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This Week in Yankees History January 31st-February 6th
8 months ago  ::  Jan 31, 2021 - 2:35PM #1
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This Week in Yankees History January 31st-February 6th Part One

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January 31st

1891- Former Yankees OF Tim Hendryx (1915-1917) was born. (1891-1957)

On August 17,1915 the Yankees purchase OF Tim Hendryx from the New Orleans Pelicans (Southern Association). He was a good defensive outfielder and a strictly line-drive hitter. In 1911, he had entered the MLB with the 1911-1912 Indians. For the 1915-1917 Yankees, Tim hit .251 with 5 HRs and 50 RBIs in 153 games. During the 1917 AL season for the Yankees, he recorded 215 outs and 17 assists in a while appearing in an MLB career-high of 125 games, while hitting .249 with 5 HRs and 44 RBIs. On March 18,1918, Tim was traded as part of a 3-team deal by the Yankees to the Browns. The Reds sent a Player to be Named Later to the Yankees. The Browns sent veteran OF Lee Magee to the Reds, who would in return send Catcher Tommy Clarke on April 25,1918 to the Yankees to complete the trade. Tom would finish out his MLB playing career with the 1920-1921 Red Sox. 

1893- Former Yankees Reserve 1B George “Tigoa” Burns (1928-1929) was born. (1893-1966)

On September 17,1928, the Yankees had purchased veteran 1B George Burns from the Indians. He would only report to the team after Manager Miller Huggins had told what his team player status would be for the 1929 AL season. He told him that he would be the team’s Reserve 1B for the 1929 Yankees, backing up 1B Lou Gehrig. He appeared in 13 games for the 1928-1929 Yankees going 2 for 13, hitting just .154 with No HRs and RBIs before being sent to the A’s in June of 1929. In 1926, George Burns had won the AL MVP Award, while hitting .358 with 4 HRs and 115 RBIs in 151 games, while playing for the Tribe. He originally came up with the Tigers in 1915 as their regular 1B, allowing the Tigers to sell Rookie 1B Wally Pipp to the Yankees. On March 7,1918, the Yankees had obtained George from the Tigers for Cash; then immediately traded him to the A’s for veteran OF Bing Bodie. The A’s would only trade Bodie to the Yankees, if they could send them a 1B, that’s is why the Yankees made the cash deal with the Tigers. George would play in the MLB for 16 seasons finishing with a lifetime .307 BA, while hitting 72 HRs and 954 RBIs in 1,866 games. He had played for the Tigers, A’s (twice), Indians (Twice), Red Sox and the Yankees during his long MLB playing career.

1895- Former Yankees Minor League Manager Jimmy Zinn (1937) was born. (1895-1991)

Pitcher Jimmy Zinn is the father of Jimmy Zinn Jr., a Minor League player from 1947-1953. Jimmy Zinn pitched professionally from 1915 to 1939. He appeared in the MLB with the 1919 A’s, 1920-1922 Pirates and the 1929 Indians. His final MLB Pitching totals was a 13-16 record with a 4.30 ERA and 6 saves in 66 games. He posted a Minor League Pitching record of 288-191 with a 3.52 ERA in 578 games. In July of 1952, Zinn was the 1st player named to the Kansas City Blues' Hall of Fame. He had pitched for the 1922-1928 AA Blues before they became a Yankees AA Farm team. Zinn spent 13 seasons pitching at the AA level. Later, Jim was Minor League Manager with the 1937 Yankees Minor League team, the El Paso Texans in the AZ-TX League. Later, he managed teams for the Tigers, Braves and the Senators Organizations.

1900- Former Yankees Reserve C John “Honey” Barnes (1926) was born. (1900-1981)

Reserve Catcher John “Honey” Barnes appeared in 1 game with the 1926 Yankees with 1 at bat, while drawing a walk. In 1926, while playing in his 1st pro baseball season for the AA Buffalo Bisons (IL); John appeared in 42 games as a Catcher, while hitting .282. He had played college baseball, while attending Colgate University. He would spend the 1926-1929 baseball seasons, playing in the Minor Leagues with the AA Buffalo Bisons (IL).  In 1930, he spent with the season with the AA Louisville Colonels (AA) before retiring from baseball at the age of 30.

1929- Former Yankees Pitcher Duke Maas (1958-1961) was born. (1929-1976)

Before the start of the 1949 AL season, the Tigers signed P Duke Maas as an MLB Amateur Player. In 1955, Duke came up to the Tigers. He pitched for Detroit from 1955-1957, while posting a 15-27 record with a 4.22 ERA and 6 saves in 89 games. Then he was traded to the A’s, where he went 4-5 with 3.90 ERA and 1 save in 10 games for the team. On June 15,1958, Duke was traded by the A’s along with veteran Starter Virgil Trucks to the Yankees for veteran Reliever Bob Grim and OF/1B Harry “Suitcase” Simpson. His best Yankees Pitching season was in 1959; when he posted a 14-8 mark with a 4.43 ERA and 4 saves in 38 games. He appeared in 2 World Series with the Yankees in 1958 (Braves) and 1960 (Pirates) having no decisions. Overall, Duke would go 26-12 with a 4.21 ERA and 8 saves in 96 games with the 1958-1961 Yankees. In 1960, he went 5-1 with a 4.09 ERA and 4 saves in 35 games for the Yankees, being used mostly as a Reliever. In December of 1960, the Yankees lost him to the new LA Angels team for $75,000 Cash in the 1960 AL Expansion Team Player Draft. He didn’t make any pitching appearance with the 1961 Angels. On April 4,1961, Duke was traded by the Angels back to the Yankees for Reserve INF Fritz Brickell, who the Angels wanted to use as a starting Shortstop. Duke would only pitch in 1-game for the 1961 Yankees before arm problems shut him down for the season. It would eventually would cost him his MLB Pitching career, despite having surgery and making several come-back attempts in the Yankees Minor League system. Overall, as an MLB hurler, Duke Maas posted a 45-44 record with a 4.19 ERA and 15 saves in 195 games for the Tigers, A’s and the Yankees.

1953- The Yankees, Indians and the Red Sox retaliate at St. Louis Browns Team Owner Bill Veeck, forcing the Browns to play afternoon games to avoid sharing TV revenues. Veeck takes his plan to the AL Office to make them pay. The AL Office rejects his plan. Eventually Bill Veeck will sell the St. Louis Browns to new Team Owners, who will move the team to Baltimore to become the Orioles in 1954.

1958- Former Yankees INF Rafael Santana (1988-1989) was born.

On December 11,1987, veteran MLB Shortstop Rafael Santana was traded by the Mets along with Minor League P Victor Garcia to the Yankees for 3 Minor League Players: OF Darren Reed, Catcher Phil Lombardi and P Steve Frey. Rafael will hit .240 in 148 games for the Yankees in 1988, before going down with right arm elbow injury in their 1998 MLB Spring Training Camp. The Yankees would later release him in August of 1989. Victor Garcia, who was a 1985 14th Round pick by the Mets, never appeared with the Yankees at the MLB level. Darren Reed had hit .319 in 107 games with the AA Albany Yankees (EL). Also, he hit .329 in 21 games with the AAA Columbus Clippers (IL). Reserve Catcher Phil Lombardi had appeared in 25 games with the 1986-1987 Yankees with 11 hits in 44 at-bats. Hurler Steve Frey had split the 1987 Minor League season with AA Albany Yankees (EL) and the AAA Columbus Clippers (IL), while posting a 2-3 record with a 2.63 ERA in 37 games.

1963- Former MLB player, Manager and Yankees Minor League Manager Oscar Vitt passed away. (1890-1963) 

Oscar Vitt played in the MLB from 1912-1921 with the Tigers and the Red Sox. He was mainly a 3B and 2B, but also, he played some outfield. He was a mediocre hitter, hitting only .238 for his MLB playing career, but he was tough to strike out and did have good speed, as witnessed by high totals of triples - he hit 13 in 1915 and 12 in 1916 - and stolen bases (a career-high of 26 in 1915, and 3 other seasons with more than 15. However, he only hit 4 HRs for his entire MLB playing career. He was 3rd in the AL in runs scored in 1915, when he was the Tigers' starting 3B and 2nd-place hitter; he also led the AL with 42 sacrifice hits that season. In the 1930’s, he became a successful Minor League Manager in the PCL with the AA Hollywood Stars and the AA Oakland Oaks. In 1935, he joined the Yankees organization, managing the AA Oakland Oaks to a 3rd place finish in the PCL. Next season, he was the Manager of the AA Newark Bears (IL) in the 1936-1937; when they were the top farm club of the Yankees. Oscar fielded one of the best Minor League teams ever seen in 1937, posting a 109-43 record and winning the 1937 International League Championship. His success with the 1937 AA Newark Bears lead to an MLB Manager’s job with the Indians, which he held from 1938-1940. After being let go by the Indians, he returned to manage in the PCL with the AA Hollywood Stars for the 1941-1942 seasons.

1971- The Special Veteran’s Committee selects 7 men for enshrinement in the Hall of Fame: Former Players Jake Beckley, Joe Kelley, Harry Hooper, Rube Marquard, Chick Hafey and Dave Bancroft, as well as long-time MLB Baseball Executive George Weiss, who was the Yankees GM (1948-1960). Also, he ran the Yankees Minor League system under Yankees GM Edward Barrow during the 1930-1940’s. In 1961, he was named the 1st President and GM for the NL Expansion Team, the New York Mets. Weiss brought over many former Yankees front office employees to the new Mets organization, including the Mets 1st Manager Casey Stengel.

1977- Former Indians and Yankees INF Joe Sewell, MLB hurler Amos Rusie and MLB Catcher and Manager Al Lopez are elected to the Baseball’s Hall of Fame by the Special Veteran’s Committee. Joe Sewell had batted .312 over 14 seasons with the Indians and Yankees. He only struck out 113 times during his MLB playing career. Amos Rusie had won 246 games in over 9 MLB seasons from 1889 to 1898. As an MLB Catcher Al Lopez won 4 fielding titles in 19 years as player, but it was his .584 winning percentage in 17 seasons as an MLB Manager is what got him into Cooperstown. He was the only Manager to win AL pennants with the 1954 Indians and the 1959 White Sox during Manager Casey Stengel’s Yankees Dynasty run of 1949-1960.

1981- Former Yankees Reserve Shortstop John Dowd (1912) passed away. (1891-1981)

On July 2,1912, Shortstop John Dowd was purchased by the Yankees from Brockton Shoemakers (New England). He appeared in only 10 games for the team, while hitting only .194 with 1 double and No HRs or RBIs. He had been a college baseball player at the University of Vermont from 1910-1912. The regular shortstop for the 1912 Highlanders was Jack Martin, also a rookie player, who was not in the majors the following season. He would return to the Minor Leagues playing until the 1921 season and retiring from baseball at the age of 30.

1987- Former Yankees Reserve OF Melky Mesa (2012-2013) was born.

The Yankees signed OF Melky Mesa in 2003. He spent 2004-2005 seasons playing in the Dominican Summer League. He hit a pitiful .146 with 67 strikeouts in 144 at-bats for the 2004 DSL Yankees then was just 7 for 23 with 3 walks, 2 doubles and 2 HRs for the 2005 DSL Yankees 1. He then came to the U.S. playing 2 seasons with the GCL Yankees, again following a weak 1st year (.207) with a stronger 2nd one hitting .235, albeit with 55 K in 153 AB and 8 errors. Moving on to the Staten Island Yankees in 2008, he led the club with 7 HRs but he provided little other help; his batting line was .221 with just 4 walks in 46 games. He was then a South Atlantic League All-Star the following year with the Class A Charleston RiverDogs, hitting .225 with 20 HRs. His overall production was picking up as he also had 7 triples, 76 runs, 74 RBIs and 18 steals (in 24 tries) as well as 19 outfield assists. He was tied for 4th in the SAL in HRs and 5th in runs. He was named the SAL utility All-Star outfielder. Baseball America said he was the fastest base runner, the best athlete, that he had the best outfield arm in the Yankees chain. They listed him as the League's #20 prospect. Mesa remained a prospect with the 2010 Class A Tampa Yankees, hitting .260 with 9 triples, 19 HRs, 31 stolen bases in 40 tries, 81 runs and 74 RBIs. He was among the Florida State League leaders in runs (5th), triples, HRs; he was tied for 2nd with steals (6th), RBI (7th) and 2nd in slugging. Join the Melky was named the FSL Player of the Year. Among Yankee farmhands, he was tied for 3rd in HR (with Eric Bruntlett, behind Brandon Laird and Jesus Montero) and 3rd in steals. BA again listed him as the Yankees chain's best athlete and having the best outfield arm. They ranked him as the #19 FSL prospect. The Yankees added him to their 40-man MLB Roster. He spent most of the 2011 season with the AA Trenton Thunder (EL), hitting .251 with 9 HRs, despite missing a month of the season with a back injury. He was caught stealing 13 times in 31 steal attempts, for 5th place in the Eastern League. He began 2012 season back with AA Trenton, hitting .277 with 14 HRs and 17 steals in 20 tries before being promoted to the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees (IL) in early August. He hit .230 with 9 HRs in 33 games, and then he earned a September call-up to the Bronx. Overall, he had 23 HRs, 22 stolen bases (caught 4 times) and 79 runs for his 2012 Minor League season. He made his MLB Player debut for the team on September 22nd against the A’s, as a Pinch-Runner for Eric Chavez in the 9th inning. He made it to 3B before being retired on a force at home hit into by Robinson Canó. On September 1, 2013, the Yankees released Mesa. Overall, he had appeared in just 8 games for the team, while hitting .400 with No HRs and 2 RBI’s. On December 28, 2013, the Royals signed him as an MLB Free Agent. In 2016, he was  player with the Blue Jays organization. He never returned to play in the MLB again.

1992- Former Yankees Minor League P Evan Rutckyj was born.

Pitcher Evan Rutckyj was drafted by the Yankees in the 16th round of the 2010 MLB June Amateur Player Draft from St. Joseph's Catholic HS (St. Thomas, ON). The tall Canadian tossed 1-shutout inning for the GCL Yankees that summer. In 2011, Rutckyj had a 5-3 record with a  4.76 ERA for the GCL Yankees. He tied for 4th in the Gulf Coast League in wins. He opened 2012 season with the Class A Charleston RiverDogs (3-2, 4.50 ERA) but he was demoted to the Class A Staten Island Yankees when the short-season leagues began play. He was 5-6 with a 3.72 ERA for Staten Island, finishing among the New York-Penn League leaders in strikeouts (63, 8th), hits allowed (80, 4th), losses (tied for 7th) and walks (35, tied for 5th).  He spent the  2013 season with Charleston, going 10-9 with a 5.03 ERA. He tied for 4th in the SAL in wins, was 8th in walks (60) and was 2nd with 22 wild pitches. Among Yankee farmhands, he tied Chris Bootcheck for 4th in wins, tied Zach Nuding for 3rd in walks and was 2nd in wild pitches (5 behind Bryan Mitchell). He was moved to the bullpen in 2014 and showed a strong strikeout rate (58 in 49 2/3 IP) but Evan walked 37 batters. He pitched for Charleston (4-3, Sv, 3.86 in 22 G) and the Class a Tampa Yankees (1-0, 3.65 ERA in 12 G). He opened 2015 season with Tampa and was doing well in relief; when he joined Team Canada for the 2015 Pan American Games. He pitched 2 games (2 IP) with 3 strikeouts, 1 hit, 1 walk and no runs while Canada won the Gold Medal, joining Cuba as the only country to win multiple Baseball Golds in the Pan American Games. He pitched in the Yankees Minor League system from 1910 to 2017. From 2017 to 2019, Evan pitched in the Independent Leagues and appeared in the Australian Baseball League with the 2019 Adelaide team. He hasn’t pitched since the 2019 season had ended.

2002- Former Yankees Minor League Catcher and MLB Player Harry Chiti passed away. (1932-2002)

On June 29,1950, Catcher Harry Chiti was signed by the Cubs as an MLB Amateur Free Agent. He became the youngest player in the NL; when he made it into 3 Cubs games at age 17. After a couple more stays in Chicago, while still a teenager and serving 2-years active duty in the Army; he became a semi-regular behind the plate for the Cubs before being traded to the Yankees on December 11,1956 for veteran Reserve Catcher Charlie Silvera. Harry never made it into Yankees pinstripes at the MLB level. Instead, he played for the Yankees AAA team, the Denver Bears (AA). The Kansas City A’s in the 1957 MLB Rule 5 Player Draft selected him from the Yankees organization. He would play with the A’s, Tigers, Indians (twice), Orioles and the1962 Mets before leaving the MLB. Catcher Harry Chiti holds a special place in MLB history, becoming the 1st man to ever be traded for himself, the Player to be Named Later in a deal for himself in 1962. The Indians had sent him to the 1962 Mets for a Player to be Named Later.Mets Manager Casey Stengel was unhappy with Harry for his lack of hitting, .195 in 15 games with the team; so, he was sent back to the Tribe. 

2006- The Yankees signed veteran MLB Free Agent P Ramiro Mendoza. He has been with the Red Sox for 2 seasons, posting a 5-6 record with a 5.73 ERA in 64 games. He will spend the 2006 baseball season with the AAA Columbus Clippers (IL) trying to comeback from pitching arm problems. He only appeared in 1 game (1 inning, no decision) with the 2005 Yankees. He had originally come up with the Yankees, before leaving the team for MLB Free Agency in the winter of 2003. He would be sign by the Red Sox. Overall, as Yankees Reliever from 1996 to 2003, Ramon had a 54-34 record with 4.10 ERA and 16 saves in 278 games.

2008- The Yankees signed veteran MLB Free Agent OF/DH Morgan Ensberg.

Veteran OF/DH Morgan Ensberg will appear in 28 games for the 2008 Yankees, hitting only just .203, before being released by the team on June 7, 2008. He will be sign as an MLB Free Agent by the Indians, playing the rest of 2008 season with their AAA team, the Buffalo Bisons (IL).

2018- Former Yankees OF/DH Oscar Gamble (1976,1979-1984) passed away. (1949-2018)

On November 22,1975, OF Oscar Gamble was traded by the Indians to the Yankees for veteran MLB Starter Pat Dobson. Oscar hit will hit only .232 with 17 HRs and 57 RBIs in 1976. On April 5,1977, Gamble was traded by the Yankees along with Minor League Pitchers Bob Polinsky, La Marr Hoyt and $200,000 Cash to the White Sox for Shortstop Bucky Dent. On August 1,1979, Oscar was traded by the Rangers along with Players to be Named Later and Minor League OF Amos Lewis to the Yankees for Players to be Named Later and AL All-Star OF Mickey Rivers. The Rangers would send hurlers Ray Fontenot and Gene Nelson on October 8,1979 to the Yankees to complete the trade. The Yankees will send Minor League Pitchers Bob Polinsky, Neal Mersch and Mark Softy on October 8,1979 to the Rangers to complete the trade. Oscar would hit well for the Yankees, until various injuries finally slowed him down. In 7 seasons with the Yankees, Gamble appeared in 540 games, while hitting .259 with 87 HRs and 276 RBI’s. In the World Series with the Yankees, Oscar would hit .214 in 6 games. He will finish out his MLB playing career with the 1985 White Sox. The Cubs had originally signed him as an MLB Amateur Free Agent. He played for the 1969 Cubs, 1970-1972 Phillies, 1976,1979-1984 Yankees, 1977,1985 White Sox,1978 Padres and the 1979 Rangers.

February 1st

1891- Former Yankees Minor League Manager (1937-1942) and MLB Scout Elmer “Doc “Bennett was born. (1891-1974)

In 1937, Elmer “Doc” Bennett took over as Manager of the Norfolk Elks, a Yankees affiliate in the Nebraska State League (which became the Western League in 1939). Although he led the Elks to a losing record in 1937, he led them to a league championship in 1938 and a 1st place finish in 1939, however the team lost in the 1st round of the league playoffs that season. The Elks became the Norfolk Yankees in 1940. Bennett led them to a 1st place finish, though the team lost in the 1st round of the playoffs. From 1941 to 1942, Bennett managed the Class C Joplin Miners (Western Association); another Yankees Minor League team affiliate. He led them to a 1st place finish and a league championship in 1941; however, they finished with a losing record and a 5th place finish in 1942. Thus, concluded his Minor League Managerial career. Later, Elmer was an MLB Scout for 1943-1949 Red Sox and the 1950-1969 White Sox organizations.

1901- Former Yankees and MLB Public Relations Director Arthur “Red” Patterson was born. (1909-1992)

A longtime baseball Public Relations official with the Yankees, Dodgers (both Brooklyn and Los Angeles) and the Angels, Red Patterson is best known for having introducing the term 'tape measure home run' into the baseball lexicon, when he paced off Mickey Mantle's legendary HR on April 17,1953, a Griffith Stadium 562 FT HR shot off of Washington Senators hurler Chuck Stobbs. Prior to starting his PR career, Patterson spent 17 years writing for the New York Herald Tribune, initially while attending night school at NYU. Other innovations credited to Patterson – whose very hiring as Publicity Director by the 1946 Yankees was a MLB 1st in and of itself – included Old-Timers games, Cap Day and Team Yearbooks. Patterson also hired the late, lamented longtime Yankees PA Announcer, Bob Sheppard. After his temporary retirement from the Angels in 1985 (stepping down as President, but being promptly re-engaged as Publicity Consultant), Patterson made a partial return to his earliest profession, journalism, penning the occasional column for the Anaheim Bulletin. 

1921- Former Yankees Pitcher (1950) and MLB Scout (1956-1958) Dave “The Squeakin’ Deacon” Madison was born.

Dave Madison was a pitcher for 10 years (1941-1954); 3 years in college (1941-1943); 3 seasons in the MLB (1950 and 1952-1953) and 10 seasons in the Minors (1947-1950 and 1953-1954), losing 3 years of playing time to the military. He graduated from HS in 1941 at age 18, where he starred in baseball. He then attended Louisiana State Univ. from 1941-1943; where he starred in Baseball and Football. In 1943, he was drafted into the Army for WW II service; he was discharged from the Army in 1945. In 1947, the Yankees signed P Dave Madison as an MLB Amateur Free Agent. Dave broke into Organized Baseball at age 26 with the Class A Denver Bears (Western League.) He then  he was with the 1948-1950 AA Kansas City Blues (AA.) On September 26,1950 at 29 years of age, he broke into the MLB with the Yankees. With 1 game and 3 innings of MLB under his belt, having remained in the Army Reserve; he was recalled as a 1st Lieutenant and sent to Korea. On April 7,1952, Dave was purchased by the St. Louis Browns from the Yankees. After finishing his MLB active career with the 1953 Tigers, he pitched briefly in the Minor Leagues until 1954 and then he retired as an active player. Dave was a Yankees MLB Scout from 1956-1958. Also, he would be an MLB Scout for the 1965-1967 Orioles,1968-1974 A’s and the 1974-1985 Mets organizations

1924- On January 31,1924, OF Nick Cullop was traded by Omaha (Western League) to the Yankees for Minor League OF Henry Lavallie and $5,000 Cash. Nick appeared only in 2 games in April of 1926 with the Yankees, before being sent down to the Minor Leagues by Manager Miller Huggins. On October 19,1926, the Yankees sent Reliever Garland Braxton and Reserve OF Nick Cullop to the Senators to complete an earlier deal made on August 27,1926, the Yankees would send Players to be Named Later to the Senators for veteran MLB Starter Dutch Ruether.

1943- Former Yankees OF Ron Woods (1967-1971) was born.

OF Ron Woods was originally signed as an MLB Amateur Free Agent by the Pirates in 1961. He was sold by the Pirates to the Tigers for Cash in 1966. On June 14,1969, OF Ron Woods was traded by the Tigers to the Yankees for veteran INF/OF Tom Tresh. He was a weak-hitting Outfielder. Overall, as a Yankees player, he appeared in 192 games, while hitting .208 with 10 HRs and 36 RBIs. On June 25,1971, Ron was traded by the Yankees to the Expos for veteran MLB OF Ron Swoboda. He played for the Expos from 1971-1974. He finished pro baseball career in Japan, playing for the 1975-1976 Chunichi Dragons (Japan Central League.)

1944- Former Yankees Reserve OF Paul Blair (1977-1979.1980) was born. (1944-2013)

On January 20,1977, former AL Golden Glove Award Winner OF Paul Blair was traded by the Orioles to the Yankees for 2 Outfielders Elliott Maddox and Rick Bladt. Paul was a late inning replacement for Reggie Jackson in the outfield. As a Yankees player, he appeared in 172 games, while hitting .223 with 6 HRs and 38 RBIs. The Mets had originally signed him in 1961, but the Orioles in the MLB 1st year Player Draft selected Blair from the Mets Organization. His final MLB playing career stats were a .250 BA with 134 HRs with 620 RBIs in 1,947 games. After being released by the Yankees in 1979, the Reds would sign Paul. During the 1980 AL season, Paul rejoined the Yankees for 12 games.

1960- Former Yankees Reliever Cecilio Guante (1987-1988) was born.

On November 26,1986, Reliever Cecilio Guante was traded by the Pirates along with hurlers Pat Clements and Rick Rhoden to the Yankees for 3 Pitchers: Doug Drabek, Brian Fisher and Logan Easley. He went 8-8 with a 3.93 ERA and 12 saves in 79 games. On August 30,1988, he was traded by the Yankees to the Rangers for veteran Reliever Dale Mohorcic.

1961- Former Yankees MLB Scout Jim Benedict (2001-2006) was born.

Jim Benedict reached AA level as a Minor League Pitcher in the Royals organization, then he became a College Coach and MLB Scout. In 1987, Benedict served as the Head Coach of LA Valley Community College. He was Pitching Coach for Loyola Marymount University and Chapman College for the next 2 years. In 1990, he joined the Rangers organization, as an MLB Scout. He served as Minor League Pitching Coordinator for the 1994-1998 Royals and the 1998-2000 Dodgers. From 2001-2006, he was a Professional Scout for Yankees and Special Assistant to the General Manager Brian Cashman. In 2007-2008, he was an MLB Scout and Advance Scout for the Indians. In late 2008, he joined the Pirates as Special Assistant to the GM.

1966- Former Yankees Pitcher Darrin Chapin (1991) was born.

The Yankees in the 6th round of the 1986 MLB Amateur Player Draft selected P Darrin Chapin. In 1991, Chapin had posted a 10-3 record in 55 relief appearances for the AAA Columbus Clippers (IL). He went 0-1 with a 5.09 ERA in 3 games as a Yankees Reliever, before being traded on January 8,1992 to the Phillies for a Player to be Named Later. Chapin would appear in 1 game for the 1992 Phillies with no decisions, finish his MLB Pitching career. The Phillies would send INF Charlie Hayes to the Yankees to complete the trade. Hayes would become the 1992 Yankees starting 3B, hitting .257 with 18 HRs and 66 RBIs, but the Yankees failed to protect him in 1992 MLB Expansion Team Player Draft, when he was selected by the Rockies.

1967- Current Yankees Baseball Executive and Former MLB Player Tim Naehring was born.

INF Tim Naehring spent his entire MLB and Minor League playing career with the Red Sox. He was signed as an 8th round pick in the 1988 MLB Amateur Player Draft by Boston. He came up to the MLB in 1990. He played 8 seasons in Boston, twice hitting over .300. In 1995, as the regular 3rd baseman for the Red Sox, his .415 on-base percentage was 8th in the AL. A shoulder injury during the 1997 AL season ended his MLB playing career. In 2001, he was the Farm Director for the Reds. In 2010, he was a Pro Scout for the Yankees. In 2015, Tim became the Vice President of Baseball Operations for the Yankees, succeeding Billy Eppler, who had left the team to join the Angels Front Office.

1970- The Veterans Committee selects former MLB Commissioner Ford Frick along with former MLB Players OF Earle Combs and hurler Jesse Haines to the Hall of Fame. Jessie Haines had  won 210 games for the Cardinals, he pitched in 4 World Series. Although he played 100 games in a season just  9 times, Yankees CF Earl Combs accumulated 1,866 MLB career hits with lifetime BA of .325. Combs’ Yankees playing career was cut short by a serious injury in 1934. In 4 World Series with the Yankees, Combs hit .350 with 1 HR and 9 RBIs. Ford Frick was the MLB Commissioner from 1951-1965, but he is best remembered for suggesting that an asterisk be placed next to the name of anyone who broke Babe Ruth's HR record during the 8 additional games on the 1961 AL schedule. The asterisk for Roger Maris 1961 season HR record never officially existed in the MLB record books.

1978- Former Yankees Reserve INF Erick Almonte (2001, 2003) was born.

The Yankees signed INF Erick Almonte as an MLB Amateur Free Agent in 1996. During 2003 AL season, Erick filled in for the injured AL All-Star Derek Jeter at Shortstop, hitting .260 in 31 games. His final Yankee player totals were a .269 BA in 39 games with 1 HR and 11 RBIs. On March 26, 2004, the Yankees released him. After retiring as an active player in 2011, he has worked in the Cardinals Minor League organization. 

1978- Former Yankees INF (1932-1937) and Minor League Manager Jack Saltzgaver passed away. (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 ball for many years before coming to the MLB. Appearing 1st in the outfield and then as a 2B. He played for Ottumwa, Oklahoma City, AA St. Paul Saints and the AA Newark Bears during 1925-1934 seasons. On June 27,1931, Jack was traded by the AA St. Paul Saints (AA) along with P Johnny Murphy, Cash and 2 Players to be Named to the Yankees for a Player to be Named Later. The Yankees would send Reserve OF Jimmie Reese on November 12,1931 to the AA Saints to complete the trade. Jack made his MLB Player debut with the 1932 Yankees, appearing in 20 games, while 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 AL seasons, but he was in his 30's, while the new 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 Jack spent the 1938-1945 seasons in the Minor Leagues with the AA Kansas City Blues (AA), hitting as high as .348 at age 41 in 1944. Also, Jack managed the Blues as well that season, finishing in 8th place. He came back to the MLB for 52 games with the 1945 Pirates, hitting quite well, batting .325. At age 42, Jack 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 in the Tigers organization at Little Rock (1948-1950).

1979- Former Yankees Minor League OF Milt “Skippy” Byrnes passed away. (1916-1979)

On April 1,1946, Milt Byrnes was traded by the St. Louis Browns to the Yankees for Catcher Ken “Ziggy” Sears. Two weeks later, Byrnes was optioned by the Yankees to their top AA farm team, the Kansas City Blues (AA). He never appeared in the MLB again. Thus, Byrnes' only MLB experience came during the war years with the 1943-1945 St. Louis Browns. Milt Byrnes was nicknamed "Skippy" after a popular comic strip of the era. He played in the Yankees Minor League organization from 1946-1948. Later, he played in the Red Sox, Braves, Senators and the White Sox organizations before retiring as a player, after the 1951 MLB season had ended.

1987- Former Yankees Minor League OF and MLB Player Austin Jackson was born.

Austin Jackson was a top outfield prospect for the Yankees before being included in the 3-team trade that brought CF Curtis Granderson from the Tigers to the Bronx after the 2009 MLB season had ended. The Yankees had signed Jackson, as an 8th-round pick in the 2005 MLB Amateur Player Draft. He made his pro player debut with the GCL Yankees that summer. Jackson made the South Atlantic League All-Star team with the 2006 Class A Charleston RiverDogs; he was the MVP of the Eastern League playoffs with the 2008 AA Trenton Thunder. Austin was the International League Rookie of the Year in 2009. He made the 2009 International League All-Star team, while playing for the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees. 

1999- The Yankees traded highly touted 3B prospect Mike Lowell to the Marlins for 3 Minor League Pitchers: Mark J. Johnson, Ed Yarnall and Todd Noel. Lowell was named Yankees Minor League Player-of-the-Year last season, he was expendable, after the Yankees 3B Scott Brosius' outstanding 1998 AL season performance. With the 3 young hurlers acquired, the Yankees were hoping to rebuild their pitching talent in their Minor League system. The 3 pitchers were not very successful in the MLB.

2006- Former Yankees Pitcher Jake “Whistling Jake” Wade (1946) passed away. (1912-2006)

From 1936 to 1946, Jake Wade was an MLB hurler for the Tigers, White Sox, Red Sox, Yankees and the Senators. He had an MLB Pitching career record of a 27-40 with a 5.00 ERA and 3 saves in 171 games. On December 15,1944, Jake Wade was traded by the White Sox to the Yankees for P Johnny Johnson. In 1945, Jake was serving in the military. For the 1946 Yankees, he went 2-1 with 2.29 ERA and 1 save in 13 games for the 1946 Yankees. On August 5,1946, Jake Wade was acquired by the Senators from the Yankees.

2008- Former Yankees Minor League Player Tom Venditelli passed away. (1930-2008)

Tom Venditelli played pro baseball for 10 seasons in the 1949-1955 Yankees and the 1955-1957 Kansas City A’s Minor League organizations. He later was Head Baseball Coach at Denison University and longtime Assistant Coach at Columbus State Community College. Tom was an MLB Scout for the Pirates for over 40 years. He was the 1st Manager of the Zanesville Greys franchise in the Independent Frontier League in 1993-1994. In 1993, Tom’s Greys won the Frontier League Championship. Tom was named the 1993 Frontier League Manager of the Year. He resigned from the Greys in 1994, after finishing the FL season in 3rd place.

2013- More trouble for Yankees All-Star 3B Alex Rodriguez: in the wake of earlier reports of the superstar being a client of a clinic in Boca Raton, FL under investigation for supplying PEDs, ESPN reports today that he has been receiving weekly injections at home from the Director of the suspect clinic, Anthony Bosch.

2016- The Yankees suffer a blow as one of their best young hitters, 1B Greg Bird, who filled in very well when veteran AL All-Star 1B Mark Teixeira went down with a season-ending injury last August, needs to undergo surgery after re-aggravating a shoulder injury in off-season workouts. He will miss the entire 2016 AL season as a result of his injury.

February 2nd

1894- Former Yankees OF Charles “Ray” Demmitt (1909) was born. (1894-1956)

As a Rookie Center Fielder for the 1909 Yankees, Ray Demmitt hit .246 with 4 HRs and 30 RBIs in 123 games. He had played college baseball at the University of Illinois before being signed by the Yankees. On December 16,1909, Ray was traded by the Yankees along with P Joe Lake to the St. Louis Browns for veteran MLB Catcher Lou Criger. Ray would play in the MLB for 6 seasons with the Yankees, Browns (twice), White Sox and the Tigers from 1909 to 1919. He finishes his MLB playing career with a .257 BA with 8 HRs and 165 RBIs in 498 games.  

1895- Former Yankees Reserve OF (1919) and NFL Team Owner and Head Coach George Halas was born. (1895-1983)

Reserve OF George Halas, is better known as a legendary Football Coach and NFL Team Owner of the Chicago Bears. He played 1 season in the MLB. He had been a 3-Sport Athlete at the University of Illinois. After playing Minor League ball, he came up to the MLB as a Reserve Outfielder in 1919 with the Yankees. The 1919 Yankees regular Outfield consisted of Ping Bodie, Sammy Vick and Duffy Lewis. In 22 at-bats, George Halas' MLB career BA was .091 (2 for 22). He was sent down to the Minor Leagues in 1919 to learn how to hit a curve ball by Yankees Manager Miller Huggins, he never returned to the Major Leagues again.

1908- Former Yankees Pitcher Wes Ferrell (1938-1939) was born. (1908-1976)

On August 14,1938, veteran MLB hurler Wes Ferrell was signed as an MLB Free Agent by the Yankees. He had been released by the Senators on August 13,1939. Ferrell went 3-4 with a 6.75 ERA in 8 games for the 1938-1939 Yankees. On May 28,1939, he was released by the club. In January of 1940, the Dodgers will sign the veteran MLB hurler as an MLB Free Agent. "Lip” Durocher, who batted only .246 in 106 games in 1929. His final Yankees playing career totals were a .257 BA with No HRs and 63 RBIs in 210 games. Leo was the 1st Yankees player for wear Yankees Player Uniform No. 7. His Yankees Teammate Babe Ruth had nicknamed him the “All-American Out.” He was caught by his Yankees Roommate Babe Ruth stealing from him, which resulted in a beating by Ruth. Babe, then Ruth reported the theft incident to the Yankees GM Edward Barrow. In player contract talks with GM Barrow, Durocher was rude and loud to the veteran GM. He is waivered out of the AL; he was effectively was an “unofficial” banishment from the AL by the Yankees Front Office. The future Hall of Fame MLB Manager will be eventually sign to play with the 1930 Reds. Later, Leo would play for the Cardinals and Dodgers in the NL (1930-1945) before becoming a full-time MLB Manager in the NL.

1933- Former Yankees Reserve OF (1961-1963) and Minor League Manager (1965-1967) Jack Reed was born.

In 1953, the Yankees signed OF Jack Reed as an MLB Amateur Free Agent. He was a 3-Sport Star at Old Miss University, playing in the 1953 Sugar Bowl. Jack played for the Yankees low-level Minor League teams in 1954-1955. He missed the 1956-1957 baseball seasons, while serving in the military. In 1958, he played for AA New Orleans Pelicans (SA). Then Jack moved up to the AAA Richmond Virginians (IL) in 1959, staying with the team until 1961. Reed joined the Yankees at the MLB level in 1961 at the age of 28, as a Reserve Outfielder, often filling in for All-Star CF Mickey Mantle. He appeared in 3 games of the 1961 World Series against the Reds as a defensive replacement. His lone MLB Career HR was a big one at Tiger Stadium on June 24,1962. He snapped a 7-7 tie in the 22nd inning game with a 2-run HR blast off of veteran Reliever Phil Regan to give the Yankees a 9-7 win in the longest game in the history of the venerable Detroit ballpark. His best season as a Yankees Reserve was in 1962, hitting .302 with 1 HR and 6 RBIs in 88 games. Overall, as a Yankees player, Jack appeared in 222 games, while hitting .233 with 1 HR and 6 RBIs. In 1964, he played for the AAA Richmond Virginians (IL). After retiring as an active player in the fall of 1964, Jack Reed managed in the Yankees Minor League system for 3 seasons. He managed the 1965 Class A Fort Lauderdale Yankees (FSL), 1966 Columbus Confederate Yankees (Southern League) and the AA Binghamton Triplets (EL) his overall Yankees Minor League Manager record was 223-185 with a .556 PCT.

1936- The BWAA announces the results of the 1st Hall of Fame Player vote. Outfielders Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Pitchers Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson and Shortstop Honus Wagner comprise the inaugural class of HOF members at Cooperstown, NY. Several other former MLB Stars like hurler Cy Young fail to make the grade, but they will enter the Baseball Hall of Fame in later elections by 1939.

1950- Former Yankees Reliever Dale Murray (1983-1985) was born.

On December 9,1982, veteran MLB Reliever Dale Murray was traded by the Blue Jays along with OF Tom Dodd to the Yankees for MLB OF/DH/1B Dave Collins, Class A Minor League 1B Fred McGriff, MLB P Mike Morgan and Cash. The Yankees had hope that veteran MLB Reliever Dale Murray would help out their bullpen, but he wasn’t the answer; going just 3-6 with a 4.73 ERA and only 1 save in 62 games. The Yankees would release Dale on April 29, 1985. He would pitch briefly for the 1985 Rangers before being released by the team. Overall, he finished his 12-season MLB Pitching career with a 53-50 record and a 3.85 ERA and 60 saves in 518 games.

1958- Former Yankees Minor League INF Pat Tabler was born.

Infielder Pat Tabler was selected by the Yankees in the 1st round (16th selection) of the 1976 MLB Amateur Player Draft. With AL All-Star Willie Randolph entrenched at 2B for the Yankees, Pat’s future was blocked as a starter in the Yankees MLB Infield. Then Pat suffered a serious leg injury, while playing in the Yankees farm system, which slowed his progress and raised questions with the Yankees Management about what positions that he could play in the infield, especially at Shortstop. He will never appear with the Yankees at the MLB level. On August 19,1981, Pat was traded by the Yankees to the Cubs for 2 Players to be Named Later. The Cubs will send Reliever Bill Caudill on April 1,1982. Later, P Jay Howell was sent on August 2,1982 to the Yankees to complete the trade. Pat will play in the MLB for 12 seasons with the Cubs, Indians, Royals, Mets and the Blue Jays.

1962- Former Yankees Reliever Pat Clements (1983-1985) was born.

On November 26,1986, Reliever Pat Clements was traded by the Pirates along with P Cecilio Guante and veteran MLB Starter Rick Rhoden to the Yankees for 3 Pitchers: Doug Drabek, Brian Fisher and Logan Easley. As a Yankees Reliever, Pat posted a 3-3 record with a 5.09 ERA and 7 saves in 61 games. On October 24,1988, Pat was traded by the Yankees along with 1B Jack Clark to the Padres for 2 Pitchers Lance McCullers, Jimmy Jones and Reserve OF Stanley Jefferson.

1968- Former Yankees Pitcher Scott Erickson (2006) was born.

On February 16, 2006, P Scott Erickson was signed as an MLB Free Agent by the Yankees. He went 0-0 with a 7.94 ERA in 9 games for the Yankees. On June 11, 2006, he was released by the team.

1972- The Yankees purchased veteran Reserve INF Hal Lanier from the Giants. Hal was a weak hitting, Reserve Infielder, who appeared in 95 games for the 1972-1973 Yankees, while hitting only .212 with No HRs and 11 RBIs. He was the son of former 1940’s Cardinals All-Star Pitcher Max Lanier. On December 10,1973, the Yankees would release Hal; ending his 10-year MLB playing career that had started with the 1964 Giants. He would later become a MLB Manager in the NL with the 1986-1988 Astros.

1993- The Yankees signed veteran Pitcher Neal Heaton as an MLB Free Agent. He made the team in the 1993 Yankees MLB Spring Training Camp. He posted a 1-0 record with a 6.00 ERA in 18 games for the team. The Yankees would release him on June 27,1993 ending his MLB Pitching career.

2015- Former Yankees Reserve 1B/OF Dave Bergman passed away from Cancer. (1953-2015)

An outstanding fielder and tough hitter, Dave Bergman was arguably one of the best bench players in baseball during his 17 MLB seasons. Originally selected by the Cubs in the 12th round of the 1971 MLB Amateur Player Draft,  Bergman did not sign, opting to attend Illinois State University instead. He hit .400 there as a Sophomore and .351 as a Junior, hitting .366 overall during his college baseball career. He was selected in the 2nd round of the 1974 MLB Amateur Player Draft by the Yankees. He made his pro debut that summer with the Class A Oneonta Yankees (NY-Penn League), hitting .348 with 10 HRs. The following summer, he led the Eastern League with a .311 BA, while also hitting 11 HRs for the AA West Haven Yankees. He earned a late-season call-up to the Bronx in 1975, but he went hitless in 17 at-bats. After playing for the AAA Syracuse Chiefs (IL) for the next 2 seasons, he earned another cup of coffee with the Yankees in September of 1977. Following the 1977 AL season, Bergman was sent to the Astros in the Cliff Johnson trade. He got into 104 games for Astros in 1978, but he spent most of 1979 season back in the Minors with the AAA Charleston Charlies (IL). In his brief MLB stay that year, he hit his 1st MLB HR off of future HOF Starter Phil Niekro. He was traded to the Giants early in the 1981 NL season, Dave moved on to the Tigers prior to the start of 1984 AL season. He saw considerable playing time at 1B that season, while hitting .273 with 7 HRs, as the Tigers went on to win the 1984 World Series. His biggest game that season came on June 4th against the Blue Jays, when he hit a 3-run walk-off HR  off of Reliever Roy Lee Jackson, after fouling off 9 pitches in the 10th inning; it was his 1st long ball as a member of the Tigers. Over the next several seasons, he saw most of his action coming off the Tigers bench, but he was again the team's regular 1B in 1989, hitting .268 with 7 HRs as a 36-year-old. He continued to play for Detroit through the 1992 AL season.

2016- The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame names its Class of 2016: Pat Hentgen (1st Toronto Blue Jay to win the AL Cy Young Award), Dennis Martinez (only Montreal Expo to throw a Perfect game, 2nd in Expos franchise history in wins), Wayne Norton (former AAA player and noted International Scout as well as Team Canada Executive), Former Yankees INF/OF Tony Kubek (former Blue Jays TV Announcer), Howard Starkman (Blue Jays Executive) and William Shuttleworth (Canadian Baseball Pioneer).

February 3rd

 1888- Former Yankees Hall Of Fame Co-Team Owner and General Manager Larry MacPhail (1945-1947) was born. (1888-1975)

 Larry MacPhail is best remembered for having lights installed at Crosley Field in 1935 for night baseball for the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds were also the 1st MLB team to fly to games. His son, Lee was a Hall of Fame Baseball Executive and the AL President in the 1970’s. Lee worked as a Baseball Executive for the Yankees and the Orioles. They are the only Father-Son combination elected to the Hall of Fame. Larry was the President of AA Columbus Solons (AA) in 1930-1933. Then he was the General Manager for the 1933-1936 Reds. He moved to the Dodgers in 1938, where he was their General Manager from 1938-1942. He was part the Team Ownership group (Del Webb and Dan Topping Sr.) that bought the Yankees from the Jacob Ruppert Estate in January of 1945. With the Yankees, he succeeded the long-time Yankees President and General Manager Edward Barrow. As the team’s GM, he started signing black players for the Yankees organization, realizing the talent that was playing the Negro Leagues. After the 1947 World Series victory over the Dodgers, he sold his team ownership shares of the Yankees to fellow Co-Team Owners Del Webb and Dan Topping, who replaced him as Team President. He was not very unpopular with the Yankee players, who were very happy to see him leave the team. Yankees veteran Farm Director George Weiss became the Yankees new General Manager, who started releasing or trading away all of the black players that MacPhail had signed for the Yankees organization. 

1896- Former Yankees Reserve Catcher Lou Criger (1910) was born. (1896-1934)

On December 16,1909, veteran Catcher Lou Criger was traded by the Browns to the Yankees for Rookie OF Ray Demmitt, who had hit .246 with 4 HRs and 30 RBIs in 123 games) and Starter Joe Lake, who had won 14 games with a 1.88 ERA for the 1909 Yankees. The veteran Catcher had been playing in the MLB since 1896. He had been MLB Starter Cy Young’s personal catcher for many seasons in the MLB. He was a member of the 1903 World Champion Red Sox. Lou appeared in 27 games for the 1910 Yankees, while hitting just .188 with No HRs and 4 RBIs. He would finish his MLB playing career with the 1910 St. Louis Browns. He had appeared in 1,012 MLB games, while hitting .221 with 11 HRs and 342 RBIs.

1896- Former Yankees Reserve OF/1B Nelson “Chicken” Hawks (1921) was born. (1896-1973)

On July 27,1920, OF/1B Nelson “Chicken” Hawks was purchased by the Yankees from Class B Calgary (Western Canada League). In 1921, he was briefly a Reserve Outfielder for the team, playing with fellow OF Babe Ruth. Hawks, although he had hit only 2 HRs, had a .479 slugging percentage, which was one of the highest on the 1921 Yankees team. Overall, as a Yankees player, Chicken Hawks appeared in 41 games, while hitting .288 with 2 HRs and 15 RBIs. He played in the Minor Leagues from 1922-1924. He returned to the MLB with the 1925 Phillies for 1 season before returning to the Minor Leagues, playing until 1931.

1910- Former Yankees Catcher Mike Garbark (1944-1945) was born. (1910-1994)

In 1938, the Yankees signed Catcher Mike Garbark as an MLB Amateur Free Agent. He had attended Villanova University. Mike played in the Yankees Minor League system from 1938-1943, reaching the AA Newark Bears (IL). He hit .244 with 1 HR and 59 RBIs in 149 games with the 1944-1945 Yankees. In 1946, he returned to the AA Newark Bears as the regular MLB players had come back from military service in WWII. In 1947, he played for the Senators organization. In 1948, he split time between the Browns and Yankees Minor League organizations. Also, that 1948 season, he managed the Yankees Augusta farm club in the Southern Association. In 1951, he was a Minor League Manager for 2 teams. He was elected to Villanova University’s Hall of Fame for his Football play. He retired as an active player in 1953. Mike’s older Brother Bob Garbark, who also played Catcher was in the MLB with the Red Sox, Cubs, A’s and the Indians (1934-1945).

1922- Former Yankees Minor League OF/INF Jim Dyck was born. (1922-1999)

Before the start of 1941 AL Season, INF/OF Jim Dyck was signed by the Yankees as an MLB Amateur Free Agent. He never played for the Bombers at the MLB level. He missed the 1944-1945 baseball seasons due to service time in the military. On December 5,1949, Jim was drafted by the Browns from the Yankees organization in the 1949 Minor League Player Draft. Jim had played the 1949 Minor League season with the Yankees 2 AA clubs, the Kansas City Blues (AA), Newark Bears (IL) and the Class A Binghamton Triplets (EL), while hitting .261 with 11 HRs and 60 RBIs. He was the Browns regular 3B for their last 2 seasons in St. Louis (1952-1953). He played in the MLB for the Browns, then the Orioles, Indians before finishing up with the 1956 Reds. Jim would continue to play in the Minor Leagues until retiring as an active player in 1961. Overall, he had hit .246 with 26 HRs with 114 RBIs in 330 games.

1925- Former Yankees Pitcher Harry Byrd (1954) was born.(1925-1985)

On December 16,1953, Starter Harry Byrd was traded by the Philadelphia A’s along with 3B Loren Babe, OF Tom Hamilton, OF Carmen Mauro and Veteran 1B Eddie Robinson to the Yankees for 1B Don Bollweg, P Johnny Gray, C Jim Robertson, 3B Jim Finigan, Minor League All-Star 1B/OF Vic Power and OF Bill Renna. In 1952, Harry was named AL Rookie of the Year, after posting a 15-15 record with a 3.31 ERA in 37 games for the 5th place A’s. Next season, he dropped to a 11-20 record with a 5.51 ERA in 40 games. The Yankees were hoping that he could replace one of the aging starters on the Yankees starting rotation, which was the oldest pitching staffs in the AL. As a Yankees Starter in 1954, Harry went 9-7 with 2.99 ERA in 25 games along with 21 starts before being sent to the Orioles in the big 17-player trade that winter. Harry was also with theWhite Sox and Tigers from 1955-1957, before leaving the MLB with an overall pitching record of 46-54 with a 4.35 ERA in 187 games.

1928- The Yankees released Reserve INF Julie Wera (1927,1929). 

INF Julie Wera had appeared in 43 games hitting .278 for the Yankees, playing parts of the 1927 and 1929 AL seasons with the team. In his 1927 Yankees rookie season with, Julie injured his knee while sliding in at home plate in a game against the White Sox. The knee injury left him with a “trick knee” for the rest of his pro baseball career. He didn’t appear in the 1927 World Series with the Yankees, yet he picked-up a World Series team winning share from the Yankees. On November 25,1930, he was purchased by the Yankees from the AA Jersey City Skeeters (IL). Before the start of the 1931 AL season, he was sent by the Yankees to the AA San Francisco Seals (PCL) to complete an earlier deal made on August 23,1930. The Yankees would send a Player to be Named Later and 3 players to the Seals for INF Frankie Crosetti. The Yankees send INF Julie Wera (1931) to the AA Seals to complete the trade. Julie would play in the Minor Leagues until 1937 before retiring from the game.

1944- Former Yankees INF/DH Celerino Sanchez (1972-1973) was born. (1944-1992)

On December 6,1971, INF Celeron Sanchez was traded by the AAA Mexico City Tigers (Mexican League) to the Yankees for Minor League Player INF/OF Ossie Chavarria. He would hit .242 with 1 HR and 30 RBIs in 105 games for the 1972-1973 Yankees. After the Yankees acquired 3B Graig Nettles from the Indians in the winter of 1972, Celerino became a Reserve Infielder for the team. After the 1973 AL season had ended, he left the Yankees organization to return home to play in the Mexican Leagues, where he would play from 1974 to 1979 before retiring at the age of 35. At the age 20, he had started playing pro baseball in Mexico in 1964. In 1992, Celerino passed away from a fatal heart attack in his hometown of Mexico City, he was only 48 years-old. Sanchez was elected to the Mexican League Hall of Fame in 1994.

1951- Former Yankees Pitcher Mike Wallace (1974-1975) was born.

On May 3,1974, P Mike Wallace was traded by the Phillies to the Yankees for veteran P Ken Wright. Mike would post a 6-0 record with a 3.34 ERA in 26 games for the 1974-1975 Yankees, before being sold to the Cardinals on June 13,1975. The Yankees had sold him to the Cardinals to make room for an MLB roster spot for the returning 1B/DH Ron Bloomberg.

1955- Former Yankees Minor League Manager Gary Allenson (1987-1988) was born.

A former MLB Reserve Catcher with the Red Sox and Blue Jays, Gary Allenson became a Minor League Manager. He joined the Yankees organization in 1987. He would Manage the Class A Oneonta Yankees (NY-Penn League) for 2 seasons. His 1988 team won the League championship. Gary left the Yankees to work for the Red Sox organization in 1990. He has been a Minor League Manager for the Rangers, Astros, Brewers, Orioles, Marlins and the Blue Jays organizations.

1961- Former Yankees Minor League P Fred Toliver was born.

The Yankees in the 3rd round of the 1979 MLB Amateur Player Draft had selected P Freddie Toliver. He never appeared with the Yankees at the MLB level. In 1981, Fred was traded to the Reds along with Minor League P Brian Ryder in the Ken Griffey Sr. trade. He would return to the Yankees organization in September of 1989, but he would not make any appearances with the team at MLB level. Overall, Fred posted a 10-16 record with a 4.73 ERA and 1 save in 78 MLB games. He had pitched in the MLB with the Reds, Phillies, Twins, Padres and the Pirates. He is now a College Pitching Coach in California.

1965- Former Yankees Minor League P Rich Scheid was born.

The Yankees in the 2nd round of the 1986 MLB Amateur Player Draft selected P Rich Scheid. On July 13,1987, he was traded by the Yankees along with Pitchers Bob Tewksbury and Dean Wilkins to the Cubs for MLB Starter Steve Trout. Rich would pitch in the MLB with the Astros and Marlins, posting a 1-4 record with a 4.45 ERA in 21 games.

 1975- Billy Herman, Earl Averill and Bucky Harris are selected for the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Special Veterans Committee. Billy Herman was a 10-time All-Star 2B; he batted .304 in 15 seasons and played in 4 World Series. He later was an MLB Manager with the Pirates and the Red Sox. Catcher Earl Averill batted .299 or better in 9 of his 1st 10 MLB seasons and finished as a .318 MLB career hitter. Bucky Harris had managed the 1924-1925 Senators to 2 AL pennants in his 1st 2 seasons as a MLB Player-Manager, earning him the nick-name “The Boy-Wonder.” Harris led the 1947 Yankees to a World Championship and a 1948 3rd place finish, behind the Indians and Red Sox before being replaced by Yankees new GM George Weiss with Minor League and former NL Manager Casey Stengel in 1949. As an MLB Player for the Senators and Tigers, Harris was a .274 career hitter.

1977- Former Yankees Minor League P Chi-Chi Olivo passed away. (1928-1977)

On November 29,1966, veteran P Chi-Chi Olivo was traded by the Braves along with Rookie OF Bill Robinson to the Yankees for veteran 3B Clete Boyer. He never pitched for the Yankees at the MLB level. He was sent to AAA Toledo Mud Hens (IL), he would leave the Yankees Organization after the 1967 Minor League season had ended. He later would pitch in the Mexican Leagues in 1971-1972, before retiring from the game. He had signed with the Braves in 1955, reaching the MLB in 1961, while posting a 7-6 pitching record with 3.96 ERA in 96 games (1961-1963). His older Brother Diomedes Olivo pitched in the MLB in 1960-1963 with the Cardinals and the Pirates.

1998- The Yankees replaced recently resigned General Manager Bob Watson with young Yankees Baseball Executive named Brian Cashman.

2002- Yankees All-Star Catcher Jorge Posada signs a 5-year contract with the club. Terms are not announced, but Posada was asking for $7.75 million in arbitration, which would make the 30-year-old the 2nd best-paid Catcher in MLB history.

2014- The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame announces 4 new members: Former 1983-1984 Yankees GM Murray Cook (the 2nd Canadian to be a GM for a MLB team), Jim Ridley (long-time Scout and Manager of the Canadian 1988 Olympic team), Dave Van Horne (Montréal Expos Announcer for over 30 years) and Tim Wallach (Expos All-Star 3rd Baseman).

2019- Former Yankees Pitcher Robert “Warrior” Friend (1966) passed away. (1930-2019)
On December 10,1965, veteran NL All-Star Starter Bob Friend was traded by the Pirates to the Yankees for young hurler Pete Mikkelsen and Cash. It was another great trade for an over the hill MLB veteran for young player trade by Yankees GM Ralph Houk. Bob went 1-4 with a 4.84 ERA in 12 games for the 1966 Yankees before being dumped to the Mets in June of 1966. Bob finished his MLB Pitching career with a 197-200 record with a 3.58 ERA in 497 games; with the 1958 NL season as his best with a 22-14 mark with a 3.68 ERA in 38 games for the Pirates. He was named to the NL All-Star team 3 times as a member of the Pirates. Bob was 0-2 with a 13.50 ERA in 3 games against the Yankees in the 1960 World Series.


8 months ago  ::  Jan 31, 2021 - 2:59PM #2
Posts: 16,012

This Week in Yankees History January 31st-February 6th Part Two

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 February 4th

1875- Former Yankees OF Alfonzo “Lefty” Davis (1903) was born. (1875-1919)

Before the start of the 1903 MLB Season, OF Lefty Davis jumped from the NL Pirates to play for the 1903 Yankees in the AL. He appeared in 104 games for the 1903 Yankees, while hitting .237 with No HRs and 25 RBIs. In 1904, he was back playing in the Minor Leagues.

1877- Former Yankees Player/Coach Germany “Liberty” Schaefer (1916) was born. (1887-1919)

On January 21,1916, INF Germany Schaefer was purchased by the Yankees from the Newark Peppers (Federal League). The 39-yearold veteran MLB Player who had been in the MLB since 1901, appeared in 1 game for the team as a player, before becoming an MLB Coach for them. With WWI going on, he will change his nickname of “Germany” to “Liberty.”

1915- The Yankees purchased Rookie 1B Wally Pipp and MLB OF Hugh High from the Tigers for a reported $5,000 each. Baseball Historian Lyle Spatz (Yankees Coming, Yankees Going) writes that this was the 1st of some promised funneling of ball players to the recently sold Yankees franchise to new Team Owners Ruppert and Houston. Wally Pipp would be the Yankees Regular 1B from 1915 until midseason of 1925, before being replaced by Rookie 1B Lou Gehrig. He would be sold to the Reds following the completion of the 1925 AL season. Outfielder Hugh High would play in 345 games for the 1915-1918 Yankees, while hitting .250 with 3 HRs and 90 RBIs.

1916- The Yankees released veteran OF Birdie Cree (1908-1915). He had retired from MLB. He had played for the Yankees for 8 seasons, while hitting a career .292 with 761 hits, 11 HRs and 332 RBI’s in 742 games. On February 19,1914, Birdie was purchased by the AA Baltimore Orioles (IL) from the Yankees for $2,500, leg injuries had slowed him down as an MLB Outfielder. On July 8,1914, he was traded by the AA Baltimore Orioles (IL) back to the Yankees for OF Bill Holden and $5,000 Cash. His best Yankees season was in 1911, when he hit .348 with 4 HRs and 88 RBIs in 137 games for the team. 

1937- Former Yankees Manager Harry Wolverton (1912) passed away. (1873-1937) 

Harry Wolverton managed the 1912 Yankees to a 50-102 record for a last place finish in the American League. He had replaced Player-Manager 1B Hal Chase. The former veteran NL Infielder had appeared in 33 games a Pinch-Hitter and played 3B for the 1912 Yankees, while hitting .300. Former Cubs Manager Frank Chance would replace Harry Wolverton as Yankees Manager for the 1913 AL season. After leaving the Yankees, Harry would return to be a Minor League Manager in the Pacific Coast League. He had managed the AA Oakland Oaks (PCL) before joining the Yankees in 1912.

1957- Former Yankees, Cubs and Red Sox MLB Manager Joe McCarthy and OF Sam Crawford are elected to the Hall of Fame by the BWAA. Joe “Marsh” McCarthy, the winningest Manager in MLB history, who had won 9 pennants and 4 consecutive World Championships with the Yankees. He was the 1st MLB Manager to win league championships in NL (Cubs) and in the AL (Yankees and the Red Sox). Sam “Wahoo Sam” Crawford, one of the greatest MLB hitters of the Dead-Ball Era, finished his MLB playing career hitting 309 triples, 1st on the All-time MLB list. Overall, he appeared in 2,517 games, while hitting .309 with 97 HRs and 1,525 RBIs. He played for the 1899-1902 Reds and the 1903-1917 Tigers. He appeared in the 1907-1909 World Series with the Tigers, hitting .243 with 1 HR and 6 RBIs appearing in 17 games.

1961- Former Yankees Minor League Executive and MLB General Manager Parker Carroll passed away. (1904-1961)

From 1958-1960, Parker Carroll was the GM of the Kansas City A’s. During those years, he engineered a few trades that sent key players to the Yankees, such as OF Hector Lopez, Pitchers  Ralph Terry and Duke Maas, but his most notable deal came on December 11,1959 in which Carroll sent OF Roger Maris, 1B Kent Hadley and veteran Shortstop Joe DeMasteri to the Yankees for veteran P Don Larsen, Reserve 1B/OF Marv Throneberry, OF Hank Bauer and OF/1B Norm Siebern. First, he tried to trade Maris to the Pirates for Shortstop Richard Groat, but the Pirates Manager didn't want to lose him, the deal fell through for the A's.  With the aid of the short RF Porch in Yankee Stadium in 1961, Roger Maris set a single-season HR record with 61 HRs, just 2 seasons after leaving the A's. Only Norm Siebern would pay dividends for the A's however, as he was their Regular 1B from 1961-1963. Carroll's MLB Trade dealings with the Yankees were considered controversial because the A’s, under Team Owner Arnold Johnson had sent many top players to the Bronx in apparent 1-sided trades during the mid-to late-1950s. Johnson and the team's Director of Player Personnel George Selkirk had previously traded quality players such as veteran Starter Bobby Shantz, Bonus Baby INF Clete Boyer and Reliever Ryne Duren to the Yankees. Many people seem to forget that the A’s did traded away many of the talented players that they had acquired from the Yankees, like INF/OF Woody Held, INF Billy Martin, OF/1BVic Power, Reliever Tom Morgan and other players to other AL teams that didn’t trade with the Yankees. Also, Johnson had previous business ties with Yankees Team Co-Owner Del Webb. He had owned Yankee Stadium in the Bronx prior to purchasing the Philadelphia A’s from the Connie Mack Family in the winter of 1954. All these factors led to charges from baseball fans, Sports Writers and other MLB teams that Johnson and Carroll ran the A’s as a Yankee Farm Team at the MLB level. Parker Carroll had come to the team directly, after working in the Yankees organization as a Minor League Business Manager for the Bombers' 2 top AA farm clubs, the Kansas City Blues (AA) and the Newark Bears (IL). A former Sportswriter, who served as Sports Editor of the Kansas City Journal Post, Carroll entered pro baseball, when that newspaper ceased publication during World War II. He joined the A's front office during their 1st MLB season in Kansas City in 1955 as Vice President and Business Manager. After the end of the 1958 AL season, Johnson promoted him to General Manager. He previously had not handed the GM title to a specific A’s Baseball Executive, preferring to divide the job responsibilities among himself, A’s Baseball Executive George Selkirk and Carroll. At the end of the 1960 AL season, new A’s Team Owner Charley O. Finley fired Parker Carroll replacing him with veteran MLB General Manager Frank “Trader” Lane.

1964- Former Yankees Minor League P Troy Evers was born.

Pitcher Troy Evers was selected by the Mets in the 10th round of the 1982 MLB Amateur Player Draft; but he did not sign with the club. He was then taken by the Yankees in the 2nd round of the MLB 1985 Amateur Player Draft. He made his pro debut that year with the Class A Oneonta Yankees (NY-Penn League), going 10-1, leading the League with a 1.18 ERA. Late in the 1988 season, he was traded along with MLB OF Jay Buhner and P&nbs**** Balabon to the Mariners for veteran MLB 1B/DH Ken Phelps. He played 2 seasons in the Mariners organization. After several years away from baseball, Evers was a strike replacement player for the Pirates in the spring of 1995. He then played for the Independent Green Bay Sultans (Prairie League), going 5-4 with a 2.08 ERA in 21 relief appearances.

1966- Former Yankees Shortstop Mike “Mollie” Milosevich (1944-1945) passed away. (1915-1966)

Shortstop Mike “Mollie” Milosevich hit .241 with 0 HRs and 39 RBIs in 124 games for the 1944-1945 Wartime Yankees. Mike had played in the Yankees Minor League system from 1935-1946. In 1947, Mollie moved to the Red Sox Minor League organization. Milosevich managed the Baxley-Hazlehurst Red Socks for part of the 1949 Minor League baseball season. He also managed a Class D team, the 1951 Americus Rebels.

1969- Attorney Bowie Kuhn is named MLB Commissioner, succeeding MLB Commissioner Spike Eckert. Kuhn receives a 1-year contract paying him $100,000. MLB Team Owners turned to Kuhn, after failing to agree on either of 2 other candidates; the Yankees President Michael Burke and the Giants Baseball Executive Chub Feeney. Kuhn was a close friend of Dodgers Team Owner Walter O’Malley. He had represented MLB during the 1950’s Congressional Anti-Trust hearings.

1984- The Yankees obtained 3B Toby Harrah and a Player to be Named later from the Indians in exchange for OF Otis Nixon, Reliever George Frazier and a Player to be Named Later. The Indians will send Minor League P Rick Browne on February 8,1984 to the Yankees to complete the trade. The Yankees will send Minor League P Guy Elston on February 8,1984 to the Tribe to complete the trade. Toby Harrah was a major disappointment with the bat for the Yankees. He only managed to hit .217 with 1 HR with 26 RBIs in 88 games. On February 27,1985, he was traded by the Yankees to the Rangers for a Player to be Named Later and MLB OF Billy Sample. The Rangers will send Minor League P Eric Dersin on July 14,1985 to the Yankees to complete the trade. 

2007- Former Yankees Pitcher Steve Barber (1967-1968) passed away. (1938-2007)

On July 4,1967, veteran AL Starter Steve Barber was traded by the Orioles to the Yankees for Players to be Named Later, MLB 1B Ray “Buddy” Barker and Cash. The Yankees sent Minor League Players INF Chet Trail and OF Joe Brady to the Orioles to complete the trade. Steve went 12-14 with a 3.58 ERA in 37 games for the Yankees before being drafted by the Seattle Pilots in the 1968 AL Expansion Team Player Draft. He was still recovering from pitching arm problems that he had with the Orioles, never showing the great form that made him a very successful starter for the Birds during the early 1960’s.

2007- Former Yankees Reserve OF Jim Pisoni (1959-1960) passed away. (1929-2007)

On June 15,1957, OF Jim Pisoni came to Yankees from the A’s in the Billy Martin trade. He hit .144 in 32 games as a Reserve Yankees Outfielder. In 1949, Jim was signed as an MLB Amateur Player by the St. Louis Browns. He came up to the MLB in September of 1953, becoming the last MLB Rookie to debut with the Browns before they moved to Baltimore in 1954.On December 1,1958, Jim was drafted by the Braves from the Yankees organization in the 1958 MLB Rule 5 Player Draft. In May of 1959, the Braves returned him to the Yankees Organization. He would spend most his time with the Yankees, playing for the AAA Richmond Virginians (IL). He finished his pro baseball career in 1962, after spending the season with the Reds AAA team, the San Diego Padres (PCL).

2011- Long-time Yankees Starter Andy Pettitte announces his MLB player retirement at a press conference, after hesitating all off-season about whether to return to play another year in the Bronx. The Yankees have signed veteran MLB Pitchers Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia as potential replacements, but Pettitte's decision still leaves a gaping hole in the team's 2011 AL season starting rotation.

2011- The Yankees signed MLB veteran 3B Eric Chavez, who will attempt a comeback after being plagued by back injuries for the past 4 seasons with the A’s and announcing his player retirement early last season. In 2 seasons with the Yankees, Eric hit .274 with 18 HRs with 63 RBIs. He finished his MLB playing career in 2014 with his MLB hometown team, the Diamondbacks.

February 5th

1891- Former Yankees INF (1913-1921) and MLB Player-Manager (1914) Roger Peckinpaugh was born. (1891-1977) 

On May 25,1913, Shortstop Roger Peckinpaugh was traded by the Indians to the Yankees for 2 Shortstops Bill Stumpf and Jack Lelivelt. In 1914, he briefly managed the Yankees for 17 games; when the Team Owners had fired Manager Frank Chance, posting a 9-8 mark. In 1919, Roger led the Yankees in batting with a .305 BA along with a 29-game hitting streak. He had 8 good seasons with the Yankees as their starting shortstop until 1921, when he was traded to the Red Sox. His overall Yankees playing career totals were a .257 BA with 36 HRs and 427 RBIs in 1,219 games. On December 20, 1921, Roger was traded by the  Yankees along with Pitchers Rip Collins, Bill Piercy, Jack Quinn and $100,000 Cash to the  Red Sox for Pitchers Bullet Joe Bush, Sad Sam Jones and Shortstop Everett “Deacon” Scott. He never played for the Red Sox, who later traded him that winter to the Senators. He finished his MLB playing career with the 1927 White Sox. In 1928, he started managing the Indians from 1928 to 1933. He returned for 1 more season in 1941, his overall MLB Manager’s record was 992-499.

1921- The New York Yankees purchased 10 acres of land in the Bronx. The Yankees will use the land as the site for their new park, which will be called Yankee Stadium.  The Yankees will continue to play at the Polo Grounds for the 1921-1922 AL seasons. The new Yankee Stadium will open in April of 1923.

1926- Former Yankees PH/1B Hank Workman (1950) was born. (1926-2020)

Before the start of the 1948 AL season, the Yankees signed 1B Hank Workman as an MLB Amateur Free Agent. He had been a College Star Baseball player at USC. Hank appeared in only 2 games for the 1950 Yankees, while hitting just .200. Workman would play 6 seasons in the Yankees Minor League system. Then Hank retired from baseball, he would become a Lawyer in California.

1930- The Yankees sold Shortstop Leo Durocher (1925,1928-1929) to the Reds. Durocher was a good infielder, but he lacked a power bat. His Yankees teammate Slugger Babe Ruth nicknamed him “All-American Out.” As Yankees player, he hit .257 with No HRs and 63 RBIs in 210 games. He appeared in 4 games with the Yankees in the 1928 World Series with no hits. The Yankees front office was unhappy with his bad attitude, GM Edward Barrow decided to dump him in favor of Rookie Shortstop Lyn Lary, who was a better hitter. All 7 AL teams passed on him on waivers, he was claimed by the NL Reds.

1935- At the of age of 39, MLB HR King and AL All-Star OF Babe Ruth is released by the New York Yankees. He will finish his long MLB playing career with the 1935 Boston Braves.

1936- Former Yankees Reserve OF/1B and MLB Baseball Executive James “Leroy” Thomas (1961) was born.

In 1954, the Yankees signed OF Lee Thomas as an MLB Amateur Free Agent. Lee was unable to break into the Yankees regular starting outfield. He was traded to the new AL Expansion Team; the Angeles in the Ryne Duren-Bob Cerv trade in May of 1961. In 1961, Lee was named to the Topps All-Star Rookie Team. In 1962, Lee was named to the 1962 AL All-Star team. He had 3-20 MLB HR seasons (1961-1962 and 1965). He played for the Yankees, Angels, Red Sox, Braves, Cubs and the Astros, while hitting 106 MLB career HRs. After retiring as an MLB player (1961-1968), he worked in the Minor Leagues as a Coach and Manager for the Cardinals and the Reds Minor League organizations. From 1983-1988, he was the Cardinals Farm Director, later becoming an MLB General Manager with the 1988-1997 Phillies. He rebuild the Phillies into a winning team. He acquired players such as P Curt Schilling, OF Lenny Dykstra and P Mitch Williams, who played critical roles in the Phillies 1993 NL pennant-winning team, which lost the 1993 World Series to the Blue Jays. That same season, The Sporting News and Boston chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, both named him Executive of the Year for all of MLB. When 4 straight losing seasons followed the '93 NL Pennant, Thomas was replaced as GM by Ed Wade, his Assistant. He then returned to the Red Sox as a Special Assistant to the General Manager from 1998 to 2003, where he played a key role in Boston's signing of MLB Free Agent Outfielders Manny Ramírez in December 2000 and Johnny Damon, 1 year later. He served the Astros and the Brewers as a Pro Scout and on December 4, 2011, he joined the Orioles as a Special Assistant to Executive Vice President Dan Duquette with whom he had worked with in Boston. Lee held that front office position until 2014.

1942- The Boston Braves obtained Minor League OF Tommy Holmes from the Yankees for 1B Buddy Hassett and OF Gene Moore in one of the best trades in Braves team history. In 1942, Buddy Hassett will hit .284 with 5 HRs and 48 RBIs for the Yankees; then he would join the Navy. He would never return to the MLB. The much-traveled Gene Moore will never play for the Yankees at the MLB level. Tommy Holmes couldn't break into Yankees All-Star Outfield, but he will be a .302 MLB career hitter. After leading the Braves to the 1948 NL Pennant, he will win the 1948 NL MVP Award.

1955- Former Yankees INF/Catcher Mike Heath (1978) was born. 

The Yankees in the 2nd round of the 1973 MLB Amateur Player Draft had selected INF Mike Heath. He appeared in 33 games for the 1978 Yankees, while hitting .228 with No HRs and 8 RBIs. He appeared in 1 game of the 1978 World Series against the Dodgers for the team with no hits. Originally, he was drafted by the Yankees as a Shortstop. Due to a leg injury, Mike had been converted into a Catcher while playing in the Yankees Minor League system. He was being groomed to be Thurman Munson’s replacement behind the plate, until he was traded to the Rangers in the Sparky Lyle-Dave Righetti trade in the fall of 1978. Mike played in the MLB for 14 seasons with the Yankees, A’s, Cardinals, Tigers and the Braves. After retiring as an active MLB Player, Mike became a Minor League Coach and Manager. In 1996-1997, he managed teams in the White Sox organization.

1966- Former Yankees MLB Scout Eddie Dancisak (1960-1962) passed away. (1912-1966)

Outfielder Eddie Dancisak played Minor League baseball from 1937-1942, almost entirely at the Class C and D levels. He entered the Army in February of 1944, being discharged in May of 1946. Ed scouted for the 1946-1948 St. Louis Browns, 1949-1959 Boston/Milwaukee Braves, 1960-1962 Yankees and the 1964-1966 Mets. Also, he was a Minor League Manager in the Indians and the Browns organizations during the late 1940’s.

2002- Luis (Tite) Arroyo is inducted into the Latin American Baseball Hall of Fame Museum. The Puerto Rican Reliever, who made the NL All-Star squad as a Rookie with the 1955 St. Louis Cardinals, posted a 40-32 MLB career pitching record with 36 saves with a 3.93 ERA and 36 saves in 8 MLB seasons. Arroyo is best remembered for his 1961 AL season with the Yankees, when he went 15-5 with a 2.19 ERA along and 29 saves. During his MLB Pitching career started in 1955 and ended in 1963, Luis pitched for the Cardinals, Pirates and the Reds before joining the Yankees during the 1960 AL season. He would later become a Latin American MLB Scout for the Yankees.

2019- The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame elects 4 new members, all of whom are Canadians: Gord Ash, former GM for the Toronto Blue Jays; Jason Bay and Ryan Dempster, who both starred in the MLB in the previous decade; and long-time Yankees MLB and Minor League Coach Rob Thomson.

 February 6th

1880- Former Yankees INF/OF Frank LaPorte (1905-1907,1908-1910) was born. (1880-1939)

On August 25,1905, INF Frank LaPorte was purchased by the Yankees from AA Buffalo (EL). He became a regular in 1906-1907 for the Yankees. While he had made his MLB Player debut in 1905 as a 2B, he mostly played 3B in 1906 and then split his time in 1907 between 3B and the Outfield. Thereafter, though, he would be primarily a 2B for the rest of his MLB playing career except for the 1913 season; when he went back to 3B. On October 13,1907he was traded as part of a 3-team trade by the Yankees to the Boston Americans (aka Red Sox). The White Sox sent OF Jake Stahl to the Yankees. The Americanssent INF Freddy Parent to the White Sox. On August 17,1908, Frank was traded by the Red Sox back to the Yankees for 2B Harry Niles. LaPorte did well with the bat in with the 1909 Yankees, while hitting .298. Serving again as a Yankee regular in 1910, hitting .264 in 124 games. Overall, Frank appeared in 516 games for the Yankees, while hitting .274 with 6 HRs and 227 RBIs. On February 11,1911, he was traded by the Yankees along with 3B Jimmy Austin to the St. Louis Browns for INF/OF Roy Hartzell and Cash.

1896- Yankees and Red Sox Hall of Fame OF/Pitcher Babe Ruth (1920-1934) was born in Baltimore, Maryland. (1896-1948)

Babe Ruth will amass 714 MLB HRs with 2,217 RBIs with a lifetime MLB batting average of .342 on his way to Hall of Fame election in 1936. Babe originally acquired by the Red Sox from the Minor League team, the AA Baltimore Orioles (IL) as a Pitcher along with Pitcher Ernie Shore and Ben Egan for more than $25,000 Cash. As an MLB Pitcher, Babe Ruth went 94-46 with 2.24 ERA. He was 3-0 in World Series play with the Red Sox, including a World Series 29 2/3 scoreless innings record that stood until 1962, when Yankees Starter Whitey Ford broke it. Then his Red Sox Manager Edward Barrow converted him to an Outfielder to take advantage of his hitting ability. Ruth would hit .391 with 49 HRs and 224 RBIs in 391 games for Boston. His trade by the Red Sox to the Yankees in January of 1920 will start the rise of the Yankees as one of the most dominant teams in MLB history. He will play for the Yankees from 1920 to 1934. Ruth had appeared in 2,084 games for the team, while hitting .349 with 659 HRs with 1,978 RBIs. Babe pitched in 5 games for the Yankees during his playing career, posting a 5-0 record with a 5.52 ERA. He was on the 1st AL All Star team in 1933, then he was on the 1934 AL squad. In 7 World Series with the Bronx Bombers, Ruth hit .347 with 15 HRs and 30 RBIs. In 1923, he won the AL MVP Award, hitting .393 with 41 HRs and 130 RBIs in 152 games, at that time if you won the MVP Award, you couldn’t win 1 again, the rules were later changed in the 1930’s. In 1924, Babe hit .378 with 46 HRs and 124 RBIs in 153 games, he won the AL Batting Crown with his 378 BA. On February 26,1935, Babe Ruth will be released by the Yankees, he will finish out his long MLB playing career with the Boston Braves before retiring from the game on May 25,1935. Babe Ruth will be elected to Baseball’s Hall of Fame in 1936, receiving 95.1% of baseball writers voting ballots. Ruth was briefly an MLB Coach for the 1938 Dodgers. He was inducted to the Baseball’s Hall Fame of Fame in 1939.

1926- The St. Louis Browns acquired veteran Catcher Wally Schang from the Yankees for Pitcher George Mogridge and Cash. Although Wally Schang is 36 years old, he will hold the job as starting Catcher for the Browns for the next 4 seasons. In 1926, he will hit .330 for the Browns. His trade was considered to be a rare Yankees GM  Ed Barrow mistake. George Mogridge didn’t pitch with the 1926 Yankees. The Yankees will have shared duties of catchers until the arrival of future starting All-Star Catcher Bill Dickey in 1928.

1926- Former Yankees 1B and MLB Coach Dale Long (1960,1962-1963) was born. (1926-1991)

On December 5,1949, 1B Dale Long was drafted by the Yankees from the Tigers organization in the 1949 MLB Minor League Player Draft. Dale will not appear with the Yankees at the MLB level. On November 16,1950, Dale was drafted by the Pirates from the Yankees organization in the 1950 MLB Rule 5 Player Draft. In 1956, Dale was a NL All-Star 1B with the Cubs, during that season, Dale set an MLB record of hitting 7 HRs in 7 straight games. During the 1958 NL season with the Pirates, he caught 2 games as a left-handed catcher. The Yankees had obtained Dale Long from the Giants for Cash in August of 1960.  Dale hit .366 in 26 games for the 1960 Yankees. In December of 1960, Dale was lost in the 1960 AL Expansion player draft to the “new” Washington Senators. On July 11,1962, he was re-obtained from the Senators by the Yankees for Minor League OF Don Lock, who was with the AAA Richmond Virginians (IL). He hit .298 in 41 games for the 1962 Yankees. The team released Dale during the 1963 AL season. He was only hitting .200, while appearing in only 14 games. He became a Yankees MLB Coach. He appeared in 2 World Series with the Yankees in 1960 and 1962, while hitting .250.

1927- Former Yankees MLB Scout (1953-1968) and Royals Baseball Executive Art Stewart was born.

The  Yankees hired Art Stewart as an MLB Scout in 1953. He previous had worked for the St. Louis Browns as an MLB Scout. He was trained by legendary Yankees MLB Scout Lou Maguolo. He scouted, suggested and signed many players for the Yankees. Art was the Yankees Midwest Scouting Supervisor from 1958-1969. Working mainly in the Midwest, the 1st player Stewart discovered and steered to the Yankees was Pitcher Jim Bouton, who had not attracted any interest from MLB teams, while in pitching high school. Art signed Jim Bouton for the Yankees for $30,000 in November of 1958. Bouton became a starting pitcher for the Yankees in the early 1960s. Stewart has served in multiple roles for the Kansas City Royals since joining the MLB expansion franchise in 1969. In 1985, Stewart he was Director of Scouting. In 1986, he was both Scouting Director and Player Development. From 1987 to 1997, he served as only Scouting Director. From 1998 to 1999, Stewart became the Senior Special Assistant to General Manager. From 2001 to 2005, Stewart became the Senior Advisor to the General Manager, and continues in that position in 2020.  Art is the longest tenured Kansas City Royals Associate. He was inducted into the Kansas City Royals Baseball Hall of Fame during 2008 season, on June 28th. Stewart represented the Kansas City Royals Hall of Fame class of 2008, becoming the 23rd member of the elite group.  Stewart is the Royals' Senior Advisor to General Manager (GM) Dayton Moore. Seventy players that Stewart drafted have played Major League Baseball. They include Bo Jackson, Kevin Appier, Brian McRae, Mike Sweeney, Johnny Damon, Joe Randa and Carlos Beltrán. He co-authored a baseball book, "The Art of Scouting", with Kansas City Newspaper Writer Sam Mellinger in 2014. In an interview with Dick Kaegel of MLB.com on October 17, 2014, as the Royals advanced to their 1st World Series appearance since 1985, Stewart told a story from his Chicago childhood: "When I was 8 or 9 years old, playing ball as a kid, my mother said, 'You know, you're going to be in professional baseball someday.' I said, 'What do you mean, Mom?' She said, 'Because you were born on Feb. 6, Babe Ruth's birthday, in 1927, the same season that he hit 60 home runs.' She was right. Talk about scouting!" Stewart has been an associate in baseball now for 67 baseball seasons. At the age of 93, Art Stewart is currently in his 52nd season with the Kansas City Royals 

1950- Former long-time Yankees MLB Coach (1929-1945), MLB Manager and Player Art Fletcher (1909-1922) passed away. (1885-1950)

Art Fletcher was an MLB Infielder for the Giants and the Phillies. He finished his MLB playing career in 1922 with a .277 BA hitting 32 HRs and 675 RBIs. He was the Manager of the Phillies from 1923 to 1926. Art briefly managed the Yankees for 11 games, posting a 6-5 record, after Yankees Manager Miller Higgins had died in September of 1929 during the 1929 AL season. Yankees MLB Pitching Coach Bob Shawkey would take over the team from him in 1930. Art would be a Yankees MLB Coach from 1929 to 1945. He suffered a heart attack during 1945 Yankees Spring Training Camp and retired from the Yankees.

"Fletcher could have been the manager of the Yankees after the death of Huggins. Managerial posts with other clubs were offered him from time to time, but he preferred to remain a coach. Apparently, his experience with the Phillies had cured him. He never again wanted the responsibility and headaches that accompany a manager's job." - Fletcher's New York Times obituary.

1951- Former Yankees Reserve Catcher (1912) and MLB Manager Gabby Street (1929-1933,1938) passed away. (1882-1951)

On February 17,1912, veteran MLB Catcher Gabby Street was traded by the Senators to the Yankees for a Player to be Named Later and Shortstop John Knight. On February 22,1912, the Yankees would send C/1B Rip Williams to theSenators to complete the trade. Street will appear in 29 games as a Reserve Catcher for the team, hitting only .182 with No HRs and 6 RBIs. With the Nats, he was Ace Starter Walter Johnson’s favorite catcher. Despite having a weak bat, he was an excellent defensive catcher behind the plate with a strong throwing. The 1912 AL season was his last active MLB player season. Later, Gabby would become an MLB Manager for the 1929-1933 St. Louis Cardinals. From 1934-1937, he managed in the Minor Leagues at the Class AA Level. Also, he had managed the 1938 St. Louis Browns in the AL.

1952- Former Yankees INF Del Paddock (1912) passed away. (1887-1952)

On July 21,1912, INF Del Paddock was purchased by the Yankees from Dubuque Dubs (Three-I League). He had played in 46 games for the 1912 Yankees, while hitting .288 with 1 HR and 14 RBIs. Paddock showed that he could use the bat, with hitting .288 and also that adding 23 walks for a .393 on-base percentage. That would have been good enough for 7th in the AL in on-base percentage; if he had had enough plate appearances. His .378 slugging percentage was also 44 points above the team average. However, in the field at 3rd base, he made 14 errors in 41 games. Roy Hartzell was the regular Yankees 3rd baseman, a decent hitter, who only made 20 errors in 56 games at the position while also playing quite a bit at other positions (Hartzell played more outfield in his MLB playing career than 3rd base).It was his only final MLB season as a player. He had appeared in 1 game with the 1912 White Sox. On December 20, 1912, Del was purchased by the AA Rochester Hustlers (IL) from the Yankees. Paddock went to the AA Rochester Hustlers (IL) in 1913, the AA Buffalo Bisons (IL) in 1914, the AA St. Paul Saints(AA) later in 1914, and then the Chattanooga Lookouts in 1917. He served in World War I. He was in the Dakota League with the Mitchell Kernels in 1921, then Del played with the Sioux City Packers in 1921.

1955- Former Yankees Pitcher Hank “Lefty” Thormahlen (1917-1920) passed away. (1896-1955)

Hank Thormahlen pitched 6 seasons in the MLB, winning 29 games, also he pitched 14 years in the Minor Leagues, winning over 170 games. On August 14,1917, Hank Thormahlen was purchased along with INF Chick Fewster and OF Bill Lamar by the Yankees from the AA Baltimore Orioles (IL) for $20,000. On December 15,1920, Hank was traded by the Yankees along with INF Del Pratt, C Muddy Ruel and OF Sammy Vick to the Red Sox for Pitchers Harry Harper and Waite Hoyt, INF Mike McNally and C Wally Schang.  His best season in the MLB was with the 1919 Yankees, when he went 12-10 with an 2.62 ERA that was in the top 10 in the 1919 American League. Overall, with the Yankees, Hank had appeared in 76 games; while posting a 28-18 record with a 3.06 ERA.

1960- Former Yankees Pitcher Frank “Noodles” Hahn (1906) passed away. (1879-1960)

In November of 1905, the Yankees signed veteran NL Starter Frank “Noodles” Hahn as an MLB Free Agent. The Reds had released Hahn during the 1904 NL season. He would appear in 6 games for the 1906 Yankees, while posting a 3-2 record with 3.86 ERA in 6 games. He asked for his player release from the team. It was granted. Overall, as an MLB Pitcher, he went 130-94 with a 2.55 ERA in 243 games pitching with the Reds and the Yankees (1899-1906). After leaving MLB baseball in 1906, Hahn became a Veterinary Inspector for the United States government in Cincinnati, Ohio. He had earned a medical degree in Veterinary from the Cincinnati Veterinary College.

1969- Former Yankees Pitcher Bob Wickman (1992-1996) was born.

Bob Wickman was obtained from the White Sox along with Pitchers Domingo Jean and Meldo Perez in the Steve Sax trade. He went 31-14 with a 4.21 ERA and 11 saves in 223 games for the Yankees. On August 23,1996, Bob traded by the Yankees along with OF Gerald Williams to the Brewers for a Player to be Named Later, INF Pat Listach and P Graeme Lloyd. The Brewers would send P Ricky Bones on August 29,1996 to the Yankees to complete the trade. On October 2,1996, INF Pat Listach was returned to Brewers because of injury issues.

1970- Former Yankees Pitcher Mark Hutton (1993-1994,1996) was born in Australia.

In 1988, the Yankees signed Australian hurler Mark Hutton, as an MLB Amateur Free Agent. He went 1-3 with a 5.30 ERA in 21 games with the team before being traded on July 31,1996 to the Marlins for P Dave Weathers. Mark had pitched for the Australia Baseball team at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

1986- Former Yankees Minor League P Kanekoa Texeira was born.

The Brewers in the 31st round of the 2004 MLB Amateur Player Draft selected P Kanekoa Texeira, but he went unsigned. After 2 years of Jr. College, he went to the White Sox in the 22nd round of the 2006 MLB Amateur Player Draft. In November of 2008, the White Sox dealt him along with OF Nick Swisher to the Yankees for INF/OF Wilson Betemit, Minor League Pitchers Jeff Marquez and Jhonny Nunez. He was 9-6 with 2 saves and a 2.84 ERA as a swingman for the 2009 AA Trenton Thunder (EL). That winter, the Mariners took him in the MLB Rule 5 Player Draft. After spending a couple of months in the MLB, the Mariners tried to send him down to the Minor Leagues, but he was claimed on waivers by the Royals. He went 1-0 with a 4.64 ERA in 27 games in relief for the Royals over the rest of the season; combined with his 0-1 record, with a 5.30 ERA in 16 games for the M's, he finished the season with a 1-1 record with a 4.84 ERA in 43 games, all in relief, having given up 73 hits and 25 walks in 61 1/3 innings while striking out 33 batters. Kanekoa was back with the Royals in early 2011, after starting the season with the AAA Omaha Storm Chasers (AA), while his 2.84 ERA over 6 games looked superficially good, the 13 hits and 3 walks that he gave up while striking out none in 6 1/3 innings showed he actually struggled on the mound. The Royals tried to send him down, but this time his old team the Yankees put in a waiver claim on him. They kept him around for a little over a week before releasing him on July 6th; they resigned him again on July 19th. He was injured during his stint in the Yankees' organization, putting in a few rehab appearances with the GCL Yankees. He was not particularly sharp either with the AAA Scranton/WilkesBarre Yankees (0-1 with a 22.85 ERA) or the AA Trenton Thunder (0-1 with a 10.64 ERA). After the 2011 AL season had ended, he was granted MLB Free Agency by the team. 

1986- The Yankees signed veteran MLB Free Agent Reliever Al Holland (1986-1987). In 1986, he went 1-0 with a 5.09 ERA and no saves in 25 games. Overall, with the Yankees, Al posted a 1-0 record with 6.32 ERA and No saves in 28 games before being released by the team during the 1987 AL season.

1996- Former Yankees Pitcher Bob Muncrief (1951) passed away. (1916-1996)

On November 16,1950, veteran Pitcher Bob Muncrief was drafted by the Yankees from the Cubs organization in the 1950 Rule 5 MLB Player Draft. Bob had spent the 1950 season with the Cubs AAA club, the LA Angels (PCL); while posting a 15-17 record with a 3.84 ERA in 43 games. He spent part of the 1951 season with the Yankees AAA Kansas City Blues (AA) team posting a 5-6 record with a 3.04 ERA in 41 games. He went 0-0 with a 9.00 ERA in 2 games with the 1951 Yankees. Bob pitched in MLB for 12 seasons, while posting an 80-82 record with a 3.80 ERA in 288 games with the Browns, Indians, Pirates and Cubs before finishing out with the 1951 Yankees. The Cardinals originally had signed Bob in 1934, but he was traded to the Browns in 1935. He was a member of the 1944 Browns and the 1948 Indians, appearing in 2 World Series as batter, but not as Pitcher. He was a member of the 1944 AL-All Star team as a member of the Browns. Bob pitched for the 1952-1954 AAA San Francisco Seals (PCL). He appeared in 1 game with 1955 Giants AA team, the Dallas Eagles (TL) farm team before retiring from the game,

1998-The Yankees acquired AL All-Star 2B Chuck Knoblauch from the Twins for former #1 Draft Pick Pitcher Eric Milton, 2 Class A Players: INF Cristian Guzman and Pitcher Danny Mota and AAA player, OF/1B Brian Buchanan, plus $3 million in Cash. The former AL 1991 ROY Award Winner 2B Chuck Knoblauch will bat .265 with 17 HRs with 64 RBI while playing in 150 games in 1998, helping the Yankees win the 1998 World Championship.

2007- Former Yankees and MLB Pitcher Lew Burdette (1950) passed away. (1926-2007)

During World War II, Lew Burdette spent time in combat with the Army in Europe. In 1946, Lew had attended the University of Richmond. In 1947, he was signed by Yankees MLB Scout Bill McCorry. He broke into organized baseball at age 20 with the Norfolk Tars (Piedmont League), going 1-1 with a 4.33 ERA. Next, Lew pitched for the Amsterdam Rugmakers (CANAM League) the same season, going 9-10 with a 2.82 ERA. The next season, he was with the Quincy Gems in the (Three-I League); posting a 16-11 record with a 2.02 ERA, tying Art Bohman for the league lead in wins and finishing 2nd to David Thieke in ERA. In 1949, Lew toiled for the 1949 AA Kansas City Blues (AA), going just 6-7 with a 5.26 ERA. In 1950, Lew went 7-7 with a 4.79 ERA for the Blues; he got a late look with the 1950 Yankees, appearing in 2 games with no record. In 1951, He was sent back down to the AA San Francisco Seals (PCL), posting a 14-12  record with a 3.21 ERA. On August 29,1951, Lew was traded by the Yankees along with $50,000 Cash to the Boston Braves for veteran hurler Johnny Sain. Burdette would come back to haunt the Yankees in 1957 World Series, winning 3 games for the Braves against his old team. In 1958, he was 1-2 against his old team in World Series as the 1958 Yankees reclaimed the World Championship from the Braves. Clippers Note: If Lew had stayed with the Yankees, he could have had a good chance of winning 300 games. He finished his MLB Pitching career in 1967 with a 203-144 mark, while posting a 3.66 ERA and 32 saves in 626 games. He had pitched in the MLB for the Yankees, Boston and Milwaukee Braves, Cardinals, Cubs, Phillies before finishing up in the AL with the 1967 Angels. In 1960, he threw a No-Hitter against the Phillies. He pitched in 2 World Series with the 1957-1958 Braves, posting a record of 4-2 with 25 strikeouts, 8 walks and 2 shutouts in 49 1/3 innings pitched with an ERA of 2.92 and a WHIP of 1.0338 in 6 games; hitting a HR in the process. Overall, in the MLB All-Star game, he was 0-0 with 2 strikeouts and a walk in 7 innings with an ERA of 1.29 in 2 games. He was a NL All-Star Game Pitcher in 1957 and 1959. Later on, retired Yankees GM George Weiss named Pitcher Lew Burdette and OF Jackie Jensen as 2 of the young Yankees players that he had traded away in the 1950’s, that he should kept on the team.
















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