Results tagged ‘ catcher ’

February 21 – Happy Birthday Joel Skinner

Joel Skinner came to the Yankees in a trade with the White Sox during the 1986 season. New York was hoping he could take over the starting catcher slot from a disappointing Butch Wynegar, who was hitting in the low .200s at the time. Skinner did OK for Manager Lou Piniella’s team the rest of that season but not good enough to stop New York from re-acquiring Rick Cerone in 1988 and then Don Slaught from Texas in 1989. Skinner remained in pinstripes both years as the backup catcher, hitting just .214 as a Yankee. He was born in La Jolla, CA on this date in 1961. After his playing days were through in 1991, Skinner got into coaching and managing and in 2002, he was hired to replace Charley Manuel as the Indians’ field boss for the second half of that season. Skinner shares his February 21st birthday with this starting left-fielder for the 1990 Yankees and the first 34th round draft pick in Yankee history.

Can anybody out there tell me what the following Yankee lineup has in common?

C   Joel Skinner

Here are Joel Skinner’s Yankee regular season and MLB career stats:

Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
1986 NYY 54 174 166 6 43 4 0 1 17 0 7 40 .259 .287 .301 .589
1987 NYY 64 154 139 9 19 4 0 3 14 0 8 46 .137 .187 .230 .417
1988 NYY 88 272 251 23 57 15 0 4 23 0 14 72 .227 .267 .335 .602
9 Yrs 564 1551 1441 119 329 62 3 17 136 3 80 387 .228 .269 .311 .580
CHW (4 yrs) 131 311 284 32 65 11 2 5 29 2 21 76 .229 .282 .335 .617
CLE (3 yrs) 227 640 601 49 145 28 1 4 53 1 30 153 .241 .279 .311 .590
NYY (3 yrs) 206 600 556 38 119 23 0 8 54 0 29 158 .214 .253 .299 .551
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/28/2014.

February 20 – Happy Birthday Brian McCann

mccannYankee teams don’t win World Championships without good solid starting catchers. I’ve been a Bronx Bomber fan for over 50 years and during that time its been names like Berra, Howard, Munson, Girardi and Posada, who have been behind the plate when my favorite team won a ring. Most of these guys could hit, most of them were strong defensively as well and each and everyone of them were tough, strong leaders who weren’t afraid to take control of their pitching staffs.

Russell Martin was that type of player for the Yankees. Certainly not a superstar but most definitely a leader behind the plate and a guy who craved at bats with the game on the line. He had no fear and the Yankees could have got to a World Series with him as their starting catcher, which is why it distressed me, when they let him walk away to Pittsburgh last offseason and decided they’d try instead to go cheap by staffing such a critical position with Cervelli, Stewart, and eventually Austin Romine. It was that single front office decision that convinced me that this current Yankee brain trust actually believed they could be clever money-ball practitioners when I knew they were not. More importantly, I knew that trying to win with less money took away the franchise’s biggest advantage over its competition, which is HAVING MORE MONEY to spend!

We all saw the results. The offensive performance of the Yankee catching staff was as bad as I knew it would be last season and the co-catcher model hurt the stability of the pitching staff. There were also more empty seats in Yankee Stadium and fewer viewers watching those commercials on the YES Network.

Brian McCann had to be signed by New York, this offseason. He’s exactly the kind of catcher the Yankees must have to get back to Fall Ball. He’s also the signal I needed to see that this Yankee brain trust fully realized the error of their penny-pinching ways last winter. I’m once again officially excited about Opening Day!

McCann shares his birthday with Old Reliablethis former Yankee outfielder, this one-time Yankee catcher and this one-time Yankee pitcher.

Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
9 Yrs 1105 4354 3863 464 1070 227 2 176 661 23 414 630 .277 .350 .473 .823
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/28/2014.

February 16 – Happy Birthday Barry Foote

Over the five decades I’ve been a Yankee fan, there have been a lot of back-up catchers come and go on the Yankee roster. Today’s Pinstripe Birthday celebrant held that position for New York back during the strike shortened season of 1981. But Barry Foote wasn’t always a back-up. In fact, when he came up to the big leagues in 1974, he was good enough to beat out future Hall-of-Famer, Gary Carter for Montreal’s starting catcher’s position. That season he hit 11 home runs, drove in 60, averaged .262 plus displayed a strong arm and great defensive ability behind home plate. He was named to the Topp’s All-Rookie team. The following year, however, Foote pretty much stopped hitting and his putrid .194 batting average in 1975, opened the door for Carter to begin his legendary career as one of the best backstops of his era.

Foote remained with Montreal as “The Kid’s” backup until 1977, when he was dealt to the Phillies. He got one more chance at a starting job in 1979, after Philadelphia traded him to the Cubs. He put together a strong debut season in Chicago, hitting a career high 16 home runs and averaging a respectable .256. Then in ’80, he lost his starting job to Tim Blackwell. The following April, the Yankees traded for Barry.

Rick Cerone had become New York’s starting catcher in 1980 and the veteran, Johnny Oates had been his backup that first year. The Yankees had signed Oates to another one-year contract just three weeks before they traded for Foote but it was Barry who became Cerone’s primary backup in that whacky strike-shortened 1981 split season. Foote hit just .208 his first year in pinstripes, appearing in 40 games and producing six home runs. He also got the opportunity to appear in his one and only World Series that fall against the Dodgers. He failed to get a hit in his only at-bat. He remained with the Yankees in 1982 and retired as a player after that season. The Yankees then hired Foote to manage in their Minor League system.

He shares his February 16th birthday with this former Yankee pitcher.

Here’s a list of the New York’s starting catchers with their primary back-ups since I started following the Yankees in 1960

1960-66 Starter: Elston Howard – BackUp: Yogi Berra, Johnny Blanchard
1967-69 Starter: Jake Gibbs – BackUp: Frank Fernandez
1980-82, 87 Starter: Rick Cerone - BackUps: Johnny Oates, Barry Foote, Joel Skinner
1983-86 Starter: Butch Wynegar - BackUps: Cerone, Ron Hassey
1988-89 Starter: Don Slaught - BackUps: Skinner, Bob Geren
1990 Starter: Geren – BackUp: Cerone
1991-92 Starter: Matt Nokes – BackUp: Geren, Mike Stanley
1993-95 Starter: Mike Stanley – BackUp: Nokes, Jim Leyritz
1996-97 Starter: Joe Girardi – BackUp: Leyritz, Jorge Posada
1997-07, 09-10 Starter: Jorge Posada – BackUps: Girardi, Chris Turner, Todd Greene, Chris Widger, John Flaherty, Kelly Sinnett, Jose Molina, Francisco Cervelli
2008 Starter: Molina – BackUp: – Chad Moeller, Ivan Rodriguez
2011-12 Starter: Russell Martin – BackUp: Cervelli, Chris Stewart
2013 Starter: Stewart, Austin Romine,  Cervelli
Barry Foote’s Yankee seasonal and lifetime career stats:
Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
1981 NYY 40 137 125 12 26 4 0 6 10 0 8 21 .208 .256 .384 .640
1982 NYY 17 50 48 4 7 5 0 0 2 0 1 11 .146 .160 .250 .410
10 Yrs 687 2300 2127 191 489 103 10 57 230 10 136 287 .230 .277 .368 .645
MON (5 yrs) 369 1309 1212 105 283 54 9 27 126 4 73 164 .233 .277 .360 .637
CHC (3 yrs) 204 711 653 63 157 39 1 22 85 6 50 74 .240 .298 .404 .702
PHI (2 yrs) 57 93 89 7 16 1 0 2 7 0 4 17 .180 .215 .258 .473
NYY (2 yrs) 57 187 173 16 33 9 0 6 12 0 9 32 .191 .230 .347 .576
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/26/2014.