November 2013

November 21 – Happy Birthday Todd Erdos

The only member of the Yankee All-Time roster I came across, who was born on November 21 is this right handed reliever who pitched in a total of 20 games for New York during the 1998, ’99 and 2000 seasons. He recorded just one save in pinstripes during that time and had an ERA that exceed five runs for every nine innings pitched. The 1998 trade that brought Erdos to New York from the Arizona Diamondbacks was the same one that ended Andy Fox’s Yankee career. I happened to be a huge Andy Fox fan. Why? Because Andy was a member of the last Albany Colonie Yankee Team in the Double A Eastern league. That was 1994 and the following season, the Yankees switched their Double A affiliation to Greenwich, CT. The Albany ballpark was just a half-hour’s drive from my home in upstate New York. Me and my kids got to see some great future Yankees play in Albany from some very very good seats. In addition to Fox, that team’s final roster for that 1994 season included Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte and Mo Rivera. Erdos is one of two Major League pitchers to be born in Washington, PA. The other one was also a relief pitcher for the Yankees by the name of Joe Verbanic.

Year Tm W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
1998 NYY 0 0 9.00 2 0 1 0 0 0 2.0 5 2 2 0 1 0 3.000
1999 NYY 0 0 3.86 4 0 1 0 0 0 7.0 5 4 3 2 4 4 1.286
2000 NYY 0 0 5.04 14 0 6 0 0 1 25.0 31 14 14 2 11 18 1.680
5 Yrs 2 0 1.000 5.57 63 0 21 0 0 2 93.2 105 62 58 12 45 58 1.601
NYY (3 yrs) 0 0 5.03 20 0 8 0 0 1 34.0 41 20 19 4 16 22 1.676
SDP (2 yrs) 2 0 1.000 6.23 33 0 10 0 0 1 43.1 49 33 30 6 21 29 1.615
BOS (1 yr) 0 0 4.96 10 0 3 0 0 0 16.1 15 9 9 2 8 7 1.408
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/21/2013.

November 20 – Happy Birthday Rugger Ardizoia

ardizoiaOnly seven Major League Baseball players have been born in Italy and today’s Pinstripe Birthday Celebrant is the only former Yankee on that list. Of course, Rinaldo “Rugger” Ardizoia did not get much of a chance to wear his pinstriped uniform. The right-handed pitcher’s entire Bronx Bomber and big league career consisted of just a single two-inning appearance against the Browns, on April 30, 1947.

The Yanks were getting pasted at Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis that afternoon and were already behind 13-4, when Manager Bucky Harris inserted this native of Oleggio, Italy into the game to start the seventh inning. He surrendered four hits and two runs in his two innings of work. Though New York would rebound to win the 1947 AL Pennant and World Series, the team struggled early in the season and after going 2-4 on that late April road trip, Harris reacted by shaking up the Yankee batting order and releasing two pitchers, one of whom was Ardizoia.

He had originally been signed by New York in 1941 and after two seasons in their farm system, he did three years of military service during WWII. He kept pitching in the Pacific Coast League after being released, until1950. Born on November 20, 1919, he turns 94 today, making him the oldest living ex-Yankee.

He shares his birthday with this long-ago Yankee pitcher and manager and this flaky former Yankee outfielder.

Year Tm W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
1947 NYY 0 0 9.00 1 0 1 0 0 0 2.0 4 2 2 1 1 0 2.500
1 Yr 0 0 9.00 1 0 1 0 0 0 2.0 4 2 2 1 1 0 2.500
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/20/2013.

November 19 – Happy Birthday Joe Glenn

GlennJoe Glenn took the Yankees second string catcher’s job away from longtime Bill Dickey understudy, Arndt Jorgens in 1937, by being much more aggressive than his Norwegian-born predecessor both behind and at the plate. Though the Dickson City, PA native had little power, he was a tough bird who was known for not backing down from any pitcher or opposing base runner.

His Yankee career started with two brief call-ups from the minors in 1932 and 33. He was then called up to stay in 1935 and gave Manager Joe McCarthy three solid seasons as Dickey’s backup. He was also Lou Gehrig’s frequent roommate on Yankee road trips and he holds the unusual distinction of catching the last games pitched by both Babe Ruth and Ted Williams.

After their 1938 World Series victory, New York traded Glenn and outfielder Myril Hoag to the Browns for pitcher Oral Hildebrand and outfielder Buster Mills. Nicknamed Gabby, Glenn spent a year with the Browns and one final big league season with the Red Sox in 1940, before becoming a minor league manager in the Cubs organization.

He shares his birthday with this long-ago Yankee shortstop.

Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
1932 NYY 6 18 16 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 .125 .222 .125 .347
1933 NYY 5 21 21 1 3 0 0 0 1 0 0 3 .143 .143 .143 .286
1935 NYY 17 49 43 7 10 4 0 0 6 0 4 1 .233 .298 .326 .623
1936 NYY 44 150 129 21 35 7 0 1 20 1 20 10 .271 .373 .349 .722
1937 NYY 25 64 53 6 15 2 2 0 4 0 10 11 .283 .397 .396 .793
1938 NYY 41 133 123 10 32 7 2 0 25 1 10 14 .260 .316 .350 .665
8 Yrs 248 808 718 77 181 34 5 5 89 6 81 91 .252 .330 .334 .664
NYY (6 yrs) 138 435 385 45 97 20 4 1 56 2 45 44 .252 .333 .332 .666
BOS (1 yr) 22 53 47 3 6 1 0 0 4 0 5 7 .128 .212 .149 .360
SLB (1 yr) 88 320 286 29 78 13 1 4 29 4 31 40 .273 .344 .367 .711
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/19/2013.