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This Week in Yankees History December 30th-January 5th
4 months ago  ::  Dec 30, 2018 - 1:10PM #1
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This Week in Yankees History December 30th- January 5th Part One

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December 30th

1927- The Yankees released 2 veteran MLB players: Reserve INF Ray Morehart and Pitcher Joe Giard, they both have retired from MLB. Ray Morehart had hit .256 in 73 games with 1 HR and 20 RBIs, as a reserve 2B for Yankees starting 2B Tony Lazzeri. He would continue to play in the Minor Leagues from 1928 to 1933. Lefty hurler Joe Giard had been traded in 1924 by the Yankees to the Browns in the Urban Shocker trade. He returned to the team in in February of 1927, he appeared in 16 games as a reliever with no decisions and an 8.00 ERA, it would be his last active MLB season. He would pitch in the Minor Leagues in 1928-1929, before retiring. Neither player had appeared in the 1927 World Series for the Yankees.

1930- Former Yankees Minor League INF and MLB Executive Milt Graff was born. (1930-2005) In February of 1957, INF Milt Graff was traded by the Kansas City A’s to the Yankees in the Bobby Shantz trade. The Pirates had originally signed Milt Graff as MLB amateur free agent. In the 1955 MLB minor league player draft; he was selected by the Yankees from the Pirates organization. He never appears with the Yankees at the MLB level, instead Graff 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 INF coach for the Pirates. Also, he served as the Director of Stadium Operations at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh. He worked as an MLB scout for the Pirates, Giants and the Reds organizations.

1940- The Yankees swapped veteran starter Monte Pearson (1936-1940) to the Reds for Reserve INF Don Lang and $20,000 cash. Don Lang will never play for the Yankees at the MLB level, he was sent to Minors, playing for the 1941 AA Newark Bears (IL) and the 1942 AA Kansas City Blues (AA) before leaving the Yankees organization in the 1942 MLB Player Draft, being selected by the Red Sox. Since being traded by the Indians to the Yankees in the winter of 1935, Monte Pearson had gone 56-22 in his 1st 4 seasons with the team, including a 4-0 mark with a 1.01 ERA in the World Series for the Yankees. He pitched a no-hitter for the team in the 1938. Then in 1940, he dropped to 7-5 record with a 3.69 ERA in 16 games, he complained of sore pitching shoulder in July, Yankees Manager Joe McCarthy letting him sitting out the rest of the 1940 AL season. Overall, Monte went 63-27 with a 3,82 ERA in 121 games with 2 saves for the 1936-1940 Yankees. With the 1941 Reds, he went 1-3 with a 5.18 ERA in 7 games in his last MLB season. Then he pitched briefly with the 1941 Hollywood Stars (PCL) before retiring for the game

1988- Former Yankees Reliever Danny Burawa (2015) was born.
Relief pitcher Danny Burawa began his pro baseball career in 2010. He was selected by the Yankees as the last pick of the 12th round of the 2010 MLB amateur player draft. Despite posting a 12.9 K/9 IP ratio his 1st pro year, he struggled to a 7.71 ERA in 6 relief appearances for the Staten Island Yankees. He had a solid season in 2013, going 6-3 with a 2.59 ERA in 46 games for the AA Trenton Thunder (Eastern League), averaging a strikeout per frame. He had his 1st taste of Triple-A in 2014, going 3-1 with a 5.95 ERA in 31 appearances for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, while striking out 55 batters in 42 1/3 innings. He had a 4.70 ERA on the year as a whole. Following the campaign, he was added to the Yankees' 40-man roster. He began 2015 season with the AAA RailRiders. Danny was 1-1, 1.75 ERA in 26 games, when he was called up to the Bronx on June 21st. He made his MLB pitching debut against the Tigers the same day, but he was hit hard, giving up 4 runs on 3 hits and a walk in two-thirds of an inning. One of the 3 hits was J.D. Martinez's 3rd HR of the game. On August 14, 2015, Danny was selected off waivers by the Braves from the Yankees. He appeared in 12 games with a 3.65 ERA as a reliever for the 2015 Braves with no record.

1995- After losing veteran MLB free agent Starter David Wells to their Eastern Division rivals, the Orioles. The Yankees signed MLB free agent starter Kenny Rogers to a 4-year contract. “The Gambler” went 18-15 with a 5.11 ERA in 61 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, the Yankees signed INF/1B Jack Graham, as an MLB amateur free agent. He played in the Yankees Minor League system from 1936-1940. In December of 1940, he was traded by the team to the Dodgers for INF Boze Berger. Jack would play in the MLB from 1946-1949 with the Dodgers, Giants and the St. Louis Browns. In 1951, he returned to the Yankees organization, playing for the AAA 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 MLB 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 Pitcher 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 2 players to be named later and Pitcher Jake Westbrook to the Yankees for MLB Starter Hideki Irabu. He went 0-1 with a 21.0 ERA in 1 game (8 Runs, 7 hits, 3 IP) for the 2001 Yankees. He missed the entire 2002 season due to arm injuries. In 2003, he went 8-8 with a 4.37 ERA in 25 games at 3 levels of Yankees Minor League baseball. On October 15, 2003, Parker was granted MLB Free Agency by the Yankees. On November 17, 2003, he was signed as an MLB Free Agent by the Expos.

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

December 31st

1855- Former Yankees Team President and MLB Executive Joseph Gordon (1903-1906) was born. (1855-1929)
The Hall of Fame 2B is not the only significant figure in New York baseball history to have the name Joe Gordon. Decades before Flash was anchoring the infield of great World War II-era Yankees teams, an earlier Joe Gordon was helping to put the franchise on the map, serving as the 1st president of the New York Highlanders. Even before he assumed the Highlanders post, this Gordon was a fixture on the Gotham diamond scene, having risen from a schoolboy pitching star to a principal of the Metropolitan Exhibition Company, the closely held corporation that had operated the New York Mets of the American Association and the National League New York Giants. A prosperous Manhattan businessman, NYC public official, and Tammany Hall insider, Joseph Gordon was also well known outside the sporting world, with often as much press attention being paid to his commercial and political affairs as it was to his actions as an MLB Baseball Executive. But few men hold the spotlight in perpetuity and Gordon proved no exception. By the time of his death in January 1929, he was so far removed from the public eye that not one of the New York newspapers that had once been so attentive to the affairs of Joseph Gordon deemed him worthy of a published obituary.
Like many baseball pioneers, Joseph Gordon was a man of humble origin. Born in Manhattan on December 31, 1855, he was the youngest child of William and Sarah Gordon, illiterate Scotch-Irish immigrants from Ulster. While his father and older brother John found work as city laborers, Joe and brother Robert attended public school on the Lower East Side. As a youngster, Joe developed into a baseball player of some note. Years later, the New York Times wrote, “Mr. Gordon was a ballplayer himself in the old days, and considered a rising young pitcher when he twirled for the school team representing Public School No. 49 and enabled it to win the championship of New York in the games played in Central Park. A phenom was lost to the game later through the overuse of his arm, and he finally made his exit from active playing.”
With both parent’s dead by the time he reached the age of 15, Gordon had little chance to pursue baseball ambitions, whatever the condition of his arm. He and Robert eventually moved in with a widow named Weaman and found work in the coal brokering trade. As had many a Manhattanite seeking to elevate his prospects, young Joe Gordon became a member of Tammany Hall, the corrupt political machine that controlled the Democratic Party in New York City. It is there that Gordon likely forged connection to another frustrated former pitcher with mercantile interests: John B. Day, a cigar manufacturer recently arrived from Connecticut. In the summer of 1880, the already prosperous Day bankrolled the Metropolitan of New York, an independent ballclub organized by new acquaintance Jim Mutrie. A respectable 16-7-1 record in abbreviated late-season play then stoked Day’s ambitions for the team. Shortly thereafter, Day incorporated the Metropolitan Exhibition Company, taking in Tammany comrades Joseph Gordon, Charles Dillingham and Walter Appleton as minority shareholders.
By the conclusion of the 1882 season, competitive Mets performances against American Association and NL opposition had produced invitations to join from both circuits, each seeking to establish a presence in New York, bereft of a major-league team since 1876. But Day had bigger plans, namely, the operation of a New York team in each league. With Gordon installed as Club President, the Mets joined the American Association for the 1883 season. Day himself, meanwhile, took charge of the New York Gothams, a separate and entirely new ballclub that would play in the more established National League. The MEC brain trust clearly intended the Gothams to be the showcase nine, with corporate favoritism reflected in sundry ways.
The Gothams, for example, would play their games on the manicured diamond situated at the southeastern corner of the Polo Grounds. The Mets would be consigned to the 2nd-rate, landfill-fortified field placed in the southwest quadrant of the stadium. Admission prices were also tiered. The carriage trade cultivated by management for the Gothams would be charged 50 cents general admission. The working class faithful of the Mets would get in for a quarter. Most important, the Gothams would get the elite of the player pool accumulated by the MEC from the recently liquidated National League Troy Trojans and elsewhere. Promising Troy refugees like Buck Ewing, Roger Connor, and Mickey Welch, as well as former Providence Grays standout John Montgomery Ward, were all assigned to the Gothams. The Mets had to make do with the leftovers, including hurler Tim Keefe, property of the MEC but deemed unworthy of a place on the Gothams.
As with countless other well-laid plans, the MEC design did not work out as intended. Despite their favored status, the Gothams were a disappointment, a sub-.500 6th-place finisher in the NL standings. Meanwhile the Mets, behind the crafty generalship of Manager Jim Mutrie and 41 wins from Tim Keefe, played far superior ball and placed in the American Association 1st division. As a reward, the Mets were banished from the Polo Grounds. The start of the 1884 season found the team playing at Metropolitan Park, a dump hastily erected amid factory smokestacks along the East River.7 But even this treatment did not reverse the order of team fortune in New York. President Day’s Gothams moved up two notches to fourth place in the National League standings. But President Gordon was now head of a league champion, the 75-32 Mets having cruised to the 1884 American Association pennant. In the 1st precursor to the modern World Series, MEC officials then agreed to a postseason championship match pitting the Mets against the Providence Grays, the NL pennant winner. With an eye toward maximizing gate revenues, all three games of the series would be scheduled for the Polo Grounds. The outcome of the event, a 3-game Providence sweep with sparse attendance – only 300 fans attended the final game – did not bode well for the Mets future.
Before the start of the 1885 season, John B. Day made manifest his intention to mold the Gothams into a pennant winner. And in furtherance of that aim, the Mets would be sacrificed. First, Jim Mutrie, the capable Mets manager, was transferred to the Gothams. Thereafter, rule-bending maneuvers by the MEC thrust Mets stars Keefe and Dude Esterbrook into Gothams uniforms. Additionally, strengthened by the acquisition of future Hall of Famer Jim O’Rourke, late of Buffalo, the Gothams – called the Giants by midseason – soared to 85-27, the best record ever posted by a nonwinner of the pennant. The Chicago White Stockings of Cap Anson/King Kelly/John Clarkson fame finished the 1885 campaign 2 games better. The stripped and disheartened Mets, meanwhile, faltered badly, plummeting to 7th place in the American Association. But that was a matter of small concern at MEC headquarters. In December 1885 the unloved Mets club was sold to entrepreneur Erasmus Wiman for a modest $25,000. As soon as the deal was done, Wiman relocated the club to his amusement grounds on Staten Island.
The shabby corporate treatment of the Mets had been the prerogative of John B. Day, the MEC’s dominant shareholder. But if Day was the company’s director of baseball operations, Joseph Gordon was its ranking politician. Unlike Day, Gordon took an active role in Tammany affairs, early hitching his star to Richard Croker, a force in ascendance at the Wigwam. In June 1886 Croker became Tammany chief, much to the benefit of supporters like Gordon. In 1888 Gordon was anointed the Tammany candidate for Manhattan’s 18th Assembly District and swept into office on a citywide Democratic tide. After an undistinguished 1-year term, Gordon retired from the Legislature to concentrate on his now-thriving coal business and the fortunes of the New York Giants, on whose board of directors he served. And Gordon’s political influence was sorely needed. For the Giants faced the imminent loss of their ballpark.
Although Democrats were in control of New York municipal government, not all local officeholders were vassals of Boss Croker. This was particularly true in north Manhattan, where neighborhood aldermen and city planners had their eyes on the Polo Grounds, long an obstacle to completion of the area traffic grid. Throughout the 1888 season, MEC lawyers had waged a rearguard court battle to forestall the paving of a city street through the Polo Grounds outfield. But the inevitable could not be postponed indefinitely. Appreciative of that, the MEC had searched frantically for new grounds, with Gordon advocating a site in far north Manhattan owned by the vastly propertied Lynch-Gardiner family. Unhappily, negotiations between Day and John J. Coogan, the family’s wily estate agent, foundered over terms. Day would not meet Coogan’s asking price for purchase of the property and declined the 1-year leasehold on the grounds offered by Coogan as an alternative.
Without a Manhattan playing field – the original Polo Grounds were razed in March 1889 – the Giants commenced the new season playing home games in Jersey City’s dilapidated Oakdale Park. After two games the team relocated to the St. George Grounds on Staten Island, erstwhile home of the by-now-disbanded Mets. There, inconvenience of locale and dismal early-season weather had a debilitating effect on the Giants’ box office. By mid-June, Day was back at the negotiating table with Coogan, and this time agreement was reached on a lease for the targeted property, vacant meadowland situated at 155th Street and 8th Avenue, only steps away from an elevated railway stop. Within 3 weeks thereafter, the small army of workmen dispatched to the scene had erected a usable, if unfinished, ballpark that the MEC named the New Polo Grounds. Once playing in their new home, the Giants surged, both at the gate and in the standings. With the club closing in on a 2nd consecutive pennant, satisfaction reigned at company headquarters, so much so that the MEC principals declined a $200,000 offer for the Giants tendered by stadium landlord Coogan. The New York Times reported, “Since the Metropolitan Exhibition Company was formed in the Fall of 1880, the profits have been enormous, and it is said that the Mets and the present New York club have cleared about $750,000. The diamond-field sport is increasing each year in public favor and Messrs. Day, Dillingham, Appleton and Gordon are inclined not to sell.” Within months, MEC members, and John B. Day in particular, would be given cause to regret their retention of the franchise.
The 1889 baseball season had been conducted amid gathering troubles on the labor front. Barely a week after the New York Giants had successfully defended their world championship title (defeating the American Association Brooklyn Bridegrooms in postseason play), the players rebelled, announcing the formation of a new major league, one that would be controlled by the help itself: the Players League. This new arrival on the sports scene augured real trouble for the Giants and their corporate ownership. The organizing genius of the Players League was Giants shortstop John Montgomery Ward, assisted by New York teammates Tim Keefe and Jim O’Rourke. The premier franchise of the league would be based in New York and also called the Giants, its roster stocked with former MEC employees. And Players League Giants games would be played at Brotherhood Park, a newly constructed edifice separated from the MEC’s New Polo Grounds by no more than a ten-foot alley and the ballpark fences. The competition between the New York rivals would, therefore, be cutthroat.
Before battle was joined, John B. Day strove to recapture the allegiance of his former players. With Gordon usually in tow, Day paid personal visits to the homes of Buck Ewing (Cincinnati), Roger Connor (Waterbury), Danny Richardson (Elmira), and other wayward charges – all to no avail. The MEC fared no better in court, where applications for injunctive restraint upon league-jumping players were refused. With fading pitcher Mickey Welch and outfielder Mike Tiernan the only holdovers from the 1889 championship nine, management replenished the Giants roster, primarily with players from the Indianapolis Hoosiers, liquidated by the National League as a wartime (the NL vs. the Players League) measure.
The issue of fan loyalty was settled on Opening Day 1890 when the Ewing-led Big Giants of the Players League attracted 3 times as many fans as the patchwork Real Giants of the National League. The defending champs played poorly in the field and fared worse at the gate, with game attendees sometimes numbering only in the hundreds. Soon the club began hemorrhaging red ink. Funds supplied by Day’s tobacco business did not stanch the flow and by midseason, the Giants operation verged on bankruptcy. National League team owners summoned to a private meeting in July were stunned to learn the depth of the Giants’ fiscal distress. Unwilling to see their flagship enterprise collapse, the magnates agreed to a bailout scheme quickly devised by Chicago’s A.G. Spalding. In return for their cash, Spalding and fellow Team Owners Arthur Soden (Boston) and John T. Brush (Indianapolis) became significant shareholders in the National League Giants. Al Reach (Philadelphia) and Ferdinand Abell (Brooklyn) also took stakes in the franchise. As the 1890 season continued, the club’s finances did not improve, eventually prompting discreet negotiations between Day and the backers of the Players League Giants. The postseason consolidation of National League and Players League operations in New York produced little benefit to the Metropolitan Exhibition Company or its principals. Indeed, the arrival in the Giants front office of Edward B. Talcott and his Players League allies served only to reduce the MEC share of the franchise and to diminish its control of club fortunes. By the start of the 1893 season John B. Day was out as Team President and the MEC founders of the franchise had been reduced to little more than nominal shareholders in the club.

Unlike Day, Joe Gordon was not financially crippled by the downfall of the Metropolitan Exhibition Company. His stake in the company had been comparatively modest. More important, Gordon had not compromised his business interests to keep the Giants solvent. While MEC fortunes flagged, Gordon’s coal business prospered. He also expanded his commercial reach, becoming active in the thriving Manhattan real-estate market. Before the decade was out, Gordon would be president of his own building construction and realty company. Shrewdly, Gordon ensured his prosperity via continued service to Tammany Hall. Although he declined another State Assembly candidacy in September 1893, Gordon renewed his Wigwam vows through membership on the Tammany Hall Executive Committee and by serving Tammany interests as a delegate to state Democratic Party conventions. At the same time, Gordon’s resolve to rescue a favorite social spot, the financially overextended Manhattan Athletic Club, brought him into contact with another prominent Tammany brave, Andrew Freedman. A political protégé and close personal friend of Tammany Boss Croker, Freedman was appointed receiver of the Manhattan Athletic Club in January 1893. Among the club assets that had to be managed by Freedman was Manhattan Field, formerly known as the New Polo Grounds. In time, visits to Manhattan Field would kindle interest by the wealthy Freedman in its former tenants, the New York Giants. Freedman’s subsequent entry into the baseball world as principal New York Giants Owner would have many consequences. One of these was the setting off of a near-Byzantine chain of events that would propel Joseph Gordon into the hierarchy of a new diamond enterprise: the New York Highlanders of the American League.
These events unfolded over an 8-year time span. While his destiny awaited him, Gordon attended to his commercial and political interests. A longtime bachelor, Gordon also took a bride, marrying Jennie Davis, a New Yorker some 20 years his junior, in 1898. Shortly thereafter he changed the name of his building construction/real-estate business to the Jennie Gordon Realty Company. But the gesture may not have been entirely a sentimental one. It also camouflaged a potential conflict-of-interest problem, as Gordon’s fealty to Tammany Hall had recently been rewarded by his appointment as New York City Deputy Superintendent of Buildings. For the next decade, Gordon’s attachment to this lucrative sinecure would ebb and flow with Tammany fortunes at the ballot box.
The maelstrom unleashed by Andrew Freedman during his tenure as New York Giants Owner involves far too complicated a tale for exposition here. Suffice it to say that by mid-1902, Freedman, a capable but difficult man, had grown as weary of baseball as the game was of him. Freedman was also totally preoccupied with the building of the Interborough Rapid Transit System, the massive subway construction project that he served as catalyst-in-chief. That September Freedman divested himself of the Giants, selling his controlling interest in the club to Cincinnati Reds Owner John T. Brush, once Freedman’s foremost adversary in league executive councils but a Freedman ally, if not a friend, since late 1898. The presence of Brush, a longtime and bitter foe of American League President Ban Johnson, in New York compounded the difficulties facing the fledgling circuit as it tried to relocate its moribund Baltimore Orioles operation to somewhere in New York City. The problem facing Johnson was essentially twofold: (1) identifying a prospective investor or investors with the capital necessary to underwrite the expense of franchise emigration to New York, and (2) securing grounds in Manhattan upon which a newly arrived club could build a ballpark.

In time Joe Gordon would provide the solution to both difficulties. President Johnson’s investor search was guided by New York Sun sports editor Joe Vila, an ardent Freedman critic. Vila introduced Ban to Frank Farrell, a semi-shady character with hefty bankroll known as New York’s “Pool Room King,” a reference to the multitude of betting parlors operated by this investment prospect. Farrell also owned racehorses, operated casinos, and had interest in other enterprises, some of dubious legality. Worse yet, Farrell was often associated with the notorious Big Bill Devery, a former NYC Police Commissioner who epitomized municipal corruption in the public mind. Clearly, a more respectable front man would be required if Farrell and Devery were to finance American League operations in New York. Enter Joseph Gordon, a personage well known and acceptable to Gotham baseball fans and one with the political savvy needed to help steer the new club through the New York political thicket. Gordon would also provide the antidote to Andrew Freedman’s obstruction of efforts to secure Manhattan playing grounds for an American League team. Although officially divorced from baseball, Freedman, whether acting upon a sense of obligation to Brush, malice toward Tammany rivals reportedly backing the new club, or for his own amusement, had decided to thwart location of an American League team in Manhattan. Having made his first fortune as a New York City real-estate operative, Freedman had thorough command of the local geography. And his connection to the subway project allowed him to encumber virtually any site that might be deemed suitable for a baseball stadium, which he did. But one desolate spot had escaped Freedman’s notice. And Joe Gordon, only recently relieved of oversight of city buildings and himself an authority on New York real estate, uncovered it: a rocky mesa in Washington Heights owned by the New York Institute for the Blind. Once a 10-year lease to the grounds had been secured, the Greater New York Base Ball Club of the American League was ready for unveiling.
On March 12, 1903, the arrival of the American League in New York was made official, with incoming Club President Joseph Gordon center stage at the press conference. During the proceedings, AL President Johnson commended Gordon for securing the team’s vital playing site. Gordon had “engineered that end of the deal from the start and greatly assisted me in keeping things quiet,” said Johnson. For his part, Gordon assured those gathered that the group behind the new club was “a strong one financially, being backed by several worthy and prominent citizens” whose names Gordon left unmentioned. Nor, for that matter, were Frank Farrell or Bill Devery listed as club backers in papers filed with the state in Albany 2 days later, the franchise being incorporated by others and capitalized at $100,000.
Gordon reveled in the visibility of his new post, later escorting Johnson and the NY press corps around the grounds of the prospective ballpark, a site that would need liberal application of dynamite and a large construction crew to transform it into a venue for major-league baseball. Those requirements would gladly be filled by Thomas McAvoy, a former police inspector and Tammany district leader (whose padded bills silent Team Owner Farrell and the AL would ultimately be obliged to pay).
The New York club, dubbed the Highlanders for variously offered reasons, registered a middling 72-62 record in its 1903 AL debut campaign. As the 1903 season drew to a close, President Gordon pronounced it a financial success. “We made money,” he informed the press. “We did not make only $1,000 or $2,000 either, but enough to know that our investment is a good one. … We are way to the good. Next year, we will do better.”
That prophecy would be fulfilled in 1904, the season proving an exciting one for Highlanders fans and profitable for team investors. The year also yielded the highlight of Joseph Gordon’s reign as Club President. Gordon’s foil in the dramatic events about to unfold was John T. Brush, the astute but cheerless new boss of the New York Giants. Brush detested Ban Johnson, his American League, and the upstart AL franchise that Johnson had managed to wedge into the Giants neighborhood. Brush had therefore given the back of his hand to Highlander proposals for a post-1903 season exhibition series between the 2 New York teams. As the 1904 season progressed, Brush’s satisfaction with his Giants, comfortably ahead and coasting toward the NL pennant, was tempered by foreboding. Brush, diehard in his opposition to the AL at the January 1903 interleague peace parley, had disapproved of National League participation in the highly popular World Series played by Boston and Pittsburgh at season’s end. Now, he would face pressure to match his champion Giants against the AL pennant winner. And as the 1904 season wound down, it appeared that the opposition might well be the infernal Highlanders.
Gordon milked Brush’s discomfort to maximum advantage. On August 16th, he had Highlanders Manager Clark Griffith issue the Giants a well-publicized challenge to a postseason series to determine the baseball champions of New York. Upon receiving a brusque rejection, Gordon upped the ante, penning a taunting missive directly to “John T. Brush, Esq.” Throwing a Brush putdown right back at him, Gordon wrote, “You say you ‘do not know who these people are.’ Let me introduce myself. When you were running a small clothing store in Muncie, Ind., I was a Director of the New York baseball club, the only local team which has ever won and held the championship of the world. Inasmuch as you have been in New York barely a year, I can appreciate your lack of acquaintance.” Gordon then renewed the Highlanders challenge, informing Brush that “your conferees can tell you who we are. By playing us, you will find out what we are.” But Brush, tough-minded and intensely self-disciplined, did not rise to the bait. He simply ignored Gordon. With the 1904 season coming down to the wire, Gordon reiterated the challenge 1 last time, but in far more respectful terms. Citing the public clamor for the match and leaving the financial arrangements to Brush’s discretion, Gordon stated that “if the Greater New Yorks defeat the Bostons in the AL race, we will have the right to defend the title [i.e., Boston’s 1903 World Series crown]. If you wish to prove to the baseball public of New York that the Nationals are capable of winning these added laurels from the Greater New Yorks, we will pave the way. The responsibility rests with you, Mr. Brush, to accept or decline this fair and square proposition, made in the interests of the national sport.”
This time Brush referred the matter to Giants Manager John McGraw, who dismissed the challenge disdainfully. According to McGraw, postseason play would traduce the Giants accomplishment of having won the 1904 NL pennant, “the highest honor in baseball.” Days later, any all-New York World Series was rendered a moot point, courtesy of an ill-thrown Jack Chesbro spitball that relegated the Highlanders to a close 2nd-place AL finish. Still, the season had been a triumph for the new franchise, its sterling play on the field complemented by a public-relations victory over the entrenched Giants, as New York baseball fans and the city’s sporting press had sided almost unanimously with the Highlanders in the controversy over the postseason challenge.
The contretemps with Giants management transformed the Highlanders’ Joe Gordon into a local celebrity. And hastened his undoing as Club President. In early 1907, an envious Frank Farrell demoted Gordon to Vice President, installing himself in the club’s top post. Shortly thereafter Farrell dismissed Gordon from the team’s employ altogether. As Farrell admitted several years later, “I decided that I should get some of the glory. I had put up the money and done a lot of the work (to get the Highlanders established).” At first, a wounded Gordon consoled himself with vacation trips to faraway places. Then, he struck back, filing a multifaceted lawsuit against Farrell. Alleging fraud and despoilment of club assets, Gordon laid claim to one-half the profits generated during the 4-year period that Gordon had served as Highlanders President. He also sought judgment declaring him a Co-Owner of the club and an injunction restraining Farrell from disbursement of franchise funds.
At the outset the suit went well for Gordon, the New York State Supreme Court denying Farrell’s demurrer and ordering the case to trial. That trial, however, proved an embarrassment to Gordon. Without documentary evidence, he had to ground his claim to team co-ownership on an oral agreement between himself and Farrell, an improbable business arrangement and one unwitnessed by any 3rd party. The Gordon assertions, moreover, were contradicted by AL President Ban Johnson, New York Sun sports editor Joe Vila, and Farrell attorney Abram Elkus, all of whom testified that Gordon, in effect, had been “a dummy President of the Club … because Farrell, being known as a ‘racing man,’ did not want to appear as sponsor for the club, and because Gordon begged to be President to benefit his coal business.” Such revelations had a punishing effect on Gordon’s reputation in the baseball world. Syndicated sports columnist Joe S. Jackson, for example, informed readers that “the aggrieved party never cut much of a figure in baseball and would be forgotten by now” but for the association of his surname with the Highlanders “sobriquet.” Of more import to the lawsuit principals was the predictable result of defense witness testimony. On January 19, 1912, Supreme Court Justice Henry Bischoff, Jr. dismissed the Gordon complaint on the merits. Thereafter, Gordon sought appellate review, but to no avail. In June 1913, the New York Appellate Division affirmed the judgment, expressly finding in the process that it had not been “persuaded by the evidence that any contract of partnership or joint venture was executed between the parties.”
From that point on, Joseph Gordon largely withdrew from public life, his activities attracting only passing press notice. But Gordon lingered at the fringes of MLB baseball, his name occasionally buried deep on the roster of attendees at Hot Stove League functions. In October 1922, however, Joe Gordon made a brief return to prominence on the sports pages. It was reported that he had approached Giants Owner Charles Stoneham with a buyout offer from a syndicate headed by Harry Hempstead, son-in-law of the late John T. Brush and his successor as Giants Club President until the club was sold to Stoneham in January 1919. Evasive nondenials by Stoneham did nothing to refute the report, prompting heated words from Giants Manager McGraw and Club Treasurer Francis X. McQuade, minority partners in the team ownership, who threatened legal action if Stoneham attempted to consummate the deal. That was enough for Stoneham, who promptly repaired to Cuba, where he disclaimed any intention of selling the Giants – at least for the present.

Joseph Gordon spent his final years attending to his business interests, particularly the Jennie Gordon Realty Company, still an active broker of Manhattan properties. His last reported interaction with baseball was a wistful one: the making of a $25 contribution in July 1926 to a fund being collected in memory of the recently deceased Christy Mathewson. Sometime thereafter, Gordon’s health began to fail. He died at his longtime residence at the Breton Hall Hotel in Manhattan on January 6, 1929, succumbing to heart failure, aggravated by prolonged anemia and general emaciation, likely the effects of cancer. Gordon was 73 years old. Notwithstanding his onetime stature in the New York political and sporting worlds, not a single city newspaper published an obituary. Only terse death notices in the New York Herald and the New York Times marked his passing. After services at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home in Manhattan, Gordon was interred at Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, New York. He was childless, and his only known survivor was wife Jennie. Although his role in Gotham baseball lacked the impact of contemporaries like John B. Day or Andrew Freedman, Joseph Gordon played an active and mostly constructive part in the game’s establishment in New York. And another executive with Gordon’s connection to 3 separate MLB franchises in the same city, the New York Mets of the American Association, the New York Giants of the National League and the American League New York Highlanders, does not readily spring to mind. If for this reason alone, Joseph Gordon deserves more attention from the game’s chroniclers than he has thus far received.

1914- AL President Ban Johnson's efforts to strengthen the New York Yankees franchise succeed, when he arranges the purchase of the team by new team Co-Owners Colonel Jacob Ruppert and Captain Tillinghast L'Hommedieu Houston for $460,000 from current Team Co-Owners Bill Devery and Frank Farrell. Both Devery and Farrell were involved in gambling in NYC; Ban Johnson wanted team owners that were more stable money-wise and have better business ethics. After Detroit Tigers Owner Frank Navin refuses to let Manager Hugh Jennings go, the new Yankees Co-Team Owners will name longtime Tigers hurler William “Wild Bill” Donovan to managing the team. The new team owners bring in veteran 3B Frank “Home Run” Baker and Starter Bob Shawkey from the Philadelphia A’s. They acquired rookie 1B Wally Pipp from the Tigers to start rebuilding the team. Under this new Co-Team Owner regime, the Yankees will make the most important trade in their franchise history, when they purchased OF/P Babe Ruth from the Boston Red Sox in December of 1919. Also, in the winter of 1920, they hired former Boston Red Sox Manager Edward Barrow to become their team’s new General Manager.

1919- Former Yankees Pitcher Tommy Byrne (1943,1946-1951,1954-1957) was born. (1919-2007)
Before the start of the 1940 MLB season, the Yankees signed Pitcher Tommy Byrne 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 Pitcher Stubby Overmire. Tommy was re-obtained by the Yankees in September of 1954 from the AAA Seattle Rainers (Pacific Coast League). Tom would finish the 1954 AL season for the Yankees with a 3-2 record with a 2.70 ERA in 5 games, while throwing 4 complete games. In 1955, he won the AL Comeback Player of the Year Award by going 16-5 with a 3.15 ERA in 27 games for the Yankees. He would pitch 2 more seasons for the team, before retiring after the 1957 World Series. Tommy appeared in 4 World Series with the Yankees, while posting a 1-1 record in 6 games with a 2.53 ERA. His overall MLB pitching record was 85-69 in 281 games with a 4.11 ERA. He pitched for the Yankees (twice), Browns, White Sox and the Senators. Tommy led the AL in walks, 3 times (1948-1951). After his baseball retirement, he would become the Mayor of Wake Forrest, NC and the Owner of the Wake Forrest, NC Country Club.

1924- Former Yankees Pitcher Ted Gray (1955) was born. (1924-2011) On June 30,1955, veteran hurler Ted Gray was signed as an MLB free agent by the Yankees. He had started the 1955 MLB season with the Indians. He will appear in only 1 game with no decisions before being released in July of 1955 by the team. He would finish the 1955 AL season with the Orioles. He originally came up to the MLB with the Tigers. 1940 -The Yankees sold veteran hurler Bump Hadley to the Giants for the $7,500 waiver price. Bump went 49-31 with a 4.28 ERA in 140 games with 6 saves in 5 seasons with team. Hadley had appeared in 3 World Series with the Yankees, while posting a 2-1 record with a 4.15 ERA in 3 games. In 1940, Bump was used as a reliever, he went 3-5 with a 5.75 ERA with 2 saves in 25 games. Also, they traded reserve INF Bill Knickerbocker to the White Sox for Catcher Ken Silvestri. Bill had been the Yankees reserve infielder for 3 seasons, appearing in 97 games, while hitting .242 with 2 HRs and 32 RBIs. 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 an MLB 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 Pitcher Esteban Loaiza (2004) was born. On July 31, 2004, hurler Esteban Loaiza was traded by the White Sox to the Yankees for starter Jose Contreras and cash. He appeared in 10 games for the 2004 Yankees, while posting a 1-2 record with an 8.50 ERA, 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 a 2.49 ERA in 41 games with the Oakland A’s, signs with the 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 with a 3.58 ERA in 137 games. Hunter went 1-3 in 5 games for the team in 3 World Series. Overall as an MLB Pitcher, Catfish went 244-166 with a 3.26 ERA in 500 games. 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 pitching 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 Pitcher, MLB Coach and Manager (1930) Robert “Sailor” Bob Shawkey (1915-1927) passed away at the age of 90. (1890-1980) After being obtained from the Philadelphia A’s for $85,000 during the 1915 AL season, Bob posted a 4-7 record in 16 games. The next season, he went 24-14 with a 2.21 ERA in 53 games for the Yankees. Bob was a 4-time 20 game winner for the Yankees. In 1920, Bob led the AL pitchers 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 pitching 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 with a 3.10 ERA in 415 games. Bob threw 26 shutouts and completed 161 games. He had appeared in 5 World Series with the A’s (1914) and 1921-1923,1926 Yankees, posting a 1-3 record with a 4.75 ERA in 8 games. In 1929, Bob became the Yankees MLB pitching coach. Following Yankees Manager Miller Huggins death, he will manage the 1930 Yankees to an 86-68 record, a 3rd place finish, before being replaced by veteran NL manager Joe McCarthy for the 1931 AL season. In 1934-1935, he managed the Yankees top minor league club, the AA Newark Bears (International League). During the 1940s, Bob was an MLB scout for the Tigers and Pirates. After managing in the minors in 1949-1950 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 veteran MLB starter Scott Sanderson from the Oakland A’s. He would go 16-10 with 3.81 ERA in 1991. Then Scott posted a 12-11 record with a 4.93 ERA in 1992, before leaving the team for MLB free agency. Overall with the Yankees, Scoot posted a 28-21 record with a 4.67 ERA in 67 games. He would sign with the Angels.

2004- After Tampa Bay front office 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 team, signs a 1-year, $3 million contract to rejoin the Yankees. Martinez played in the Bronx 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 from steroid use continues to fail.

2015- Former Yankees Minor League Catcher and Minor League Manager, MLB Manager Veron Rapp passed away. (1928-2015
Catcher Vern Rapp played in the Minor Leagues from 1946 to 1960, missing the 1951 and 1952 seasons due to military service. He was in in the St. Louis Cardinals chain from 1946 to 1954, although he was on loan to the Yankees organization in 1954. He appeared in 28 games with the AAA Kansas City Blues (American Association), while hitting .258 with 1 HR and 9 RBIs. Rapp played 9 seasons at AAA level. Then he managed in the minor leagues in 1961 and 1962 with the Yankees organization: 1961 Modesto Reds (California League) and the 1962 Greensboro Yankees (Carolina League). From 1965 to 1976, he worked in the Cardinals, Reds and the Expos minor league systems. He had considerable success as a minor league manager, winning the American Association title with the AAA Denver Bears in his last season. Rapp managed the St. Louis Cardinals in 1977 to 3rd place finish and part of 1978 NL season. In 1984, he managed the Reds to a 51-70 record.


4 months ago  ::  Dec 30, 2018 - 1:11PM #2
Posts: 15,240

This Week in Yankees History December 30th-January 5th Part Two

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January 1st New Year to All!!!

1874- Former Yankees Pitcher 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 (aka the Dodgers). Ned appeared in only 2 games for the 1904 Yankees with a 0-1 record in September of 1904. He had been 5-15 with a 1.68 ERA in 23 games for the Superbas. Garvin pitched in the MLB from 1896-1904, finishing with a 58-97 MLB pitching career record with a 2.72 ERA in 181 games. He retired from the MLB after the 1904 season ended. Ned 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 for the 1907 Yankees, while hitting just .212 with No HRs and 3 RBIs.

1910- Former Yankees Pitcher Charles Devens (1932-1934) was born. (1910-2003) Charlie Devens went 5-3 with 3.73 ERA in 16 games for the 1932-1934 Yankees. He didn’t appear in the 1932 World Series for the Yankees against the Cubs, but he was on the bench and observed Babe Ruth's called shot. He agreed with his Yankees teammate Frankie Crosetti that Ruth wasn't using the gesture to say he would hit a HR on the next pitch. Charlie spent parts of 1933-1934 baseball seasons with the AA Newark Bears (International League) while posting a 19-13 record. In 1934, he went 1-0 with 1.64 ERA in 1 game for the Yankees at the end of the 1934 AL season. He had been a college star baseball player at Harvard University, before signing with the Yankees. He married the daughter of a former governor, and after leaving baseball in 1935, Charles went into banking and stockbroking. During World War II, he was a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy, and was awarded the Bronze Star.

1923- Future Yankees HOF INF/OF William “Wee Willie” Keeler (1903-1909) passed away. (1872-1923)
Outfielder Willie “Wee Willie” Keeler had a .295 lifetime BA as a Yankees player, appearing in 873 games with 10 HRs and 206 RBIs. From 1903-1906, he hit over .300 each MLB season: .318 (1903), .343 (1904), .302 (1905), .304 (1906), before fading to a .234 BA in 1907. A remarkable hitter, Willie Keeler had hit over .300 16 times in 19 MLB seasons, he hit over .400 once, .432 in 1897 with the Baltimore Orioles (NL). Willie will finish with a .341 BA over his MLB playing career, currently 14th in all-time list. Willie played in the MLB from 1892-1910, starting out and finishing with the Giants. He played for the Giants, Brooklyn, Baltimore (NL) and the Yankees. Willie Keeler will be selected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939 with 75.55% of the vote. He coined the phrase “Hit’em, where they ain’t.”

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 an MLB free agent by the Yankees. The White Sox had released Earl. He hit .111 in 22 games before becoming an 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 player career with a .265 BA with 149 HRs with 749 RBIs.

1942- Former Yankees Minor League INF Bill Bethea was born. INF 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 the Twins in the 1963 MLB 1st year player draft selected Bill. He would play in the Yankees Minor League organization from 1965-1967. In 1969, Bill finished his pro 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 selected 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. In 1978, he went 18-4 with a 2.90 ERA for the Appleton Foxes (Midwest League). Hoyt reached the MLB in 1979; he bounced between the rotation and the bullpen until 1982, when he became a regular starter for the Sox. That season, he won a league-best 19 games, and the following season he captured the AL Cy Young Award winner with a record of 24-10. From 1980 to 1982, he won his 1st 16 career decisions at home, tying a record held by Johnny Allen. That number was not bested until Jose Fernandez won his 1st 17 home decisions in 2013-2015. Hoyt pitched a 1-hitter on May 2, 1984 against the Yankees. The only hit was a 7th inning single by Yankees 1B Don Mattingly. Hoyt gave no walks and struck out 8 Yankee batters in the game. He faced the minimum number of batters in the game as Don Mattingly was erased by a double play. However overall, he struggled that season, going 13-18 with an ERA nearly a run per game higher than his previous average. After the 1984 season, Hoyt was traded to the Padres in a 7-player deal that brought Ozzie Guillen to the White Sox. He returned to form with the Padres, going 16-8 and starting the 1985 All-Star Game for the NL. However, his MLB pitching career ended in 1986 after he was arrested 3 times on drug charges. He was suspended for the 1987 MLB season; it was later reduced, but he never returned to the major leagues. Overall, Hoyt won 98 games in an 8-year career. In his 1st years in the MLB, he was known as Dewey Hoyt.

1971- Former Yankees OF Harry Rice (1930) passed away. (1901-1971)
On May 30,1930, veteran OF Harry Rice was traded by the Tigers along with Pitcher Ownie Carroll and Reserve INF Yats Wuestling to the Yankees for veteran Pitcher Waite Hoyt and INF Mark Koenig. He appeared in 100 games for the 1930 Yankees, while hitting .298 with 7 HRs and 74 RBIs. Incoming Yankees Manager Joe McCarthy decided that Harry wasn’t in his plans for the 1931 AL season. On January 13,1931, Harry was selected off waivers by the Senators from the Yankees.

1974- Former Yankees General Manager Lee MacPhail takes over as AL President, succeeding the retiring President Joe Cronin. MacPhail will serve in this role until 1984. He will join his father, former Yankees Team 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 (twice) and the Orioles organizations as a baseball executive. With the Yankees organization, he had been an MLB Scout, Farm Director under George Weiss and General Manager, replacing Ralph Houk in May of 1966, when to he returned to the Yankees dugout to manage the team again after firing Manager Johnny Keane.

2006- Former Yankees Reliever Paul Lindblad (1978) passed away. (1941-2006)
After being purchased from the Rangers for $100,000 on August 1, 1978, veteran MLB reliever Paul Lindblad appeared in 7 games with no decisions for the 1978 Yankees. His purchase gives Yankees Manager Bob Lemon another lefty in the Yankees bullpen to help out veteran Sparky Lyle. On November 30, 1978, the Yankees will sell him to the Mariners. The Mariners will release him during their 1979 MLB spring training camp. Paul finished his MLB pitching career with a 68-63 record with a 3.29 ERA in 655 games with 64 saves.

2015- The Braves and Yankees announce a trade in spite of the New Year holiday with Relievers David Carpenter and Chasen Shreve headed to the Bronx in return for Minor League Pitcher Manny Banuelos, who had won a James P. Dawson Award in Yankees spring training camp. David Carpenter will pitch 1 season for the Yankees, posting a 0-1 record with 4.82 ERA in 22 games, before being traded to the Nationals in 2016 for Minor League INF Tony Rena. Chasen Shreve will pitch for the 2015-2018 Yankees, posting a 14-6 record with a 3.92 ERA with 2 saves in 180 games. He will be traded to the Cardinals during the 2018 MLB season for 1B Luke Voit. Manny Banuelos will go 1-4 with a 5.13 ERA in 7 games for the 2016 Braves. Since the 2016 MLB season, he has pitched for several MLB organizations. He is currently with the 2019 White Sox, he had pitched in the 2018 Dodgers organization before being traded in November of 2018.

January 2nd

1963- Former Yankees Pitcher and Minor League Manager Al Mamaux (1924) passed away. (1894-1963) Al Mamaux pitched 12 seasons in the MLB. He had won 21 games with the Pirates in 1915-1916. He appeared in the 1920 World Series for the Dodgers. On July 12,1924, Al was purchased by the Yankees from Reading (International League). He appeared in 14 games with the 1924 Yankees while 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 1926 Newark Bears. He led the International League with a 2.22 ERA for the 1926 season. He paced the circuit in 1927 with 25 wins with a 2.61 ERA. Later Al Mamaux managed the 1930-1933 AA Newark Bears (International League) and the 1936-1937 Albany Senators. He was the head baseball coach at Seton Hall University from 1937-1942. His teams had an overall record of 69-19. His 1942 Seton Hall 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.

1963- Former Yankees Pitcher David Cone (1995-2000) was born. On July 28,1995, starter Dave Cone was traded by the Blue Jays to the Yankees for 3 minor league Pitchers: Marty Janzen, Jason Jarvis and Mike Gordon. Dave went 64-40 with a 3.91 ERA in 145 games, as a Yankees starter. He was 2-0 in 4 World Series with the Yankees. 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 pitching career. He will finish his MLB pitching career with a 194-126 record with a 3.46 ERA in 450 games with 1 save. Since retiring from the MLB in 2003, 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 Pitcher Scott Proctor (2004-2007, 2011) 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 11-13 with a 4.51 ERA 1 save in 198 games with the 2004-2007 Yankees, before being traded back to the Dodgers on July 31, 2007 for MLB INF Wilson Betemit. Scott returned to the Yankees during the 2011 season, going 0-3 with a 9.00 ERA in 8 games. He was granted MLB free agency by the team. In 2012, he pitched in Korea for the Dooson Bears, posting a 4-4 record with a 1.74 ERA in 57 games with 35 saves. In 2013, he was signed by the Orioles as an MLB free agent, pitching with their AAA Tidewater Tides (IL) team before being released by the team ending his pro career, finishing with a 18-16 record with a 4.78 ERA in 307 games with 1 save.

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 with a 4.00 ERA with a in 16 games. He would only appear in 2 games in 1991, while posting a 0-1 record with a 10.13 ERA in 2 games due to arm injuries. He would miss the entire 1992 AL season due to arm injuries. In 1993, Mike appeared in only 9 games with Yankees, while posting a 3-2 record with a 5.27 ERA. Overall for the Yankees, Witt went 8-9 with a 4.91 ERA in 27 games for the Yankees. He was granted MLB free agency by the team. He didn’t play in the MLB again, finishing his MLB pitching career with a 117-116 record with 3.83 ERA in 341 games with 6 saves.

2003- Former Yankees OF Art “Bud” Metheny (1943-1946) passed away. (1915-2003) Art Metheny hit .247 with 31 HRs and 156 RBIs in 376 games for the Yankees. He appeared in 2 games in the 1943 World Series against the St. Louis 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 the Athletic Director from 1963 to 1970 at ODU.

2008- Former Yankees Reliever Gerry Staley (1955-1956) passed away. (1920-2008) On September 14,1955, reliever Gerry Stanley was selected off waivers by the Yankees from the Reds. He appeared in only 2 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 AL Champions White Sox bullpen.

January 3rd

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, OF 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 AA Kansas City Blues (American Association) roster. Bordagaray will hit .358 with 39 doubles, 8 triples, 31 steals and 214 hits for the AA 1940 Kansas City Blues. He hit .260 with No HRs and 4 RBIs in 36 games as a reserve OF 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 Yankees for $125,000 (twice the amount ever paid previously for a player) is announced publicly. Red Sox Owner Harry Frazee also secures a $350,000 loan from the 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 hurler George Pipgras in exchange for backup catcher Al DeVormer. George Pipgras would win 93 games as a starter for the Yankees; later he became an AL umpire. Harvey Hendrick would be a reserve outfielder for the 1923-1924 Yankees appearing in 77 games while hitting .268 with 4 HRs and 23 RBIs.

1943- A wartime tone for the 1943 MLB season is set when veteran Yankees starter Red Ruffing, just months short of his 38th birthday and minus 4 toes is drafted into the US Army Air Corps.

1965- Former Yankees Reserve INF, MLB Coach and Minor League Manager Louis Sojo (1996-1999, 2001, 2003) was born. On August 22,1996, Louis 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 an MLB 3B coach for the Yankees. Luis has been a Yankees minor league manager with the 2002 AA Norwich Navigators 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 Indians General Manager Gabe Paul would replace Mike Burke as President of the 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 Yankees 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 in 1950, but he was traded to the Cardinals in the Enos Slaughter trade in the spring of 1954. Bill went 142-123 as Yankees Manager before being replaced by Billy Martin during the 1975 MLB season.

1977- Former Yankees starter A.J. Burnett (2009-2011) was born.
On December 18, 2008, veteran MLB hurler A. J. Burnett signed a 5-year $82.5 million contract with the Yankees. 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 a 10-15 record, 5.26 ERA 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 Pirates, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig gave his approval for the trade, a necessary step due to 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 Pitcher 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 in Jersey City. He will go 4-1 in 14 games for the Yankees before being traded on June 3,1998 by the team to the Diamondbacks for 2 Minor League Pitchers: Scott Brow and Joe Lisio. Neither player received by the Yankees will appear with the team at the MLB Level.

2001- The Yankees signed MLB free agent hurler Todd Williams. He will appear in 15 games as a reliever with the 2001 Yankees, while posting a 1-0 record with 4.70 ERA. He was granted MLB free agency by the team. Todd would sign with the Dodgers for the 2002 MLB season.

2001- The Yankees traded Reliever Jay Tessmer and Minor League INF Seth Taylor to the Rockies for Pitcher David Lee. On March 24, 2001, David Lee was traded by the Yankees to the Padres for Pitcher Carlos Almanzar, who would go 0-1 with a 3.38 ERA in 10 games for the Yankees, before being granted MLB free agency in the Fall of 2001.

2003- Former Yankees Pitcher Joseph “Professor” Ostrowski (1950-1952) passed away. (1916-2003) In 1941, the Red Sox signed pitcher Joe Ostrowski as an MLB amateur free agent. After serving in the military in 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 “Snuffy” 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 with a 3.49 ERA in 34 games, plus 6 saves in 1951 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 pitching career with a 23-25 record with 15 saves overall. As a Yankees reliever, Joe went 9-7 with a 4.37 in 75 games with 11 saves. He was nicknamed “Professor” because he had a teaching degree and taught high school before becoming an MLB player. On February 12, 1953, Joe was purchased by the Cubs from the Yankees. He would pitch for the Cubs AAA team, Los Angeles Angels (PCL), posting a 3-6 record with 2.97 ERA in 28 saves in his last pro baseball season. After retiring from MLB, he returned to teaching and retired in 1978.

2003- The Yankees released Pitcher 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 (IL).

2005- MLB Commissioner Bud Selig approves the potential trade of the Diamondbacks All Star Starter Randy Johnson to the Yankees in exchange for Pitchers Javier Vazquez and Brad Halsey, Minor League Catcher Dioner Navarro and $9 million dollars. Arizona will then send Navarro and much of the cash to the Dodgers to obtain OF Shawn Green, another deal approved by the commissioner's office because of the amount of money changing hands.

2006- The Yankees signed former Red Sox CF Johnny Damon as an 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 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 season.

2006- The Yankees resigned MLB free agent 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 hurler Ben Kozlowski. Ben will not appear with the 2007 Yankees at the MLB level. He will spend the 2007 season with AAA Scranton, while posting a 5-7 record with 3.56 ERA in 42 games. The Yankees granted him MLB free agency. He later pitched in Mexico and Japan before retiring as an active player.

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 1st name was Armstrong; he was born in England, not the US territory of Alaska.

1890- Former MLB player and long-time 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 AA Newark Bears (International League) 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 an MLB Managers job with the Cleveland Indians from 1938-1940. After being let go by the Indians, he managed in the PCL again with the AA 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 NL Brooklyn Superbas objects to their plan. Sunday MLB 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, Shortstop John “Blondy” Ryan was purchased by the Yankees from the Phillies. Ryan had been hitting .264 for the Phillies, with 1 HR and 10 RBIs in 39 games. John appeared in 30 games for the 1935 Yankees, while hitting .238 with No HRs and 11 RBIs, playing shortstop for the injured starting Yankees shortstop Frank Crosetti. In December of 1935, John was purchased by the St. Paul Saints (American Association) from the Yankees. Later that month, he was purchased by the Indians from the Saints.

1908- Former Yankees All Star OF and MLB Executive George “Twinkletoes” Selkirk (1934-1942) was born in Ontario, Canada. (1908-1987)
On November 4, 1931, the Yankees purchased OF George Selkirk from AA Jersey City (International League) for cash. He succeeded Babe Ruth as the Yankees right fielder, after he was sold to the Boston Braves following the 1934 MLB season. George wore Yankees uniform No. 3. George played for 9 seasons with the team finishing with lifetime BA of .290 with 108 HRs and 576 RBIs in 846 games. He was a member of the 1936 and 1939 AL All Star teams. George hit .265 with 2 HRs and 11 RBIs in 21 games in 6 World Series (1936-1939,1941-1942). As a player, George had suggested that the MLB teams should install a warning track in the outfield to help the players know when they were close to the outfield walls to prevent serious injuries. The MLB Team Owners turned down his suggestion. During WW II, he served in the Navy (1942-1945). In May of 1946, the Yankees released him. George would become a Minor League Manager in the Yankees organization. During the late 1950s, he worked in the Kansas City A’s front office as one of their team’s General Managers. Then he would become the General Manager of the 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)
MLB Baseball Executive 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 1951-1960 Reds. Gabe left the Yankees after the 1977 World Series; he had grown tired of George Steinbrenner ‘s interference over 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 an 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 Yankees hurler, Tom went 10-7 with a 3.56 ERA in 75 games with 9 saves for the team before being sold to the A’s in the spring of 1955. He would stay with Kansas City until 1959. Tom finished his MLB pitching career with a 36-36 record with a 3.77 ERA and 44 saves in 289 games.

1928- The Yankees purchase shortstop Lyn Lary and OF 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; he appeared in 496 games for the team, while hitting .274 with 21 HRs and 237 RBIs. Unable to break into the Yankees starting outfield, Jimmie Reese would be shipped off to the St. Paul Saints in 1931. Later being purchased by the Cardinals from the Saints in 1931. As a Yankees reserve OF, he played in 142 games, while hitting .286 with 6 HRs and 44 RBIs. He later became the long-time Conditioning Coach for the California Angels.

1940-In a trade of pitchers, the Reds send hurler Lee Grissom to the Yankees for Pitcher 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 league. Joe Beggs will go 12-3 with a 2.00 ERA in 37 games with 7 saves for the 1940 Reds, while Lee Grissom will be sold by the Yankees to the Dodgers on May 15,1940. He had only appeared in 5 games for the 1940 Yankees with no decisions.

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, OF Daryl Boston was signed as an MLB free agent with the Yankees. He appeared in 52 games for the 1994 Yankees as a reserve OF with 77 at-bats, just hitting .182.

1963-Former Yankees Minor League Executive and 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 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 Manager of the Royals from 2008-2010. In 2011, he joined the Dodgers MLB Coaching Staff working for Manager Don Mattingly. In October of 2013, Trey was let go by the Dodgers front office. On December 20, 2013, Trey Hillman returns to the Yankees organization as the Special Assistant for MLB and Minor League Operations. For the 2015 MLB season, Trey joined the Astros MLB Coaching staff. He was replaced by Alex Cora following the 2016 MLB season. He then became Manager of South Korea's SK Wyverns for 2017, their 1st foreign Manager. He was the 1st foreign skipper to guide a team to the Korean Series, doing so in 2018. They upset the Doosan Bears in 6 games, making him the 1st manager to win a Japan Series and a Korean Series. He had previously announced he would not return the following year as his parents in the US were ailing and he wanted to spend time with them. Instead, he found a job as 1st Base coach and INF coach of the Miami Marlins in 2019, reuniting with Don Mattingly.

1966- Yankees obtained OF Lou Clinton from the Indians for reserve Catcher Doc Edwards. Lou batted .220 with 5 HRs and 21 RBIs in 80 games for the Yankees, as a reserve OF in 1966. Lou originally came up with the Red Sox. Overall as a Yankees player for 2 seasons, he appeared in 86 games while hitting .227 with 5 HRs and 23 RBIs. On May 11, 1967, he was purchased by the Phillies from the Yankees.

1976- Former Yankees Pitcher 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 with a 4.65 ERA as a Yankees 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 A’s. Oakland sent a player to be named later, 1B Carlos Pena and P Franklyn German to the Tigers. The Tigers sent MLB starter Jeff Weaver to the Yankees. The Tigers sent cash to the Oakland. The A’s sent P Jeremy Bonderman to the Tigers to complete the trade.

1985- Former Yankees Reserve INF Scott Sizemore (2014) was born.
On January 13, 2014, veteran INF Scott Sizemore was signed as an MLB free agent by the Yankees. He appeared in only 6 games with the team, while hitting .313. On July 31, 2014, Scott was released by the Yankees. On August 9, 2014, he was resigned as an MLB free agent by the Yankees. He finished 2014 baseball season with AAA Scranton (International League). On November 4, 2014, Scott was granted MLB free agency by the team. On December 12, 2014, he was signed as an MLB free agent by the Marlins.

1987- Former Yankees Reserve Catcher Tony “Pug” Rensa (1933) passed away. (1901-1987)
Tony Rensa appeared in only 8 games as a reserve catcher for the 1933 Yankees, while hitting .310.

2005- Former Yankees, Red Sox and Rays 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%).

January 5th

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 Yankees MLB coaching staff under Manager Miller Huggins in 1927. He found more success there. He participated in 10 World Series as an MLB 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. Art, also was interim skipper of the team for 11 games in September of 1929 following Manager Miller Huggins' death. He remained a member of the Yankees MLB Coaching staff until suffering a heart attack late during the 1945 AL season.

1890- Former Yankees Reserve OF Benjamin “Benny” Kauff (1912) was born. (1890-1961).
Benny Kauff only appeared in 5 games as reserve OF for the 1912 Yankees, while hitting .273.

1914- The Yankees buy hurler Boardwalk Brown from the Philadelphia A’s for cash. Brown went 6-5 with a 3.24 ERA in 20 games as a Yankees hurler. He went 3-6 before being released by the team to Louisville (American Association) during the 1915 AL season, ending his MLB pitching career.

1915- Former Yankees Pitcher Jack Kramer (1951) was born. 1915-1995)
On May 28,1951, hurler Jack Kramer was signed as an MLB free agent with the Yankees. He went 1-3 in 19 games for the Yankees, before being released by the team 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.

1920- Boston Red Sox Team Owner Harry Frazee defends his selling of slugger Babe Ruth to the Yankees for cash by calling his former player "one of the most selfish and inconsiderate men ever to put on a baseball uniform".

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 for 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 an MLB Coach and Scout for the Phillies and the Expos organizations.

1934- The Yankees released 2 veteran MLB players: Pitcher Herb Pennock and 3B Joe Sewell. Both players have retired from the MLB. Herb Pennock his Yankees pitching career with a 162-90 record with a 3.54 ERA in 346 games with 23 saves. In World Series play, he was 5-0 in 9 games with 3 saves. INF Joe Sewell joined the Yankees in 1931, after playing for the Indians from 1920-1930. He would hit .282 with 19 HRs and 186 RBIs in 390 games for the 1931-1933 Yankees. The 2 players would later 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, NJ using Bader Field for their 1943 MLB spring training camp.

1944- Former Yankees Minor League INF Charlie Vinson was born.
The Yankees signed Charlie Vinson as an MLB 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 Edward Ricks (1977) was born.
The Yankees selected hurler Ed Ricks in the 6th round of the 1972 MLB amateur player draft. He led the 1972 Appalachian League with 97 IP, 100 H, 72 R, and 56 ER. Ricks spent 1975-1976 seasons with the AAA Syracuse Chiefs (International League). He was on the Yankees 1977 spring roster, but he 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 .264 with 16 HRs and 40 RBIs in 89 games, 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 Pitchers Porfi Altamirano, 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, appearing in 137 games, while hitting .242 with 7 HRs and 32 RBIs. On December 22,1987, he was traded by the Yankees along with MLB starter Steve Trout to the Mariners for 3 pitchers: Lee Guetterman, Clay Parker and Wade Taylor.

1979-Former Yankees Pitcher George Washburn (1941) passed away. (1914-1979)
After pitching for 16 seasons in the minor leagues, George Washburn went 0-1 in 1-game for the 1941 Yankees. On November 2,1942, George was drafted by the Cubs from the Yankees organization in the 1942 MLB Rule 5 Player Draft. Later he became a Minor League manager

1983- Former 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 AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees. 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. Alan has retired from baseball.

1984- The Yankees signed future Hall of Fame Pitcher 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 the team closer.

1987- The Yankees traded Pitcher Scott Nielsen and Minor League INF Mike Soper to the White Sox for Pitcher Pete Filson and Minor League INF Randy Velarde. Nielsen had posted a 6-6 record with a 4.83 ERA in 19 games for the team. Mike Soper was a weak hitting infielder, who never played in the MLB. Pete Filson would post a 1-0 record with a 3.27 ERA in 7 games for the team. He spent most of his time with the Yankees, pitching at AAA Columbus. Randy Velarde would hit .264 in 658 games for the Yankees before becoming an MLB free agent in Winter of 1995, signing with Angels.

1992- Current Yankees Pitcher A. J. Cole (2018) was born.
A.J. Cole was drafted by the Washington Nationals in the 4th round of the 2010 MLB June Amateur Player Draft. He went 5-8 with a 5.32 ERA in 26 games with 1 save with the Nationals from 2015-2018. On April 24, 2018, he was purchased by the Yankees from the Nationals. With the 2018 Yankees working as a reliever, A. J. Cole went 3-1 with a 4.26 ERA in 28 games with no saves.

1993- Former Yankees, A’s, Angels and the Orioles, OF/DH Reggie Jackson is the lone player elected by the BWAA to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Jackson, whose .262 lifetime batting average 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 the Yankees Team Owner George Steinbrenner about his dismissal as Yankees manager in 1985 after only 16 games into the 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 All Stars 3B Alex Rodriguez, starter CC Sabathia, 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 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 for the 2012 season. The Yankees had hope that he would become their top reserve infielder for the 2012 MLB season. He will sign an MLB player contract with the Oakland A’s in December of 2012.

2014- Veteran Yankees player (1949-1957), MLB Manager (1980), Broadcaster and World War II and Korean War Marine flying hero Jerry Coleman passes away at age 89. (1924-2014)
An infielder for the 1949-1957 Yankees, he spent 71 years in the game, acting as a broadcaster for the Yankees and the San Diego Padres since 1972 - except for 1-year hiatus in 1980, when he managed the Friars. The Yankees signed Jerry Coleman as an MLB amateur free agent in 1942. Jerry lost MLB career playing time while serving as a Marine fighter pilot in WW II and during the Korean War. He was an AL All Star 2B in 1950, the same season that he won the AL Babe Ruth Award. Jerry played in 6 World Series with the Yankees with a .275 BA with no HRs and 9 RBIs in 26 games. As a Yankee player for 9 seasons, Jerry had a .263 BA with 16 HRs and 387 RBIs in 773 games. After retiring as an active MLB player after the 1957 season, Jerry worked in the Yankees front office as an assistant to Yankees General Manager George Weiss. Then he joined the Yankees broadcasting team working with former Yankees teammate Phil Rizzuto on the radio. In 1968, Jerry left the Yankees, when the expansion San Diego Padres joined the NL. He worked as a broadcaster for the Padres. Jerry even managed the Padres for 1 NL season going 73-89, before returning to the Padres broadcasting booth.


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