October 24 – Happy Birthday Omar Moreno

The starting center field position for the New York Yankees became one of the most glamorous posts in all of sports during the middle of the twentieth century, when it was filled by Earl Combs, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle who all ended up in Cooperstown. They were followed by Bobby Murcer and then Mickey Rivers, neither of whom made the Hall of Fame but were both very good All Star players in their day. When Rivers slumped in 1979 and the Yankees traded him to Texas, it started a game of musical chair centerfielders in Yankee Stadium that did not end until Bernie Williams was given the job in 1992 and kept it for the next fifteen seasons.

Rupert Jones took over in center in 1980. He was followed by Jerry Mumphrey who did OK his first two seasons in pinstripes but was slumping during the first half of the 1983 season. The Yankee front office responded by trading Mumphrey to Houston for Omar Moreno. Moreno had been the NL stolen base champ for two consecutive seasons with the Pirates and had stolen 96 bases for Pittsburgh in 1980. The problem this Panamanian had was getting on first base. He struck out a lot and did not like to walk. He was only a .250 lifetime hitter and despite all those stolen bases, he scored more than 100 runs in a season only once in his 12-season big league career. In his only full season with the Yankees in 1984, Moreno hit just .259 and scored only 37 runs. Convinced Omar would not be their answer in center field, the Yankee front office made a huge deal in December of 1984 that put another future Hall of Famer in the middle position of New York’s outfield. His name of course was Ricky Henderson. Without a regular spot in the lineup, Moreno struggled to get his average over the .200 mark at the beginning of the 1985 season. New York released him in August of that season and he signed with the Royals. Moreno was born on October 24, 1952.

Henderson started in center for the Yankees for just two seasons. Then came Claudell Washington and Roberto Kelly. Bern Baby Bern shared the position with Kelly for a couple of seasons before taking it over for good in ’92.

Moreno shares his October 24th birthday with this long-ago Yankee outfielder and this much more recent Yankee pitcher.

Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
1983 NYY 48 163 152 17 38 9 1 1 17 7 8 31 .250 .288 .342 .630
1984 NYY 117 382 355 37 92 12 6 4 38 20 18 48 .259 .294 .361 .654
1985 NYY 34 68 66 12 13 4 1 1 4 1 1 16 .197 .209 .333 .542
12 Yrs 1382 5481 4992 699 1257 171 87 37 386 487 387 885 .252 .306 .343 .649
PIT (8 yrs) 944 3978 3585 530 915 115 59 25 263 412 314 633 .255 .315 .341 .657
NYY (3 yrs) 199 613 573 66 143 25 8 6 59 28 27 95 .250 .283 .353 .635
KCR (1 yr) 24 75 70 9 17 1 3 2 12 0 3 8 .243 .280 .429 .709
ATL (1 yr) 118 386 359 46 84 18 6 4 27 17 21 77 .234 .276 .351 .627
HOU (1 yr) 97 429 405 48 98 12 11 0 25 30 22 72 .242 .282 .326 .608
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/24/2013.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: