERA was an unsightly 5.15 (ERA+ 88). He  pitched in relief in one ALDS game, getting a no-decision.

Mussina started 21 postseason games and relieved in two more. Despite a fine ERA of 3.42, he was just 7-8.

In 2008, the Yanks missed the postseason  for the only time between 1995 and the present year of 2011. They also  closed the Old Stadium up. Mussina made it known that 2008 would be his  final year and his last pitch came just a few months before he would  turn 40. In the final game he would ever pitch, Mussina pitched six  shutout innings to become a 20-game winner for the only time in his  career. What a way to end it. He went out with a bang, finishing up his  final year with a 20-9 record and a 3.37 ERA (ERA+ 132). He once again  won the Gold Glove, was 6th in the CYA voting and finished 19th for the MVP. Upon winning 20, Mussina became the oldest first-time 20-game winner in MLB history.

For his career, Mussina finished more  than 100 games over .500 at 270-153 with an ERA of 3.68. His ERA+ was  123. He threw 23 shutouts. He stuck out over 2800 batters while walking  less than 1000. Five times he was an All-Star. Nine times he got CYA  consideration, and three times MVP consideration. He won seven Gold  Gloves.

After the 2013 season, Mussina will be up for Hall of Fame voting. He may have to wait a while to get in, if he gets in at all. Greg  Maddux and Tom  Glavine,  both 300 game winners, also saw 2008 as their last year in the majors.  As for the second year Mussina would be on the ballot, well, that year  sees Randy  Johnson eligible for the first time. We won’t even get into  Roger  Clemens, who becomes eligible for the first time the year before  Maddux, Glavine and Mussina (given his problems, it’s highly doubtful  for Clemens). Wikipedia states: Of the 23 eligible pitchers who have at  least 265 wins and an ERA of 3.69 or less, 20 are in the Hall of Fame.  Only five pitchers in the history of major league baseball have as many  victories as Mussina and a better winning percentage: Lefty Grove,  Christy Mathewson, Grover Cleveland Alexander, Roger  Clemens, and Randy   Johnson. Every pitcher who has 100 more wins than losses is in the  HOF. We will see about Mussina and Andy  Pettitte (240-138). It may be tougher for Pettitte, since Pettitte has 30 less  wins than Mussina, and also a higher ERA (3.88, ERA+ 117 to Mussina’s  3.68, ERA+ 123).

Hopefully one day Mussina gets in.

Mussina started his career wearing #42 in 1991. In 1992, he switched to #35, which he wore for the rest of his career.

10 years ago  ::  Apr 01, 2011 - 9:48PM #3144
Posts: 32,868

New York Yankees: The Most Underrated  Player at Each Position in Team History

Ace of the Staff: RHP Mel  Stottlemyre (1964-74)

BRONX, NY - MAY 7:  New York Yankees pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre walks from the bullpen to the dugout before the Yankees game against the Oakland Athletics on May 7, 2005 at Yankee Stadium in Bronx, New York.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra  Shaw/Getty Images

Mel Stottlemyre spent his entire career with the Yankees,  but it was from 1964-1974 during what is, to this day, the second longest  stretch without a Yankees World Series victory, from 1963-1976.

However, during that dark stretch, Stottlemyre was a bright spot, posting a  career 164-139 record with an amazing 2.97 ERA and 1,257 strikeouts.

Stottlemyre was a five-time All-Star, and although he doesn't get enough  credit for his playing years, he also doesn't get enough credit for his tenure  as Yankees pitching coach from 1996-2005, mentoring all of the Yankees'  different rotation combinations that led them to four World Series titles in  1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000.

10 years ago  ::  Apr 01, 2011 - 11:13PM #3145
Posts: 32,868

Second Starter: RHP Mike Mussina (2001-08)

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 18:  Mike Mussina #35 of the New York Yankees waves to the crowd after being taken out of the game in the seventh inning against the Chicago White Sox on September 18, 2008 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Ph
Chris  McGrath/Getty Images

During his career, Mike Mussina earned himself the title of "Mr. Almost." He  almost pitched a perfect game...twice. He almost won a World  Series in 2001. And he almost went down as one of the most beloved  Yankee pitchers of all time.

But when you almost do something special, people usually don't remember the  effort, and that's why Mussina is the perfect choice for a spot in the rotation  of this "underrated team."

With a record of 123-72, a 3.88 ERA and 1,278 strikeouts during his  eight-year tenure with the Yankees from 2001-2008, Mussina will go down as one  of the best Yankee pitchers to never win a World Series.

Third Starter: LHP Jimmy Key (1993-96)

26 Oct 1996:  Pitcher Jimmy Key of the New York Yankees contemplates his walked in run for the Atlanta Braves in the fourth inning of game 6 in the World Series at Yankee Stadium in New York, New York. Mandatory Credit: Doug Pensinger/Allsport
Doug  Pensinger/Getty Images

Jimmy Key had a pretty successful career in pinstripes, considering he was a  consolation prize after the Yankees missed out on signing Greg Maddux in the  1992 offseason.

Maddux had decided that, despite their lesser offer, the Braves provided a  better chance for him to win a World Series. He would regret this decision, as  after his sole title with the Braves in 1995, the Yankees won four titles in  five years from 1996 to 2000.

The ironic part was that it was Jimmy Key who out-dueled Greg Maddux in the  deciding Game 6 of the 1996 World Series to clinch the Yankees' first  championship since 1978.

During his four-year tenure in the Bronx (interrupted by the 1994 players'  strike and an injury-plagued 1995), Key posted a 48-23 record with a 3.68 ERA  and 400 strikeouts. Great numbers for a guy that nobody ever talks about when  referencing the late '90s dynasty.

Fourth Starter: RHP Ralph Terry (1956-64)


Ralph Terry pitched for the Yankees from 1956-57 and again from 1959-64,  contributing to five consecutive American League pennants from 1960-1964, with  back-to-back World Series titles in 1961 and 1962.

During that span, he posted a 78-59 record with a 3.44 ERA and 615 strikeouts  in the regular season and 2-4 with a 2.94 ERA in the World Series.

He served as the second starter in a rotation that boasted the best starting  pitcher in New York Yankees history, Whitey Ford, which led to him getting  pushed into Ford's giant shadow during his career with the Yankees—the reason  that he made this list.

Fifth Starter: RHP Tom Sturdivant (1955-59)

(left to right) Hank Bauer, Tom Sturdivant, and Mickey Mantle

Tom Sturdivant began his career with the Yankees in 1955 and remained in New  York until 1959, when he was traded to the Kansas City Athletics for Hector  Lopez and the man that appeared before him on this list, Ralph Terry.

During his tenure in the Bronx, Sturdivant helped the Yankees to the 1956  World Series title, winning his only start in that Fall Classic.

During the regular season, Sturdivant posted a 36-25 record with a 3.19 ERA  and 333 strikeouts. However, just like the man he was traded for, he was lost in  the great Whitey Ford's shadow, leading to his inclusion on this  list.

Reliever (1 of 3): LHP Mike Stanton (1997-2002)

BRONX - MAY 5:  Pitcher Mike Stanton #29 of the New York Yankees throws a pitch during the MLB game against the Seattle Mariners at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York on May 5, 2002. The Mariners defeated the Yankees 10-6. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Ima
Ezra  Shaw/Getty Images

Mike Stanton joined the Yankees in 1997, when they were fresh off a World  Series title in 1996. He quickly became the primary setup man for the Yankees'  new closer, a man named Mariano Rivera.

Stanton pitched beautifully for the Yankees from 1997-2002, posting a 31-14  record with a 3.77 ERA and 407 strikeouts over 448.1 innings of work.

He became a mainstay in a bullpen that won three consecutive World Series  championships from 1998-2000, but since he was the setup man for Rivera, who  would eventually establish himself as the greatest closer of all time, he tends  to be overlooked.

Reliever (2 of 3): RHP Jeff Nelson (1996-2000, 2003)

18 Oct 1998:  Pitcher Jeff Nelson #43 of the New York Yankees in action during the 1998 World Series Game 2 against the San Diego Padres at the Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York. The Yankees defeated the Padres 9-3. Mandatory Credit: Al Bello  /Allspo
Al  Bello/Getty Images

Jeff Nelson, like Mike Stanton, served as part of the bridge to the young  Mariano Rivera. Nelson pitched for the Yankees during their late '90s dynasty  from 1996-2000, helping them to four World Series titles, and then returned to  New York after a two-year hiatus to try to help them win another title in 2003  (ultimately losing to the Florida Marlins).

During his years in pinstripes, Nelson went 23-19 with a 3.47 ERA and 334  strikeouts in 311 innings of work. In postseason play, Nelson compiled a 2-3  mark with a 2.65 ERA and 62 strikeouts, but just like Stanton, he mostly stayed  in the shadow of Rivera, leading to his inclusion on this list.

Reliever (3 of 3): RHP Ron Davis (1978-81)

CLEVELAND - JUNE 15:  Ike Davis #29 of the New York Mets watches his ball after hitting a two run home run against the Cleveland Indians during the game on June 15, 2010 at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared  Wickerham/Getty Images

Yeah, I know—this is Ike Davis, not Ron Davis. But since I  couldn't find a good picture of Ron Davis, I figured I would just go with a  picture of his son.

Anyway, Ike's dad Ron was a relief pitcher for the Yankees from 1978-1981 and  did a pretty decent job for them during those years. He posted a 27-10 record  with a 2.93 ERA and 191 strikeouts in 291.2 innings of work. He helped anchor  the Yankees bullpen during the 1979-1981 seasons, not playing a major part in  the Yankees' 1978 championship season.

During his tenure with the Yankees, Davis served as the setup man to Hall of  Fame closer Goose Gossage, becoming one of the first full-time setup men in  major league history. Together, Davis and Gossage made an excellent late-inning  tandem, similar to what the 2011 Yankees hope Rafael Soriano and Mariano Rivera  can become.

Setting up for a legend like Goose surely hurt his reputation and led to  Davis being underrated enough to make this list.

Catcher: Jorge Posada (1995-Present)

ST. PETERSBURG - SEPTEMBER 14:  Catcher Jorge Posada #20 of the New York Yankees rounds the bases after his pinch hit tenth-inning game-winning home run against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on September 14, 2010 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Phot
J.  Meric/Getty Images

Jorge Posada is the one familiar face on this list, as the 39-year-old  catcher is the only player on here who will still be wearing the pinstripes in  2011 (excluding Old-Timers' Day).

However, 2011 will mark the end of an era, as even though Posada's presence  will still be felt in the Yankees' lineup, it will not be felt behind the plate,  with Jorge converting to a full-time role as the designated hitter in 2011.

Posada made his debut with the Yankees in 1995, and despite becoming one of  the best offensive catchers of all time during his career in New York, he is  greatly underrated due to the constantly superstar-laden lineup of the  Yankees.

So far, over 16 seasons in the Bronx, Posada has hit .275 with 261 homers and  1,021 RBI, but with a DH role in his immediate future, I fully expect all of  those numbers to increase, even his average, despite a rather subpar 2010  season. Jorge doesn't receive nearly enough credit for what may wind up being a  Hall of Fame career some day.

First Baseman: Moose Skowron (1954-62)

NEW YORK - JULY 19:  Former New York Yankee Bill 'Moose' Skowron looks on during the teams 63rd Old Timers Day before the game against the Detroit Tigers on July 19, 2009 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Gett
Jim  McIsaac/Getty Images

Moose Skowron played for the Yankees from 1954-1962, and during that time he  put up some impressive numbers.

As a Yankee, Skowron hit .294 with 165 homers and 672 RBI over nine seasons.  He was a five-time All-Star from 1957-1962 (seven time counting 1959 and 1960,  when he made two All-Star teams) and helped lead the Yankees to World Series  titles in 1956, 1958, 1961 and 1962.

He was greatly overshadowed by the presence of such players as Mickey Mantle,  Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford and Bobby Richardson during his Yankee career, making  him the perfect first baseman for this "underrated team."

Second Baseman: Gil McDougald (1951-60)


Gil McDougald broke onto the scene in 1951, batting .306 with 14 home runs  and 63 RBI, earning him American League Rookie of the Year honors for the 1951  season.

During his career, he helped lead the Yankees to five World Series titles,  winning in 1951, 1952, 1953, 1956 and 1958. During the regular season, McDougald  batted .276 with 112 home runs and 576 RBI from 1951-1960.

As with a few of the other players on this list, McDougald played during one  of the greatest Yankee eras in the 1950s and was greatly underrated with the  presences of some all-time Yankee greats in the person of future Hall of Famers  Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford and Yogi Berra.

Third Baseman: Clete Boyer (1959-66)


Clete Boyer wore the pinstripes from 1959-1966, and despite not possessing  the lethal bat that is now taken for granted by the Yankees in the person of  Alex Rodriguez, he was a defensive commodity for the Bombers during that  span.

Over his entire career, Boyer recorded a .965 fielding percentage at third  base, and in case you need a reference as to how good that is, the all-time  leader among third basemen is the recently retired Mike Lowell, who had a career  .974 fielding percentage.

His hitting statistics weren't spectacular at .241/95/393, but whatever he  did for the Yankees at the plate, his defensive abilities were where his true  value was. Unfortunately, in baseball, if you aren't a good hitter, it doesn't  matter what you do on the field, which is why Clete Boyer is the Yankees' most  underrated third baseman of all time.

Shortstop: Tony Kubek (1957-65)


Much like Boyer, who was a teammate of his for most of his career, Tony Kubek  was primarily a defensive shortstop, although his hitting skills were marginally  better than Boyer's.

Kubek won the 1957 American League Rookie of the Year for the Yankees after  batting .297, but his real value turned out to be his ability in the field. Over  his nine-year career as a shortstop, Kubek posted a .967 fielding percentage,  which was pretty much what was expected from a shortstop back then, as the  position was not nearly as potent hitting-wise as it is today.

Still, Kubek batted .266 with 57 home runs and 373 RBI, establishing himself  as a decent-hitting shortstop. He helped the Yankees to World Series titles in  1958, 1961 and 1962, again being overshadowed by the same all-time Yankee greats  as Boyer, McDougald and Skowron.

Left Fielder: Roy White (1965-79)

TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 25:  First Base Coach Roy White of the New York Yankees poses for a portrait during Yankees Photo Day at Legends Field on February 25, 2005 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra  Shaw/Getty Images

Roy White was the Yankees' left fielder from 1965-1979, and for the greater  portion of his career, his contributions were not as appreciated as they should  have been. This was mostly due to the fact that, for the majority of his career,  the Yankees were none too successful in adding to their trophy case.

It took White until the last three years of his career to reach the summit of  the baseball world, as he eventually helped the Yankees end their drought and  win back-to-back World Series titles in 1977 and 1978.

During his career, White batted .271 with 160 homers and 758 RBI in the  regular season and hit .278 with a .387 OBP in the playoffs. However, even in  those two championship seasons, White didn't receive any of the glory, as the  Yankees' superstar right fielder, Reggie Jackson, stole the show and earned  himself the nickname of "Mr. October."

Center Fielder: Mickey Rivers (1976-79)

NEW YORK - JULY 17: Mickey Rivers is introduced during the New York Yankees 64th Old-Timer's Day before the MLB game against the Tampa Bay Rays on July 17, 2010 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim  McIsaac/Getty Images

Roy White wasn't the only Yankee outfielder who had his thunder stolen by  Reggie Jackson during the 1977 and 1978 title runs.

Mickey Rivers was the center fielder for the Yankees from 1976-1979, and  during that span he hit .299 with 34 home runs and 209 RBI, while also providing  a viable threat on the basepaths, stealing 93 bases.

Rivers also played well when it counted, batting .308 in six postseason  series for the Yankees, but alas, it was not enough to compete with "Mr.  October."

Right Fielder: Hank Bauer (1948-59)

NEW YORK - JULY 9:  Hank Bauer waves to the fans during the New York Yankees 59th annual old-timers' day before the start of the Yankees game against the Cleveland Indians on July 9, 2005 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Indian
Jim  McIsaac/Getty Images

Hank Bauer was the Yankees' right fielder from 1948-1959, but what he is  better known as is the man who came before one of the best Yankee outfielders in  franchise history, the great Roger Maris.

However, Maris wasn't the one who helped the Yankees win seven different  World Series titles in 10 years, including the major league-record five  consecutive championships from 1949-1953.

Over his 12-year career in pinstripes, Bauer batted .277 with 158 homers and  654 RBI in the regular season. However, when the man who replaces you breaks the  single-season home run record two seasons after your departure, you are  unfortunately easily forgotten.

10 years ago  ::  Apr 03, 2011 - 2:36PM #3146
Posts: 15,765

Remembering Yankees 1919 spring training camp with Ping Bodie


April 3, 1919- One  of the most bizarre off-the-field spring training incidents in New York  Yankees history takes place in Jacksonville, Florida. New York Yankees  OF Ping Bodie competes against an ostrich named "Percy" in a  spaghetti-eating contest! Bodie wins the eating spaghetti-eating competition, when Percy  passes out after his 11th plate of pasta.

Yankees OF Ping Bodie  (1918-1921)

10 years ago  ::  Apr 03, 2011 - 2:46PM #3147
Posts: 15,765

Apr 1, 2011 -- 9:48PM, MajorYankFan wrote:

New York Yankees: The Most Underrated  Player at Each Position in Team History

Ace of the Staff: RHP Mel  Stottlemyre (1964-74)

BRONX, NY - MAY 7:  New York Yankees pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre walks from the bullpen to the dugout before the Yankees game against the Oakland Athletics on May 7, 2005 at Yankee Stadium in Bronx, New York.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra  Shaw/Getty Images

Mel Stottlemyre spent his entire career with the Yankees,  but it was from 1964-1974 during what is, to this day, the second longest  stretch without a Yankees World Series victory, from 1963-1976.

However, during that dark stretch, Stottlemyre was a bright spot, posting a  career 164-139 record with an amazing 2.97 ERA and 1,257 strikeouts.

Stottlemyre was a five-time All-Star, and although he doesn't get enough  credit for his playing years, he also doesn't get enough credit for his tenure  as Yankees pitching coach from 1996-2005, mentoring all of the Yankees'  different rotation combinations that led them to four World Series titles in  1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000.


Where is former Yankees starter Fritz Peterson with 109 Yankee career wins? 


New York Yankees Pitcher Fritz Peterson

10 years ago  ::  Apr 03, 2011 - 3:13PM #3148
Posts: 15,765

Remembering  Former Yankees Pitcher Carl "Sub" Mays

Yankees Pitcher Carl "Sub" Mays


April 4, 1971- Former Yankees P Carl  “Sub” Mays (1919-1923) passed away at the age of 79. (1891-1971)

As  a New York Yankee starter, Carl Mays went 26-11 in 1920 and 27-9 in 1921. He was  Yankees starter, who went 79-39 for the team from 1919-1923. After being  sold to the Cincinnati Reds for $85,000 in 1924, he went on to post a 20-9 mark  for the Reds.  He never got along with New York  Yankees Manager Miller Huggins, which included a  fistfight on the sidewalks of New York City. His trade was considered  to be one of the worst in early New York Yankees team history. After he joined  the Cincinnati Reds, Carl posted a 56-36 record. Carl Mays was the  Yankee pitcher, who hit Cleveland Indians batter 2B Ray Chapman with a  pitch, which later resulted in his death during the 1920 American League season game at the Polo Grounds.

10 years ago  ::  Apr 05, 2011 - 9:29AM #3149
Posts: 15,765

1925 New York Yankees Spring Training: Babe Ruth's "Bellyache"

April 1925 Babe Ruth resting in hospital




April 5, 1925- In a  spring training game, the New York Yankees whip the Brooklyn Dodgers  by a score of 16-9, but the sport headlines are about New York Yankees slugger Babe Ruth. The  Bambino collapses in the railroad station in Asheville, NC, and  he winds up  in a New York City hospital. Ruth will undergo an operation for an  ulcer on April 17th, he will be in bed until May 26th. The press calls  the incident “Babe Ruth’s Bellyache.” The Yankees would fall to 7th  place in the American League with a 69-85 record for the 1925 American League.

10 years ago  ::  Apr 05, 2011 - 11:22PM #3150
Posts: 15,765

New York Yankees Ron Blomberg becomes the 1st DH in MLB History


April 6, 1973- At  Fenway Park in Boston, Ron Blomberg of the New York  Yankees becomes the  1st designated hitter in MLB history. In his 1st plate appearance,  Blomberg walks with the bases loaded off of Boston Red Sox starter Luis  Tiant. He will end up with 1 hit in 3 at-bats as the Yankees lose to  the Red Sox by the score of  15-5. Joking with the media, Ron calls  himself, “the Designated Hebrew.”


Yankees DH Ron Blomberg

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