February 2014

February 28 – Happy Birthday Marty Perez

The Yankees traded their number 1 pick in the 1971 MLB Draft, a guy named Terry Whitfield, to the Giants in 1977 for the veteran infielder, Marty Perez. Perez had come up to the big leagues with the Angels in 1969. He then spent most of his career as a valuable middle infielder for the Atlanta Braves. He made his Yankee debut in an April 1977 game against Baltimore when Billy Martin gave Graig Nettles the day off and started Marty at third base. He went 2 for 4 in New York’s 6-2 victory. The next day, the Yankees included Perez and their unpredictable pitcher, Dock Ellis in a swap with Oakland that brought pitcher Mike Torrez to New York. Terry Whitfield ended up spending parts of ten seasons in the big leagues, mostly with San Francisco and hitting .281 lifetime. Torrez would win two games for New York in the 1977 World Series and then sign with Boston the following year and give up the Bucky Dent home run. Perez hit .231 for the A’s in 1977 and was out of the big leagues the following year. He is the only member of the Yankees’ all-time roster to celebrate a birthday on this date.

Perez was born in Visalia, California on February 28, 1946. If the Yankees had to field an all-time line up of native Californians, Perez would not be on it but the following guys probably would:

1b Hal Chase (Los Gatos)

2b Tony Lazzeri (San Francisco)

3b Graig Nettles (San Francisco)

SS Frank Crosetti (San Francisco)

c Matt Nokes (San Diego)

OF Bob Meusel (San Jose)

OF Joe DiMaggio (Martinez)

OF Roy White (Los Angeles)

DH Jason Giambi (West Covina)

SP Lefty Gomez (Rodeo)

RP Dave Righetti (San Jose)

Mgr Billy Martin (Berkeley)

Marty Perez wore uniform number 27 during the short time he played for the Bronx Bombers. The last six Yankees to wear this same number were: Raul Ibanez, Chris Dickerson, Kevin Russo, Colin Curtis, Greg Golson, and Joe Girardi. Number 27 was also worn on the backs of Kevin Brown, Graeme Lloyd, Mel Hall, Butch Wynegar, Elliott Maddox and Johnny Lindell.

Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
1977 NYY 1 4 4 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .500 .500 .500 1.000
10 Yrs 931 3463 3131 313 771 108 22 22 241 11 245 369 .246 .301 .316 .617
ATL (6 yrs) 690 2639 2394 240 594 81 16 18 191 7 184 269 .248 .302 .318 .620
OAK (2 yrs) 131 427 385 33 86 14 5 2 23 1 29 70 .223 .282 .301 .583
CAL (2 yrs) 16 18 16 3 3 0 0 0 1 0 2 1 .188 .278 .188 .465
SFG (1 yr) 93 375 332 37 86 13 1 2 26 3 30 28 .259 .318 .322 .640
NYY (1 yr) 1 4 4 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .500 .500 .500 1.000
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 3/2/2014.

February 27 – Happy Birthday Greg Cadaret

cadaretThe nice thing about writing a blog like this is that in doing the research necessary, I learn things about my all-time favorite team that I never knew or realized. For example, I remember when Greg Cadaret wore pinstripes but I had no idea he actually appeared in over 180 games for New York during the three and a half seasons he pitched as a Yankee. His best season in the Bronx was 1991 when he went 8-6 out of the bullpen with three saves and a 3.62 ERA. He came to New York in the 1989 in-season trade that sent Ricky Henderson back to Oakland. The Yankees sold him to Cincinnati after the 1992 season. Greg was born in Detroit on February 27, 1962.

Another Yankee celebrating a birthday on February 27 is this former catcher who is the only man in MLB history to have caught two perfect games during his career. This former catcher/coach and another former Yankee reliever also share Cadaret’s birthday.

Year Tm W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
1989 NYY 5 5 .500 4.58 20 13 1 3 1 0 92.1 109 53 47 7 38 66 1.592
1990 NYY 5 4 .556 4.15 54 6 9 0 0 3 121.1 120 62 56 8 64 80 1.516
1991 NYY 8 6 .571 3.62 68 5 17 0 0 3 121.2 110 52 49 8 59 105 1.389
1992 NYY 4 8 .333 4.25 46 11 9 1 1 1 103.2 104 53 49 12 74 73 1.717
10 Yrs 38 32 .543 3.99 451 35 120 4 2 14 724.1 716 351 321 58 403 539 1.545
NYY (4 yrs) 22 23 .489 4.12 188 35 36 4 2 7 439.0 443 220 201 35 235 324 1.544
OAK (3 yrs) 11 4 .733 3.24 113 0 29 0 0 3 139.0 118 57 50 8 79 108 1.417
ANA (2 yrs) 1 2 .333 3.91 54 0 17 0 0 1 50.2 49 22 22 7 23 48 1.421
KCR (1 yr) 1 1 .500 2.93 13 0 3 0 0 0 15.1 14 5 5 0 7 2 1.370
TEX (1 yr) 0 0 4.70 11 0 3 0 0 0 7.2 11 4 4 1 3 5 1.826
CIN (1 yr) 2 1 .667 4.96 34 0 15 0 0 1 32.2 40 19 18 3 23 23 1.929
DET (1 yr) 1 0 1.000 3.60 17 0 9 0 0 2 20.0 17 9 8 0 16 14 1.650
TOR (1 yr) 0 1 .000 5.85 21 0 8 0 0 0 20.0 24 15 13 4 17 15 2.050
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 3/2/2014.

February 26 – Happy Birthday Rip Collins

rcollins.jpg1920 was an historic year for the New York Yankee franchise. Major League baseball was in the throes of scandal over the alleged involvement of several Chicago White Sox players in a concerted effort to lose the 1919 World Series against Cincinnati. Fans all over the country were turning away from the game in disgust. That wasn’t the case in the Big Apple thanks to the Yankees’ acquisition of Babe Ruth from Boston in January of 1920. In his first season as a Yankee, Ruth stunned the nation by hitting the then unbelievable total of 54 home runs. That would be like someone hitting 180 home runs during the 2010 season, without the help of any pharmaceuticals.

New York set a franchise record by winning 95 games that year and although Ruth was clearly the driving force behind that success, New York had also assembled an outstanding pitching staff. Three veterans on that staff, Carl Mays, Bob Shawkey and Jack Quinn combined to win 64 games that season. The fourth starter was a young, whiskey drinking rookie from Texas named Rip Collins. He was a former Texas Aggie football player who was as tough as they come and he put together a fourteen-victory season during his first year in pinstripes. The following year, Ruth hit 59 bombs and the Yankees won the first AL Pennant in their illustrious history. Collins went 11-5 in his sophomore season and although he had a tendency to walk too many hitters, it looked as if he was in the infant stages of what promised to be a long and successful career with New York. But Yankee manager Miller Huggins had different ideas. From the moment Ruth came to New York, Huggins found it impossible to control this slugging wild man off the field. The manager knew he couldn’t trade Ruth so he did the next best thing. He started getting rid of the Yankee teammates that Ruth enjoyed partying with. Young Rip Collins was one such teammate. In December of 1921, the pitcher was part of a seven player swap with the Red Sox. He went 14-7 during his one season in Beantown but the same control issues that he had experienced as a Yankee followed him to Boston as he led the AL in bases-on-balls. Collins then spent the next five years in Detroit pitching for the Tigers. He then pitched in Canada in 1928 and then signed with the Browns, where he finished his big league career in 1931. Lifetime, Collins was 108-82. After he left baseball he began a career in law enforcement which included a job as a Texas Ranger. He died in Texas in May of 1968 at the age of 72.

Other Yankees born on February 26th include this most famous third string catcher in the team’s history and this former first base prospect.

Year Tm W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
1920 NYY 14 8 .636 3.22 36 18 12 10 2 1 187.1 171 83 67 6 79 66 1.335
1921 NYY 11 5 .688 5.44 28 16 4 7 2 0 137.1 158 103 83 6 78 64 1.718
11 Yrs 108 82 .568 3.99 311 219 49 84 15 5 1712.1 1795 926 760 73 674 569 1.442
DET (5 yrs) 44 40 .524 3.94 137 102 14 34 6 1 743.0 787 415 325 25 240 214 1.382
SLB (3 yrs) 25 18 .581 4.09 78 54 17 18 2 3 434.0 460 224 197 32 174 156 1.461
NYY (2 yrs) 25 13 .658 4.16 64 34 16 17 4 1 324.2 329 186 150 12 157 130 1.497
BOS (1 yr) 14 11 .560 3.76 32 29 2 15 3 0 210.2 219 101 88 4 103 69 1.528
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 3/2/2014.