This Week in Yankees History December 30th-January 5th
1927- The New York Yankees released two veteran MLB players: Reserve 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 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 Yankees from the Pirates organization. Milt never appears with the Yankees at the MLB level, instead he played for the Yankees AAA team, the Denver Bears (American Association). After retiring as an active player, Milt continued to work in baseball. Among the positions that he held were Assistant General Manager (1977-1983) and Scouting Director (1984) for the Pirates, MLB infield coach for the Pirates. Also he served as the Director of Stadium Operations at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh. He served as a MLB scout for the Pirates, Giants and the Reds.
1940- The Yankees swapped veteran starter Monte Pearson (1936-1940) to the Reds for INF Dan Lang and $20,000 cash. Dan Lang will never play for the Yankees at the MLB level.
1995- MLB free agent P Kenny Rogers is signed by the Yankees to a 4-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. Oakland would send INF/OF Scott Brosius to the Yankees to complete the trade in November.
1998- Former Yankees minor league OF/1B and Manager (1954) Jack Graham passed away. (1916-1998) In 1936, Jack Graham was signed by the Yankees as a MLB amateur free agent. He played in the Yankees minor league system from 1936-1940. In December of 1940, Jack was traded by the Yankees to the Dodgers for INF Boze Berger. Jack would play in the MLB from 1946-1949 with the Dodgers, Giants and the Browns. In 1951, he returned to the Yankees organization, playing for the San Francisco Seals (PCL). In 1954, he was the player/manager for the Yankees Class C Modesto Reds team in the California League.
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, 1-year deal with the 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 Yankees resigned MLB free agent P Christian Parker. On March 22, 2000, Christian Parker was sent by the Expos to the Yankees to complete an earlier deal made on December 22, 1999. Montreal sent players to be named later and P Jake Westbrook to the Yankees for MLB starter Hideki Irabu. He went 0-1 in one game for the 2001 Yankees.
2010- For the 1st time, New Yankee Stadium is host to a football game, the 1st Pinstripe Bowl pitting Syracuse University and Kansas State University. It renews with an old tradition, as Yankee Stadium was a regular venue for college football games before its renovation in the 1970s. Syracuse defeats Kansas State 36-34 in a closely fought game
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 Tigers 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. The new owners bring in veteran 3B Frank “Home Run” Baker and P Bob Shawkey from Philadelphia. They acquired 1B Wally Pipp from the Tigers to rebuild the team. Under this new Co-Owners regime, the Yankees will make the most important trade in their franchise history, when they purchased OF/P Babe Ruth from the Red Sox in December of 1919. Also in 1920, they bring long time Red Sox Manager Edward Barrow to be their team's new General Manager.
1919- Former Yankees P Tommy Byrne (1943,1946-1951,1954-1957) was born. (1919-2007) Before the start of 1940 AL Season, Tommy Byrne was signed by the 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 AL 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 Yankees. He had started the 1955 AL season with the Indians. He will appeared in only 1 game with no decisions before being released in July of 1955 by the Yankees. He will finish the 1955 AL season with the Orioles. He originally came up to the majors with the Tigers.
1940 -The Yankees send veteran hurler Bump Hadley to the Giants for the waiver price. Also they traded reserve INF Bill Knickerbocker to the 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 Yankees. He will appear in 1 game with no hits for the team. After leaving the Yankees, he will become a minor league manager. He will become a long time MLB scout for the Cubs in 1921 working with them until his death in 1958.
1971- Former Yankees P Esteban Loaiza (2004) was born. On July 31,2004, Esteban Loaiza was traded by the White Sox to the 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 an 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 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 Baseball Hall Of Fame in 1987. In 1999, Catfish Hunter passed 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 Athletics for $85,000 in 1915, Bob was a 3-time 20 game winner for the 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. He held the Yankees record for 15 strikeouts in a single game. That record stood until Whitey Ford broke it in the early 1960s. Bob Shawkey finished his Yankees 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 AA club, the Newark Bears (International League). During the 1940s, Bob was a MLB scout for the Tigers and Pirates. After managing in the minors in 1949 and 1950 for the 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 Yankees purchased starter Scott Sanderson from the Oakland. 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 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 1-year, $3 million contract to rejoin the 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.
January 1st Happy New Year to All!!!
1874- Former Yankees P Ned Garvin (1904) was born. (1874-1908) On September 9,1904, veteran MLB starter Ned Garvin was selected off waivers by the Yankees from the NL Brooklyn Superbas. Ned appeared in 2 games for the Yankees with a 0-1 record in September of 1904. He died in June 1908 of consumption.
1881- Former Yankees reserve OF Rudy Bell (1907) was born. (1881-1955) During August of 1907, OF Ruby Bell was purchased by the Yankees from Butte (Northwestern League). He appeared in only 17 games in 1907 for the Yankees hitting just .212.
1910- Former Yankees P Charles Devens (1932-1934) was born. (1910-2003) Charlie Devens went 5-3 with 3.73 ERA in 16 games for the Yankees. Charlie spent parts of 1933-1934 baseball seasons with the Newark Bears (International League) posting a 19-13 record. He had been a college star baseball player at Harvard University, before signing with the Yankees.
1923- Former Yankees Hall Of Fame OF William “ Wee Willie” Keeler (1903-1909) dies in Brooklyn, NY, at age of 50. (1982-1923) In 19 MLB seasons, Willie “Wee Willie” Keller hit .341, amassed 2,932 hits. He won consecutive batting titles in 1897-1898 with Baltimore Orioles. He played for the New York Yankees from 1903-1909. He hit over .300, three times for the Yankees, including .343 in 1904. He played for New York, Brooklyn and Baltimore in the National League before coming to the American League with the New York Highlanders in 1903. His last MLB season was in 1910 with the New York Giants hitting .300 in 19 games. In 1939, he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
1924- Former Yankees reserve 1B and MLB Coach Earl “The Earl Of Snohomish” Torgeson (1961) was born. (1924-1990) On June 17,1961, veteran 1B Earl Torgeson was signed as a MLB free agent by the Yankees. The White Sox had released him. He hit .111 in 22 games before becoming a MLB coach for the Yankees on September 2,1961. Earl originally came up with the Boston Braves. He played in the 1948 World Series with the Braves and in the 1959 World Series with the White Sox. He finished his 15-season MLB career with a .265 BA with 149 HRs with 749 RBIs.
1942- Former Yankees minor league INF Bill Bethea was born . Infielder Bill Bethea was obtained from the Twins on waivers in 1965, but he never played for the Yankees at the MLB level. He originally signed with the St. Louis Cardinals, but he was drafted by the Twins in the 1963 MLB 1st year player draft. He would be in the Yankees organization from 1965-1967. In 1969, Bill finished his playing career in the Angels organization
1955- Former Yankees minor league P LaMarr Hoyt was born. The Yankees in the 5th round of the 1973 MLB amateur player draft drafted hurler LaMarr Hoyt. He never played for the Yankees at the MLB level. On April 5,1977, he was traded by the Yankees along with P Bob Polinsky, OF/DH Oscar Gamble, and $200,000 cash to the White Sox for shortstop Bucky Dent.
1971- Former Yankees OF Harry Rice (1930) passed away. (1901-1971) On May 30,1930, Harry Rice was traded by the Tigers along with P Ownie Carroll and INF Yats Wuestling to the Yankees for P Waite Hoyt and INF Mark Koenig. He appeared in 100 games for the 1930 Yankees, hitting .298. On January 13,1931, Harry was selected off waivers by the Senators from the Yankees.
1974- Former New York Yankees General Manager Lee MacPhail takes over as American League President, succeeding the retiring President Joe Cronin. MacPhail will serve in this role until 1984. He will join his father, former Yankees Co-Owner Larry MacPhail (1945-1947), as a member of the Hall of Fame as Baseball Executive in 1998. Lee had worked for the Pirates, Yankees and Orioles organizations as a baseball executive.
2006- Former Yankees reliever Paul Linbald (1978) passed away. (1941-2006) Paul Linbald appeared in 7 games with no decisions for the 1978 Yankees after being purchased from the Rangers. The Yankees will send him to the Mariners after the 1978 AL season.
1963- Former Yankees P Al Mamaux (1924) passed away. (1894-1963) Al Mamaux pitched 12 seasons in the majors. He had won 21 games with the Pirates in 1915-1916. He appeared in the 1920 World Series for the Brooklyn Dodgers. On July 12,1924, Al was purchased by the Yankees from Reading (International League). He appeared in 14 games with the 1924 Yankees posting a 1-1 record. He sat out 1925 MLB season, following his final season in the majors. On December 16,1925, Al was purchased by the Yankees from Newark Bears (International League), but he returned to the mound for the Newark Bears in 1926. He led the International League with a 2.22 ERA that season. He paced the circuit with 25 wins with a 2.61 ERA in 1927. Later Al Mamaux managed the Newark Bears (1930-1933) and the Albany Senators (1936-1937). He was the head coach at Seton Hall University from 1937-1942. His teams had an overall record of 69-19. The 1942 team went undefeated. In 1951, Al was elected to the International League Hall of Fame. He was selected for the Seton Hall University Sports Hall of Fame in 1975. Al was selected for the Duquesne University Sports Hall of Fame in 1988.
1963- Former Yankees P David Cone (1995-2000) was born. On July 28,1995, Dave Cone was traded by the Blue Jays to the Yankees for minor league players: P Marty Janzen, Jason Jarvis and Mike Gordon. Dave went 64-40 as a Yankees starter. He was 2-0 in four World Series with the Yankees. David Cone compiled an 8–3 postseason record over 21 postseason starts. He was a part of 5 World Series championship teams (1992 Blue Jays, 1996,1998,1999 and 2000 Yankees). He had a career postseason ERA of 3.80. After pitching a perfect game on July 18,1999, against the Montreal Expos (the last no-hitter to date by a Yankee pitcher), he seemed to suddenly lose effectiveness. The 1st inter-league perfect game was the last shutout; he would throw in his MLB career. After retiring from MLB, David has worked with the YES Network covering the Yankees.
1973- Rumors appeared nationwide in the sports media that the New York Yankees were being purchased from CBS Inc., by a Cleveland group of investors.
1977- Former Yankees P Scott Proctor (2004-2007) was born. On July 31, 2003, Scott Proctor was traded by the Dodgers along with OF Bubba Crosby to the Yankees for veteran MLB INF Robin Ventura. Scott Proctor went 11-10 with 1 save in 190 games with the Yankees, before being traded back to the Dodgers on July 31, 2007 for MLB INF Wilson Betemit.
1991- The Yankees signed MLB free agent starter Mike Witt. He was obtained from the Angels for Yankees All Star OF Dave Winfield in May of 1990. He posted a 5-6 record in 16 games. He would only appear in 2 games in 1991, posting a 0-1 record due to injuries. He would miss the 1992 AL season due to injuries. In 1993, Mike appeared in only 9 games with Yankees, posting a 3-2 record.
2003- Former Yankees OF Art “Bud” Metheny (1943-1946) passed away. (1915-2003) Outfielder Art Metheny hit .247 in 376 games for the Yankees. He appeared in 2 games in the 1943 World Series against the Cardinals, hitting just .125. Bud Metheny was the baseball coach at Old Dominion University from 1948 to 1980. Also he coached basketball (1948-1965) and served as Athletic Director (1963-1970) at ODU.
2008- Former Yankees reliever Gerry Staley (1955-1956) passed away. (1920-2008) On September 14,1955, Gerry Stanley was selected off waivers by the Yankees from the Reds. He appeared in only 3 games with no record for the 1955 Yankees. On May 28,1956, he was selected off waivers by the White Sox from the Yankees. He would be one of the key members of the 1959 American League Champions Chicago White Sox bullpen.
1891- Former Yankees reserve INF John Dowd (1912) was born. (1891-1981)
Reserve INF John Dowd appeared in only 10 games for the 1912 Yankees, hitting just .194.
1912- Former Yankees reserve OF Stanley “Frenchy” Bordagaray (1941) was born. (1912-2001) On January 27,1940, Frenchy Bordagaray was sent by the Reds to the Yankees to complete an earlier deal made on August 5,1939. The Reds sent players to be named later and $40,000 to the Yankees for 1B Vince DiMaggio, who was on the Kansas City Blues (AA) roster. The Reds would send OF Frenchy Bordagaray and P Nino Bongiovanni on January 27,1940 to the Yankees to complete the trade. He hit .260 in 36 games for the 1941 Yankees. On March 23,1942, Frenchy was purchased by the Dodgers from the Yankees.
1920- The secret deal made on December 26,1919 to sell OF/P Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees for $125,000 (twice the amount ever paid previously for a player) is announced publicly. Boston Red Sox Owner Harry Frazee also secures a $350,000 loan from the New York Yankees as part of the deal. The Yankees will hold on to mortgage for Fenway Park as part of the $350,000 agreement loan.
1923- The Yankees pluck 2 rookies from the Red Sox in 2 separate deals, P George Pipgras and OF Harvey Hendrick. Yankees received P George Pipgras in exchange for backup catcher Al DeVormer. George Pipgras would win 93 games as a starter for the Yankees. Harvey Hendrick would be a reserve outfielder for the Yankees.
1965-Former Yankees reserve INF, MLB Coach and Minor League Manager Louis Sojo (1996-1999,2001,2003) was born. On August 22,1996, Louie Sojo was selected off waivers by the Yankees from the Mariners. He would prove to a valuable reserve INF for the Yankees. His best Yankees season was in 1997, when he hit .307 in 77 games. After leaving the Yankees thru MLB free agency, he returned to the team on August 7, 2000, Luis was traded by the Pirates for minor league P Chris Spurling. After retiring as an MLB active player in 2003, he was minor league manager in the Yankees farm system; later he would be a MLB 3B coach for the Yankees. Luis has been a Yankees minor league manager with the AA Norwich Navigators (2002) in the Eastern League and the Class A Tampa Yankees (2006-2009, 2011-2012) in the Florida State League. He managed the Venezuelan team in the 2006 World Baseball Classic and 2010 Central American and Caribbean Games.
1973- A group of investors headed by Cleveland, Ohio shipbuilder George Steinbrenner purchases the New York Yankees from CBS, Inc. for $10 million. Mike Burke and Gabe Paul are among the limited partners in the group acquiring the Yankees. Former Cleveland Indians General Manager Gabe Paul would replace Mike Burke as President of the New York Yankees.
1974- After the Yankees were denied by the MLB Commissioners office, the signing of former Oakland A's Manager Richard Williams as their new manager for the 1974 AL season. The Yankees signed former minor league OF Bill Virdon as their new manager. Although the former Pirates skipper will manage for 2 seasons in New York, he will never win a game at Yankee Stadium because the Yankees will play home games at Shea Stadium due to renovations of their stadium. The Yankees originally signed Bill Virdon, but he was traded to the Cardinals in the Enos Slaughter trade in the spring of 1954. He played for the Cardinals and Pirates during MLB playing career. Bill went 142-123 as Yankees Manager before being replaced by Billy Martin during the 1975 AL season. He would be hired to manage the Houston Astros.
1977- Former Yankees starter A.J. Burnett (2009-2011) was born. On December 18,2008, A. J. Burnett signed a 5-year $82.5 million contract with the Yankees. A.J. Burnett posted a 13-9 record in 33 games for the 2009 Yankees. In 2009 World Series, A.J. went 1-1 against the Phillies. Things went less well in 2010, as he fell to 10-15, 5.26 in 33 starts and struggled with inconsistency. He then lost his only postseason start, giving up 5 runs in 6 innings in a Game 4 start against the Rangers in the ALCS. Burnett struggled some more in 2011, at a time when he was expected to step up following the retirement of veteran starter Andy Pettitte. Instead, he was 11-11 with a 5.15 ERA. He still had good stuff, as his 173 strikeouts in 190 1/3 innings showed. However, he was like Forrest Gump's proverbial box of chocolates, as the Yankees never knew what they were going to get when they sent him to the mound.
In his only 2011 postseason start, it was the good A.J. that showed up: he gave up a single run in 5 2/3 innings in leading the Yankees to a 10-1 win over the Tigers in Game 4 of the ALDS, but the Yankees then lost Game 5 to bow out of the playoffs early. The Yankees' brass had had too much of his inconsistency by then however. After acquiring starters Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda in the off-season, they began shopping around Burnett, a task made more difficult by his hefty salary. On February 17, 2012, they found a taker in the Pirates, but they had to agree to pick up $20 million of the $33 million remaining on his contract for the next 2 seasons. In return they received 2 minor leaguers a long way from making any contribution in the big leagues in AA P Diego Moreno and low Class A OF Exicardo Cayones. The deal was made official the next day, after A.J. passed a physical administered by the Bucs, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig gave his approval for the trade, a necessary step given the amount of money involved. His Yankees pitching career record was 34-35 with a 4.79 ERA in 99 games.
1997- The Yankees signed MLB free agent P Willie Banks. He had been a #1 draft-pick of the Minnesota Twins. Willie was a former New Jersey All State High School pitcher at St. Anthony High School. He will go 4-1 in 14 games before being traded on June 3,1998, by the Yankees to the Diamondbacks for minor league players Scott Brow and Joe Lisio.
2001- The Yankees signed MLB free agent P Todd Williams. Todd will appear in 15 games with the 2001 Yankees with a 1-0 record.
2001- The Yankees traded reliever Jay Tessmer and minor league player Seth Taylor to the Rockies for P David Lee.
2003- Former Yankees P Joseph “Professor” Ostrowski (1950-1952) passed away. (1916-2003) In 1941, the Red Sox signed pitcher Joe Ostrowski. After serving in the military WWII, he was traded by the Red Sox to the St. Louis Browns in 1947. On June 15, 1950, Joe was traded by the Browns along with pitchers Tom Ferrick, Sid Schacht and 3B Leo Thomas to the Yankees for OF Jim Delsing, Pitchers Don Johnson, Duane Pillette, INF George Stirnweiss, and $50,000. He was used primarily out of the bullpen for the Yankees World Championship teams of 1950 and 1952. Joe, who contributed a 6-4 record, plus 5 saves in 1951 AL season. He appeared in 1 game in the 1951 World Series, pitching 2 innings with no decision against the Giants. He did not appear in the 1950 or 1952 World Series games for the Yankees. Ostrowski was 2-2 with a 5.62 ERA for the 1952 Yankees. He ended his 5-year MLB career with a 23-25 record with 15 saves overall. As a Yankee, Joe went 9-7 in 75 games with 10 saves. He was nicknamed “Professor” because he had a teaching degree and taught high school before becoming an MLB player. After retiring from MLB, he returned to teaching and retired in 1978.
2003- The Yankees released P Brandon Knight. On December 13,1999, Brandon Knight was traded by the Rangers along with P Sam Marsonek to the Yankees for OF/DH Chad Curtis. In 2 seasons with the Yankees, Brandon appeared in only 11 games with no record, spending most of his time pitching at AAA Columbus.
2005- MLB Commissioner Bud Selig approves the potential trade of the Diamondbacks NL All Star P Randy Johnson to the Yankees in exchange for pitchers Javier Vazquez and Brad Halsey, minor league C Dioner Navarro and $9 million dollars.
2006- The Yankees signed former Red Sox CF Johnny Damon as a MLB free agent. In 4 seasons with the Yankees, Johnny hit .285 in 575 games with 77 HRs and 296 RBIs. In the 2009 World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies, he hit .364 (8 for 22). He left the Yankees in the 2009 off-season for MLB free agency, signing with the Tigers for the 2010 AL season.
2006- The Yankees resigned MLB free agent AL All Star CF Bernie Williams. In 2005, he had hit .249 in 141 games with 12 HRs and 64 RBIs for the Yankees. In 2006, Bernie will hit .281 with 12 HRs and 61 RBIs in his final season for the Yankees.
2007- The Yankees signed MLB free agent P Ben Kozlowski. Ben will not appear with the 2007 Yankees at the MLB level. He will spend the 2007 season at AAA. January 4th
1887- Former Yankees reserve OF Klondike Smith (1912) was born. (1887-1959) Klondike Smith appeared in 12 games hitting just .187 for the 1912 Yankees. Klondike's first name was Armstrong and he was born in England.
1890- Former MLB player and Yankees minor league manager Oscar Vitt was born. (1890-1963) Oscar Vitt was a former MLB infielder with the Red Sox and Tigers (1912-1921). He managed in the minor leagues mainly in the PCL with the Hollywood Stars. In 1935, he joined the Yankees organization managing the Oakland Oaks (PCL). Then Oscar Vitt was the manager of the Newark Bears of the International League (AA) in 1936-1937, when they were the top farm club of the New York Yankees. Oscar fielded one of the best minor league teams ever seen in 1937. His success with the Newark Bears would lead to a MLB manager job with the Indians from 1938-1940. After being let go by the Indians, he managed in the PCL (AA) again with the Hollywood Stars. He was elected to the PCL Hall of Fame.
1904- The Highlanders announce plans to play on Sundays at Ridgewood Park in Queens, NY, but the Brooklyn Superbas (NL) objects. Sunday baseball games are legal in Detroit, St. Louis, Chicago and Cincinnati.
1906- Former Yankees reserve INF John “Blondy” Ryan (1935) was born. (1906-1959) On August 6,1935, Blondy Ryan was purchased by the Yankees from the Phillies. John appeared in 30 games for the Yankees, hitting .238. On December 18,1935, John was purchased by the Indians from the Yankees.
1908- Former Yankees All Star OF and MLB Executive George “Twinkletoes” Selkirk (1934-1942) was born. (1908-1987) George Selkirk succeeded Babe Ruth as the Yankees right fielder, after Ruth was sent to the Braves following the 1934 AL season. He wore Yankees uniform No. 3. George played for 9 seasons with the Yankees finishing with lifetime BA of .290. He was a member of AL All Star team twice (1936 and 1939). George hit .265 in 6 World Series. He served in the U.S. Navy (1942-1945) during WWII. When he was released by the Yankees in May of 1946, he would become a minor league manager. During the late 1950s, he worked in the Kansas City Athletics front office as their GM. Then he would become the GM of new Washington Senators in 1963, holding the position until 1968. He refused to move with the team to Texas. In 1958, Selkirk was elected to the International League Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.
1910- Former Yankees President and General Manager Gabe Paul (1973-1977) was born. (1910-1998) Gabe Paul was part of a group of investors headed by George Steinnbrenner that bought the team from CBS, INC. in 1973. He would replace Michael Burke as the Yankees President. As the Yankees GM, Gabe Paul trades in the mid 1970s, helped rebuild the Yankees into championship teams. Gabe spent bulk of his MLB executive career working with the Indians (1961-1969,1971-1972). In the 1950s, he worked as the GM for the Reds (1951-1960). Gabe Paul left the Yankees after the 1977 World Series; he had grown tried of Steinbrenner's interference with player transactions. He would return to the Indians front office.
1925- Former Yankees reliever Tom Gorman (1952-1954) was born. (1925-1992) In 1946, the Yankees signed Tom Gorman as a MLB amateur free agent. He pitched in the World Series for the Yankees in 1952 and 1953 with no record in 2 games. As a Yankee pitcher, Tom went 10-7 in 75 games with 9 saves for the team before being sold to the Kansas City in the spring of 1955. He would stay with the Athletics until 1959. Tom finished his MLB career with a 36-36 record with 33 saves.
1928- The Yankees buy shortstop Lyn Lary and INF Jimmie Reese from the Oakland Oaks (PCL) for a reported $150,000 in cash. Lary would give the Yankees, 3 strong seasons at shortstop before slipping in 1934; Unable to break into the Yankees starting infield, Jimmie Reese would be shipped off to the Cardinals in 1931.
1940- In a trade of pitchers, the Reds send Lee Grissom to the Yankees for Joe Beggs, who had to clear waivers from all 7 AL teams. This is due to the new rule voted last month barring the AL pennant winner from any trades within the AL. Joe Beggs will go 12-3 for the 1940 Reds, while Lee Grissom will be sold to the Dodgers on May 15,1940.
1943- A wartime tone for the 1943 MLB season is set, when Yankees starter Red Ruffing, just months short of his 38th birthday, and minus 4 toes, is drafted into the U.S. Army Air Corps.
1963- Former Yankees reserve OF Daryl Boston (1994) was born. On January 13,1994, Daryl Boston was signed as a MLB free agent with the Yankees. In 1994, he played for the Yankees, appearing in 52 games with 77 at-bats, just hitting .182.
1963- Former Yankees minor league Manager Trey Hillman (1989-2002) was born. Trey Hillman spent 13 years in the Yankees organization primarily as a manager at every level. He won 3 Manager of the Year awards and guided his teams to three 1st-place finishes. In 2002, Hillman was named Director of Player Development for the Texas Rangers. The following year, Trey signed a 2-year contract to be the manager of the Nippon Ham Fighters of the Japanese professional baseball's Pacific League. He was the MLB manager of the Kansas City Royals from 2008-2010. In 2011, he joined the Dodgers MLB Coaching Staff working for Manager Don Mattingly.
1966- Yankees obtained OF Lou Clinton from the Indians for reserve C Doc Edwards. Lou batted .220 for the Yankees, as a reserve OF in 1966. Lou originally came up with the Red Sox.
1976- Former Yankees P Ted Lilly (2000-2001) was born. Ted Lilly came to the Yankees from Expos in the Hideki Irabu trade in the winter of 1999. He went 8-12 as a Yankee pitcher in 38 games. He had trouble throwing strikes. On July 5, 2002, he was traded as part of a 3-team trade by the Yankees along with P Jason Arnold and OF John Ford-Griffin to the Athletics. Oakland sent a player to be named later, 1B Carlos Pena, and P Franklyn German to the Tigers. The Tigers sent MLB P Jeff Weaver to the Yankees. The Tigers sent cash to the Oakland. The Athletics sent P Jeremy Bonderman to the Tigers to complete the trade.
1987- Former Yankees reserve C Tony Rensa (1933) passed away. (1901-1987) Tony Rensa appeared in only 8 games as a reserve catcher for the 1933 Yankees hitting .310.
2005- Former Yankees and Red Sox 3B Wade Boggs becomes the 41st player elected to the Hall of Fame in his 1st year of eligibility, while receiving 474 of the record number of 516 votes cast (92%).
1885- Former Yankees longtime MLB Coach (1927-1945) and MLB Manager Art Fletcher was born. (1885-1950) Art Fletcher was shortstop for the Giants and Phillies. After his MLB playing career was over, he became the Manager of the Phillies in 1923 staying with the team until 1926. He joined the New York Yankees coaching staff under Manager Miller Huggins in 1927 and found more success there. He participated in 10 World Series as a New York coach, with the Yankees winning 9 of them. He specialized in stealing signs and became the highest-paid MLB coach in baseball, reportedly earning more than $10,000 a season. He also was interim skipper of the team for 11 games in September of 1929 following Huggins' death. He remained a member of the Yankees staff until suffering a heart attack late in the 1945 season.
1890- Former Yankees reserve OF Benjamin “Benny” Kauff (1912) was born. (1890-1961). Benny Kauff only appeared in 5 games as reserve outfielder for the Yankees during the 1912 AL season, hitting .273.
1914- The Yankees buy P Boardwalk Brown from the Philadelphia Athletics for cash. He went 3-6 and was released by the team during the 1914 AL season.
1915- Former Yankees P Jack Kramer (1951) was born. (1915-1995) On May 28,1951, Jack Kramer was signed as a MLB free agent with the Yankees. He went 1-3 in 19 games for the Yankees, before being released on August 30,1951. He had started the 1951 MLB season with the Giants. The Yankees and Giants would meet in the 1951 World Series but without Jack.
1928- Former Yankees minor league C Bob Oldis was born. In October of 1956, the Yankees purchased Catcher Bob Oldis from the Senators. He never played for the Yankees at the MLB level. He played with the Yankees AAA teams at Denver and Richmond. On November 30,1959, Bob was drafted by the Pirates from the Yankees organization in the 1959 MLB Rule 5 player draft. He appeared in 2 games against the Yankees with the Pirates in 1960 World Series with no hits. Later Bob was a MLB Coach and Scout for the Phillies and Expos.
1934- The Yankees released 2 veteran players: P Herb Pennock and 3B Joe Sewell. Their MLB playing careers were over. Both players would be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
1943- The MLB Teams agree to start the 1943 season later than usual and prepare to train in northern areas of the country because of World War II travel restrictions. Resorts, armories, and University facilities are chosen for spring training sites. The Yankees will try the seashore resort city of Atlantic City, New Jersey for their 1943 MLB spring training camp.
1944- Former Yankees minor league INF Charlie Vinson was born. The Yankees signed INF Charlie Vinson as an amateur free agent in 1963. On December 2,1963, he was drafted by the Angels from the Yankees organization in the 1963 MLB 1st year player draft.
1951- Former Yankees minor league P Ed Ricks (1977) was born. Ed Ricks was drafted in the 6th round of the 1972 MLB amateur player draft by the Yankees. He led the 1972 Appalachian League with 97 IP, 100 H, 72 R, and 56 ER. Ricks spent 1975-1976 seasons with the Syracuse Chiefs (International League). He was on the Yankees 1977 spring roster, but never appeared in a game at the MLB level. However, he appeared on the Yankees active MLB roster in September of 1977.
1958- Former Yankees OF/DH/1B Ron Kittle (1986-1987) was born. On July 30,1986, Ron Kittle was traded by White Sox along with C Joel Skinner and INF Wayne Tolleson to the Yankees for a player to be named later, C/1B/DH Ron Hassey, and OF/INF Carlos Martinez. The Yankees would later send minor league C Bill Lindsey to the White Sox to complete the trade. Ron hit .277 in 1987, before leaving the team for MLB free agency, signing with the Indians.
1961- Former Yankees reserve OF Henry Cotto (1985-1987) was born. On December 4,1984, Henry was traded by the Cubs along with P Porfi Altamirano, P Rich Bordi, and C Ron Hassey to the Yankees for P Ray Fontenot and OF/INF Brian Dayett. Henry would be a reserve OF for the Yankees. On December 22,1987, Henry was traded by the Yankees, along with MLB starter Steve Trout to the Mariners for 3 pitchers: Lee Guetterman, Clay Parker, and Wade Taylor.
1983- Current Yankees minor league P Alan Horne was born. The Yankees in the 11th round of the 2005 MLB amateur player draft selected Alan Horne. He made his pro debut in 2006 with the Tampa Yankees, going 6-9 with a 4.84 ERA and 122 strikeouts. He played for the Trenton Thunder in 2007, going 12-4 with a league-leading 3.11 ERA with 165 strikeouts. Alan was named the 2007 Eastern League Pitcher of the Year. He began 2008 season with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees (AAA). He was 1-0 in 2 starts before going on the DL with Tommy John surgery in April of 2008. In 2009, he pitched for 3 minor league teams posting a 4-4 record. He did not play in 2012, due to arm injuries.
1984- The Yankees signed future Hall Of Fame P Phil Niekro to a 2-year contract. Niekro, who went 11-10 with a 3.97 ERA for the Braves in 1983, will fill a void in the Yankees starting rotation, allowing the Yankees to move starter Dave Righetti to the bullpen to be a closer.
1993- Former Yankees, Athletics, Angels and Orioles, OF/DH Reggie Jackson is the lone player elected by the BWAA to the Baseball Hall Of Fame. Jackson, whose .262 lifetime BA is the lowest of any outfielder in the Hall Of Fame, receives 93.6 percent of the vote. His 563 MLB career HRs make him a hit with voters in his 1st year of eligibility.
1999- Hall Of Fame Yankees catcher Yogi Berra received an apology from New York Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner about his dismissal as Yankees manager in 1985 after only 16 games into the AL season. Berra says he will end his self-exile from Yankee Stadium and the Yankees organization. He is expected to participate in future Opening Day and Old Timer's Day ceremonies at Yankee Stadium.
2008- The Yankees finalize their deal with MLB free agent All Star 1B Mark Teixeira for $180 million over 8 years. Mark joins AL All Star 3B Alex Rodriguez, starter CC Sabathia, All Star shortstop Derek Jeter and starter A.J. Burnett on the payroll-heavy 2009 Yankees. Tex will provide the 2009 Yankees with a .292 BA with a league leading 39 HRs, along with 122 RBIs in 156 games. He was named to the 2009 AL All Star team. Tex won the AL 1B Golden Glove award as well as the AL 1B Silver Slugger Award.
2012- For their part, the Yankees announce they have been unable to reach an agreement with Shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima, whose rights they secured through the posting system last month; Nakajima will return to play for the Seibu Lions this season. The Yankees had hope that he would become their top reserve infielder for the 2012 AL season.
2002 New York Yankees Post Season: The Yankees resign "The Rocket"
December 30, 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, 1-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.
1914 New York Yankees Post Season: Jacob Ruppert and Captain Huston buy the Yankees from Owners Bill Devery and Frank Farrell.
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 Huston 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 Tigers 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. The new owners bring in veteran 3B Frank “Home Run” Baker and P Bob Shawkey from Philadelphia. They acquired young 1B Wally Pipp from the Tigers to rebuild the team. In 1918, Co-Owner Jacob Ruppert will hire NL Manager Miller Huggins to run the team. Under this new Co-Owners regime, the Yankees will make the most important trade in their franchise history, when they purchased OF/P Babe Ruth from the Red Sox in December of 1919. Also in 1920, they bring long time Red Sox Manager Edward Barrow to be their team's new General Manager.
Top Photo: Original Yankees Team Owners: Frank Farrell (A) B Bill Devery
Bottom Photo: New Yankees Team Owners Jacob Ruppert and Captain Huston
Remembering Former Yankees Reserve 1B and MLB Coach Earl Torgeson
January 1, 1924- Former Yankees reserve 1B and MLB Coach Earl “The Earl Of Snohomish” Torgeson (1961) was born. (1924-1990)
On June 17,1961, veteran 1B Earl Torgeson was signed as a MLB free agent by the Yankees. The Chicago White Sox had released him. He hit just .111 in 22 games before becoming a MLB coach for the Yankees on September 2,1961. Earl had originally came up to the majors with the Boston Braves. He played in the 1948 World Series with the Boston Braves and in the 1959 World Series with the Chicago White Sox. He finished his 15-season MLB career with a .265 BA with 149 HRs with 749 RBIs.
Remembering Former Yankees P and Minor League Manager Al Mamaux
1932 Photo of Donnie Bush with Newark Bears Manager Al Mamaux
January 3, 1963- Former Yankees P and Minor League Manager Al Mamaux (1924) passed away. (1894-1963) Al Mamaux pitched 12 seasons in the majors. He had won 21 games with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1915-1916. He appeared in the 1920 World Series for the Brooklyn Dodgers. On July 12,1924, Al was purchased by the New York Yankees from Reading (International League). He appeared in 14 games with the 1924 Yankees posting a 1-1 record. He sat out 1925 MLB season, following his final season in the majors. On December 16,1925, Al was purchased by the Yankees from Newark Bears (International League), but he returned to the mound for the Newark Bears in 1926. He led the International League with a 2.22 ERA that season. He paced the circuit with 25 wins with a 2.61 ERA in 1927. Later Al Mamaux managed the Newark Bears (1930-1933) and the Albany Senators (1936-1937). He was the head coach at Seton Hall University from 1937-1942. His teams had an overall record of 69-19. The 1942 baseball team went undefeated. In 1951, Al was elected to the International League Hall of Fame. He was selected for the Seton Hall University Sports Hall of Fame in 1975. Al was selected for the Duquesne University Sports Hall of Fame in 1988.
1973 New York Yankees Post Season: Yankees Finally get a New Manager for 1974 AL Season
January 3, 1974- After the New York Yankees were denied by the MLB Commissioners office, the signing of former Oakland A's Manager Richard Williams as their new manager for the 1974 American League season. The Yankees signed former minor league OF Bill Virdon as their new 1974 manager. Although the former Pirates skipper will manage for 2 seasons in New York, he will never win a game at Yankee Stadium because the Yankees will play home games at Shea Stadium due to renovations of their stadium in the Bronx. The Yankees originally had signed Bill Virdon, but he was traded to the Cardinals in the Enos Slaughter trade in the spring of 1954. He played for the St. Louis Cardinals then the Pittsburgh Pirates during his MLB playing career. Bill went 142-123 as Yankees Manager before being replaced by Billy Martin during the 1975 AL season. He would be hired to manage the Houston Astros.
January 4, 1976- Former Yankees P Ted Lilly (2000-2001) was born. Ted Lilly came to the New York Yankees from Montreal Expos in the Hideki Irabu trade in the winter of 1999. He went 8-12 as a Yankee pitcher in 38 games. He had trouble throwing strikes. On July 5, 2002, he was traded as part of a 3-team trade by the Yankees along with P Jason Arnold and OF John Ford-Griffin to the Oakland Athletics. Oakland sent a player to be named later, 1B Carlos Pena, and P Franklyn German to the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers sent MLB P Jeff Weaver to the Yankees. The Tigers sent cash to the Oakland. The Athletics sent P Jeremy Bonderman to the Tigers to complete the trade.
Remembering Yankees Long Time MLB Coach Art Fletcher
January 5, 1885- Former Yankees longtime MLB Coach (1927-1945) and MLB Manager Art Fletcher was born. (1885-1950)
Art Fletcher was MLB shortstop for the New York Giants and Philadelphia Phillies. After his MLB playing career was over, he became the Manager of the Phillies in 1923 staying with the team until 1926. He joined the New York Yankees coaching staff under Manager Miller Huggins in 1927 and found more success there. He participated in 10 World Series as a New York coach, with the Yankees winning 9 of them. He specialized in stealing signs and became the highest-paid MLB coach in baseball, reportedly earning more than $10,000 a season. He also was interim skipper of the team for 11 games in September of 1929 following Yankees Manager Miller Huggins' death. He remained a member of the Yankees MLB Coaching staff until suffering a heart attack late in the 1945 American LeagueL season.