Results tagged ‘ herb pennock ’

April 4 – Happy Birthday John Hummel

200px-John_Hummel.jpgThey called today’s birthday celebrant “Silent John” because he never argued with umpires. Back during the first two decades of the twentieth century, when Hummel became one of baseball’s best known utility players for the old Brooklyn Superbas, not arguing with the umps was almost equivalent to playing the game without your uniform on. The flexible Hummel played a lot of first base, second, shortstop and outfield for Brooklyn, during his 11 seasons with that team. The Superbas released Hummel after the 1915 season and he spent the next two years playing minor league ball. During the 1918 season, an injury bug and WWI forced the Yankees and their first-year Manager, Miller Huggins, to raid the minor leagues for talent. They found Hummel and put him in Yankee pinstripes. He appeared in just 22 games that year, which turned out to be the final 22 games of his big league career. He is the only Yankee to be born on April 4 but he is not the only Yankee to have been born in The Keystone State. Here is my list of the top five Yankees to be born in Pennsylvania:

1. Reggie Jackson – Abington, PA
2. Sparky Lyle – DuBois, PA
3. Mike Mussina – Williamsport, PA
4. Herb Pennock – Kennett Square, PA
5. Bob Shawkey – Sigel, PA

There are also a bunch of good players named “John” on the all-time Yankee roster. My top five list of Pinstripe John’s would include: Johnny Damon, John Wetteland, Johnny Blanchard, Johnny Lindell and of course, two-time Yankee 20-game-winner, Tommy John. There was also the only Yankee player named “John” to make it into Baseball’s Hall of Fame. That would be the Big Cat, Johnny Mize.

Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP OPS
1918 NYY 22 75 61 9 18 1 2 0 4 5 11 8 .295 .411 .788
12 Yrs 1161 4376 3906 421 991 128 84 29 394 119 346 475 .254 .316 .668
BRO (11 yrs) 1139 4301 3845 412 973 127 82 29 390 114 335 467 .253 .315 .666
NYY (1 yr) 22 75 61 9 18 1 2 0 4 5 11 8 .295 .411 .788
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/16/2014.

February 10 – Happy Birthday Herb Pennock

What you can learn doing research for a blog about the New York Yankees. Today’s birthday celebrant is a Hall-of-Fame southpaw who  pitched for the great Yankee teams of the 1920s. His Manager at the time, Miller Huggins, called Pennock the best left-hander in baseball back then. My choice would probably have been Lefty Grove but Pennock was indeed very good. He went 162-90 during his 11 seasons in New York and 5-0 in the World Series. He was a native of Kennett Square, PA and was nicknamed the “Knight of Kennett Square,” but when it came to his feelings about blacks, chivalry played no part.

Many respected authors and baseball historians have presented strong evidence that Pennock was a racist. Playing in an era when blacks were not permitted in the Major Leagues helped hide that fact, but when he retired from the mound and became a front-office executive, first for the Red Sox as head of their farm system and then later as GM of the Phillies, Pennock was able to actively help prevent integration in the big leagues. And when it did happen, he was among its’ most vociferous opponents.

Pennock was known to threaten that he’d never let his Philadelphia team take the field against any opponent that had a black man on their roster. Dodger owner Branch Rickey claimed that Pennock told him that Philadelphia wasn’t ready to see a “n—–r” play Major League baseball.  He hired Ben Chapman, his old Yankee teammate and one of the most notorious racists in all of baseball, to manage the Phillies. Chapman was an equal-opportunity bigot. The anti-Semitc slurs he had made as a New York outfielder during the 1930s had so enraged the team’s Jewish fans that they presented a petition, signed by over 15,000 people, requesting that the New York front office banish the player.

I’m not naive. I realize it was a different time in our society back then, but can you imagine what would happen to a modern day ballplayer who committed the same offenses as Chapman? Well if you were Herb Pennock you’d hire the guy to manage the Phillies. If those were the “good old days” of baseball in this country, I’m glad I wasn’t around to witness them. It was Chapman who became infamous for his cruel treatment of Jackie Robinson whenever Philadelphia played Brooklyn during the 1947 season.

The fact that Pennock is in the Hall of Fame and Pete Rose is not is why so many of today’s fans wonder what the phrase; “protecting the moral integrity of the game,” truly means.

A second all-time great Yankee pitcher also celebrates a birthday today, as does this pitcher who recently signed as a free agent with New York, this original owner of the Yankee franchise and this recent Yankee DH.

Year Tm W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
1923 NYY 19 6 .760 3.13 35 27 5 21 1 3 238.1 235 86 83 11 68 93 1.271
1924 NYY 21 9 .700 2.83 40 34 5 25 4 3 286.1 302 104 90 13 64 101 1.278
1925 NYY 16 17 .485 2.96 47 31 11 21 2 2 277.0 267 117 91 11 71 88 1.220
1926 NYY 23 11 .676 3.62 40 33 5 19 1 2 266.1 294 133 107 11 43 78 1.265
1927 NYY 19 8 .704 3.00 34 26 7 18 1 2 209.2 225 89 70 5 48 51 1.302
1928 NYY 17 6 .739 2.56 28 24 4 18 5 3 211.0 215 71 60 2 40 53 1.209
1929 NYY 9 11 .450 4.92 27 23 1 8 1 2 157.1 205 101 86 11 28 49 1.481
1930 NYY 11 7 .611 4.32 25 19 3 11 1 0 156.1 194 95 75 8 20 46 1.369
1931 NYY 11 6 .647 4.28 25 25 0 12 1 0 189.1 247 96 90 7 30 65 1.463
1932 NYY 9 5 .643 4.60 22 21 1 9 1 0 146.2 191 94 75 8 38 54 1.561
1933 NYY 7 4 .636 5.54 23 5 10 2 1 4 65.0 96 46 40 4 21 22 1.800
22 Yrs 241 162 .598 3.60 617 419 135 247 35 33 3571.2 3900 1699 1428 128 916 1227 1.348
NYY (11 yrs) 162 90 .643 3.54 346 268 52 164 19 21 2203.1 2471 1032 867 91 471 700 1.335
BOS (8 yrs) 62 59 .512 3.67 201 124 56 70 12 6 1089.1 1169 522 444 29 299 358 1.348
PHA (4 yrs) 17 13 .567 3.77 70 27 27 13 4 6 279.0 260 145 117 8 146 169 1.455
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/22/2014.