October 2nd, 2012

October 2 – Happy Birthday Joe Buzas

You’ve probably never heard of today’s Pinstripe Birthday Celebrant but Joe Buzas owns an off-the-field record no Yankee past or present will ever break. He played just a half-season in pinstripes in 1945, from April till the end of June. He  was New York’s Opening Day starting shortstop that season and got off to a fast start, driving in six runs in his first seven big league games. But those would prove to be the only RBIs he would get as a Yankee and as a big leaguer. He would end up playing behind Frankie Crosetti, appearing in just 34 games and hitting .264 that year, before blowing out his shoulder, an injury that ruined his future as a player.

Buzas had attended Bucknell University where, in addition to playing baseball, basketball and football plus joining the boxing team, he evidently also found time to take some business and management classes. After his playing career was over, this native of Lewisburg, PA coached and managed in the minor leagues for ten years and then purchased a minor league baseball team. During the next four decades he would buy and sell 82 more minor league franchises, becoming a multi-millionaire in the process.

Buzas shares his October 2nd birthday with this former Yankee pitcher, this other former Yankee pitcher and this former Yankee shortstop.

Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
1945 NYY 30 67 65 8 17 2 1 0 6 2 2 5 .262 .284 .323 .607
1 Yr 30 67 65 8 17 2 1 0 6 2 2 5 .262 .284 .323 .607
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/2/2013.