October 6 – Happy Birthday Steve Kline
Born October 6, 1947 in Wenatchee, WA, this tall right-hander was brought up from the Yankee farm system in 1970 and pitched extremely well during his first three seasons in Pinstripes. Back then, Joba Rules didn’t exist for young Yankee mound prospects and Kline was asked to pitch 636.3 innings (including 78 in the minors) during those first three seasons, all before he reached the age of 25. He had his best Yankee season in 1972 when he went 16-9 with a sparkling 2.40 ERA and four shutouts. That’s when all those innings started taking their toll and injuries limited him to just 74 innings of pitching in 1973. At the beginning of the following season he was made part of a four pitcher package that was traded to Cleveland for Chris Chambliss. By then, Kline’s arm was dead and he never again pitched effectively in the big leagues, retiring after a failed 1977 comeback trial with the Braves with a lifetime record of 43-45.