Results tagged ‘ june 26 ’

June 26 – Happy Birthday Derek Jeter

derek-jeterThe great Derek Jeter’s Yankee career will end this year, after his twentieth season as a Yankee. Since he put on the pinstripes the team has made postseason play seventeen times, played in seven World Series and won five of them. He passed Lou Gehrig as the all-time leader in career hits as a Yankee during the 2009 season and in 2011 became the first player in franchise history to reach 3,000 hits while wearing the pinstripes. I consider the five-for-five game he put together to reach that magical plateau one of the greatest all-time individual game performances in Yankee franchise history. He is among the top ten Yankees lifetime in just about every offensive category and in most cases among the top five. As of today, the Captain’s 40th birthday, Jeter is in ninth place on the all-time hits list with 3,387. He needs just 49 more to surpass Cap Anson for sixth place on the all-time list and he will vault by Carl Yastrzemski (3,419) and Honus Wagner (3,420), on his way.

He is an extremely gifted player and team leader who somehow copes perfectly with the stresses of being a star athlete in the Big Apple. There are those who claim Jeter was over-rated. Those of us who follow the Yankees on a game-by-game and season-by-season basis ignore such ignorance.

I’m the first to admit that age has impacted Jeter’s overall abilities on the baseball field, especially in this his final season. He’s not the player he was five years ago. But he was still good enough to lead all of baseball in hits during the 2012 season with 216 and if not for the horrendous ankle injury he suffered in that year’s postseason I believe he might have played another season before retiring. Regardless, this guy is the greatest Yankee shortstop ever and one of the top two or three to ever play the game. Its hard to describe the positive impact this man has had on the game of baseball for the past two decades. He’s my favorite player, my children’s favorite player and my grandchildren’s favorite player.

After the final out of his final game in pinstripes, nobody will ever again wear his number “2″ jersey and five years later he will be honored with an induction ceremony in Cooperstown. Watching him earn that ceremony has been one of the great pleasures I’ve experienced as a fifty-four-year fan of the Bombers.

The predictions that Jeter was destined to become a great Yankee that were made at the beginning of his career turned out to be correct. Similar predictions made for this former Yankee outfielder who shares “The Captain’s” June 26th birthday would turn out to be far less accurate. This one-time Yankee LOOGY was also born on this date.

Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
1995 NYY 15 51 48 5 12 4 1 0 7 0 3 11 .250 .294 .375 .669
1996 NYY 157 654 582 104 183 25 6 10 78 14 48 102 .314 .370 .430 .800
1997 NYY 159 748 654 116 190 31 7 10 70 23 74 125 .291 .370 .405 .775
1998 ★ NYY 149 694 626 127 203 25 8 19 84 30 57 119 .324 .384 .481 .864
1999 ★ NYY 158 739 627 134 219 37 9 24 102 19 91 116 .349 .438 .552 .989
2000 ★ NYY 148 679 593 119 201 31 4 15 73 22 68 99 .339 .416 .481 .896
2001 ★ NYY 150 686 614 110 191 35 3 21 74 27 56 99 .311 .377 .480 .858
2002 ★ NYY 157 730 644 124 191 26 0 18 75 32 73 114 .297 .373 .421 .794
2003 NYY 119 542 482 87 156 25 3 10 52 11 43 88 .324 .393 .450 .844
2004 ★ NYY 154 721 643 111 188 44 1 23 78 23 46 99 .292 .352 .471 .823
2005 NYY 159 752 654 122 202 25 5 19 70 14 77 117 .309 .389 .450 .839
2006 ★ NYY 154 715 623 118 214 39 3 14 97 34 69 102 .343 .417 .483 .900
2007 ★ NYY 156 714 639 102 206 39 4 12 73 15 56 100 .322 .388 .452 .840
2008 ★ NYY 150 668 596 88 179 25 3 11 69 11 52 85 .300 .363 .408 .771
2009 ★ NYY 153 716 634 107 212 27 1 18 66 30 72 90 .334 .406 .465 .871
2010 ★ NYY 157 739 663 111 179 30 3 10 67 18 63 106 .270 .340 .370 .710
2011 ★ NYY 131 607 546 84 162 24 4 6 61 16 46 81 .297 .355 .388 .743
2012 ★ NYY 159 740 683 99 216 32 0 15 58 9 45 90 .316 .362 .429 .791
2013 NYY 17 73 63 8 12 1 0 1 7 0 8 10 .190 .288 .254 .542
2014 NYY 66 292 266 26 71 8 1 2 17 3 20 41 .267 .322 .327 .649
20 Yrs 2668 12260 10880 1902 3387 533 66 258 1278 351 1067 1794 .311 .380 .444 .823
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/26/2014.

June 26 – Happy Birthday Bill Robinson

The dismantling of the greatest Bronx Bomber lineup of my childhood, the offense that fueled the 1961 Yankees to 109 regular season wins, began in November of 1962 when Moose Skowron was traded to the Dodgers for pitcher Stan Williams. At least the Yankees had a decent prospect from their farm system, Joe Pepitone ready to take Skowron’s place. Yogi Berra was next to go when he switched roles from Yankee player to the team’s manager in 1964. Shortstop Tony Kubek’s sore back forced him into retirement after the 1965 season during which the Yankees fell from first to fifth in the AL final regular season standings. When the team fell all the way to last place the following year, all hell broke loose in the Yankee front office. Second baseman Bobby Richardson retired, Roger Maris was traded to the Cardinals for third baseman Charley Smith who would be needed to replace Clete Boyer who had just been traded for today’s Pinstripe Birthday Celebrant.

I remember hoping that Bill Robinson was everything the Yankee front office was promising he would be when they swung that Boyer deal with the Atlanta Braves. They were using superlatives like the “next Mickey Mantle” to describe this then 24-year-old native of McKeesport, PA. He was supposed to be one of those five-tool-players who couldn’t miss at the big league level and he was going to lead the Yankees back to the top of the AL standings.

Unfortunately for Robinson and the Yankees, the young outfielder was no match for the hype that had accompanied him to the Big Apple. He hit a putrid .196 during his first season in New York and Boyer rubbed salt in the wounds of Yankee management by having a career year during his first season in Atlanta. Robinson then improved his batting average to .240 in 1968 but his 6 home runs and 40 RBIs that year reminded nobody of Mantle. When his batting average again went south of the Mendoza line in 1969, a shell-shocked Yankee front-office optioned him to their Syracuse farm team before finally trading him to the White Sox for somebody named Barry Moore.

Eventually, Robinson did evolve into a solid big league outfielder first for the Phillies and then Pittsburgh. He had his best big league season in 1977, when he hit 26 home runs, drove in 104 and batted .304 for the Pirates. Robinson later told Baseball Digest that getting traded to the Yankees was the worst thing that ever happened to him. He said he tried too hard to live up to his press clippings and when he hit a home run during his second-ever at bat as a Yankee, he found himself actually trying to become the next Mantle. The turning point came after he was traded to Chicago. The White Sox wanted Robinson to spend a second consecutive season in the minors. He was ready to call it quits but the parent club’s front office convinced him to be patient instead. He decided then and there to quit trying to be anybody but Bill Robinson and to simply have fun playing the game. Too bad that epiphany didn’t come to him about five years earlier.

Robinson never became the Yankee legend we hoped he would but he does share his birthday with a guy who did. This former New York LOOGY was also born on June 26th.

Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
1967 NYY 116 381 342 31 67 6 1 7 29 2 28 56 .196 .259 .281 .539
1968 NYY 107 378 342 34 82 16 7 6 40 7 26 54 .240 .294 .380 .674
1969 NYY 87 239 222 23 38 11 2 3 21 3 16 39 .171 .226 .279 .505
16 Yrs 1472 4730 4364 536 1127 229 29 166 641 71 263 820 .258 .300 .438 .738
PIT (8 yrs) 805 2649 2451 328 677 135 15 109 412 46 136 469 .276 .313 .477 .790
PHI (5 yrs) 351 1072 996 119 260 61 3 41 136 13 57 201 .261 .300 .452 .752
NYY (3 yrs) 310 998 906 88 187 33 10 16 90 12 70 149 .206 .264 .318 .582
ATL (1 yr) 6 11 11 1 3 0 1 0 3 0 0 1 .273 .273 .455 .727
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/25/2013.

June 28 – Happy Birthday Don Baylor

Don Baylor turns 62-years-old today, which means two things. He can start collecting social security if he chooses to and I'm getting old. I distinctly remember when Earl Weaver started playing Baylor regularly in the Baltimore Orioles' outfield back in 1972. With Paul Blair in center and Don Buford in left, Baylor gave the Birds their three-Bs outfield. He was a hard-nosed big league player from day one who used to crowd the plate and hit the ball as hard as any big leaguer ever did. He remained an Oriole until a year before free agency began and then got traded to the A's in the deal that brought Reggie Jackson to Baltimore. A year later he took advantage of the eradication of baseball's reserve clause and signed with the Angels. He enjoyed the best seasons of his career while playing for California. In 1979 he led the Angels to an AL West division crown and led the league with 120 runs scored and 139 RBIs, while blasting a career-high 39 home runs. That performance won him the AL MVP Award.

He joined the Yankees as a free agent in 1983 and his first season in pinstripes was his best. That year, he was the top DH in the league, hitting a career high .303 with 21 home runs and 85 RBIs. During his three-year stay in the Bronx, he averaged 26 home runs and close to 90 RBIs per season. The Yankees, however, failed to win a Pennant with Baylor in their lineup and when New York Manager Lou Piniella announced his intention to platoon the native Texan with Ken Griffey at DH before the '86 season, he demanded to be traded. The Yankees granted that wish by dealing him to the Red Sox for "The Hit Man" Mike Easler.

An interesting side note about that trade was that it was the first between Boston and New York since the Sparky Lyle for Danny Cater transaction, fourteen years earlier. Baylor played until 1988 and then went into coaching and managing. He skippered the Rockies for six seasons and then managed the Cubs. He shares his June 28th birthday with AL strikeout leaderthis other former Yankee pitcher and this former NY back-up first baseman.
Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
1983 NYY 144 597 534 82 162 33 3 21 85 17 40 53 .303 .361 .494 .856
1984 NYY 134 558 493 84 129 29 1 27 89 1 38 68 .262 .341 .489 .830
1985 NYY 142 564 477 70 110 24 1 23 91 0 52 90 .231 .330 .430 .760
19 Yrs 2292 9401 8198 1236 2135 366 28 338 1276 285 805 1069 .260 .342 .436 .777
CAL (6 yrs) 824 3536 3105 481 813 140 7 141 523 89 312 350 .262 .337 .448 .785
BAL (6 yrs) 511 1994 1757 246 482 76 14 57 229 118 164 222 .274 .349 .431 .779
NYY (3 yrs) 420 1719 1504 236 401 86 5 71 265 18 130 211 .267 .345 .472 .817
BOS (2 yrs) 268 1096 924 157 220 31 1 47 151 8 102 158 .238 .348 .426 .774
OAK (2 yrs) 249 998 859 113 205 32 1 22 102 52 92 116 .239 .330 .355 .685
MIN (1 yr) 20 58 49 3 14 1 0 0 6 0 5 12 .286 .397 .306 .703
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/28/2013.

June 26 – Happy Birthday Mike Myers

myersMike Myers spent thirteen years in the big leagues and threw most of his pitches in the bullpens of the nine teams he played for during that time. In fact, of all the major league pitchers in history who appeared in over 800 games, none of them pitched fewer game-innings than Myers did (541.2 innings in 883 games.) This native of Arlington Heights, IL was a southpaw submariner who was called upon primarily to get one or two of the opposing team’s better left-handed hitters out late in games.

The Yankees had gone through a succession of LOOGY’s (left-handed one out guys) in 2005, including Buddy Groom, Alan Embree, Darrell May and even Mike Stanton, who had returned to the Bronx for a second tour of duty that season. When none of these guys stepped up they continued their search in the offseason and signed Myers as a free agent in December of 2005.

Joe Torre called on the then 37-year-old reliever 62-times during the 2006 season and he did a decent and consistent job from April through September. He gave up only 3 home runs all year but his low point came during an inopportune time in the seventh inning of the first game of that year’s ALDS against Detroit. That’s when Torre pulled starter Chien-Ming Wang and called Myers in to face Curtis Granderson. He surrendered a dinger to the future Yankee and was immediately yanked by a none-too-happy Torre.

New York brought Myers back the following year and I thought he was doing pretty well, when in August of that season the Yanks designated him for assignment to make room for a right hander by the name of Jim Brower. At the time of his release, Myers was 3-0 with a good ERA of 2.66. Brower ended up not getting anyone out for New York and Myers ended up in Chicago, where he finished his big league career that season pitching quite ineffectively out of the White Sox bullpen. In 2009, he accepted a job with Major League Baseball Players Association as special assistant to then executive director Donald Fehr.

Myers shares his birthday with a Yankee icon and a former New York outfielder who was once hyped as a future Yankee icon.

Year Tm W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
2006 NYY 1 2 .333 3.23 62 0 6 0 0 0 30.2 29 14 11 3 10 22 1.272
2007 NYY 3 0 1.000 2.66 55 0 11 0 0 0 40.2 38 14 12 3 16 21 1.328
13 Yrs 25 24 .510 4.29 883 0 195 0 0 14 541.2 525 278 258 58 256 429 1.442
W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
DET (3 yrs) 2 9 .182 5.56 182 0 51 0 0 8 124.2 138 84 77 19 63 123 1.612
ARI (2 yrs) 4 4 .500 5.03 133 0 32 0 0 4 73.1 77 41 41 6 38 52 1.568
COL (2 yrs) 2 4 .333 2.74 151 0 36 0 0 1 85.1 56 27 26 4 48 77 1.219
BOS (2 yrs) 4 1 .800 3.44 90 0 16 0 0 0 52.1 46 21 20 5 19 30 1.242
NYY (2 yrs) 4 2 .667 2.90 117 0 17 0 0 0 71.1 67 28 23 6 26 43 1.304
MIL (2 yrs) 4 3 .571 3.84 141 0 28 0 0 1 91.1 90 43 39 12 35 75 1.369
SEA (1 yr) 4 1 .800 4.88 50 0 10 0 0 0 27.2 29 15 15 3 17 23 1.663
FLA (1 yr) 0 0 0.00 2 0 2 0 0 0 2.0 1 0 0 0 3 0 2.000
CHW (1 yr) 1 0 1.000 11.20 17 0 3 0 0 0 13.2 21 19 17 3 7 6 2.049
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/25/2013.