July 23rd, 2011

July 23 – Happy Birthday Johnny James

 Johnny James, was born on July 23, 1933 and came up to the big leagues with the Yankees in 1958. He had his best season for New York in 1960, when he went 5-1 with 2 saves pitching out of Casey Stengel’s bullpen. The Ol’ Perfessor  liked this small right-hander well enough to give him the ball 28 times that year but not enough to keep him on New York’s 1960 World Series roster. James’ problem was his control. He had very little. He walked 26 guys in 43 innings during his one full season in the Bronx and relief pitchers who can’t throw strikes typically have very short big league careers. James was no exception. In 1961, the Yankees traded him and Ryne Duren to the Los Angeles Angels to bring back both Bob Cerv and Tex Clevenger, who both had been lost to the new AL franchise in the previous year’s expansion draft. James lost his only two decisions for LA in 1961 and walked 54 hitters in 71 innings of pitching. He never again pitched in the big leagues.

Coming across Johnny’s name in my research for today’s post did get me to wondering about other Yankees with two first names in their signature (don’t ask me why I wonder about such things.) Here’s my all-time line-up of Yankees with two first names for a name. Can you think of any others?

1B Tony Clark
2B Billy Martin or Willie Randolph
SS Gene Michael or Fred Stanley
3B Andy Carey
C Bill Dickey or Mike Stanley
OF Babe Ruth
OF Bernie Williams
OF Dion James
DH Jim Spencer or Jack Clark
SP Tommy John or Ralph Terry
RP Albert Sparky Lyle
This former Yankee pitcher and this long ago utility player were both also born on July 23rd.

Here are Johnny James’ Yankee and career total stats:

Year Tm W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
1958 NYY 0 0 0.00 1 0 1 0 0 0 3.0 2 0 0 0 4 1 2.000
1960 NYY 5 1 .833 4.36 28 0 11 0 0 2 43.1 38 22 21 3 26 29 1.477
1961 NYY 0 0 0.00 1 0 0 0 0 0 1.1 1 0 0 0 0 2 0.750
3 Yrs 5 3 .625 4.76 66 3 22 0 0 2 119.0 107 66 63 15 84 73 1.605
NYY (3 yrs) 5 1 .833 3.97 30 0 12 0 0 2 47.2 41 22 21 3 30 32 1.490
LAA (1 yr) 0 2 .000 5.30 36 3 10 0 0 0 71.1 66 44 42 12 54 41 1.682
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/23/2013.