Yankee Connections to the Teams in the 109th World Series
The last time the Red Sox and Cardinals faced each other in a World Series was in 2004 and I didn’t watch a single pitch of Boston’s 4-game sweep of St. Louis that year. Why? I’m a Yankee fan and I still haven’t completely gotten over Boston coming back from a 3-0 deficit in that year’s ALCS. It took me the entire offseason to recover enough from that debacle to again watch a baseball game.
You have to then go back all the way to the 1967 World Series to find the next most recent Fall Classic that matched these two teams. I was just 13 at the time, suffering through my third straight Yankee-less postseason but unlike the 2004 matchup of these two teams, I remember watching just about every inning of that Series.
As I do with all things having to do with baseball, I cover events based on their relevance to Yankee history. For example, the 1967 Cardinal team that beat Boston in seven games that year had ex-Yankee slugger, Roger Maris starting in right field that season. No longer a power threat, the man who broke Babe Ruth’s single season home run record six years earlier, hit just 9 home runs for that ’67 St. Louis ball club, but he was born again that fall, when he led the Cards with 7 RBIs against Boston and posted a .385 batting average.
The only other St. Louis player who would one day have a pinstriped connection was their great catcher, Tim McCarver, who would become part of the Yankee broadcasting team for three seasons, beginning in 1999.
The 1967 Boston Red Sox team on the other hand had quite a few past and future Yankees on their roster. The most notable former Yankee was the great catcher, Elston Howard, who had come over to Boston in early August of that season to provide veteran behind-the-plate leadership to a young and evolving Red Sox pitching staff. Ellie was well past his offensive prime by then as his .111 Series batting average against St. Louis attests. Another former Yankee playing for Boston was their skilled pinch-hitter, Norm Siebern. Ironically, Siebern was a native of St. Louis who had come up with the Yankees as a promising outfielder in the late fifties and won a Gold Glove, only to be traded to Kansas City for Maris after the ’59 season.
Future Yankees who saw action for Boston in that same Fall Classic included first baseman George “Boomer” Scott and relievers John Wyatt and Gary Waslewski. The most famous future Yankee, Red Sox closer Sparky Lyle had been forced off the Series roster with an injury that year. The “Count” was replaced by a 19-year-old southpaw named Ken Brett, who in addition to being one of Boston’s best pitchers in that Series, would also one day become a Yankee.
The other Yankee-related thing I think about as it relates to the two teams playing in this year’s Series are all time lineups of Yankees who were also Cardinals during their careers and Red Sox who also wore pinstripes. Here they are: