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This Week in Yankees History January 17th-23rd
10 months ago  ::  Jan 17, 2021 - 3:39PM #1
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This Week in Yankees History January 17th-23rd Part One

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January 17th

1915- Former Yankees Minor League Player, Manager, MLB Player and Scout, Manager Mayo Smith was born. (1915-1977)

Mayo Smith was a long-time Minor League player from 1933 to 1948. He had 1 season in the MLB with the 1945 Philadelphia A’s, hitting only .215. He return to the Minor Leagues in 1946, playing at the AA level in the PCL until 1948. For the 1949 season, the Yankees hired him as a Player-Manager for their Class A team, the Amsterdam Rugmakers (Canadian-American League). Smith led by example, by hitting .297 with 19 HRs and 116 RBIs in 119 games. Never known for his power, he lit up that lower circuit, he was tied for 3rd in HRs, also he was 3rd in RBIs despite missing 20 games. His team went 67-71-1 and finished in 5th place. The next Season, he batted .323 with 10 HRs and 53 RBIs in only 66 games; the team finished in 4th place with a 72-65-1 record. They won in the 1st playoff round, but they lost in the League Finals. Smith would not play regularly again, getting into only 1 game in 1952; he had completed his 2-year run as a Player-Manager. In 1951, Mayo Smith was promoted by the Yankees to the Class B Piedmont League to manage the Norfolk Tars. He led the team to League titles in 1951-1952; when his 1952 team posted the 2nd-best winning percentage (.727) in the history of the Piedmont League. Then he was moved up to another level in the Yankees organization. Mayo managed in the Class AA Southern Association for 2 seasons; leading the Birmingham Barons. He was an MLB Scout for the Yankees for 7 years. He managed in the MLB with the 1955-1959 Phillies, 1959 Reds and the 1966-1970 Tigers, winning the 1968 AL pennant and the World Series Championship. He was named the 1968 AL Manager of the Year by “The Sporting News.” In 1969, the Tigers won 90 more games but they finished in 2nd place again to the Orioles. The team slipped in 1970, finishing 4th place, while playing under .500 and Smith was fired, bringing his career as an MLB Manager to an end.

1917- Former Yankees Reserve Catcher Pat McCauley (1903) passed away. (1887-1917)

Pat McCauley was a Catcher, who played 3 times in the MLB, but several years apart. He played 5 games for the 1893 St. Louis Browns, then, after 3 years, he had 26 games with the 1896 Washington Senators; and 7 years later, Pat appeared in 6 games with the 1903 New York Highlanders. His MLB playing career ended with a .193 BA with 3 HRs and 12 RBIs in 37 games. In addition to his playing time, he umpired 1 National League game during the 1896 season. McCauley's Minor League playing career ran from 1892-1910, mostly playing in the New England League, the Western League and the Eastern League. He was a player in the Eastern League 11 seasons.

1922- Former Yankees and Giants OF Benny Kauffs’ suit for an injunction to restrain the decision to keep him out of organized baseball is rejected by the Appellate Court. Kauff was acquitted of auto theft charges, while running a used car business with his Brother in 1921; but MLB Commissioner Landis still barred him from organized baseball, stating: "That acquittal was one of the worst miscarriages of justice that ever came under my observation."

1931- Former Yankees Bench Coach, MLB Player and Long-time MLB Manager Don Zimmer was born. (1931-2014)

In 1949, the Dodgers had signed Shortstop Don Zimmer as an MLB Amateur Free Agent. After several seasons with the Dodgers as a Reserve Infielder. In 1960, he was traded by the team to the Cubs. Don had appeared in 1955 and 1959 World Series with the Dodgers. Also, he played for the 1962 NL Expansion Mets, then the Reds, Dodgers and the Senators. He spent the 1966 season playing baseball in Japan with the Toei Flyers (JJPL), hitting only .182 with 9 HRs and 20 RBIs in 87 games. In 1967, Don began his Minor League Manager career working in the Minors until 1970. In 1971, he became a MLB Coach with the Expos, then with the 1972 Padres, 1974-1976 Red Sox, 1983 Yankees, 1984-1986 Cubs, 1987 Giants, 1992 Red Sox, 1993-1995 Rockies and the 1996-2003 Yankees. He was an MLB Manager with the following teams: 1972-1973 Padres, 1976-1980 Red Sox, 1981-1982 Rangers and the 1988-1991 Cubs. His 1978 Red Sox team blew a 14-game lead in the AL East Division to the Yankees, resulting in a 1 game play-off game with the Yankees winning. In 1989, Don won NL Division Championship with the Cubs. He was named 1989 NL Manager of the Year. With the Yankees, he was Manager Joe Torre MLB Bench Coach; he served as Interim Manager, while Torre was being treated for cancer. After the 2003 AL season, Don left the Yankees following a dispute with the Front Office. From 2004-2014, Don worked as a Special Advisor for the Tampa Bay Rays Front Office.

1936- The Yankees obtained  2 veteran players: Pitcher Irving “Bump” Hadley and OF Roy Johnson from the Senators for Pitcher Jimmy DeShong and Rookie OF Jesse Hill. Hadley will go 49-31 with a 4.28 ERA and 6 saves in 140 games in 5 seasons with the Yankees. Bump will appear in 3 World Series with the team; while posting a 2-1 record with a 4.15 ERA in 3 games. Johnson will hit .256 with 1 HR and 25 RBIs in 75 games as a Reserve OF, before being sold to the Braves on May 11,1937, to make room on the MLB 25-man roster for Rookie OF Tommy Henrich, who had been called up by the team. Rookie OF Jesse Hill was a Reserve CF for the Yankees, filling for the injured starting CF Earl Combs. He had hit .291 with 4 HRs and 33 RBIs in 107 games for the team in 1936. Hill will become a Reserve OF for the Nats, while Jimmy DeShong will post a 37-36 record in 4 seasons as a Senators Starter; including an 18-10 record in 1936. He was a Yankees hurler for 2 seasons, posting a 10-8 record with a 3.32 ERA and 6 saves in 60 games, mostly as a Reliever.

1939- The New York Yankees elected long-time General Manager Edward Barrow as the Club President. Barrow replaces Team Owner Jacob Ruppert, who had died 4 days earlier. Barrow will remain as the Yankees President until 1945, when the team is bought by new Team Owners Dan Topping, Larry Mc Phail and Del Webb from the Jacob Ruppert Estate.

1960- Former Yankees DH/OF Chili Davis (1998-1999) was born.

The Yankees signed veteran DH/OF Chili Davis as an MLB Free Agent in December of 1997. Davis will appear in 181 games for the team, while hitting .273 with 22 HRs and 87 RBIs. Davis appeared in 2 World Series with the Yankees, hitting .181 in 4 games. Overall, as an MLB player, Davis played in 2,436 games, while hitting .274 with 350 HRs and 1,372 RBIs. After the 1999 World Series, he retired from the MLB. He had originally come up to the MLB with the Giants.

1970- MLB teams select a record 357 players in the January phase of the annual Free-Agent Player Draft, including top pick 1B Chris Chambliss by the Indians and Shortstop Chris Speier. OF Fred Lynn, who was drafted by the Yankees in the 1st round, but he will not sign with the team.

1984- The Yankees drafted Pitcher Tim Belcher in the 1st round (1st Pick) of the 1984 MLB Amateur Player Draft (Secondary Phase). In a Yankees front office paperwork mistake, the Yankees would lose Belcher to the Oakland A’s as a Free Agent Compensation Pick on February 8,1984.

1989- MLB Free Agent OF/DH Claudell Washington leaves the Yankees to sign a 3-year contract with the Angels.

1991- Former Yankees Pitcher Marv Breuer (1939-1943) passed away. (1914-1991)

Marv Breuer spent 10 seasons in pro baseball from 1934 to 1943. He spent 6 of those years (1934-1939) in the Minor Leagues before getting his chance to pitch in the Bronx. Breuer made his MLB Pitching debut with the Yankees on May 4,1939 appearing in 1 game with no decisions. Marv spent the rest of the 1939 season with the AA Kansas City Blues(American Association.) Marv led the League with a 2.28 ERA, as he helped his team to win the League championship with a 17-6 record. Marv spent the next 4 seasons (1940-1943) back with the Bronx Bombers, building a 25-26 record with a 4.03 ERA in 86 games. His best season came in 1941, when he went 9-7 with a 4.26 ERA in 26 games. His Yankees final game and in pro baseball came on August 28,1943. During his 6-year Minor League run, Breuer had 4 double-digit winning seasons. The 1st came in 1935 with the Class C Joplin Miners Class (Western Association), when he went 14-14 for a last-place team. In 1936, Marv had an 18-9 record with the Class A Binghamton Triplets  (NY-Penn League) as he helped his team to win the NY-PENN Championship. He went 12-12 for the 2nd-place 1938 AA Kansas City Blues (AA), helping his club to the AA Playoff Title and then he topped this off with the above-mentioned 17-6 record in 1939. After the 1943 AL season, Breuer left pro baseball with a 75-69 Minor League Pitching record in 196 games. His final MLB pitching stats show a 25-26 record with a 4.03 ERA and 3 saves, while appearing in 86 games for the 1939-1943 Yankees. He had appeared in 2 World Series games for the team with no decisions.

2002- The Yankees released Reserve INF/OF Clay Bellinger. Despite his ability to play many positions on the field, Clay could not hit for any kind of average at the MLB playing level. He had appeared in 181 games for the team, while hitting only .194 with 12 HRs and 35 RBIs. He would be signed by the Angels for the 2002 AL season. His Son, Cody is a current MLB player with the Dodgers.

2002- The Yankees signed veteran MLB Free Agent Starter David Wells. He will go 19-7 and 15-7 for the 2002-2003 Yankees, before leaving the team for MLB Free Agency in the winter of 2003. He will sign with his San Diego hometown MLB team, the Padres.

January 18th

1903- Former Yankees Reserve INF Clifford “Nolan “Richardson (1935) was born. (1903-1951)

Nolan Richardson appeared in 12 games as a Reserve INF for the 1935 Yankees, hitting .217 with No HRs and 5 RBIs He had originally come up to the MLB with the 1929 Tigers. He had played for the 1936-1937 AA Newark Bears (IL) in the Yankees Minor League system. On November 5,1937, Richardson was purchased by the AA Baltimore Orioles (IL) from theYankees. He finished his MLB playing career with the 1938-1939 Reds. In 1951, Nolan was Head Baseball Coach at the University of Georgia.

1910-The Yankees purchased P/INF Harry Wolter from the Red Sox for $1,500 Cash. The Yankees would never use him as a Pitcher in his 4 seasons with the team. He would be used as an Outfielder by the team. He appeared in 396 games as a Yankees player from 1910-1913, while hitting .277 with 10 HRs and 122 RBIs. After playing for the Yankees, Harry returned to the Minor Leagues, playing in the Pacific Coast League, before returning to the MLB finishing out his MLB playing career with the 1917 Cubs. 

1911- Former Yankees Minor League INF and Manager Pinky May was born. (1911-2000)

Pinky May signed with the Yankees in 1932, coming out of Indiana University. In the Yankees Minor League system, he played for the AA Newark Bears (IL) in 1938, hitting .331 in 146 games. He was drafted by the Phillies from the Yankees organization in 1938 MLB Rule 5 Player Draft. Pinky May played 5 seasons in the MLB, all of them with the Phillies. He is one of the few players who played at least 5 seasons; he had at least 100 games with 400 at-bats in each MLB season. He broke into the MLB in 1939, playing in 135 games. May led the NL in sacrifice hits. He made the NL All-Star team in 1940. He served in the Navy during World War II. After his MLB playing career had ended, Pinky May was a Minor League skipper, managing more than a dozen clubs. In 1963, he managed the Yankees Class A Fort Lauderdale Yankees (FSL) to a 60-60 record. Also, he managed in the Pirates, Indians and the Reds organizations. He compiled a record of 1658-1560 over 27 seasons (1947-1972) in the Minor Leagues. In 1970 his son, Catcher Milt May made it to the MLB with the Pirates. His Grandson Scott May played in the Minors. Pinky May’s real name was Merrill Glend May.

1954-Former Yankees Minor League P Scott McGregor (1975-1976) was born.

Scott McGregor was selected by the Yankees in the 1st round (14th pick) of the 1972 MLB Amateur Player Draft. While pitching in the Yankees Minor League System, he was named the 1974 Pitcher of the Year International League, while pitching for the AAA Syracuse Chiefs posting a 13-10 record with an 3.44 ERA. He never appeared with the club at the MLB level. On June 15,1976, Scott was traded by the Yankees along with Reserve C Rick Dempsey, Pitchers Tippy Martinez, Rudy May and Dave Pagan to the Orioles for veteran MLB Starters Ken Holtzman and Doyle Alexander, Reliever Grant Jackson, Reserve C Ellie Hendricks and Minor League OF Jimmy Freeman. At the time of the June 15th trade, he was recovering from a broken collarbone injury. Scott will have a fine MLB Pitching career record of 138-108 with the 1976-1988 Orioles. He is currently working in the Orioles Minor League system.

1974- Former Yankees Pitcher Pete Appleton (1933) passed away. (1904-1974)

Pete Appleton was with the 1933 Yankees, appearing in only 1 game with no record; he was sent back to AA Newark Bears (IL). He finally finished the rest of the 1933 baseball season with the AA Baltimore Orioles (IL). After retiring as an active MLB player, Pete managed in the Senators organization. Later, he was an MLB Scout for the Senators/Twins organizations.

1984- Former Yankees Pitcher Justin Thomas (2012) was born.

On May 12, 2012, Reliever Justin Thomas was selected off waivers by the Yankees from the Red Sox. He appeared in just 4 games for the 2012 Yankees with no record. On October 17, 2012, Justin was granted MLB Free Agency by the team. He was signed by A’s for 2013 AL season.

1988-The Yankees signed MLB Free Agent Starter John “Candy Man” Candelaria. John will post a 13-7 mark with a 3.38 ERA and 1 save in 25 games with the 1988 Yankees. In 1989, he was 3-3 with a 5.14 ERA in 10 games, when he was traded to the Expos for INF Mike Blowers. His MLB Pitching career was hampered by pitching hip problems.

1989- Former Yankees Pitcher Michael Pineda (2012-2017) was born.

On January 13, 2012, the Mariners traded P Michael Pineda along with 19-year-old Minor-League P Jose Campos to the Yankees for C/DH Jesus Montero and P Hector Noesi. Pineda had posted a 9-10 record for the 2011 Mariners. While with Seattle, he was named to the 2011 AL All-Star Pitching staff. At the end of his 1st Yankees Spring Training Camp in 2012, Pineda complained of tightness in the back of his right shoulder. After undergoing an MRI and being diagnosed with tendonitis, he had to start the season on the DL list. He had been battered around in his last practice start, giving up 6 runs in 2 2/3 innings to set off alarms, although there had been concern all spring that his velocity was noticeably down. The Yankees got more bad news on April 25th, when a further medical exam found a tear in the labrum muscle of Michael's right throwing shoulder. The injury required season-ending surgery. While working out in Tampa, he was arrested by local police in the early hours of August 20th, after being spotted driving his SUV erratically and at high speed. Pineda was charged with DUI, having tested for a blood alcohol level well over the legal limit. When Pineda showed up for 2013 Yankees MLB Spring Training Camp, he was still not ready to pitch, but at least the team was confident that he could be in their starting rotation by May or June, but that turned out to be way too optimistic. He began his Minor League Rehab on June 9th, with the Class A Tampa Yankees, before moving up to the AA Trenton Thunder at the end of the month. On July 6th, he joined the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees (IL). He was 2-1 with a 3.22 ERA in 10 starts between the 3 levels, when he was taken out of a game on August 2nd due to stiffness in his shoulder. He was shut down completely for 2 weeks. Then, he resumed throwing from flat ground in mid-August. In spite of the setback, the Yankees were still hoping to finally have him in pinstripes before the end of the season. He didn’t pitch for the team. When Pineda showed up for 2014 Yankees MLB Spring Training Camp, he was finally healthy. Pineda was able to earn the team's 5th starter job, beating out Adam Warren and Vidal Nuno. He finally made his belated debut in Yankee pinstripes on April 5thagainst the Blue Jays. He pitched well over 6 innings, but he was charged with a 4-0 loss. He earned his 1st win on April 10th, a 4-1 victory over the Red Sox; there was some controversy surrounding his performance, as the Red Sox's Broadcasters claimed to have detected pine tar on his pitching hand. Pineda dismissed this, stating it was simply sweat mixed with dust, the matter was never brought to the attention of Home Plate Umpire Brian O'Nora, who would have been the only person who could have properly investigated it. On April 16th, he followed Masahiro Tanaka's strong performance in the opening game of a doubleheader by holding the Cubs scoreless over 6 innings as the Yankees swept the twin-bill by the scores 3-0 and 2-0. It was the 1st time an MLB team had recorded 2 shutouts on the same day since 1988. On April 23rd, however, his pine tar antics caught up with him in another start against Boston. This time, Boston Manager John Farrellbrought a stain on the right side of Michael's neck to the attention of Home Plate Umpire Gerry Davis in the 2nd inning. Davis promptly ejected Pineda from the game for using a foreign substance on the baseball. Pineda had given up a pair of runs in the 1st inning, he was charged with the 5-1 loss; after the game, he explained that he had had trouble gripping the ball because of the cold in the 1st inning, he had applied the substance to counter that. The following day Pineda was handed a 10-game suspension by the MLB, which he declined to appeal, given the circumstances. While he was serving the 10-day suspension, he felt tightness in his back during a simulated game; the diagnosis was a muscle tear that would lead to a stay on the DL as soon as the suspension was over. He finished the 2014 season with a 5-5 record with 1.89 ERA in 13 games. In 2015, Michael came back, as a Yankees Starter, when he posted a 12-10 record with a 4.37 ERA in 27 games. In 2016, Pineda was only 6-12 with a 4.82 ERA for the Yankees, but he still managed to post the best K/9 ratio in team history, with 207 strikeouts in 175 2/3 innings, or 10.6 strikeouts per 9 innings. Both his innings pitched and strikeouts were personal bests and his ratio was also the best in the AL. He was the Starter for the Yankees in their home opener against the Rays on April 10, 2017. He had a great performance, as he retired the 1st 20 Tampa hitter that he faced before giving up a double to 3B Evan Longoria. He lasted until 2 outs in the 8th before turning the ball over to Reliever Tyler Clippard and received credit for his team's 8-1 win. He had 11 strikeouts on the day. He went a solid 8-4, with a 4.39 ERA in 17 1st-half starts, but just as the 2nd half was set to begin on July 14th, the Yankees received some bad news, learning that Michael had a partially torn ligament in his elbow. It forced him to miss the 2nd half of the 2017 AL season as he underwent Tommy John surgery. After the 2017 AL season had ended, he became an MLB Free Agent. Overall, as a Yankees Pitcher, Pineda went 31-31 with a 4.16 ERA in 89 games. On December 13th, he signed a 2-year deal with the Twins for $10 million; even though he was not expected to be back before the 2nd half of the 2018 AL season. He did not pitch for the 2018 Twins, but he appeared in 4 games in the Twins Minor League system. During the 2019 MLB off-season, he was resigned by the Twins.

2017- Former Yankees Pitcher Richard Starr (1947-1948) passed away. (1921-2017)

Before the start of the 1941 AL season, 20-year-old P Richard Starr was signed as an MLB Amateur Free Agent by the Yankees. The right-hander would spend 1941-1942 seasons in the Minors Leagues with the Butler Yankees and the Findlay Browns; while going 33-14 before being drafted by the Army; where he spend 3 years of service during World War II. Released by the Army in 1946, Starr would spend the season in the Minor Leagues, going 19-10 for the Augusta Tigers; while leading the South Atlantic League in 3 categories with 19 wins, 233 strikeouts and a 2.07 ERA. He would appear with the 1947 Yankees in for 4 games and winning 1 decision. In 1948, the Yankees tried him again, he appeared in 1 game with no decisions. He had a 14-9 record and 158 strikeouts with the 1948 AA Newark Bears (IL). On December 13,1948, the Yankees traded him to the St. Louis Browns along with P Red Embree, Reserve Catcher Sherman Lollar and $100,000 Cash to the Browns for Catcher Roy Partee and Starter Fred Sanford. He finishes his Yankees Pitching career with a 1-0 record with a 1.88 ERA in 5 games. With the Browns, he stayed with the team through the middle of 1951 AL season, while going 10-17 before being traded to theSenators for P Fred Sanford, where he finished out his MLB Pitching career in 1951 with a 1-7 effort. This finished up his MLB Pitching career, finishing with a 12-24 record with a 5.25 ERA and 2 saves in 95 games. Starr went back to the Minor Leagues, where he spent the 1952-1956 seasons pitching at the AAA level in the International League, going 33-33 during this period and adding these numbers to his Minor League Pitching record (23-15) while he was in in and out of the MLB with his pre-MLB stats (52-24). He wound up with a very decent 108-72 record with a 3.57 ERA, while pitching in the Minor Leagues.

January 19th

1944- Former Yankees Minor League INF Chester “Chet” Trail was born.

Chet Trail was the only player ever, who was on an MLB Postseason roster, but who never appeared in a regular MLB Season or Postseason game. This strange occurrence happened when the Yankees put him on their 25-man roster for the 1964 World Series. He was their 25th player during the AL season under a special 1964 rule permitting 1 bonus player to play in the Minors, while being charged to the 25-man MLB roster. Commissioner Ford Frick ruled that Trail was eligible for the World Series roster, but he was not formally activated, and the Yankees played with 24 players during the 1964 World Series, which they lost to the Cardinals in 7 games. Chet Trail's Minor League career lasted from 1963 to 1969. He spent all or part of every season from 1966-1969 in AAA. Chet was traded by the Yankees to the Orioles to complete the Steve Barber trade. On July 4,1967, Steve Barber was traded by the Orioles to the Yankees for Players to be Named Later, MLB 1B Ray “Buddy” Baker and Cash. The Yankees sent 2 Minor League players: INF Chet Trail and OF Joe Brady on December 15,1967 to the Orioles to complete the trade. He never appears with the Orioles at the MLB level.

1971- Former Yankees Pitcher Jeff Juden (1999) was born.

Jeff Juden appeared in 2 games for the 1999 Yankees, while posting a 0-2 record with a 1.59 ERA. He spent most the 1999 season with the AAA Columbus Clippers (IL), while posting a 11-12 record with a 5.56 ERA in 27 games. The Yankees granted him MLB Free Agency.

1971- Current Yankees 3B MLB Coach Phil Nevin (2018-2021) was born.

Phil Nevin, who played 12 seasons in the MLB, competed for the US at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. He was selected by the Astros with the 1st overall pick in in the 1991 MLB Amateur Player Draft. He made the 2001 NL All-Star team, a season in which he hit 41 HRs for the Padres. Nevin was at California State University, Fullerton at the same time as Frank Charles, Steve Sisco, and Dan Naulty. He was also a Punter and Placekicker on the school's football team. On May 31, 2006, he was traded to the Cubs for Jerry Hairston Jr.. He played for 3 teams that season, while hitting 22 HRs, but it was his last season in the MLB. In 2009,  Nevin managed the Orange County Flyers, then he moved to the Tigers organization. He was the Skipper of the  2010 AA Erie SeaWolves (Eastern League).  Then Phil managed the AAA Toledo Mud Hens (IL) from 2011 to 2013. In 2014, he moved to the Diamondbacks organization as Manager of the AAA Reno Aces (PCL). He was one of the candidates in the running for the position of Manager of the parent Diamondbacks after the 2016 NL season had ended, but he lost out to Torey Lovullo. A few days later, he accepted a position as the MLB 3B Base Coach for the Giants in 2017, but Phil was let go by the team after the 2017 NL season had ended. In 2018, he joined the Yankees as the MLB 3rd Base Coach for new Yankees Manager Aaron Boone.

1972- The Yankees obtained P Fred Beene (1972-1974) from the Orioles in a Minor League trade. In 2 seasons with the 1972-1973 Yankees, Fred would go 7-3 with a 1.99 ERA and 5 saves in 54 games, before being traded by the team to the Indians in the Chris Chambliss trade on April 26,1974.

1972- The BWAA elects Dodgers Pitcher Sandy Koufax (344 votes), Yankees Catcher Yogi Berra (339 votes), and AL Pitcher Early Wynn (301 votes) to the Hall of Fame. One year earlier, the BWAA had failed to elect anyone to the Hall of Fame. The Dodgers Ace Sandy Koufax makes it in his 1st try and, at age of 36 is the youngest honoree in Hall of Fame history

1975- Former Yankees 1B/DH Fernando Seguignol (2003) was born.

Fernando Seguignol was 1st signed by the Yankees 10 days after his 18th birthday. He was assigned to the 1993 GCL Yankees, he struggled, batting only .217 as an OF. In 1994, the teenager improved to a .289 BA, though he struck out 61 times in 266 AB’s. He led the NY-PA League with 9 triples that season. In 1995, he was traded to the Expos for veteran Reliever John Wetteland. In 2003, Fernando returned from Japan to play in the USA, signing with the Yankees organization. He was 5 for 7 in limited appearances with the Yankees. He was 5 for 13 with the Class A Tampa Yankees (FSL). He spent most of 2003 season, producing at a .341 clip with 28 HRs in 402 at bats for the AAA Columbus Clippers (IL). He led the International League in HRs and BA, led all of full-season MIL baseball in slugging percentage. He was named the DH on the International League All-Star team. Fernando won the IL MVP Award. In 2004, he went back to play in Japan, where he was active player until the 2009 season.

1987- Former Yankees All-Star OF (1934-1942), Minor League Manager and MLB Executive George “Twinkletoes” Selkirk passed away. (1908-1987) 

On November 4,1931, the Yankees purchased OF George Selkirk from Jersey City (International League.) George - succeeded Babe Ruth as the Yankees Right Fielder, after Ruth was sent to the Braves following the 1934 AL season. He wore Ruth’s No. 3 uniform number. He hit over .300 in his 1st 4 summers in the Bronx. In 1936, he hit .308 with 18 HRs and 107 RBIs, as he added 8 hits (including 2 HRs and a triple) in the 1936 World Series as the Yankees defeated the cross-town NL rivals Giants. He only played in 78 games the following season due to a broken collarbone, but he had one of his best MLB seasons, hitting .328 with 18 HRs and a slugging average of .629, nearly as high as Lou Gehrig's. In that season's Fall Classic, he led his club with 6-runs scored and 5 driven in, as the Yankees again beat the Giants. Selkirk's average dropped to .254 in 1938, as he hit just 10 HRs, but he drove in the 1st run of that year's World Series, a 4-game sweep of the Cubs. He rebounded in 1939, hitting .306 with 21 HRs and 101 RBIs. He only recorded 2 hits in the World Series that fall, but the Yankees went on to sweep the Reds for their 4th consecutive title. By 1940, a trio of younger Yankee outfielders - Joe DiMaggio, Tommy Henrich and Charlie Keller - saw most of the playing time, Selkirk only appeared in 118 games. His playing time continued to decline the next 2 summers, but he did make a total of 3 Pinch-Hit appearances in the World Seriesbetween 1941-1942. Overall, George played for 9 seasons with the Yankees finishing with lifetime BA of .290 with 108 HRs and 576 RBIs in 846 games. He was a member of AL All-Star team twice (1936 and 1939). George hit .265 with 2 HRs and 10 RBIs in 6 World Series with the Yankees. He served in the Navy during WWII (1942-1945).  When he was release by the Yankees in February of 1946, he would become a Minor League Manager for the Yankees organization (1946-1952). He managed a young Mickey Mantle with the AAA 1951 Kansas City Blues (American Association), helping him make the fielding adjustment from Shortstop to an Outfielder. He moved to the Boston Braves organization to manage from 1953-1956 seasons. During the 1957-1958 AL seasons, he worked in the Kansas City A’s front office as one of team’s General Managers. In 1958, Selkirk was elected to the International League Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. Then he would become the General Manager of Washington Senators in 1963, holding the position until 1968. He left the team when they moved to Texas. He rejoined the Yankees organization as an MLB Scout.

1991- Former Yankees Reserve OF Roy Weatherly (1943,1946) passed away. (1915-1991)

On December 17,1942, OF Roy Weatherly and INF Oscar Grimes were obtained from the Indians for AL All-Star Catcher Buddy Rosar and OF Roy Cullenbine. In 1943, Roy hit .264 as a Reserve Outfielder for the Yankees. Overall, Roy hit .266 with 7 HRs and 28 RBIs in 79 games for the Yankees. He appeared in 1 game of the 1943 World Series for the team with no hits. On June 20,1946, Roy was purchased by the Braves from the Yankees.

1992- The Yankees released veteran Pitcher Dave Eiland (1988-1991).

On June 2,1987, Dave Eiland was drafted by the Yankees in the 7th round of the 1987 MLB Amateur Player Draft. Dave went 5-11 with a 5.23 ERA in 36 games with the Yankees. After retiring as an active player, Dave would rejoin the Yankees organization, as a Minor League Pitching Coach. He was the Yankees MLB Pitching Coach in 2009-2010. In December of 2010, he joined the Tampa Bay Rays organization as a Special Advisor.

1996- The Yankees signed 2 MLB Free Agents: INF Matt Howard and P Dave Pavlas. Howard will be a Reserve INF appearing in 35 games, while hitting .204 for the 1996 Yankees. Pavlas will appear in 16 games as a Reliever with no record and 1 save for the 1996 Yankees.

2001- Former Yankees Minor League P Johnny Babich passed away. (1913-2001).

Johnny Babich grew up in the San Francisco area. He began his pro baseball career with the AA San Francisco Seals (Pacific Coast League) in 1931. In 1933, he was traded by the Seals to the San Francisco Missions. Johnny went on to win 20 games. He won 10 games the next season before being acquired by the Dodgers, for whom, he was 7-11 as an MLB Rookie hurler. After posting a 6.66 ERA for the Dodgers the next season, he was sent back down to the Minors. The following year, Babich spent most of the season in the PCL; he did play in 3 games for the Boston Bees (aka the Braves). After going 19-17 with a 3.27 ERA for the 1938 AA Hollywood Stars (PCL), he was acquired by the Yankees, who sent him to their AA Minor League team; the Kansas City Blues (American Association). One year later, Philadelphia A’s acquired him in the MLB Rule 5 Player Draft. With the 1940 A’s, he posted a 14-13 record with a 3.73 ERA. Johnny posted a 5-0 record against the 1940 Yankees. He played 1 more season in the MLB, going 2-7 for the 1941 Philadelphia A’s. Following his MLB playing career, Babich managed in the Minor Leagues; he continued to pitch as well. He led the 1947 Stockton Ports to the California League title, while going 5-2 on the mound. 

2003- Former Yankees Minor League INF Dutch Meyer passed away. (1915-2003)

On December 5,1946, the Indians sent INF Dutch Meyer to the Yankees to complete an earlier deal made on October 12,1946. Indians sent a Player to be Named Later and Cash to the Yankees for INF Eddie Bockman. Dutch had been the primary 2B for the 1946 Indians, once they obtained 2B Joe “Flash” Gordon from the Yankees in a trade for P Allie Reynolds; Dutch became expendable. He did not appear with Yankees at the MLB level. Instead, he was sent to AA Newark Bears (IL). He only played 20 games for the AA Bears before being sent to Tigers organization, finishing the 1947 season playing for their AA Buffalo Bisons team (IL). In the early 1950s, he was a Manager in the Indians organization.

10 months ago  ::  Jan 17, 2021 - 3:59PM #2
Posts: 16,037

This Week in Yankees History January 17th-23rd Part Two

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January 20th

1907- Former Yankees OF Jesse Hill (1935) was born. (1907-1993)

On January 19,1932, OF Jesse Hill was traded by the AA Hollywood Stars (PCL) to the Yankees for P Myles Thomas, OF George Quellich and Cash. As a Yankees Rookie OF Jesse Hill would hit .293 with 4 HRs and 33 RBIs in 107 games in 1935 as a replacement for the injured Yankees CF Earle Combs. On January 17,1936, Jesse was traded by the Yankees along with P Jimmie DeShong to the Senators for veteran Starter Bump Hadley and OF Roy Johnson.

1912- Former Yankees Pitcher Frank Makosky (1937) was born. (1912-1987)

Reliever Frank Makosky went 5-2 with a 4.97 ERA with 3 saves in 26 games for the 1937 Yankees.

1921- The Yankees obtained Veteran OF Bob “Braggo” Roth from Senators for veteran OF Duffy Lewis and P George Mogridge. Roth would hit .283 with 2 HRs and 10 RBIs in 43 games, while having injury issues during the 1921 season before the Yankees would release him in August. Duffy Lewis had hit .271 with HRs and 61 RBIs in 107 games, while missing a month with a knee injury. After 2 seasons with the Yankees, he leaves with a .272 BA, while hitting 11 HRs and 145 RBIs in 248 games. Veteran Starter Mogridge had a 5-9 record with a 4.31 ERA and 2 saves in 26 games in 1920. He would win 65 games for the Nats in the next 4 AL seasons. He finishes his Yankees Pitching career with a 48-57 record with a 2.73 ERA and 9 saves in 171 games.

1926- The Yankees obtained Reserve INF Spencer Adams from the Senators for Cash. He hit .120 in 28 games as a Reserve INF in 1926. In 1927, he would finish his MLB playing career with the Cardinals.

1931- After the 1930 AL season had ended Veteran INF Joe Sewell, who had been released by the Indians; signs with the Yankees. The future HOF Infielder with a .312 MLB career BA, he will finish his 14-season MLB player career in 1933. He will hit .302 for the Yankees in 1931. With the Bombers, Joe will be their regular 3B for the 1931-1933 teams. Overall, as a Yankees player for 3 seasons, Joe would play in 390 games, while hitting .282 with 19 HRs and 186 RBIs. In the 1932 World Series against the Cubs, he played in 4 games, while hitting .333 with No HRs and 3 RBIs.

1936- Former Yankees Reserve Catcher Jesse Gonder (1960-1961) was born. (1936-2004)

Before the start of the 1960 MLB Season, Jesse Gonder was sent from the Reds to the Yankees in an unknown trade.  He was the starting catcher for the Yankees AAA team at Richmond (IL) in 1960. Jesse appeared in only 17 games for the Yankees as a Reserve Catcher/Pinch-Hitter before being traded on December 14,1961 to the Reds for veteran MLB Reliever Marshall Bridges. With the Yankees, veterans Elston Howard, Yogi Berra and Johnny Blanchard were on the 25-man Yankees MLB roster blocked Jesse Gonder. In 1962, he won the PCL MVP Award, while playing for the Reds AAA club, the San Diego Padres. Jesse would later play for the Reds, Mets, Pirates and Braves in the NL, before retiring as an MLB active player. Later, he wrote a book about his experiences with racism as a black baseball player in the 1950-1960’s.

1941- Former Yankees OF Jack Lelivelt (1912-1913) passed away. (1885-1941)

Veteran OF Jack Lelivelt appeared in 54 games for the 1912-1913 Yankees, while hitting .339. On May 25,1913, Jack was traded by the Yankees along with INF Bill Stumpf to the Cleveland Naps for Shortstop Roger Peckinpaugh. After his active playing career ended, Jack became a Minor League Manager. In 20 seasons as a Minor League Manager between the 1920-1940, his teams won 1,861 games against 1,439 losses.

1944- Former Yankees 1B/DH Kevin Maas (1990-1993) was born.

First Baseman Kevin Maas appeared as the heir apparent to Don Mattingly in the summer of 1990. He was recalled from AAA ColumbusClippers (IL) in June, hitting many HRs. He set a record for fewest games to reach 10 HRs. He was helped by a 3-game series at Texas, when he homered in each game of the series. Maas became the 1st MLB player to hit 20+ HRs, all from July 1 onwards; it would be 19 years until Garrett Jones became the 2nd. The Yankees had signed Kevin Maas as a 22nd round pick in the 1986 MLB Amateur Player Draft. He moved his way up the Yankee Minor League system from 1986 to 1989 hitting 45 HRs in 365 games, but he also had 321 strikeouts. By the end of the 1990 AL season, Maas had hit 21 HRs in 79 MLB games. The following season, he was installed as the Yankees Designated Hitter. He would also spell Mattingly at 1B on occasion. He did not hit HRs at the same pace as in 1990, but he did hit a respectable 23 HRs for the 1991 AL season. Unfortunately, he hit only .220 with 128 strikeouts. By 1992, Maas was back playing in the Minor Leagues. Kevin would hit .231 with 65 HRs with 164 RBIs in 384 games with the Yankees. Kevin’s older Brother Jason Maas, also played in the Yankees Minor League organization (1985-1991), before retiring as an active player. The Yankees released Kevin in March of 1994. He bounced around between the Padres, Reds and the Twins organizations. He briefly returned to the MLB in 1995with the Twins, but it was clear he was a "one hit wonder." Maas then signed with the Hanshin Tigers (Japan) in 1996 to replace MLB All-Star Glenn Davis, but he hit only .245 and did not return for another season. 

1972- The Yankees traded a Player to be Named Later to the Cubs for veteran NL All-Star OF Johnny Callison. The Yankees will have until May 1st to keep him or to send him back to the Cubs. John had only hit .210 with 8 HRs and 38 RBIs for the 1971 Cubs. On May 1st, the Yankees decided to keep him. He would play in 92 games for the team, with 72 games in the outfield, while hitting .258 with 9 HRs and 34 RBIs. On May 17, 1972, the Yankees sent veteran Reliever Jack Aker to the Cubs. He went 16-10 with a 2.23 ERA and 31 saves in 124 games for the team from 1969 to 1972.

1977- The Yankees obtained veteran AL Golden Glove OF Paul Blair from the Orioles for veteran OF Elliot Maddox and Minor League OF Rich Bladt. Veteran OF Paul Blair will prove a fine defensive addition to the Yankees outfield. He will be used as a late inning defensive replacement for Reggie Jackson in RF. Paul will appear in 172 games for the team, while hitting .223 with 6 HRs and 38 RBIs. He appeared in 2 World Series with the Yankees playing in 12 games, while hitting .331. Maddox was dealing with knee injuries in 1975-1976. Reserve OF Rich Bladt had appeared in 52 games with the Yankees, while hitting .222 with 1 HR. The Orioles would assign him to their AAA club, Rochester Red Wings (IL).

1978- Former Yankees Minor League OF Jon Weber was born.

Minor League Free Agent OF Jon Weber signed with the Yankees for 2010. In the 2010 Yankees MLB Spring Training Camp, Jon had won the James P. Dawson Award for best Yankee Rookie player in the camp. Jon never appeared with the Yankees at the MLB level. He batted .258 in 47 games for AAA Scranton (IL), and then the Yankees released him. Signing with theTigers organization, he hit .256 in 21 games for the AAA Toledo Mud Hens (IL); he retired as an active player. Shortly thereafter, in July 2010, it was announced that he had the 3rd positive Drug/Steroid Test of his pro baseball career, resulting in a 100-game suspension should he return to the diamond.

1981- Former Yankees Reserve OF Freddie Guzman (2009) was born.

On August 31,2009, veteran OF Freddie Guzman was purchased by the Yankees from the Orioles. He appeared in 10 games for the  Yankees hitting only .167 as a Reserve Outfielder and Pinch-Runner. On November 11, 2009, Freddie was granted MLB Free Agency by the team. He would sign with the Phillies for 2010 NL season.

1998- The Yankees selected INF Hector Ramirez off of waivers from the Orioles. On January 30,1998, Hector is selected off waivers by the Orioles from the Yankees.

2000- The 30 MLB Team Owners vote to give all their Internet rights to the MLB Commissioner's office. Bud Selig is expected to parcel out monies in equal amounts. The Yankees lose their great web site to MLB’s cookie cutter web site format. Now gone are Eddie Layton’s organ playing of “Take me out to the Ballgame” and Bob Shepard’s “Welcome to Yankee Stadium” greeting at the team’s web site.

 2002- The Yankees signed MLB Free Agent P David Manning. The team will release David during the 2002 Yankees MLB Spring Training Camp.

2011- The Yankees sign veteran MLB OF Andruw Jones to a 1-year contract. Jones almost washed out of MLB after a terrible 2008 NL season that saw him hit .158 with no power, but he has since bounced back to being a useful player again, although his days of stardom are apparently over. He will appear in 77 games for the 2011 Yankees as a DH/OF, while hitting .247 with 13 HRs with 33 RBIs. The Yankees resigned him for the 2012 AL season. He will be granted MLB Free Agency by the Yankees. Andrew will go to Japan for the 2013 season.

2011- Former Yankees Minor League Player and Manager, MLB Scout Lamar North passed away. (1929-2011)

Catcher Lamar North spent 13 seasons playing in the Minor Leagues. He debuted in 1948 with the Eastman Dodgers, hitting .271. In 1949, he batted .322 for Eastman. He was among the Georgia State League's top 10 in batting average. North moved up to the Portsmouth Cubs in 1950, hitting.262. He missed 1951-1952 seasons, presumably due to military service. North returned to Portsmouth in 1953 and batted .216, showing rust. He did lead all catchers in the Piedmont League with 73 assists. In 1954, Lamar hit .249 for Portsmouth, followed by .258 in 1955. In 1956, the veteran backstop batted .256 for the Yankees farm club, the AA Binghamton Triplets (Eastern League). With Binghamton in 1957, he hit .260. In 1958, Lamar hit .256 with a career-high 18 HRs, slugging .424, for the AA New Orleans Pelicans (Southern League). North played 1 game with the AAA Richmond Virginians (IL). Lamar hit .247 in 60 games for the 1959 AA Binghamton Triplets (EL). Also he spent time with the AA Houston Buffs (7 for 47) and the Yankees AAA Richmond Virginians (4 for 20), getting his longest looks at AAA. He batted .235 for 2 Texas League clubs in 1960. He was 6 for 33 for the 1962 Class A  Fort Lauderdale Yankees (FSL)and 0 for 1 for the 1963 AAA Richmond (IL) to end his active playing career. Now, Lamar became a Minor League Manager for the Yankees. He managed the 1963 Harlan Smokies, 1964 Johnson City Yankees, 1965 Greensboro Yankees and the (1966,1970) Fort Lauderdale Yankees. Later, he was a MLB Scout for the 1968-1971 Yankees, 1973-1975 Dodgers and the Orioles (1977-?), signing future MLB players: Ken Gerhart, Gregg Olson and Nick Markakis among others.

2014- Former Yankees MLB Coach Vern Benson (1965-1966) passed away. (1924-2014) 

Vern Benson was the MLB Coach for Yankees Manager Johnny Keane for the 1965-1966 AL seasons. He had worked with Keane on the 1961-1964 Cardinals MLB Coaching staffs. He would leave the Yankees on May 7,1966, when Keane was fired and replaced by Ralph Houk. The Yankees did pay him his full 1966 season salary. He had been an MLB Infielder for the A’s and Cardinals during the 1940-1950’s. Later, he managed for the Cardinals organization until 1961, when he joined Johnny Keane on the MLB Coaching staff in St. Louis. Vern had worked for the Cardinals, Reds, Braves and the Giants as an MLB Coach. He managed in the Blue Jays organization during the 1976-1977 seasons, working at AAA level. He would return to the Cardinals organization working as an MLB Scout before retiring from baseball.

January 21st

 1916- The Yankees buy lefty Pitcher Nick Cullop from the Kansas City Packers (Federal League); where he had gone 22-11 with 2.44 ERA with 22 complete games for the team. Also, they acquired 2 Infielders: INF Joe Gedeon from the AA Salt Lake Bees (PCL) and OF/1B Germany Schaefer from Newark Peppers (Federal League). Schaefer will announce that he is changing his nickname to "Liberty" because of the World War I. He noticed that "sauerkraut" had been renamed "liberty” cabbage. He would later become a Yankees MLB Coach. Joe Gedeon had hit .317 with 19 HRs for the Bees. He would become the Yankees starting 2nd baseman for the 2016 AL season, hitting only .216, he would be replaced by Fritz Maisel in 1917.

1938- The Yankees All-Star CF Joe DiMaggio begins a player contract holdout that will last for nearly 3 months. After meeting with Yankees Team Owner Jacob Ruppert and GM Edward Barrow, Joe DiMaggio rejects a 1-year offer of $25,000. DiMaggio counters their offer by asking for $45,000 player contract. Helping out Joe with his MLB salary dispute with the Yankees Front Office was HOF player Ty Cobb. His MLB player contract holdout with the Yankees will last until April 20th, 2 days after the start of the 1938 AL season. Joe will appear in 145 games for the 1938 Yankees, while hitting .324 with 32 HRs and 140 RBIs. He was named to the 1938 AL All-Star team and was selected by “The Sporting News” for their 1938 MLB All-Star Team.

1941- Former Yankees Pitcher Rick Beck (1965) was born.

In 1962, the Yankees signed Rick Beck, as an MLB Amateur Free Agent. He was drafted by the Phillies from the Yankees organization in 1962 MLB 1st Year Player Draft. Rick had never appeared at the MLB level with the Phillies. On April 12,1965, Beck was purchased by the Yankees from the Phillies. He appeared in 3 games for the 1965 Yankees, while posting a 2-1 record with 2.14 ERA, before going into the Army for 2 years of active duty. Rick never returned to play pro baseball, after finishing his Army active-duty time.

1946- Former Yankees Reserve Catcher, Minor League Manager and MLB Manager Johnny Oates (1980-1981) was born. (1946-2004) 

Johnny Oates appeared in only 49 games, as a Reserve Catcher for the 1980-1981 Yankees, while hitting only .190. Oates quickly became a Minor League Manager in the Yankees organization, managing with the 1982 AA Nashville Sounds (SA) and with the 1983 AAA Columbus Clippers (IL). Then he was an MLB Coach for the 1984-1987 Cubs. He then managed the AAA Rochester Red Wings (IL) for a season in the Orioles organization in 1988, before moving up to become an MLB Orioles MLB Coach for the 1988-1991 AL seasons. Oates was named manager of the Orioles in May of 1991. From 1991 to 2001, he managed the team. Then he moved over to the Rangers (2000-2001). Seven of his 11 teams had played over .500, while he managed them.

1953- The BWAA passes over former Yankees AL All-Star CF Joe DiMaggio in his 1st year of Hall of Fame eligibility. The writers also elected former NL All-Star Pitcher Dizzy Dean and A’s Slugger OF Al Simmons to the Hall of Fame. Joe DiMaggio finishes 8th place in the 1953 BWAA voting. He will be elected to the Hall of Fame in 1955.

1959- Former MLB Pitcher and Yankees MLB Coach (1925) Hooks Wiltse passed away. (1879-1959)

Hooks Wiltse pitched a 12 seasons in the MLB, mostly for the Giants Manager John McGraw in the dead-ball era. He won 139 MLB career games. He appeared the World Series in 2 different years. In his 12-year MLB pitching career, Wiltse’s lifetime pitching ERA was 2.47. Hooks never had an ERA above 3.27. In 1925, he was an MLB Pitching Coach for the Yankees. His Brother Lewis “Snake” Wiltse had pitched for the 1903 Yankees.

1959- Former Yankee Minor League INF and MLB player Jose Uribe was born. (1959-2006)

In 1977, Yankees signed INF Jose Uribe, but he spent the season on the Disabled List. He was released by the Yankees organization that same year. Three years later, Jose was signed by the Cardinals. In 1985, he was traded by the Cardinals to the Giants, where played in until the 1992 NL season. In 1993, Jose finished his MLB playing career with the Astros. In 2006, Jose was killed in an auto accident, when he was thrown from his jeep, because he was not wearing his safety seat belt. Jose died from injuries from the jeep accident.

 1960- Former Yankees Pitcher Andy Hawkins (1989-1991) was born

After a MLB Free Agent signing with the Yankees, the former Padres Starter Andy Hawkins went 20-29 with a 5.21 ERA in 66 games for the team. Hawkins threw 8 innings of no-hit ball on July 1,1990 against the White Sox but he still lost the game by the score of 4-0. Although Hawkins allowed no hits, his Yankees fielders failed him by making 3 errors that allowed 4 unearned runs to score in the 8th inning. Since it was a road game, the White Sox did not bat in the bottom of the 9th. By only pitching 8 innings, it was deemed unofficial a year later when the definition changed. In his next start after the no-hitter on July 6th, Hawkins took a shutout into the 12th inning, but the Yankees had 10 hits and left 12 runners on base, 7 men in scoring position, over the 1st 11 innings. In the 12th inning, Hawkins let in 2 runs to lose the game by the score of 2-0. Twelve days after his "no-hitter", Andy was on the losing end of White Sox Starter Melido Perez’s 6-inning, rain-shortened "No-Hitter". On May 9,1991, Andy was released by the Yankees, after he had posted a 0-2 record with a 9.95 ERA in 4 games. On May 18,1991, he would be signed by the A’s, finishing out his MLB Pitching career with them. He went 4-4 with a 4.79 ERA in 15 games, before being released by the team in August. After his MLB playing career was over, Andy became a Minor League Pitching Coach for the Rangers organization.

1966 – Former Yankees Reliever Chris Hammond (2003) was born.

Veteran MLB Reliever Chris Hammond went 3-2 with a 2.83 ERA and 1 save in 62 games for the 2003 Yankees. On December 18, 2003, Chris was traded by the Yankees along with Cash to the A’s for 2 Minor League Players: P Eduardo Sierra and INF J.T. Stotts. Both Players received in the trade never appeared at the MLB level with the Yankees. 

 1969- The Yankees signed Pitcher Tom Buskey as an MLB Amateur Free Agent. He posted a 0-2 record with a 5.64 ERA and 2 saves in 12 games with the 1973-1974 Yankees. On April 26,1974, Tom was traded by the Yankees along with Pitchers Fred Beene, Steve Kline and Fritz Peterson to the Indians for 1B Chris Chambliss, P Richard “Dirt” Tidrow and veteran Reliever Cecil Upshaw. In 1998, Tom died from auto accident injuries in Harrisburg, Pa.

1971- No player receives 3/4 of the necessary votes to be elected into Baseball Hall of Fame, with Yankees Catcher Yogi Berra (242) and White Sox/Indians Starter Early Wynn (240) coming the closest in the voting. Yogi Berra and Early Wynn will be elected to the Hall of Fame in 1972.

1975- The Yankees released veteran Shortstop Gene “Stick” Michael. He had been the Yankees regular Shortstop from 1968-1974. The Yankees had obtained Gene Michael from the Dodgers in November of 1967 for Cash. Gene originally came up with the Pirates. He would finish his MLB playing career with the Tigers in 1975, hitting just .214 in 56 games. Michael’s Yankees playing career stats were a .233 BA with 12 HRs and 204 RBIs in 789 games. After his MLB playing career was over in 1975, he rejoined the Yankees organization becoming a Minor League Coach, eventually a Manager.

1980- Former Yankees Minor League INF J.T. Stotts was born.

On December 18, 2003, veteran Reliever Chris Hammond was traded by the Yankees along with Cash to A’s for 2 Minor League Players: INF J.T. Stotts and P Eduardo Sierra.  J. T. Stotts never appeared with the Yankees at the MLB level. Stotts batting production was down in 2004, while playing for the Class A Tampa Yankees (FSL), hitting only .233 in 36 games and the AA Trenton Thunder ((EL) hitting .233 in 54 games. In 2005, he hit only .211 as a utility man for the AA Thunder, also pitching 1 inning and allowing a run. He ended his Minor League playing career in 2006, hitting only .228 in 86 games for the Thunder and .241 in 22 games for the AAA Columbus Clippers (IL). He rejoined the A’s organization as an MLB Scout.

1983- The Yankees signed MLB Free Agent Pitcher Steve Comer. The Yankees will release him during their MLB Spring Training Camp in March of 1983.

1988- Former Yankees Pitcher Preston Claiborne (2013-2014) was born.

The Yankees selected Preston Claiborne in the 17th round of the 2010 MLB Amateur Player Draft. He had pitched in college at Tulane University. Claiborne split the summer of 2010 with the Class A Staten Island Yankees (1-2, 2 Saves, 2.28 ERA) and the Class A Tampa Yankees (0-1, 3.68 ERA in 5 games). He went 0-1 with a 2.25 ERA in the FSL Playoffs for Tampa. He spent all of 2011 with Tampa, going 3-7 with a 3.11 ERA and 5 saves in 38 games. He was 0-2 with a 3.00 ERA for the Phoenix Desert Dogs in the Arizona Fall League. In 2012, Preston was with the AA Trenton Thunder (2-2, with 5 Saves, 2.22 ERA in 30 Games) and the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees (4-0, 4.05 ERA, 1 save in 20 Games). He was 2nd in the Yankees chain in games pitched (50, behind Juan Cedeno). He opened 2013 season in AAA, where he had 3 saves and a 3.48 ERA in 8 games. He was then promoted by the Yankees to replace the injured P Joba Chamberlain. In his MLB Pitching debut for the Yankees on May 5, 2013, Claiborne relieved veteran starter Andy Pettitte in the top of the 6th inning with a 4-1 deficit against the A’s. He retired Luke Montz, Seth Smith and Michael Taylor in order. After the Yankees tied the game in the top of the 7th inning, Claiborne had another 1-2-3 inning, getting Adam Rosales, Derek Norris and Jed Lowrie. He was replaced by Reliever Boone Logan, who gave up the game-losing HR to negate his standout effort. He finished the season with the Yankees with a 0-2 record with a 4.11 ERA in 44 games. Preston Claiborne had his 1st MLB plate appearance on May 21, 2014 in the 13th inning of a tie game against the Cubs. He laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt against veteran Reliever Jose Veras, moving 2 Yankee runners along as they both came in to score, giving him credit for a 4-2 win. He finished the 2014 AL season with a 2-0 record with a 3.00 ERA in 18 games. On December 23, 2014, Preston was selected off waivers by the Marlins from the Yankees. He finished his Yankees Pitching career with a 3-2 record with a 3.79 ERA in 62 games.

1990- Former Yankees P Jose Ramirez (2015) was born.

José Ramírez joined the Yankees organization in 2008. He first made it to Triple-A in 2013, he returned there for the 2014 season. On May 18, 2014, the Yankees called him up from the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders to serve as insurance during a doubleheader under the 26th Man Rule, a special 1-day roster expansion that was negotiated into the revised Collective Bargaining Agreement of 2011 that allowed the addition of an extra player on the roster for twin bills. Ramírez was not used in either game and was returned to AAA. He returned to the Bronx, 3 weeks later and this allowed him to make his MLB Pitching debut on June 4th, when he pitched 2 innings in relief against the A’s, gave up a run and was charged with a loss. Ramírez has a power arm, having struck out 8.6 men for every 9 innings pitched in his Minor-League Pitching career. Although he was mainly a starter through 2013, the Yankees focused him on bullpen work starting in 2014. He was 0-2, 5.40 ERA in 8 relief appearances for the Yankees that year, working 10 innings. In the Minors, he went 3-0, 1.46 ERA in 9 games; he did not pitch before May and made his last appearance of the season on July 6th, as he struggled with various physical ailments. In 2015, José was healthy again, he made 32 appearances for AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (IL), going 3-0 with a 2.90 ERA and 10 saves. He was also called up to the Bronx, a couple of times, getting into 3 games with no record with an ERA of 15.00. On July 30th, he was traded to the Mariners along with OF Ramón Flores in return for MLB Utility player Dustin Ackley. Overall, his Yankees Pitching record was 0-2 with a 7.62 ERA in 11 games. 

1992- The Yankees signed MLB Free Agent C/DH/1B Mike Stanley. He had played for the Rangers. Mike would become the Yankees regular catcher, until the arrival of new Yankees Manager Joe Torre in winter of 1995. He was a switch-hitter, who had played in 426 games for the team, while hitting .285 with 72 HRs and 263 RBIs. Torre would let him go as an MLB Free Agent and bring in Joe Girardi to become the team regular catcher, despite being the weaker hitter; he was a better defensive catcher than Stanley. Mike will sign with the Red Sox. He would return to the Yankees in a trade with the Red Sox during the 1997 AL season.

1998- The Yankees signed veteran MLB Free Agent Catcher Phil Hiatt. He never plays for the Yankees. He will be cut during the 1998 Yankees MLB Spring Training camp.

2005- The Yankees signed 2 MLB Free Agents INF Damian Rolls and Pitcher Aaron Small. Minor League P Aaron Small will go 10-0 for the Yankees in 2005. Small’s overall Yankees Pitching career record will be 10-3 with a 4.60 ERA in 26 games before arm injuries force him to retire from MLB in 2006. Rolls will never play for the Yankees at the MLB level. He will spend the 2005 season playing for the AAA Columbus Clippers (IL). The Yankees will grant him MLB Free Agency in the fall.

2017- Former Yankees Pitcher Ken Wright (1974) passed away. (1944-2017)

Ken Wright was signed by the Red Sox out of high school. Wright pitched 6 seasons in the Boston Minor League organization. He won 12 games for the AA Pittsfield Red Sox (EL) in 1969. That fall, he was selected by the Kansas CityRoyals in the MLB Rule 5 Player Draft.  He played parts of 4 seasons in the MLB with the Royals. Following the 1973AL campaign, P Ken Wright and OF Lou Piniella were traded to the Yankees for veteran hurler Lindy McDaniel. After appearing in 3 games for the Yankees in 1974, he was dealt to the Phillies. He never pitched in the MLB again.

2019- The Yankees get rid of an unwanted member of their 2018 Pitching Starting staff by sending veteran Starter Sonny Gray to the Reds in return for Minor League INF Shed Long and a Compensation Round A Pick in the 2019 MLB Amateur Player Draft. The Yankees, then turn around and trade Long to the Mariners for OF Josh Stowers. For their part, the Reds immediately sign Gray to a 3-year contract extension worth $30.5 million. Stowers never appears with the Yankees at the MLB level.

January 22nd

1881- Former Yankees C/1B Ira Thomas (1906-1907) was born. (1881-1958)

On August 20,1905, C/1B Ira Thomas was purchased by the Yankees from AA Providence (Eastern League). Thomas appeared in 124 games with the 1906-1907  Yankees, while hitting just .195 with 1 HR and 39 RBIs. On December 12,1907, he was purchased by the Tigers from the team. After he retired from the game, Thomas coached at Williams College from 1914-1919. Later, he would become an MLB Coach and Chief MLB Scout for Connie Mack’s Philadelphia A’s.

1913- The Giants give the Yankees permission to use the Polo Grounds for the 1913 AL season only, as their lease on the Hilltop Park has expired, it will not be renewed by the Land owners of the site. The wooden ball park will be torn down in 1914 by the Land Owners. In 1928, the land site will become the new Columbia Presbyterian Hospital complex. The team will no longer be known as the "Highlanders" as a result of the move. The Yankees will remain as tenants at the Polo Grounds through 1922 AL season, then moving to the new Yankee Stadium in the Bronx in April of 1923.

1918- The Yankees traded Catcher Les Nunamaker, 3B Fritz Maisel, INF Joe Gedeon, Pitchers Nick Cullop and Urban Shocker to the St. Louis Browns in exchange for veteran Starter Eddie Plank and 2B Del Pratt. Eddie Plank, a 300-game winner, retires rather than pitch for the Yankees, but Del Pratt gives the Yankees 3 good seasons of services at 2B. Young hurler Urban Shocker is the gem of the trade for the Browns, posting 4 straight seasons of 20 or more wins with the team. INF Fritz Maisel, who the Yankees refused to trade in early 1916 for either Red Sox OF Tris Speaker (and Cash) or White Sox OF Shoeless Joe Jackson, will hit just .232 with No HRs and 16 RBIs in 90 games and be released by the Browns in 1918. He had stolen 183 bases for the 1913-1917 Yankees, while hitting .243 with 6 HRs and 132 RBIs in 509 games.  

1927- The Yankees released veteran MLB Reserve Catcher Hank Severeid. After playing for 15 seasons in the MLB, he had retired. After being obtained from the Washington Senators on July 22,1926, when Yankees Starting Catcher Pat Collins suffered an elbow injury. Hank will hit .268 with No HRs and 12 RBIs in 41 games for the Yankees. He appeared in the 1926 World Series with the team, being the starting Catcher in all 7 games of the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, hitting .273 with 0 HRs and 1 RBI.

1929- The Yankees announced that they would be putting numbers on the backs of their team uniforms, becoming the 1st baseball team to start continuous use of the numbers. The 1st numbers are based on positions in the Yankees batting order; thus, lead-off hitter OF Earl Combs will wear No. 1, OF Babe Ruth will wear No. 3 and 1B Lou Gehrig No. 4. In a few weeks, the Indians announce that they, too, will put numbers on their player uniforms. By 1931, all AL teams will use them. It will not be until 1933 before all NL team players are wearing numbered uniforms.

1943- The Yankees obtained 1B Nick Etten from the Phillies for 1B Ed Levy, Minor League P Al Gettel and Cash. Ed Levy had been the Yankees 1942 starting 1B, but hitting just .122 in his 1st 13 games of the season, lost his 1B starting job to 1B Buddy Hassett.  He would be sent to the AA Kansas City Blues (American Association) to regain his hitting stroke. With Hassett leaving the team to join the Navy, he had hope to reclaim the 1B job. Al Gettel pitched for the 1942 AA Blues, while posting a 12-11 record with a 3.62 ERA. Nick Etten will be the Yankees regular 1B for the next 3 AL seasons. Nick will lead the AL with 22 HRs in 1944. He will be an AL All-Star 1B in 1945. As a Yankees player, Nick Etten will hit .272 with 63 HRs and 358 RBIs in 568 games. He appeared in the 1943 World Series against the Cardinals, playing in 5 games, while hitting just .105 with No HRs and 2 RBIs. On April 14,1947, he was sent back to the Phillies, appearing in only 14 games, while hitting .244 with 1HR and 8 RBIs. On May 12,1947, the Phillies returned Nick to the Yankees. He spent the rest of 1947 season splitting playing time between the AA Newark Bears (IL) and the AA Oakland Oaks (PCL). Nick would play in the Minor Leagues until 1950, then he retired as an active player. A Month after the trade was made New Phillies Team Owner William D. Cox asked to have the deal restructured. The Phillies would send 1B Ed Levy and P Al Gettel back to the Yankees, in return they would receive veteran Catcher Tom Padden and P Al Gerheasuer, both players had been playing for the Yankees top 2 AA teams: Padden with the Newark Bears (IL) and Gerheasuer with the Kansas City Blues (AA)

1957- Former Yankees OF/INF Brian Dayett (1983-1984) was born.

Brian Dayett was selected by the Yankees in the 16th round (416th overall) in the 1978 MLB Amateur Player Draft. In 1978, Brian fielded just .902 as the 3B for the Class A Oneonta Yankees. He hit .309 though and stole 22 bases in 27 tries. Dayett's 20 doubles (in 68 games) tied for the league lead as well. His 63 RBIs were a club record for 20 years until Brian August broke the mark. In 1979, Brian batted .256 for the AA West Haven Yankees. In 1980, Dayett bounced around the Yankees farm system. His lines were .438 with the Alexandria Dukes (13 games), .247 with the Ft. Lauderdale Yankees (52 games) and .210 with the AA Nashville Sounds (35 games). He remained in Nashville for a couple seasons. For the 1981 Sounds, he batted .269 with 18 HRs. The next season, he smacked 34 HRs, while he drove in 96 runs, while posting a .280 average. He won the Southern League MVP Award that year. Brian had his best AAA season in his 1st season there. At age 26, when many players are peaking, he put up a .288 BA for the Columbus Clippers. He led the International League in HRs (35), RBIs (108) and total bases. Dayett scored 105 runs; he tied for 3rd in the IL with 28 doubles. Along with Otis Nixon and Komminsk, he was an IL All-Star Outfielder. He tied Bob Bailey's 21-year-old Columbus record for RBIs and set a franchise record in HRs, topping Bob Robertson's 14-year-old mark by 1. He made his MLB Player debut with the Yankees on September 11,1983 at the age of 26, appearing as a Pinch-Hitter for OF Omar Moreno. He collected a hit in his 1st MLB at-bat. He ended up hitting .207 in his rookie season with no HRs in 11 games. His MLB BA’s went up, as he got older. He broke in hitting .207, hit around .240 in his next couple years, and then he hit .269 and in his last season, he hit .277. In 1984, Dayett started the season back with Columbus, as Dave Winfield, Omar Moreno and Ken Griffey Sr., who were all MLB veterans, who held down the Yankees starting Outfield spots. Brian batted a solid .301 in 45 games for Clippers, leading to his return to the Yankees in mid-June. There, he served as a backup for veteran Steve Kemp, often replacing Kemp in the later innings as a fresh set of legs. Brian batted .244 for the 1984 Yankees for a respectable 95 OPS+. Brian hit .276 in 75 games for the team before being traded on December 4,1984, along with P Ray Fontenot to the Cubs for Pitchers Porfi Altamirano, Rich Bordi, OF Henry Cotto and C/1B Ron Hassey. Brian leaves the Bronx Bombers with a .237 BA with 4 HRs and 28 RBIs in 75 games. On October 28,1987 Brian was purchased by the Nippon Ham Fighters (Japan Pacific League) from the Cubs. From 1988 to 1991, Brian would play pro baseball in Japan, hitting .268 with 21 HRs in 132 games. Later, he would become a Minor League Coach and Manager.

1976- MLB Pitchers Robin Roberts and Bob Lemon are voted into the Hall of Fame by the BWAA. Roberts led the NL in starts and innings pitched for 5 straight seasons and was tops in victories for 4 consecutive years on his way to 286 MLB career wins. After the 1961 NL season, the Yankees purchased Robin Roberts from the Phillies for $100,000. The Yankees at the end of their 1962 MLB spring training camp released Robin Roberts. He would be picked-up by the Orioles. Bob Lemon earned 20 victories in a season- 6 times and won 207 MLB career games for the Indians. He was an Outfielder, who was converted into a Pitcher. Lemon had become an MLB manager, who would manage the Royals, White Sox and the Yankees during the 1970s. His 1978 Yankees team made a 14½ game comeback against the Red Sox to win the 1978 AL flag and 1978 World Championship.

1982- MLB Free Agent All-Star OF/DH Reggie Jackson signs a 4-year, nearly 4-million-dollar contract with the California Angels, ending his 5-MLB seasons roller coaster ride with the Yankees and Team Owner George Steinbrenner. As a Yankees player, Reggie appeared in 653 games, while hitting .281 with 144 HRs and 461 RBIs. He named the 1977 World Series MVP Winner, becoming know as "Mr. October."

1996- The Yankees All-Star 1B Don Mattingly, officially announces his MLB retirement at a media conference held at Yankee Stadium. Don had played 14 seasons for the Yankees (1982-1995). He appeared in 1,785 games, while hitting .307 with 222 HRs and 1,099 RBIs. He had won 9 AL Golden Gloves for 1st  Basemen. Also, Don was named to the AL All Star team 6 times. Also, he won 3 AL Silver Slugger Awards for 1B. In 1984, he won the AL Batting Title with a .343 mark beating out his Yankees teammate Dave Winfield. In 1985, Mattingly won the MLB Player of the Year Award and the AL MVP Award. In 1993, Don won the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award. In his only Yankee post-season appearance against the Mariners in the 1995 ALDS, he appeared in 5 games, while hitting .417 with 1 HR and 6 RBIs.

2002- The Yankees signed MLB Free Agent Pitcher Jay Tessmer. He will appear in 2 games with no record for the 2002 Yankees. The Yankees in the 19th round of the 1995 MLB Amateur Player Draft had selected Jay Tessmer. He went 1-0 in 20 games for the Yankees (1998-2000). On January 3, 2001, Jay was traded by the Yankees along with Minor League INF Seth Taylor to the Rockies for P David Lee. Jay was a successful Bullpen Closer at AAA Columbus (IL), but he could never repeat that success at the MLB level for the Yankees.

2009- Former Yankees INF Billy Werber (1930,1933) passed away at the age of 100; he was the oldest living ex-MLB Player. (1908-2009)

Billy Werberwas the last living MLB teammate of Babe Ruth.  Known for his good defensive range, 3B Bill Werber had an 11-year playing career in the MLB, leading the AL in stolen bases 3 times. Werber had attended Duke University, where he was an All-American Basketball player. Catching the attention of Paul Krichell, the legendary MLB Scout for the Yankees. In the spring of 1927, after Werber’s freshman year, the Yankees signed him to a handshake deal, with a 5-figure bonus and a promise to finance the rest of his college education. The deal was to be kept secret so that Werber could continue to play college Basketball and Baseball, and it was, even after the agreement was put in writing on May 24,1928. Werber even spent 2 weeks attempting to work out with the Yankees in 1927 or 1928. “Attempting” because the veteran, hard-boiled Yankees would not let him in the batting cage or even allow him to take groundballs in the infield or fly balls in the outfield during fielding practice. He soon took his leave to play for a semipro team in Newton, North Carolina. After Werber  had graduated from Duke in June 1930, he reported directly to the Yankees, just as promised in his handshake agreement made in 1927. He was sent to the Class A Albany Senators (EL), where he hit .339 in 84 games. In 1931, Billy played at the AA level with the Toledo Mud Hens (AA) and the Newark Bears (IL). The 1932, he played for the AA Buffalo Bisons (IL). He did play for the Yankees briefly during the 1930 and 1933 AL seasons. He appeared in only 7 games for the Yankees, while hitting .250 with No HRs and 2 RBIs. On May 12,1933, INF Billy Werber and veteran P George Pipgras were sold by the Yankees to the Red Sox for $20,000. With the Red Sox, he became a regular 3B for the team. While playing with the Reds, Werber became the 1st player to bat in the 1st televised MLB game; a contest against the Dodgers on August 26,1939. The next season, he batted leadoff for the Reds, hitting .370 in the 1940 World Series. At the end of his MLB playing career, he also played for the Giants in 1942. Bill Werber had a lifetime MLB BA of .271 with 78 HRs and 539 RBIs in 1,295 games. He had played for the Yankees, Red Sox, A’s, Reds and the Giants. He was a member of the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame. Retiring from the MLB, he ran a very successful insurance business.

2014Japanese Baseball Star Pitcher Masahiro Tanaka reaches a 7-year $155 Million deal with the Yankees. Tanaka is fresh off one of the best seasons in Japan’s Pacific League history (24-0 record with a 1.27 ERA). He will go 13-5 with 2.77 ERA in 20 games for the 2014 Yankees, being selected to the AL All-Star team, before an arm injury ends his 2014 MLB season.

2019- Former Yankees Closer Mariano Rivera becomes the 1st unanimous inductee in the Hall of Fame, being named on all 425 ballots cast by members of the BBWAA in the 2019 Hall of Fame Election. Joining him are fellow Pitchers Roy Halladay, who becomes a posthumous 1st-ballot Hall of Famer and former Yankees Teammate Starter Mike Mussina and DH/3B Edgar Martinez, the latter in his 10th and final year of eligibility.

2020- The Yankees signed 2 MLB Free Agent Relievers Tyler Lyons and Luis Avian to Minor League player contracts with 2020 MLB Spring Training Camp Invitations. Veteran MLB Reliever Tyler Lyons had started the 2019 NL season with the Pirates, posting a 1-1 record with a 3.25 ERA in 3 games. The Pirates released him on August 8, 2019. The Yankees signed him as an MLB Free Agent on August 15, 2019.  He appeared in 11 games for the team, while posting a 0-1 record with 4.15 ERA working out of the Yankees bullpen. Luis Avian had pitched for the 2019 Mets, working out of their bullpen, while recording an 4-0 record with a 5.06 ERA in 45 games.  

January 23rd

1890- Former Yankees Reserve OF Ed Barney (1915) was born. (1890-1967)

On July 20,1915, Reserve OF Ed Barney was purchased by the Yankees from AA Jersey City Skeeters (IL). He appeared in 11 games, while hitting only .194 for the 1915 Yankees. On August 19,1915, Ed was selected off waivers by the Pirates from the Yankees.

1903- Former Yankees INF and Minor League Manager Jack Saltzgaver (1932-1937) was born. (1903-1978)

Otto Hamlin "Jack" Saltzgaver played 6 seasons in the MLB, mostly for the Yankees during one of their most dominant periods. He played Minor League baseball for many years before coming to the MLB. Appearing 1st in the outfield and then as a 2B. He played for Ottumwa, Oklahoma City, St. Paul Saints and the Newark Bears during 1925-1934 Minor League seasons. On June 27,1931, Jack was traded by the AA St. Paul Saints (American Association) along with P Johnny Murphy, Cash and 2 Players to be Named Later to the Yankees for a Player to be Named Later. The  Yankees would send OF Jimmie Reese on November 12, 1931 to St. Paul to complete the trade. Jack made his MLB Player debut with the 1932 Yankees, appearing in 20 games, playing 2B. He came back in 1934 to be the Yankees regular 3B, appearing in 94 games. He continued to play some 3B during the 1935-1936 seasons, but he was in his 30's, while 3B Red Rolfe was much younger. Also, Jack played some 2B and 1B. In 1937, he appeared in 17 games, his only time in the field was in 4 games at 1B. Then he spent the 1938-1945 seasons in the Minor Leagues with the Yankees AA team, the Kansas City Blues (American Association), hitting as high as .348 at age 41 in 1944. Also, Jack managed the Blues as well that season, finishing in 8thplace. He came back to the MLB for 52 games with the 1945 Pirates, hitting quite well, batting .325. At age 42, he was the oldest player on the team. Also, he would manage several seasons in the Minor Leagues with the Phillies organization at Wilmington (1946-1947) and with the Tigers organization at Little Rock (1948-1950).

1916- Former Yankees 1B Johnny Sturm (1941) was born. (1916-2004)

In 1941, Johnny Sturm made his MLB player debut with the Yankees, hitting .239 as the club's regular 1B. In the 1941 World Series, he got a hit in each of the 5 games played. After that season, he enlisted in the Army and served in World War II. During his time in the military, he lost the tip of his right index finger in a tractor accident. Sturm tried to make a comeback with the Yankees in 1946, but a broken wrist ended his attempt, before he played in a game. After his playing days ended, he was a Yankees Minor League Manager, who was largely responsible for discovering Mickey Mantle, when he gave the young player a tryout. Also, he spent time as an MLB Scout. 

1918- Former Yankees Pitcher and Minor League Manager, MLB Scout Randy Gumpert (1946-1948) was born. (1918-2008)

During July of 1939, hurler Randy Gumpert was sent from the A’s to the Yankees in an unknown transaction. Randy spent the 1943-1945 seasons serving in the Coast Guard. Randy went 16-4 in 72 games with 1 save with the Yankees. His best Yankees season was in 1946, when he posted an 11-3 record with a 2.32 ERA. On July 25,1948, Randy was purchased by the White Sox from the Yankees. In 1951,  while pitching for the White Sox, he gave up Mickey Mantle's 1st MLB HR on May 1st at Comiskey Park in Chicago. It was a 450 FT shot into the visitor’s bullpen. Gumpert won a career high of 13 games for the 6th place White Sox in 1949. He wound down his pitching days with the Red Sox and the Senators in 1952 for an MLB Pitching career record of 51-59 with a 4.17 ERA. In his post-playing career, Randy Gumpert managed in the Yankees Minor League Organization. He managed the 1956 Bradford Yankees, 1957-1958 Kearney Yankees and the 1960 St. Petersburg Saints. Also, he served as a Yankees MLB Scout for 20 years. He was a Scouting Supervisor for the Major League Scouting Bureau for several years before retiring.

1923- Former Yankees MLB Pitching Coach Cot Deal (1965) was born.

Cot Deal was the MLB Pitching Coach for Yankees Manager Johnny Keane in 1965. Cot Deal pitched 4 seasons in the MLB with the Red Sox and Cardinals, while posting a 3-4 record in 33 games. Also, he had pitched for 8 seasons with the AAA Rochester Red Wings (IL), winning 61 games during that time. He went on to manage the club for a time before becoming an MLB Coach. Deal was a member of the Reds MLB Coaching staff in 1959-1960 before spending 1961 as the Skipper of the AAA Indianapolis Indians (American Association). He was an MLB Coach with the expansion Houston Colt .45s from 1962-1964. After leaving the Yankees in 1965, he began a 2-season stint with the Oakland A’s. In 1970-1971, Deal was a member of the Indians MLB Coaching staff. He spent the 1973-1974 seasons with the Tigers. His last MLB Coaching position was with the 1983-1985 Astros.

1936- Former Yankees Reliever Don Nottebart (1969) was born. (1936-2007)

On October 21,1968, veteran Reliever Don Nottebart was purchased conditionally by the Yankees from the Reds. He appeared in only 4 games for the 1969 Yankees with no record, before being returned to the Reds on April 26,1969. Don had pitched against the Yankees, as a member of the Milwaukee Braves bullpen in the 1957-1958 World Series. In 1963, he won 11 games and pitched a No-Hitter for the Houston Colt 45s.

1951- Former Yankees  OF Charley Spikes (1972) was born.

Outfielder Charley Spikes was selected by the Yankees in the 1st round (11th pick) of the 1969 MLB Amateur Player Draft. In 1972, he received a September call up from the Yankees, after hitting .309 for their AA club, the West Heaven Yankees (EL). Charlie appeared in only 12 games with the 1972 Yankees, hitting just .147 before being sent to Indians that winter as part of the Yankees player package in the Graig Nettles trade. The Tribe insisted that if the Yankees wanted Nettles that Spikes had to be in the Yankees trade offer. He never was able to take full advantage of his baseball skills that were projected by the Yankee Scouts Atley Donald and Tom Greenwade. He had the HR power, but his strikeout rate was too high, resulting in low BA’s. He would play for the Yankees, Indians, Tigers and the Braves, where he was a successful reserve player for 2 seasons. In 1981, Spikes retired from pro baseball due to knee injuries. He had been playing for the 1981 Chunichi Dragons (JPL) appearing only in 22 games, while hitting just .122 with 1 HR and 6 RBIs, when he reinjured his knees again and retired as an active player.

1957- Former Yankees Pitcher Alfonso Pulido (1986) was born.

On December 20,1984, P Alfonso Pulido was traded by the Pirates along with INF Dale Berra and Minor League Class A OF Jay Buhner to the Yankees for INF Tim Foli, OF Steve Kemp and Cash. Alfonso appeared in only 10 games for the 1985 Yankees, while posting a 1-1 record with a 4.70 ERA and 1 save. He would pitch for the 1986-1987 AAA Columbus Clippers (IL). In 1988, he would pitch for the Mexico City Reds for 1 season before retiring from the game.

1970- Former Yankees Reliever Alan Embree (2005) was born.

After being released by the Red Sox, Yankees signed veteran Reliever Alan Embree. He went 1-1 with a 7.53 ERA in 24 games while working out of the 2005 Yankees bullpen. The Yankees would grant him MLB Free Agency. Alan would be signed by the Padres.

1970- Former Yankees Minor League OF Sherman Obando was born.

The Yankees signed OF Sherman Obando as an MLB Amateur Free Agent in 1987. He never appeared with the Yankees at the MLB level. On December 7,1992, he was drafted by the Orioles from the Yankees organization in the 1992 MLB Rule 5 Player Draft. While playing for the 1999-2005 Nippon Ham Fighters (JPL) in Japan, he hit 102 HRs. Then he rejoined the Yankees Minor League organization. In 2009, Sherman began his 1st season with the Class A Charleston River Dogs (SAL) in the Yankees organization as their 1B Coach.

1970- Former Yankees Pitcher Mark Wohlers (2001) was born.

On July 1, 2001, veteran Reliever Mark Wohlers was traded by the Reds to the Yankees for Minor League P Ricardo Aramboles. He went 1-0 with a 4.54 ERA in 31 games for the 2001 Yankees. On November 1, 2001, the Yankees granted him MLB Free Agency. He would be signed by the Indians.

1976- The Yankees traded Minor League P Gerry Pirtle to the Cubs for C Rick Stelmaszek. Neither player appeared with the Yankees at the MLB level. Gerry Pirtle was drafted by the Yankees in the 7th round of the 1967 MLB June Draft-Secondary Phase from Bacone College (Muskogee, OK). In 1975, he had pitched for the AAA Syracuse Chiefs (IL) as a Reliever; posting a 7-3 record with a 2.70 ERA and 8 saves in 61 games.  Catcher Rick Stelmaszek had appeared in 60 MLB games with the Senators, Rangers, Angels and the Cubs, hitting just .170 with 1 HR and 10 RBIs. He would spend the 1976 season with the AAA Syracuse Chiefs (IL), appearing in 74 games, while hitting .220 with 2 HRs and 23 RBIs. The Yankees would grant him MLB Free Agency.

1982- Former Yankees Minor League OF Wily Mo Pena was born.

On April 5,1999, OF Wily Mo Pena was signed as an MLB Free Agent by the Yankees. Wily never appeared with the Yankees at the MLB level. He only played in the Yankees Minor League system for 2 seasons. On March 21, 2001, he was traded by the Yankees to the Reds for Minor League INF Drew Henson and Reserve OF Michael Coleman. He played in the MLB with the Reds, Red Sox, Nationals, Mariners and the Diamondbacks. From 2011-2017, he played pro baseball in Japan.

1983- Former Yankees Minor League P Cookie Cuccurullo passed away. (1918-1983)

On October 24, 1946, P Cookie Cuccurullo was traded by the Pirates to the Yankees for veteran AL All-Star Starter Tiny Bonham. Cookie had gone 3-5 with a 4.55 ERA with 5 saves in 62 games for the 1942-1945 Pirates. The Yankees would assign him to their AA club, the Newark Bears (IL). He never appeared in the MLB with the Yankees. In 1948, he pitched for the Yankees AA club, the Oakland Oaks (PCL) before leaving the Yankees organization at the end of the 1948 PCL season.

1989- Former MLB player and Yankees Minor League Manager George Case (1969-1972) passed away. (1915-1989)

Outfielder George Case spent most of his MLB playing career with the Senators. He led the AL in stolen bases 6 times during his MLB playing career. George played for the Senators (1937-1945,1947) and the Indians (1946).  He also had batting averages in the top 10 during the wartime MLB seasons. He finished his MLB playing career with a .288 BA. In 1946, his speed was matched up against that of Jesse Owens in a race. Both were perhaps a bit past their prime at the time. Owens beat Case by a small margin. After his MLB playing days ended, he coached College Baseball at Rutgers University from 1950-1960. He was a Senators MLB Coach from 1961 to 1963. From 1965 to 1967, George managed in the Senators organization. He was a member of the Twins MLB Coaching staff in 1968, as their 1B Coach. From 1969-1972, George Case managed in the Yankees Minor League organization with the Class A Oneonta Yankees (New York-Penn League). He finished 1st twice in 1969 and 1971 winning the League Championship. In 1970 and 1972 seasons, he finished in 2nd place.

2005- The Yankees signed Veteran MLB Free Agent INF Rey Sanchez. On August 16, 1997, Rey was traded by the Cubs to the Yankees for Minor League P Frisco Parotte. He appeared in 38 games for the 1997 Yankees, while hitting .312 with 1 HR and 15 RBIs. He left the team for MLB Free Agency, signing with the Giants. He will appear in only 23 games for the 2005 Yankees due to injuries, hitting .279 with No HRs and 2 RBIs for the club. He was granted MLB Free Agency by the Yankees.

2012- The Yankees acquired AL All-Star Pitcher Michael Pineda and 19-year-old Minor-League P Jose Campos from the Mariners for C/DH Jesus Montero and P Hector Noesi. Pineda went 9-10 for the 2011 Mariners. He was named to the 2011 AL All-Star Pitching staff.  Catcher/DH Jesus Montero had appeared in 18 games for the Yankees, while hitting .328 with 4 HRs and 12 RBIs. Hector Noesi had appeared in 30 games with the Yankees, while posting a 2-2 record with a 4.47 ERA. Also, Jose Campos had arm problems, while pitching in the Mariners Minor League system during the 2012 season.

2016- Former Yankees OF/DH Walt “No Neck “Williams passed away. (1943-2016)

Originally signed by the Houston Colt .45's, Walt Williams reached the MLB with the club early in the 1964 NL season before being claimed off waivers by the Cardinals. In the St. Louis system, he hit .330 in both 1965 and 1966 to capture batting titlesin the Texas League and Pacific Coast League in back-to-back seasons. Following the 1966 NL season, he was traded to the White Sox along with Don Dennis for veteran Catcher Johnny Romano. Williams saw playing time as a backup outfielder for the 1967-1968 Sox before taking over as the team's regular RF spot in 1969. He hit .304 in his 1st season as a White Sox regular. Walt became the 1st Sox player in 5 seasons to hit over .300. After 6 seasons with the Sox, Williams was traded to the Indians for INF Eddie Leon following the 1972 AL season. With the Tribe, he broke up a no-hitter by White Sox P Stan Bahnsen with 2 outs in the 9th on August 21, 1973. On March 19, 1974, Walt was traded as part of a 3-team trade by the Indians along with Richard Sawyer to the Yankees. The  Yankees sent C Jerry Moses to the Tigers. The Indians sent P Ed Farmer to the Yankees. Detroit sent P Jim Perry to the Tribe. Walt played in 125 games for the Bronx Bombers, while hitting .244 with 5 HRs and 19 RBIs as a Reserve player. On January 27,1976, he was released by the Yankees. Yankees Team Owner George Steinbrenner helped Walt get a pro baseball contract in Japan. He played 2 seasons with the Nippon Hamfighters (JPL). From 1978 to 1979, he played in the Mexico Baseball Leagues. After his active playing days, Williams was an MLB Coach for the 1988 White Sox and the AAA 1990 Tulsa Drillers. He managed the 1992 Gastonia Rangers, 1993 Charleston Rainbows and 1994 Charleston RiverDogs in the Rangers Minor League organization. In 1989, Williams played for the St. Lucie Legends (Senior Professional Baseball Association). He hit .257 in 11 games with the club. 



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