February 11 – Happy Birthday to Kevin Costner’s Co-Star
Today’s Pinstripe Birthday celebrant certainly is not a household name, but in addition to playing 54 games in the Yankee outfield during the 1997 season, Scott Pose also had a pretty decent part in Kevin Costner’s 1999 movie, For the Love of the Game. Costner played an aging Detroit Tiger pitcher who throws a perfect game in his final Major League start, which happens to take place in Yankee Stadium against my favorite team. Pose played Yankee outfielder, Matt Crane in that flick.
Pose’s other claim to fame is that he was the very first Florida Marlin in history to make a plate appearance, when he led off that franchise’s inaugural season opener against the Dodgers on April 5, 1993. Moments later, he became the first Marlin in history to get on base safely, thanks to an error by LA first baseman, Erik Karros.
Yankee Manager, Joe Torre took a liking to Pose during the 1997 season. He used the Davenport, Iowa native quite a bit as a utility outfielder that year. He got into 56 games, starting eighteen of them, but he hit just .218. Still, Torre thought enough of Pose to keep him on New York’s 1997 postseason roster. Most long-time Yankee fans remember the play resulting in Pose’s only appearance in that year’s ALDS, very well. That’s because it happened in the fifth and final game of the Cleveland series. The Yankees, who had taken a two-games to one lead in that series, lost the fourth game back in Cleveland and were behind in the fifth, 4-3. In the top of the ninth, both Tim Raines and Derek Jeter had grounded out and it was up to Paul O’Neill to keep the Yankees’ defense of their 1996 World Championship going. Paulie O had been on fire that entire series and his streak continued when he laced a line drive double to center off of Cleveland’s closer, Jose Mesa. That’s when Torre sent Pose into the game to replace O’Neill as the potential tying run at second base. It all became academic moments later, when Bernie Williams flew out to deep left for the final out of the Yankee season.
Pose then spent the next two years in the minors before resurfacing with the Royals in 1999. His last year in the big leagues was 2000.
There have not been too many Yankees born in the state of Iowa, although two who were, starting pitchers Stan Bahnsen and George Pipgras, both put together 20-victory seasons in pinstripes. Former Yankee utility infielder, Fred “The Chicken” Stanley, is also a native Hawkeye.
The only other guy to wear a Yankee uniform and have a February 11th birthday is this former New York pitching coach who also was a 20-game winner in the big leagues.