October 30th, 2011

October 30 – Happy Birthday Danny Tartabull

The 1991 Yankee team was a pretty inept squad. They finished 20 games under 500 and tenth in the American League in both offense and pitching. The cross-town Mets had not done much better that year but they were killing the Yankees in free agent signings as the 1992 spring training season approached. The Amazin’s had already put Eddie Murray, Bobby Bonilla and Bret Saberhagen under contract while Yankee GM Gene Michael had been told not to sign anyone until he got the OK from the chaotic Yankee management team that was supposedly running the franchise during George Steinbrenner’s Howie Spira induced banishment from baseball.

When Michael finally did get permission to pursue a free agent it came with specific orders to sign free-swinging first baseman, Danny Tartabull. Michael did not like Tartabull’s game and was against the move but went ahead and did what he was told to do. The Yankees signed Tartabull to a four-year $20 million free agent contract in January of 1992. Three and a half mostly disappointing seasons later, he was traded to the A’s for Ruben Sierra. His best season in pinstripes was his second when he hit 31 home runs and drove in 103 runs for Manager Buck Showalter’s first Yankee team.

Personally, I liked this guy when he played in New York. He did strike out a lot and was a liability in the field but his OBP as a Yankee was over .370 and he hit 81 home runs and drove in 282 during his three-and-a-half year stay in the Bronx. And who can forget his appearance on the television show Seinfeld? Perhaps Tartabull’s biggest problem was staying healthy. He missed too many games because of injuries and would then struggle to regain his rhythm at the plate each time he returned to the lineup. Danny is the son of former big league outfielder Jose Tartabull. He was born in San Juan on this date in 1962. His last season in the big leagues was 1997 and he hit 262 home runs during his 14-years in the Majors.

This former Yankee third basemanthis one-time Yankee reliever and this long-ago Yankee  spit-baller all share Tartabull’s October 30th birthday.

Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
1992 NYY 123 526 421 72 112 19 0 25 85 2 103 115 .266 .409 .489 .898
1993 NYY 138 611 513 87 128 33 2 31 102 0 92 156 .250 .363 .503 .866
1994 NYY 104 470 399 68 102 24 1 19 67 1 66 111 .256 .360 .464 .823
1995 NYY 59 230 192 25 43 12 0 6 28 0 33 54 .224 .335 .380 .715
14 Yrs 1406 5842 5011 756 1366 289 22 262 925 37 768 1362 .273 .368 .496 .864
KCR (5 yrs) 657 2684 2327 348 674 141 9 124 425 28 325 592 .290 .376 .518 .894
NYY (4 yrs) 424 1837 1525 252 385 88 3 81 282 3 294 436 .252 .372 .473 .845
SEA (3 yrs) 166 671 592 87 164 33 7 28 110 5 71 174 .277 .354 .498 .853
PHI (1 yr) 3 11 7 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 4 .000 .364 .000 .364
CHW (1 yr) 132 541 472 58 120 23 3 27 101 1 64 128 .254 .340 .487 .827
OAK (1 yr) 24 98 88 9 23 4 0 2 7 0 10 28 .261 .337 .375 .712
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/30/2013.