Results tagged ‘ april 7 ’

April 7 – Happy Birthday John Ganzel

25787_standardLong before the ballfields of Kalamazoo, Michigan produced Derek Jeter, the first Yankee to achieve 3,000 hits in pinstripes, they also produced Johnny Ganzel, the first starting first baseman in the history of the Yankee franchise, after it was relocated from Baltimore to New York. Known as “the first family of Michigan baseball” the Ganzel clan produced a bevy of players. There were five Ganzel brothers and every one of them played big league or minor league ball.

Ganzel had three prior years of experience in the National League, when he accepted Clark Griffith’s offer to play for New York’s new American League franchise in 1903. He had a strong season that year, averaging a solid .277 and finishing second on the team in RBIs with 71. He then slumped in 1904, causing Griffith to refuse the first baseman’s demand for a raise for the ’05 season. Ganzel then demanded a trade but Griffith waited until he had Hal Chase under contract before complying with his request and sending Ganzel to Detroit.

Ganzel would never get to play for Detroit. Instead he became the player manager for a minor league team in Grand Rapids before taking over the same role with the NL’s Cincinnati Reds in 1908. He shares his April 7th birthday with the first manager in Yankee franchise history,  this former Yankee pitcher and this one too.

Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
1903 NYY 129 533 476 62 132 25 7 3 71 9 30 38 .277 .336 .378 .714
1904 NYY 130 502 465 50 121 16 10 6 48 13 24 41 .260 .309 .376 .686
7 Yrs 747 2957 2715 281 682 104 50 18 336 48 136 173 .251 .298 .346 .644
CIN (2 yrs) 257 1002 919 93 232 36 26 3 117 15 48 51 .252 .293 .358 .651
NYY (2 yrs) 259 1035 941 112 253 41 17 9 119 22 54 79 .269 .323 .377 .700
CHC (1 yr) 78 308 284 29 78 14 4 4 32 5 10 10 .275 .316 .394 .710
NYG (1 yr) 138 562 526 42 113 13 3 2 66 6 20 32 .215 .256 .262 .518
PIT (1 yr) 15 50 45 5 6 0 0 0 2 0 4 1 .133 .220 .133 .353
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/23/2014.

April 7 – Happy Birthday John McGraw

mcgrawSo much of the Yankees’ history is tied to the city of Baltimore. Not only was the franchise born in Maryland’s largest city, so was Babe Ruth, its biggest all-time star. Today’s Pinstripe Birthday Celebrant’s legendary career sort of followed the same geographical route and like Ruth, McGraw’s childhood was not a happy one. His mom died when he was just 11-years old and his alcoholic father was ill-equipped to raise four children on his own. When McGraw was 12, his old man beat him so badly that the boy ran to an Inn, located across the street from his Truxton, NY home, for protection. Fortunately, he found it. The owner of the Inn ended up raising him as her own.

The young McGraw, again like Ruth, discovered an escape from his childhood miseries in baseball and became a very good player and pitcher for a local semi-pro ball club. He was good enough to earn roster spots with minor league teams, and in 1892, the 22-year-old McGraw, who was by then an infielder, made his debut with the Baltimore Orioles of the American Association, which was back then considered the major league of baseball. Over the next decade, he became a star for the Orioles, topping the .320 mark in batting average for nine straight seasons. Just five feet seven inches tall, he developed a playing style that was completely devoted to one primary goal, getting on base as often as humanly possible. He became so good at it that McGraw’s lifetime on base percentage of .466 places him third on the all-time list behind latter-day sluggers, Ted Williams and Babe Ruth.

McGraw and his Oriole teammates became one of baseball’s first dynasties, when they won three-straight league pennants during the mid 1890’s. A celebrated sports hero, he had found a home in B-town, even marrying a local girl. But when the Orioles’ ticket sales took a dip in the late 1890’s, the team’s owner tried to transfer all of his star players to a new franchise he was starting in Brooklyn in 1899. McGraw refused to make the move and remained in Baltimore as the roster-raped club’s skipper. He impressed everyone by leading a team that had lost its entire starting lineup and its best pitchers to an 82-65 record. But during September of that ’99 season, McGraw’s wife died from a ruptured appendix. When the financially troubled Orioles collapsed the following year, McGraw’s reasons for wanting to stay in Baltimore were gone and he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Just one year later, the new American League was formed and McGraw accepted an offer to become the first manager and part owner of the AL’s Baltimore Orioles franchise. He then led the first team in Yankee franchise history to a 68-65 record during the 1901 season, but in the process constantly battled with Ban Johnson, who had founded and ran the new league. When McGraw was suspended by Johnson during the following season, the second-year skipper accepted a new position to manage the National League’s New York Giants team. That single move changed the course of history for two of baseball’s most fabled franchises.

This is the guy responsible for the brand new Yankee Stadium getting constructed. Why?  Because without McGraw the original Yankee Stadium might never have been built in the first place. The Yankees moved into the Polo Grounds as a co-tenant with McGraw’s Giants in 1914. The Giants were the better team back then, consistently winning or challenging for the NL pennant. They also outdrew the Yankees in attendance every year. That all changed in 1920, however, when Babe Ruth put on the Pinstripes for the first time. Suddenly, a Yankee game became the hottest ticket in town and McGraw didn’t like the change. Little Napoleon evicted the Yankees and they moved across the East River to their new home, the original Yankee Stadium, in 1923.

McGraw was considered the best baseball mind of his generation. His teams won ten NL pennants and four World Series. He was an outstanding judge of talent and a fiery, no-nonsense leader. He still holds the record for most wins by a National League manager with 2,669. He died in 1934 at the age of 60.

McGraw shares his April 7th birthday with this former New York first baseman, this former Yankee pitcher and this one too.

McGraw’s stats as a player:

Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
1901 BLA 73 308 232 71 81 14 9 0 28 24 61 6 .349 .508 .487 .995
1902 BLA 20 84 63 14 18 3 2 1 3 5 17 6 .286 .451 .444 .896
16 Yrs 1099 4940 3924 1024 1309 121 70 13 462 436 836 155 .334 .466 .410 .876
BLN (9 yrs) 848 3929 3163 840 1063 94 55 10 392 369 642 123 .336 .461 .410 .871
NYG (5 yrs) 59 172 132 15 32 0 0 0 6 9 31 11 .242 .412 .242 .654
BLA (2 yrs) 93 392 295 85 99 17 11 1 31 29 78 12 .336 .496 .478 .974
STL (1 yr) 99 447 334 84 115 10 4 2 33 29 85 9 .344 .505 .416 .921

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/23/2014.

McGraw’s stats as a manager:

Rk Year Age Tm Lg W L W-L% G Finish
2 1901 28 Baltimore Orioles AL 68 65 .511 135 5
3 1902 29 Baltimore Orioles AL 1st of 2 26 31 .456 58 8
Baltimore Orioles 1 year 86 62 .581 152 4.0
Baltimore Orioles 2 years 94 96 .495 193 6.5
New York Giants 31 years 2583 1790 .591 4424 2.5
33 years 2763 1948 .586 4769 2.8
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/23/2014.

April 7 – Happy Birthday Brett Tomko

Brett Tomko started his Major league career in May of 1997, when beleaguered Cincinnati Reds’ Manager, Ray Knight needed to bolster his team’s starting rotation. The 24-year-old Tomko delivered, getting 19 starts that year and finishing with an 11-7 rookie year record and a 3.43 earned run average. The six-foot four-inch Cleveland-born right-hander followed up that strong first-year performance with a thirteen-win sophomore season and Reds fans head every reason to expect that Tomko would be a big part of their rotation for years to come. That didn’t happen and in fact, those same Reds fans were thrilled to see him go.

After he slumped to just 5-7 in 1999, Ken Griffey Jr. had made it known that he wanted to finish his baseball career in the same place his All Star father had begun his. In February of 2000, the Reds traded Tomko, Mike Cameron, Antonio Perez and Jake Meyer to the Mariners to bring “Junior” Home.

So Tomko packed his bags for the move to Seattle. Little did he know that he was about to become the unofficial and unpaid Major League spokesman for Allied Van Lines. He pitched two years in Seattle and got traded to the Padres. After just a season in San Diego, he was dealt to the Cardinals. That turned out to be the last time Tomko was ever traded but it was far from his last big league relocation. Beginning in 2003 when the Cards let him go, Brett Tomko has been released more than the trigger of Buffalo Bill’s Winchester.

The Giants let him walk in 2005. Ditto for the Dodgers in 2007. Then it was back to San Diego for a few weeks and then Kansas City. The Royals said good bye in 2008 but then the good-old-Padres invited him back for a three-month visit. In February of 2009, Brian Cashman signed Tomko and he started the season pitching for the Yankees Triple A team in Scranton. And what a start it was. In fourteen innings of pitching, he saved four games won another, struck out 17 hitters and had an ERA of 0.64. He got called up to the Bronx that May and Joe Girardi used him in 15 games. After a shaky first appearance against the Orioles, Tomko was sharp in five of his next six times out and it looked like he was settling into an important role in that Yankee bullpen. But then in a June inter-league game against the cross-town Mets, he relieved an ineffective Joba Chamberlain in the fourth inning and also got shelled in a 9-8 Yankee defeat. After getting his Yankee ERA down to 2.16, he experienced several bad outings and saw it explode to over six. Joe Girardi stopped calling his number. The Yankees released him on July 29, 2009 and he immediately signed on with Oakland. He then spent the entire 2010 season in the minors after which the A’s released him. He signed with Texas in 2011 and this past February he came back to where it all began fifteen years ago in Cincinnati.

If you add it all up, Tomko has pitched for ten different big league teams and fourteen different minor league ball clubs. He has a big league record of 100 wins and 104 losses with 2 career saves and 2 shutouts. He lost number 100 while he was wearing the Yankee pinstripes. You look at all the places he’s been and all the time’s he’s had to relocate and you can’t help feeling sorry for a baseball nomad like Brett Tomko, right? Well don’t waste any tears. He’s made at least $22 million in salary during his big league career and probably half that amount in reimbursed moving expenses.

Like Tomko, this former pitcher was born on April 7 and joined a Yankee team that would go on to win the World Series. The first manager in Yankee franchise history and this long-ago first baseman were also born on April 7.

Year Tm W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
2009 NYY 1 2 .333 5.23 15 0 7 0 0 0 20.2 19 12 12 5 7 11 1.258
14 Yrs 100 103 .493 4.65 397 266 39 13 2 2 1816.0 1898 1011 939 255 582 1209 1.366
SDP (3 yrs) 12 11 .522 4.41 45 36 3 3 0 0 241.0 240 123 118 36 71 161 1.290
CIN (3 yrs) 29 26 .527 4.35 89 79 2 2 0 0 508.2 479 264 246 67 171 389 1.278
SFG (2 yrs) 19 22 .463 4.26 65 61 2 5 1 1 384.2 401 197 182 39 121 222 1.357
LAD (2 yrs) 10 18 .357 5.24 77 30 10 0 0 0 216.1 247 142 126 30 71 155 1.470
SEA (2 yrs) 10 6 .625 4.82 43 12 11 0 0 1 127.0 134 77 68 21 55 81 1.488
KCR (1 yr) 2 7 .222 6.97 16 10 1 0 0 0 60.2 80 49 47 11 13 40 1.533
STL (1 yr) 13 9 .591 5.28 33 32 0 2 0 0 202.2 252 126 119 35 57 114 1.525
OAK (1 yr) 4 1 .800 2.95 6 6 0 1 1 0 36.2 31 12 12 7 6 22 1.009
TEX (1 yr) 0 1 .000 4.58 8 0 3 0 0 0 17.2 15 9 9 4 10 14 1.415
NYY (1 yr) 1 2 .333 5.23 15 0 7 0 0 0 20.2 19 12 12 5 7 11 1.258
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/23/2014.