Results tagged ‘ all-time yankee team with names of US presidents ’

August 31 – Happy Birthday Claudell Washington

I remember the 1974 baseball season very well because it brought forth a personal and slightly painful milestone. Today’s Pinstripe Birthday celebrant made his big league debut as a much-heralded 19-year-old outfielder with the 1974 Oakland A’s. He and the Milwaukee Brewer’s Robin Yount were the first players to start regularly for a Major League team, who were younger than me. There of course have been many more since.

That Oakland team was about to capture its third straight World Championship and there were baseball pundits back then predicting that the multi-talented Washington would lead the team to many more.  It looked like those experts might be right when in his sophomore season, Washington led the A’s with 182 hits and a .308 batting average as Oakland captured its fifth straight AL West Division title. But that was the same season the A’s lost the rights to Catfish Hunter due to their failure to honor an insurance clause in the pitcher’s contract  and within a year, free agency would begin decimating Oakland’s All Star roster.  Surprisingly, it would take Claudell thirteen years to top the .300 batting average barrier again and when it happened, he was wearing Yankee pinstripes.

Claudell played with seven different teams during his seventeen-season big league career including two stops in the Bronx. He first became a Yankee in 1988 when New York traded Ken Griffey Sr and Andre Robertson to the Braves for Washington and Paul Zuvella. After signing with the Angels as a free agent in 1989, the Yankees reacquired Claudell in exchange for outfielder Louis Polonia. His best season in pinstripes was his first, in 1988 when he hit .308. In April of that year, Washington hit the 10,000th home run in Yankee franchise history. Claudell was born on August 31, 1954, in Los Angeles. He shares his birthday with this Hall-of-Fame pitcher, who was traded to the Yankees but never pitched for them.

Here’s my version of the Yankee’s All-Presidential Team followed by Claudell’s Yankee and career stats.

1B – Nick Johnson
2B – Homer Bush
3B – Charley Hayes
SS – John Kennedy
C – Cliff Johnson
OF – Reggie Jackson
OF – Claudell Washington
OF – Otis Nixon or Lou Clinton
SP – Whitey Ford
RP – Grant Jackson

Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
1986 NYY 54 144 135 19 32 5 0 6 16 6 7 33 .237 .285 .407 .692
1987 NYY 102 339 312 42 87 17 0 9 44 10 27 54 .279 .336 .420 .756
1988 NYY 126 485 455 62 140 22 3 11 64 15 24 74 .308 .342 .442 .784
1990 NYY 33 83 80 4 13 1 1 0 6 3 2 17 .163 .181 .200 .381
17 Yrs 1912 7367 6787 926 1884 334 69 164 824 312 468 1266 .278 .325 .420 .745
ATL (6 yrs) 651 2586 2330 347 647 116 25 67 279 115 213 426 .278 .339 .435 .774
NYY (4 yrs) 315 1051 982 127 272 45 4 26 130 34 60 178 .277 .320 .410 .730
CHW (3 yrs) 249 938 875 127 241 53 12 20 109 28 45 169 .275 .312 .432 .744
OAK (3 yrs) 355 1402 1301 167 371 54 18 15 149 83 75 214 .285 .326 .389 .715
TEX (2 yrs) 141 597 563 64 155 31 2 12 70 21 26 124 .275 .309 .401 .710
CAL (2 yrs) 122 487 452 56 120 19 4 14 45 14 29 92 .265 .312 .418 .730
NYM (1 yr) 79 306 284 38 78 16 4 10 42 17 20 63 .275 .324 .465 .788
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/31/2013.