On September 19, 1970 in an afternoon game at Tiger Stadium in front of fewer than 9,000 fans, Yankee Manager Ralph Houk inserted veteran lefthander Mike McCormick in the game to pitch the bottom half of the seventh inning with the Yankees trailing by three runs. McCormick held the Tigers scoreless in the seventh but gave up a home run to backup catcher Jim Price in the eighth inning. In the Yankee half of the ninth New York scored five runs on five singles a walk and a wild pitch, to take a 7-6 lead. Jack Aker pitched a scoreless bottom of the ninth and in the process saved Mike McCormick’s 134th and final big league victory. McCormick had joined New York’s pitching staff in July of that season when the Yankees traded pitcher John Cumberland to the Giants in exchange for the 1967 NL Cy Young Award winner. In his first start with his new team, Mike lasted seven innings and beat the Angels, but he’d been roughed up as both a starter and reliever in each subsequent appearance. The Yankees ended up releasing the Pasadena, CA native in spring training the following year and after trying to hang on with the Royals, McCormick ended his very good 16-season big league career.
He may have had a lot more than those two wins in pinstripes if the Yankees were inclined to pay bonuses back when Mike was a high school pitching sensation in the early fifties. New York’s arrogant front office felt it was a privilege for any young man to even be offered a contract to play for their organization so they refused to offer signing bonuses. The New York Giants were the only team to offer McCormick one, in the amount of $50,000 and the youngster grabbed it. In addition to the Giants, Yankees and Royals, Mike also pitched for Baltimore and the Senators during his career.
|SFG (11 yrs)||107||96||.527||3.68||357||252||52||78||19||11||1822.2||1737||833||745||195||616||1030||1.291|
|WSA (2 yrs)||19||22||.463||3.42||85||53||13||11||4||1||374.0||351||162||142||40||87||189||1.171|
|BAL (2 yrs)||6||10||.375||4.40||29||23||0||2||0||0||153.1||153||80||75||19||74||88||1.480|
|KCR (1 yr)||0||0||9.31||4||1||1||0||0||0||9.2||14||10||10||0||5||2||1.966|
|NYY (1 yr)||2||0||1.000||6.10||9||4||3||0||0||0||20.2||26||15||14||2||13||12||1.887|
Grant Dwight Jackson was born on September 28, 1942, in Fostoria, OH. He spent his first six big league seasons with the Phillies as a starting pitcher. After getting dealt to Baltimore in 1970, the Orioles converted Jackson into a reliever and he became a mainstay in their bullpen for the next five seasons. In June of 1976, he was made part of an unusual mid season ten-player trade that took place between the Yanks and Orioles. It was unusual because both teams were fighting for the same AL Eastern Division pennant at the time and normally, teams competing for the same flag don’t do deals with each other, much less deals involving ten guys. In the swap, New York sent Rick Dempsey, Tippy Martinez, Rudy May, Scott McGregor and Dave Pagan to the Birds in return for Jackson, Doyle Alexander, Ken Holtzman, Elrod Hendricks and somebody named Jimmy Freeman.
Jackson quickly became a key member of Billy Martin’s pitching staff, appearing in 21 games during the second half of that season, mostly in relief and winning all six of his decisions. Alexander was 10-5 that year with New York and Holtzman was 9-7. That means the three pitchers the Yankees got in the Baltimore deal won an impressive total of 25 games during the balance of that 1976 season. After Jackson pitched poorly during the ’76 postseason, the Yankees left him unprotected in that year’s AL expansion draft and he was selected by the new Mariners franchise.
|PIT (6 yrs)||29||19||.604||3.23||278||2||119||0||0||36||354.1||339||143||127||31||136||173||1.341|
|PHI (6 yrs)||23||43||.348||3.99||154||70||32||15||4||3||563.1||571||288||250||44||224||431||1.411|
|BAL (6 yrs)||24||12||.667||2.81||209||9||120||0||0||39||333.1||268||111||104||24||105||241||1.119|
|KCR (1 yr)||3||1||.750||5.17||20||0||10||0||0||0||38.1||42||27||22||7||21||15||1.643|
|MON (1 yr)||1||0||1.000||7.59||10||0||2||0||0||0||10.2||14||9||9||2||9||4||2.156|
|NYY (1 yr)||6||0||1.000||1.69||21||2||8||1||1||1||58.2||38||11||11||1||16||25||0.920|
When the Yankees signed Tony Womack as a free agent after the 2004 season, I was not too excited. He had just completed arguably his best Major League season, hitting .307 and smacking 170 hits and helping to lead St Louis to an NL Championship, but he had hit only.182 in that year’s World Series as the Cardinals got swept by the Red Sox and even though he had lot’s of speed, his ability to get on base was far from impressive. Evidently, Joe Torre was not too excited either because by May of the 2005 season, Robinson Cano was the Yankees’ starting second baseman and the only action Womack was seeing was in the Yankee outfield. During his one and only season in the Bronx, Womack hit .249 and had just a .279 on base percentage. He was shipped to the Reds the following December. Even though it did not work out in New York, Womack had a very good 13-season big league career, winning a ring with Arizona and amassing over 1,300 hits.
|ARI (5 yrs)||629||2744||2521||392||677||98||37||21||200||182||159||303||.269||.314||.362||.676|
|PIT (5 yrs)||351||1475||1362||190||379||55||17||9||103||122||92||210||.278||.325||.363||.688|
|CHC (2 yrs)||40||109||101||10||26||3||1||1||4||3||5||15||.257||.292||.337||.629|
|COL (1 yr)||21||81||79||9||15||2||0||0||5||3||0||9||.190||.200||.215||.415|
|STL (1 yr)||145||606||553||91||170||22||3||5||38||26||36||60||.307||.349||.385||.735|
|CIN (1 yr)||9||23||18||1||4||2||0||0||3||0||4||3||.222||.364||.333||.697|
|NYY (1 yr)||108||351||329||46||82||8||1||0||15||27||12||49||.249||.276||.280||.556|
This native of San Diego was born on this date in 1982. The Yankees drafted the right-hander in the 19th round of the 2003 draft out of Texas Tech. He got his first call-up to the parent club in late August of 2006 and got six starts during the final month and a half of that season, winning two of his three decisions. He didn’t fare as well for New York the following year, going 1-4 with an ERA that ballooned to over 11 earned runs for every nine innings pitched. In 2008, he was made part of the package the Yankees dealt to Pittsburgh for Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte. He got off to a great start in the Steel City, winning his first two starts and not giving up a single run but then he had a tough time finding success with the poor-hitting Pirates. In 2011, the Pirate offense showed some punch and Karstens numbers have gotten demonstrably better. I was in Pittsburgh earlier this season and got to see him pitch a super game against a very tough Philadelphia line-up. He turns 29-years-old today and I think he’s young enough to put together some solid seasons in the next few years. The question is will the Pirates have a team that can score him the runs he will need to do so.
|PIT (5 yrs)||23||35||.397||4.31||123||82||10||2||2||0||535.0||569||280||256||70||133||309||1.312|
|NYY (2 yrs)||3||5||.375||5.65||15||9||4||0||0||0||57.1||67||41||36||10||20||21||1.517|
They called him Sudden Sam and along with one of the best fastballs in big league history, he also possessed one of the game’s worst drinking habits. His career began in Cleveland in 1961 and during his eight seasons as the ace of the Tribes’ pitching staff he threw 21 shutouts and led the American League in strikeouts five times. McDowell would drink himself into oblivion every day of the week with the exception being the day before he was scheduled to pitch. By 1971, the Indians threw up their hands and traded the southpaw fireballer to the Giants for Gaylord Perry. It took San Francisco just over a season to realize their mistake and they unloaded McDowell by selling him to the pitching hungry Yankees. When Sam won five of his first six decisions in pinstripes, Yankee fans thought it was the best deal in franchise history. But McDowell then proceeded to lose seven straight to close out the 1973 season and when he dropped six of seven decisions the following year, New York released him. He signed on with the Pirates but his drinking had become so bad, he was quickly kicked off the team and out of baseball for good. Miraculously, Sam got his alcohol addiction under control and became a very effective substance abuse counselor after his pitching days were over. He was born in Pittsburgh on this date in 1942.
Another former Yankee celebrating his birthday today is the father of a Prince but has no royal blood running through his veins. This long-ago Yankee outfielder was also born on September 21st.
|CLE (11 yrs)||122||109||.528||2.99||336||295||24||97||22||11||2109.2||1603||805||702||138||1072||2159||1.268|
|SFG (2 yrs)||11||10||.524||4.36||46||28||7||4||0||3||204.1||200||109||99||16||115||157||1.542|
|NYY (2 yrs)||6||14||.300||4.20||29||22||4||2||1||0||143.2||115||74||67||10||105||108||1.531|
|PIT (1 yr)||2||1||.667||2.86||14||1||4||0||0||0||34.2||30||11||11||0||20||29||1.442|