November 27th, 2013

November 27 – Happy Birthday Bill Short

ShortBorn in Kingston, NY and raised in nearby Newburgh, Bill Short was a five foot nine inch southpaw signed by the Yankees right out of high school in 1955. He spent the next five years climbing up the alphabetized ladder of New York’s farm system. At triple A Richmond in 1959, he became a genuine top prospect when he put together a 17-6 record, a 2.48 ERA and captured the league’s pitcher of the year honors.

By the time the Yankees 1960 spring training camp opened, Casey Stengel was ready for Short to prove he had good enough stuff to crack the parent club’s starting rotation. Short pitched well enough to make the team and after his first four regular season starts, he had a 2-1 record and despite an alarming number of bases on balls, a sparkling ERA of just 2.25. But he couldn’t keep it up.

Ironically as his walks went down his ERA went up and he lost his next three starts. He also lost his spot in both the rotation and on the Yankee roster, getting sent back down to the minors to try and get it back together. He spent the rest of his only Yankee season bouncing back and forth between Richmond and the Bronx and he was left off New York’s 1960 World Series roster.

Short then spent the entire 1961 season in Richmond and when the Yankees did not protect him, Baltimore claimed him in the Rule 5 Draft. He did get back to the big leagues, first with the Orioles and later with the Red Sox, Pirates, Mets and Reds, making his final big league appearance in 1969. Never a star at the top-level, Short won 120 games in the minors and is a member of the International League Hall of Fame.

He shares a birthday with this long-ago Yankee pitcher and this much more recent Yankee catcher.

Year Age Tm Lg W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
1960 22 NYY AL 3 5 .375 4.79 10 10 0 2 0 0 47.0 49 25 25 5 30 14 1.681
6 Yrs 5 11 .313 4.73 73 16 16 3 1 2 131.1 130 75 69 8 64 71 1.477
BAL (2 yrs) 2 3 .400 4.10 11 6 1 1 1 0 41.2 42 22 19 2 16 30 1.392
NYM (1 yr) 0 3 .000 4.85 34 0 13 0 0 1 29.2 24 17 16 0 14 24 1.281
PIT (1 yr) 0 0 3.86 6 0 1 0 0 1 2.1 1 1 1 0 1 1 0.857
BOS (1 yr) 0 0 4.32 8 0 0 0 0 0 8.1 10 6 4 1 2 2 1.440
CIN (1 yr) 0 0 15.43 4 0 1 0 0 0 2.1 4 4 4 0 1 0 2.143
NYY (1 yr) 3 5 .375 4.79 10 10 0 2 0 0 47.0 49 25 25 5 30 14 1.681
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/26/2013.