October 31 – Happy Birthday Matt Nokes

It doesn’t seem that long ago that Matt Nokes had his outstanding rookie season with Detroit, when he hit 32 home runs, drove in 87 and helped lead the Tigers to a first place finish in the AL East. Hard to believe that was 1987. I remember pundits predicting he would become baseball’s next great catcher. That didn’t happen.

His rookie season turned out to be the best statistically of Nokes’ 14-year career and since he was nothing special defensively, when his bat cooled off the Tigers decided to deal him. The Yankees gave Detroit pitchers Lance McCullers and Clay Parker for Nokes during the 1990 season. For the next two-and-a-half years, the San Diego native was the Yankees’ starting catcher. His best season in pinstripes was 1991, when he smacked 24 round-trippers and drove in 77 runs. By 1993 he had stopped hitting home runs and he lost his starting position to Mike Stanley.

His teammates will tell you that Matt Nokes was a great guy who loved his family and kept out of trouble. He was always nice to the Yankee batboys and actually helped one of them build a potato cannon that they test-shot together from inside the Yankee dugout. His last big league season was 1995.

Also celebrating a birthday on today’s date is this former Yankee center fielder named Mickeythis former Yankee infielder and this other former Yankee infielder.

Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
1990 NYY 92 264 240 21 57 4 0 8 32 2 20 33 .238 .307 .354 .661
1991 NYY 135 493 456 52 122 20 0 24 77 3 25 49 .268 .308 .469 .778
1992 NYY 121 430 384 42 86 9 1 22 59 0 37 62 .224 .293 .424 .718
1993 NYY 76 238 217 25 54 8 0 10 35 0 16 31 .249 .303 .424 .726
1994 NYY 28 85 79 11 23 3 0 7 19 0 5 16 .291 .329 .595 .924
11 Yrs 902 2997 2735 310 695 96 4 136 422 8 200 395 .254 .308 .441 .750
NYY (5 yrs) 452 1510 1376 151 342 44 1 71 222 5 103 191 .249 .304 .437 .741
DET (5 yrs) 395 1366 1246 151 334 48 3 61 189 3 91 180 .268 .322 .458 .780
COL (1 yr) 10 12 11 1 2 1 0 0 0 0 1 4 .182 .250 .273 .523
SFG (1 yr) 19 55 53 3 11 2 0 2 5 0 1 9 .208 .236 .358 .595
BAL (1 yr) 26 54 49 4 6 1 0 2 6 0 4 11 .122 .185 .265 .450
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/31/2013.

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