October 25 – Happy Birthday Roy Smalley

The story goes that George Steinbrenner loved the Twins switch-hitting starting shortstop, Roy Smalley. So even though New York already had Bucky Dent and the promising Andre Robertson at that position for the 1982 season, the Yankees sent reliever Ron Davis and a young shortstop prospect named Greg Gagne to the Twins in April of that year to get Smalley in pinstripes. Roy had the bloodlines for baseball. His Dad had been a pretty good infielder for the Cubs in the 40s and his Mom’s brother was long-time big league player and manager, Gene Mauch. But ancestry and being good in Minnesota did not assure success in the Big Apple and Smalley was never comfortable as a Yankee. He did hit 20 home runs his first season in the Bronx and 18 during his second, but by 1984 Steinbrenner had tired of him and he was dealt to the White Sox. In the mean time, Ron Davis never turned into the closer the Twins needed, but Greg Gagne became a popular leader and starting shortstop on the great Twins teams of the 1980s. Roy was born on October 24, 1952, in Los Angeles. In the baseball card pictured with today’s post, doesn’t the larger image of Smalley look a lot like comedian Ray Romano? Also notice on the card that Smalley’s positions are listed as shortstop, third and first base. This is indicative of the early-eighties chaos with the New York lineup. It seemed hardly any Yankee back then knew what position he’d be playing game-to-game.

Smalley shares his October 25th birthday with this former Yankee GM,  this former Yankee reliever , this former Yankee turned medical doctor and this Yankee bullpen coach.

Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
1982 NYY 142 565 486 55 125 14 2 20 67 0 68 100 .257 .346 .418 .764
1983 NYY 130 520 451 70 124 24 1 18 62 3 58 68 .275 .357 .452 .810
1984 NYY 67 227 209 17 50 8 1 7 26 2 15 35 .239 .286 .388 .674
13 Yrs 1653 6595 5657 745 1454 244 25 163 694 27 771 908 .257 .345 .395 .740
MIN (10 yrs) 1148 4676 3997 551 1046 184 21 110 485 15 549 606 .262 .350 .401 .750
NYY (3 yrs) 339 1312 1146 142 299 46 4 45 155 5 141 203 .261 .340 .426 .766
TEX (2 yrs) 119 449 379 37 86 10 0 4 41 6 59 69 .227 .328 .285 .613
CHW (1 yr) 47 158 135 15 23 4 0 4 13 1 22 30 .170 .285 .289 .574
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/25/2013.

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