1892- Former Yankees P Thomas “Shotgun” Rogers (1921) was born.(1892-1936) Tom Rogers went 0-1 in 5 games for the 1921 New York Yankees. He appeared in one game of the 1921 World Series against the New York Giants with no record.
1902- Former Yankees OF George “Kiddo” Davis (1926) was born. (1902-1983) George Davis was born in Bridgeport, CT in 1902, attended New York University. He got his 1st taste of the MLB in 1926 appearing in 1 game with the New York Yankees at age 24. The Yankees won the 1926 American League pennant, but Davis did not appear in the 1926 World Series. After his one game appearance with the Yankees in 1926, he disappeared from the MLB for 6 seasons until 1932, when he emerged as a regular outfielder for the Philadelphia Phillies hitting .309 at the age of 30.
1912- Former Yankees P Walter “Monk” Dubiel (1944-1945) was born. (1912-1969) Before the 1941 AL season, the New York Yankees signed Walter “Monk” Dubiel as an MLB amateur free agent. "Monk" would spend 1941 season with the class C Akron Yankees and the Erie Sailors. The right-hander would appear in a combined 28 games, posting a 14-8 record with a 2.44 ERA. Dubiel came by the name of "Monk" in his 1st year of professional baseball in the minor leagues when a teammate noted that his uniform was so small for him that he looked like an organ grinder's monkey. After winning 16 games in the for the Newark Bears (AAA), including a no-hitter over the Syracuse Chiefs in 1943, "Monk" became a dependable wartime hurler for the Yankees, winning a career high 13 games in 1944 and 10 games in 1945. Dubiel's MLB career was hindered by a hip and recurring back ailment that kept him from serving in the military service during World War II. His overall Yankees pitching career record was 23-22 in 56 games with 28 complete games with 4 shutouts. On December 14,1946, Monk Dubiel was purchased by Seattle Rainers (PCL) from the Yankees.
1920- The New York Yankees 3B Frank "Home Run" Baker’s wife, Ottalee Baker, dies at the age of 31, leaving two small children. Frank Baker will miss the entire 1920 American League season with the New York Yankees to stay home and take care of the family, returning in 1921 to play, hitting .294 for the Yankees. He would retire from the Yankees after the 1922 AL season.
1921- Former Yankees reserve INF Don Bollweg (1953) was born. (1921-1996) On May 14,1951, Don Bollweg was traded by the St. Louis Cardinals along with $15,000 to the New York Yankees for veteran 3B Billy Johnson. Don hit .297 in 70 games for Yankees. On December 16,1953, Don was traded by the Yankees along with INF Jim Finigan, P Johnny Gray, 1B Vic Power, OF Bill Renna, and C Jim Robertson to the Philadelphia A’s for P Harry Byrd, 1B Eddie Robinson, OF Tom Hamilton, Carmen Mauro, and 3B Loren Babe.
1926- Former MLB player and Yankees Broadcaster Joe Garagiola (1965-1967) was born. Former MLB player Joe Garagiola was a New York Yankees broadcaster from 1965-1967. He later worked for NBC sports covering MLB baseball during the 1970-1980’s. He is currently a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks broadcast team.
1930- In a defeat for American League president Ban Johnson, New York Giants starter Carl Mays is reinstated, and the New York Yankees' 3rd place finish for the 1930 American League season is recognized.
1932- At the age of 37, former minor league executive George Weiss is named head of the New York Yankees' new minor league system by General Manager Edward Barrow. Weiss was hired by the Yankees to create a farm system, which had been pioneered in the National League by the St. Louis Cardinals Executive Branch Rickey. It was the reason of the Cardinals' dominance of the NL. Weiss grew the Yankees farm system from 4 teams in 1931 up to 16 by 1939 that reached up to 20 teams by 1947. The Yankees farm system churned out many of the players who would lead the Bronx Bombers to their 4 consecutive (1936-1939) World Series titles in the 1930s, their 5 straight titles (1949-1953), and their 6 other championship clubs sprinkled throughout the rest of the 1940s and 1950s. George Weiss will eventually become the General Manager of the Yankees (1948-1960), and along with Manager Casey Stengel, will oversee an unprecedented 5 consecutive World Championships from 1949-1953.
After the 1960 World Series lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates in October, the Yankees let George Weiss and Manager Casey Stengel go. The Yankees replaced George Weiss with his Assistant General Manager Roy Hamey Jr. In 1962, he will become the first General Manager and Club President for the new National League expansion team, New York Mets. Former Yankee Manager Casey Stengel will join him as the team’s 1st MLB manager. He will hold his positions with the Mets until 1966, when he retired from MLB. George Weiss will eventually gain election to the Hall of Fame in 1971, as a Baseball Executive
1942- Former Yankees P Pat Dobson (1973-1975) was born. (1942-2006) Pat Dobson went 39-27 in 72 games for the New York Yankees, after being obtained from the Atlanta Braves for several minor league players. His best Yankees season was in 1974, when Pat posted a 19-15 record in 39 games. In winter of 1975, he was sent to the Cleveland Indians for OF/DH Oscar Gamble. Pat Dobson passed away in 2006.
1953- Former Yankees 1B/DH Dave Revering (1981-1982) was born. On May 20,1981, Dave Revering was traded by the by Oakland A’s along with Pitchers Mike Patterson, and Chuck Dougherty to the New York Yankees for 1B Jim Spencer and P Tom Underwood. Don hit .190 in 59 games for the Yankees, before being traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for veteran 1B/DH John Mayberry. The Cincinnati Reds originally signed Dave Revering as a MLB amateur free agent.
1978- Former Yankees P Tim Redding (2006) was born. On July 2,2005, Tim Redding was traded by the San Diego Padres along with P Darrell May and cash to the Yankees for veteran reliever Paul Quantrill. Tim went 0-1 in his only Yankees starting appearance, lasting only one inning, while giving up 6 runs. After the start, he was sent down to Columbus (AAA) for the rest of the 2005 AL season. Tim would pitch for the Washington Nationals and New York Mets. He spent part of the 2010 baseball season with the Yankees organization pitching for Scranton, before leaving to sign with a professional team in Korea.
2003- Former Yankees minor league P Wally Burnette passed away. (1929-2003) Before the 1948 AL Season, Wally Burnette was signed by the New York Yankees as an MLB amateur free agent. He never appears with the Yankees at the MLB level. On July 11, 1956, Wally was traded by the New York Yankees to the Kansas City A’s for P Tom Lasorda. The Yankees sent Tommy Lasorda to the Denver Bears (AAA). Wally pitched for the A’s (1956-1959) posting a 14-21 record in 68 games.
1883- Former Yankees 1B and Player-Manager Hal “Prince Hal” Chase (1903-1913) was born. (1883-1947) On October 4,1904, Hal Chase was drafted by the New York Highlanders from the Los Angeles (Pacific Coast League) in the 1904 MLB Rule 5 player draft. Hal had a lifetime BA of .284 as a Yankees player. He led the Yankees in hitting in 1906-1907. During the 1910-1911 American League seasons, he was a player–manager for the Yankees. His character was often questioned because of not playing honestly. On June 1,1913, Hal Chase was traded by the Yankees to the Chicago White Sox for OF Rollie Zeider and 1B Babe Borton. MLB Commissioner Judge Landis later banned Hal Chase from organized baseball in 1920 for gambling and fixing games during the 1918 NL season, while playing for the Cincinnati Reds.
1887- Former Yankees OF Guy Zinn (1911-1912) was born. (1887-1949) Guy Zinn appeared in 115 games for the New York Yankees, hitting .255. In December of 1912, the Boston Braves purchased outfielder Guy Zinn from the New York Yankees.
1888- Former Yankees reserve INF Edward “Kid” Foster (1910) was born. (1888-1937) Before 1910 AL season, the New York Highlanders purchased INF Eddie “Kid” Foster from the Detroit Tigers. He appeared in 30 games for the 1910 Yankees, hitting just .133.
1890- Former Yankees P Daniel “Big Dan” Tipple (1915) was born. (1890-1960) “Big Dan” Tipple appeared in three games with the 1915 Yankees, going 1-1 with .095 ERA with two complete games.
1927- Former Yankees reserve INF Jim Brideweser (1951-1953) was born. (1927-1989) Before the 1950 AL season, the New York Yankees signed INF Jim Brideweser, as an MLB amateur free agent. He had attended college at USC. Jim hit .363 (16 for 44) in 51 games as reserve infielder for the Yankees before being claimed on waivers by the Baltimore Orioles on May 11,1954. Jim was a good utility INF, but there was no room for him on the Yankees 25 man MLB roster. Jim would play for the Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers before finishing up his MLB career in 1959.
1939- Former Yankees MLB Pitching Coach, Minor League Manager and MLB pitcher Jerry Walker was born. Jerry Walker managed in the New York Yankees minor league system from 1968-1972. He was a Yankees MLB pitching coach in 1981-1982. As a MLB player, he pitched for the Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City A’s and the Cleveland Indians from 1958-1965. Currently, Jerry Walker works for the St. Louis Cardinals organization.
1941- Former Yankees P Jim Brenneman (1965) was born. (1941-1994) In 1961, the New York Yankees signed Jim Brenneman as an MLB amateur free agent. He would appear in 3 games with no record for the 1965 Yankees.
1949- Former Yankees reserve INF Lenny Randle (1979) was born. On August 3,1979, Lenny Randle was purchased by the New York Yankees from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Lenny appeared in only 20 games for the 1979 Yankees, hitting just .179. On November 1,1979, Lenny was granted MLB free agency by the Yankees.
1960- Former Yankees minor league P Brian Ryder was born. Pitcher Brian Ryder was drafted in the 1st round of the 1978 MLB amateur player draft by the New York Yankees. In December of 1981, he was traded along with P Freddie Toliver to the Cincinnati Reds for veteran NL All Star OF Ken Griffey Sr. Brian Ryder never made it to the MLB level with the Cincinnati Reds.
1971- Former Yankees P Todd Williams (2001) was born. Todd Williams won an Olympic gold medal for the United States in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. In the 1999 Pan American Games, Williams led Team USA with four appearances. He saved one game and had a 1.69 ERA as the US won Silver and advanced to the 2000 Olympics. The Dodgers originally signed Todd. In 2001, the New York Yankees signed Todd Williams as a MLB free agent. He went 1-0 in 15 games for the 2001 Yankees.
1980- Former Yankees INF Drew Henson (2002-2003) was born. The New York Yankees in the 3rd round of the 1998 drafted Drew Henson MLB amateur player draft. The former Michigan State University sport star chose playing MLB baseball over a chance to play football in the NFL. On July 12, 2000, Drew Henson was traded by the New York Yankees with along with OF Jackson Melian, Brian Reith, and P Ed Yarnall to the Cincinnati Reds for OF Mike Frank and veteran MLB starter Denny Neagle. On March 21,2001, Drew was traded back to the New York Yankees by the Cincinnati Reds along with OF Michael Coleman for minor league outfielder Wily Mo Pena. Drew hit .111 in 13 games with the Yankees. With the arrival of A-Rod to play 3B, the Yankees bought out his MLB player contract. Drew Henson left the MLB to play NFL football. He was a member of 2004 NFL Dallas Cowboys.
1986- The New York Yankees re-acquired veteran C/1B/DH Ron Hassey from the Chicago White Sox. Hassey, who had been traded to Chicago only two months earlier, returns to Yankees in a seven-player trade. On December 12,1985, Ron was traded by the Yankees along with P Joe Cowley to the White Sox for minor league players Glen Braxton and P Mike Soper and MLB P Britt Burns. Ron was traded by the White Sox along with minor league players Chris Alvarez and Eric Schmidt and OF Matt Winters to the Yankees for P Neil Allen, C Scott Bradley, minor leaguer Glen Braxton and cash. Ron will hit .296 hitting 13 HRs with 42 RBIs in 92 games for the 1985 Yankees. In 1986, he will hit .298 in 64 games, before being traded on July 30,1986, back to the Chicago White Sox along with minor league INF/OF Carlos Martinez to the White Sox for OF/DH Ron Kittle, C Joel Skinner, and INF Wayne Tollenson. On December 24,1986, the Yankees will send minor league C Bill Lindsey to the White Sox to complete the trade.
1879- Former Yankees 1B Tim Jordan (1903) was born. (1879-1949) Tim Jordan appeared two games with the 1903 Yankees, hitting just .125.
1913- Former Hall Of Fame Yankees broadcasting announcer Mel Allen was born. (1913-1996) Mel Allen was known as “The Longtime Voice of the Yankees” from the late 1939 to 1964. He would greet Yankee fans with “Hello here, Everyone” at the beginning of the every Yankees broadcast. With new CBS ownership, Mel was let go by the Yankees in winter of 1964. Mel Allen was welcomed back to the Yankees' on-air family in 1976 as a pre/post-game host for the cable telecasts with John Sterling, and eventually started calling play-by-play again. He announced Yankees cable telecasts on SportsChannel New York (now FSN New York) along with the regular crew of Phil Rizzuto, Bill White, Frank Messer, and occasionally Fran Healy. Mel Allen remained with the Yankees' play-by-play crew until 1985. Mel made occasional appearances on Yankee telecasts and commercials into the late 1980s. In 1990, Allen called play-by-play for a WPIX Yankees game to officially make him baseball's 1st 7-decade announcer. Among the memorable moments Allen called in that stretch were Yankees OF Reggie Jackson's 400th MLB HR in 1980, and Yankees starter Dave Righetti's no-hitter on July 4,1983. Later he would host “This Week in Baseball,” television series, working on the show until his death in 1996.
1951- Former Yankees reserve INF Larry Milbourne (1981-1983) was born. On November 18,1980, Larry Milbourne was traded by the Seattle Mariners with a player to be named later to the New York Yankees for reserve C Brad Gulden and $150,000. Larry would hit .313 in 61 games for the 1981 Yankees. On May 12,1982, he was traded by the Yankees along with Pitchers Pete Filson, John Pacella, and cash to the Minnesota Twins for C Butch Wynegar and P Roger Erickson. In 1983, the Yankees purchased Larry from the Philadelphia Phillies. Larry appeared in 31 games for the Yankees hitting .200. On February 14,1984, Larry Milbourne was traded by the Yankees to the Seattle Mariners for P Scott Nielsen and Eric Parent.
1966- Former Yankees INF Bill Stumpf (1912-1913) passed away. (1892-1966) Bill Stumpf appeared in 54 games for the Yankees, hitting .234. On May 25, 1913, Bill was traded by the Yankees along with INF Jack Lelivelt to the Cleveland Naps (aka Indians) for shortstop Roger Peckinpaugh.
1970- Former Yankees reserve C Kelly Stinnett (2006) was born. On December 1,2005, Kelly Stinnett was signed as a MLB free agent with the Yankees. He hit .228 in 34 games before being released by the team in July of 2006.
1975- Former Yankees reliever Damaso Marte (2008-2009) was born. The Seattle Mariners originally signed Damaso Marte, but the team released him. On November 16,2000, he was signed as a MLB free agent with the Yankees. On June 13,2001, Marte was traded by the Yankees to the Pittsburgh Pirates for INF Enrique Wilson. The Pittsburgh Pirates would trade him to Chicago White Sox. He would return to the Pirates. On July 26,2008, Damaso was traded by the Pirates along with OF/1B Xavier Nady to the New York Yankees for minor league players P Daniel McCutchen and OF Jose Tabata, Pitchers Jeff Karstens and Ross Ohlendorf. His Yankees career record is 2-6 in 46 games working out of the Yankees bullpen. Marte missed part of the 2011 American League season due to arm surgery performed in November of 2010.
1981- Former Yankees P Brad “Admiral” Halsey (2004) was born. The New York Yankees in the 8th round of the 2002 MLB amateur player draft drafted Pitcher Brad Halsey. He went 1-3 in 8 games for the Yankees in 2004, before being traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Randy Johnson trade. Brad has pitched in MLB with the Yankees, Diamondbacks and the A’s. In 2011, he rejoined the Yankees organization pitching in the minor leagues.
1985- Former Yankees P Tyler Clippard (2007) was born. The New York Yankees in the 9th round of the 2003 MLB amateur player draft drafted Pitcher Tyler Clippard. Tyler went 3-1 in six games for the Yankees. On December 5,2007, Tyler Clippard was traded by the New York Yankees to the Washington Nationals for P Jonathan Albaladejo.
1984- Former Yankees INF (1952-1953) and MLB Coach (1967) Babe “Bee Bee” Loren passed away. (1928-1984) The New York Yankees signed Babe Loren as an MLB amateur free agent in 1945. Babe appeared in only 17 games for the Yankees during the 1952-1953 AL seasons. He had been buried in the Yankees farm system with so many talented infielders around. In 1953, he was sold to the Philadelphia A’s, but he was reacquired by the Yankees in December of 1953 in the Vic Power trade with the Philadelphia A’s. Babe remained in the minor leagues until retiring as active player in 1958. From 1961-1966, he managed in the New York Yankees minor league system. He was a MLB coach for the Yankees in 1967. He later worked with the Chicago White Sox as a MLB coach in the 1980’s, before his death from cancer in 1984.
1916- The New York Yankees buy 3B Frank "Home Run" Baker from the Philadelphia A’s for $37,500. He sat out the 1915 American League season in a salary dispute with the Philadelphia A’s Owner/Manager Connie Mack. He will anchor the 3rd base position for the Yankees for several seasons (1916-1919 and 1921-1923). He missed the 1920 American League season due to the death of his wife; he stayed home to care for his two children.
1938- The New York Yankees obtained reserve INF Billy “Knick” Knickerbocker from St. Louis Browns for reserve INF Don “Jeep” Heffner and cash.
1931- The New York Yankees' training site in St. Petersburg, Florida is renamed Miller Huggins Field in honor of the team's late manager, who had passed away in September of 1929.
1942- Former Yankees P Bill Henry (1966) was born. The New York Yankees signed Pitcher Bill Henry, as an MLB amateur free agent in 1964. He appeared in 2 games for the 1966 Yankees with no record. On September 18,1967, Bill Henry was traded by the New York Yankees to the Cincinnati Reds for INF/OF Len Boehmer.
1945- Former Yankees reserve OF Ross “Mickey Mantle’s Legs” Moschitto (1965,1967) was born. In 1964, Ross Moschitto was signed by the New York Yankees as an MLB amateur free agent. Ross hit .184 in 110 games with 1 HR with 3 RBIs. He was a sure sign that the Yankees, once great minor league system was in very bad shape. He was often used as a late inning replacement for Mickey Mantle in the outfield. Ross Moschitto is one of only 7 non-pitchers in the history of Major League Baseball (through 2006) to have played more than 100 games with more games played than plate appearances in his MLB career. He played in 110 games with only 39 plate appearances.
1951- Former Yankees minor league OF Tommy Cruz was born. On December 12,1977, Tommy Cruz was traded by the Chicago White Sox along with P Bob Polinsky (minors) and 1B/DH Jim Spencer to the New York Yankees for P Ed Ricks (minors), P Stan Thomas and cash. Tommy never played for the Yankees at the MLB level. Later he played professional baseball in Japan. He is now a minor league coach.
1963- Former Yankees P Bump Hadley (1936-1940) passed away. (1904-1963) Bump Hadley went 47-31 in 140 games for the New York Yankees. He went 2-1 in three World Series with the Yankees. His best New York Yankees season was in 1936, going 14-4. In 1939, Hadley posted 12-6 mark for the Yankees. In 1940, he was sold to the Philadelphia A’s.
1966- Former Yankees P Melido Perez (1992-1995) was born. On January 10,1992, Melido Perez was traded by the Chicago White Sox along with Pitchers Domingo Jean and Bob Wickman to the Yankees for All Star 2B Steve Sax. Melido Perez posted a 33-39 mark for the Yankees.
1971- Former Yankees minor league OF Terry Jones was born. On January 6, 2000, the Dodgers sent Terry Jones to the Yankees as part of a conditional deal. On March 31, 2000, Terry was selected off waivers by the Montreal Expos from the New York Yankees.
1979- The New York Yankees traded OF/1B/DH Gary Thomasson to the Dodgers for C Brad Gulden. After being obtained from the Oakland A’s, Gary hit .276 in 56 games for the 1978 New York Yankees, while filling in the for injured American League All Star CF Mickey Rivers. Brad Gulden will be called up to the Yankees when Yankees regular C Thruman Munson is killied in a airplane crash in August of 1979. Jerry Narron and Brad Gulden will handle the Yankees catching duties for the remainer of the 1979 AL season.
1983- Current Yankees C Russell Martin was born. On June 4, 2002, Russell Martin was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 17th round of the 2002 MLB amateur player draft. On December 2, 2010, he was granted MLB Free Agency by the Dodgers. On December 15, 2010, Russell Martin was signed as a MLB free agent by the New York Yankees. Martin has a MLB career BA of .272 for five seasons with the Dodgers. Martin was a NL All Star team member in 2008-2008 NL seasons. In 2011, Martin appeared in 125 games for the New York Yankees, hitting .237 with 18 HRs with 65 RBIs. He was named to the 2011 AL All Star team.
1994- The New York Yankees signed veteran reliever Jeff Reardon as a MLB free agent. Jeff posted a 1-0 record in 11 games with 2 saves. On May 6,1994, Jeff was released by the Yankees.
1995- The New York Yankees signed P Bob MacDonald as a MLB free agent. Bob posted a 1-1 record in 33 games with the 1995 Yankees. On October 16, 1995, Bob was released by the Yankees.
2001- The New York Yankees signed OF Henry Rodriguez, to a one-year contract. The agreement was reached a month ago and H-Rod is already listed in the team's spring training program. He will only appear in 5 games for the 2001 Yankees with no hits before being released by the team.
2006- New York Yankees hurler Jason Anderson is selected off waivers by the San Diego Padres. Jason Anderson was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 10th round of the 2000 MLB amateur player draft. In 2003, he went 1-0 in 22 games for the Yankees. On July 16,2003, Jason was traded by the Yankees along with minor league players Ryan Bicondoa and Anderson Garcia to the New York Mets for NL All Star reliever Armando Benitez. On June 1,2004, Jason Anderson was selected off waivers by the New York Yankees from the Cleveland Indians. In 2005, he appeared in 3 games for the Yankees posting a 1-0 record.
1897- Former Yankees P Alex Ferguson (1918-1921,1925) was born. (1897-1976) Alex Ferguson went 3-1 in 18 games for the New York Yankees. On February 24,1922, Alex was picked up on waivers from the Yankees by the Boston Red Sox. In 1925, he returned to the Yankees, posting a 4-2 mark in 21 games. On August 17,1925, Alex was waived to the Washington Senators, he posted 5-1 mark in 7 games.
1924- Boston Braves 3B Tony Boeckel becomes the 1st MLB player to be killed in an automobile accident, when he dies from injuries received as an passenger yesterday in San Diego, California. New York Yankees outfielder Bob Meusel, who also was a passenger of the car driven by Los Angeles theater man Bob Albright, who escaped without any serious injuries.
1948- The New York Yankees released veteran hurler Louis “Bob” Newsom. In 1947, he went 7-5 for the Yankees, after being obtained from the Washington Senators on July 11, 1947. He will play for the New York Giants in 1948.
1952- Former Yankees reserve C Barry Foote (1981-1982) was born. On April 27,1981, Barry Foote was traded by the Chicago Cubs to the New York Yankees for P Tom Filer and cash. Barry hit .177 in 57 games as a reserve catcher for the team.
1953- The New York Yankees purchased P Johnny Schmitz (1952-1953) from the Cincinnati Reds for cash. John went 2-1 in 8 games with 2 saves for the 1952-1953 Yankees. On May 13, 1953 the Yankees waived John to the Washington Senators
1961- Former Yankees P Dazzy Vance (1915,1918) passed away. (1891-1961) In April of 1915, the New York Yankees purchased Dazzy Vance for cash from the Pittsburgh Pirates. While with the Yankees, Dazzy suffered with arm problems. He only appeared in 10 games for the team, posting a 0-3 record. The New York Yankees would release him. The Brooklyn Dodgers would sign him. Once his arm problems were over, he posted a 190-131 mark for the Dodgers. He won 20 games or more 3 times for the Dodgers. He played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Yankees, Brooklyn Dodgers (twice), St. Louis Cardinals, and the Chicago Cubs from 1915-1935. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1955.
1967- Former Yankees All Star P Charles “Red” Ruffing (1930-1946), author of 273 major league wins, is elected to the Hall Of Fame. Red Ruffing would lead the New York Yankee pitchers in career wins with 231 wins, until Whitey Ford passed the Yankees club record in 1965, who finished with 236 career wins as a Yankees pitcher. Also he was a pretty good hitting pitching pitcher for the Yankees, hitting a Grand Slam homerun. Yankees Manager Joe McCarthy wasn’t afraid to use him as a pinch-hitter, when needed. Red Ruffing will win 273 games during a 22-year MLB career with the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and finishing up with the Chicago White Sox in 1947. From 1936-1939, Red Ruffing went 20-12, 20-7, 21-7 (twice) as a Yankees starter.
1971- Former Yankees reserve OF Cedric Durst (1927-1930) passed away. (1896-1971) On February 8,1927, Cedric Durst was traded by the St. Louis Browns along with P Joe Giard to the New York Yankees for P Sam Jones. He appeared in 239 games for the Yankees, hitting .247. On May 6, 1930, Cedric Durst was traded by the Yankees along with $50,000 to the Boston Red Sox for P Charles “Red” Ruffing.
1981- The New York Yankees traded INF Rafael Santana to the St. Louis Cardinals for a player to be named later. On June 7,1981, the Cardinals sent P George Frazier to the Yankees to complete the trade.
1981- Former Yankees P Sergio Mitre (2009-2011) was born. On November 3,2008, Sergio Mitre was signed as a MLB free agent by the New York Yankees. In January of 2009, Sergio Mitre was suspended for 50 games by MLB for a positive test for a banned substance. The California native said it was from an over-the-counter supplement he had purchased. On March 25,2011, Sergio was traded by the New York Yankees to the Milwaukee Brewers for OF Chris Dickerson. On June 29,2011, he was purchased by the New York Yankees from the Milwaukee Brewers. His Yankees pitching career record is a 3-6 in 43 games with 1 save. On October 30, 2011, Sergio was granted MLB Free Agency by the Yankees.
2001- The New York Yankees premier MLB reliever, Mariano Rivera (7-4 record, with a 2.85 ERA and 36 saves), signs a four-year, approximately $40 million contract with the Bronx Bombers. The 31-year old Panama native surpassed Dennis Eckersley’s MLB record with 16 saves in post-season games.
2004- Former MLB General Manager, Manager and Yankees MLB Coach Charley Fox passes away. (1921-2004) Charley Fox spent most of his MLB playing and management career with the New York-San Francisco Giants organization. He was a catcher, who appeared in 3 games with the New York Giants in 1942. He managed the San Francisco Giants from 1970-1974, the Montreal Expos in 1976, and the Chicago Cubs in 1983. In 1989, Charley Fox was a MLB coach for the New York Yankees.
2004- The New York Yankees traded a player to be named later and AL All Star 2B Alfonso Soriano to the Texas Rangers for AL All Star shortstop Alex Rodriguez and cash. On April 24,2004, the Yankees would sent minor league player INF Joaquin Arias to the Rangers to complete the trade.
2006- The New York Yankees signed veteran P Scott Erickson as a MLB free agent. He will appear in 6 games for the 2006 Yankees with no record. On June 11,2006, Scott was released by the Yankees.
2010- The Washington Nationals sign former New York Yankees starter Chien-Ming Wang to a one-year contract. Wang saw his 2008 AL season end early with a foot injury during an inter-league game in Houston. He had an 8-2 record at the time of his foot injury. Wang struggled to a 1-6 record with the 2009 Yankees, while being bothered with various ailments during the season. The Yankees did not tender him in the winter of 2009.
1893- Former Yankees 1B Wally Pipp (1915-1925) was born. (1893-1965) On February 4,1915, Wally Pipp was purchased by the New York Yankees from the Detroit Tigers. He was the Yankees regular first baseman from 1915-1925, he hit over .300 twice for the club. His best Yankees season was in 1922, when he hit .329 in 152 games. During the 1925 AL season, Pipp had asked out of the Yankees starting lineup with a headache. He was replaced by rookie 1B Lou Gehrig. He never started another game for the Yankees at 1B. On January 15,1926, Wally was purchased by the Cincinnati Reds from the Yankees for $7,500. He would play for the Reds from 1926-1929. He retired with a MLB career BA of .281.
1901- Former Yankees reserve C Eddie Phillips (1932) was born. (1901-1968) Ed Phillips appeared in only 9 games for the 1932 Yankees, hitting .290. He spent part of the 1932 baseball season with the Newark Bears (AAA) in the International League. He returned to the minors in 1933. In 1934 Eddie played for the Washington Senators as a reserve catcher. In 1935, he finished his MLB career with the Cleveland Indians, hittting .273 in 70 games.
1908- Former Hall Of Fame Yankees broadcaster Red “Old Redhead” Barber (1954-1966) was born. (1908-1992) Red Barber was a broadcast journalist, not a “homer” baseball announcer. He had previously worked for the Cincinnati Reds and the Brooklyn Dodgers before joining the New York Yankees in 1954. He teamed up with Mel Allen to give the Yankees, one of most famous broadcasting teams in MLB history. He was let go by the Yankees after the 1966 American League season, ending a great broadcasting tradition.
1937- The New York Yankees buy another “Babe” from the Boston Red Sox, this time picking up 1B Babe Dahlgren. The California native will become the player who replaces Lou Gehrig at 1B in Detroit, during the 1939 AL season. Babe’s best Yankees season was in 1940, when he hit .262. In February of 1941, the Yankees sold Babe Dahlgren to the Boston Braves.
1943-American League All Star CF Joe DiMaggio, drawing $43,500 from the New York Yankees, trades in his MLB salary for the $50 a month as an U.S. Army enlisted man. Joe DiMaggio, in his customary quiet style, gives no notice to the Yankees about enlisting in the Army.
1959- The New York Yankees invite Australian cricket player Norman O'Neill for a tryout at shortstop. U.S. Davis Cup captain Billy Talbert, while playing tennis in Australia, arranges the deal after hearing of O'Neill's prowess.
1976- Former Yankees reserve INF Cody Ransom (2008-2009) was born. Cody Ransom was used as a utility player by the Yankees in 2008 getting the 1st playing time of his MLB career as a 1B that year - he had originally come up as a shortstop. On September 21,2008, he recorded the last putout in the history of Yankee Stadium, fielding a ground ball from 2B Brian Roberts of the Baltimore Orioles at 1st base; he had come into the game as a defensive substitute for Jason Giambi in the 8th inning. He hit surprisingly well that year, posting a batting average of .302 with a slugging percentage of .651 in 33 games. Largely as a result of that unexpected good performance, Ransom was chosen to take over at 3rd base for Alex Rodriguez, when the superstar was sidelined by a hip injury at the beginning of the 2009 American League season. In 2009, Cody appeared in 31 games for the Yankees, hitting a very disappointing .190.
1977- The New York Yankees traded veteran MLB INF Sandy Alomar Sr. to the Texas Rangers for infielders Greg Pryor, Brian Doyle and cash.
1981- The New York Yankees signed MLB free agent reliever Bill Castro. Bill will post a 1-1 record in 11 games for the 1981 Yankees. On March 24,1982, Bill was traded by the Yankees to the California Angels for INF Butch Hobson.
1982- Former Yankees reliever Brian Bruney (2006-2009) was born. On July 1,2006, Brian was signed as a MLB free agent with the New York Yankees, after being released by the Arizona Diamondbacks. In 2009, he went 5-0 in 44 games. His Yankees career record was 12-3 record in 153 games with one save. After 2009 World Series, Brian was traded to the Washington Nationals.
1986- Former Yankees Hall Of Fame P Charles “Red” Ruffing passed away. (1905-1986) On May 6,1930, Red Ruffing was obtained by the Yankees from the Boston Red Sox for OF Cecil Durst and $50,000. Red Ruffing would lead the New York Yankee pitchers in career wins with 231 wins, until Whitey Ford passed the club record in 1965, who finished with 236 wins as a Yankee. Also he was a pretty good pitching pitcher for the Yankees hitting a Grand Slam HR. From 1936-1939, Red Ruffing went 20-12, 20-7, 21-7 (twice) as a Yankees starter. Ruffing will win 273 games during a 22-year MLB career with the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox. He will gain election to the Hall of Fame in 1967.
1987- New York Yankees All Star 1B Don Mattingly wins his $1.975 million arbitration case breaking the record for the largest amount ever awarded to a MLB player set by starter Jack Morris, just 4 days ago.
1989- Former Yankees Hall Of Fame P Veron “Lefty” Gomez passed away. (1908-1989) On August 17,1929, Lefty Gomez was purchased by the New York Yankees from the San Francisco Seals (Pacific Coast League). Lefty would go 189-101 with a WP of .637 in 357 games in his New York Yankees pitching career. Also Lefty would finish with 1,468 strikeouts with 173 complete games and 26 shutouts. Lefty appeared on seven American League All Star teams, including the very first team in 1933. His AL All Star pitching record was 3-1 in 5 games. His World Series record as a Yankees starter was 6-0 in seven games. On January 25,1943, the Boston Braves purchased Lefty Gomez from the Yankees. He would be released by the Braves. Then he was picked up by the Washington Senators, going 0-1 in one game, before retiring from MLB in July of 1943. He would be elected to Baseball’s Hall Of Fame in 1972. He was one of the most colorful players to wear the Yankees uniform, having the nickname of “Goofy”.
1990- The New York Yankees signed P Mariano Rivera as an MLB amateur free agent.
1991- The New York Yankees released veteran MLB P Dave LaPoint. Dave had posted a 13-19 record in 48 games for the Yankees.
1879- Former Yankees P Louis Leroy (1905-1906) was born. (1879-1944) Louis Leroy went 3-1 in 14 games for the Yankees.
1887- Former Yankees INF Curt Coleman (1912) was born. (1887-1980) Curt Coleman appeared in 12 games for the 1912 Yankees, hitting .243.
1889- Former Yankees P George Mogridge (1915-1920) was born. (1889-1962) During the month of August of 1915, George Mogridge was purchased by the New York Yankees from Minneapolis (American Association). On August 24th, 1917, he threw the first no-hitter in Yankees history in a game against the Boston Red Sox. The next summer, he had his best year, going 16-13 with a 2.18 ERA while leading the American League with 45 appearances and 7 saves. Following the 1920 season, he was traded to the Washington Senators. His 2.73 ERA in his six years with New York is one of the five best ERA’s for a Yankee pitcher in the 20th century. George posted a 48-53 record in 171 games for the Yankees On January 20,1921, George was traded along with OF Duffy Lewis to the Washington Senators for OF Bob Roth. He appeared in 1924 World Series with the Senators, posting 1-0 record. With the Senators he would go 68-55. On February 6,1926, he was traded by the St. Louis Browns with cash to the New York Yankees for veteran Catcher Wally Schang. On February 15,1926, George was selected off waivers by the Boston Braves from the New York Yankees.
1915- Former Yankees 1942 MVP 2B (1938-1943,1946) and MLB Manager Joe “Flash” Gordon was born. (1915-1978) Former MLB Manager: Cleveland Indians (1958-1960), Detroit Tigers (1960), Kansas City A’s (1961) and the Kansas City Royals (1969). The New York Yankees signed infielder Joe Gordon in 1936. In 1938, he joined the New York Yankees as a 2nd baseman. He made the American League All Star team in from 1939 to 1943, and again in 1946. In 1942, he won American League Most Valuable Player award, hitting .342 for the Yankees. In October of 1946, Joe Gordon was traded by the New York Yankees to the Cleveland Indians for starter Allie Reynolds.
After retiring as an active player, he later became a MLB manager in the American League during the 1950’s. He was involved in the only trade of MLB managers in 1960, when Tribe General Manager Frank “Trader” Lane traded him from the Cleveland Indians to the Detroit Tigers for veteran AL Manager Jimmy Dykes. Joe managed both MLB Kansas City teams, the A’s in 1961 and Expansion Royals in 1969. Joe “Flash” Gordon was elected to Baseball’s Hall of Fame in December of 2008.
1927- Former Yankees Closer and MLB Scout Luis Arroyo (1960-1963) was born. On December 5,1949, Luis Arroyo was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals from Greensboro (Carolina) in the 1949 minor league Player draft. In 1955, as a rookie pitcher with the St. Louis Cardinals, Luis made the NL All Star team. During that 1955 National League season, Luis Arroyo won 11 games for the Cardinals. On May 5,1956, Luis was traded by the Cardinals to the Pittsburgh Pirates for MLB veteran hurler Max Surkont. On December 3,1958, Luis was traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates to the Cincinnati Reds for 1B/OF Nino Escalera.
On July 20,1960, Luis Arroyo was purchased by the New York Yankees from the Cincinnati Reds organization. He had been pitching at Jersey City (International League, AAA). He would go 5-1 with 7 saves for the 1960 Yankees. In 1961, he had his best MLB career season going 15-5 with 29 saves, leading the American League with 54 games finished. He was selected to the 1961 AL All Star team. Luis was the 1961 AL Reliever of the Year Award Winner.
In the winter of 1961, Luis had not pitched his usual routine of winter league baseball, attending various winter baseball dinners and awards meetings. During the 1962 AL season, he injured his pitching arm, just going 1-3 for the Yankees. Later he admitted that the arm injury was due to not following his winter pitching routine. In September of 1963, the team released him. His final Yankees pitching career record was 22-10 with 30 saves. He later would become a MLB scout for the Yankees.
1929- Former Yankees minor league C Cal Neeman was born. In 1949, Cal Neeman was signed as an MLB amateur free agent by the New York Yankees, out of Illinois Wesleyan University, where he also played basketball, The Yankee organization assigned Cal to the Joplin Miners (Class C) Western Association, where he spent both the 1949-1950 seasons. Cal would hit .292 for the Miners in 95 games in 1950 to help them win the pennant (with help from teammate Mickey Mantle). Neeman was then called up by the United States Military to serve during the Korean War, returning in time for the 1953 baseball season. Neeman would spend the next 4 seasons in the minors with his best year coming in 1955, when he caught 122 games, hitting .294 for the Birmingham Barons (Southern Association.) In 1956, he would split time between the Richmond Virginians (AAA) and the Denver Bears (AAA) and he played well. On December 3,1956, Cal Neeman was drafted by the Chicago Cubs from the New York Yankees organization in the MLB Rule 5 player draft. Neeman's MLB numbers showed that he had 7 active years behind the plate, where he had a good .988 fielding percentage but he wound up with only a .224 BA, with 30 HRs while appearing in 376 games. Cal played for the Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Cleveland Indians and the Washington Senators. Cal had also spent time in all or parts of 9 minor league seasons with a .261 BA with 30 HRs, while appearing in 719 games.
1949- Former Yankees 1B/DH John Mayberry (1982) was born. On May 5,1982, veteran 1B/DH John Mayberry was traded by the Toronto Blue Jays to the New York Yankees for 1B Dave Revering, OF Tom Dodd, and Jeff Reynolds. John would hit .209 in 69 games for the 1982 Yankees.
1975- Former Yankees reserve C Chad Moeller (2008, 2010) was born. On June 3,1993, Chad Moeller was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 25th round of the 1993 MLB amateur player draft, but he did not sign with the team. Following the 1996 MLB amateur player draft, he would sign with the Minnesota Twins. On March 12,2008, Chad Moeller was signed as a MLB free agent by the New York Yankees. Chad split the 2008 baseball season between Scranton (AAA) and the Yankees. As a Yankees reserve catcher, he appeared in 41 games hitting .231. On October 30, 2008, Chad was granted MLB free agency by the Yankees. He played the 2009 AL season with the Baltimore Orioles, appearing in 30 games, hitting .258. On April 3, 2010, Chad was signed as a MLB free agent with the New York Yankees. He spent most of 2010 season with Scranton (AAA). In September, he was called up by the Yankees, appearing in only 9 games, hitting just .214. On November 1, 2010, Chad was granted MLB free agency by the Yankees. On January 19, 2011, Chad Moeller was signed as a MLB free agent by the Colorado Rockies.
1977- The New York Yankees signed INF Jose Uribe as an MLB amateur free agent. On July 5,1977, Jose was released by the Yankees. He would sign with the St. Louis Cardinals, and then he played for the San Francisco Giants.
1998- The New York Yankees sign American League All Star Centerfielder Bernie Williams to an $8.5 million, 1-year contract, avoiding salary arbitration.
1999- The New York Yankees end the MLB trade rumors by acquiring Cy Young Award winner P Roger Clemens from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for pitchers David Wells, Graeme Lloyd and reserve INF Homer Bush.
2001- Former Yankees P Charles “Butch” Wensloff (1943,1947) passed away. (1915-2001) Butch Wensloff pitched for three seasons in the majors. All 3-years were on a World Series championship team. He was a star with the Yankees as a rookie in 1943, going 13-11. Then after missing several years of a career to World War II. He came back to win again with the Yankees in 1947, going 3-1. His ERA was well under 3.00 both years. In the 1947 World Series, which the Yankees won, Wensloff pitched a couple scoreless innings in the 6th game. He pitched 1 game for the 1948 Cleveland Indians, who went on to win the 1948 World Series. He led the American Association in 1942 with 21 victories. On March 27,1948, he was sent to the Philadelphia Phillies by the Yankees as part of a conditional deal. On April 10,1948, he was returned by the Phillies to the Yankees as part of a conditional deal. On April 12,1948, he was purchased by the Cleveland Indians from the Yankees.
2005- The New York Yankees signed P Ramiro Mendoza as a MLB free agent. He was still recovering from arm problems. He would never regain the effectiveness as a middle reliever that he was in his first tour with the New York Yankees.
Yankees 3B Frank "Home Run" Baker leaves the Yankees for the 1920 AL season to take care of his children.
February 12, 1920- The New York Yankees 3B Frank "Home Run" Baker’s wife, Ottalee Baker, dies at the age of 31, leaving two small children. Frank Baker will miss the entire 1920 American League season with the New York Yankees to stay home and take care of the family, returning in 1921 to play 3B for the team, hitting .294 for the Yankees. He would retire from the New York Yankees after the 1922 American League season.
February 13,1986- The New York Yankees re-acquired veteran C/1B/DH Ron Hassey from the Chicago White Sox. Hassey, who had been traded to Chicago only 2 months earlier, returns to Yankees in a 7-player trade. On December 12, 1985, Ron was traded by the Yankees along with P Joe Cowley to the White Sox for minor league players Glen Braxton and P Mike Soper and MLB P Britt Burns. Ron was traded by the White Sox along with minor league players Chris Alvarez and Eric Schmidt and OF Matt Winters to the Yankees for P Neil Allen, C Scott Bradley, minor leaguer Glen Braxton and cash. Ron will hit .296 hitting 13 HRs with 42 RBIs in 92 games for the 1985 Yankees. In 1986, he will hit .298 in 64 games, before being traded on July 30, 1986, back to the Chicago White Sox along with minor league INF/OF Carlos Martinez to the White Sox for OF/DH Ron Kittle, C Joel Skinner, and INF Wayne Tollenson. On December 24, 1986, the Yankees will send minor league C Bill Lindsey to the White Sox to complete the trade.
The following is a guest post by my dear friend David Meadvin, with some assistance from me on the statistical/research front. Dave previously contributed to TYA as an occasional guest poster, and is probably the world’s biggest Pascual Perez fan. We’re talking about someone who, as a nine-year-old, literally filled three nine-card binder sheets up with nothing but the same exact 1990 Topps Pascual Perez card seen at the right (that’s twenty-seven (!) identical cards) for reasons that remain unclear to this day.
On a warm Dominican spring morning in 1957, Pascual Gross Perez came into this world – and Major League Baseball would never be the same.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m not an advanced stats kind of guy. I’ve never been that interested about baseball on paper; I love the game because it’s unpredictable in a way that stats can never fully capture. When Larry and I were growing up dodging beer bottles at Yankee Stadium and trading Topps cards, I was never a huge fan of the big stars. Sure, I loved Don Mattingly and Darryl Strawberry (I know he was a Met, but good God what a swing) – but my heart was always with the oddballs. And there have been few odder balls in MLB history that Pascual “I-285” Perez.
One of the many strange things about Perez is that his Minor League performance was mediocre at best. Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as an amateur free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 1976, Perez spent five years in Pittsburgh’s minor league system putting stats that hardly screamed “I’m ready for The Show.” In 1979, at AAA, he threw 103 innings of 5.50 ERA ball with an ugly 4.5 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9. He improved considerably the following season at AAA, throwing 160 innings of 4.05 ERA ball with a 5.9 K.9 and 2.7 BB/9, and he made his MLB debut on May 7, firing six innings of three-run ball, then getting sent right back down for his troubles. At the age of 24, Perez started the 1981 season at AAA for the third consecutive year. Today, it’s hard to imagine a pitcher with minor league stat ever seeing the bigs, but with a staff that was fronted by John Candelaria, a struggling Rick Rhoden, an ancient Luis Tiant and no one else anyone’s ever heard of, the Pirates were clearly desperate for pitching.
As a result, despite a 4.94 ERA and a worse walk rate (4.1 per nine) than strikeout rate (a paltry 3.2), Perez earned a Mid-May call-up. At the Major League-level, Perez actually pitched slightly better than his MiLB number might have indicated, but still, he was hardly a star. He tossed 86.1 innings of 3.96 ERA/3.57 FIP ball — numbers that few would frown upon from a middle-of-the-rotation starter these days, but back in 1981 were 10% and 1% worse than league average, respectively. Not to mention the fact that Perez still wasn’t striking anyone out, with a 4.8 K/9. Unimpressed, the Pirates demoted Perez back to AAA for the start of the 1982 season, which prompted the Dominican to consider leaving Major League Baseball and returning to the Caribbean League. Fortunately for all of us, the Atlanta Braves decided to take a chance on him and acquired him in a trade for Larry McWilliams, who had pitched to a putrid 6.21 ERA/1.91 WHIP the season before, but somehow managed to put up two solid years for the Pirates in 1983 and 1984.
The Braves may not have known exactly what they were getting in the rail-thin Perez, but it didn’t take long to find out. On August 19, 1982, Perez was scheduled to make his debut start in Atlanta. As game time approached, Perez was nowhere to be found. When Perez finally showed up – well after the game began – he explained that he drove around I-285 three times looking for the ballpark before finally running out of gas. Here’s how the story was reported in Sports Illustrated:
“When I get lost, I been in Atlanta for four days,” says Perez. “I rent a car and get my driving permit that morning, and I leave for the stadium very early, but I forget where to make a turn right.”
Thus handicapped, Perez made an afternoon-long ordeal out of what is normally a 15-minute ride. Circling helplessly, he finally pulled off the freeway at about 7:10 p.m., well north of Atlanta and running on fumes, and using gestures and his minimal English, persuaded a gas-station attendant to pump $10 worth of free gas for him. “I forgot my wallet, too,” says Perez.
The incident earned Perez the nickname “I-285,” which he proudly wore on the back of his warmup jacket. As Yankees fans are well aware, the Braves’ manager at the time, Joe Torre, is not known for treating rookies kindly – much less rookies who miss their first start. In fact, a famed poster commemorating the incident is described as including a mural of Torre, looking baffled, staring at his wristwatch. If anyone owns this poster or can unearth even a JPEG of it, please let us know.
Surprisingly, Torre stuck with the enigmatic righthander. Incomprehensibly, Perez’s mishap lit a fire under the Braves. Heading into his Braves debut, the team was mired in a 2-19 slump. Yet, according to Sports Illustrated, the team “found the mishap so hilarious that they laughed their way into a 13-2 winning streak and then went on to win the National League West, thereby making Perez’s ride more familiar to Atlanta schoolchildren than Paul Revere’s.” The title run was also helped by Perez’ 79.1 innings of 82 ERA-/89 FIP ball for the Braves that season despite a K/9 of just 3.3(!).
Perez also began establishing a reputation around Major League Baseball that season for on-field antics that included shooting batters with an imaginary finger-gun, peering through his legs to see what kinds of leads baserunners were taking, regular beanings and threats, an occasional eephus pitch (which would come to be known as the “Pascual Pitch” in certain circles), and of course his gleaming curly locks. As one opposing manager proclaimed, “there’s not enough mustard in the State of Georgia for Mr. Perez.” Perez’s response? “Everybody mad at me because they think I try to hit somebody, but I don’t try to hit nobody. The coaches tell me, ‘Don’t be afraid sometimes to pitch inside,’ so I do it.”
Coming into the 1983 season, the Braves saw Perez as an emerging star, and he lived up to their expectations, posting the best season of his career. He threw 215.1 innings of 3.43 ERA (90 ERA-)/3.39 FIP (87 FIP-) ball, with a 6.0 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9, worth 4.1 fWAR. Sadly, Perez found himself jailed in the Dominican Republic in the offseason on drug charges. After his release, he returned to the Braves in May 1984 and proceeded to win 14 games the remainder of the season. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that if not for his jail time, Perez would have been a 20 game winner in the ’84 season.
In 1985, everything fell apart. Perez served three stints on the disabled list with shoulder pain before earning a team suspension in July for disappearing somewhere between New York and Montreal. After finishing the year with a heinous 1-13 record, Perez, who just a year earlier was seen as an emerging ace and probably would have been unanimously elected mayor of Atlanta, was released by the Braves.
1986 is a complete mystery. There is no record of Perez throwing a single pitch in any organized baseball league, or even what he did with his time.
Fortunately, the Pascual Perez story was not over. Prior to the 1987 season, the Montreal Expos managed to track him down and signed him to a minor league contract. Visa problems kept him from entering the United States until May, but after several months of minor league ball, Perez made his return on August 22, 1987, throwing five innings of three-run ball against the Giants. He finished the year a perfect 7-0. This time, Perez appeared to have finally figured it out with Montreal, enjoying the finest three-year stretch of his career as he threw 456.2 innings of 2.80 ERA (80 ERA-)/3.05 FIP (85 FIP-) ball, upping his K/9 6.7 and walking almost no one, with a 2.1 BB/9. In 1988, he pitched a rain-shortened, five inning no-hitter.
After an uninspired 1989 season, the Yankees came calling. Coming off two straight fifth-place seasons and utterly desperate for starting pitching (their starters pitched to an MLB-worst 121 ERA- from 1988-1989), the Yankees decided to invest 3 years and $5.7 million in Perez.
The big-bucks investment didn’t exactly pay off. Prior to throwing a single pitch for the Yankees he arrived seven days late to spring training with what the Yankees described as yet more “visa problems,” prompting then-Expos manager Buck Rodgers to describe Perez as “a time bomb that the Yankees will have to monitor closely.” In his third start that season, Perez departed with an ailing arm that required rotator-cuff surgery that August. He also could have invested in a datebook or personal assistant, as Pascual showed up 10 days late to spring training in 1991, and five days late in 1992.
The thing is, when Perez actually took the mound he was effective, putting up a 2.87 ERA and 3.60 FIP in 1990 and 1991. But he only pitched a total of 87.2 innings spread out over two seasons. For whatever reason, he just couldn’t stay healthy (or present) for long stretches during his time in pinstripes. It all came crashing down in 1992 — the third and final year of Perez’s big contract – when he was suspended by MLB violating the league’s drug policy. This forced him to forfeit the remaining $1.9 million left on his contract.
Despite these myriad setbacks, the Yankees were actually interested in retaining Perez’s services. The New York Times reported that general manager Gene Michael placed about 60 calls to him over the offseason, but never heard back. Perez, who once referred to himself as “one of five twin brothers,” (one of those five, Melido, of course also pitched for the Yankees, and gave the Bombers quite a bit more than Pascual ever did, posting a 4.06 ERA/3.84 FIP over 631.1 innings from 1992-1995) had fallen deep into the Dominican Republic, far from the grasp of Major League Baseball.
Despite the Yankees’ best efforts, to this day, Pascual Perez has never been found. He may be gone, but his legacy lives on in the hearts of fans everywhere who consider him a hall-of-famer in baseball’s theater of the absurd.
"Selig ran a speakeasy, now he wants to take all the alcohol out of the town." Mike Francesa
Left-handed pitchers are the cats of Major League Baseball because it seems like they get nine lives. No one put those lives to the test more than Steve Howe.
The Dodgers drafted Steve Howe with the 16th overall pick in the 1979 draft, sending him and his golden left arm right to Double-A out of the University of Michigan. After 13 minor league starts to finish the year, Howe made the big league roster out of Spring Training the next season as a reliever. By the end of April, he was Tommy Lasorda’s closer. At 22 years old, Howe threw 84.2 relief innings across 59 appearances and pitched to a 2.66 ERA. He saved 17 games and beat out Bill Gullickson and Lonnie Smith for the NL Rookie of the Year Award.
The work stoppage limited Howe to just 41 appearances and 54 innings in 1981, though he still saved eight games and pitched to a 2.50 ERA. The Dodgers beat the Yankees in the World Series that year, with Howe throwing 3.2 scoreless innings to clinch the title in Game Six. His first All-Star Game selection followed in 1982, as he threw 99.1 innings across 66 appearances, saving 13 games and posting a 2.08 ERA. At 24 years old, Howe had three stellar big league seasons, a Rookie of the Year Award, an All-Star Game berth, and a World Series title to his credit. He was a certified star, but then everything started to fall apart.
During the 1982-1983 offseason, Howe underwent treatment for cocaine addiction. He returned in time to start the season, and was his usual dominant self. He allowed just two unearned runs in his first 14 appearances and 22.1 innings, but on May 29th he had to re-enter treatment for his cocaine problem. The club fined him $54k and then-commissioner Bowie Kuhn placed him on three years probation upon his release from treatment in late-June. Two weeks later, the club suspended him after he showed up late to a game, but drug tests came back clean. He was reinstated the next day.
Howe was again brilliant down the stretch, pitching to a 2.14 ERA in 32 games and 46.1 innings after returning to the club following his midseason treatment. Five days after throwing two perfect innings against the Astros on September 19th, the Dodgers suspended Howe indefinitely after he missed the team’s flight to Atlanta. He also refused to take a drug test.
“Howe was unable to give satisfactory reasons for his failure to call the Dodger office to explain the circumstances,” said then-Dodgers vice president Fred Claire. “Howe was asked to take a urinalysis test to detect the presence of prohibited substances, but he refused to take the test.”
The commissioner’s office started an investigation, and Howe’s lawyer advised him to sit out the rest of the season. His Narcotics Anonymous sponsor confirmed that he was under the direction of physician but not at a rehab clinic.
“One thing I can tell you, Steve is not on narcotics,” said Roy Bell, Howe’s attorney. “I can’t afford to have Steve stressed out any more by the fans, the media, the pressure. I don’t think he can take the emotional strain.”
(Photo via MonsterMarketplace.com)
On December 16th, 1983, Kuhn suspended four players for one year due to their use of illegal drugs. Howe was one of the four, but unlike the other three players (Willie Wilson, Willie Atkins, and Jerry Martin, all of the Royals), his case would not be reviewed on May 15th. He’d have to wait the full year. The players union was understandably upset, and they ended up filing grievances on behalf of all four players. Howe eventually settled his grievance and agreed to miss the full year.
“My doctor, my therapist and fellow members of my recovery program have urged me to take more time before subjecting myself to the high emotions and stress of a pennant race,” said Howe in a statement following the settlement.
After sitting out the 1984 season, Howe returned to the Dodgers in 1985 and showed the kind of rust you’d expect after a year-long layoff. He owned a 4.91 ERA though mid-June, then was placed on the restricted list after the team determined he was “incapable of handling his assignment” He failed to show up for a game against the Braves a week after arriving late for a game against the Astros. Drug tests came back negative, however. One week later, the club released him.
Left-handers will continue to get chances though, and a month later the Twins signed him. Howe threw 19 ineffective innings for Minnesota (6.16 ERA) down the stretch, then admitted to team officials in September that he’d relapsed. They released him the next day. Howe spent the 1986 season as an unaffiliated player in the minors, essentially auditioning himself during a 49-inning stint with the Single-A San Jose Bees. The Rangers signed him to a minor league contract in July of 1987, and he went on to throw 31.1 innings (4.31 ERA) for Texas after being called up in early-August.
The Rangers had given Howe a one-year, $1M deal for 1987, but the contract was terminated after he violated the terms of his treatment program and failed to show for a mandatory offseason workout in January. Alcohol, not cocaine, was the problem this time. A comeback attempt in Mexico went nowhere, and it wasn’t until March of 1990 that then-commissioner Fay Vincent allowed Howe to return to the minor leagues under the condition that he participate in a strict aftercare program. He was still banned from the Major Leagues until 1991, however.
Howe spent the 1990 season as an unaffiliated player with the Single-A Salinas Spurs, though he missed time with minor shoulder tear and a not so minor blood clot in his lung. He threw 17 innings for the Spurs, then another 31 in winter ball in Mexico. Howe had not pitched in the big leagues for three full seasons, but then-GM Gene Michael invited him and Len Barker to work out for the Yankees in February of 1991. Barker didn’t show much of anything, but Howe impressed enough that the team officially invited him to camp as a non-roster player.
“He’s getting a chance because he’s good,” said Michael. “There’s always a need for more left-handed pitching … He’s been clean for two years. I asked a lot of people a lot of questions about him, his makeup, the type of person he is. I feel there’s been a lot worse things done in baseball than bringing Steve Howe back. If it was my son or your son, you’d want to give him another chance.”
The Yankees were trying to replace the departed Dave Righetti, their long-time lefty closer who signed with the Giants as a free agent. Howe looked sharp in camp, but the team opted to send him to Triple-A Columbus to start the season. His contract allowed them to do so for up to six weeks. He allowed one unearned run in 18 innings for the Clippers, then was rewarded with a callup when the team decided to release the dreadful Andy Hawkins in early-May.
Howe did not allow a base hit in his first 4.1 innings for the Yankees, briefly usurping Steve Farr as closer. He threw 48.1 innings across 37 appearances that year, posting a 1.68 ERA. The old Steve Howe was back, but unfortunately that applied to more than just baseball. The two sides agreed to a new one-year, $600k deal with incentives after the season, but less than two months later he was in trouble again. Howe was arrested six days before Christmas at his home in Montana for cocaine possession, a felony charge. He was arraigned and released, and the Yankees stood by their troubled southpaw.
Federal prosecutors later amended the charge to attempted possession of a dangerous drug, a misdemeanor. The team invited him to a January promotion event at the Javits Center, which was followed by a not guilty plea in February. A few days later Howe struck a light pole with his car and fled the scene, resulting in a $125 fine. His trial was postponed from March 30th to May 5th, and a few days prior to the trial the two sides struck a plea deal. As part of the deal, he pleaded guilty to the attempted possession charge.
While all that was going on, Howe was pitching for the Yankees, and rather effectively as well. He allowed just six earned runs in his first 20 appearances (22 innings), saving six games in seven chances. He wouldn’t appear in another game all season. On June 8th, Vincent banned Howe from baseball for life as a result of the guilty plea. The union filed a grievance claiming the suspension was “without just cause within the meaning of the basic agreement and arbitration panels’ decisions in the area of disciplinary suspensions.”
The grievance went to arbitration in November, which resulted in Howe’s reinstatement. The Yankees brought him back for the 1993 season, and as part of the terms of his reinstatement, he was drug tested every other day. Howe missed time with an ankle injury that season, but otherwise stayed out of trouble. He threw 50.2 innings across 51 appearances, though his ERA was unsightly 4.97. He returned to the Bronx in 1994, missed some time with a groin injury, and pitched to a 1.80 ERA in 40 innings. He’d saved 15 games in 19 chances before the work stoppage. As a reward, the Yankees exercised their $2.3M club option and kept him for 1995.
Howe, now 37, was required to maintain “legitimate employment in a structured environment” per the terms of his probation stemming from the 1992 drug charge, so the Yankees put him to work in the ticket office during the strike in early-1995. He earned a $772 a week living allowance. Frustrated by the strike, Howe spoke about retiring or crossing the picket line and becoming a replacement player in March, but he did neither. The strike ended on April 2nd, and Howe reported to camp with all the other Yankees.
The recently acquired John Wetteland took over at closer while Howe struggled in middle relief following the work stoppage. He posted a 4.96 ERA in 56 games and 49 innings, and rumors surfaced in July that he was distributing amphetamines to teammates. Nothing ever came of it, though. Howe returned to the Yankees in 1996, but at 38 years old and with a drug-abused body, he was basically done. He allowed a dozen runs in his first 17 innings of the season, and on June 22nd, the Yankees released him.
Two days after being released, Howe was arrested at JFK Airport when security found a loaded .357 Magnum in his suitcase. His probation was over by then, and he ultimately pleaded guilty to gun possession and was sentenced to another three years’ probation and 150 hours of community service. The Giants had agreed to sign him, but backed out following the arrest.
Howe attempted a comeback in 1997 with the Sioux Falls Canaries of the independent Northern League, but after 13.2 innings, he gave up. His baseball career was over. The former World Series clinching closer retired with a 3.03 ERA and 97 saves in 606 innings spread across 17 years and 12 seasons. In 229 games for the Yankees, he pitched to a 3.57 ERA in 227 innings. Baseball-Reference lists Howe’s career earnings as $8.525M, a pittance compared to what he could have earned if it wasn’t for his addiction and seven suspensions.
A motorcycle accident put Howe in intensive care with collapsed lungs and a ruptured trachea in August of 1997, and he was later charged with drunk driving in connection to the accident. Charges were later dropped because prosecutors determined that his blood test was obtained improperly, however. He recovered and managed to stay out of the public eye for nearly a decade.
Howe, who was married with two kids, got into the energy drink business and owned a company in Arizona after baseball. He was driving from Arizona to his home in California on April 28th, 2006 when his pickup truck left the road and rolled several times in the median. Howe was ejected from the vehicle and killed. Toxicology reports showed that he had methamphetamine in his system at the time of the accident. He was 48. Having come back from seven drug-related suspensions and one motorcycle accident, Howe’s ninth life was his last.
"Selig ran a speakeasy, now he wants to take all the alcohol out of the town." Mike Francesa
Remembering Yankees Hall of Fame Announcer Mel Allen
February 14, 1913- Former Hall Of Fame Yankees broadcasting announcer Mel Allen was born. (1913-1996) Mel Allen was known as “The Longtime Voice of the Yankees” from the late 1939 to 1964. He would greet Yankee fans with “Hello here, Everyone” at the beginning of the every Yankees broadcast. With new CBS ownership, Mel was let go by the Yankees in winter of 1964. Mel Allen was welcomed back to the Yankees' on-air family in 1976 as a pre/post-game host for the cable telecasts with John Sterling, and eventually started calling play-by-play again. He announced Yankees cable telecasts on SportsChannel New York (now FSN New York) along with the regular crew of Phil Rizzuto, Bill White, Frank Messer, and occasionally Fran Healy. Mel Allen remained with the Yankees' play-by-play crew until 1985. Mel made occasional appearances on Yankee telecasts and commercials into the late 1980s. In 1990, Allen called play-by-play for a WPIX Yankees game to officially make him baseball's 1st 7-decade announcer. Among the memorable moments Allen called in that stretch were Yankees OF Reggie Jackson's 400th MLB HR in 1980, and Yankees starter Dave Righetti's no-hitter on July 4,1983. Later he would host “This Week in Baseball,” television series, working on the show until his death in 1996.
Happy Birthday to Current Yankees Catcher Russell Martin
February 15, 1983- Current Yankees AL All Star C Russell Martin was born. On June 4, 2002, Russell Martin was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 17th round of the 2002 MLB amateur player draft. On December 2, 2010, he was granted MLB Free Agency by the Dodgers. On December 15, 2010, Russell Martin was signed as a MLB free agent by the New York Yankees. Martin has a MLB career BA of .272 for five seasons with the Dodgers. Martin was a NL All Star team member in 2008-2008 NL seasons. In 2011, Martin appeared in 125 games for the New York Yankees, hitting .237 with 18 HRs with 65 RBIs. He was named to the 2011 American League All Star team.