July 26 – Happy Birthday “Sad Sam” Jones

The last Boston Red Sox team to win a World Series during the 20th century was the 1918 squad. Their starting rotation consisted of Carl Mays, Bullet Joe Bush, Babe Ruth and today’s Pinstripe Birthday celebrant, “Sad Sam” Jones. By 1922, three of the four were pitching for the Yankees and the fourth was on his way to becoming New York’s and all of baseball’s most famous home-run hitter of all time.

During Sad Sam’s four years as a starter in Beantown, he won 64 games including 23 in 1921. He then won 67 games during his five seasons in pinstripes, including a 21-victory season in 1923. He remained in the big leagues until 1935, retiring when he was 42-years-old, with a lifetime record of 229-217 with 36 career shutouts.

An interesting fact about Jones’ career was that opposing runners stole very few bases off of old Sam despite the fact that he almost never attempted a pick-off throw. What was his secret for scaring would-be base-stealers from even trying to run against him? According to a 1954 article in the Baseball Digest, Jones would just stare at runners until they would inevitably walk back to first. As soon as they started their trip back to the bag, Jones would throw the next pitch.

Sad Sam shares his July 26th birthday with this much more recent Yankee pitcherthis pinch-hitter on the 1970 Yankees team and this former Yankee left-fielder.

Year Tm W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
1922 NYY 13 13 .500 3.67 45 28 15 20 0 8 260.0 270 132 106 16 76 81 1.331
1923 NYY 21 8 .724 3.63 39 27 8 18 3 4 243.0 239 114 98 11 69 68 1.267
1924 NYY 9 6 .600 3.63 36 21 7 8 3 3 178.2 187 85 72 6 76 53 1.472
1925 NYY 15 21 .417 4.63 43 31 8 14 1 2 246.2 267 147 127 14 104 92 1.504
1926 NYY 9 8 .529 4.98 39 23 11 6 1 5 161.0 186 104 89 6 80 69 1.652
22 Yrs 229 217 .513 3.84 647 487 116 250 36 31 3883.0 4084 2008 1656 151 1396 1223 1.411
BOS (6 yrs) 64 59 .520 3.39 157 124 30 83 18 4 1045.0 1069 474 394 16 338 307 1.346
NYY (5 yrs) 67 56 .545 4.06 202 130 49 66 8 22 1089.1 1149 582 492 53 405 363 1.427
WSH (4 yrs) 50 33 .602 3.70 104 100 3 49 7 1 709.2 745 352 292 24 235 217 1.381
CHW (4 yrs) 36 46 .439 4.20 105 98 6 39 3 0 700.1 777 400 327 46 251 222 1.468
CLE (2 yrs) 4 9 .308 3.62 49 9 26 2 0 4 149.0 133 79 60 0 65 42 1.329
SLB (1 yr) 8 14 .364 4.32 30 26 2 11 0 0 189.2 211 121 91 12 102 72 1.650
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/26/2013.

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