Results tagged ‘ january 28 ’

January 28 – Happy Birthday Lyle Overbay

overbayttAlong with thousands of Yankee fans, I became a member of the “Lyle Overbay Fan Club” in 2013.  When Brian Cashman first signed this native of Centralia, Washington to a minor league contract after the Red Sox cut him during the final week of the 2013 spring training season, I admit I hardly noticed. I knew he had a good glove, but I thought his offensive skills had abandoned him. Though he had a nice stretch of decent years at the plate with both Milwaukee and Toronto earlier in his career, I felt there was no way he’d be able to effectively replace the run production of the now-injured Mark Teixeira and when the 2013 season began, both Cashman and Yankee skipper Joe Girardi fully agreed with me.

The plan was to give Overbay a shot at becoming the short-term answer at first base during the six weeks doctors figured Teixeira would need to recover from his wrist injury. When that six weeks turned into season-ending surgery for the Yankee slugger, Overbay had played well enough in the field and hit just good enough at the plate to permit New York’s front office to continue to delay a bigger more expensive solution to Teixeira’s absence.

The days turned into weeks, the weeks into months and before we knew it, September came around and Overbay was still starting at first for New York. Along the way, he delivered in enough clutch at bats to lead the Yankees in game-winning hits. He was never really spectacular just pretty much always steady and he stayed healthy. If a couple of Cashman’s other “affordable” preseason personnel moves like Travis Hafner, Vernon Wells or Kevin Youklis had followed suit, the Yankees would have made postseason play.

Just this past week, Overbay signed a minor league deal to play for the Brewers in 2014. The Yankees and Yankee fans probably won’t miss him much but I certainly won’t forget his noteworthy contribution to my favorite team during the 2013 regular season. He shares his January 28th birthday with this one-time Yankee announcer and this long ago Yankee second baseman.

Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2013 NYY 142 486 445 43 107 24 1 14 59 2 36 111 .240 .295 .393 .688
13 Yrs 1466 5506 4844 621 1295 342 12 147 640 17 602 1048 .267 .348 .434 .782
ARI (5 yrs) 161 464 404 37 112 33 0 7 49 2 53 110 .277 .363 .411 .774
TOR (5 yrs) 723 2854 2507 337 672 180 8 83 336 9 317 516 .268 .350 .446 .796
MIL (2 yrs) 317 1290 1116 163 322 87 2 35 159 3 159 226 .289 .376 .464 .840
PIT (1 yr) 103 391 352 40 80 17 1 8 37 1 36 77 .227 .300 .349 .649
ATL (1 yr) 20 21 20 1 2 1 0 0 0 0 1 8 .100 .143 .150 .293
NYY (1 yr) 142 486 445 43 107 24 1 14 59 2 36 111 .240 .295 .393 .688
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/28/2014.

January 28 – Happy Birthday Lyn Lary

Lynford_Lary.jpgWhen Lyn Lary joined the Yankees during his rookie season of 1929, Miller Huggins was still the Manager and Leo Durocher was New York’s starting shortstop. Huggins liked Durocher’s tough take no prisoners attitude, which he felt made up for the fact that Leo was not a very good hitter. Huggins tragically died from an eye infection during that 1929 season and when veteran Yankee pitcher Bob Shawkey was given the Skipper’s job in 1930, the much better-hitting Lary replaced Durocher as New York’s starting shortstop. In 1931, this native of Armona, CA had a terrific year, scoring 100 runs and driving in 107. That RBI number remains the single-season record for New York shortstops. But Lary had some bad moments that season as well, none worse than the time he cost Lou Gehrig sole possession of the 1931 home run title. That happened in an early season game against the Senators, in Washington. The Iron Horse hit a towering fly ball over the center field wall that caromed off the concrete bleachers and bounced back onto the field. Lary was on first base when Gehrig hit the ball and after rounding second with his head down, Lary looked up in time to see the Senator center fielder catch the ball as it bounced back on the field. Thinking it was a fly out and also thinking he could not back to first in time to avoid the double play, Lary just ran straight back into the Yankee dugout. He was ruled out, the Yankees lost two runs and Gehrig was also ruled out and credited with a triple instead of a home run. Lou ended up tied for the league lead in home runs that year with teammate Babe Ruth. Each had 46. Perhaps it was that sort of lackadaisical play that got Lary pushed out of his starting job by a young Frank Crosetti in 1932. He was eventually sent to the Red Sox. He played for six different clubs during the next seven seasons. In 1936, while playing with the Browns, his 37 stolen bases were tops in the American League. He retired after the 1940 season with 1,239 hits and a .269 lifetime average over a 12-year career.

Lary shares his January 28th birthday with this one-time Yankee announcer and this recent Yankee first baseman.

Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
1929 NYY 80 269 236 48 73 9 2 5 26 4 24 15 .309 .380 .428 .808
1930 NYY 117 532 464 93 134 20 8 3 52 14 45 40 .289 .357 .386 .743
1931 NYY 155 711 610 100 171 35 9 10 107 13 88 54 .280 .376 .416 .793
1932 NYY 91 338 280 56 65 14 4 3 39 9 52 28 .232 .358 .343 .701
1933 NYY 52 158 127 25 28 3 3 0 13 2 28 17 .220 .361 .291 .653
1934 NYY 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1.000
12 Yrs 1302 5422 4603 805 1239 247 56 38 526 162 705 470 .269 .369 .372 .741
NYY (6 yrs) 496 2009 1717 322 471 81 26 21 237 42 238 154 .274 .368 .388 .756
CLE (3 yrs) 300 1403 1214 204 339 82 11 11 128 41 176 130 .279 .372 .392 .764
SLB (3 yrs) 275 1246 1044 195 289 56 14 4 90 62 185 104 .277 .388 .369 .757
WSH (1 yr) 39 121 103 8 20 4 0 0 7 3 12 10 .194 .278 .233 .511
STL (1 yr) 34 96 75 11 14 3 0 0 9 1 16 15 .187 .330 .227 .556
BOS (1 yr) 129 501 419 58 101 20 4 2 54 12 66 51 .241 .344 .322 .667
BRO (1 yr) 29 46 31 7 5 1 1 0 1 1 12 6 .161 .409 .258 .667
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/29/2014.

January 28 – Happy Birthday Bill White

Bill White appeared in 1,673 big league games but not one of them while wearing a Yankee uniform. Instead, he made his most significant mark as a player as the hard-hitting starting first baseman for the Cardinal teams of the late 1950’s and early 60’s. In 1964, he helped St Louis win a World Championship, beating the Yankees in a seven game series. The following  season, both the Cardinals and White had off-years and St Louis traded him to the Phillies. White completed his playing career in 1969, retiring with a .286 lifetime batting average, 202 home runs and 870 RBIs over thirteen seasons.

He had first gotten involved in broadcasting hosting a radio show while he was playing for St Louis. After he retired from the Phillies, he got into television as a sportscaster for a station in the City of Brotherly Love. In 1971, he joined the Yankee broadcasting team of Phil Rizzuto and Frank Messer. For the next eighteen seasons, his distinctive voice became synonymous with Yankee baseball. I loved listening to White do Yankee games. He was well-spoken, concise and always prepared. What I enjoyed even more was the banter between him and Scooter that usually left White cackling in laughter.

He remained a key component of the Yankee broadcasting team for eighteen years, becoming the first black person to do play-by-play regularly for a Major League baseball team. In 1989, he accepted Baseball Commissioner Bart Giametti’s offer to become the first African-American president of the National League. He served in that office for five years.

I’ve embedded the above audio clip of White’s most famous call as a Yankee announcer. I’m sure listening to it will bring back a great memory for long-time fans of the Bronx Bombers. White shares his January 28th birthday with this one-time Yankee second baseman and this more recent Yankee first baseman.