August 21 – Happy Birthday John Wetteland

If you’re a Yankee fan, one of the great moments you have engrained into your memory is the on-field celebration that ensued after Charley Hayes caught that foul pop for the third and final out of the 1996 World Series. John Wetteland was in the middle of that celebration. He had just earned his fourth save of that Series and was about to be named Series MVP. That performance followed a regular season in which the right-hander had led the AL with 43 saves and made the All Star team.

Wettland, who was born on today’s date in 1966 in San Mateo, CA, was an indispensable Yankee that year and I can recall being completely blown away when just one month later, the Yankees let him become a free agent. The right-hander continued to perform as one of the game’s top closers after he signed with Texas and saved another 150 games during the final four seasons of his big league career. That Yankee front office decision to let Wetteland walk and hand the closer role to a young Mariano Rivera seemed so risky at the time. It doesn’t anymore, does it?

Wetteland shares his August 21 birthday with this former Yankee first baseman.

Year Tm W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
1995 NYY 1 5 .167 2.93 60 0 56 0 0 31 61.1 40 22 20 6 14 66 0.880
1996 ★ NYY 2 3 .400 2.83 62 0 58 0 0 43 63.2 54 23 20 9 21 69 1.178
12 Yrs 48 45 .516 2.93 618 17 523 0 0 330 765.0 616 287 249 73 252 804 1.135
TEX (4 yrs) 20 12 .625 2.95 248 0 233 0 0 150 253.0 224 100 83 30 78 248 1.194
LAD (3 yrs) 8 12 .400 3.84 59 17 17 0 0 1 154.2 130 76 66 14 54 141 1.190
MON (3 yrs) 17 13 .567 2.32 189 0 159 0 0 105 232.1 168 66 60 14 85 280 1.089
NYY (2 yrs) 3 8 .273 2.88 122 0 114 0 0 74 125.0 94 45 40 15 35 135 1.032
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/6/2014.

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