This is not the switch-hitting Bobby Brown who played a lot of outfield for the Yankees in 1980. This is the Bobby Brown who was a decent hitting, terrible fielding utility player for New York in the late forties and early fifties. This is the Bobby Brown who shined in four Fall Classics as a Yankee and holds a .439 lifetime World Series batting average. This is the Bobby Brown who gave up baseball to become a cardiologist and then gave up his medical career to become a front office executive for the Texas Rangers and then President of the American League. This is not the Bobby Brown who married Whitney Houston.
Brown shares his October 25th birthday with another former AL President, this former Yankee reliever from the early sixties, this former Yankee shortstop from the early eighties and this Yankee bullpen coach.
Even though the 1981 Yankees made it to the World Series, the majority of Yankee fans old enough to remember that team will tell you it was a horrible year to be a Yankee and baseball fan. The regular season was split by a strike and the only reason New York made the postseason was they had their Division’s lead when the players walked off the job on June 12 of that year. When they came back in August, already assured of a postseason spot because of their pre-strike division lead, the Yankees played horribly and finished fifth in their division’s second-half standings.
The Yankees had acquired the 6’5″ Frazier from the Cardinals that year and by the second half of that season, he was pitching a lot of effective baseball for New York and had joined Goose Gossage and Ron Davis to give the team a very strong bullpen. That bullpen pitched very well in both the ALDS and ALCS as the New York advanced to the World Series against the Dodgers. Then, after winning the first two games at Yankee Stadium, the series shifted to Los Angeles, where the Yankees lost three straight one-run games with Frazier on the losing end of the first two of those decisions. He then also got the “L” in the Dodgers’ 9-2 Game-6 blowout victory back in New York.
That disastrous year ended with the Yankees decision not to re-sign Reggie Jackson and George Steinbrenner publicly ridiculing Jackson’s heir apparent, Dave Winfield, for choking in the postseason.
Frazier spent two more seasons in the Yankee bullpen before being traded to Cleveland. He will forever be remembered as the Yankee pitcher who lost three games in the same World Series.
|STL (3 yrs)||3||11||.214||3.84||61||0||29||0||0||3||77.1||81||43||33||7||25||33||1.371|
|CHC (3 yrs)||15||15||.500||5.36||123||0||46||0||0||5||191.1||204||123||114||20||112||145||1.652|
|NYY (3 yrs)||8||9||.471||3.25||140||0||65||0||0||12||254.2||223||102||92||13||95||164||1.249|
|MIN (2 yrs)||6||6||.500||4.83||69||0||36||0||0||8||108.0||100||62||58||11||67||83||1.546|
|CLE (1 yr)||3||2||.600||3.65||22||0||17||0||0||1||44.1||45||19||18||3||14||24||1.331|
October 8 is not a date on which fans of New York Yankee birthdays have lots to celebrate about. Bernie Williams, the former outfielder, celebrates a birthday today but he’s the Bernie Williams who played for the Giants and Padres back in the early 1970’s and not the “Bern Baby Bern” who won four World Series rings and a batting championship with the Yankees. Catfish was also born on October 8 but this one’s last name was Metkovich and not the late great Yankee pitcher named Hunter. There was also an old Yankee hitting coach named Wally Moses who was born on this date. I remember Wally looked like he was eighty years old when he was fifty and I remember wondering back then why New York’s management expected the power-hitting Yankee roster of the early sixties to take batting instructions from a perennial singles-hitter that Moses was throughout his own playing career. Also born on today’s date is Ping Bodie, the Yankees’ first Italian American player.
The only former Yankee player who I personally saw play that celebrates a birthday on today’s date is a utility infielder named Bryan Little. Little played very little in Pinstripes, appearing in 14 games at second base during the 1986 season. Bryan, who was born in Houston, turns fifty-years-old today.