January 11 – Happy Birthday Don Pall
The Yankee pitching staff faced a lot of questions as the 1994 regular season was about to open. The most pressing one was who would manager Buck Showalter use as his closer. They had lost Steve Farr to free agency during the offseason and had Jeff Reardon, Steve Howe, Bob Wickman and a sore shouldered Xavier Hernandez all in camp fighting for the coveted role. When none of the four stood out, Showalter told the press he’d use all of them, sort of a closer by committee. That didn’t leave much room out in the bullpen.
The Yankees had signed right-hander Don Pall as a free agent after the ’93 season. The Chicago native had spent his first six big league seasons pitching decently out of the bullpen for his hometown White Sox. The Sox had traded him to the Phillies the previous September and now the Yanks were hoping the 32-year-old veteran could give them some dependable middle inning relief. He sort of did that just fine.
Showalter called on him 26 times during the first half of the ’94 season and he posted a respectable 3.60 ERA in the 35 innings he pitched. He was looking forward to helping the Yankees reach the postseason for the first time in 12 years, when Showalter called him into his office and told him he was being released. Pall was completely shocked by the move and told the New York press so. Showalter explained it by saying he was committed to giving his young starter, Sterling Hitchcock the rest of the year to prove he belonged in the starting rotation and he needed Pall’s roster spot for that purpose. The Yankee skipper admitted it was a tough decision.
Pall, who was nicknamed “the Pope,” ended up signing on with the Cubs before the season was halted by the Players’ strike. He then spent the next two years in the minors before reemerging with the Florida Marlins in 1996.
The only other Yankee born on this date was this former Yankee third baseman.
|CHW (6 yrs)||21||19||.525||3.45||255||0||72||0||0||10||394.1||392||169||151||38||109||209||1.270|
|FLA (3 yrs)||1||2||.333||5.30||37||0||13||0||0||0||54.1||61||35||32||9||17||35||1.436|
|CHC (1 yr)||0||0||4.50||2||0||0||0||0||0||4.0||8||2||2||1||1||2||2.250|
|NYY (1 yr)||1||2||.333||3.60||26||0||7||0||0||0||35.0||43||18||14||3||9||21||1.486|
|PHI (1 yr)||1||0||1.000||2.55||8||0||2||0||0||0||17.2||15||7||5||1||3||11||1.019|