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This Week in Yankees History February 21st-27th
8 months ago  ::  Feb 21, 2021 - 3:04PM #1
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This Week in Yankees History February 21st-27th Part One

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February 21st

1904- The Yankees purchased veteran MLB Catcher Deacon McGuire from the Tigers. The 41-yearold Catcher had been playing in the MLB since 1884, starting with the Toledo Blue Stockings (American Association). He would play for the 1904-1907 Yankees, while appearing in 225 games, hitting .230 with No HRs and 67 RBIs. On June 7,1907, Deacon was selectedoff waivers by the Boston Americans (aka Red Sox) from the Yankees. He will end his MLB playing career in 1912 with the Tigers.

1934- Former Yankees Pitcher Doc Adkins (1903) passed away. (1872-1934)

Doc Adkins appeared in 2 games for the 1903 Yankees with no record. After pitching in the Minor Leagues with the AA Baltimore Orioles (IL), he retired from baseball becoming a successful Doctor in Durham, NC. While playing in Baltimore, Adkins attended the Johns Hopkins University Medical School. He received his Doctor’s M.D. in 1907. Also Doc coached the baseball team at Trinity College now (Duke University) from 1908-1914, while playing with the Orioles. His Trinity College teams had posted a 108-67-4 record. After the 1913 baseball season, Doc Adkins retired from the Orioles; settling in Durham, NC to practice medicine until his death in 1934.

1945- Former Yankees Reserve OF Tom Shopay (1967,1969) was born.

The Yankees in the 34th round of the 1965 MLB Amateur Player Draft selected OF Tom Shopay. He appeared in only 36 games for the Yankees, while hitting just .189.  On December 1,1969, he was drafted by the Orioles from the Yankees organization in the 1969 MLB Rule 5 Player Draft. Tom Shopay would play in the Orioles organization until 1977. He saw parts of 1971-1972, 1975-1977 seasons with the Orioles, while spending time with their AAA  team, the Rochester Red Wings (IL). His final MLB playing career totals was a .201 BA with 3 HRs and 20 RBIs.

1947- Former Yankees Pitcher Terry Ley (1971) was born.

Pitcher Terry Ley was selected by the Yankees in the 3rd round (Secondary Phase) of the 1967 MLB Amateur Player Draft. He appeared in 6 games for the 1971 Yankees with no record. On December 2,1971, he was traded by the Yankees along with Minor League P Gary Jones to the Rangers for veteran MLB INF Bernie Allen.

1961- Former Yankees Catcher (1986-1988) and MLB Manager Joel Skinner was born.

On July 30, 1986, Joel Skinner was traded by the White Sox along with OF/1B/DH Ron Kittle and INF Wayne Tolleson to the Yankees for a Player to be Named Later, C/1B/DH Ron Hassey and INF/OF Carlos Martinez. The Yankees would send Minor League C Bill Lindsey on December 24, 1986 to the White Sox to complete the trade. He was a good defensive catcher, but he had a very weak bat. Joel would only hit .214 with 8 HRs and 54 RBIs in 206 games for the Yankees. On March 19, 1989,Joel was traded by the Yankees along with Minor League OF Turner Ward to the Indians for veteran OF/DH Mel Hall. Joel was the son of former MLB player and Manager Bob Skinner. Later, Joel Skinner was an MLB Manager for the Indians.

1982- The Yankees signed OF Roberto Kelly as an MLB Amateur Free Agent. He would play for the Yankees from 1987-1992 and again in 2000. On November 3,1992, Roberto Kelly was traded by the Yankees to the Reds for Minor League OF Joe DeBerry and MLB OF Paul O'Neill. He had refused to make the move from CF to RF to make way for Rookie OF Bernie Williams, so the Yankees traded him to the Reds. 

1985- Former Yankees OF Oscar Azocar (1990) was born. (1985-2010)

On November 22, 1983, OF Oscar Azocar was signed as a MLB Free Agent for the Yankees by MLB Scout Fred Ferreira. Originally, he was a Pitcher in the Minor Leagues from 1984 to 1986. He went 14-5 with a 2.31 ERA. He began playing the outfield in 1987, hitting .359 for the Class A Fort Lauderdale Yankees (FSL) that season. In 1990, Azocar played 94 games for the AAA Columbus Clippers (IL). He was called up to the Bronx. He made his MLB player debut on July 17th, getting a Pinch-Hit single in his 1st MLB at-bat against the Royals. The following day, he hit a HR, doubled, and singled against the Royals. Overall, he appeared in 65 games for the Yankees that summer and was used more than any other player in LF by the Yankees, who also played Mel Hall, Hensley Meulens, Claudell Washington, Deion Sanders, Dave Winfield and others at that position season. He hit for a good average, but Oscar hardly drew any walks as a batter, which diminished his value as a player significantly; especially since he had little power. After the 1990 AL season, Oscar Azocar was traded by the Yankees to the Padres for Reserve OF Mike Humphreys. In June of 2010, he passed away at the age of 45 from a fatal heart attack.

1988- Current Yankees Pitcher Tyler Lyons (2019-2020) was born.

On August 11, 2019, veteran NL Reliever Tyler Lyons was released by the Pirates. On August 15, 2019he was signed as an MLB Free Agent by the Yankees. In 2019, he went 0-1 with a 4.15 ERA (8.2IP, 4ER) in 11 regular season relief appearances for the Yankees. He was a member of both the 2019 ALDS and ALCS rosters. Lyons, 32, made 1 appearance for the Yankees in 2020 (1.2 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 HP) in his only stint with the club (9/22-25). The left-hander spent most of the 2020 season at the Yankees’ Alternate Site and was a member of the Yankees Postseason Player Pool. Over 8 MLB seasons with the Cardinals (2013-2018), Pirates (2019) and the Yankees (2019-2020), he owns a 13-12 MLB pitching record with a 4.30 ERA (282.2IP,135ER) and with 3 saves in 162 games (20 starts). Lyons was originally selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 9th round of the 2010 1st-Year Player Draft out of Oklahoma State Univ. After the 2020 MLB season had ended, he was granted MLB Free Agency by the team. On January 6, 2021, he was signed as an MLB Free Agent by the team. He will be in the 2021 Yankees MLB Spring Training Camp trying to make the Yankees bullpen as a lefty relief specialist.

1991- The Yankees signed veteran MLB Reliever Steve Howe as an MLB Free Agent. Howe would go 3-1 with a 1.68 ERA and 3 saves in 37 games for the 1991 Yankees. Overall, Steve would pitch for the Yankees until his release by the team in June of 1996. He posted an overall record of 18-10 with a 3.57 ERA and 31 saves in 229 games.

2005- The Yankees signed OF Mike Vento as an MLB Free Agent. He would spend the 2005 season with the AAA Columbus Clippers (IL). The Yankees in the 40th round of the 1997 MLB Amateur Player Draft had originally selected Mike Vento. Mike appeared in only 2 games with no hits with the 2005 Yankees. The team would grant him MLB Free Agency. He would be signed by the Nationals for the 2006 NL season.

2006- Former Yankees Pitcher Mark Freeman (1959) passed away. (1930-2006)

In 1952, the Yankees signed Pitcher Mark Freeman as an MLB Amateur Free Agent. He began his pro career in 1952, pitching for the Class AA Binghamton Triplets (Eastern League), going 7-5 with a 4.10 ERA in 17 games (14 starts). In 1953, he was with the Triplets again; he posted a 6-7 mark with a 2.94 ERA in 28 games (10 starts). Next season, he pitched for the Birmingham Barons in 1954, going 5-5 with a 3.20 ERA in 13 games (12 starts). He did not play pro baseball in 1955. From 1956-1958, Mark pitched for the AAA Denver Bears (AA), going 10-14 with a 4.87 ERA in 30 games (29 starts) in 1956. In 1957, he went 12-6 with a 3.46 ERA in 24 starts. Then in 1958, he went 13-10 with a 4.77 ERA in 33 games (32 starts). On April 8,1959, he was traded by the Yankees to the A’s for P Jack Urban. He made his MLB Pitching debut with the A’s on April 18th against the Indians, pitching 3 innings of relief, allowing 4 hits and 2 earned runs. Also, in 1959, Freeman spent 26 games (23 starts) with the AAA Seattle Rainiers (PCL), going 13-9 with a 3.42 ERA. On May 8,1960, Mark would be sent back to the Yankees by the A’s. Mark would make 1 appearance for the 1960 Yankees, pitching 7 innings and allowing only 2 earned runs. In total, he made 4 MLB appearances and posted a 5.06 ERA. On May 19,1960, Mark was traded to the Cubs for P Art Ceccarelli. With the 1960 Cubs, he made 30 appearances, with 22 of them coming in relief. He posted a 3-3 record with a 5.63 ERA. Earlier that season, Mark had made 5 appearances for the Yankees AAA team, the Richmond Virginians (IL) as well. He had posted a 2-1 record with a 3.00 ERA for Richmond. In 8 Minor League seasons, Mark went 68-57 with a 3.95 ERA in 176 games (148 starts). 

2010- The Yankees signed veteran MLB Korean Pitcher Chan Ho Park to a 1-year contract. Park had pitched against the Yankees for the Phillies in 2009 World Series. He would post a 2-1 record with a 5.60 ERA in 27 games for the Yankees before being put on waivers by the team. He finished the 2010 MLB season with the Pirates, while posting a 2-2 record.

February 22nd

1895- Former Yankees Pitcher Edward “Peck” Monroe (1917-1918) was born. (1903-1969)

Pitcher Ed Monroe posted a 1-0 record with a 3.52 ERA in 10 games for the 1917-1918 Yankees. He had 1 complete game along with 1 save in his short Yankees pitching career. In 1919, Ed returned to the Minor Leagues, pitching for the AA St. Paul Saints (American Association.)

1919- Former Yankees Reserve 2B John Lucadello (1947) was born. (1919-2001)

On March 1,1947, INF John Lucadello was selected off waivers by the Yankees from the St. Louis Browns organization. He had been with the Browns since 1938, playing until 1941, when he spent the next 4 years in the Navy. In 1946, he returned to Browns, playing in 87 games, while hitting .248 with 1 HR and 15 RBIs. John only appeared in 12 games with the 1947 Yankees, while hitting just .083. He finished out the 1947 season playing with the Yankees AA team, the Kansas City Blues (American Association). Johnny spent the next 4 seasons (1948-1951) all in AA ball, with his best numbers coming in 1948, when he hit .275 with 12 HRs for the AA Newark Bears (IL.) In 6 MLB seasons, John played in 239 games, while hitting .264 with 5 HRs and 60 RBIs. After the 1954 season, John retired from baseball.

1920- Former Yankees Pitcher Karl Drews (1946-1948) was born. (1920-1963)

Before the start of the 1939 AL season, the Yankees signed hurler Karl Drews as an MLB Amateur Free Agent. Karl would spend 1939 baseball season with the Class D Butler Yankees. The 19-yearold right-hander would appear in 31 games, while posting a 16-5 record with a 3.66 ERA. Karl would spend time in the Yankees Minor League system until 1946, before getting a look at in the Bronx; after a posting 19-9 record for the AA Newark Bears (IL) with a 2.70 ERA in 1945. For the 1946 season, Drew went 14-9 with the AA Kansas City Blues (AA). In 1946, the Yankees would have him up for a late season look, where he got into only 3 games. Karl was back with the Yankees in 1947, posting a 6-6 record with a 4.91 ERA and 1 save in 30 games. Karl made a couple of relief appearances against the Dodgers in the 1947 World Series. He would go 2-3 with a 3.79 ERA and 1 save in 19 games for the 1948 Yankees. His final Yankees Pitching career record was a 8-10 record with a 4.76 ERA and 3 saves in 52 games. On August 9,1948 he was purchased by the St. Louis Browns. He would go 7-14 for the Browns during the rest of the 1948-1949 AL seasons. In 1950, Karl would find himself back in the Minors with the AAA Baltimore Orioles (IL). Drews would post a 6-2 mark for the 1950 Orioles. In 1951, he would improve to 17 wins for the Orioles. He would find himself back in the MLB after being traded by the Orioles to the Phillies in 1951. Acquired by the Phillies late that season, he handed the Dodgers a critical loss in the final week in their battle with the Giants for 1st place in NL. He then had his best MLB season in 1952, with 14 wins, including 5 shutouts, while posting an excellent 2.72 ERA. In 1954, Karl would finish his MLB Pitching career with the Reds, with a 44-53 record with a 4.76 ERA and 7 saves in 218 games. Drews would spend the rest of his pro baseball career in the Minor Leagues, finishing up in 1960 at age 40 with the AAA Mexico City Diablos Rojos (Mexican League). Karl would spend 21 active seasons in pro baseball from 1939-1960. Statistics show that he appeared in 423 games, posting a 146-112 record, pitching 2,204 innings, giving up 2,100 base hits along with 1,050 walks for a career 4.25 ERA. In 1947, Karl's son, Ron had been born on the day he pitched in his 1st World Series game for the Yankees. Karl put away his Yankees cap from that game for him. In 1994, Ron Drews gave the Yankees cap to his son; Karl's Grandson Matt, on the day Matt Drews was selected as the Yankees # 1 selection in the 1993 MLB Amateur Player Draft. Matt never pitched for the Yankees at the MLB level. During the 1996 AL season, he was traded by the Yankees to the Tigers for veteran 1B/DH Cecil Fielder. After his pro baseball career was over, Karl became the Director for the Hollywood, Fla. Recreation Department. He was tragically killed on August 15,1963, at age 43, when he was hit by an intoxicated driver, after his car had stalled on a highway in Dania, Fla.

1929- Former Yankees Closer Ryne Duren (1958-1961) was born. (1929-2011)

Before the start of the 1949 AL season, Ryne Duren was signed as an MLB Amateur Free Agent by the St. Louis Browns. He appeared in the MLB with the 1954 Baltimore Orioles, pitching in 1 game. On September 21,1956, Ryne was sent by the Orioles to the Kansas City A’s to complete an earlier deal made on September 17,1956. The Orioles sent a Player to be Named Later and OF Jim Pisoni to the A’s for Players to be Named Later. Ryne Duren was frightening to bat against because he only intermittently had control of his prodigious fastball. Thick "Coke bottle" glasses, a reputation for heavy drinking, and a tendency to throw warm-up pitches against the backstop only heightened batters' unease. Yankees veteran OF Hank Bauer told the Yankees GM George Weiss to “trade for him or ban him from the AL.”  On June 15,1957, Ryne Duren was traded by the A’s along with Outfielders Jim Pisoni and Harry “Suitcase” Simpson to the Yankees for OF/INF Woodie Held, INF Billy Martin, OF Bob Martyn and P Ralph Terry. He spent the rest of the 1957 season pitching for the Yankees AAA team, the Denver Bears (American Association) as a Starter, while posting a 13-2 record with a 3.16 ERA in 18 games. In 1958, Ryne was with the Yankees, he led the AL in saves with 20, while posting a 6-4 record for the team. Ryne appeared in 2 games in the 1958 World Series against the Braves, going 1-1 with 1 save with 14 K’s, while posting a 1.93 ERA. He made the AL All-Star teams in 1958-1959. In 1959, despite a losing record of 3-6 with 14 saves, Ryne had an ERA of 1.88. Duren was a showman in those days the Yankees bullpen was a part of the short-porch RF and only a low chain link fence served as the boundary. When called upon by Yankees Manager Casey Stengel to relieve, he wouldn’t use the gate, but would rather hop that fence with one hand and begin a slow walk to the mound with his blue Yankees warm-up jacket covering his pitching arm, even on the hottest days. When he finally took the ball from Yankees Manager Casey Stengel and began his warm-ups, the 1st pitch was always blazing fastball 20 feet over the catcher’s head. The 2nd warm-up pitch was a bit lower (but not slower) until on his 5th warm-up Ryne would finally find the plate. By the start of the 1961 AL season, his best days as a Yankees Closer were over, Luis Arroyo had replaced him in the bullpen as their Bullpen Closer. Also, with Manager Casey Stengel was gone, Duren and Yankees new Manager Ralph Houk were not on the best of terms. On May 8,1961, he was traded by the Yankees along with P Johnny James and Rookie OF Lee Thomas to the Angels for veteran MLB Reliever Tex Clevenger and OF Bob Cerv. He would make the 1961 AL All-Star team (Game #1) for the Angels. Ryne would play for the Angels, Phillies, Reds and the Senators before retiring as an active player in 1965. Following his MLB playing career, Ryne Duren spent many years involved in Alcoholics Anonymous and the recovery movement. He would later write a book on his fight with alcoholism during his 10-year MLB pitching career, titled “The Comeback.” This was one of the reasons that Ryne Duren had stayed away from Yankees Old Timer’s Day events until the 1980’s. In 1983, Ryne Duren was presented with the Yankees Family Award for his conquering alcoholism and for service as an Alcohol Abuse educator. In 2003, Ryne Duren and Author Tom Sabellico wrote the book, "I Can See Clearly Now". Duren talks from the heart about life, baseball and alcohol. The foreword was written by former MLB Pitcher Jim "Mudcat" Grant

1936- Former Yankees Minor League OF Ray Mantle was born. (1936-2013)

The younger brother of Yankees Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle, Outfielder Ray Mantle played 2 seasons of Minor League ball in the Yankees organization. In 1955, Ray hit .220 in 85 games with Class C Monroe Sports (Evangeline League). In addition to Mickey, Ray had a twin brother Roy Mantle, who was his teammate during his Yankees Minor League playing career. After the 1955 season, Ray was drafted into the US Army, he never returned to play pro baseball.

1936- Former Yankees Minor League OF Roy Mantle was born (1936-2001)

The younger brother of Yankees Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle, Outfielder Roy Mantle played 3 seasons of Minor League baseball in the Yankees organization. He played for the 1955 Class C, Monroe Sports (Evangeline League), he hit .272 with 6 HRs; he was named a Cotton States League All-Star. He would be promoted to Class B Quincy Gems (Three-I-League) to finish the 1956 season. In addition to Mickey, Roy had a twin brother Ray Mantle, who was his teammate during his Yankees Minor League playing career. Roy’s pro baseball career ended with a serious leg injury. Some MLB Baseball Scouts thought that Roy had more talent than his older brother Mickey.

1938- Former Yankees Pitcher Steve Barber (1967-1968) was born. (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, 1B Ray “Buddy” Barker and Cash. The Yankees would send Minor League Players INF Chet Trail and OF Joe Brady to the Orioles in December of 1967 to complete the trade. Steve went 12-14 with a 3.58 ERA in 37 games for the Yankees before being selected by the Seattle Pilots in the 1968 AL Expansion Team Player Draft. Steve was battling arm problems, when he came to the Yankees, never recovering the form that made him a great young starter for the Orioles during the early 1960’s. 

1956- Former Yankees Reserve OF Joe Lefebvre (1980) was born.

In the 3rd round of the 1977 MLB Amateur Player Draft, the Yankees selected OF Joe Lefebvre. He had big seasons in the Minor Leagues in 1978 and 1979 for the AA West Haven Yankees (EL). In 1978, he hit .266 for the 2nd-best slugging percentage in the Eastern League. Also, he was tied for 2nd in HRs (19), tied for the lead in triples (11), was 3rd in walks (76) and scored a league-best 102 runs. In 1979, Lefebvre hit .292 in his 2nd straight year full-time at AA. One year after leading the league in runs, he tied for the lead in RBIs with 107. Joe was tied for 2nd in triples (10) and among the top 5 in walks (79) and HRs (21). He made the league's All-Star team after being overlooked in 1978. At the MLB level with the Yankees, Joe batted .227 in 74 games as a Reserve Outfielder. On March 31,1981, Joe was traded by the Yankees along with OF Ruppert Jones, Pitchers Tim Lollar and Chris Welsh to the Padres for MLB OF Jerry Mumphrey and P John Pacella. Also, Joe played for the Phillies, but he had limited playing time before a serious knee injury ended his MLB playing career. In 1987, Lefebvre started coaching with the AA Reading Phillies (EL) and then he moved up to the AAA Maine Phillies (IL) in 1988. He was a Coach for the 1989 AAA Scranton-Wilkes Barre Red Barons. Moving over to the Yankees Minor League organization, he was a Coach for the 1990 and 1993 AA Albany-Colonie Yankees (EL). He was a roving Minor League Hitting Instructor in 1991-1992 and in 1994-1995. In 1996, he was the Hitting Coach for the Giants AAA team, the Phoenix Firebirds (PCL). From 1997-2001, Joe Lefebvre was the Giants' Coordinator of Minor League hitting. From 2002-2007, he was an MLB Coach for the Giants. In 2008, Lefebvre becomes "Senior Advisor, Player Personnel" for former High School teammate Brian Sabean. In 2011, he was named Senior Advisor, Scouting for the Giants. 

1963- Former MLB player, MLB Coach, MLB Scout and MLB Manager Don Wakamatsu was born.

Don Wakamatsu was an MLB Scout for the 2013 Yankees. In 2014, he has returned to MLB Coaching with the Royals. He had previously managed the 2009-2010 Mariners. He has previously coached for the Rangers, the A’s and the Blue Jays organizations.

1973- Former Yankees Reserve INF Russ Johnson (2005) was born.

As a Reserve INF Russ Johnson appeared in 22 games for the 2005 Yankees, hitting .222 with 0 HRs and 0 RBIs. He spent most of the 2005 season playing for the AAA Columbus Clippers (IL).

1982- The Yankees purchased 3B Barry Evans from the Padres. Evans had hit .251 with 2 HRs and 39 RBIs in 207 games for the Padres. The Yankees assigned him to AAA Columbus Clippers (IL). He hit .276 with 39 RBIs in 69 games at AAA, earning brief call to the Bronx, where he hit .258 with 0 HRs and 0 RBIs in 17 games. He was sent back to Columbus in 1983, he was drafted by the Twins organization in the Minor league Player Draft. He never appeared in the MLB again.

1982- Former Yankees INF Kelly Johnson (2014) was born.

On December 6, 2013, INF Kelly Johnson was signed as an MLB Free Agent by the Yankees. Kelly was taking over at 3B position for the suspended All-Star 3B Alex Rodriguez, but his lack of hitting motivated the Yankees to acquire Padres veteran 3B Chase Headley in July. He had appeared in 77 games for the team, hitting just .219 with 6 HRs and 22 RBIs. On July 31, 2014, he was traded by the Yankees to the Red Sox for MLB INF Stephen Drew and Cash. He would finish the 2014 AL season with the Orioles.

1996- Current Yankees Reserve INF Thairo Estrada (2019-2020) was born.

INF Thairo Estrada signed with the Yankees as an International Free Agent in August 2012. He made his pro player debut in 2013 with the Gulf Coast Yankees and spent the whole season there, batting .278 with 2 HRs and 17 RBIs in 50 games. He played 2014 with the Gulf Coast Yankees and Staten Island Yankees, where he compiled a combined .272 batting average in 23 games, 2015 with Staten Island where he slashed .267 with 2 HRs and 23 RBIs in 63 games. In 2016, he played  for the Charleston RiverDogs (SAL) and Tampa Yankees (FSL), where he hit .290 with 8 HRs, 49 RBIs, and 18 stolen bases in 118 total games between the 2 teams. Estrada spent the 2017 season with the AA Trenton Thunder (EL). He was named an Eastern League All-Star. He finished the season with a .301 batting average, hitting 6 HRs with 48 RBIs in 122 games. The Yankees added him to their 40-man MLB Roster after the 2017 AL season ended. In January 2018, Estrada was shot in the hip in a robbery attempt. He missed playing time in 2018 due to the shooting incident, also he had leg injury that occurred during the 2018 Minor League season. He hit only .192 in 18 games that he played in. In 2019, he split playing time between AAA Scranton and the Yankees. At AAA Scranton, Thairo played in 60 games, while hitting .266 with 8 HRs and 32 RBIs. With the 2019 Yankees, he appeared in 35 games, while hitting .250 with 3 HRs and 12 RBIs. In 2020, he appeared in 26 games for the team, while hitting .167 with 1 HRs and 3 RBIs.

2000- A Florida Department of Corrections report says Yankees OF/DH Darryl Strawberry tested positive for Cocaine on January 19th.

2005- Long-time San Diego Padres Broadcaster Jerry Coleman is selected as the recipient of this year's Hall of Fame Ford C. Frick Award. The 80-yearold play-by-play man, who was the MVP of the 1950 World Series for the Yankees, he has spent 41 years in the broadcasting booth working for the Yankees (1958-1967), Angels and the Padres. He served as a Marine Fighter Pilot during World War II and the Korean War.

2012- David Aardsma, the former Mariners Closer, who had missed all of 2011 AAL season because of a hip problem and Tommy John surgery, signs a 1-year deal with the Yankees. In 2012, Dave appeared in only 1 game with the 2012 Yankees with no record. During the 2013 MLB Spring Training Camp, the Yankees would release him.

February 23rd

1903 - Former Yankees OF Roy Johnson (1936-1937) was born. (1903-1973)

On January 17,1936, OF Roy Johnson was traded by the Senators along with P Bump Hadley to the Yankees for P Jimmie DeShong and OF Jesse Hill. Roy appeared in 75 games for the 1936-1937 Yankees, while hitting .278 with 1 HR and 25 RBIs before being picked up on waivers by Boston Bees (aka the Braves).

1914Former MLB Catcher and Yankees MLB Scout Mike Tresh was born. (1914-1966)

The Father of former Yankees-Tigers player Tom Tresh, Catcher Mike Tresh played 12 seasons in the MLB; almost all with the White Sox. On December 2,1937, Mike Tresh was traded by the Tigers along with Marv Owen and Gee Walker to the White Sox for Vern Kennedy, Tony Piet and Dixie Walker. He played for Chicago from 1938-1948, finishing out his MLB playing career with the 1949 Indians. Mike had only 2 MLB HRs in over 1,000 games; unlike his son Tom who was a pretty good HR hitter. Mike was a good enough catcher that he never played any other position, while playing in the MLB. In 1945, he was named to the 1945 AL All-Star team. After his MLB playing days, he scouted for the Yankees and worked for Ford Motor Co. He died on October 4, 1966, 2 days after the end of the 1966 AL season in which his son Tom with the Yankees had achieved his MLB career-best HR total of 27. His Grandson, Mickey Tresh, played in the Minor Leagues from 1987-1990 with the Yankees and the Tigers organizations. 

1916- Former Yankees Reserve OF Ed “Truck” Kearse (1942) was born. (1916-1968)

Ed Kearse appeared in only 11 games as a Reserve Outfielder for the 1942 Yankees, batting only .192. Kearse fought and was wounded in France during WWII. After receiving the Purple Heart Award, he completed his 12-season Minor League career. During his last 2 seasons playing in the Minor Leagues, he was a Player-Manager: 1948 Ventura Yankees; 1949 Grand Forks Chiefs (1st part of the season) and the 1949 Paducah Chiefs (2nd part of the season). Despite an overall losing record and 4th place finish, Paducah prevailed as the league champion in the Mississippi-Ohio Valley League play-offs.

1929- Former Yankees MVP All-Star C/OF/1B (1955-1967) and MLB Coach Elston Howard (1968-1980) was born. (1929-1980)

Elston Howard played in the Outfield for the Kansas City Monarchs (Negro Leagues) for 3 seasons. He was switched to Catcher in 3 seasons in the Yankee Minor League system. In 1951-1952, Elston served in the Army. In 1953, Ellie played for the AAA Kansas City Blues (American Association) mostly as an Outfielder. Howard won the 1954 International League MVP Award, while playing for the AAA Toronto Maple Leafs as a Catcher and Outfielder. He played for 14 seasons for the Yankees and the Red Sox. In 1955, he became the 1st Black MLB player for the Yankees. He hit a HR in his 1st World Series at bat in 1955 against the Dodgers. Because of Yogi Berra, one of the greatest catchers in MLB history, Howard played primarily in the outfield for the Yankees from 1955-1957 and more at 1B than at Catcher in 1959. In 1959 and from 1960 onwards, he was mostly at Catcher, as Berra moved to the Outfield to accommodate him. Howard tied the following World Series records: most hits, inning, 1960, (2); most long hits, 5 game series, 1961 (4); most passed balls, game, 1964 (2). He established AL Catcher's records for PO (939) and TCA (1006) in 1964. In 1958, Howard won the Babe Ruth Award. Ellie was an AL All-Star team member 9 times during his MLB playing career. Elston attracted quite a bit of attention, when he hit .348 in 1961, something that was unusual for a Catcher. He had previously hit .314 in 1958, he would go on to hit .313 in 1964, In 1963, he won the AL Most Valuable Player Award, while hitting .287 with 28 HRs and 85 RBIs. Howard won the AL Golden Glove Award for Catchers in 1963-1964. During the 1967 AL season, Ellie was traded by the Yankees to the Red Sox for 2 Pitchers: Ron Klimkowski and Pete Magrini.  Ellie helped the Boston pitching staff capture the 1967 AL pennant. That season, he appeared in his last World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Ellie would stay with the Red Sox for 1 more AL season. Upon his retirement as an active MLB player in September of 1968, he became the 1st Black Yankees MLB Coach. He held this position until his premature death from heart failure in 1980 at age 51. 

1954- The Cardinals purchased veteran All-Star Starter Vic “The Springfield Rifle” Raschi from the Yankees for $85,000 Cash. Yankees GM George Weiss did this deal to show other Yankee veteran players what would happen to them, if they were going to stage an MLB player contract holdout with the team. His top salary as a Starter for the Yankees was $40,000. Raschi did a contract holdout before the start of the 1953 AL season. He leaves the Yankees (1945-1953) with a pitching career mark of 120-53 with a .706 WP, 3.47 ERA with 99 complete games and 24 shutouts in 218 games. Vic had won 20 games 3 times in his pinstripe pitching career. In the World Series play, Vic posted a 5-3, a .625 WP with a 2.24 ERA, 3 complete games and 1 shutout in 11 games for the Yankees. He would never be an effective starting pitcher in the MLB, after again. He split the 1954-1955 MLB seasons between the Cardinals and finishing his MLB pitching career with the Kansas City A’s.

 1969- Former Yankees Reserve Catcher Eugene “Bubbles” Hargrave (1930) passed away. (1892-1969)

In 1930, the Yankees used former 1926 NL Batting Champ Bubbles Hargrave as a backup Catcher for Starting Catcher Bill Dickey. Bubbles would hit .278 with 0 HRs and 12 RBIs in 45 games on a Yankees team, whose BA was .309. His Brother Pinky Hargrave, also played in the MLB. In 1931, Bubbles returned to Minor Leagues, later he became a Minor League Manager.

1972- Former Yankees OF/DH Rondell White (2002) was born.

The Yankees signed OF Rondell White as an MLB Free Agent. He was injured most of the 2002 AL season with the Yankees. He only hit .240 with 14 HRs and 62 RBIs in 126 games. On March 19, 2003, Rondell White was traded by the Yankees to the Padres for OF Bubba Trammell, Minor League Player Mark Phillips and Cash.

February 24th

1875- Former Yankees C/1B Henry “Monte” Beville (1903-1904) was born. (1875-1955)

Catcher/1B Henry Beville appeared in 91 games for the Yankees, hitting just .200 with No HRs and 31 RBIs. On July 27,1904, he was loaned to the Tigers by the Yankees. Players were loaned to a team to replace an injury player, the team would normally receive money in the transaction; the Yankees asking for nothing for Beville. He never returned to the team. Monte batted just .207 in 54 games for 1904 Tigers ending his MLB playing career.

1877- Former Yankees Reserve INF James “Champ” Osteen (1904) was born. (1877-1962)

In January of 1904, the Yankees purchased INF James Osteen from the Senators. He appeared in only 28 games as a Reserve INF for the Yankees; just hitting .196 with 2 HRs and 11 RBIs. He returned to the Minor Leagues in 1905, playing there except brief MLB appearances with the Cardinals in 1908-1909. He would continue to play in the Minor Leagues until 1914.

1907- Former Yankees Reserve OF/1B Robert “Suitcase Bob” Seeds (1936) was born. (1907-1993) 

On August 22,1936, OF/1B Bob Seeds was traded by the AA Montreal Royals (IL) to the Yankees for Players to be Named Later. The Yankees would send 2 Minor League players: Pitcher Marv Duke and Catcher Norm Kies on November 30,1936 to the Royals to complete the trade. Both players had been playing in the Yankees Minor League system since 1932. Bob only appeared in 13 games for the 1936 Yankees, while hitting .262 with 4 HRs and 10 RBIs. In the 1936 World Series, Bob appeared in 1 game for the Yankees with no hits. In 1937, Bob played for the AA Newark Bears (IL) while hitting .305 with 20 HRs in 151 games. With the 1938 AA Newark Bears (IL), he hit 7 HRs and had 17 RBIs with 30 total bases in 2 days, on May 6-7th. He was hitting .335 for the Bears with 28 HRs in 59 games. On June 24,1938, Bob Seeds was purchased by the Giants from the Yankees. He would finish the 1938 MLB season with the Giants, while appearing in 81 games, hitting .291 with 9 HRs and 52 RBIs After his MLB playing days, Bob owned and managed the Class C Amarillo Gold Sox (West Texas-New Mexico League.)

1922- The Yankees sold Pitcher Alex Ferguson to the Red Sox. Alex had gone 3-1 with a 5.91 ERA and 1 save in 17 games for the 1921 AL season, but the 1922 Yankees had added 2 veteran AL hurlers: Joe Bush and Sad Sam Jones from the Red Sox in a trades to build up their MLB Pitching staff.  Alex briefly rejoined the Yankees in May of 1925, going 4-2 with a 7.99 ERA and 1 save in 21 games before being sold to the Senators in August. He would go 5-1 with a 3.25 ERA in 7 games for the Nats. He pitched in the 1925 World Series for the Senators, going 1-1 with a 3.21 ERA in 2 games against the Pirates.

1948- The White Sox traded Starter Ed Lopat to the Yankees for AL All-Star Catcher Aaron Robinson, Pitchers Bill Wight and Fred Bradley. Ed had gone 50-49 with a 3.18 ERA with 1 save in 113 games for Chicago in 4 seasons. In 1947, Lopat had gone 16-13 with a 2.81 ERA and 22 complete games. He had posted a 13-2 record against the Indians and 6-6 against the Yankees. Eddie Lopat will star for 7 seasons in Yankees pinstripes, winning 21 games in 1951, going to a 16-4 mark in 1953. Aaron Robinson had been an AL All-Star Catcher in 1946, while hitting .296 with 16 HRs in 100 games. In 1947, he fell to .270 mark with 5 HRs in 74 games, as Yankees Rookie Catcher Yogi Berra was becoming the Yankees starting catcher. Aaron would play for the White Sox for 1 season, hitting .252 with 8 HRs and 39 RBIs in 98 games before being traded to the Tigers for Rookie lefty hurler Billy Pierce. Fred Bradley had gone 13-4 with the Yankees AA club, the Kansas City Blues (AA). He would pitch for the 1948-1949 White Sox, while appearing in 9 games with no decisions posting a 5.90 ERA, which would end his MLB Pitching career. Rookie Yankees hurler Bill Wight had posted a 2-2 record with a 4.46 ERA in 14 games for the 1946 Bronx Bombers. In 1947, he spent the season with the AA Kansas City Blues (AA), while posting a 16-9 record with a 2.85 ERA in 29 games. He appeared in only 1 game with the 1947 Yankees, pitching a complete game victory. The 1948 White Sox would use him as a Starter, he would go 9-20 with a 4.80 ERA in 34 games. Later, he would have a 10 win and 15-win seasons for Chicago. He would pitch in the MLB until 1958; finishing with an MLB Pitching career record of 77-99 with a 3.95 ERA and 8 saves in 347 games.

1974- Former Yankees Reserve INF Mike Lowell (1998) was born.

The Yankees in the 20th round of the 1995 MLB Amateur Player Draft selected INF Mike Lowell. He appeared in 8 games for the 1998 Yankees, while batting .267. With Scott Borias starting at 3B, who just had received a 3-year new player contract for his excellent 1998 AL season. Mike became a tradeable INF prospect for the Yankees. On February 1, 1999, Mike Lowell was traded by the Yankees to the Marlins for 3 young Pitchers: Mark J. Johnson, Ed Yarnall and Todd Noel. He would go on to be the starting 3B for the Marlins. Then he would finish his MLB playing career with the Red Sox. In October of 2010, Mike Lowell retired from MLB.

1976- Former Yankees Pitcher Randy Keisler (2000-2001) was born.

The Yankees in the 2nd round of the 1998 MLB Amateur Player Draft selected Pitcher Randy Keisler. Randy went 2-2 with a 7.19 ERA in 14 games before being released by the Yankees. He had criticized the Yankees front office in the NYC Sports Media about their handling of young pitchers.

1976- The Yankees signed former NL Batting Champion OF/DH Tommy Davis as an MLB Free Agent. He was expected to share the 1976 Yankees DH duties with Ron Bloomberg. Tommy Davis despite having a good MLB Spring Training Camp with the Yankees, the team at the end of their camp by cutting him. Yankees Manager Billy Martin had decided to keep more Pitchers on the MLB 25-man roster than position players. He will catch on with the Angels for the 1976 AL season.

1978- Former Yankees Reserve OF Dewayne Wise (2012) was born.

On January 4, 2012, OF Dewayne Wise was signed as an MLB Free Agent by the Yankees. On July 31,2012, Wise was released by the Yankees. He had appeared in 56 games, while hitting .262 with 3 HRs and 8 RBIs. With the Yankees, Wise made another highlight reel catch, tumbling into the LF stands at New Yankee Stadium to catch a pop-up off the bat of theIndians' Jack Hannahan on June 26th. He was helped out of the stands and immediately ran to the dugout, as if he had just made the inning's 3rd out, fooling Umpire Mike DiMuro. Replays showed, however, that he had dropped the ball, and that he had in fact not even recovered it, simply pumping his fist into his empty glove as if he had made the catch and then high-5 teammate Shortstop Derek Jeter; DiMuro never asked to be shown the ball, as is proper protocol, and the Yankees got away with a phantom out. Wise was used twice as a Pitcher in 2012 AL season by the Yankees against the White Sox on June 29th, when he pitched two-thirds of an inning in a 14-7 loss, his other mound appearance was with the White Sox appearing against the Twins.

1982- Yankees Reserve Catcher Gustavo Molina (2011) was born 

On December 15, 2010, Catcher Gustavo Molina was signed as an MLB Free Agent with the Yankees. He appeared in only 3 games with the 2011 Yankees, while hitting just .167. He spent most of the 2011 season playing at AAA Scranton (IL). On October 3, 2011, he was granted MLB Free Agency by the Yankees. On December 13, 2011, he was resigned as an MLB Free Agent by the team. He spent the 2012 season with AAA Scranton. After the 2012 AL season, the team would grant him MLB Free Agency. The White Sox had originally signed him as an MLB Amateur Free Agent in 2000.

1988- Former Yankees Reserve 1B/OF Chris Parnelee (2016) was born.

On June 6, 2006, 1B/OF Chris Parnelee was selected by the Twins in the 1st Round (20th Pick) of the 2006 MLB Amateur Player Draft. On December 29, 2014, the Twins granted him MLB Free Agency. He would sign with the Orioles organization for the 2015 AL season. In 2016, he was signed by the Yankees organization. He was assigned to the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (IL). He was hitting .252 with 7 HRs and 21 RBIs in 43 games, when the Yankees suffered a rash of injuries to their 1B, prompting a call-up to the Bronx on June 4th. Once again, he got off to a hot start, going 4 for 8 with a double and a pair of HRs in his 1st 6 games, but he too went on the DL,  a victim of a strained hamstring. He was back in the Minors by season's end. In the Triple-A National Championship, he hit a 3-run HR off Walker Lockett in the 1st inning in a 3-1 win for Scranton; he was named the game's MVP. That fall, the Yankees granted him MLB Free Agency; the A’s would sign him for the 2017 AL season.

2012- Former Yankees MLB Coach (1987) and Minor League Player Jay Ward passed away. (1938-2012)

In 1956, the Yankees signed OF Jay Ward as an MLB Amateur Free Agent. He never played for the Yankees at the MLB level. On December 2,1958, Jay was drafted by the A’s from the Yankees organization in the 1958 Minor League Player Draft. The A’s would trade him to the Dodgers, who later sent him to the Twins. He made his MLB player debut with the 1963 Twins. He traveled to Japan to play baseball with the 1966 Chunichi Dragons. His last MLB appearance was in 1970 with the Reds. After the 1971 baseball season, Jay retired as an active player. Overall, Jay appeared in 27 MLB games in 3 seasons (1963-1964,1970), while hitting just .163. In 1972, he managed a team in the Twins organization. Then he left pro baseball for 10 years to help raise a family. During the 1980’s, Jay was a Manager for the Phillies, Reds, Pirates and Mariners organizations. He was an MLB Batting Coach for the 1987 Yankees for Manager Lou Piniella. During the 1991-1992 NL seasons, Jay was MLB Hitting Coach for the Expos. Later, he worked for the Braves organization. From 1996-2001, he had been a Manager for various teams in the Independent Leagues.

2013- The Yankees lose a big piece of their projected line-up when CF Curtis Granderson suffers a broken forearm after being struck by a pitch by Toronto's Starter J.A. Happ in the 1st inning of a Grapefruit League game in Tampa, FL. The Yankees most prolific HR hitter over the past 2 seasons is expected to be out for 10 weeks. 

February 25th

1908- Former Yankees Minor League P Al Hollingsworth was born. (1908-1996)

On July 13,1939, Pitcher Al Hollingsworth was traded by the Phillies to the Yankees for Reserve INF Roy Hughes. The Yankees assigned him to the AA Newark Bears (IL), where he went 1-2 with a 6.88 ERA in 8 games. On August 12,1939, Al was purchased by the Dodgers from the Yankees. He would post a 70-104 record with a 3.99 ERA and 15 saves in 315 MLB games. Later, he would become a Minor league Manager for the Cardinals and Indians organizations.

1915- Former Yankees Reserve OF Cyril “Roy” Weatherly (1943-1945) was born. (1915-1991)

On December 17,1942Roy was traded by the Indians along with Reserve INF Oscar Grimes to the Yankees for OF Roy Cullenbine and AL All-Star Catcher Buddy Rosar.  In 1943, Weatherly will hit .263 with 7 HRs and 28 RBIs in 77 games for the Yankees. Overall as a Yankees player, Roy hit .266 with 7 HRs and 66 RBIs in 79 games as a Reserve Outfielder for the Wartime Yankees. In the 1943 World Series against the Cardinals, he appeared in 1 game for the Yankees with no hits. He spent the 1944-1945 MLB seasons in the service. On June 20,1946, Roy was purchased by the Braves from the Yankees.

1929- Former Yankees Minor League P and MLB Baseball Executive Sid Thrift was born. (1929-2006)

Syd Thrift was a former Pitcher in the Yankees Minor League system, as he signed as MLB Amateur Free Agent in 1949. He went 4-2 with a 3.67 ERA for the LaGrange Troupers and hit .306 with 4 HRs and 27 RBIs. He had no decisions in 1950 for the Amsterdam Rugmakers (CanAm League). In 1953, Thrift had no decisions for the West Palm Beach Indians; he was 3-4 with a 4.43 ERA with the Leesburg Lakers, while hitting .231 as their most-used 1B (65 games there). After finishing as an active player, he was involved in Scouting, later he went into Baseball Management working with the Pirates, A’s, Cubs and the Royals organizations. Later, he became the General Manager for the Pirates (1986-1988) and the Orioles (2000-2002).

1940- Former Yankees 1B/3B/OF Danny Cater (1970-1971) was born. 

As a Yankees player, Danny Carter hit .301 and .276, after coming from the A’s in the Al Downing trade on December 5, 1969.  The Yankees had traded veteran hurler Al Downing and Reserve Catcher Frank Fernandez to the A’s for 1B/3B Danny Cater and INF Ozzie Chavarria. Cater was expected to play 1B for the Yankees, since they had traded away their regular 1B Joe Pepitone to the Astros on December 4,1969. Overall, Danny appeared in 276 games for the team, while hitting .290 with 19 HRs and 126 RBIs. In March of 1972, he was traded to the Red Sox for Reliever Sparky Lyle. Red Sox were planning on using Cater as their 1970 starting 1B, since they had recently traded their 1971 starting 1B George Scott to the Brewers. He had always hit well in Fenway Park. Danny originally came up to MLB with the 1964 Phillies. He would finish his MLB playing career with the 1975 Cardinals.

- The Yankees sell 1B Ellsworth “Babe” Dahlgren (1937-1940) to the Braves for undisclosed amount of Cash. On February 17,1937, Babe Dahlgren was purchased by the Yankees from the Red Sox. At Boston, Babe was blocked at 1B by future HOF Slugger and 1B Jimmy Foxx. The Yankees need a possible replacement if their regular AL All-Star 1B Lou Gehrig held out over his 1937 MLB player contract. Babe would replace the ailing Lou Gehrig at 1B when his famous MLB Consecutive Games played streak ended during the 1939 AL season int Detroit.  He appeared in 4 games of the 1939 World Series for the Yankees, while hitting .214 with 1 HR and 2 RBIs. Overall, Babe Dahlgren appeared in 327 games for the Yankees, while hitting .248 with 27 HRs and 163 RBIs. Yankees Manager Joe McCarthy felt that he needed a more powerful bat at 1B, he planned to use veteran 2B Joe “Flash” Gordon at 1B, bringing in 2 Yankees Rookies: Shortstop Phil Rizzuto and Jerry Priddy at 2B to start in the 1941 Yankees infield.

1942- After his player release by the Tigers, the Yankees would sign MLB Free Agent OF George “Tuck” Stainback. He would be called up for AA Newark Bears (IL) in August of 1942, when the Yankees lost OF Tommy Henrich to the Coast Guard. He would last 4 seasons as a Reserve Outfielder for the Yankees. George would appear in 211 games for the Yankees, while hitting .243 with 5 HRs and 47 RBIs. On April 26,1946, George was released by the Yankees, who now had their regular players return from wartime service. On May 1,1946, “Tuck” would be picked up by the Philadelphia A’s for the 1946 AL season. After retiring as an active player in December of 1946, Tuck would later become an MLB Coach.

1944- Former Yankees Minor League and MLB Manager (1990-1991) and MLB Coach (1985) Stump Merrill was born. 

Stump Merrill was the Catcher on the 1964 University of Maine team that won 3 games in the College World Series. He was selected by the Twins in the 23rd round of the 1965 MLB Amateur Player Draft by the Orioles in the 2nd Round (26th overall) of the January 1966 MLB Amateur Player Draft and finally the Phillies in the 2nd round in June, 1966 Draft. He was an Assistant Coach for the University of Maine during the 1976 baseball season and the school's trip to the College World Series. He was the MLB 1B Coach for the Yankees, when Yogi Berra was manager at the start of the 1985 AL season, but he was replaced when Billy Martin took over the team from Berra. Merrill was a successful Yankees Minor League Manager (1978-1990), winning 5 league titles, finishing with the best record in the league his 1st 5 seasons and 6 of his 1st 7 (with a 2nd place finish, the other year). He replaced Bucky Dent as Yankees Manager in 1990. He went 49-74 in 1990. Then he posted a 71-91 mark in 1991. In 1992, Yankees MLB Coach Buck Showalter replaced him as the Yankees Manager. He spent the 1992 season as a roving Minor League Instructor for the Yankees organization. During 1993 and 1994, Merrill once again managed the AAA Columbus Clippers (IL) before spending 1995 as a Special Assignment Scout. In 1996, Merrill guided the AAA Clippers for a 3rd time, winning the International League title; the Governor's Cup. Along the way, Merrill won his 1,000th game as a Manager on August 2,1996. He remained with the Clippers for the 1997 and 1998 IL seasons before returning to New York. In 1999 and 2000, Merrill had a 2-year stint as Special Assistant to the General Manager under Brian Cashman. He returned to the dugout in 2001 to manage the Yankees' AA farm club,  the Norwich Navigators (Eastern League). When the Yankees changed team affiliations after the 2002 season, Merrill moved with the team once more, managing the AA Trenton Thunder (EL) in 2003 and 2004. Stump returned to New York in 2005, he was once again named Special Assistant to the GM Brian Cashman. In 2009, he was elected to the International League Hall of Fame, for his work as a Manager. He continues to work with the Yankees front office, he appears with the team at their MLB Spring Training camp every year.

1956- Former Yankees Minor League P Kevin Hickey was born. (1956-2012)

On August 13,1984, Pitcher Kevin Hickey was sent by the White Sox to the Yankees to complete an earlier deal made on July 18,1984. The White Sox sent Players to be Named Later to the Yankees for Veteran INF Roy Smalley. Kevin never appears with the Yankees at the MLB level. On May 25,1985, he was released by the team. 

1963-Former Yankees All-Star OF Paul “The Warrior” O’Neill (1993-2001) was born.

The Reds signed Paul O’Neill as a 4th round pick in the 1981 MLB Amateur Player Draft. On November 3,1992, Paul O’Neill was traded by the Reds along with Minor League OF Joe DeBerry to the Yankees for All-Star OF Roberto Kelly. He was a member of the AL All-Star team 4 times. During his MLB playing career, Paul hit 20 HRs or more 7 times. He appeared in 4World Series with the Yankees and 1 with the Reds, hitting .261 with 0 HRs and 7 RBIs in 27 games. In 5 ACLS with the Yankees, Paul hit .292 in 26 games. His best Yankees season was in 1994, when he won the AL Batting Crown with a .359 BA hitting 21 HRs and 83 RBIs in 113 games. Paul’s overall Yankees playing record was .303 BA in 1,254 games with 185 HRs and 858 RBIs. His MLB player career totals were a .288 BA with 281 HRs and 1.269 RBIs in in 2,053 games. After retiring as an MLB active player in winter of 2001, Paul became a Sports Broadcaster with the Yes Network.

1966- Former Yankees Pitcher (1925-1926) and Minor League Manager (1944-1946) Garland Braxton passed away. (1900-1966)

During the 1925 AL season, Garland Braxton was acquired by the Yankees from Springfield (Eastern League). He was made into a Relief Pitcher by Manager Miller Huggins; he had a 1-1 record. In 1926, he went 5-1 with an ERA in games for the Yankees. Overall, Garland Braxton went 6-2 with 3.53 ERA and 2 saves in 40 games for the 1925-1926 Yankees.  On October 19,1926, the Yankees sent Pitcher Garland Braxton and OF Nick Cullop to the Senators to complete an earlier deal made on August 27, 1926. On August 27, 1926, the Yankees sent Players to be Named Later to the Senators for veteran MLB Starter Dutch Ruether. Braxton had pitched in the MLB from 1921-1933 for the Braves, Yankees, Senators, White Sox before finishing up with the 1933 Browns, while posting a 50-53 MLB Pitching career record. Later, he managed for the Yankees Minor League organization for the 1944-1946 seasons with the Norfolk Tars (Piedmont League) and the Binghamton Triplets (Eastern League).

1988- The Yankees signed veteran MLB OF Jose Cruz as an MLB Free Agent, as a non-roster player with an MLB Spring Training Camp invite. Jose made the team’s MLB 25-man roster. He had played with the 1987 Astros, hitting only .241 with 11 HRs and 38 RBIs in 126 games. The Astros had granted him MLB Free Agency. The 40-year-old NL veteran OF Jose Cruz will appear in only 38 games as a Reserve player for the 1988 Yankees, while hitting only .200 in 80-at bats with 1 HR and 7 RBIs before being released by the team on July 22,1988. He finishes his 19-season MLB playing career with a .284 BA hitting 94 HRs with 165 RBIs in 2,353 games with the Cardinals, Astros and the Yankees.

1988- Former Yankees Pitcher Conor Mullee (2016) was born.

On June 8,2010, Conor Mullee was selected by the Yankees in the 24th round of the 2010 MLB Amateur Player Draft. Pitching in the Yankees Minor League system for 5 seasons, he posted a 13-6 record with a 2.00 ERA with 14 saves in 103 games. In 2016, he went 4-0 with a .099 ERA and 6 saves in 25 games for AAA Scranton (IL) before being called up to the Bronx. He appeared in 3 games for the 2016 Yankees with no record with a 3.00 ERA. On November 3, 2016, the Cubs claimed him from the Yankees on waivers.

1994- The Veterans Committee elects former New York Yankees long-time Shortstop Phil Rizzuto (1941-1942,1946-1956) to Baseball’s Hall of Fame. Phil Rizzuto had won the 1950 AL Most Valuable Player Award and the 1951 Babe Ruth Award. In 1949-1950, he led the AL shortstops in fielding. Phil was named to the AL All-Star team 5 times during his MLB playing career. He was named to The Sporting News All-Star Teams 3 times. Long-time Red Sox rival Hall of Fame OF Ted Williams said that Phil Rizzuto could beat you with his glove or bat. That he was the key to the great Yankees World Championship teams of the 1940-1950’s.

1997- Current Yankees Minor League OF Josh Stowers was born.

Outfielder Josh Stowers was drafted by the Mariners in the 2nd round of the 2018 MLB Amateur Player Draft, out of the University of Louisville. As a Sr., he hit .336 with 14 doubles, 9 HRs, 72 runs scored, 60 RBIs and 36 steals in 62 games. He was named to the Atlantic Coast Conference 1st Team and to the ACC All-Academic team as well. The Chicago, IL native began his pro career that year with the Everett AquaSox (Northwest League), where he hit .260 with 5 HRs, 32 runs scored and 28 RBIs in 58 games. He was a mid-season All-Star in the NWL. On January 21,2019, he was traded by the Mariners to the Yankees in return for AA Minor League INF Shed Long, who had been obtained by the Yankees from the Reds in the Sonny Gray trade made earlier that same day. In 2019, he played for the Class A Charleston RiverDogs (SAL), where he hit .273 with 7 HRs and 40 RBIs in 105 games. He did not play in 2020 due to cancelling of the Minor League season. He is projected to play for the new Yankees AA club, Hudson Valley for the 2021 Minor League season. He did not receive an invite from the team for their 2021 MLB Spring Training Camp.

1998- Former Yankees Reserve OF/PH Joe Gallagher (1939) passed away. (1914-1998)

Reserve OF/PH Joe Gallagher appeared in 14 games for the 1939 Yankees, while hitting .244 with 2 HRs and 9 RBIs. He had been playing the Yankees farm system since 1936. On June 13,1939, Joe was traded by the Yankees to the St. Louis Browns for Reserve  INF Roy Hughes and Cash. He had been playing for the Yankees AA club, the Newark Bears (IL). On April 9,1947, Gallagher hired as Head Baseball Coach at Stephen F. Austin State College in Texas. Also, Joe Gallagher was the Baseball Coach of Rice University in 1962. After a long illness in 1998, Joe passed away at the age of 83.

2004- The Yankees signed Free Agent P Nerio Rodriguez. He does not appear with the team at the MLB level. On June 15, 2004, he was sent to the Cardinals by the Yankees as part of a Conditional Deal.

2012- Former Yankees Minor League P David Cheadle passed away. (1952-2012)

David Cheadle was selected by the Yankees in the 1st Round (12th selection) of the 1970 MLB Amateur Player Draft. He never pitched for the Yankees at MLB level. On August 15,1973, Dave was sent by the Yankees to the Braves to complete an earlier deal made on June 7,1973. The Yankees sent Players to be Named Later, 2 MLB Reserve players: INF/OF Wayne Nordhagen and 1B/OF Frank Tepedino to the Braves for veteran MLB Starter Pat Dobson. He did appear in 2 games for the 1973 Braves, while posting a 0-1 record in his only MLB pitching career appearances. Later, he would pitch in the Pirates Minor League organization before retiring as an active player in 1979.

8 months ago  ::  Feb 21, 2021 - 3:13PM #2
Posts: 16,012

This Week in Yankees History February 21st-27th Part Two


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February 26th

1896- Former Yankees Pitcher Harry “Rip” Collins (1920-1921) was born. (1896-1968)

On August 20,1919, Pitcher Harry “Rip” Collins was purchased by the Yankees from Dallas (Texas League). “Rip” Collins went 25-13 with a 4.16 ERA and 1 save in 17 games for the Yankees before being traded to Red Sox. He had appeared in 1 game in relief for the team in the 1921 World Series against the Giants. On December 20,1921, Harry was traded by the Yankeesalong with Shortstop Roger Peckinpaugh, Pitchers Jack Quinn, Bill Piercy and $100,000 Cash to the Red Sox for Pitchers “Bullet Joe” Bush, Sad Sam Jones and Shortstop Everett “Deacon” Scott. Rip would also pitch for the Tigers and the Browns, before retiring from the MLB in 1931.

1933- Former Yankees Reserve 1B/OF/C Johnny “Super Sub” Blanchard (1955,1959-1965) was born. (1933-2009)

Johnny Blanchard was a 3-Sport All-City whiz at Central HS in Minneapolis, MN; he not only attracted the attention of MLB Scouts as a 3B, but also the Minneapolis Lakers of the NBA who made him an basketball player contract offer. In 1951, Blanchard was signed by Yankees MLB Scout Joe McDermott for $20,000 as an Outfielder. While in the Yankees Minor League system, he made the transition from OF to a Catcher. "I had to work my fanny off," said Blanchard. "I was not talented like Yogi or Elston. I think I got all the mileage I could out of my ability." Blanchard served in the military during the Korean Conflict in 1953-1954. When he was released from active duty, Johnny was back in the Yankees 1955 MLB Spring Training Camp. After leading the Eastern League with 34 HRs in 1955, while playing for the Binghamton Triplets, he received a late season call-up to the Bronx. He returned for good in 1959, he stayed in the Bronx, until he was sent to Kansas City during the 1965 AL season. In 1959, Yankees MLB Coach Ralph Houk had pushed for Johnny be given a chance to catch for the team with Manager Casey Stengel. The lefty-swinging Yankee loved hitting in Fenway Park, of his 1st 6 hits at Fenway Park, 5 were HRs. On July 21,1961, the Yankees trailed the Red Sox 9-8 going into the top of the 9th inning when Blanchard, pinch-hitting for 3B Clete Boyer, hit a Grand Slam HR off Boston veteran hurler Mike Fornieles giving the Bombers a 12-9 victory. The following day, the Yankees were again down 9-8, when Blanchard, pinch-hitting again for Boyer, hit a HR off of Gene Conley to tie the score as the Yankees went on to win. A couple of days later against the White Sox, he homered in consecutive at-bats against veteran hurler Ray Herbert. His 4 HRs on 4 straight at-bats tied an MLB record. Blanchard hit 4 Pinch-Hit HRs during the regular 1961 AL season, only Yankee Sluggers Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris had more HRs per at bat. He continued his clutch hitting in the 1961 World Series against the Reds with a 2-run Pinch-Hit HR in game #3; another 2-run HR shot in the 5th and final game of the 1961 World Series, a game that he started. As a result, Blanchard is arguably one of the best-known 3rd-string Catchers in MLB history. Overall, he appeared in the Fall Classic 5 consecutive seasons from 1960-1964, he batted .345, slugged at .690 with 2 HRs. Following the 1965 annual Mayor’s Trophy Exhibition game against the Mets, he was called into Manager Johnny Keane's office, Blanchard was given the news he had been traded to the A’s. On May 3,1965, John was traded by the Yankees along with hurler Rolland Sheldon to the A’s for Catcher Doc Edwards. Johnny took the trade news very hard. He cried uncontrollably in the Yankees Clubhouse. His long-time Yankee teammate Mickey Mantle sat down next to Blanchard and attempted to cheer him up. "Don't take it so hard, John. Just think, in Kansas City you're going to get a chance to play." "Hell, I can't play Mick, that’s why I'm crying." 

After appearing in 52 games with the A's, he was purchased by the Braves. He played the last 10 games of his MLB playing career with the Braves at the end of the 1965 NL season. In 1968, he tried to make a comeback with the Braves in MLB Spring Training camp, but he didn’t make the team and retired from the game. Overall as an MLB player, he hit .239 with 67 HRs and 200 RBIs. Johnny Blanchard's heavy drinking made it difficult to cope with the real world after his MLB baseball playing career was over. Aware that he had a problem, Johnny checked himself into the Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis for 34 days for Alcohol treatment. He was then dry for over 25 years. On March 25, 2009, Johnny Blanchard passed away from a fatal heart attack.

1935- The Yankees released longtime Slugger OF/P Babe Ruth (1920-1934), freeing him to sign a $20,000 MLB player contract with the Boston Braves, also gives him a share of the team's profits. In 1934, Babe Ruth had endured one of his worst seasons with the Yankees-at least by his lofty standards-with a .288 BA, while hitting only 22 HRs and 84 RBIs. This season, he will play just only 28 games for the Braves before announcing his MLB player retirement on June 2nd at the age of 40. Ruth will hit the final 3 HRs of his Major League playing career on May 25th against the Pirates, giving him a MLB HR career total of 714. His last HR will clear the RF Grandstand at Forbes Field and will travel an estimated 600 feet.

1941- Former Yankees Minor League 1B George Kopacz was born.

On February 28,1973, 1B George Kopacz was traded by the Pirates to the Yankees for Minor League 1B Tony Solaita. The long-time Minor League player never appears with the Yankees at the MLB level. He will spend the 1973 season playing with the AAA Syracuse Chiefs (IL), hitting .238 with 7 HRs with 57 RBIs in 132 games. After the 1973 IL season had ended, he retired from baseball.

1968- Former Yankees Reserve 1B J. T. Snow (1992) was born.

The Yankees in the 5th round of the 1989 MLB Amateur Player Draft selected 1B J. T. Snow. He appeared in only 7 games for the 1992 Yankees, batting just .143. He had won 1992 International League MVP Award, while playing for the AAA Columbus Clippers. He refused the Yankees front office request to learn how to play the Outfield, since AL All-Star Don Mattingly was already at 1B. This rejection by Snow to switch positions, resulted in him being put into a player trade package to the Angels for MLB Starter Jim Abbott.

1971- Former Yankees Reserve OF Matt Luke (1996) was born.

The Yankees in the 8th round of the 1992 MLB Amateur Player Draft selected OF Matt Luke. He appeared in only 1 game with the 1996 Yankees with no at bats before being picked up on waivers by the Dodgers in 1997.

1977- Former Yankees Pitcher Josh Towers (2009) was born.

Josh Towers was picked up the Yankees during the 2009 AL season. He had spent most of the 2009 baseball season with AAA Scranton (IL). He appeared in 2 games for the 2009 Yankees with no record with a 3.38 ERA. After the 2009 World Series, Towers elected to become an MLB Free Agent rather than accept an outright assignment to AAA Scranton (IL). Later, he become a Minor League Coach for the 2013 Mets.

 1985- Former Yankees Pitcher George Uhle (1933-1934) passed away. (1898-1985)

On July 24,1933, veteran hurler George Uhle was signed as an MLB Free Agent with the Yankees. He previously pitched for the 1933 Giants. He will post an 8-5 record with a 6.17 ERA in 22 games for the 1933-1934 Yankees. On June 1,1934, George was released by the Yankees. Overall, George had pitched in the MLB from 1919-1936, while posting a 200-166 record with a 3.99 ERA and 27 saves in 513 games. He pitched for the Indians (twice), Tigers, Giants and finishing up his MLB Pitching career with the Yankees.

1988- Former Yankees INF/OF Dustin Ackley (2015-2016) was born.

Dustin Ackley was hitting only .215 with 6 HRs and 19 RBIs, when he was traded by Mariners in 2015 to the Yankees in return for 2 Minor League Players: P José Ramírez and OF Ramón Flores. After a trip to the DL, Ackley played in 23 games with the Yankees, while hitting .288 with 4 HRs and 11 RBIs. In 2016, he was injured again, only appearing in 28 games for the team. He was only hitting .148 with 0 HRs and 4 RBIs. On November 18, 2016, the Yankees granted Dustin MLB Free Agency. On February 4, 2017, he was signed an MLB Free Agent by the Angels.

1991- Bill Veeck, the colorful MLB Owner of the St. Louis Browns, Cleveland Indians and the Chicago White Sox (twice) and Yankees great 2B Tony Lazzeri are elected to the Baseball’s Hall Of Fame by the Veterans Committee. The AL All-Star 2B Tony Lazzeri played for the Yankees from 1926-1937, finishing with a lifetime BA of .293 with 169 HRs and 1,154 RBIs in 1,659 games.

1991- Former Yankees Minor League Manager Jimmy Zinn passed away. (1895-1991)

Jimmy Zinn had pitched in pro baseball from 1915 to 1939. He collected 295 Minor League wins along with a 3.52 ERA in 4,394 innings. He also batted .301 in 2,482 at bats. Zinn had managed the 1937-1938 El Paso Texans in the Yankees Minor League system. He would manage for the Tigers, Braves and Senators Minor League organizations. In July, 1952, Jimmy Zinn was the 1st player named to the Kansas City Blues' Hall of Fame.

February 27th

1896- Former Yankees Reserve Catcher (1931) and MLB Coach (1932) Ralph “Cy” Perkins was born. (1896-1963)

On December 10,1930, veteran MLB Catcher Cy Perkins was purchased by the Yankees from the Philadelphia A’s. Perkins had played for the A’s for 15 MLB seasons (1915-1930). He batted .255 with No HRs and 7 RBIs in 16 games for the 1931 Yankees. He would become a Yankees MLB Coach on the 1932 World Championship team. Then he moved to the Tigers organization to be an MLB Coach, briefly the Tigers Manager in 1937 for 17 games, later he became a Minor League Manager. Cy Perkins would become a long-time MLB Coach for the Phillies before retiring from baseball.

1907-The Yankees acquired Catcher Branch Rickey from the St. Louis Browns in exchange for INF Joe Yeager. Rickey was recovering from a shoulder injury that hampered his throwing arm. Yeager had been the 1905 Yankees regular 3B, in 1906, he had hit .301 in 57 games as a Reserve INF. Rickey will appear in 52 games for the Yankees, while hitting just .182. After the 1907 AL season, the Yankees will send him back to the Browns. As noted by Baseball Writer Lyle Spatz, Branch Rickey will not play on Sundays because of his Mormon religious principles, while new Browns Catcher Fritz Buelow will. Rickey will go on to have a more successful MLB career as an MLB Baseball Executive than as an MLB player. He was the man responsible for creating MLB Farm System concept with the St. Louis Cardinals and breaking the MLB Player Color Barrier with the signing of Jackie Robinson with the 1947 Dodgers. Also, Branch will work for the Pirates and the Mets organizations. He will be elected to Baseball’s Hall of Fame as a Baseball Executive in 1967.

1912- The New York Yankees announced that, they would begin to wear pinstriped uniforms for the 1912 American League season.

1935- Former Yankees Slugger Babe Ruth signs a $20,000 MLB player contract with the Boston Braves. Ruth's new player contract with the Braves also gives him a share of the team's profits. Ruth was released by the Yankees only 1 day earlier, Babe Ruth will serve with the Braves as a Player, Coach and Team Vice-President. In 1935, he will play just only 28 games for the Braves, before announcing his retirement on June 2nd at the age of 40. Ruth will hit the final 3 HRs of his MLB playing career on May 25,1935 against the Pirates at Forbes Field, giving him a final MLB HR career total of 714. His last HR will clear the RF Grandstand at Forbes Field and will travel an estimated 600 feet.

1947- Former Yankees Pitcher Ensign Cottrell (1915) passed away. (1888-1947)

On April 7,1915, hurler Ensign Cottrell was purchased by the Yankees from the Boston Braves. He appeared in 7 games for the 1915 Yankees with a 0-1 record and a 3.38 ERA.

1948- Newly elected to the Baseball Hall Of Fame, are former MLB Stars; Yankees Starter Herb Pennock and Pirates 3B Pie Traynor. Needing 91 votes for selection, Herb Pennock, who had died, just month before, gets 94 votes, as Pie Traynor gets 93 votes. Just missing in the Hall Of Fame voting are former A’s Slugger Al Simmons, Tigers 2B Charlie Gehringer and Giants Player/Manager Bill Terry. Herb Pennock was the General Manager for the Phillies at the time of his death, a position he had held since 1944.  He was helping the new Phillies Team ownership rebuilt the team and farm system. He had suffered a fatal heart attack. As an MLB Pitcher, Herb had posted a 241-162 record with a 3.60 ERA with 37 saves in 617 games (1912-1934). He had pitched for the A’s, Red Sox (twice) and the Yankees. Pie Traynor had played 3B for the Pirates for 17 seasons (1920-1937), hitting .329 with 58 HRs and 1,73 RBIs in 1,941 games.

1953- Former Yankees C/DH/1B Ron Hassey (1985-1986) was born.

On December 4,1984, C/DH/1B Ron Hassey was traded by the Cubs along with Pitchers Porfi Altamirano, Rich Bordi and OF Henry Cotto to the Yankees for INF/OF Brian Dayett and P Ray Fontenot. In 1985, he hit .296 with 13 HRs and 42 RBIs for the Yankees in 92 games. On December 12,1985, Ron was traded by the Yankees along with P Joe Cowley to the White Sox for Minor League Players: Glen Braxton, Mike Soper and MLB Starter Britt Burns. On February 13,1986, Ron was traded by the White Sox along with Minor League Players: Chris Alvarez, Eric Schmidt and Matt Winters to the Yankees for Glen Braxton (Minors), P Neil Allen, C Scott Bradley and Cash. On July 30,1986, Ron was traded by the Yankees along with a Player to be Named Later and INF/OF Carlos Martinez to the White Sox for OF/1B/DH Ron Kittle, C Joel Skinner and INF Wayne Tolleson. The Yankees would send Minor League C Bill Lindsey on December 24,1986 to the White Sox to complete the trade. Ron hit .298 with 6 HRs and 29 RBIs in 64 games for the 1986 Yankees. After his playing career ended, Hassey spent a year as a Yankees MLB Scout before joining the expansion Rockies as a MLB Coach for their 1st 3 NL seasons (1993-1995). After spending a season as a Cardinals MLB Coach in 1996, he worked in the Diamondbacks front office for 7 seasons. He managed the 2004 Carolina Mudcats (SAL) for the Marlins. In 2005 and 2006, Hassey was a Mariners MLB Coach. From 2010-2013, he was a Minor League Manager for the Marlins organization.

1953- Former Yankees Pitcher Barney Wolfe (1903-1904) passed away. (1876-1953)

Pitcher Barney Wolfe appeared in 27 games with the Yankees, posting a 6-12 record with a 3.02 ERA in 27 games. On July 20,1904, hurler Barney Wolfe was traded by the Yankees along with Starter Tom Hughes to the Senators for veteran Starter Al Orth. He would go 15-27 with a 2.93 ERA in 49 games for the 1904-1906 Nats.

1956- The Class B Piedmont League disbands after 37 years in operation. The Yankees had a farm club in the league, the Norfolk Tars from 1935-1955. The Tars had been league champions from 1951-1954. The Norfolk Tars had won 7 Piedmont League Championships with 2 Tars teams finishing as runner-up to the league championship team.

1962- Former Yankees Pitcher Greg Cadaret (1989-1992) was born.

Pitcher Greg Cadaret came to the Yankees from the A’s in the Rickey Henderson trade. He posted a 22-23 record with a 4.12 ERA and 7 saves in 188 games as a Yankees Pitcher before being sold to the Reds on November 6,1992.

1969- Former Yankees Pitcher Willie Banks (1997-1998) was born.

On January 3,1997, the Yankees signed MLB P Willie Banks as an MLB Free Agent. Willie didn’t pitch in organized baseball in 1996. He was a former New Jersey All-State HS Pitching star (St. Anthony’s HS in Jersey City), who had been originally been signed by the Twins. He was assigned to AAA Columbus Clippers (IL). He went 14-5 with a 4.27 ERA in 33 games for the Clippers. The Yankees called him up to the Bronx, where he posted 3-0 record with a 1.93 ERA in 5 games. In 1998, he was 1-1 in 9 games with a very high 10.05 ERA. On June 4, 1998, he was traded to the Diamondbacks for Pitcher Scott Brow and Class A Minor League P Joe Lisio. Brow was assigned to AAA Columbus Clippers, while Lisio was sent to Class A Tampa Yankees (FSL). Neither Pitcher appeared with the Yankees at the MLB level. In 2003, Willie Banks was signed as an MLB Free Agent by the Yankees, but he didn’t appear with the team at the MLB level; he was later released by the team. He had been with the AAA Columbus Clippers (IL) posting a 2-3 record with a 3.89 ERA in 31 games. He would later pitch in the Independent League with the Newark Bears (Atlantic League) for several seasons, before retiring as an active player at the age of 41.

1985- Veteran INF Toby Harrah, an original Texas Rangers member is traded by the Yankees back to the Rangers for veteran OF/DH Billy Sample and a Player to be Named Later. Harrah was a major disappointment with the bat for the Yankees, after coming to the team in a trade with the Indians in 1984. He had appeared in 88 games for the team, while hitting just .217 with 1 HR an and 26 RBIs. Billy Sample had hit .270 in 675 games for the Rangers. He will hit .288 with 1 HR and 15 RBIs for the Yankees. The Player to be Named Later was Rangers Class A Minor League Pitcher Eric Dersin, who the Yankees assigned to their Class A Fort Lauderdale Yankees (FSL)

1988- Former Yankees MLB Coach (1984-1985) and Minor League Manager Doug Homquist passed away. (1941-1988)

Doug Holmquist managed for the Yankees in their Minor League system from 1978 to 1983. As the Yankees awarded World Series rings to their Minor League Managers as well, they gave Doug Holmquist one. While managing in the Minors, he worked with future MLB players such as OF Willie McGee, INF Pat Tabler and 1B Steve Balboni in the Yankees farm system.



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