Results tagged ‘ april 5 ’

April 5 – Happy Birthday Wid Conroy

conroy.jpegToday’s birthday celebrant was the first starting third baseman in Yankee franchise history. His name was William Edward Conroy but he was better known to everyone as Wid. He was born In Philadelphia on April 5, 1877. After the 1902 season, he jumped from the National League’s pennant winning Pittsburgh Pirates to the new AL franchise in the Big Apple which was then known as the Highlanders. On Opening Day of the 1903 season, he batted sixth in the Highlander’s first ever lineup. During his six seasons playing for New York, Conroy was one of the teams better offensive players. He had decent power, leading New York in home runs with 4 during the 1906 season. He was also a good base runner and gifted base stealer. In fact, old Wid is still tied for sixth place on the Yankee franchise’s all-time list of stolen bases with 186. In 1909, the Yankees sold Conroy to the Senators, where he finished his playing career in 1911.

Conroy was New York’s starting third baseman for three of his six seasons on the team, playing mostly in the outfield the rest of the time. Here’s the list of top five Yankee third baseman by the number of years they started at the hot corner for New York:

1. Graig Nettles – 11 seasons
2. Alex Rodriguez – 10 seasons (including 2012)
3. Joe Dugan – 7 seasons
3. Red Rolfe – 7 seasons
3. Clete Boyer – 7 seasons

Other Yankees born on this date include this former reliever and this 1960 AL Rookie of the Year.

These are Wid Conroy’s career stats and seasonal stats as a Yankee:

Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
1903 NYY 126 548 503 74 137 23 12 1 45 33 32 36 .272 .322 .372 .694
1904 NYY 140 556 489 58 119 18 12 1 52 30 43 57 .243 .314 .335 .649
1905 NYY 101 424 385 55 105 19 11 2 25 25 32 47 .273 .329 .395 .723
1906 NYY 148 632 567 67 139 17 10 4 54 32 47 67 .245 .303 .332 .635
1907 NYY 140 572 530 58 124 12 11 3 51 41 30 45 .234 .279 .315 .594
1908 NYY 141 568 531 44 126 22 3 1 39 23 14 54 .237 .258 .296 .554
11 Yrs 1374 5592 5061 605 1257 176 82 22 452 262 345 481 .248 .301 .329 .629
NYY (6 yrs) 796 3300 3005 356 750 111 59 12 266 184 198 306 .250 .299 .338 .637
WSH (3 yrs) 348 1328 1188 120 289 35 11 4 75 47 87 92 .243 .298 .301 .600
PIT (1 yr) 99 404 365 55 89 10 6 1 47 10 24 41 .244 .299 .312 .612
MLA (1 yr) 131 560 503 74 129 20 6 5 64 21 36 42 .256 .316 .350 .666
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/14/2014.

April 5 – Happy Birthday Bobby Hogue

hogueOn August 20th of 1951, the Yankees made one of the most successful minor league recall decisions in franchise history. Bobby Hogue was a chubby, Miami-born WWII Navy veteran, who had made his big league debut in 1948 as a 27-year-old rookie reliever with that season’s NL Champion Boston Braves. The short and stocky right-hander did not make a very good first impression on Billy Southworth, the Braves’ skipper at the time, who took one look at Hogue’s waistline and told him he needed to lose some weight. What Southworth didn’t know was that Hogue may have looked out of shape but he was anything but. Back in Miami, before he joined the Navy, Hogue had been a promising amateur boxer who had won 36 fights. After watching the pitcher work his butt off during the Braves’ ’48 spring training camp, Southworth realized the rookie’s portly appearance actually disguised a well-conditioned athlete’s body and he brought Hogue north with the team.

That proved to be an excellent decision as Hogue went 8-2 during his rookie season in Beantown, with 2 saves and a 3.23 ERA. He didn’t get to make a single appearance in the Braves’ six-game World Series defeat to the Indians that year but he certainly was one of the key reasons Boston was able to get to that Fall Classic. He was blessed with a natural slider and he had always been able to locate it with extreme precision. He only walked 19 hitters in the 88-innings he pitched during that ’48 season.

He had another good year for the Braves in 1949 but the following year, his ERA ballooned to over five and his control began to erode. When he started off the 1951 season slowly, the Braves put him on waivers and he was picked up by the Browns. At first, the change of team’s and league’s did not benefit Hogue. By the end of July, he had appeared in 18 games for St. Louis and both his ERA and walk ratio were as high as ever. That’s when the Yankees purchased his contract and sent him to pitch for their Kansas City farm team. The demotion gave Hogue the opportunity to work on his knuckleball. That pitch helped him win four straight decisions in KC, which was good enough to earn him a ticket up to the Bronx on August 21 of the 1951 season.

At the time of the call-up, the Yankees were in second place, a game behind a very solid Indians’ ball club. They proceeded to finish the year by going 24-12 and capturing the AL flag by five games over second place Cleveland. Hogue made seven appearances in that stretch without allowing a run. He then put together two more goose-egg appearances against the Giants in that year’s World Series and got his second ring. Unfortunately, Hogue’s effectiveness abandoned him the following year. He was 3-5 with a 5.32 ERA when the Yankees put him on waivers in early August of the 1952 season. He was re-claimed by the Browns and though he pitched better once back in St Louis, he never again pitched in the big leagues after that 1952 season.

So you may be wondering why I started this post with the claim that Hogue’s recall from the minors in August of 1951 was one of the most successful recalls in Yankee franchise history? Yes he did finish the season and that year’s World Series un-scored upon but he only pitched a total of nine innings during that span. How could I place such historical significance on that front-office move that took place over a half-century ago? Well, Hogue was one of two Kansas City players the Yankees recalled that day. The other one was an infielder the Yankees were trying to convert into an outfielder. His name was Mickey Mantle.

Hogue shares his April 5th birthday with this former AL Rookie of the Year and the first starting third-baseman in Yankee franchise history.

Year Tm W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
1951 NYY 1 0 1.000 0.00 7 0 3 0 0 0 7.1 4 0 0 0 3 2 0.955
1952 NYY 3 5 .375 5.32 27 0 13 0 0 4 47.1 52 30 28 6 25 12 1.627
5 Yrs 18 16 .529 3.97 172 3 78 0 0 17 326.2 336 154 144 25 142 108 1.463
BSN (4 yrs) 13 9 .591 3.74 112 2 50 0 0 12 226.0 239 102 94 17 78 81 1.403
NYY (2 yrs) 4 5 .444 4.61 34 0 16 0 0 4 54.2 56 30 28 6 28 14 1.537
SLB (2 yrs) 1 2 .333 4.30 26 1 12 0 0 1 46.0 41 22 22 2 36 13 1.674
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/14/2014.

April 5 – Happy Birthday Ron Hansen

Hansen.jpgThe 1960 AL Rookie of the Year with Baltimore, Ron spent the 1970 and ’71 seasons with the Yankees as their primary utility infielder. During his first season in pinstripes, Hansen was able to hit .297 in his part-time role but when he slumped to .207 the following season New York released him. In 1968, he became the first player to pull off an unassisted triple play since 1927 and the feat wasn’t accomplished again until 1994 (by Boston shortstop John Valentin.) In a very unique vote, when Hansen won his 1960 AL ROY award, two of his Orioles’ teammates finished second (pitcher Chuck Estrada) and third (first baseman Jim Gentile) in the balloting for the first year honor. Hansen shares his April 5th birthday with this former Yankee reliever and the first starting third baseman in Yankee franchise history.

Hansen hailed from Oxford, NE and is one of 25 members of the Yankee’s All-Time roster to win Rookie of the Year honors, eight of whom did it as Yankees. Here’s my picks for the all-time lineup of Yankees who won the coveted first-year honor. Alongside each player’s name is the year they won the honor and the team they played for at the time:

1B Chris Chambliss (1971 – Indians)
2B Steve Sax (1982 – Dodgers)
3B Gil McDougald (1951 – Yankees)
SS Derek Jeter (1996 – Yankees)
C   Thurman Munson (1970 – Yankees)
OF Lou Piniella (1969 – Royals)
OF Darryl Strawberry (1983 – Mets)
OF David Justice (1990 – Braves)
P   Dwight Gooden (1984 – Mets)
CL Dave Righetti (1981 – Yankees)

Here are Hansen’s Yankee seasonal and MLB career stats:

Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
1970 NYY 59 113 91 13 27 4 0 4 14 0 19 9 .297 .420 .473 .892
1971 NYY 61 159 145 6 30 3 0 2 20 0 9 27 .207 .245 .269 .514
15 Yrs 1384 4964 4311 446 1007 156 17 106 501 9 551 643 .234 .320 .351 .672
CHW (7 yrs) 769 2875 2488 261 594 95 10 55 282 5 319 318 .239 .325 .351 .676
BAL (5 yrs) 393 1469 1282 136 301 42 7 37 155 4 166 234 .235 .324 .365 .689
NYY (2 yrs) 120 272 236 19 57 7 0 6 34 0 28 36 .242 .317 .347 .665
KCR (1 yr) 16 33 30 2 4 0 0 0 2 0 3 6 .133 .212 .133 .345
WSA (1 yr) 86 315 275 28 51 12 0 8 28 0 35 49 .185 .281 .316 .598
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/14/2014.