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.

2 Comments

Visalia, CA the home of the Visalia onion. We also got the garlic city.
Just thought I throw that in.
Interesting blog. Lots of birthdays to celebrate.
Emma

Salad would not be salad without Visalia’s onions. Although like the Yankees during a losing streak, they’ve been known to make me tear up. Thanks for the visit and the comment Emma.

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