Results tagged ‘ march 11 ’

March 11 – Happy Birthday Bobby Abreu

Bobby Abreu gave the Yankees two and a half seasons of solid play as their starting right fielder. He averaged .295 while in pinstripes, stole more than 20 bases a season, was never hurt and he both scored and drove in over 100 runs in each of his two full years in New York. I was expecting him to be a better defensive outfielder than he showed as a Yankee but when you look at his overall performance, he did absolutely fine. Unfortunately, fine was just not good enough for a Yankee team that slowly but surely forgot how to win in October.

I liked Abreu’s game but I liked the game of the guy he replaced in right field for New York, even more. That would be Gary Sheffield, who was in my opinion one of the most intimidating hitters in the big leagues. Opposing pitchers respected Abreu but they feared Sheffield. So when the Yankees let Abreu walk after the 2008 season, I was not too upset. He signed with the Angels and had a typical very good Abreu year in 2009 before slumping significantly in 2010. Bobby was born in Venezuela on March 11, 1974.

This very flaky former Yankee pitcher and this long-ago outfielder were also born on March 11th.

Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2006 NYY 58 248 209 37 69 16 0 7 42 10 33 52 .330 .419 .507 .926
2007 NYY 158 699 605 123 171 40 5 16 101 25 84 115 .283 .369 .445 .814
2008 NYY 156 684 609 100 180 39 4 20 100 22 73 109 .296 .371 .471 .843
17 Yrs 2347 9926 8347 1441 2437 565 59 287 1349 399 1456 1819 .292 .396 .477 .873
PHI (9 yrs) 1353 5885 4857 891 1474 348 42 195 814 254 947 1078 .303 .416 .513 .928
LAA (4 yrs) 456 1946 1662 239 443 103 5 43 246 75 261 363 .267 .364 .412 .776
NYY (3 yrs) 372 1631 1423 260 420 95 9 43 243 57 190 276 .295 .378 .465 .843
HOU (2 yrs) 74 234 210 23 52 11 2 3 27 7 23 51 .248 .325 .362 .687
LAD (1 yr) 92 230 195 28 48 8 1 3 19 6 35 51 .246 .361 .344 .704
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/4/2014.

March 11 – Happy Birthday Herm McFarland

mcfarlandThe Yankee franchise’s first season in New York was 1903. Today’s Pinstripe Birthday Celebrant was the starting right fielder on that historic ball club. In fact, Herm McFarland was one of the very few members of the 1902 Baltimore Orioles’ team that accompanied the franchise in its move from B’town to the Big Apple. McFarland had been used as the fourth Oriole outfielder that year and in 61 games of action, he hit a very impressive .322 with a .488 slugging average.

His real name was Hermas Walter McFarland and he was born in Des Moines, Iowa on March 11, 1870. Just five feet six inches tall, he gained some fame in 1897 when he walloped 13 home runs while playing for the Indianapolis Indians. He had a couple of brief tenures with two of the original National League teams in the 1890′s but his real big league rookie year took place in 1901, with the American League’s original Chicago White Sox franchise. He hit .275 as a starting outfielder for Chicago during that team’s inaugural season and he hit the first ever grand slam home run in that franchise’s history. He also stole 33 bases and was a key cog on a White Sox team that won the very first AL Pennant.

His manager with Chicago was Clark Griffith. During the team’s 1902 spring training camp, Griffith took the players on a ten mile run. The trail they followed for that jaunt included a railroad trestle that spanned a deep ravine. McFarland and a few other White Sox were trapped in the middle of it by an approaching train and forced to grab hold of railroad ties and hang over the side of the trestle until it passed overhead. They then held on until their teammates could get to them and pull them back up to safety.

One week into the 1902 season, McFarland was hitting just .185 when his contract was sold to the Orioles. One year later he joined the starting Highlander outfield that also included Lefty Davis and Hall-of-Famer Wee Willie Keeler. McFarland hit .243 in 103 games for New York during the 1903 season. He also led that year’s squad in home runs with 5. By the way, guess who managed that 1903 Highlander team? Clark Griffith. Perhaps the reason McFarland got the Highlander starting outfield spot had something to do with Griffith feeling guilty he had almost killed the guy by forcing him to run over that railroad bridge two years earlier.

In 1904, McFarland returned to Baltimore to play for the Orioles, who were by then playing in the Eastern League. He never played another big league game.

This former Yankee right-fielder and this flaky starting pitcher were also born on March 11th.

Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
1902 BLA 61 282 242 54 78 19 6 3 36 10 36 20 .322 .418 .488 .906
1903 NYY 103 423 362 41 88 16 9 5 45 13 46 52 .243 .333 .378 .712
5 Yrs 352 1496 1278 204 340 61 28 13 167 64 175 138 .266 .362 .388 .750
NYY (2 yrs) 164 705 604 95 166 35 15 8 81 23 82 72 .275 .368 .422 .790
CHW (2 yrs) 139 598 500 88 135 21 9 4 63 34 77 51 .270 .377 .372 .749
LOU (1 yr) 30 120 110 11 21 4 1 1 12 4 9 14 .191 .252 .273 .525
CIN (1 yr) 19 73 64 10 18 1 3 0 11 3 7 1 .281 .361 .391 .752
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/4/2014.

March 11 – Happy Birthday Dock Ellis

With a reputation as a flake and a substance abuser, Ellis came to the Bronx in the same trade that made Willie Randolph a Yankee and Doc Medich a Pirate. At first, I didn’t like the deal because I was a pretty big Medich fan and thought the Yankees could win with Sandy Alomar Sr. as their starting second baseman. It only took me about a month of watching Randolph play to realize how great a deal it was for New York, even if Ellis had never pitched a single inning in Pinstripes. But Dock ended up pitching 217 of them for New York that year, winning 17 games and helping the Yankees capture the 1976 AL Championship.

The Yankees traded Ellis to Oakland right after the 1977 season opened in the deal that put Mike Torrez in pinstripes. Dock was then sold to the Rangers in June of that same season. The flighty right hander later pitched for the Mets  before ending his career as a Pirate, in 1979. Lifetime, Ellis won 138 games. Dock was one of those rare big league pitchers who could hit from both sides of the plate. He was born in LA on March 11, 1945. He died in December of 2008, a victim of cirrhosis.

This former Yankee right-fielder who wore uniform number 53 and this long-ago-outfielder who wore a uniform without a number were also born on March 11th.

Year Tm W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
1976 NYY 17 8 .680 3.19 32 32 0 8 1 0 211.2 195 83 75 14 76 65 1.280
1977 NYY 1 1 .500 1.83 3 3 0 1 0 0 19.2 18 9 4 1 8 5 1.322
12 Yrs 138 119 .537 3.46 345 317 10 71 14 1 2128.0 2067 958 817 140 674 1136 1.288
PIT (9 yrs) 96 80 .545 3.16 231 208 6 51 12 0 1430.1 1356 598 502 78 438 869 1.254
TEX (3 yrs) 20 18 .526 3.82 55 53 1 10 1 1 355.1 353 175 151 33 104 145 1.286
NYY (2 yrs) 18 9 .667 3.07 35 35 0 9 1 0 231.1 213 92 79 15 84 70 1.284
NYM (1 yr) 3 7 .300 6.04 17 14 3 1 0 0 85.0 110 60 57 9 34 41 1.694
OAK (1 yr) 1 5 .167 9.69 7 7 0 0 0 0 26.0 35 33 28 5 14 11 1.885
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/4/2014.