September 11th, 2012

September 11 – Happy Birthday Don Slaught

It was certainly no fun being a Yankee fan in the late eighties. Not only was my favorite Yankee player, Don Mattingly, beginning to lose his home run power thanks to a back injury, it seemed as if every prospect, trade, and free agent signing turned out to be a bust. I can remember, for example, when the New York front office was telling us fans that Joel Skinner was going to be the Yankee catcher of the future. That notion died quickly when after two seasons, it became apparent that Skinner would have problems keeping his batting average over .220. That’s when the Yankees made a trade with the Rangers for today’s Pinstripe Birthday celebrant. Texas was grooming a young Mike Stanley as their starting catcher and no longer wanted Slaught. The Yankees sent pitcher Brad Arnsberg to the Rangers, who was another of those late eighties can’t miss Pinstripe prospects who ended up missing.

Slaught had a phenomenal start with the Yankees in 1988 and made GM Lou Piniella look like a genius by reaching that season’s All Star break with a .340 batting average. But after he hit just .236 the second half and .251 the following year, New York realized Slaught was not going to make Yankee fans forget Thurman Munson and traded the Long Beach, CA native to Pittsburgh where he thrived as a part-time receiver for the next six years. Bob Geren took over for Slaught as the Yankee’s starting catcher followed by Matt Nokes, Mike Stanley, Joe Girardi, Hip Hip Jorge, and currently Russell Martin!

Slaught shares his September 11th birthday with this former Yankee third base prospect and this long ago starting pitcher.

Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
1988 NYY 97 358 322 33 91 25 1 9 43 1 24 54 .283 .334 .450 .785
1989 NYY 117 392 350 34 88 21 3 5 38 1 30 57 .251 .315 .371 .687
16 Yrs 1327 4503 4063 415 1151 235 28 77 476 18 311 559 .283 .338 .412 .749
PIT (6 yrs) 475 1624 1434 140 438 84 9 21 184 5 137 177 .305 .370 .421 .790
KCR (3 yrs) 250 863 800 83 226 46 8 7 78 3 40 94 .283 .315 .386 .701
TEX (3 yrs) 292 977 894 98 232 49 7 29 97 8 60 151 .260 .314 .427 .741
NYY (2 yrs) 214 750 672 67 179 46 4 14 81 2 54 111 .266 .324 .409 .734
SDP (1 yr) 20 26 20 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 4 .000 .200 .000 .200
CAL (1 yr) 62 224 207 23 67 9 0 6 32 0 13 20 .324 .366 .454 .820
CHW (1 yr) 14 39 36 2 9 1 0 0 4 0 2 2 .250 .289 .278 .567
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/18/2013.