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This Week in Yankees History January 1st-7th
5 months ago  ::  Dec 31, 2022 - 2:18PM #1
Posts: 16,377

This Week in Yankees History January 1st-January 7th Part One


January 1st  A New Year to All!!!

1874- Former Yankees Pitcher Ned Garvin (1904) was born. (1874-1908)

On September 9,1904, veteran MLB Starter Ned Garvin was selected off waivers by the Yankees from the NL Brooklyn Superbas (aka the Dodgers). Ned would appear in only 2 games for the 1904 Yankees posting a 0-1 record with a 2.25 ERA in September of 1904. He had been 5-15 with a 1.68 ERA in 23 games for the Superbas. From 1896-1904, Garvin had pitched in the MLB from finishing with a 58-97 MLB Pitching career record along with a 2.72 ERA in 181 games. After the 1904 AL season had ended, he would retire from the MLB. On June 16, 1908, Ned would pass away from consumption.

1881- Former Yankees Reserve OF Rudy Bell (1907) was born. (1881-1955)

 During August of 1907, OF Ruby Bell was purchased by the Yankees from Butte (NWL). He would appear in only 17 games for the 1907 Yankees, while hitting just .212 with no HRs and 3 RBIs in his only active MLB season.

1910- Former Yankees Pitcher Charles Devens (1932-1934) was born. (1910-2003)

 Charlie Devens would post a 5-3 record with a 3.73 ERA in 16 games for the 1932-1934 Yankees. Charlie had spent parts of 1933-1934 baseball seasons with the AA Newark Bears (IL), while posting a 19-13 record. Before signing with the Yankees, he had been a college star baseball player at Harvard Univ.

1923- Former Yankees Hall of Fame OF William “Wee Willie” Keeler (1903-1909) dies at age of 50 in Brooklyn, NY. (1982-1923)

In 19 MLB seasons, OF Willie “Wee Willie” Keeler had hit .341, while he had amassed 2,932 MLB career hits. He won 2 consecutive MLB batting titles in 1897-1898 with the NL Baltimore Orioles. He had played for the Yankees from 1903-1909. Keeler hit over .300, 3 times for the Yankees, including .343 BA in 1904. He will play for New York, Brooklyn and Baltimore in the National League before coming to the American League with the 1903 New York Highlanders. His last active MLB season was in 1910 with the Giants hitting .300 in 19 games. In 1939, he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. He coined the phrase Hit ’em where they ain’t.”

1924- Former Yankees Reserve 1B and MLB Coach Earl “The Earl of Snohomish” Torgeson (1961) was born. (1924-1990)

On June 17,1961, veteran 1B Earl Torgeson was signed as an MLB Free Agent by the Yankees. The White Sox had released Earl. He hit .111 in 22 games before becoming an MLB Coach for the Yankees on September 2,1961. Earl originally came up to the MLB with the Boston Braves. He had played in the 1948 World Series with the Braves and in the 1959 World Series with the White Sox. He would finish his 15-season MLB Player career with a .265 BA along with 149 HRs with 749 RBIs.

1942- Former Yankees Minor League INF Bill Bethea was born.

On June 6, 1965, INF Bill Betha was selected off waivers by the Yankees from the Twins, but he never played for the Yankees at the MLB level. He was originally signed with the Cardinals in 1963, but the Twins in the 1963 MLB 1st year Player Draft had selected Bill. With the 1964 Twins, he would appear in 10 games, while hitting just .167 with No HRs and 2 RBIs.  He would play in the Yankees Minor League organization from 1965-1967. In 1969, Bill would finish his pro playing career in the Angels organization.

1955- Former Yankees Minor League P LaMarr Hoyt was born. (1955-2021)

The Yankees in the 5th round of the 1973 MLB Amateur Player Draft  had selected P LaMarr Hoyt. He never played for the Yankees at the MLB level. On April 5,1977, he was traded by the Yankees along with P Bob Polinsky, OF/DH Oscar Gamble and $200,000 Cash to the White Sox for Shortstop Bucky Dent. In 1978, he went 18-4 with a 2.90 ERA for the Appleton Foxes (ML). Hoyt reached the MLB in 1979; he bounced between the rotation and the bullpen until 1982, when he became a regular starter for the Sox. That season, he won a league-best 19 games, and the following season he captured the AL Cy Young Award winner with a record of 24-10. From 1980 to 1982, he won his 1st 16 career decisions at home, tying a record held by Johnny Allen. That number was not bested until Jose Fernandez won his 1st 17 home decisions in 2013-2015. Hoyt will pitched a 1-hitter on May 2, 1984 against his former team the Yankees. The only hit was a 7th inning single by Yankees 1B Don Mattingly. Hoyt gave no walks and struck out 8 Yankee batters in the game. He faced the minimum number of batters in the game as Don Mattingly was erased by a double play. However overall, he struggled that season, going 13-18 with an ERA nearly a run per game higher than his previous average. After the 1984 AL season, Hoyt was traded to the Padres in a 7-player deal that brought Ozzie Guillen to the White Sox. He returned to form with the Padres, going 16-8 and starting the 1985 All-Star Game for the NL team. However, his MLB Pitching career ended in 1986, after he was arrested 3 times on drug charges. He was suspended for the 1987 MLB season; it was later reduced, but he never returned to the MLB. Overall, Hoyt had won 98 games in an 8-season MLB Pitching career. In his 1st years in the MLB, he was known as Dewey Hoyt.

1971- Former Yankees OF Harry Rice (1930) passed away. (1901-1971)

On May 30,1930, veteran OF Harry Rice was traded by the Tigers along with Pitcher Ownie Carroll and Reserve INF Yats Wuestling to the Yankees for Veteran Pitcher Waite Hoyt and Shortstop Mark Koenig. He will appear in 100 games for the 1930 Yankees, while hitting .298 with 7 HRs and 74 RBIs. On January 13,1931, Harry was selected off waivers by the Senators from the Yankees. New Yankees Manager Joe McCarthy had decided that he didn’t have any plans to use the veteran OF Rice for the 1931 AL season.

1974- Former Yankees General Manager Lee MacPhail (1966-1973) takes over as AL President, succeeding the retiring President Joe Cronin. MacPhail will serve in this baseball executive position until 1984. He will join his Father, former Yankees Team Co-Owner Larry MacPhail (1945-1947), as a member of the Hall of Fame as Baseball Executive in 1998. Lee had worked for the Pirates, Yankees (twice) and the Orioles organizations as a Baseball Executive. With the Yankees organization, he had been an MLB Scout, Minor League Farm Director under GM George Weiss and then he became Yankees General Manager, replacing Ralph Houk, who returned to the dugout to manage the team in May of 1966

2006- Former Yankees Reliever Paul Lindblad (1978) passed away. (1941-2006)

On August 1,1978, after being purchased from the Rangers for $100,000 Cash, veteran Reliever Paul Lindblad will appear in 7 games with no decisions and a 4.42 ERA for the 1978 Yankees. In 1978, Paul had been 1-1 with a 3.63 ERA in 18 games for Texas. He will appear in Game 1 of the 1978 World Series for the Yankees in relief during a 11-5 loss to the Dodgers. It would be his last MLB pitching appearance. After the 1978 AL Postseason had ended, the Yankees will send him to the Mariners, who will release him during their 1979 MLB Spring Training Camp; ending his MLB Pitching career. He would finish his MLB career with an overall record of 68-63 along with a 3.29 ERA and 64 saves in 655 games. In 14 MLB seasons, Paul had pitched for the A’s (twice), Senators, Rangers (twice) and the Yankees. He would work in the Brewers Minor League system in various positions from 1987 to 1993, when he was discovered to have Familial Alzheimer’s Disease (FAD), it was the same disease that afflicted his mother and later 3 of his brothers. Early-onset Alzheimer’s is a rare form of the disease that is known to be entirely inherited. Paul would live out rest of his life in an assisted living center that specialized in treatment for people that suffered from the FAD disease.

2015- The Braves and Yankees have announce a trade in spite of the New Year Holiday with Relief Pitchers David Carpenterand Chasen Shreve headed to the Bronx in return for Minor League P Manny Banuelos, who never appeared with the Yankees at the MLB level. David Carpenter had gone 6-4 with a 3.54 ERA in 65 games for the 2014 Braves. He will go 0-1 with a 4.52 ERA in 22 games before being traded on June 11, 2015 by the Yankees to the Nationals for INF Tony Rena. Chasen Shreve had gone 0-0 with an 0.74 ERA in 11 games for the 2014 Braves. He will go 14-6 with a 3.92 ERA and 2 saves in 180 games for the 2015-2018 Yankees before being traded on July 29, 2018 by the team along with P Giovanny Gallegos to the Cardinals for 1B Luke Voit and International Bonus Slot money.

2020- Former Yankees Pitcher Don Larsen (1955-1959), who threw the only perfect game in World Series history in Game 5 in 1956, dies at age 90. (1929-2020)

Before the start of 1947 AL Season, Pitcher Don Larsen was signed by the St. Louis Browns as an MLB Amateur Free Agent. Don Larsen had posted a 45-24 record with a 3.50 ERA and 3 saves in 128 games with the 1955-1959 Yankees; after coming to the team in the big 17-Player trade with the Baltimore Orioles in the winter of 1954. With the 1954 Orioles, Don had recorded a 3-21 record with a 4.37 ERA in 29 games. The Yankees had obtained Starters Don Larsen and Bob Turley from the Orioles to rebuild their aging Yankees starting rotation for the 1955 AL season. His greatest moment as a Yankees Pitcher was his Perfect Game against the Brooklyn Dodgers in Game #5 the 1956 World Series at Yankee Stadium. In 1956, Don won the Babe Ruth Award and the 1956 World Series MVP Award. In World Series play, Don went 3-1 in 7 games for the Yankees. On December 11,1959, Don was traded to the Kansas City A’s along with veteran RF Hank Bauer, Reserve 1B/OF Marv Throneberry and LF/1B Norm Siebern for OF Roger Maris, INF Joe DeMasteri and 1B Kent Hadley. Don would appear in 1 more World Series in 1962, as a member of the Giants, working out of their bullpen against his former Yankee teammates. He posted a 1-0 record with a 3.86 ERA in 3 games in relief with the Giants. His final World Series Pitching record was a 4-2 with a 2.75 ERA and 1 save in 10 World Series games. Don would finish his MLB Pitching career with an 81-71 record and a 3.78 ERA in 412 games. He had started out  his pitching career with 1953 St. Louis Browns, 1954 Orioles, 1955-1959 Yankees, 1960-1961 A’s, 1961 White Sox, 1962-1964 Giants, 1964-1965 Colt 45s./Astros, he returned to the 1965-1966 Orioles, finishing out his MLB Pitching career with the 1967 Cubs.

2020-MLB issues its ruling in the domestic violence allegations against Yankees Pitcher Domingo German, who was placed on administrative leave towards the end of last season, also missing the postseason. He is handed a suspension of 81 games for hitting his girlfriend; with the games already missed, he will sit out the 1st 63 games of the upcoming season; he will not be paid during the time missed. It is the longest ban levied by MLB under its domestic violence policy for a player not facing criminal charges.

January 2nd

1963- Former Yankees Pitcher  (1924) and Minor League Manager Al Mamaux passed away. (1894-1963)

Al Mamaux had pitched 12 seasons in the MLB. He had won 21 games with the 1915-1916 Pirates. He had appeared in the 1920 World Series for the Dodgers. On July 12,1924, Al was purchased by the Yankees from AA Reading (IL). He would appear in 14 games with the 1924 Yankees, while posting a 1-1 record. He would sit out 1925 MLB season, following his final season in the MLB. On December 16,1925, Al was purchased by the Yankees from the AA Newark Bears (IL), but he returned to the mound for the 1926 Newark Bears. He led the International League with a 2.22 ERA for the 1926 season. Then in 1927, he would pace the IL in  with 25 wins, along with a 2.61 ERA. Later, Al Mamaux would manage the 1930-1933 AA Newark Bears (IL) and then the 1936-1937 AA Albany Senators (IL). From 1937-1942, he was the Head Baseball Coach at Seton Hall Univ. His teams had an overall record of 69-19. His 1942 Seton Hall Baseball team went undefeated. In 1951, Al was elected to the International League Hall of Fame. In 1975, he was selected for the Seton Hall Univ. Sports Hall of Fame. In 1988, he was selected for the Duquesne Univ. Sports Hall of Fame.

1963- Former Yankees Pitcher David Cone (1995-2000) was born.

On July 28,1995, Starter Dave Cone was traded by the Blue Jays to the Yankees for 3 Minor League Pitchers: Marty Janzen, Jason Jarvis and Mike Gordon. Dave would post a 64-40 record with a 3.91 ERA in 145 games as a Yankees Starter. He was 2-0 in 4 World Series with the Yankees. Cone had compiled an 8–3 postseason record in over 21 MLB postseason starts. He was a part of 5 World Series Championship teams (1992 Blue Jays,1996,1998,1999 and the 2000 Yankees). He had an MLB career postseason ERA of 3.80. After pitching a Perfect game on July 18,1999 against the Montreal Expos (the last no-hitter to date by a Yankee Pitcher), he seemed to suddenly lose his effectiveness. The 1st MLB Inter-League Perfect game was the last shutout; he would throw in his MLB Pitching career. After retiring from MLB, David has worked with the YES Network covering the Yankees.

1973- Rumors appeared nationwide in the sports media that the New York Yankees were being purchased from CBS Inc. by a Cleveland group of Investors.

1977- Former Yankees Pitcher Scott Proctor (2004-2007) was born.

On July 31, 2003, P Scott Proctor was traded by the Dodgers along with OF Bubba Crosby to the Yankees for veteran INF Robin Ventura. Scott Proctor would record a 11-10  mark with an  ERA and 1 save in 190 games with the 2004-2007 Yankees, before being traded back to the Dodgers on July 31,2007 for MLB INF Wilson Betemit.

1991- The Yankees had signed MLB Free Agent Starter Mike Witt. In May of 1990, he was obtained from the Angels for Yankees All-Star OF Dave Winfield. He had posted a 5-6 record with a 4.47 ERA in 16 games for the 1990 Yankees. He would only appear in 2 games for the team in 1991, while posting a 0-1 record with a 10.13 ERA due to pitching arm injuries. He would miss the entire 1992 AL season due to arm injuries again. In 1993, Mike had appeared in only 9 games with Yankees, while posting a 3-2 record with a 5.27 ERA in 9 games. In the fall of 1993, the Yankees would grant him MLB Free Agency.

2003- Former Yankees OF Art “Bud” Metheny (1943-1946) passed away. (1915-2003)

Outfielder Art Metheny had played in the Yankees farm system from 1938 to 1942. As an Outfielder for the Wartime Yankees, Bud would hit .247 with 31 HRs and 156 RBIs in 376 games. He had appeared in 2 games in the 1943 World Series against the Cardinals, hitting just .125. On May 6,1946, Yankees would send Bud down to their AA team, the Kansas City Blues (AA), ending his MLB playing career. He would continue to play in the Minor Leagues until 1950. Bud Metheny was the Baseball Coach at Old Dominion Univ. from 1948 to 1980. Also, he had coached the ODU Basketball Team (1948-1965). He served as the ODU Athletic Director from 1963 to 1970.

2008- Former Yankees Pitcher Gerry Staley (1955-1956) passed away. (1920-2008)

On September 14,1955, P Gerry Stanley was selected off waivers by the Yankees from the Reds. He will appear in only 3 games with no decisions for the 1955 Yankees. On May 28,1956, he was selected off waivers by the White Sox from the Yankees. The White Sox would convert him from a Starter into a successful MLB Reliever. He would become one of the key members of the 1959 AL Champion White Sox bullpen.

2020- MLB issues its ruling in the domestic violence allegations against Yankees P Domingo German, who was placed on administrative leave towards the end of last season, also missing the postseason. He is handed a suspension of 81 games for hitting his girlfriend; with the games already missed, he will sit out the 1st 63 games of the upcoming 2020 AL season and will not be paid during the time missed. It is the longest ban levied by MLB under its Domestic Violence Policy for a player not facing criminal charges.

2021- The Yankees had signed Free Agent OF Socrates Brito to a Minor League contract. He had previously played in the MLB with the Diamondbacks and the Blue Jays, appearing in 99 games, hitting .179 with 5 HRs and 18 RBIs. He had signed a Minor League deal with the Pirates for the 2020 season, but he didn’t play for the team. He would not play for the Yankees in 2021, he would hit .256 with 9 HRs and 53 RBIs in 107 games for AAA Scranton. After the 2021 MLB season had ended, Brito was granted Free Agency by the Yankees. On December 28, 2021, he would sign 1-year  player contract with the Kia Tigers (Korean Baseball League) for their 2022 season.

January 3rd

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

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

1912- Former Yankees Reserve OF Stanley “Frenchy” Bordagaray (1941) was born. (1912-2001)

On January 27,1940, OF Frenchy Bordagaray was sent by the Reds to the Yankees to complete an earlier deal made on August 5,1939. The Reds had sent Players to be Named Later and $40,000 Cash to the Yankees for 1B Vince DiMaggio, who was on the AA Kansas City Blues (AA) roster. On January 27,1940, the Reds would send OF Frenchy Bordagaray and OF Nino Bongiovanni to the Yankees to complete the trade. For the 1941 Yankees, he would hit .260 with No HRs and 4 RBIs in 36 games. On March 23,1942, Frenchy was purchased by the Dodgers from the Yankees

1920- The secret deal made on December 26,1919 to sell OF/P Babe Ruth to the Yankees for $125,000 (twice the amount ever paid previously for a player) is announced publicly. Red Sox Team Owner Harry Frazee also secures a $350,000 loan from the Yankees as part of the deal. The Yankees will hold on to mortgage for Fenway Park as part of the $350,000 agreement loan.

1923- The Yankees pluck 2 Rookies from the Red Sox in 2 separate deals; P George Pipgras and OF Harvey Hendrick. The Yankees had received P George Pipgras in exchange for backup Catcher Al DeVormer. George Pipgras would win 93 games as a Starter for the Yankees; later he became an AL Umpire. Harvey Hendrick would be a Reserve Outfielder for the 1923-1924 Yankees, while appearing in 77 games, while hitting .268 with 4 HRs and 23 RBIs.

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

On August 22,1996, INF Louis Sojo was selected off waivers by the Yankees from the Mariners. He would prove to a valuable Reserve INF for the Yankees. His best Yankees season was in 1997, when he hit .307 in 77 games. After leaving the Yankees thru MLB Free Agency, he would return to the team on August 7, 2000, when Luis was traded by the Pirates for Minor League P Chris Spurling. After retiring as an MLB active player in 2003, he was Minor League Manager in the Yankees farm system; later he would become an MLB 3B Coach for the Yankees. Luis has been a Yankees Minor League Manager with the 2002 AA Norwich Navigators (EL) and the 2006-2009, 2011-2012 Class A Tampa Yankees (FSL). He would manage the Venezuelan National team in the 2006 World Baseball Classic and the 2010 Central American and Caribbean Games. In 2014, he was a Minor League Coach for the  AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. He would manage the Yankees Class A team, GCL Yankees East (GCL) to a League Championship. Then Luis would manage the Spanish National team in the 2019 European Championship (Bronze Medal) and 2019 Europe/Africa Olympic Qualifier. In 2019, he was elected to the Caribbean Baseball Hall of Fame .

1973- A group of investors headed by Cleveland, Ohio Shipbuilder George Steinbrenner purchases the New York Yankees from CBS, Inc. for $10 million. Mike Burke, John De Loren and Gabe Paul are among the limited partners in the investors group acquiring the Yankees. Former Indians GM Gabe Paul would replace Mike Burke as President of the Yankees during the 1973 AL season.

1974- After the Yankees were denied by the MLB Commissioner’s office, the signing of former Oakland A’s Manager Richard Williams as their new Manager for the 1974 AL season. The Yankees would sign former Yankees Minor League OF Bill Virdon as their new Manager for the 1974 AL season. Although the former Pirates skipper will manage for 2 seasons in New York, he will never win a game at Yankee Stadium because the Yankees will play their home games at Shea Stadium due to renovations of their stadium. The Yankees originally signed Bill Virdon as an MLB Amateur Free Agent, but he was traded to the Cardinals in the Enos Slaughter trade in the spring of 1954. Bill went 142-123 as Yankees Manager before being replaced by Billy Martin during the 1975 AL season. He will bounce back by getting a Manager’s job with the Astros. Williams and A’s Owner Charlie Finley will reach an agreement releasing him from the team to manage any MLB team except the Yankees, he will be signed by the Angels.

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

 On December 18, 2008, veteran MLB Starter A. J. Burnett signed a 5-year $82.5 million contract with the Yankees. Burnett had posted a 13-9 record with a 4.04 ERA in 33 games for the 2009 Yankees. In 2009 World Series, A.J. went 1-1 against the Phillies. Things went less well in 2010, as he fell to a 10-15 record with a 5.26 ERA in 33 starts as he struggled with inconsistency on the mound. He then lost his only postseason start, giving up 5 runs in 6 innings in a Game 4 start against the Rangers in the ALCS. Burnett struggled again in 2011, at a time when he was expected to step up following the retirement of veteran Starter Andy Pettitte. Instead, he went 11-11 with a 5.15 ERA in 33 games. He still had good stuff, as his 173 strikeouts in 190 1/3 innings showed. However, he was like Forrest Gump's proverbial box of chocolates, as the Yankees never knew what they were going to get when they sent him to the mound to start a game. In his only 2011 Postseason start, it was the good A.J. that showed up: he gave up a single run in 5 2/3 innings in leading the Yankees to a 10-1 win over theTigers in Game 4 of the ALDS, but the Yankees then lost Game 5 to bow out of the 2011 ALDS early. The Yankees' brass had had too much of his inconsistency by then. After acquiring new Starters Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda in the 2011 MLB off-season, they began shopping around Burnett, a task made more difficult by his hefty player salary. On February 17, 2012, they found a taker in the Pirates, but they had to agree to pick up $20 million of the $33 million remaining on his MLB player contract for the next 2 seasons. In return, they would receive 2 Minor Leaguer Players, a long way from making any contribution in the MLB in Class AA P Diego Moreno and Low Class A OF Exicardo Cayones. The deal was made official the next day, after A.J. had passed a physical administered by the Pirates. Then MLB Commissioner Bud Selig gave his approval for the trade, a necessary step due to the amount of money involved. His final Yankees Pitching career record was a 34-35 record with a 4.79 ERA in 99 games.

1997- The Yankees had signed MLB Free Agent P Willie Banks. He had been a #1 MLB Amateur Player Draft-pick of the Twins. Willie was a former NJ All-State High School Pitcher at St. Anthony High School in Jersey City. He will go 4-1 with a 6.04 ERA in 14 games for the Yankees before being traded on June 3,1998 by the team to the Diamondbacks for 2 Minor League Players: Scott Brow and Joe Lisio. Both players never appear with the Yankees at the MLB level.

2001- The Yankees had signed MLB Free Agent P Todd Williams. He will appear in 15 games as a Reliever with the 2001 Yankees, while posting a 1-0 record with 4.70 ERA. He would be grant ed MLB Free Agency by the team. Todd would sign with the Dodgers for the 2002 NL season.

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

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

In 1941, the Red Sox had signed P Joe Ostrowski as an MLB Amateur Free Agent. After serving in the military in WWII, he was traded by the team to the St. Louis Browns in 1947. On June 15,1950, Joe was traded by the Browns along with Pitchers Tom Ferrick, Sid Schacht and 3B Leo Thomas to the Yankees for OF Jim Delsing, Pitchers Don Johnson, Duane Pillette, MLB INF George Stirnweiss and $50,000 Cash. He was used primarily out of the bullpen for the Yankees World Championship teams of 1950 and 1952. Joe, who had contributed with a 6-4 record, plus 5 saves in 1951 AL season. He appeared in 1 game in the 1951 World Series, pitching 2 innings with no decision against the Giants. He did not appear in the 1950 or 1952 World Series games for the team. In 1952, Ostrowski was 2-2 with a 5.62 ERA for the Yankees. He would end his 5-year MLB Pitching career with an overall of 23-25 record  along with 15 saves. As a Yankees hurler, Joe had posted a 9-7 record with 10 saves in 75 games. He was nicknamed “Professor” because he had a teaching degree and taught high school before becoming an MLB player. After retiring from MLB, he returned to teaching in PA until he retired in 1978.

2003- The Yankees had released P Brandon Knight. On December 13,1999, Brandon Knight was traded by the Rangers along with P Sam Marsonek to the Yankees for OF/DH Chad Curtis. In 2 seasons with the Yankees, Brandon had appeared in only 11 games with no record, spending most of his time pitching for the AAA Columbus Clippers (IL).

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

2006- The Yankees had signed former Red Sox CF Johnny Damon as an MLB Free Agent. In 4 seasons with the Yankees, Johnny will hit .285 with 77 HRs and 296 RBIs in 575 games. In the 2009 World Series against the Phillies, he hit .364 (8 for 22). He would leave the Yankees in the 2009 off-season for MLB Free Agency, signing with the Tigers for the 2010 AL season. The Yankees had refused to give him a new multi-year player contract that he was asking for.

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

2007- The Yankees had signed MLB Free Agent P Ben Kozlowski. Ben will not appear with the 2007 Yankees at the MLB level. He will spend the 2007 season with AAA Scranton (IL), while posting a 5-7 record with 3.56 ERA in 42 games. The Yankees would grant him MLB Free Agency. He later would pitch in Mexico and Japan before retiring as an active player.

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

January 4th

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

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

1890- Former MLB Player and Long-time Yankees Minor League Manager Oscar Vitt was born. (1890-1963)

Oscar Vitt was a former MLB Infielder with the Red Sox and Tigers (1912-1921). He had played in 1,065 games, while hitting .238 with 4 HRs and 296 RBIs. He would manage in the Minor Leagues, mainly in the PCL with the AA Hollywood Stars. In 1935, he would join the Yankees organization managing the AA Oakland Oaks (PCL). Then Oscar Vitt was the Manager of the 1936-1937 AA Newark Bears (IL), when they were the top farm AA club of the Yankees. Oscar fielded one of the best Minor League teams ever seen in 1937. His success with the AA Newark Bears would lead to an MLB Manager job with the 1938 Indians, a position that he held until 1940. After being let go by the Tribe, he managed in the PCL again, with the AA Hollywood Stars. He was elected to the PCL Hall of Fame as a Manager.

1904- The Highlanders announce plans to play on Sundays at Ridgewood Park in Queens, NY, but the NL Brooklyn Superbas objects to their plan. Sunday MLB games are only legal in Detroit, St. Louis, Chicago and Cincinnati.

1906- Former Yankees Reserve INF John “Blondy” Ryan (1935) was born. (1906-1959)

On August 6,1935, Reserve INF John “Blondy” Ryan was purchased by the Yankees from the Phillies. John had appeared in 30 games for the 1935 Yankees, while hitting .238. He was filling in for the injured Yankees starting Shortstop Frank Crosetti. On December 18,1935, John was purchased by the Indians from the Yankees.

1908- Former Yankees All-Star OF and MLB Executive George “Twinkletoes” Selkirk (1934-1942) was born in Ontario, Canada. (1908-1987) 

On November 4,1931, the Yankees would purchase OF George Selkirk from AA Jersey City (IL) for Cash. He would succeed Babe Ruth as the 1935 Yankees Right Fielder, after Ruth was sold to the Boston Braves following the 1934 AL season. George would wear Ruth’s Yankees Uniform No. 3. He would play for 9 seasons with the team finishing with lifetime BA of .290 with 108 HRs and 576 RBIs in 846 games. He was a member of the 1936 and 1939 AL All-Star teams. George would hit .265 with 2 HRs and 11 RBIs in 21 games in 6 World Series (1936-1939,1941-1942). As a player, George had suggested that the MLB Team Owners that they should install a warning track in the outfield to help the players know when they were close to the stadium outfield walls to prevent serious injuries. The MLB Team Owners turned down his suggestion. During WW II, he served in the Navy. In May of 1946, the Yankees would release him. George would become a Minor League Manager in the Yankees organization. During the late 1950s, he worked in the Kansas City A’s front office as one of their General Managers. Then, he would become the General Manager of the Washington Senators in 1963, holding the GM position until 1968. He would refuse to move with the team to Texas. In 1958, Selkirk was elected to the International League Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.

1910- Former Yankees President and General Manager Gabe Paul (1973-1977) was born. (1910-1998)

MLB Baseball Executive Gabe Paul was part of a group of investors headed by George Steinbrenner that bought the Yankees from CBS, Inc. in 1973. He would replace Michael Burke as the Yankees President in 1973. As the Yankees GM Gabe Paul made several important trades in the mid-1970s, that helped rebuild the Yankees into World Championship teams. Gabe had spent bulk of his MLB Executive career working with the Indians (1961-1969,1971-1972). In the 1950s, he had worked as the GM for the 1951-1960 Reds. After the 1977 World Series victory over the Dodgers, Gabe would leave the Yankees; he had grown tired of George Steinbrenner‘s constant interference over player transactions. He would return to the Indians front office, working with the team until his retirement from baseball.

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

In 1946, the Yankees had signed P Tom Gorman as an MLB Amateur Free Agent. He had pitched in the World Series for the Yankees in 1952 and 1953 with no record with a 2.45 ERA in 2 games. As a Yankee Reliever, Tom had posted a 10-7 record with 3.56 ERA and 10 saves in 75 games for the team before being sold to the Kansas City in the spring of 1955. He would stay with the A’s until 1959 AL season working out of their bullpen. Tom would finish his MLB Pitching career posting a 36-36 record with a 3.77 ERA and 44 saves in 289 games.

1928- The Yankees had purchased Shortstop Lyn Lary and OF Jimmie Reese from the AA Oakland Oaks (PCL) for a reported $150,000 in Cash. Lary would give the Yankees, 3 strong seasons at Shortstop before slipping in 1934; unable to break into the Yankees starting outfield, Jimmie Reese would be shipped off to the Cardinals in 1931.

 1940- In a trade of pitchers, the Reds send P Lee Grissom to the Yankees for P Joe Beggs, who had to clear waivers from all 7 AL teams. This is due to the new rule voted last month barring the AL pennant winner from any trades within the league. Joe Beggs will go 12-3 for the 1940 Reds, meanwhile Lee Grissom will be sold by the Yankees to the Dodgers on May 15,1940. He had only appeared in 5 games with no decisions for the 1940 Yankees.

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

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

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

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

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

1963- Former Yankees Minor League Executive and Minor League Manager Trey Hillman (1989-2002) was born. 

Trey Hillman had spent 13 years in the Yankees organization primarily as a Manager at every Minor League level. He won 3 Manager of the Year Awards, as he guided his teams to 3 1st-place finishes. In 2002, Hillman was named Director of Player Development for the Rangers. The following season, Trey had signed a 2-year contract to be the Manager of the Nippon Ham Fighters (JPL). Then, he was the Manager of the 2008-2010 Royals. In 2011, he would join the Dodgers MLB Coaching Staff working for Manager Don Mattingly. In October of 2013, Trey was let go by the Dodgers front office. On December 20, 2013, Trey Hillman returns to the Yankees organization as the Special Assistant for MLB and Minor League Operations. For the 2015 MLB season, Trey would join the Astros MLB Coaching staff. At the end of the 2016 AL season, he left the team to take a 2-year deal to manage the SK Wyverns (Korea Baseball Organization.) In 2018, Trey would return to the US to work with the Marlins as an MLB Coach.

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

1976- Former Yankees Pitcher Ted Lilly (2000-2001) was born.

In the winter of 1999, Ted Lilly came to the Yankees from Expos in the Hideki Irabu trade. He would post an 8-12 record with a 4.65 ERA in 38 games as a Yankees Pitcher. He had trouble throwing strikes. On July 5, 2002, Ted was traded as part of a 3-team trade by the Yankees along with 2 Minor League Players: P Jason Arnold and OF John Ford-Griffin to the A’s. Oakland would send a Player to be Named Later, 1B Carlos Pena and P Franklyn German to the Tigers. The Tigers would send MLB Starter Jeff Weaver to the Yankees. Then the Tigers would send Cash to the A’s. Then Oakland would send P Jeremy Bonderman to the Tigers to complete the trade.

1985- Former Yankees Reserve INF Scott Sizemore (2014) was born.

On January 13, 2014, veteran INF Scott Sizemore was signed as an MLB Free Agent by the Yankees. He had appeared in only 6 games with the team, while hitting .313. On July 31, 2014, Scott was released by the team. On August 9, 2014, he was resigned as an MLB Free Agent by the Yankees. He would finish the 2014 baseball season with AAA Scranton (IL). On November 4, 2014, Scott was granted MLB Free Agency by the team. On December 12, 2014, he was signed as an MLB Free Agent by the Marlins.

1987- Former Yankees Reserve Catcher Tony “Pug” Rensa (1933) passed away. (1901-1987)

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


2005- Former Yankees, Red Sox and Rays 3B Wade Boggs becomes the 41st player elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his 1st year of eligibility, while receiving 474 of the record number of 516 votes cast (92%).

2021- The Yankees had signed MLB Free Agent P Nestor Cortes to a Minor League contract with an invitation to their 2021 MLB Spring Training Camp. Cortes was with the Yankees during the 2019 AL season, when he had posted a 5-1 record with a 5.67 ERA. In 2020, he was with the Mariners, where he had an ERA of 15.26 before being released by the team. For the 2021 Yankees, he would post a 2-3 record with a 2.90 ERA in 22 games

2022- Former Yankees Minor League and MLB Pitcher Jim Corsi had passed away from Cancer. (1961-2022).

The Yankees in the 25th round of the 1982 MLB Amateur Player Draft had selected Pitcher Jim Corsi. He would never appear in an MLB game for the Yankees. He would pitch in the Yankees Minor League system for 2 seasons. On April 3,1984, he was released by the team. In 1984, he did not play pro baseball. In 1985, he was signed as a Free Agent by the Red Sox. Jim would go on to pitch in the MLB with the A’s (twice), Astros, Marlins, Red Sox and finishing his MLB pitching career with the 1999 Orioles. Jim had posted a 22-24 record with a 3.25 ERA and 7 saves in 368 MLB games.  

January 5th

1885- Former Yankees Long-time MLB Coach (1927-1945) and MLB Manager Art Fletcher was born. (1885-1950) 

Art Fletcher was a Shortstop for the Giants and Phillies. After his MLB playing career was over, he became the Manager of the 1923 Phillies, staying with the team until 1926. In 1927, he joined the Yankees MLB Coaching staff under Manager Miller Huggins. He found more success there. He had participated in 10 World Series as a Yankees MLB Coach, with the Bombers winning 9 of them. He specialized in stealing signs. Art became the highest-paid MLB Coach in baseball, reportedly earning more than $10,000 a season. Also, Art was the interim skipper of the team for 11 games in September of 1929 following Manager Miller Huggins' death. He would work for Yankees Managers Bob Shawkey and Joe McCarthy. He would remain a member of the Yankees MLB Coaching staff until suffering a heart attack late during the 1945 AL season.   

1890- Former Yankees Reserve OF Benjamin “Benny” Kauff (1912) was born. (1890-1961).

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

1914- The Yankees had purchased veteran Starter Boardwalk Brown from the Athletics for Cash. He would post a 5-6 record with a 3.24 ERA in 20 games for the 1914 Yankees. He went 3-6 before being released by the team to AA Louisville (AA) during the 1915 AL season.

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

On May 28,1951, veteran P Jack Kramer was signed as an MLB Free Agent with the Yankees. He went 1-3 with a 4.65 ERA in 19 games for the Yankees before being released by the team on August 30,1951. He had started the 1951 MLB season with the Giants, appearing in 4 games with no decisions. The Yankees and Giants would meet in the 1951 World Series, but without Jack.

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

1928- Former Yankees Minor League C Bob Oldis was born.

In October of 1956, the Yankees had purchased Catcher Bob Oldis from the Senators. He never played for the Yankees at the MLB level. Bob would play for the Yankees AAA teams at Denver (AA) and Richmond (IL). On November 30,1959, Bob was drafted by the Pirates from the Yankees organization in the 1959 MLB Rule 5 Player Draft. He had appeared in 2 games against the Yankees with the Pirates in 1960 World Series with no hits. Later, Bob was an MLB Coach and Scout for the Phillies and the Expos organizations.

1934- The Yankees had released 2 veteran MLB players: veteran Pitcher Herb Pennock and 3B Joe Sewell. Both veteran players have retired from the MLB. The 2 players would later be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

1943- The MLB Teams agree to start the 1943 MLB season later than usual and prepare to train in northern areas of the country because of World War II travel restrictions. Resorts, Armories and University facilities are chosen for MLB Spring Training sites. The Yankees will try the seashore resort city of Atlantic City, NJ using Bader Field for their 1943 MLB Spring Training Camp. Previous they had used a baseball field built for them at a High School in Asbury Park, NJ for their 1942 MLB Spring Training Camp site.

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

The Yankees had signed INF Charlie Vinson as an MLB Amateur Free Agent in 1963. On December 2,1963, he was drafted by the Angels from the Yankees organization in the 1963 MLB 1st year Player Draft.

1951- Former Yankees Minor League P Edward Ricks (1977) was born.

The Yankees had selected P Ed Ricks in the 6th round of the 1972 MLB Amateur Player Draft. He had led the 1972 Appalachian League with 97 IP, 100 H, 72 R, and 56 ER. Ricks would spend 1975-1976 seasons with the AAA Syracuse Chiefs (IL). He was on the 1977 Yankees spring training roster, but he never appeared in a game for the team at the MLB level. However, he would appear on the Yankees active MLB roster in September of 1977.

1958- Former Yankees OF/DH/1B Ron Kittle (1986-1987) was born.

On July 30,1986, Ron Kittle was traded by White Sox along with C Joel Skinner and INF Wayne Tolleson to the Yankees for a Player to be Named Later, C/1B/DH Ron Hassey and OF/INF Carlos Martinez. The Yankees would later send Minor League C Bill Lindsey to the White Sox to complete the trade. Ron would hit .264 with 16 HRs and 40 RBIs in 89 games, before leaving the team for MLB Free Agency in 1987, signing with the Indians.

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

On December 4,1984, OF Henry Cotto was traded by the Cubs along with Pitchers Porfi Altamirano, Rich Bordi and C Ron Hassey to the Yankees for P Ray Fontenot and OF/INF Brian Dayett. Henry would be a Reserve OF for the Yankees, while hitting .242 with 7 HRs and 32 RBIs playing in 137 games. During the 1985 AL season, Henry had suffered a bizarre injury that May. While using a Q-Tip on the bench, he was bumped by Ken Griffey and sustained a punctured eardrum. He would be shuttled between AAA Columbus and the Bronx from 1985 to 1987, before sticking for good with Seattle. On December 22,1987, he was traded by the Yankees along with MLB Starter Steve Trout to the Mariners for 3 Pitchers: Lee Guetterman, Clay Parker and Wade Taylor.

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

The Yankees in the 11th round of the 2005 MLB Amateur Player Draft had selected P Alan Horne. He would make his pro debut in 2006 with the Class A Tampa Yankees (FSL), by going 6-9 with a 4.84 ERA and 122 strikeouts. He had pitched for the AA Trenton Thunder (EL) in 2007, going 12-4 with a league-leading 3.11 ERA with 165 strikeouts. Alan was named the 2007 Eastern League Pitcher of the Year. He would begin the 2008 season with the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees (IL). He was 1-0 in 2 starts before going on the DL with Tommy John Surgery in April of 2008. In 2009, he had pitched for 3 Minor League teams, while posting a 4-4 record. He did not play in 2012, due to pitching arm injuries. Alan has retired from baseball.

1984- The Yankees had signed future Hall of Fame Starter Phil Niekro to a 2-year player contract. Niekro, who had posted a 11-10 record with a 3.97 ERA for the 1983 Braves, he will fill a void in the 1984 Yankees starting rotation, allowing the Yankees to move Starter Dave Righetti to the Bullpen to become the team’s new Closer for the 1984 AL Season; because former long-time Closer Goose Gossage had left the team for MLB Free Agency signing with the Padres.

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

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

1993- Former Yankees, A’s, Angels and the Orioles, OF/DH Reggie Jackson is the lone player elected by the BWAA to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Jackson, whose .262 lifetime batting average is the lowest of any outfielder in the Hall of Fame, receives 93.6 percent of the vote. His 563 MLB Career HRs make him a hit with hall voters in his 1st year of eligibility.

1999- Hall of Fame Yankees Catcher Yogi Berra received an apology from the Yankees Team Owner George Steinbrenner about his dismissal as 1985 Yankees Manager, after only 16 games into the AL season. Berra says he will end his self-exile from Yankee Stadium and the Yankees organization. He is expected to participate in future Opening Day and Old Timer's Day ceremonies at Yankee Stadium.

2008- The Yankees finalize their deal with MLB Free Agent All-Star 1B Mark Teixeira for $180 million over 8 years. Mark joins All-Stars 3B Alex Rodriguez, Starter CC Sabathia, Shortstop Derek Jeter and Starter A.J. Burnett on the payroll-heavy 2009 Yankees. Tex will provide the 2009 Yankees with a .292 BA with a league leading 39 HRs, along with 122 RBIs in 156 games. He was named to the 2009 AL All-Star team. Also, Tex won the AL 1B Golden Glove Award as well as the AL 1B Silver Slugger Award.

2012- For their part, the Yankees announce they have been unable to reach an agreement with Japanese Shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima, whose rights they secured through the posting system last month; Nakajima will return to play in Japan for the Seibu Lions for the 2012 season. The Yankees had hope that he would become their top reserve infielder for the 2012 AL season. In December of 2012,  he will sign an MLB player contract with the Oakland A’s.

2014- Veteran Yankees Player (1949-1957), MLB Manager (1980), Broadcaster and World War II and Korean War Marine flying hero Jerry Coleman passes away at age 89. (1924-2014)

Jerry Coleman was an Infielder for the 1949-1957 Yankees and the San Diego Padres Broadcaster since 1972 - except for 1-year hiatus in 1980, when he managed the Friars. In 1942, the Yankees had signed Jerry Coleman as an MLB Amateur Free Agent. Jerry had lost MLB career playing time, while serving as a Marine Fighter Pilot in WW II and again during the Korean War. He was an AL All-Star 2B in 1950, the same season that he won the AL Babe Ruth Award. Jerry had played in 6 World Series with the Yankees, while hitting .275 with No HRs and 9 RBIs in 26 games. He led the AL 2B in fielding. After the 1957 World Series was over, he would retire from the Yankees. As a Yankee player for 9 seasons, Jerry had a .263 BA along with 16 HRs and 387 RBIs in 773 games. Jerry would work in the Yankees Front Office as an Assistant to Yankees GM George Weiss. Then he would join the Yankees Broadcasting Team working with former Yankees teammate Phil Rizzuto on the Radio. Also, he had worked for WCBS-AM Sports in New York City. In 1968, Jerry would leave the Yankees, to join the Angels broadcasting team. In 1969, when the expansion San Diego Padres had joined the NL: he would work as a Broadcaster for the Padres. In 1980, Jerry even managed the Padres for 1 NL season going 73-89; before returning back to the Padres broadcasting booth.

2021- Former Yankees Minor League INF Don Leppert passed away.  (1930-2021)
In 1949, the Yankees had signed INF Don Leppert as an MLB Amateur Free Agent. He would never appear with the team at the MLB level. Don would be traded to the Orioles in the big 17-player trade in November of 1954. In 1955, he would play in 30 games for the Orioles, hitting just .141 with No HRs and 2 RBIs. During the 1956 baseball season, he would return to the Yankees organization, playing 2B for Birmingham Barons (SA), while hitting .278 in 68 games before retiring from pro baseball at the end of the season.

2021- The Yankees had signed Free Agent 3B Andrew Velazquez to a Minor League contract with an invitation to their MLB 2021 Spring Training Camp. He has played in the MLB with the 2018-2019 Rays, 2019 Indians and the 2020 Orioles. He has MLB career BA of .156 with No HRs and 3 RBIs. He was originally drafted by the Diamondback in the 7th Round of the 2012 1st-Year MLB Draft out of Fordham Prep. He would appear in 28 games as a Reserve INF for the 2021 Yankees, hitting .224 with 1 HR and 6 RBIs. On November 5, 2021, he was placed on waivers by the Yankees, he would be claimed by the Angels.

5 months ago  ::  Dec 31, 2022 - 2:23PM #2
Posts: 16,377

This Week in Yankees History January 1st-January 7th Part Two


January 6th

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

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

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

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

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

On September 15,1913, P King Cole was drafted by the Yankees from AA Columbus (AA) in the 1913 MLB Rule 5 Player Draft. He had posted a 12-12 record with 3.27 ERA and 1 save in 43 games for the Yankees. In 1915, King Cole was diagnosed with tuberculosis; he died early the in 1916 at age 29. His real name was Leonard Leslie Cole. His MLB Pitching career record was a 54-27 record with a 3.12 ERA and 2 saves in 129 games. He had started his MLB pitching career with the 1909 Cubs, then he was traded to Pirates, before joining the 1914-1915 Yankees for his final MLB seasons.

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

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

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

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

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

Even with their Tammany and real-estate connections, the New York club could do no better than Gordon’s marginal site just west of Broadway between 165th and 168th Streets at the far north end of Manhattan in Washington Heights. It was leased for a 10-year term from the New York Institute for the Blind. The lease was executed on March 12,1903, giving the team only 7 weeks to build the ball grounds in time for the April 30th home opener. Fortunately, the erection of the modest wood-frame stands of the era could be accomplished relatively quickly. As a backup Johnson and the new owners had identified a site in the Bronx owned by the Astor estate at 161st Street and Jerome Avenue — a site that two decades later would be purchased by a different set of Yankees owners for a new stadium. Still, getting the ballpark built in time would be a close race due to the physical configuration of the location. The work to level and prepare the rocky, uneven site cost roughly $200,000, while construction of the 16,000-seat ballpark cost approximately $75,000, bringing the total investment for Farrell and Devery in their new grounds to around $275,000, an outlay larger than typical for ballpark erection at the time, though they may have received some assistance from the league. The ball grounds were christened Hilltop Park and the team became informally dubbed the Highlanders because the location was one of the highest points on Manhattan and Gordon’s Highlanders (in an allusion to the team’s president) were one of the most famous regiments in the British Army. New Yorkers did not immediately flock to see their new American League entry. Despite a sold-out Opening Day, the team drew just over 210,000 fans, the 2nd lowest in the league and well behind their crosstown rival Giants, but turned a small profit. The team more than doubled its attendance in 1904 as the Highlanders were in the AL pennant chase until the last day of the 1904 season. Over the next several years the club generally fell in the middle of the league in attendance and while financial information is sketchy, when the Highlanders finished 2nd in 1910 with mediocre attendance, they reportedly turned an $80,000 profit. In part, this was because Farrell abandoned his pledge of no advertising in Hilltop Park and sold billboard space on the outfield fences. 

In 1907, Farrell bounced President Gordon and took over the role himself, explaining, “I decided that I should get some of the glory. I had put up the money and done a lot of the work.” Gordon had snagged much of the spotlight late in the 1904 AL season when he chided the NL champion Giants for their reluctance and subsequent refusal to participate in the World Series against the upstart American League. As the publicity available to a baseball owner in New York became more apparent, Farrell no longer wanted to remain in the background. When he let Gordon go, Farrell offered his one-time President the dividends on $10,000 worth of stock, but no right to sell, transfer, or vote the stock. Gordon refused to go quietly. He claimed he had been promised a 50 % share of the team, when originally incorporated and that he was due half the profits after Farrell received the return of his initial capital. He also claimed that the team had been making significant profits based on recent average revenues of $240,000 and expenses of $80,000; accordingly, he demanded an accounting, as the rightful beneficiary of half of these profits. It’s highly unlikely the team was anywhere near as profitable as Gordon alleged and in the end the Court ruled against his improbable, undocumented claim for half the franchise.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2021- The Yankees had received OF Greg Allen from the Padres in a trade for Minor League Reliever James Reeves, who had pitched for the 2019 AA Trenton Thunder (EL). Allen had started the 2020 MLB season with the Indians, appearing in 15 games, while hitting just .160 with 1 HR and 4 RBIs before being traded to the Padres; where he had appeared in just 1 game with no hits for the team. The switch-hitting OF will complete for the Reserve Outfield spot on the Yankees MLB 25-man Roster in the 2021 Yankees MLB Training Camp. Hurler James Reeves was drafted by the Yankees in the 10th round of the 2015 MLB June Amateur Player Draft from The Citadel (Charleston, SC). He had posted a 20-7 record with a 2.30 ERA with 8 saves in 137 games, while playing in the Yankees Minor League system from 2015-2019.

2021- The Yankees had signed MLB Free Agent Reliever Tyler Lyons to a Minor League contract with an invitation to their 2021 MLB Spring Training Camp. Lyons was with the Yankees during the 2019 and 2020 AL seasons. He had pitched in 12 games for the team with an ERA of 6.97. Lyons will not pitch for the 2021 Yankees due to an arm injury. Also, the team signs former MLB P Jhoulys Chacin to a Minor League deal, both he will receive invitation to the Yankees 2021 MLB Spring Training Camp. The hurler would be released by the team by the team in March, 2021. Later, he would be picked up the Rockies for the 2021 NL season.

January 7th 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 1935- Former Yankees Reserve INF Richard “Ducky” Schofield Sr. (1966) was born. (1935-2022)

Richard Schofield is the Father of former MLB player Richard Schofield Jr. and the Grandfather of Jayson Werth of the Nationals. On May 11,1966, he was purchased by the Yankees from the Giants for $25,000 to fill in for injured Shortstop Ruben Amaro. He would hit just .155 in 25 games for the Bombers before being traded to the Dodgers on September 10,1966 for P Thad Tillotson and Cash.  With the 1966 Dodgers, he would play 3B, while hitting .257. He had originally come up to the MLB with the Cardinals as a “Bonus Baby” in 1953. Later he would play for the 1960 Pirates, as a Reserve INF, filling in for Bucs starting Shortstop Richard Groat, when he was injured. He was the Bucs starting Shortstop in 1963-1965. The Pirates would trade him to the Giants in 1965, where he became their starting shortstop.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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











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