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This Week in Yankees History January 3rd-9th
2 weeks ago  ::  Jan 03, 2021 - 2:51PM #1
FW57Clipper51
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This Week in Yankees History January 3rd-January 9th Part One



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January 3rd


1891- Former Yankees Reserve Shortstop John Dowd (1912) was born. (1891-1981)


On July 2,1912, Shortstop John Dowd was purchased by the Highlanders from the Class B Brockton Shoemakers (New England League). As a Reserve Shortstop John Dowd appeared in only 10 games for the 1912 Yankees, hitting just .194 in his only MLB season. He would continue to play in the Minor Leagues from 1913 to 1921.


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 Cash to the Yankees for 1B Vince DiMaggio, who was on the AA Kansas City Blues (American Association) roster. The Reds would send OF Frenchy Bordagaray and OF Nino Bongiovanni on January 27,1940 to the Yankees to complete the trade. He hit .260 with No HRs and 4 RBIs 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 Yankees for $125,000 (twice the amount ever paid previously for a player) is announced publicly. Red Sox Team 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. The Yankees received P 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, hitting .268 with 4 HRs and 23 RBIs.


1965- Former Yankees Reserve INF, MLB Coach and Minor League Manager Louis Sojo (1996-1999, 2001, 2003) was born. 


On August 22,1996, INF 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, when 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 become an MLB 3B Coach for the Yankees. Luis has been a Yankees Minor League Manager with the 2002 AA Norwich Navigators (EL) and the 2006-2009, 2011-2012 Class A Tampa Yankees (FSL). He managed the Venezuelan National team in the 2006 World Baseball Classic and the 2010 Central American and Caribbean Games. He was a Minor League coach for the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders in 2014. He managed the Yankees Class A team, GCL Yankees East (Gulf Coast League) to a League Championship. Then Luis managed the Spanish National team in the 2019 European Championship (Bronze Medal) and 2019 Europe/Africa Olympic Qualifier. He was elected to the Caribbean Baseball Hall of Fame in 2019.


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, John De Loren 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 during the 1973 AL season.


1974- After the Yankees were denied by the MLB Commissioner’s 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 for the 1974 AL season. 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 as an MLB Amateur Free Agent, but he was traded to the St. Louis 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 AL season. He will bounce back by getting a Manager’s job with the Astros. Williams and A’s Owner Charlie Finley will reach an agreement releasing him from the A’s to manage any MLB team except the Yankees, he will be signed by the Angels.


1977- Former Yankees Starter A.J. Burnett (2009-2011) was born. 


On December 18, 2008, veteran MLB Starter A. J.  Burnett signed a 5-year $82.5 million contract with the Yankees. Burnett had posted a 13-9 record with a 4.04 ERA 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 with a 5.26 ERA in 33 starts as he struggled with inconsistency on the mound. 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 again in 2011, at a time when he was expected to step up following the retirement of veteran Starter Andy Pettitte. Instead, he went 11-11 with a 5.15 ERA in 33 games. 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 to start a game. 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 theTigers in Game 4 of the ALDS, but the Yankees then lost Game 5 to bow out of the 2011 ALDS early. The Yankees' brass had had too much of his inconsistency by then. After acquiring new Starters Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda in the 2011 MLB off-season, they began shopping around Burnett, a task made more difficult by his hefty player 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 MLB player contract for the next 2 seasons. In return they received 2 Minor Leaguer Players, a long way from making any contribution in the MLB in Class AA P Diego Moreno and Low Class A OF Exicardo Cayones. The deal was made official the next day, after A.J. had passed a physical administered by the Pirates. Then MLB Commissioner Bud Selig gave his approval for the trade, a necessary step due to the amount of money involved. His final Yankees Pitching career record was a 34-35 record with a 4.79 ERA in 99 games.


1997- The Yankees signed MLB Free Agent P Willie Banks. He had been a #1 MLB Amateur Player Draft-pick of the 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 with a 6.04 ERA in 14 games for the Yankees before being traded on June 3,1998 by the team to the Diamondbacks for 2 Minor League Players: Scott Brow and Joe Lisio. Both players never appear with the Yankees at the MLB level.


2001- The Yankees signed MLB Free Agent P 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 granted MLB Free Agency by the team. Todd would sign with the Dodgers for the 2002 NL season.


2001- The Yankees traded Reliever Jay Tessmer and Minor League P Seth Taylor to the Rockies for P David Lee, who never appears with the Yankees. On March 24, 2001Lee was traded by the team to the Padres for P Carlos Almanzar.


2003- Former Yankees Reliever Joseph “Professor” Ostrowski (1950-1952) passed away. (1916-2003) 


In 1941, the Red Sox had signed Pitcher Joe Ostrowski as an MLB Amateur Free Agent. After serving in the military in WWII, he was traded by the team 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, MLB INF George Stirnweiss and $50,000 Cash. He was used primarily out of the bullpen for the Yankees World Championship teams of 1950 and 1952. Joe, who contributed with 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 Pitching career with a 23-25 record with 15 saves overall. As a Yankees hurler, Joe went 9-7 with 10 saves in 75 games. 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 in PA until he 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 for the AAA Columbus Clippers (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 MLB Trade 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 with 77 HRs and 296 RBIs in 575 games. 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 AL season. The Yankees refused to give him a new multi-year contract that he was asking for.


2006- The Yankees resigned MLB Free Agent All-Star CF Bernie Williams. In 2005, he had hit .249 with 12 HRs and 64 RBIs in 141 games for the Yankees. In 2006, Bernie will hit .281 with 12 HRs and 61 RBIs in his final season playing 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 with AAA Scranton (IL), 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.


2019-  Former Yankees Closer David Robertson, now an MLB Free Agent, is signed by the Phillies for 2 years and $23 million. He is expected to become the team’s new Closer for the 2019 NL season. David will appear in only 7 games before going down with season ending surgery. He will miss the 2020 NL season as well. In 2021, he is currently an MLB Free Agent.


January 4th


1887- Former Yankees Reserve OF Klondike Smith (1912) was born. (1887-1959)


In July of 1912, OF Klondike Smith was purchased by the Highlanders from Class B Brockton Shoemakers (New England League). As a Reserve OF Smith appeared in only 12 games, while hitting just .187 for the 1912 Yankees. “Klondike’s 1st name was Armstrong; he was born in England, not the US territory of Alaska. He would continue to play in the Minor Leagues until 1916.


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 had played in 1,065 games, while hitting .238 with 4 HRs and 296 RBIs. He managed in the Minor Leagues, mainly in the PCL with the AA Hollywood Stars. In 1935, he joined the Yankees organization managing the AA Oakland Oaks (PCL). Then Oscar Vitt was the Manager of the 1936-1937 AA Newark Bears (IL), when they were the top farm AA club of the Yankees. Oscar fielded one of the best Minor League teams ever seen in 1937. His success with the AA Newark Bears would lead to an MLB Manager job with the 1938 Indians, a position that he held until 1940. After being let go by the Tribe, he managed in the PCL again, with the AA Hollywood Stars. He was elected to the PCL Hall of Fame as a Manager.


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 games are only 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, Reserve INF John “Blondy” Ryan was purchased by the Yankees from the Phillies. John appeared in 30 games for the 1935 Yankees, while hitting .238. He was filling in for the injured Yankees starting Shortstop Frank Crosetti. 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 in Ontario, Canada. (1908-1987) 


On November 4,1931, the Yankees purchased OF George Selkirk from AA Jersey City (IL) for Cash. He had succeeded Babe Ruth as the 1935 Yankees Right Fielder, after Ruth was sold to the Boston Braves following the 1934 AL season. George wore Yankees Uniform No. 3. He 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 Team Owners that they should install a warning track in the outfield to help the players know when they were close to the stadium outfield walls to prevent serious injuries. The MLB Team Owners turned down his suggestion. During WW II, he served in the Navy. 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 General Managers. Then, he would become the General Manager of the Washington Senators in 1963, holding the GM 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 Steinbrenner that bought the team from CBS, Inc. in 1973. He would replace Michael Burke as the Yankees President in 1973. As the Yankees GM, Gabe Paul made several important trades in the mid 1970s, that helped rebuild the Yankees into World 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. After the 1977 World Series, Gabe left the Yankees; he had grown tired of George Steinbrenner ‘s constant interference over player transactions. He would return to the Indians front office, working with the team until his retirement from baseball.


1925- Former Yankees Reliever Tom Gorman (1952-1954) was born. (1925-1992) 


In 1946, the Yankees signed hurler Tom Gorman as an MLB Amateur Free Agent. He pitched in the World Series for the Yankees in 1952 and 1953 with no record with a 2.45 ERA in 2 games. As a Yankee Reliever, Tom posted a 10-7 record with 3.56 ERA and 10 saves in 75 games for the team before being sold to the A’s in the spring of 1955. He would stay with the A’s until 1959 AL season working out of their bullpen. Tom finished his MLB Pitching career posting 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 AA 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 outfield, Jimmie Reese would be shipped off to the Cardinals in 1931.


1940- In a trade of pitchers, the Reds send P Lee Grissom to the Yankees for P 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 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 with no decisions for the 1940 Yankees.


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.


1960- Former Yankees Reliever Paul Gibson (1993-1994,1996) was born.


On June 18,1993, Reliever Paul Gibson was signed as an MLB Free Agent by the Yankees. He had started the 1993 MLB season with the Mets, who had released him on June 11th. Paul would go 3-1 with a 3.06 ERA and no saves. On August 31,1994, Paul was sent to the Brewers by the Yankees as part of a conditional deal. He returned to the Yankees in 1996, appearing in 4 games before ending his MLB Pitching career. Paul would go 3-1 with a 3.06 ERA and no saves in 54 games as a Yankees Reliever.


1963- Former Yankees Reserve OF Daryl Boston (1994) was born.


On January 13,1994, OF Daryl Boston was signed as a Minor League Free Agent with the Yankees. In 1994 Yankees MLB Spring Training camp, he made the team and was signed an MLB Player contract. He appeared in 52 games as a Reserve OF for the 1994 Yankees with 77 at-bats, hitting a disappointing .182 with 4 HRs and 14 RBIs. The Yankees granted him MLB Free Agency, ending his MLB playing career.


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 Minor League level. He won 3 Manager of the Year Awards, as he guided his teams to 3 1st-place finishes. In 2002, Hillman was named Director of Player Development for the Rangers. The following season, 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 2008-2010 Royals. 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. At the end of the 2016 AL season, he left the team to take a 2-year deal to manage the SK Wyverns (Korea Baseball Organization.) Trey returned to the US in 2018 to work with the Marlins as an MLB Coach.


1966- Yankees obtained OF Lou Clinton from the Indians for Reserve Catcher Doc Edwards. Lou batted .227 with 5 HRs and 23 RBIs in 86 games for the Yankees, mainly as a Reserve Outfielder. In May of 1967, he was purchased by the Phillies from the Yankees. Lou originally came up with the Red Sox in 1960.


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 in 38 games as a Yankees Pitcher. He had trouble throwing strikes. On July 5, 2002, Ted was traded as part of a 3-team trade by the Yankees along with Minor League Players: 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 A’s. The Oakland 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 team. On August 9, 2014, he was resigned as an MLB Free Agent by the Yankees. He finished 2014 baseball season with AAA Scranton (IL). 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)


Veteran MLB Catcher Tony Rensa appeared in only 8 games as a Reserve Catcher for the 1933 Yankees, while hitting .310 with No HRs and 3 RBIs. He had played most of the 1933 baseball season for the AA Jersey City Skeeters (IL). He previously had played in the MLB with the Tigers and Phillies. He would leave the Yankees organization, playing in the Minors in 1934. Tony returned to play in the MLB again with 1937-1939 White Sox.


2005- Former Yankees, Red Sox and Rays 3B Wade Boggs becomes the 41st player elected to the Baseball 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 Long-time MLB Coach (1927-1945) and MLB Manager Art Fletcher was born. (1885-1950) 


Art Fletcher was a Shortstop for the Giants and Phillies. After his MLB playing career was over, he became the Manager of the 1923 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 Yankees MLB Coach, with the Yankees winning 9 of them. He specialized in stealing signs. Art became the highest-paid MLB Coach in baseball, reportedly earning more than $10,000 a season. Also, Art was the  interim skipper of the team for 11 games in September of 1929following Manager Miller Huggins' death. He worked for Managers Bob Shawkey and Joe McCarthy. 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).


On September 1,1910, OF Benny Kauff was drafted by the Highlanders from Parkersburg (Virginia Valley League) in the 1910 MLB Player Rule 5 Draft. Reserve OF Benny Kauff only appeared in 5 games for the 1912 Yankees, while hitting .273 with 2 HRs and 1 RBIs. He would leave the Yankees to play in the Federal League for the 1914-1915 seasons. In the winter of 1915, the Giants purchased him from the Brooklyn team in the Federal League. He would play for the Giants until 1920. Benny was banned from organized baseball by Judge Landis for legal matters that resulted in court action about his auto business activities in 1920.


1914- The Yankees buy P Boardwalk Brown from the Philadelphia A’s for Cash. He would go 5-6 with a 3.24 ERA in 20 games for the 1914 Yankees. He went 3-6 before being released by the team to AA Louisville (American Association) during the 1915 AL season.


1915- Former Yankees Pitcher Jack Kramer (1951) was born. 1915-1995)


On May 28,1951, veteran P Jack Kramer was signed as an MLB Free Agent with the Yankees. He went 1-3 with a 4.65 ERA 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, appearing 4 games with no decisions. 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. Bob played for the Yankees AAA teams at Denver (AA) and Richmond (IL). 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. The 2 players would later be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.


 1943- The MLB Teams agree to start the 1943 MLB 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 MLB 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. Previous they had used the a baseball field built for them at a High School in Asbury Park, NJ for their 1942 Spring Training Camp.


1944- Former Yankees Minor League INF Charlie Vinson was born.


The Yankees signed INF 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 P 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 (IL). He was on the Yankees 1977 spring roster, but he never appeared in a game for the team 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 in 1987, signing with the Indians.


1961- Former Yankees Reserve OF Henry Cotto (1985-1987) was born.


On December 4,1984, OF Henry Cotto 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, playing in 137 games, hitting .242 with 7 HRs and 32 RBIs. During the 1985 AL season, Henry suffered a bizarre injury that May. While using a Q-Tip on the bench, he was bumped by Ken Griffey and sustained a punctured eardrum. He shuttled between AAA Columbus and the Bronx from 1985 to 1987, before sticking for good with Seattle. 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.


1983- Former Yankees Minor League P Alan Horne was born.


The Yankees in the 11th round of the 2005 MLB Amateur Player Draft selected P Alan Horne. He made his pro debut in 2006 with the Class A Tampa Yankees (FSL), going 6-9 with a 4.84 ERA and 122 strikeouts. He played for the AA Trenton Thunder (EL) 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 (IL). 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 Starter Phil Niekro to a 2-year contract. Niekro, who went 11-10 with a 3.97 ERA for the Braves in 1983, he will fill a void in the 1984 Yankees starting rotation, allowing the Yankees to move Starter Dave Righetti to the Bullpen to become the team’s new Closer for the 1984 AL Season, former long-time Closer Goose Gossage had left the team for MLB Free Agency signing with the Padres.


1992- Former Yankees Pitcher A. J. Cole (2018) was born.


A. J. Cole was drafted by the Nationals in the 4th round of the 2010 MLB June Amateur Player Draft. He went 5-8 with a 5.32 ERA and 1 save in 26 games with the team from 2015-2018. On April 24, 2018, he was purchased by the Yankees from the Nats. With the 2018 Yankees working as a Reliever, Cole went 3-1 with a 4.26 ERA in 28 games with no saves. On January 11, 2019, Cole was selected off waivers by the Indians from the Yankees.


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 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 Japanese Shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima, whose rights they secured through the posting system last month; Nakajima will return to play in Japan for the Seibu Lions for the 2012 season. The Yankees had hope that he would become their top reserve infielder for the 2012 AL 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)


Jerry Coleman was an Infielder for the 1949-1957 Yankees and the San Diego Padres Broadcaster since 1972 - except for 1-year hiatus in 1980, when he managed the Friars. The Yankees had signed JerryColeman 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 again 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, while hitting .275 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 World Series, 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 infield teammate Phil Rizzuto on the Radio. Also, he worked for WCBS-AM Sports in New York City. In 1968, Jerry left the Yankees, to join the Angels broadcasting team, 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 back to the Padres broadcasting booth.


January 6th


1881- Former Yankees Pitcher Joe Lake (1908-1909) was born. (1881-1950)


In of August, 1907, Pitcher Joe Lake was purchased by the Highlanders from AA Jersey City (Eastern League). He posted a 23-33 record with a 2.60 ERA and 1 save in 69 games. On December 16, 1909, Lake was traded by the Highlanders along with OF Ray Demmitt to the Browns for veteran MLB Catcher Lou Criger.


1915- Former Yankees Reliever Tom Ferrick (1950-1951) was born. (1915-1996)


On June 15,1950, Pitcher Tom Ferrick was traded by the St. Louis Browns along with P Joe Ostrowski and 3B Leo Thomas to the Yankees for OF Jim Delsing, Pitchers Don Johnson and Duane Pillette, veteran INF George “Snuffy” Stirnweiss and $50,000 Cash. In 1950, Tom posted an 8-4 record with a 3.65 ERA and 9 saves for the Yankees. He appeared in Game 3 of 1950 World Series against the Phillies, saving the game for Yankees Starter Eddie Lopat.  In 1951, he went 1-1 with a 7.50 ERA and 1 save in 9 games before being traded on June 15,1951 along with hurlers Bob Porterfield and Fred Sanford to the Senators for veteran P Bob “Sarge” Kuzava. In 1952, Tom finished his MLB Pitching career with a 40-40 record with a 3.47 ERA with 56 saves in 323 games. He had pitched in the AL for the A’s, Indians, Browns (twice), Senators (twice) and the Yankees. Beginning in 1954, Ferrick was the MLB Pitching Coach for 4 different teams ( Reds, Phillies, Tigers and the A’s) into the 1965 MLB season. As an MLB Scout for more than 2 decades for the Kansas City Royals, he recommended that the team draft 3B George Brett.


1916- Former Yankees Pitcher Leonard “King” Cole (1914-1915) passed away. (1896-1916)


On September 15,1913Pitcher King Cole was drafted by the Yankees from AA Columbus (American Association) in the 1913 MLB Rule 5 Player Draft. He went 12-12 with 3.27 ERA and 1 save in 43 games for the Yankees. King Cole was diagnosed with tuberculosis in 1915; he died early the next year at age 29. His real name was Leonard Leslie Cole.


1926- Future NL All-Star Pitcher Ralph Branca (1954) was born in Mount Vernon, NY.  (1926-2016) 


Although Ralph Branca will win 21 games in 1947 for the Dodgers, but he will become best known for giving up the Giants Slugger Bobby Thomson's pennant-winning HR in 1951 NL playoff-game. In July of 1954, the Yankees picked up P Ralph Branca, after he had been released by the Tigers. He will appear in 5 games for the team, while posting a 1-0 record with a 2.84 ERA. On October 19,1954, Ralph was released by the Yankees. He would return to the MLB in September of 1956 for 1 game with the Dodgers then retiring from the MLB.



1929-
 Former Yankees Team President Joseph Gordon (1903-1906) passed away. (1855-1929)


Joe Gordon was the 1st Team President for the New York YankeesAmerican League President Ban Johnson was sought out by Joseph Gordon, a coal merchant with some history in New York baseball. Gordon had just lost his job as Deputy Superintendent of Buildings and was well plugged into New York City real estate. Gordon claimed he knew of an available site. In return he wanted the franchise. Johnson, though he needed the site, recognized that Gordon didn’t have the wealth to build and run a franchise in Gotham and insisted on “seeing the man with the money.” Gordon introduced him to Frank Farrell, still excited about owning a baseball team and also feeling betrayed by McGraw, though Farrell and Johnson had conceivably met previously through influential New York Sun sportswriter Joe Vila. Farrell purportedly showed up with a certified check for $25,000. When he proved amenable to paying both $18,000 to cover salaries advanced to players by the league and some nominal reimbursements to Baltimore’s minority stockholders, and willing to spend the funds necessary to build a ball grounds and assemble a team, Johnson awarded Farrell the franchise. Farrell also assured him he didn’t have to bring in any partners: “I didn’t propose to let anybody carve me if I went into this thing.” The AL president, who prided himself on being squeaky clean, had little choice but to accept a well-connected Tammanyite of his own. To front for the franchise, Farrell and Johnson allowed Gordon, generally unconnected to Tammany Hall, to act as Team President.


On March 14, 1903, the Greater New York Baseball Association was incorporated to operate New York’s American League baseball franchise. Gordon was clearly the face of the new team, and several days later he publicly announced the stockholders, who included Farrell. The AL Baltimore Orioles franchise ceased to exist. Despite Farrell’s earlier protestations, he brought in his longtime friend Big Bill Devery as a partner. Devery was a shady ex-Police Chief with his own Tammany Hall connections, who had escaped conviction despite a couple of indictments. Devery had walked the beat of one of Farrell’s 1st gambling parlors and the 2 had been friends ever since. Devery had accumulated a nice nest-egg by 1903, but had lost his position and clout within the Tammany political machine. Devery’s connection with the team remained obfuscated for many years and for a short time he even denied being an Owner. Farrell later became the face of Ownership, and over time his press became more sympathetic, focusing on baseball, not his gambling connections. He was now a “sportsman,” not a “gambler.”


Even with their Tammany and real-estate connections, the New York club could do no better than Gordon’s marginal site just west of Broadway between 165th and 168th Streets at the far north end of Manhattan in Washington Heights. It was leased for a 10-year term from the New York Institute for the Blind. The lease was executed on March 12, 1903, giving the team only seven weeks to build the ball grounds in time for the April 30 home opener. Fortunately, the erection of the modest wood-frame stands of the era could be accomplished relatively quickly. As a backup Johnson and the new owners had identified a site in the Bronx owned by the Astor estate at 161st Street and Jerome Avenue — a site that two decades later would be purchased by a different set of Yankees owners for a new stadium. Still, getting the ballpark built in time would be a close race due to the physical configuration of the location. The work to level and prepare the rocky, uneven site cost roughly $200,000, while construction of the 16,000-seat ballpark cost approximately $75,000, bringing the total investment for Farrell and Devery in their new grounds to around $275,000, an outlay larger than typical for ballpark erection at the time, though they may have received some assistance from the league. The ball grounds were christened Hilltop Park and the team became informally dubbed the Highlanders because the location was one of the highest points on Manhattan and Gordon’s Highlanders (in an allusion to the team’s president) were one of the most famous regiments in the British Army. New Yorkers did not immediately flock to see their new American League entry. Despite a sold-out Opening Day, the team drew just over 210,000 fans, the 2nd lowest in the league and well behind their crosstown rival Giants, but turned a small profit. The team more than doubled its attendance in 1904 as the Highlanders were in the pennant chase until the last day of the 1904 AL season. Over the next several years the club generally fell in the middle of the league in attendance, and while financial information is sketchy, when the Highlanders finished 2nd in 1910 with mediocre attendance, they reportedly turned an $80,000 profit. In part, this was because Farrell abandoned his pledge of no advertising in Hilltop Park and sold billboard space on the outfield fences. In 1907, Farrell bounced President Gordon and took over the role himself, explaining, “I decided that I should get some of the glory. I had put up the money and done a lot of the work.” Gordon had snagged much of the spotlight late in the 1904 AL season when he chided the NL champion Giants for their reluctance and subsequent refusal to participate in the World Series against the upstart American League. As the publicity available to a baseball owner in New York became more apparent, Farrell no longer wanted to remain in the background. When he let Gordon go, Farrell offered his one-time President the dividends on $10,000 worth of stock, but no right to sell, transfer, or vote the stock. Gordon refused to go quietly. He claimed he had been promised a 50 % share of the team, when originally incorporated and that he was due half the profits after Farrell received the return of his initial capital. He also claimed that the team had been making significant profits based on recent average revenues of $240,000 and expenses of $80,000; accordingly, he demanded an accounting, as the rightful beneficiary of half of these profits. It’s highly unlikely the team was anywhere near as profitable as Gordon alleged, and in the end the Court ruled against his improbable, undocumented claim for half the franchise.


1931- After his MLB Player release by the Indians, the Yankees signed veteran AL INF Joe Sewell. He will become the Yankees regular 3B for the 1932-1933 AL seasons before retiring from MLB. As a Yankees player, he appeared in 390 games for the team, while hitting .282 with 17 HRs and 186 RBIs. He will be elected to the Hall of Fame in 1977.


1936- Former Yankees INF Ruben Amaro Sr. (1966-1968) was born. (1936-2017)


On November 29,1965, INF Ruben Amaro was traded by the Phillies to the Yankees for INF Phil Linz. The Yankees had high hopes for Ruben; a former 1964 NL Golden Glover to take over starting Shortstop position after Tony Kubek was forced to retire from MLB with back injuries. He was a failure with the bat and getting Tom Tresh seriously hurt on routine fly ball play did not help out matters any.  As a Yankees player, he appeared in 191 games, while hitting just .214 with 1 HRs and 14 RBIs. In 1968, he was sold to the Angels for cash. In 1954, Ruben was originally assigned by the St. Louis Cardinals as an MLB amateur agent. He came up to the MLB in 1958 with the Cardinals, who later traded him to the Phillies. His best season for the Phillies was in 1964, while playing in 129 games, hitting .264 with 4 HRs and 34 RBIs. After playing 1 season with the Angels, he was released by the team. In 1970, he signed by the Phillies and played in their minor league system for 2 seasons. Overall, as an MLB player, Ruben appeared in 940 games, while hitting .234 with 8 HRs and 158 RBIs.  In 1972, Ruben became the Phillies 1st full time Caribbean MLB scout. He later became an MLB Coach for the 1980-1981 Phillies. His son, Ruben Jr. was an MLB player and the Phillies General Manager, he was an MLB Coach for the 2018 Red Sox.


1940- Former Yankees Reserve OF Elvio Jimenez (1964) was born.


Yankees Rookie OF Elvio Jimenez played 1 game in October of 1964 for the Yankees, getting 6 at-bats with 2 hits. Elvio would later become an MLB Scout for the Dodgers. His older Brother, OF Manny Jimenez had played in the MLB with the A’s, Pirates and the Cubs (1962-1969).


1950- Former Yankees Reserve INF Ray Staiger (1979) was born.


On December 9,1977, INF Roy Staiger was traded by the Mets to the Yankees for Reserve INF Sergio Ferrer. Roy only appeared in 4 games with the 1979 Yankees, while hitting .273.


1951- Former Yankees Pitcher Don Gullet (1977-1980) was born.


On November 18,1976, NL Starter Don Gullet was signed as an MLB Free Agent with the Yankees. The former Reds Starter went 14-4 with a 3.58 ERA in 22 games in 1977, then 4-2 with 3.63 ERA in 8 games in 1978 before arm injuries ended his MLB Pitching career in 1980.He finished his Yankees Pitching career with a 18-6 record with a 3.59 ERA in 30 games.


1967- Former Yankees and MLB Manager Johnny Keane (1965-1966) dies in Chicago from a heart attack at the age of 55. (1911-1967).


Johnny Keane never played in the MLB. He was a Shortstop in the Cardinals' Minor League system but he suffered a head injury after being hit by a pitch. He began his managing career in 1938 in the Cardinals' organization, working his way from Class D (then the lowest rung on the ladder) to Class AAA, where he spent a decade as manager of top St. Louis farm clubs. His career win-loss record as a manager in the minor leagues was 1,357-1,166 (.538) over 17 seasons. Keane finally reached the MLB in 1959, when he was appointed to the Cardinals MLB coaching staff. He replaced Solly Hemus as Manager on July 6, 1961. Johnny Keane had managed the Cardinals from 1961-1964, winning the 1964 NL pennant and a World Series. Keane had guided the Cardinals to the 1964 World Series victory, but he left to become the Manager of the Yankees, whom the Cardinals had beaten in the World Series, replacing the popular Yogi Berra. After an unsuccessful stint with the Yankees (81-101), Keane became an MLB scout with the Angels. In all fairness to Keane during the 1965 AL season, he was only able to field the Yankees regulars together for only a total of 20 games due to various injuries to the Yankees regular starting players. Keane is described in Jim Bouton's “Ball Four” as being prone to panic as a manager and one who was "willing to sacrifice a season to win a game" by putting injured stars into the lineup before their injuries had fully healed. To describe this quality Bouton tells of a somewhat humorous anecdote of Keane pressuring Mickey Mantle to play on a bad leg. But in Keane's defense, Bouton also noted that Yankees GM Houk and the team unfairly used Keane as their excuse for the losing records in 1965-1966, which was the result of an aging team with a depleted farm system not because of Keane. In Bouton's book,” I Managed Good, But Boy Did They Play Bad,” a collection of essays and stories about past MLB Managers, he wrote that Keane seemed to be in awe of the Yankees, and that he underestimated the problems the team faced. Bouton felt that the immense pressure and stress of managing the Yankees through their inevitable collapse likely led to his death.


1970- Former Yankees Reliever Dan Naulty (1999) was born.


On November 16,1998, Reliever Dan Naulty was traded by Twins to the Yankees for Minor League INF Allen Butler, who had never appeared with the Yankees at the MLB level. Dan went 1-0 with a 4.38 ERA in 33 games before being traded on December 14,1999 to the Dodgers for Minor League 1B/3B Nicholas Leach.


1970- On January 6,1970, Reserve OF Rich Bladt was sent by the Cubs to the Yankees to complete an earlier deal made on September 11,1969. The Cubs sent a Player to be Named Later, Minor League P Terry Bongiovanni and Cash to the Yankees for veteran OF Jimmie Hall. Rich would appear in 75 games as a Reserve OF for the 1975 Yankees, while hitting just .222. On January 20,1977, he was traded by the Yankees along with OF Elliott Maddox to the Orioles for veteran AL Golden Glove winner OF Paul Blair. 


1988- MLB Free Agent Slugger Jack Clark signs with the Yankees. In 1988, Clark will hit .242 with 27 HRs and 93 RBIs in 150 games before being traded by the Yankees to the Padres on October 24,1988, along with P Pat Clements for Pitchers Lance McCullers, Jimmy Jones and OF Stanley Jefferson.


1988- Former Yankees Pitcher Ralph “Buck” Buxton (1949) passed away. (1911-1988).


Hurler Ralph Buxton originally came up to the MLB in 1938 with the Philadelphia A’s. He went 0-1 with 4.82 ERA in 5 games. After that he pitched in the PCL with the AA Oakland Oaks. Casey Stengel brought him up to the 1949 Yankees, where he went 0-1 with a 4.05 ERA and 2 saves in 14 games. He did not appear in the 1949 World Series with the Yankees against the Dodgers.


1992- After losing the chase to sign MLB Free Agent OF Barry Bonds to the Giants, the Yankees signed MLB Free Agent OF/DH Danny Tartabull to a 5-year contract. He will hit .252 with 81 HRs and 282 RBIs in 424 games for the 1992-1995 Yankees. On July 28,1995, he was traded by the Yankees to the A’s for P Jason Beverlin and OF/DH Ruben Sierra. He was the son of former MLB OF Jose Tartabull and the brother of Minor League OF Jose Tartabull Jr.


1997- Former Braves and Yankees Knuckleballer Starter Phil Niekro is elected to the Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers Association of America, becoming the 227th member of the Hall. He receives 80.34% of the vote, as former Dodgers StarterDon Sutton falls 9 votes short of election. Niekro is only the 87th player to be elected by the BBWAA.


2009- The Yankees finalize their deal with MLB Free Agent 1B Mark Teixeira for $180 million over 8 years, joining 3B Alex Rodriguez, Starter CC Sabathia, Shortstop Derek Jeter and Starter A. J. Burnett on the payroll-heavy 2009 Yankees.


2009- Former Yankees Minor League OF and MLB OF Nino Bongiovanni passed away. (1911-2009)


Nino Bongiovanni played as a Reserve OF for the 1938-1939 Reds, while appearing in 68 games, hitting .259. On January 27,1940, the Reds sent 2 Outfielders: Nino Bongiovanni and “Frenchy” Bordagaray to the Yankees to complete an earlier deal made on August 5,1939. On August 5,1939, the Reds sent Players to be Named Later and $40,000 Cash to theYankees for 1B Vince DiMaggio. He never appears with the Yankees at MLB level; Nino spends 2 seasons playing for the Yankees top 2 AA teams: the Kansas City Blues (AA) and the Newark Bears (IL). He leaves the Yankees Minor League system in 1942, he will sign with the Giants organization.


2011- Former Yankees Minor League P Francisco De la Rosa passed away. (1966-2011)


Pitcher Francisco De la Rosa was signed by legendary Toronto MLB Scout Epy Guerrero. He developed as a ballplayer around the San Pedro de Macoris area, a tremendous hotbed of future MLB talent at the time. He spent 1 season with the GCL Blue Jays at age 19, going 0-1 in 16 games in 1985. Then he was released by the Blue Jays. He made his MLB pitching debut with the 1991 Orioles, after Scout Carlos Bernhardt gave him a 2nd chance following his release by the Jays. He only pitched 2 MLB games, giving up 2 runs in 4 innings. However, he pitched in the Orioles' Minor League system from 1988 to 1991, with some good results. As a starter in 1990, he went 9-5 with a 2.05 ERA between AA Hagerstown and the AAA RochesterRed Wings (IL). In 1991, he posted a 2.67 ERA in 38 games for the Red Wings, being used mainly as a Reliever. After the 1991 season, he was traded by the Orioles to the Yankees for P Alan Mills. He had another good season in AAA in 1992, this time with the Columbus Clippers (6-1, 3.72 ERA in 48 games) but he did not make it back to the MLB, after the 1993 season, when his ERA ballooned to 6.45 mark; he was released by the Yankees organization. He came back for a season with the AAA Louisville Redbirds in the Cardinals organization in 1995, posting a 2-5 record mainly as a starter. In 1996, he played for the Thunder Bay Whiskey Jacks (Independent Northern League), but he put up a 7.20 ERA. He pitched for many years for Estrellas Orientales (Dominican League) as both a Closer and a Middle Reliever. 


2 weeks ago  ::  Jan 03, 2021 - 2:58PM #2
FW57Clipper51
Posts: 15,851

This Week in Yankees History January 3rd-January 9th Part Two





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January 7th



1900- Former Yankees Reserve Catcher John “Nig” Grabowski (1927-1929) was born. (1900-1946)


On January 13,1927, Catcher John Grabowski was traded by the White Sox along with INF Ray Morehart to the Yankees for veteran Shortstop Aaron Ward. John hit .250 with 1 HR and 48 RBIs in 167 games for the Yankees. He appeared in 1 game of the 1927 World Series with no hits. On November 21,1929, John was traded by the Yankees along with Reliever Wilcy Moore and OF Ben Paschal to AA St. Paul Saints (American Association) for veteran MLB Catcher Bubbles Hargrave. He would return to the MLB with the 1931 Tigers as a Reserve Catcher for his final MLB season. From 1932-1933, John played for the AA Montreal Royals (IL) before retiring from the game at the age of 33. On May 23, 1946, John died from injuries suffered from a fire at his house in Albany, NY.


1913- Future HOF Yankees 1B/PH Johnny Mize (1949-1953) is born in Demorest, GA. Known as "The Big Cat." (1913-1993)


Johnny Mize will hit 359 MLB HRs for the Cardinals, Giants and the Yankees. He will gain election to the Hall of Fame in 1981. On August 22,1949, he was purchased by the Yankees from the Giants for $40,000 Cash. With the Bronx Bombers, Johnny would be a Pinch-Hitter and Reserve 1B, leading the AL in Pinch-Hitting for 3 seasons, finishing with a lifetime Pinch-Hitter BA of .283. As a Yankees player, Johnny will hit 44 HRs with 179 RBIs. John had appeared in 5 World Series for the Yankees, while hitting .286 with 3 HRs and 18 RBIs in 18 games. His Yankees Manager Casey Stengel called Mize “the greatest pinch hitter I have ever seen and I have been around long enough to have seen everything and some things which was never seen.”


1915- The Tigers waived Rookie 1B Wally Pipp to the Yankees. He was beaten out for the Tigers 1B job by teammate George “Tigoa” Burns. Pipp had only hit .161 in 12 games for the 1914 Tigers, but he'll anchor 1B for the Yankees for a decade until Lou Gehrig's appearance, because of Pipp headache during the 1925 AL season. He will finish his Yankees player career with a .282 BA, while hitting 80 HRs with 827 RBIs in 1,488 games. On January 15,1926, Wally was purchased by the Reds from the Yankees for $7,500 Cash.


1920- Newly acquired Yankees OF/Pitcher Babe Ruth reacts to the trade in the Boston Evening Standard saying, "Frazee is not good enough to own any ball club, especially one in Boston."


1924- The Yankees buy the Minor League player contract of AA Louisville Colonels Star OF Earle Combs, who had hit .380 in 1923. The Colonels Team Owner Bill Kneblekamp gets $50,000 in cash, OF Elmer Smith and another player, and he demands that the Yankees play an exhibition game in Louisville with a guarantee that Babe Ruth is in the Yankees starting lineup. This reportedly nets Kneblekamp an additional $5,000. Earle Combs will become the 1st of the great Yankee Center Fielders to play for the team.


1935- Former Yankees Reserve INF Richard “Ducky” Schofield Sr. (1966) was born.


Richard Schofield is the Father of former MLB player Richard Schofield Jr. and the Grandfather of Jayson Werth of the Nationals. On May 11,1966, he was purchased by the Yankees from the Giants to fill in for injured Shortstop Ruben Amaro. He hit .155 in 25 games before being traded to the Dodgers on September 10,1966 for P Thad Tillotson and Cash. He originally came to the MLB with the Cardinals in 1950’s, then he played for the 1960 Pirates, as a Reserve INF, filling in for Bucs starting Shortstop Richard Groat, when he was injured.



1976- Former Yankees OF/INF/DH Alfonso Soriano (1999-2003, 2013-2014) was born.


On September 29,1998, INF Alfonso Soriano was purchased by the Yankees from the Hiroshima Toyo Carp (Japan Central League). He was the AL All-Star 2B in 2002-2003. His best Yankees season was in 2002, hitting .300 with 39 HRs and 102 RBIs. On February 16, 2004, he was traded by the Yankees along with a Minor League Player to be Named Later to the Rangers for All-Star INF Alex Rodriguez and Cash. Also, Alfonso has played for the Nationals and Cubs. During the 2013 MLB season, Soriano was reacquired by the Yankees from the Cubs appearing in 58 games, while hitting .256 with 17 HRs and 50 RBIs. The team released him during the 2014 AL season.


1978- Former Yankees Reserve 1B George “Tioga” Burns (1928-1929) passed away. (1914-1978) 


Veteran 1B George Burns played in 13 games for the 1928-1929 Yankees before being sent to the Philadelphia A’s. With the Yankees, the 35-yearold George was a Reserve 1B for the starting 1B Lou Gehrig. In 1914, George had beaten out his Tigers Rookie teammate, Wally Pipp for the 1B job with the Tigers, leading to Pipp’s trade to the Yankees in 1915. On March 8,1918, the Yankees had purchased George from the Tigers, then traded him to the A’s for veteran OF Ping Bodie. Burns later played for the Indians and the Red Sox before joining in the Yankees in 1928 as a Reserve Player. With the 1926 Indians, George had hit .358 with 4 HRs and 115 RBIs in 151 games; he was named the 1926 AL MVP.



1980- Former Yankees Minor League OF Jackson Melian was born.


Outfielder Jackson Melian was signed as an International Free Agent on July 3,1996 at the age of 16 by the Yankees. He received a $1.6 million signing bonus, which was a record at the time for an International Free Agent. He was named the Yankees #3 prospect by tools-focused Baseball America before he even played a professional baseball game. Jackson was named after Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson, as his father Vincent was a longtime Yankee fan. He was compared to Ruben Rivera, and then considered the top prospect in the Yankee system by Baseball America. He never appeared with the Yankees at the MLB level. He was traded to the Reds in the Danny Neagle trade. He was traded several times to the Cubs, he returned to the Yankees organization and then he was traded to the Braves. He has yet to play at the MLB level.


1983- Former Yankees 1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion (2019) was born.


On June 15, 2019, veteran 1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion was traded by the Mariners along with Cash to the Yankees for Minor League P Juan Then. He hit only .249 with 13 HRs and 37 RBIs in 44 games. He was granted MLB Free Agency by the team. He would be signed by the White Sox for the 2020 season.


1992- The Yankees signed veteran MLB Free Agent INF Mike Gallego. With the 1991 A’s, he had hit .247 with 12 HRs and 49 RBIs in 159 games. After being on the DL for most of the 1992 AL season, he would play in 261 games for the 1993-1994 Yankees, while hitting .262 with 19 HRs and 109 RBIs, before leaving the team for MLB Free Agency in 1995.


1995- Former Yankees Minor League OF Kite Thomas passed away. (1923-1995) 


Before the start of the 1947 AL season, OF Kite Thomas was signed as an MLB Amateur Free Agent by Yankees MLB Scout Lee MacPhail. He broke into Organized Baseball at age of 23 with the Class C Joplin Miners (Western Association). That winter, he played guard (and refereed some) for Kansas City in the Professional Basketball League of America. He played for the Quincy Gems (Three-I League) in 1948, where he led the league with 99 RBIs. Then with the 1949-1950 Beaumont Roughnecks (Texas League) and the AA Kansas City Blues (American Association) in 1949 and 1951. On November 19,1951, he was selected by the Philadelphia A’s from the Yankees organization in the 1951 MLB Rule 5 Player Draft. Kite Thomas was 28 years old, when he broke into the MLB on April 19,1952 with the A’s. He played for the team for the 1952-1953 AL seasons. On June 30,1953, Thomas was selected off waivers by the Senators from the A’s. He also played for the Nats in 1953, including his final MLB game on September 27th at age 30. On March 27,1954, Kite was traded by the Senators to the White Sox for Tom Wright. Thomas returned to the Minor Leagues with the Memphis Chickashaws (Southern Association) that season, ending his baseball-playing career at age 31. His best season in the MLB was in 1952, when he had 29 hits, 24 runs, 6 doubles, 1 triple, 6 HRs,18 RBIs, while hitting .250 in 75 games. In 1950, his best season in the Minors, he had 156 hits, 109 runs, 42 doubles, 8 triples,16 HRs and 111 RBIs; while hitting .283 in 149 games. Overall, in the MLB, he had 52 hits, 35 runs, 9 doubles, 3 triples, 7 HRs, 32 RBIs and No stolen bases, while hitting .233 in 137 games. In the Minor leagues, he had hit 89 HRs with 506 RBIs.


2006- The final 2005 MLB team’s payrolls are released, the Yankees finished last year with a record $207.2 million payroll, more than $90 million ahead of any other MLB team, according to final figures compiled by the MLB Commissioner's office.


2011- Former Yankees Closer Ryne Duren (1957-1961) passed away at age 81. (1929-2011)


Before the start of the 1949 AL season, Pitcher Ryne Duren was signed by the St. Louis Browns, as an MLB Amateur Free Agent. On September 21, 1956, Ryne was sent by the Orioles to the Kansas City A’s to complete an earlier deal made on September 17,1956. The Orioles sent a Player to be Named Later and OF Jim Pisoni to the A’s for Players to be Named Later. Ryne Duren was frightening to bat against because he only intermittently had control of his prodigious fastball. Thick "Coke bottle" glasses, a reputation for heavy drinking, and he had a tendency to throw warm-up pitches against the backstop only heightened batters' unease. Yankees veteran OF Hank Bauer told the Yankees front office to “trade for him or ban him from the AL.” On June 15,1957, Ryne Duren was traded by the A’s along with OF Jim Pisoni and 1B/OF Harry “Suitcase” Simpson to the Yankees for OF/INF Woodie Held, INF Billy Martin, OF Bob Martyn and Pitcher Ralph Terry. In 1958, he led the AL in saves with 20, while posting a 6-4 record for the Yankees. Ryne appeared in 2 games in the 1958 World Series against the Braves, going 1-1 with 1 save with 14 Ks; while posting a 1.93 ERA. Ryne Duren was wild and fast, also he was an alcoholic. He made the AL All-Star teams in 1958-1959. In 1959, despite a losing record of 3-6 with 14 saves, Ryne posted an ERA of 1.88. 


Ryne Duren was a showman in those days, the Yankees bullpen was a part of the short-porch RF and only a low chain link fence served as the boundary. When called upon by Yankees Manager Casey Stengel to relieve, he wouldn’t use the gate, but would rather hop that fence with one hand and begin a slow walk to the mound with his blue Yankees warm-up jacket covering his pitching arm; even in the hottest days, when he finally took the ball from Yankees Manager Casey Stengel and began his warm-ups, the 1st pitch was always 20 feet over the catcher’s head. The 2nd warm-up pitch was a bit lower (but not slower) until on his 5th warm-up Ryne would finally find the plate. By the start of the 1961 AL season, his best days as a Yankees Closer were over. Veteran MLB Reliever Luis Arroyo had replaced him in the bullpen as their new Closer. New Yankees Manager Ralph Houk did not like Ryne Duren from his previous drinking incidents in the late 1950s, when Houk was a Yankees MLB Coach. On May 8, 1961, he was traded by the Yankees along with P Johnny James and Rookie OF Lee Thomas to the AL Expansion Team, the Angels for 2 AL veterans: Reliever Tex Clevenger and OF Bob Cerv. The Angels would use him as a Starter. He would make the 1961 AL All-Star team (1st game) for the Angels. Ryne would pitch for the Angels, Phillies, Reds and the Senators before retiring from MLB in 1965. Following his MLB playing career, Ryne Duren spent many years involved in Alcoholics Anonymous and the recovery movement. He would later write a book on his fight with alcoholism during his 10-year MLB playing career, titled “The Comeback.” This was one of the reasons that Ryne Duren had stayed away from Yankees Old Timers Day events until the 1970-1980s. In 1983, Ryne Duren was presented with the Yankees Family Award for his conquering Alcoholism, and for his service as an Alcohol Abuse Educator. In 2003, Ryne Duren and Author Tom Sabellico wrote the book, "I Can See Clearly Now". Duren talks from the heart about life, baseball and alcohol. The foreword was written by former MLB Pitcher Jim "Mudcat" Grant.


2011- Former Yankees Minor League OF Jose Vidal passed away. (1940-2011)


On May 19,1969, OF Jose Vidal was traded by the Seattle Pilots to the Yankees for Reserve INF/OF Richard Simpson. Jose did not play with the Yankees at the MLB level. He was sent to AAA Syracuse Chiefs (IL). Jose played for the AAA Chiefs in 1969-1970. He left the Yankees organization, signing with the Tigers organization; playing the 1971-1972 seasons with their AAA Toledo Mud Hens team. Jose finished pro ball career playing in the Mexican Baseball Leagues.


2012- The NYC Sports Media reports that Yankees Catcher/DH Jorge Posada is about to announce his retirement after a brilliant 17-season MLB playing career with the team during which he caught over 1,500 games and won 4 World Seriestitles. His final Bronx season was difficult, however, as he lost his Yankees starting Catching job to Russell Martin. Posada hit only .235 with 14 HRs and 44 RBIs in 115 games as the team's Designated Hitter. His MLB player retirement will become official on January 24th, when he calls a press conference at New Yankee Stadium.


2019- Former Yankees Minor League P Gil Downs passed away. (1940-2019)


Pitcher Gil Downs had a successful Minor League Pitching career, playing in 3 MLB organizations from 1963 to 1967. He made it to AAA in part or all of 3 seasons, though he never ascended to the MLB. He began pitching in the White Sox system, going 13-3 with a 1.37 ERA in 27 games (25 starts) between the Lynchburg White Sox (3 G, 1.13 ERA) and Sarasota Sun Sox (24 G, 1.38 ERA) in 1963. With the Sun Sox, he tossed 13 complete games and 6 shutouts; between both teams, he allowed just 140 hits and 48 walks in 191 innings for a 0.984 WHIP. He had 174 strikeouts. On June 20th, he tossed a 7-inning no-hitter against the Class A  Ft. Lauderdale Yankees (FSL). The  Yankees took him in the $8,000 1st Year portion of the 1963 MLB Rule 5 Player draft. For the 1964 Greensboro Yankees, he went 9-5 with a 2.83 ERA in 23 games (21 starts), while completing 4 games and 1 shut out. In 127 innings, he allowed 97 hits and 46 walks, while striking out 118 batters. He also went 4-1, with 0.87 ERA in 9 games (6 starts) with 4 complete games and 3 shutouts for the Yankees (Fla. East Coast Instructional League) that year. Shifting to the bullpen for 1965, Downs went 7-2 with a 1.91 ERA in 42 games (3 starts) between 2 teams. Most of his work came with the Class AA Columbus Confederate Yankees (Southern League) (42 Games, 1.18 ERA), though he made 2 starts for the AAA Toledo Mud Hens (IL), going 0-1 with a 8.00 ERA in 9 innings. In 1966, his only full season at AAA, he went 10-8 with a 3.47 ERA in 34 games (11 starts) for Toledo Mud Hens (IL). In 109 innings, he allowed only 82 hits, but he surrendered 61 walks. On December 20,1966, he was traded along with Cash to the Indians for veteran MLB Shortstop Richard Howser. He spent 1 season in the Indians farm system, going 0-1 with a 3.38 ERA in 16 innings in 1967. Overall, Downs went 39-19 with a 2.30 ERA in 134 games (61 starts) in 5 Minor League seasons. He had served in the Army prior to starting his pro baseball playing career.


January 8th


1913- The Yankees signed former Cubs Manager Frank Chance to be their 1913 AL season Manager. Chance had previously won 2 World Series and 4 NL pennants as the Manager of the Cubs.  He told the Yankees front office that he felt that Yankees 1B Hal Chase was suspected of cheating which led to his trade to the White Sox. His Yankees managing record would be a118-170 record (1913-1914). His 1913 team finished in 7th in AL with a 59-74 record. He improved the Yankees in 1914, to a 70-84 record with a 6th place in the AL. He would be replaced by former Tigers hurler “Wild Bill” Donovan. As an MLB player, Frank Chance was a 1B, who had a lifetime MLB .297 BA for the Cubs (1905-1912) he was part of the famous DP combo of  “Evers-Tinker to Chance.” Frank Chance played for the Yankees in 12 games, hitting just .208, these 12 games cost him a lifetime MLB .300 BA mark. He would be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1946.


1941- The BWAA in The Sporting News poll names the 1940 MLB All-Star team: Hank Greenberg (LF), Yankees Joe DiMaggio (CF), Ted Williams (RF), Frank McCormick (1B), Yankees Joe Gordon (2B), Luke Appling (SS), Stan Hack (3B) and Harry Danning (C) are the position players, while Bob Feller, Bucky Walters and Paul Derringer are named the Pitchers.


1963- Former Yankees Minor League OF Shane Turner was born.


The Yankees in the 6th round of the 1985 MLB Amateur Player Draft selected OF Shane Turner. He never appeared with the Yankees at MLB level. On June 10,1987, Shane was traded by the Yankees along with Reserve OF Keith Hughes to the Phillies for veteran OF/1B Mike Easler. He played professionally for 11 years as an OF in the Minor Leagues, while seeing MLB service with the Phillies, Orioles and Mariners, finishing with a lifetime .236 BA over a 56-game span from 1988 to 1992. Shane has work with the Giants organization since 1996 as a Minor League Roving Batting Coach and Minor League Manager.


1969- Former Yankees Pitcher Brian Boehringer (1995-1997) was born.


On December 14, 2000, Pitcher Brian Boehringer was signed as an MLB Free Agent by the Yankees. He went 5-10 with 4.97 ERA and 1 save in 78 games before being traded on July 4, 2001 to the Giants for Catcher Bobby Estalella and Minor League Player Joe Smith. The Yankees signed Brian as an MLB Free Agent in July of 2005, but he was released at the end of the month with no MLB appearances with the team. He had been pitching for the Yankees AAA team, the Columbus Clippers (IL).


1971- Former Yankees All-Star DH/1B Jason Giambi (2002-2008) was born.


Former AL MVP 1B Jason Giambi was signed as an MLB Free Agent by the Yankees in 2001. He originally came up to the MLB with the Oakland A’s. Jason’s best Yankees season was in 2002, when he hit .314 with 34 HRs and 122 RBIs. Jason was named to the 2002-2004 AL All-Star teams. He appeared in 897 games for the  2002-2008 Yankees, while hitting .260 with 209 HRs and 604 RBIs.


1976- The Yankees purchased Pitcher Jim York from the Astros. He split the 1976 season between the AAA Syracuse Chiefs (IL) going 6-1 with a 5.34 ERA and with the Yankees going 1-0 in 3 games for the team.


1976- Former Yankees Pitcher Carl Pavano (2005-2007) was born.


MLB Free Agent Pitcher Carl Pavano was 9-8 with a 5.00 ERA in limited action (26 games) for the 2005-2007 Yankees due to various pitching arms injuries during his stay with the team. He was granted MLB Free Agency by the team. He was signed by the Twins.


1981- Former Yankees Pitcher Jeff Francis (2014) was born.


On July 11, 2014, Reliever Jeff Francis was traded by the A’s along with Cash to the Yankees for Player to be Named Later. He appeared in only 2 games for the team with a 1-0 record with a 5.40 ERA. On August 5, 2014, Jeff was released by the Yankees. On October 31, 2014, Jeff was signed as a MLB Free Agent by the Blue Jays. In December of 2015, Jeff announced retirement from the MLB.


1984- Former Yankees Pitcher Kevin Whelan (2011) was born.


The Tigers originally signed Pitcher Kevin Whelan in 2005. On November 10, 2006, Kevin was traded by the Tigers along with Pitchers Anthony Claggett and Humberto Sanchez to Yankees for veteran MLB All-Star OF/DH Gary Sheffield. He appeared in 2 games with no record for the 2011 Yankees. On November 3, 2012, Kevin was granted MLB Free Agency by the Yankees.


1985- The Yankees reacquired Reserve Catcher Juan Espino from the Indians. He would spend the 1985 season with the AAA Columbus Clippers (IL).


1987- Former Yankees Pitcher Frank “Dutch” Hiller (1946,1948-1949) passed away. (1920-1987)


Before the start of the 1943 AL season, 22-yearold  Pitcher Frank Hiller was signed as an MLB Amateur Free Agent by the Yankees. "Dutch" as he was sometimes called, was out of Lafayette College in Pa, where he starred on the mound with a 22-2 record. Frank started out his pro career with his hometown AA Newark Bears (IL). He won 39 games for the AA Bears from 1943-1945. After a short trial with the 1946 Yankees, he went 0-2 with a 4.76 ERA in 3 games. "Dutch" was a 15-game winner with the 1947 AA Kansas City Blues (American Association) before heading back to Yankee Stadium going 5-2 with a 4.04 ERA in 22 games for the 1948 Yankees. He was back in the Bronx in 1949, going 0-2 with a 5.87 ERA in 4 appearances. He would finish out the 1949 season with the AA Blues with an 11-8 record with a 5.79 ERA.  Dutch will have a 5-6 record with 4.32 ERA and 1 save in 29 games for the Yankees. On February 10,1950, he was purchased by the Cubs from the Yankees. Frank would proceed to have his best MLB season going 12-5 for the Cubs in 1950, but he fell to a 6-12 record for the 1951 Cubs. On January 3,1952, he was traded to the Reds for Willie Ramsdell. Hiller would spend the 1952 NL season with the Reds, posting a 5-8 record with a 4.63 ERA. At the end of the 1952 NL season, the Reds would deal him to the Giants for Gail Henley. Frank Hiller would pitch 19 innings for the 1953 Giants, while posting a 2-1 record with a 6.15 ERA; this would be the end of his 7-season MLB Pitching career. He would finish out with a 30-32 record with a 4.42 ERA. "Dutch" at age 33 would give it one more chance with the 1954 AAA San Francisco Seals (PCL); he had an 11-8 record, but he had a high 5.79 ERA. He decided it was time to seek other avenues. He finished out his 8 seasons in the Minor Leagues with an 82-54 record and a 3.18 ERA.


1987- Former Yankees Minor League INF Bobby De Jardin was born.


Infielder Bobby De Jardin played in the Minor Leagues from 1988 to 1995. He was selected by the Yankees in the 8th round of the 1988 MLB Amateur Player Draft. He possessed limited power, hitting just 13 HRs in 3,003 plate appearances - or 1 HR every 231 appearance. He could steal bases, with a high of 38 for the Class A Prince William Cannons in 1989. He reached AAA for the 1st time in 1992, they remained there for almost the rest of his pro baseball career, which concluded in Orioles system in 1995. He batted .268 with 112 stolen bases in 726 games. He later became a MLB Scout in the Anaheim Angels organization from 2000-2013, signing, among others: Hank Conger, Mike Kenney, Chris Pettit, Tyler Skaggs, Jake Woods and Jered Weaver. He then became a Scouting Supervisor for the Yankees.


1988- Faced with a Midnight deadline to re-sign with the Yankees, veteran starter Bill Gullickson agrees to a 2-year contract with the Yomiuri Giants (Japanese Baseball League) instead. Clippers Note: The Yankees front office really dropped the ball on Bill Gullickson; the team should have resigned him for their 1989 starting rotation.


1992- Former Yankees Reserve INF Breyvic Valera (2019) was born.


On May 12, 2019, Reserve INF Breyvic Valera was selected off waivers by the Yankees from the Giants. He was with the 2019 Yankees appearing in 12 games, hitting just .219 with No HRs and 3 RBIs before being sent down to AAA Scranton (IL). On September 20, 2019, he was selected off waivers by the Blue Jays from the Yankees.


1992- The Yankees traded P Darrin Chapin to the Phillies for a Player to be Named Later, which would later be 3B Charlie Hayes. Chapin had appeared in 3 games for the 1991 Yankees, while posting a 0-1 record.  He had been a Reliever posting a 10-3 record in 55 games for the 1991 AAA Columbus Clippers (IL).


2008- Former Yankees Closer Rich “Goose” Gossage is voted into the Hall of Fame by the BBWAA on his 9th try. Gossage had a 126 ERA+; he was a 9-time MLB All-Star while saving over 300 MLB games. He is the 5th Reliever voted into the Hall, but the 3rd in the past 5 years. He joins Hoyt Wilhelm, Rollie Fingers, Dennis Eckersley and Bruce Sutter as MLB Relief Pitchers enshrined in Cooperstown. As a Yankees Closer Rich Gossage (1978-1983,1989), he went 42-28 with a 2.14 ERA and 151 saves in 319 games.


2020- The Yankees signed former MLB Pitcher Nick Tropeano to a Minor League contract with an invitation to their 2020 MLB Spring Training Camp. He has previously pitched in the MLB with the Astros and the Angels posting a 12-14 record with a 4.51 ERA in 42 games. On August 9, 2020, he was Designated for Assignment by the Yankees. Nick became an MLB Free Agent.


January 9th


1854Former Yankees Team Co-Owner Bill Devery (1903-1914) was born. (1854-1919)


Frank Farrell and Bill Devery were the 1st  team owners of the New York Highlanders - later to become the Yankees. They had purchased the AL Baltimore Orioles franchise on January 9, 1903 for $18,000. They were allowed to purchase the team and move it to New York because of their ties with the local politics. All previous attempts to move a team to Manhattan were blocked by the Giants Ownership and Manager John McGraw, who had political connections in City Hall. Devery had been an openly corrupt New York City Police Chief. He had been forced out of the Police Department shortly before purchasing the team. After the 1914 AL season, the duo sold the team to 2 New York City Businessmen Colonel Jacob Ruppert and Captain Tillinghast L'Hommedieu Houston for $460,000.


1876- Former Yankees Pitcher Barney Wolfe (1903-1904) was born. (1876-1953)


Pitcher Barney Wolfe appeared in 27 games for the Yankees, while posting a 6-12 record with 3.02 ERA. In his rookie season with the 1903 Yankees, he went 6-9 with a 2.97 ERA in 20 starts for the team. On July 20,1904, Barney Wolfe (0-3 in 7 games) was traded by the Yankees along with Starter Tom Hughes (7-11 with a 3.70 ERA) to the Senators for veteran MLB Starter Al Orth (3-4). 


1903- The defunct AL Baltimore Orioles franchise is purchased by 2 New York City Businessmen Frank Farrell and Bill Devery for $18,000. The team is moved to Manhattan, where they will become known as  the New York Highlanders, which marked the genesis of the Yankees. They will play their AL season games at Hilltop Park from 1903 to 1912, before moving to the Polo Grounds in 1913, when their lease on the ballpark grounds wasn’t renewed by the land owners.


1919- Former Yankees Minor League Catcher and MLB Scout Ed Dunn was born. (1919-1990)


Ed Dunn was 7 for 31 as a Catcher for the 1940 Amsterdam Rugmakers (CANAM League) in the Yankees Minor League organization. Later, he scouted for the 1959-1990 Senators/Twins organization; signing future MLB Players Dave Boswell, Randy Bush, Lenny Webster and Willie Banks among others.



1936- Former Yankees Pitcher Ralph Terry (1956-1957,1959-1964) was born.


In 1953, the Yankees signed Pitcher Ralph Terry as an MLB Amateur Free Agent. He had pitched in 10 games for the 1956-1957 Yankees, going 2-3 before being traded on June 15,1957 to the A’s in the Billy Martin trade. On May 26,1959, Ralph would return to the Yankees being traded by the A’s along with INF/OF Hector Lopez for veteran Pitchers Johnny Kucks, Tom Sturdivant and Reserve INF Jerry Lumpe. Ralph would become a Yankees regular starter in 1960, posting a 10-8 record with a 3.40 ERA in 35 games. He gave up the 9th inning HR to Maz in Game #7 of the 1960 World Series loss to the Pirates. In 1961, he went 16-3 with a 3.15 ERA in 31 games. The 1962 AL season was Ralph Terry best MLB pitching season going 23-12 with a 3.19 ERA in 43 starts. He was named to the 1962 AL All-Star team. He won the AL Babe Ruth Award and MLB World Series MVP Award. Ralph went 2-1 in the 1962 World Series against the Giants. In 1963, he went 17-13 with a 3.22 ERA in 40 games. In 1964, he was slowed down by pitching arm injuries slipping to a 7-11 mark with a 4.54 ERA in 27 games, pulled out of the Yankees starting rotation and was working out of the Yankees bullpen. Ralph appeared in 5 World Series for the Yankees, while posting a 2-4 mark with a 2.93 ERA  along with 31 Ks. His Yankees Pitching career record was 78-59 with .569 WP, a 3.44 ERA in 210 games with 615 strikeouts, 56 complete games and 16 shutouts. After the 1964 World Series, he was sent along with P Bud Daley to complete the Pedro Ramos September 1964 trade with the Indians. After playing for the Tribe, Ralph was briefly with the A’s again before he would be finishing his MLB Pitching career with the 1966-1967 Mets. Ralph Terry finished his MLB Pitching career with an overall 107-99 record with a 3.62 ERA in 338 games. He had struck out 1,000 MLB batters. After baseball, Terry became a Professional Golfer. Based on his status as a PGA of AmericaSectional Champion, he qualified for and played in 4 PGA Tour events in 1981 and 1982. In 1986, he started playing on the Senior PGA Tour. His best finish was a tie for 10th at the 1989 Showdown Classic.


1953- Former Yankees Reserve INF Ivan De Jesus (1986) was born.


On May 1,1986, veteran MLB INF Ivan De Jesus was signed as an MLB Free Agent with the Yankees. He only appeared in 7 games with the Yankees before being released by the team on June 24,1986.


1959- Former Yankees Reserve OF Otis Nixon (1983) was born.


Otis Nixon was selected by the Yankees in the 1st round (3rd pick) of the 1979 MLB Amateur Player Draft (Secondary Phase). He appeared in only 13 games for the 1983 Yankees as a Reserve Outfielder, while batting just .143. On February 5,1984, Otis was traded by the Yankees along with a Player to be Named Later (P Guy Elston) and MLB Reliever George Frazier to the Indians for a Player to be Named Later (Rick Browne) and MLB INF Toby Harrah. 


1964- Former Yankees Reserve OF Stan Javier (1984) was born.


After being obtained from the Cardinals along with INF Bobby Meacham, Stan hit .143 in 7 games in 1984 before being sent to the A’s in the Rickey Henderson trade. He was the son of former NL All-Star INF Juan Javier, who had played 2B for the 1960’s Cardinals.


1969- Former Yankees Pitcher Domingo Jean (1993) was born.


On January 10,1992, Pitcher Domingo Jean was traded by the White Sox along with Pitchers Melido Perez and Bob Wickman to the Yankees for AL All-Star INF Steve Sax. He would go 1-1 with a 4.46 ERA in 10 games for the Yankees before being traded on November 27,1993, along with Reserve INF Andy Stankiewicz to the Astros for veteran MLB Reliever Xavier Hernandez.


1973- Former Yankees INF Lynn “Broadway” Lary (1929-1934) passed away. (1906-1973)


Infielder Lynn Lary was purchased from the AA Oakland Oaks (PCL) in 1928. He had 3 good seasons with the Yankees, before slipping in 1932. He had appeared in 496 games for the team, while hitting .274 with 21 HRs and 237 RBIs. On May 15,1934, he would be traded to the Red Sox for INF Fred Muller and $20,000 Cash. He later played for the Browns and Indians before retiring from MLB.


1990- Former Yankees AL MVP and All-Star Pitcher Spurgeon “Spud” Ferdinand Chandler (1937-1947) passed away. (1907-1990)


Spud Chandler pitched for the Yankees from 1937-1947, finishing with a pitching career record of 109-43 (.717). His best Yankees season was in 1943, when he went 20-1 (.833 WP) with a 1.64 ERA. He was named to the 1943 AL All-Star team. Spud was the winner of the 1943 AL MVP and MLB MVP awards. Chandler entered the Army in April 1944. He was discharged in September 1945. He appeared in the 1941-1943 and 1947 World Series with the Yankees going 2-2 with 1.62 ERA. At the age of 38 in 1946, he went 20-8 for the Yankees. After the 1947 World Series, he retired as an MLB active player. After his MLB Pitching career had ended, Spud Chandler was a Kansas City A’s MLB Pitching Coach for the 1957-1958 AL seasons. He was also a longtime MLB Scout for the Indians and Twins organizations.


1992- Current Yankees Minor League Reliever Joe Harvey (2019) was born.


Pitcher Joe Harvey was drafted by the Yankees in the 19th round of the 2014 MLB June Amateur Draft from University of Pittsburgh. On November 20, 2018, the Yankees added Minor League Reliever Joe Harvey to their 40-man MLB roster. The young Reliever has a 5-6 lifetime career record with 1.75 ERA with 25 saves in 102 games. He split the 2018 baseball season between the AA Trenton Thunder (EL) and AAA Scranton (IL), while posting a 3-2 record with a 1.67 ERA and 11 saves in 43 games. In 2019, he split playing between AAA Scranton and the Yankees. With the 2019 Yankees, he appeared in 9 games, while posting a 1-0 record with a 4.50 ERA.


1997- The Yankees signed MLB Free Agent OF/DH/1B Mark Whiten. He would hit .265 with 5 HRs and 24 RBIs, while appearing in 67 games as a Reserve Player for the 1997 Yankees.


2007- Former Yankees Minor League Pitcher Ben Callahan passed away. (1957-2007)


The Yankees in the 31st round of the 1980 MLB Amateur Player Draft selected P Ben Callahan. He never appears with the Yankees at the MLB level. On June 15,1983, Ben was traded by the Yankees along with 1B/DH Marshall Brant and Cash to the A’s for veteran Starter Matt Keough.


2020- The Yankees signed former MLB veteran Catcher Chris Iannetta to a Minor League player contract with an invitation to their MLB Spring Training Camp. He hit .222 with 6 HRs last season with the Rockies. Chris joins fellow veteran MLB Catcher Erik Katz in the completion to be a back-up Catcher to AL All-Star starting Catcher Gary Sanchez.  He will retire from baseball on August 8, 2020. He was at the 2020 Yankees Alternate Training at Scranton.


2020- Former Yankees Minor League Catcher Hal Smith passed away. (1930-2020)


In 1949, the Yankees signed Catcher Hal Smith as an MLB Amateur Free Agent. He was blocked at starting catcher’s spot the presence by Yogi Berra and other Yankees Catching Minor League prospects. Hal would play in the Yankees Minor League system from 1949 to 1953, reaching the Class AA Birmingham Barons (Southern Association). After the 1954 AL season, Hal was involved in a huge player trade made, whereby 17 players changed teams between the Yankees and the Orioles. He came up with to the MLB  for 1st time in 1955 with the Orioles in their 2nd season in Baltimore. Smith immediately became a regular player as a Rookie, appearing in 135 games, while hitting .271 with 4 HRs and 52 RBIs. In August 1956, he was traded by the Orioles to the A’s. In 1957, Hal had one of his best MLB career seasons with the bat, hitting .303 and slugging .483, 101 points above the AL Slugging average. For the 1958-1959 AL seasons, Smith played a lot of 3B, as the A's tried to keep his bat in the regular lineup, when he wasn't catching. After the 1959 AL season, he was traded to the Pirates for 2 players in time to be part of their 1960 World Series team. During the regular season, he slugged .508. During the 1960 World Series, he hit a 3-run HR in Game 7 that keyed a Pirates comeback in the 8th inning. Smith's HR put the Pirates ahead by the score of 9-7 before the Yankees tied the game with 2 runs in the 9th inning. Bill Mazeroski’s Memorable HR in the bottom of the 9th inning won the 1960 World Series for the Pirates. In 1962, Hal became one of the original members of the new NL Expansion Team, the Houston Colt .45s. In 1964, he finished out his MLB playing career with the Reds.



 



 



 



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