January 1 – Happy New Year & Happy Birthday Charlie Devens
Legendary Yankee scout, Paul Krichell signed some of the best players in Yankee history, including Lou Gehrig and Whitey Ford. He was once asked which of the players he had signed most surprised him by not making it in the big leagues. One of his answers was Charlie Devens. The Yankees gave Devens a huge bonus when the fire-balling right-hander graduated from Harvard in 1932 and wasted no time throwing him into the fire. He got his first start in Pinstripes against Boston in Fenway and threw a complete game victory. He had a blazing fastball and loads of confidence but he also had a family that owned a bank and a girl friend who was the daughter of a former Massacusetts’ Governor. After bouncing back and forth between the Yankees and their Minor League affiliate in Newark for the next two seasons, it wasn’t too difficult a decision for Charlie to walk away from the Yankees in 1934 for a job in his family’s bank and to marry his well-heeled sweetheart.
Another Yankee born on the first day of the year was this former first baseman nicknamed “the Earl of Snohomish.”