This week in Yankees History December 25th- December 31st
December 25th- Merry Christmas to all!!!
1881- Former Yankees reserve C Joseph McCarthy (1905) was born. In September of 1905, catcher Joe McCarthy was purchased by the New York Highlanders from Poughkeepsie (Hudson River League). Joe appeared in only one game with the team with no hits.
1899- Former Yankees reserve INF Gene Robertson (1928-1929) was born. (1899-1981) Gene Robertson hit .295 in 173 games for the New York Yankees. In the 1928 World Series, Gene hit .125 with 2 RBI’s. On September 17,1929, Gene was purchased by the Boston Braves from the Yankees.
1908- Former Yankees AL All Star OF (1930-1936) and MLB Manager (Phillies 1945-1948) Ben Chapman was born. (1908-1993) Ben Chapman was a .305 Lifetime hitter for the New York Yankees. He was a member of the AL All Star teams from 1933-1935. On June 14,1936, Ben was traded by the Yankees to the Washington Senators for OF Jake Powell. Ben was the Philadelphia Phillies Manager, who gave Brooklyn Dodgers Jackie Robinson problems in 1947, Ben was a racist, it was one of the reasons that the New York Yankees traded him to the Senators during the 1936 American League season.
1928- Former Yankees minor league P Mike Blyzka was born. (1928-2004) The right-hander was part of the 18-player trade between the Baltimore Orioles and the New York Yankees after the 1954 AL season that saw Bob Turley and Don Larsen go to the Bronx Bombers. Mike was to make the trip also but the Yankees dropped him off with the Denver Bears (AAA) in the American Association. Blyzka never quite made it to Yankee Stadium, pitching for the AAA Denver Bears again in 1956. He finished out his professional baseball career with the Minneapolis Millers (AAA) and the Springfield Giants in the New York Giants organization in 1957. In 1953-1954, he pitched with the St. Louis Browns and Baltimore Orioles; Mike posted a 3-11 record in 70 games.
1953- Former Yankees minor league P Richard Anderson was born. (1953-1989) Rick Anderson was the 1979 International League Pitcher of the Year. With the Yankees' Columbus Clippers farm club that season, he was 13-3 with a 1.63 ERA and 21 saves. He was unable to break into the Yankees bullpen with Rich Gossage and others around. After being traded to the Seattle Mariners, he was 6-0 with the Spokane Indians (PCL) in 1980. However, he developed arm problems, he was released by the club in 1982. Anderson weighed over 400 pounds at the time of his death. He was found dead in his trailer with an autograph request in his hand.
1958- Former Yankees HOF All Star LF Rickey Henderson (1985-1988) was born. On December 5,1984, Rickey Henderson was traded by the Oakland A’s along with Bert Bradley and cash to the New York Yankees for OF Stan Javier, Pitchers Jay Howell, Jose Rijo, Eric Plunk, and Tim Birtsas. As a Yankee, Rickey appeared on the 1985-1988 AL All Star teams. His best Yankees season was in 1985, when he hit .314 with 24 HRs and 72 RBIs. His Yankees career totals were a .288 BA in 596 games with 78 HRs and 255 RBI’s. As a Yankee batter, he stole 326 bases. On June 21,1989, Rickey was traded by the Yankees back to the Oakland A’s for P Greg Cadaret, P Eric Plunk, and OF/DH Luis Polonia. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2009.
1961- Former Yankees INF Don Savage (1944-1945) passed away. (1919-1961) Don Savage came out of Rutgers University and the minors to play 3rd base for the New York Yankees in 1944-1945. He appeared in 105 games for the Yankees, hitting .256. Although he is listed as being at Rutgers in 1938-1943, he was also in the minor leagues during those years (except for 1942). He was with the Newark Bears AAA (International League) in 1943, before he came up to the Yankees. In 1944, he appeared in 60 games at 3rd base for the Yankees, while Oscar Grimes was in 97 games at third. The following season, Grimes appeared much more often and Savage less often at the position. Don Savage in 1945 was in 14 games at 3rd and 2 games in the outfield, but had 34 total appearances, so he presumably did a lot of pinch-hitting for the team. Don went back to the Newark Bears in 1946. In 1949, he played for St. Jean Braves, an independent team in the Provincial League.
1976- Former Yankees reserve C (1926) and long time Yankees Minor League Manager Bill Skiff passed away. (1895-1976) Bill Skiff played in only six games, hitting only .091 as a reserve catcher for the 1926 New York Yankees. Later he became a manager in the Yankees minor league system: 1933 Durham Bulls, 1934-1935 Norfolk Tars (Piedmont League), 1948 Newark Bears (International League), 1949 Kansas City Blues (American Association) and the 1950 Binghamton Triplets (Eastern League). Also he managed the Seattle Rainers from 1941-1946 in Pacific Coast League.
1989- Billy Martin, an AL All-Star INF with the Yankees (1950-1957) and former MLB manager of the Minnesota Twins, Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers, New York Yankees and the Oakland A’s, dies in a truck accident in Johnson City, NY, at the age of 61. (1928-1989)
Billy Martin, a five-time Yankees manager under Owner George Steinbrenner, was rumored to be a candidate to replace current Yankees skipper Lou Piniella. During his 18-year managerial career in the American League, Martin posted a 1253-1013 record, led his teams to 5-AL Championship titles and guided the New York Yankees to the 1977 World Championship. He will be buried in Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Westchester, NY, in a plot near Babe Ruth. Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner, who had fired Billy Martin four times (he resigned the 5th time) purchases the burial plot for Martin. As a MLB player, INF Billy Martin came up with the New York Yankees in 1950, staying with the team until June 15,1957, being traded to the Kansas City A’s. He would later play for the Detroit Tigers, Milwaukee Braves, Cincinnati Reds and finishing up his MLB career with the Minnesota Twins in 1962. He would be come a MLB coach for the Twins, and then become a manager in their minor league system.
1994- Former Yankees MLB scout Tony Robello (1955-1962) passed away. (1913-1994) Tommy Robello played briefly for the Cincinnati Reds in 1933 and 1934, but gained greater fame during a long career in the minor leagues. The slugger won 5 HR titles in the minors in 6 years. In 1937, he led East Texas League with 33, and the next season he retained his crown with 38. In 1939, he moved to the Pioneer League, where he paced the circuit with 58. He also led the league in 1940 with 22 and in 1942 with 20. He also led in RBI’s in 1937 (130), 1938 (146), and 1940 (179). He missed the 1943-1945 baseball seasons due to military service. Tommy Robello went into MLB scouting, first for the St. Louis Browns (1947-1953), then the St. Louis Cardinals (1954), New York Yankees (1955-1962), and finally the Cincinnati Reds (1965-1984). Tony Robello is widely credited with helping to scout and find many of the famous "Big Red Machine” players.
1889- Former Yankees reserve INF/OF James “Queenie” O’Rourke (1908) was born. (1899-1955) James “Queenie” O’Rourke appeared in 34 games for the 1908 Yankees, hitting .231. Queenie was the son of Hall of Fame player Jim O’Rourke.
1901- Former Yankees INF/P Edward “Doc” Farrell (1932-1933) was born. (1901-1966) He started his MLB career with the New York Giants in 1925. He would be a part of the New York infield until he was traded along with Kent Greenfield and Hugh McQuillan to the Boston Braves for Larry Benton, Zack Taylor and Herb Thomas on June 12, 1927. In "Doc's MLB career it would be this split season in 1927 that he would have his best season with the bat, hitting a combined .316 for the Giants and the Braves. Farrell would be in the National League through 1930, along with his earlier stints with the New York Giants and Boston Braves he would be with both the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs in 1930. "Doc" would spend 1931 with the Los Angeles Angels (Pacific Coast League), where he had by far his best season anywhere as he appeared in 185 games, having 727 at-bats, hitting for a .327 BA with 11 HRs. Edward “Doc” Farrell appeared in 70 games for the New York Yankees (1932-1933), hitting .231. In 1934, Farrell was with the Newark Bears (International League), hitting .233 in 88 games, again in 1935, he hit at a .405 clip in 17 games and this ended his 3-season minor league career with a .301 BA. On December 19,1934, he was sent by the New York Yankees to San Francisco Seals (PCL) to complete an earlier deal made on November 21,1934. The Yankees sent players to be named later and cash to San Francisco Seals (PCL) for OF Joe DiMaggio. Doc Farrell refused to report to his new team in 1935. Instead, he will play for the Boston Red Sox in 1935, appearing in only 4 games, while hitting .286. Doc Farrell has the distinction of being the only player in MLB history to play for the New York Yankees, New York Giants, Boston Braves, and Boston Red Sox. When he retired from MLB baseball, he became a successful dentist.
1919- Boston Red Sox owner Harry Frazee makes a secret agreement to sell Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees for $100,000 (one-fourth cash, plus $25,000 a year at 6 percent) plus guaranteeing a $300,000 loan with Fenway Park as collateral. The transaction will be announced publicly one week later.
1947- Former Yankees reserve INF Roxey Roach (1910-1911) passed away. In August of 1909, the New York Highlanders purchased INF Roxey Roach from Lancaster (Tri-State League) for $2,500. He appeared in 83 games for the New York Yankees, hitting .219. On June 15,1911, Roxey was purchased by Jersey City (Eastern league) from the Highlanders.
1948- Former Yankees AL All Star 1B and MLB Coach Carroll “Chris” Chambliss (1974-1979, 1988) was born. On April 26,1974, Chris Chambliss was traded by the Cleveland Indians along with pitchers Richard Tidrow and Cecil Upshaw to the New York Yankees for pitchers Fritz Peterson, Steve Kline, Fred Beene, and Tom Buskey. He had won the 1971 AL ROY Award with the Tribe. Chris hit the game winning HR in the 1976 ALCS to bring the Yankees back into the World Series for the 1st time since 1964. He was an AL All Star 1B in 1976. In 1978, he won the AL Golden Glove for 1B. In the post season for the Yankees, Chris hit .281 with 3 HRs with 15 RBIs. He appeared in 3 World Series with the Yankees (1976-1978) hitting .275 with 1 HR, 5 RBIs. To get a replacement for the late Thurman Munson the Yankees traded Chris away after the 1979 AL season. On November 1,1979, Chris was traded by the Yankees along with INF Damaso Garcia and P Paul Mirabella to the Toronto Blue Jays for P Tom Underwood, C Rick Cerone, and OF Ted Wilborn. The Blue Jays would soon trade him to Atlanta Braves. During the 1988 AL season, Chris had a brief one game comeback with the Yankees.
1971- Former Yankees P Jay Tessmer (1998-2000, 2002) was born. The New York Yankees in the 19th round of the 1995 MLB amateur player draft selected Jay Tessmer. Although he was very successful coming out the bullpen at Columbus (AAA), he couldn’t repeat that performance in pinstripes. He appeared in 22 games for the team with a 1-0 record. On January 3,2001, Jay was traded by the Yankees along with minor league player Seth Taylor to the Colorado Rockies for David Lee. Jay would return to the Yankees as a MLB free agent in 2002.
1974- The New York Yankees signed C Juan Espino as an MLB amateur free agent. On March 31,1984, Juan was purchased by the Cleveland Indians from the Yankees. On January 8,1985, he was purchased by the Yankees from the Indians. Juan would appear as a reserve catcher with the Yankees in parts of the 1982-1983,1985-1986 AL seasons appearing in only 49 games, hitting just .219.
1981- Former Yankees P Dustin Mosely (2010) was born. On February 16, 2010, Dustin Mosely was signed as a MLB free agent with the New York Yankees. He appeared in 16 games with the Yankees posting a 4-4 record. On December 2, 2010, the Yankees granted Dustin Mosely MLB free agency. The San Diego Padres signed him for the 2011 NL season.
1992- Former Yankees P Tom Gorman (1952-1954) passed away. (1925-1992) In 1946, Tom Gorman was signed by MLB scout Jim Bergen for the New York Yankees. He began his professional career with Norfolk Tars (Piedmont League) in 1946 and 1947. Then Tom played for Binghamton Triplets (Eastern League) in 1948, moving up to the Newark Bears (International League) in 1949. In 1950, he pitched for the Kansas City Blues (American Association, AAA) and Beaumont (Texas League, AA) in 1951. He started the 1952 baseball season with Kansas City Blues, but the Yankees recalled him in July. Tom went 10-7 in 75 games with 9 saves for the Yankees (1952-1954) before being sold to the Kansas City A’s in March of 1955. He appeared in 2 World Series (1952-1953) with the Yankees with no record. Tom pitched for the A’s from 1955-1959, working out of their bullpen.
1994- Former Yankees AL All Star pitcher Allie “Super Chief “Reynolds (1947-1954) passed away. (1917-1994) On October 19,1946, Allie Reynolds was obtained from the Cleveland Indians for Yankees 2B Joe “Flash” Gordon. He went 19-8, with a .704 WP for the 1947 Yankees. He was one of the mainstays of the Yankee starting rotation that won five straight World Championships (1949-1953) along with Eddie Lopat, Vic Raschi, later Whitey Ford. His Yankees World Series pitching record was 7-2. Allie went 131-60 in 8 seasons with the Yankees, including a 20-8 record with an ERA 2.06 in 1952. During the 1951 AL season, he pitched 2-no-hitters, including one against the Boston Red Sox. A back injury during a Yankees team bus accident in Baltimore during the 1954 American League season forced Allie to retire at the end of the season. Later he became the Baseball Commissioner of the American Association (AAA).
1995- The Associated Press selects Baltimore Orioles Cal Ripken, Jr.'s consecutive game streak as the top sports story of the year, followed by the death of New York Yankees Hall of Fame CF Mickey Mantle.
2000- Former Yankees minor league C Roy Partee passes away (1917-2000) On December 13, 1948, Catcher Roy Partee was traded by the St. Louis Browns to the New York Yankees along with P Fred Sanford for P Red Embree, C Sherm Lollar, P Richard Starr and $100,000. Roy will never appear with the Yankees at the MLB level.
1890- Former Yankees C Ernie Krueger (1915) was born. (1890-1976) Ernie Krueger appeared in 10 games hitting .172 for the 1915 Yankees.
1939- The New York Giants obtained INF Mickey Witek from the New York Yankees AAA team, the Newark Bears (International League) in exchange for INF Alex Kampouris, C Tom Padden and $40,000 in cash. The Giants has high hopes for Witek, who was named the 1939 Most Valuable Player in the International League. He will return to the New York Yankees organization in 1949, appearing in one game that season. Alex Kampouris and Tom Padden will never play for the Yankees at the MLB level.
1943- Former Yankees OF and MLB Coach Roy White (1965-1979) was born. In 1961, the New York Yankees signed Roy White as an MLB amateur free agent. He was originally infielder converted to outfielder. Roy played for 14 years for the Yankees finishing with a lifetime BA of .271 with 160 HRs and 758 RBIs in 1,881 games. He was a two-time AL All Star team member (1969-1970). His best Yankees season was in 1970, when Roy hit .292 with 22 HRS and 94 RBIs. He played in three World Series for the Yankees (1976-1978) hitting .244. After leaving the Yankees in 1979, Roy played with the Tokyo Giants before retiring as an active player.
1963- Former Yankees C/DH/INF Jim Leyritz (1990-1996,1999-2000) was born. In 1985, the New York Yankees signed Jim Leyritz, as an MLB amateur free agent. With the arrival of C Joe Girardi, Jim became expendable. On December 5,1996, Jim was traded by the Yankees to the California Angels for players to be named later. The Angels sent minor league players Jeremy Blevins and Ryan Kane on December 9,1996 to the Yankees to complete the trade. On July 31,1999, Jim was traded by the San Diego Padres to the Yankees for minor league player Geraldo Padua. Jim only batted .213 in the 1999 post season, but that included 8 HRs with 20 RBIs. On June 20, 2000, the Yankees traded Jim to the Dodgers for INF Jose Vizcaino and cash
1984- MLB Free agent starter Ed Whitson, who went 14-8 for the National League champion San Diego Padres, begins a nightmarish association with the New York Yankees by signing a five-year, $4.4 million contract. By the middle of his second season with the club, Whitson gets so rattled in Yankee Stadium that Yankees Manager Lou Piniella will refused to use him in home games. He can only pitch for the team on the road. His Yankee pitching record will be 15-10 in 44 games. The Yankees shipped him back to the Padres on July 9,1986, for P Tim Stoddard, where he will have 4 solid seasons.
1989- The New York Yankees signed MLB free agent INF Jim Walewander. He will spend the 1990 season with the Columbus Clippers (AAA).
2001- After 21 years being heard on WABC-AM radio, the New York Yankees will broadcast its spring training, regular-season and postseason games on all-news station WCBS-AM, which is owned by Infinity Broadcasting. The five-year deal with the Yankees' YES Network, created earlier this year, is worth approximately about $50 million.
1947- Former Yankees reserve INF Aurelio Rodriguez (1980-1981) was born. (1947-2000) On August 4,1980, MLB veteran INF Aurelio Rodriguez was purchased by the New York Yankees from the San Diego Padres. Aurelio would play in 77 games for the Yankees, hitting .283. On November 17,1981, he was traded by the Yankees to the Toronto Blue Jays for a player to be named later. The Blue Jays would sent Mike Lebo (minors) on December 9,1981 to the Yankees to complete the trade. In 2000, he passed away from injuries after being struck by car that had jumped onto the sidewalk in Detroit.
1992- Former Yankees hurler and long-time NL post-season rival Sal “The Barber” Maglie (1957-1958) passed away. (1917-1992) On September 1,1957, the New York Yankees purchased Sal Maglie from the Brooklyn Dodgers for $25,000 cash and two minor league players. Sal went 2-0 with 4 saves for the Yankees. Since he was acquired after August 31st trade deadline, Sal wasn’t able to pitch for the Yankees in the 1957 World Series against the Milwaukee Braves. In 1958, he faded going just 1-1 in 7 games before being sold to the St. Louis Cardinals on June 14,1958. Sal had pitched for the New York Yankees, Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants during the 1950’s. He was the Dodgers losing ptcher in the 1956 World Series Perfect Game by Yankees Don Larsen.
1995- The Chicago White Sox traded veteran OF/DH Tim Raines to the New York Yankees in exchange for future considerations. The Yankees would sent minor league player Blaise Kozeniewski on February 6,1996 to the White Sox to complete the trade.
2001- Outgoing New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani announces the Yankees and Mets have reached a tentative agreement with the city to build a pair of $800 million, retractable-roof stadiums. Mayor-elect Michael Bloomberg, who is concerned if the city can afford what is believed to be the largest private-public venture history, will have final word on the $1.6 billion cost of the proposed new ballparks agreements. Neither of the new stadiums would be built with retractable-roofs, due to projected construction costs.
2005- New York Yankees LF Hideki Matsui has decided not to play for Japan at next year's World Baseball Classic games, so he can concentrate his efforts on winning a World Series with the New York Yankees.
2005- MLB Free agent veteran INF Miguel Cairo and the New York Yankees reached an agreement on a $1 million, one-year contract.
2007- Former Yankees player Jim Leyritz is arrested in Florida. He had crashed his car into another vehicle, killing the occupant. He was charged with DUI manslaughter. Leyritz was also driving with a suspended license. In December of 2010, Jim Leyritz will be acquitted of DUI charges.
1885- Former Yankees OF Frank “Pudgie” Delahanty (1905-1906,1908) was born. (1885-1966) Frank Delahanty was one of five Delahanty brothers to play in the MLB. On August 22,1905, he was purchased by the New York Highlanders from the Birmingham (Southern Association). He hit .230 in 101 games for the Yankees. On May 16,1907, Frank was traded by the Highlanders along with P Walter Clarkson to the Cleveland Naps (aka Indians) for P Earl Moore. On July 9,1908, he was signed as a MLB free agent with the Highlanders. Frank would hit .256 in 37 games for the rest of the 1908 American League season.
1893- Former Yankees reserve C Salvatore “Joe” Smith (1913) was born. (1893-1917) Joe Smith appeared in only 14 games for the New York Yankees during the 1913 American League season, hitting just .156.
1911- Former Yankees reserve INF Billy Knickerbocker (1938-1940) was born. (1911-1963) On February 15,1938, Billy Knickerbocker was traded by the St. Louis Browns to the New York Yankees for reserve INF Don “Jeep” Heffner and $10,000. Billy took over Don Heffner’s role as Yankees reserve INF. He appeared in 97 games with the Yankees, hitting .242 with 2 HRs with 32 RBIs. On December 31,1940, Billy was traded by the Yankees to the Chicago White Sox for C Ken Silvestri.
1926- Former Yankees minor league player INF Tom Upton was born. (1926-2008) Tom "Muscles" Upton began his professional career with the New York Yankees organization in 1944. He split the 1944 season between the Norfolk Tars (Piedmont League) and Kansas City Blues (American Association), hitting a combined .140 with a .162 slugging percentage in 222 at-bats. In 1947, he played for the Norfolk Tars and Binghamton Triplets (Eastern League), hitting .227 in 100 games. For the 1948 Ventura Yankees, Quincy Gems and Triplets, he hit .271 in 398 at-bats. In 638 at-bats for the Beaumont Exporters in 1949, Tom hit .265 BA, with a career-high 4 HRs. In the winter of 1949, the St. Louis Browns in the MLB Rule 5 player draft drafted Tom from the New York Yankees organization. On April 19,1950, he made his MLB debut with the Browns' becoming their regular shortstop that season, hitting .237 with 2 HRs and 7 stolen bases in 389 at-bats. He showed a good eye at the plate, walking 52 times and striking out only 45 times. In 52 games in 1951, he hit only .198, so he spent 34 games with the Kansas City Blues that year as well, hitting .233. On November 27,1951, he was traded along with C Sherm Lollar and P Al Widmar to the Chicago White Sox for INF Joe DeMaestri, OF Gordon Goldsberry, INF Richard Littlefield, C Gus Niarhos and OF Jim Rivera. That same day, Tom was traded by the White Sox to the Washington Senators for INF Sam Dente. He appeared in 5 games for the 1952 Senators, hitting .000 in 5 at-bats. On May 3,1952, he was traded along with OF Irv Noren to the Yankees for OF Jackie Jensen, P Spec Shea, INF Jerry Snyder and OF Archie Wilson. In the minors the rest of the season, he hit .226 in 72 games split between the Beaumont Roughnecks and the Syracuse Chiefs (International League). Overall, Tom hit .225 in 181 major league games. In the minors, he hit .239 in 530 games.
1927- Former minor league Yankee OF Ted Del Guercio was born. (1929-2006) Ted Del Guercio played 12 years in the minor leagues. He was the only member of the largest trade in MLB baseball history not to make the major leagues. On November 17, 1954, the Baltimore Orioles traded P Don Larsen, INF Billy Hunter and P Bob Turley to the New York Yankees for players to be named later, P Harry Byrd, P Jim Mc Donald, and INF Willy Miranda, catchers Hal Smith and Gus Triandos and MLB OF Gene Woodling. On December 1, 1954, the Yankees would send P Bill Miller, 1B Kal Segrist, INF Don Leppert and OF Ted Del Guercio (minors) to the Orioles to complete the trade. In return, the Orioles would send P Mike Blyzka, C Darrell Johnson, OF Jim Fridley, and 1B Richard Kryhoski to the Yankees to complete the 17-player trade. The former Newark High School star baseball player originally signed with the Boston Red Sox in the mid-1940’s. He would retire as active player after 1956 minor league season finishing out with the Columbus Jets.
1928- The New York Yankees waived veteran 3B Joe “ Jumping Joe” Dugan to the Boston Braves. In August 1928, Yankees Manager Miller Huggins replaced Joe Dugan at third base with reserve INF Mike Gazella in an effort to get more offense from the lineup. After appearing in just 94 games, the Yankees gave Dugan his unconditional release in December of that year. He signed a contract to play for the Boston Braves in 1929 and finished the season with a .304 batting average in 60 games. Dugan didn't play in the majors in 1930, but he returned to play for the Detroit Tigers as a utility player in 1931. After playing in just 8 games, he was released by the Tigers, after playing his final major league game on May 26, 1931.
1933- New York Yankees Owner Jacob Ruppert refuses to release OF Slugger Babe Ruth from his MLB player contract, thus preventing him from becoming the manager of the 1934 Cincinnati Reds. Babe Ruth will never receive another chance to manage a MLB team.
1952- Former Yankees reserve INF Dennis Werth (1979-1981) was born. The New York Yankees in the 19th round of the 1974 MLB amateur player draft drafted Dennis Werth. He hit .222 in 76 games as a reserve INF with the Yankees. His best Yankees season was in 1980, hitting .308 in 39 games. On March 24,1982, Dennis was traded by the Yankees to the Kansas City Royals for minor league player Scott Behan.
1972– Former Yankees reliever Jim Brower (2007) was born. Jim Bower appeared in only 3 games in 2007 AL season for the New York Yankees with no record, before returning to Scranton (AAA).
1974- Former Yankees 1B/DH Richie Sexton (2007) was born. His stay with the New York Yankees was short-lived however; after 22 games in 2007, in which he went to bat only 25 times, Richie was released on August 15th. He had hit .250 with 1 HR and 6 RBI’s in the Bronx.
1975- Former Yankees P Jarret Wright (2005-2006) was born. On December 28, 2004, Jarret Wright was signed as a MLB free agent with the New York Yankees. He went 16-12 in 43 games with the Yankees. On November 12, 2006, Jarret was traded by the Yankees along with cash to the Baltimore Orioles for P Chris Britton.
1977- Melissa Ludtke, a female Sports Illustrated sports writer, files suit against MLB, the New York Yankees and New York City officials for denying her access to the Yankee Stadium locker rooms to interview players during the 1977 World Series.
1978- Former Yankees reserve C Walt Alexander (1915-1917) passed away. (1891-1978) On July 30,1915, Walt Alexander was purchased by the New York Yankees from the St. Louis Browns. He appeared in 81 games as a reserve catcher for the Yankees, hitting .233.
2004- Former Yankees reserve C Gus Niarhos (1946,1948-1950) passed away. (1920-2004) Gus Niarhos was attending Auburn University on scholarship, when a scout for the New York Yankees signed him. After World War II broke out, he served in the U.S. Navy. Gus spent his 1st three years in the MLB with the Yankees. Yogi Berra was the up-and-coming catcher. In 1948, Gus platoon at catcher with him while Yogi also played in the outfield. He appeared in 1 game in the 1949 World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers, which the Yankees won. The Chicago White Sox picked him off waivers from the Yankees in 1950. Looking back at his start with the Yankees. “That was a tough organization, if you were a catcher. They had Bill Dickey. Then Yogi came up. From '49 on, it was just forget about being a catcher with the Yankees." – Gus Niarhos.
1927- The New York Yankees released two veteran players: INF Ray Morehardt and P Joe Giard, they both have retired from MLB.
1930- Former Yankees minor league INF Milt Graff was born. (1930-2005) Milt Graff was traded by the New York Yankees in February of 1957 in the Bobby Shantz trade with the Kansas City A’s. He was unable to break into the crowded Yankee infield. In 1949, the Pittsburgh Pirates signed INF Milt Graff as MLB amateur free agent. In the 1955 MLB minor league player draft; Milt was drafted by the New York Yankees from the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. He played for the Yankees AAA team, the Denver Bears in the American Association. After retiring as an active player, Milt worked in baseball. Among the positions he held were assistant general manager (1977-1983) and Scouting Director (1984) for the Pittsburgh Pirates, MLB infield coach for the Pirates. Also he served as the director of stadium operations at Three Rivers Stadium. He served as a MLB scout for the Pirates, San Francisco Giants and the Cincinnati Reds.
1940- The New York Yankees swapped veteran starter Monte Pearson (1936-1940) to the Cincinnati Reds for INF Dan Lang and $20,000 cash. Lang will never play for the Yankees at the MLB level.
1995- MLB free agent starter Kenny Rogers is signed by the New York Yankees to a four-year contract. The Gambler went 18-15 in 62 games for the Yankees. On November 7,1997, he was traded by the Yankees along with cash to the Oakland A’s for a player to be named later. The A’s would send INF/OF Scott Brosius to the Yankees to complete the trade in November.
2002- Citing that this will probably be his last MLB career season, 40-year old All Star starter Roger Clemens agrees to a $10.1 million, one-year deal with the New York Yankees. The 19-season MLB veteran, who has won the Cy Young Award 6 times, is 7 victories shy of 300 MLB career wins mark.
2002- The New York Yankees resigned MLB free agent P Christian Parker. On March 22, 2000, Christian Parker was sent by the Montreal Expos to the New York Yankees to complete an earlier deal made on December 22, 1999. The Expos sent players to be named later and P Jake Westbrook to the Yankees for starter Hideki Irabu. He went 0-1 in one game for the 2001 Yankees.
1914- American League President Ban Johnson's efforts to strengthen the New York Yankees succeed when he arranges the purchase of the team by Colonel Jacob Ruppert and Captain Tillinghast L'Hommedieu Houston for $460,000 from current owners Bill Devery and Frank Farrell. Both Devery and Farrell were involved in gambling; Ban Johnson wanted team owners that were more stable money-wise. After Detroit Tiger’s owner Frank Navin refuses to let manager Hugh Jennings go, the new Yankee owners will name longtime Tiger hurler William “Wild Bill” Donovan to managing the team. Under the new owner regime, the New York Yankees will make the most important trade in franchise history, when they purchased OF/P Babe Ruth from the Boston Red Sox in December of 1919. Also in 1920, they bring long time Red Sox manager Edward Barrow to be the team’s new General Manager.
1919- Former Yankees P Tommy Byrne (1943,1946-1951,1954-1957) was born. (1919-2007) Before the 1940 AL Season, Tommy Byrne was signed by the New York Yankees, 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 1949-1950 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 (PCL) for cash. In 1955, he won the American League Comeback Player of the Year Award by posting a 16-5 record for the Yankees. He would pitch 2 more seasons for the Yankees, before retiring in 1957. Later he became the Mayor and Owner of the Wake Forrest, NC Country Club. Tommy Byrne passed away on December 20, 2007.
1924- Former Yankees P Ted Gray (1955) was born. (1924-2011) On June 30,1955, veteran P Ted Gray was signed as a MLB free agent by the New York Yankees. He had started the 1955 AL season with the Cleveland Indians. He will appeared in only one game with no decisions before being released in July of 1955 by the Yankees. He will finish the 1955 AL season with the Baltimore Orioles. He originally came up to the majors with the Detroit Tigers.
1940 -The New York Yankees send veteran hurler Bump Hadley to the New York Giants for the waiver price. Also they traded reserve INF Bill Knickerbocker to the Chicago White Sox for C Ken Silvestri. The military will claim Ken Silvestri for the next 4 years.
1958- Former Yankees INF/OF Jack Doyle passed away. (1869-1958) On July 12,1905, veteran INF/OF Jack Doyle was signed as a free agent by the New York Highlanders. He will appear in one game with no hits for the team.
1971- Former Yankees P Esteban Loaiza (2004) was born. On July 31,2004, Esteban Loaiza was traded by the Chicago White Sox to the New York Yankees for starter Jose Contreras and cash. He appeared in 10 games for the Yankees posting a 1-2 record, before leaving the team for MLB free agency in the winter of 2004. He will sign with the Washington Nationals.
1974- MLB free agent starter James “Catfish” Hunter, who posted a 25-12 record with the Oakland A’s, signs with the New York Yankees ending a unprecedented bidding war, when he inks a 5-year, $3.75 million dollar contract. This is triple the salary of any other MLB player. His New York Yankees pitching career record was 63-53. He won 23 games in 1975 and 17 games in 1976 for the Yankees. He will retire at the age of 33 in 1979, after a 15-year MLB career. He will win election to the Hall Of Fame in 1987. In 1999, Catfish Hunter passes away from ALS disease.
1980- Former Yankees P and MLB Manager (1930) Robert “Sailor Bob” Shawkey (1915-1927) passed away at the age of 90. (1890-1980) After being obtained from the Philadelphia A’s for $85,000 in 1915, Bob was a 3-time 20 game winner for the New York Yankees. In 1920, Bob led the AL in ERA with a 2.45 mark. Bob Shawkey is noted as the starting pitcher in the 1st game played in Yankee Stadium on April 18,1923. Bob held the Yankees record for 15 strikeouts in a single game. That record stood until Whitey Ford broke it in the early 1960’s. Bob Shawkey finished his Yankee pitching career with a record of 168-131. In 1929, Bob became the Yankees MLB pitching coach. Following Yankees Manager Miller Huggins death, Bob will manage the 1930 Yankees to an 86-68 record, a 3rd place finish, before being replaced by veteran NL manager Joe McCarthy. In 1934-1935, he managed the Yankees top AAA club, the Newark Bears. In the 1940’s, Bob was a MLB scout for the Detroit Tigers and Pittsburgh Pirates. After managing in the minors in 1949 and 1950 for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Bob became the head baseball coach at Dartmouth College from 1952 to 1956. During the 1976 opening day festivities for the renovated “new” Yankee Stadium, Bob Shawkey threw out the ceremonial 1st pitch.
1990- The New York Yankees purchased starter Scott Sanderson from the Oakland A’s. He would go 16-10 in 1991 and 12-11 in 1992, before leaving the team for MLB free agency. He would sign with the California Angels.
2004- After the Tampa Devil Rays decline his 2005 $8 million player contract option, MLB free agent 1B/DH Tino Martinez, who had hit .262, with 23 HRs and 76 RBIs for the Tampa, signs a one-year, $3 million contract to rejoin the New York Yankees. Martinez played in New York from 1996 through 2001, he was replaced by MLB free agent 1B Jason Giambi. This time, he is acquired as insurance in the event Jason Giambi's fragile health due to steroid use continues to fail.
Remembering Former Yankees Pitcher Allie "Super Chief" Reynolds
December 26, 1994- Former Yankees AL All Star pitcher Allie “Super Chief “Reynolds (1947-1954) passed away. (1917-1994) On October 19,1946, Allie Reynolds was obtained from the Cleveland Indians for Yankees 2B Joe “Flash” Gordon. He went 19-8, with a .704 WP for the 1947 Yankees. He was one of the mainstays of the Yankee starting rotation that won five straight World Championships (1949-1953) along with Eddie Lopat, Vic Raschi, later Whitey Ford. His Yankees World Series pitching record was 7-2. Allie went 131-60 in 8 seasons with the Yankees, including a 20-8 record with an ERA 2.06 in 1952. During the 1951 AL season, he pitched 2-no-hitters, including one against the Boston Red Sox. A back injury during a Yankees team bus accident in Baltimore during the 1954 American League season forced Allie to retire at the end of the season. Later he became the Baseball Commissioner of the American Association (AAA).
December 27, 1943- Former Yankees OF and MLB Coach Roy White (1965-1979) was born. In 1961, the New York Yankees signed Roy White as an MLB amateur free agent. He was originally infielder, who was converted to an outfielder. Roy played for 14 years for the New York Yankees finishing with a lifetime BA of .271 with 160 HRs and 758 RBIs in 1,881 games. He was a two-time AL All Star team member (1969-1970). His best Yankees season was in 1970, when Roy hit .292 with 22 HRS and 94 RBIs. He played in three World Series for the Yankees (1976-1978) hitting .244. After leaving the Yankees in 1979, Roy played with the Tokyo Giants before retiring as an active player.
Remembering Former Yankees P Sal "The Barber" Maglie
December 28, 1992- Former Yankees hurler and long-time NL post-season rival Sal “The Barber” Maglie (1957-1958) passed away. (1917-1992) On September 1,1957, the New York Yankees purchased Sal Maglie from the Brooklyn Dodgers for $25,000 cash and two minor league players. Sal went 2-0 with 4 saves for the 1957 Yankees. Since he was acquired after August 31st trade deadline, Sal wasn’t able to pitch for the Yankees in the 1957 World Series against the Milwaukee Braves. In 1958, he faded going just 1-1 in 7 games before being sold to the St. Louis Cardinals on June 14,1958. Sal had pitched for the New York Yankees, Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants during the 1950’s. He was the Brooklyn Dodgers losing pitcher in the 1956 World Series Perfect Game by Yankees Don Larsen, giving up 5 hits and 2 runs to the Yankees.
December 29, 1952- Former Yankees reserve INF Dennis Werth (1979-1981) was born. The New York Yankees in the 19th round of the 1974 MLB amateur player draft drafted Dennis Werth. He hit .222 in 76 games as a reserve INF with the Yankees. His best Yankees season was in 1980, hitting .308 in 39 games. On March 24,1982, Dennis was traded by the Yankees to the Kansas City Royals for minor league player Scott Behan.
The New York Yankees traded Pitcher Monte Pearson to the Cincinnati Reds
December 30,1940- The New York Yankees swapped veteran starter Monte Pearson (1936-1940) to the Cincinnati Reds for INF Don Lang and $20,000 cash. Don Lang will never play for the Yankees at the MLB level, spending his time with the Yankees Triple AAA teams. On November 2,1942, Don was drafted by the Boston Red Sox from the New York Yankees organization in the 1942 MLB Rule 5 player draft. He would make his final appearence in the MLB with the 1948 St. Louis Cardinals.
Monte Pearson was obtained from the Cleveland Indians in the winter of 1935 for Yankees starter Johnny Allen. In 1938, Monte Pearson pitched the 1st no-hitter at Yankee Stadium beating the Cleveland Indians 13-0 in a second game of a double header. He would finish his New York Yankees pitching career with a 63-27 record. His best season as a Yankee hurler was in 1936, when he posted a 19-7 mark, In 1938, he posted a 16-7 record. In four World Series (1936-1939) with the New York Yankees, Monte Pearson went 4-0 with 3 complete games. In 1941, he went 1-3 in 7 games with the Reds before being released by the team.
Yankees Starter Monte Pearson
Don Lang 1948 Player Photowith the St. Louis Cardinals
December 31, 1914- American League President Ban Johnson's efforts to strengthen the New York Yankees succeed, when he arranges the purchase of the team by Colonel Jacob Ruppert and Captain Tillinghast L'Hommedieu Houston for $460,000 from current owners Bill Devery and Frank Farrell. Both Devery and Farrell were involved in gambling; Ban Johnson wanted team owners that were more stable money-wise and have business ethics. After Detroit Tiger’s owner Frank Navin refuses to let Manager Hugh Jennings go, the new Yankee owners will name longtime Tigers hurler William “Wild Bill” Donovan to managing the team for the 1915 AL season. Under the new owner regime, the New York Yankees will make the most important trade in franchise history, when they purchased OF/P Babe Ruth from the Boston Red Sox in December of 1919. Also in 1920, they bring long time Boston Red Sox Manager Edward Barrow to be the team’s new General Manager.
New York Yankees New Owners Ruppert and Houston, New Manager William Donvan