Results tagged ‘ all star ’
Bobby Bonds came to the Yankees in a blockbuster trade that sent Yankee fan favorite, Bobby Murcer to the Giants in 1974. After a strong 1975 season in Pinstripes, Bobby was traded to the Angels for Ed Fiqueroa and Mickey Rivers. Bond’s most memorable contribution to baseball was his son Barry. Bonds died of Lung Cancer in August 2003.
I was 20-years-old when the Bonds for Murcer trade was made and can remember it as if it were yesterday. As a lifelong Yankee fan who had watched the Bomber dynasty crumble in the latter half of the sixties, Murcer was my favorite player at that time. He didn’t have superstar skills but he was the best player on some of the worst Yankee teams in the franchise’s hallowed history.
I started watching baseball in 1960 as a six-year-old and back then, Yankee fans took for granted that every October we’d be able to watch our Bronx Bombers play in the World Series. And that was the case right up until 1965. Then, within a matter of just a few years, instead of rooting for guys like Mantle, Maris, Berra, Ford, Howard and Skowron to win a pennant, I found myself actually getting some satisfaction when players with names like Tepedino, Repoz, Whitaker, Amaro and Kenney could win just enough to keep my team out of the AL basement.
Murcer, Mel Stottlemyre, and a new kid named Munson were pretty much the only bright spots for us Yankee fans during that bleak period and then “The Boss” showed up in the Bronx. After putting together and heading a group of investors that purchased the team from CBS in January of 1973, George Steinbrenner began looking to make huge changes to the roster almost immediately, convinced he could deal his team back into the World Series.
He therefore was ready to jump at the opportunity to acquire Bonds from the SF Giants for Murcer. Baseball pundits at the time thought a lot more of Bonds’ skills than Murcer’s and they were right. Bonds was a genuine five-tool player who always seemed just on the verge of super stardom. Murcer on the other hand, earned his keep by playing hard every second he was on the field. Plus Bobby loved being a Yankee and always used to say that the saddest day of his life was the day the Yankees swapped him for Bonds.
As it turned out, Steinbrenner was right about this one but not because Bonds ended up leading New York back to the Fall Classic. Instead, after just one pretty good year in pinstripes, the Yanks swapped him for Fiqueroa and Rivers who immediately became two critical cogs in the team’s drive to the 1976 World Series.
|SFG (7 yrs)||1014||4610||4047||765||1106||188||42||186||552||263||500||1016||.273||.356||.478||.834|
|CAL (2 yrs)||257||1106||970||151||256||33||12||47||169||71||115||231||.264||.340||.468||.808|
|STL (1 yr)||86||270||231||37||47||5||3||5||24||15||33||74||.203||.305||.316||.621|
|TEX (1 yr)||130||555||475||85||126||15||4||29||82||37||69||110||.265||.356||.497||.853|
|CHC (1 yr)||45||190||163||26||35||7||1||6||19||5||24||44||.215||.323||.380||.703|
|CLE (1 yr)||146||631||538||93||148||24||1||25||85||34||74||135||.275||.367||.463||.830|
|NYY (1 yr)||145||626||529||93||143||26||3||32||85||30||89||137||.270||.375||.512||.888|
|CHW (1 yr)||26||102||90||8||25||4||0||2||8||6||10||10||.278||.347||.389||.735|
The first few times I watched Tyler Clippard pitch in a Yankee uniform, I did not think he was going to be a particularly effective big league pitcher. I suppose one of the reasons I formed that initial opinion was the right-hander’s very unorthodox windup. Clippard is tall and thin and during his delivery, it seemed as if he could fold his back into a right angle and puff out his chest to a point where you thought it was going to explode. At the same time, he stretched and waved every appendage on his body to their furthest points. After winning 31 games during his four-year stay in the Yankee farm system, he made his big league debut against the Mets in May of 2007, pitching six strong innings and getting a win. Just 22 years old at the time, Clippard seemed to pitch less effectively in each successive start. He had a fastball in the very low nineties, he walked a lot of batters and he gave up a lot of fly balls. As a right-hander in the old Yankee Stadium that was not a good recipe for success on the mound. But Clippard did have an outstanding change-up, which made his very low nineties heater much more sneaky fast. New York’s front office gave up on the Yankee Clippard after the 2007 postseason, trading him to the Nationals for Jonathan Albaladejo. Clippard has evolved into a real force in Washington’s bullpen. He saved 32 games for the Nats in 2012. Meanwhile, Albaladejo did nothing but struggle for the Yankees.
|WSN (6 yrs)||27||20||.574||2.77||339||2||82||0||0||33||393.2||257||127||121||46||159||448||1.057|
|NYY (1 yr)||3||1||.750||6.33||6||6||0||0||0||0||27.0||29||19||19||6||17||18||1.704|
The Yankees obtained pitcher Ted Lilly as a player to be named later in a 2000 trade that sent Hideki Irabu to Montreal. Although he was just 8-12 during his one and a half seasons in pinstripes, I remember liking the way the young left hander conducted himself on the mound. In one of his final starts as a Yankee, Lilly threw a complete game, three-hit shutout against the Padres and I was certain he was about to become a solid winner in the Yankee rotation. Shows you how astute I was about Yankee baseball. Just two weeks after that shutout, New York traded away Lilly in a three-team deal that put pitcher Jeff Weaver in Pinstripes. Irabu left baseball in 2003. Weaver never became the big winner experts thought he would. Meanwhile, Lilly won 130 games after leaving the Bronx with his best year coming in 2008, when he went 17-9 for the Cubs. Lilly was born January 4, 1976, in Torrance, CA. He announced his retirement after the 2013 postseason.
Another Yankee who celebrated his birthday on January 4 was this right-fielder who took the place of Babe Ruth in New York’s lineup, in 1935. This former Yankee GM and this former Yankee reliever were also born on January 4th.
|LAD (4 yrs)||24||21||.533||3.83||58||58||0||1||1||0||341.0||296||157||145||48||95||284||1.147|
|CHC (4 yrs)||47||34||.580||3.70||113||113||0||0||0||0||705.2||623||306||290||101||184||598||1.144|
|NYY (3 yrs)||8||12||.400||4.65||49||32||4||2||1||0||205.1||191||118||106||31||80||182||1.320|
|TOR (3 yrs)||37||34||.521||4.52||89||89||0||2||1||0||505.1||485||269||254||77||228||424||1.411|
|OAK (2 yrs)||14||11||.560||4.37||38||36||0||0||0||0||201.2||202||104||98||29||65||165||1.324|
|MON (1 yr)||0||1||.000||7.61||9||3||1||0||0||0||23.2||30||20||20||7||9||28||1.648|
Don Gullett was just nineteen years old when he made his Major League debut in 1970 as a relief pitcher for Cincinnati. The Lynn, Kentucky native struck out Willie Mays to end his first inning of work in the big leagues. He got his first win a few days later when Reds ace Jim Maloney tore his achilles tendon in a game against the Dodgers and Gullett was called in to replace him. Willie Stargell called the hard-throwing rookie’s stuff “wall-to-wall heat” and for the next seven seasons, this left-hander was one of the most dominating pitchers in the National League and became the ace of the Big Red Machine’s pitching staff. After Cincinnati swept the Yankees in the 1976 World Series, Gullett became one of George Steinbrenner’s earliest free-agent acquisitions. He paid immediate dividends, going 14-4 for the 1977 World Championship Yankee team. The following year he won four of his first six decisions before a sore arm shut him down. The diagnosis was a double tear of the rotator cuff in his left shoulder. He worked like crazy to rehab the damage but never again pitched in the big leagues. His nine-year career resulted in 109 lifetime victories and an amazing .686 winning percentage.
Gullett shares his January 6th birthday with this long-ago Highlander starting hurler, this former Yankee shortstop, this former reliever and this one-time Yankee pitcher who was better known for his days as a Brooklyn Dodger.
|CIN (7 yrs)||91||44||.674||3.03||236||156||35||35||13||11||1187.0||1022||442||400||98||412||777||1.208|
|NYY (2 yrs)||18||6||.750||3.59||30||30||0||9||1||0||203.0||183||86||81||17||89||144||1.340|