Results tagged ‘ joe torre ’

July 30 – Happy Birthday Casey Stengel

caseySince Stengel managed the Yankees over a half century ago, it would be helpful to younger fans to compare his achievements as New York’s skipper to the much more recent tenure of Joe Torre. Casey and Torre each managed the Yankees for a dozen seasons. Both men had losing records managing other teams. Stengel’s Yankee teams won 1,149 ball games and Torre’s squads won 1,173. Stengel, managing during the era of 154-game seasons, achieved a winning percentage with New York of .623 compared to Torre’s .605. Stengel’s teams won 10 AL Pennants and 7 World Series titles while Torre’s Yankees won 6 and 4 respectively. Torre’s teams made the postseason in each of his dozen seasons as skipper under baseball’s current divisional structure that didn’t exist in Stengel’s era.

Both Managers left the Yankees reluctantly, with bitter tastes in their mouths. Stengel was let go after the Yankees lost the 1960 World Series to the Pirates during which some of his managerial decisions were questioned. Stengel insisted he was fired for “being too old.” Torre, on the other hand, turned down a one-year incentive laden contract to continue managing New York, after the team again failed to make it to the World Series in 2007. I don’t think Stengel, who was definitely the highest paid manager in the game in his day, probably averaging $75 to $100 thousand in salary per season, would have turned down the $5 million offer Torre refused.

Charles Dillon Stengel  was born in Kansas City, MO on this date in 1890. His nickname is derived from the name of his hometown.

Casey shares his July 30th birthday with this one-time Yankee DH and first baseman, this catcher who briefly played for him and this former Yankee pitcher.

Rk Year Age Tm Lg G W L W-L% Finish
10 1949 58 New York Yankees AL 155 97 57 .630 1 WS Champs
11 1950 59 New York Yankees AL 155 98 56 .636 1 WS Champs
12 1951 60 New York Yankees AL 154 98 56 .636 1 WS Champs
13 1952 61 New York Yankees AL 154 95 59 .617 1 WS Champs
14 1953 62 New York Yankees AL 151 99 52 .656 1 WS Champs
15 1954 63 New York Yankees AL 155 103 51 .669 2
16 1955 64 New York Yankees AL 154 96 58 .623 1 AL Pennant
17 1956 65 New York Yankees AL 154 97 57 .630 1 WS Champs
18 1957 66 New York Yankees AL 154 98 56 .636 1 AL Pennant
19 1958 67 New York Yankees AL 155 92 62 .597 1 WS Champs
20 1959 68 New York Yankees AL 155 79 75 .513 3
21 1960 69 New York Yankees AL 155 97 57 .630 1 AL Pennant
Brooklyn Dodgers 3 years 463 208 251 .453 6.0
Boston Braves 6 years 870 373 491 .432 6.5
New York Yankees 12 years 1851 1149 696 .623 1.3 10 Pennants and 7 World Series Titles
New York Mets 4 years 582 175 404 .302 10.0
25 years 3766 1905 1842 .508 4.5 10 Pennants and 7 World Series Titles
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/30/2013.

July 18 – Happy Birthday Joe Torre

I was one of those Yankee fans who screamed the loudest when the recently departed George Steinbrenner pegged this guy to replace Buck Showalter as Yankee manager after the 1995 playoff loss to Seattle. We had good reason to be skeptics. Up until then, Torre had managed the Mets, Braves and Cardinals, losing an average of 90 games per year and compiling a dreadful .472 winning percentage. It seemed as if the Yankees had turned the corner with Showalter and when he got fired, one year after the miserable players strike, I was about ready to stop watching baseball.

Boy was I wrong. 1996 turned out to be one of the, if not the greatest years of my life as a Yankee fan and Joe Torre’s managerial skills were a huge part of the reason why. Not only was he adept at Steinbrenner diplomacy, he was also a great communicator with his players and it seemed every move he made from the dugout was the right one.

Joe’s tenure with the Yankees was a wonderful time in the team’s history (although my euphoria has been significantly dampened with the steroids usage disclosures involving several Yankees who played for Torre) and Yankee fans will always admire and be grateful for the calm, professional way he handled the immense pressure and responsibilities that came with the job.

Here’s a look at the regular season career Yankee won-loss records of the top five winning managers in pinstripe history:

Manager – World Championships Wins Losses Pct.
Joe McCarthy – 7 1460 867 .627
Joe Torre – 4 1173 767 .605
Casey Stengel – 7 1149 696 .623
Miller Huggins – 3 1067 719 .597
Ralph Houk – 2 944 806 .539

Joe shares a birthday with this Yankee pitcher, who started the first game ever in the newly renovated Yankee Stadium in April of 1976. This former Yankee pinch-hitter was also born on July 18th as was this much more recent NY utility infielder.

Here’s Torre’s season-by-season record as Yankee skipper and his lifetime totals by teams he managed during his career:

Rk Year Age Tm Lg G W L W-L% Finish
16 1996 55 New York Yankees AL 162 92 70 .568 1 WS Champs
17 1997 56 New York Yankees AL 162 96 66 .593 2
18 1998 57 New York Yankees AL 162 114 48 .704 1 WS Champs
19 1999 58 New York Yankees AL 162 98 64 .605 1 WS Champs
20 2000 59 New York Yankees AL 161 87 74 .540 1 WS Champs
21 2001 60 New York Yankees AL 161 95 65 .594 1 AL Pennant
22 2002 61 New York Yankees AL 161 103 58 .640 1
23 2003 62 New York Yankees AL 163 101 61 .623 1 AL Pennant
24 2004 63 New York Yankees AL 162 101 61 .623 1
25 2005 64 New York Yankees AL 162 95 67 .586 1
26 2006 65 New York Yankees AL 162 97 65 .599 1
27 2007 66 New York Yankees AL 162 94 68 .580 2
New York Mets 5 years 709 286 420 .405 5.3
Atlanta Braves 3 years 486 257 229 .529 2.0
St. Louis Cardinals 6 years 706 351 354 .498 3.5
New York Yankees 12 years 1942 1173 767 .605 1.2 6 Pennants and 4 World Series Titles
Los Angeles Dodgers 3 years 486 259 227 .533 2.0
29 years 4329 2326 1997 .538 2.6 6 Pennants and 4 World Series Titles
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/18/2013.

May 24 – A Tree grew in Brooklyn and so did some great Yankees

With the exception of starting pitcher, catching is baseball’s most physically demanding position. That’s true today and it was true when the Yankees, then known as the Highlanders, played their first game in the Big Apple during the first decade of the twentieth century. Even back then, most teams carried backup catchers on their roster. The only member of the Yankee’s all-time roster to celebrate his birthday on this date was Fred Jacklitsch, a Brooklyn-born back-up catcher who played close to 500 games in the big leagues but only one of them in a New York uniform and that was during the 1905 season. Jacklitsch may have been the only Yankee born on May 24th but he’s one of several to have been born in Brooklyn. Here’s my list of the five most famous Brooklyn natives to have ever worn the pinstripes:

1 – Phil Rizzuto
2 – Waite Hoyt
3 – Wee Willie Keeler
4 – Joe Torre
5 – Joe Pepitone