Results tagged ‘ november 3 ’

November 3 – Happy Birthday Armando Benitez

Armando Benitez provided several memorable moments in Yankee history, but none of them took place during the short time the fire-balling right hander wore a Yankee uniform. It was Benitez who gave up the famous Derek Jeter – Jeffrey Maier home run during the 1996 ALCS that helped the Yankees beat Baltimore for the AL Pennant that year. Then two seasons later, after Bernie Williams hit a huge three-run late-inning home run off of him, Benitez not only hit the next batter, Tino Martinez, he then openly challenged the Yankee dugout to a fight, setting off one of the most memorable brawls in pinstripe history. Then when Benitez joined the Mets in 1999, he eventually took over the closer role from John Franco. During his three full seasons in that role, Benitez saved 117 games while Mariano Rivera was saving 114 for the Yankees. The “who had the better closer” argument became one of many dramatic sub-titles to the 2000 Subway World Series.

So as a Yankee fan, I have lots of Armando Benitez memories but I almost forgot he actually pitched in pinstripes for nine games during the 2003 season. The Yankees had got him from the Mets for three minor league prospects hoping he would be the eighth inning setup guy for Rivera. When he faltered in that role, the Yankees traded him to Seattle for former Yankee set-up specialist, Jeff Nelson. Through 2008, the last season he saw action in the Major Leagues, Benitez compiled a career total of 289 saves.

Armando was born on November 3, 1972, in the Dominican Republic. He shares his birthday with this former Yankee starting pitcher who never seemed to get a chance to pitch,  this former Yankee reliever who got way too many opportunities to do so and this former Yankee manager.

Year Tm W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
2003 NYY 1 1 .500 1.93 9 0 2 0 0 0 9.1 8 4 2 0 6 10 1.500
15 Yrs 40 47 .460 3.13 762 0 527 0 0 289 779.0 545 296 271 95 403 946 1.217
NYM (5 yrs) 18 14 .563 2.70 333 0 266 0 0 160 347.0 225 111 104 39 168 456 1.133
BAL (5 yrs) 11 16 .407 3.62 207 0 107 0 0 37 213.2 149 91 86 27 129 283 1.301
SFG (3 yrs) 6 8 .429 4.10 90 0 77 0 0 45 85.2 81 41 39 14 46 72 1.482
FLA (2 yrs) 4 7 .364 2.72 100 0 66 0 0 47 102.2 68 39 31 11 41 101 1.062
SEA (1 yr) 0 0 3.14 15 0 7 0 0 0 14.1 10 5 5 1 11 15 1.465
NYY (1 yr) 1 1 .500 1.93 9 0 2 0 0 0 9.1 8 4 2 0 6 10 1.500
TOR (1 yr) 0 1 .000 5.68 8 0 2 0 0 0 6.1 4 5 4 3 2 9 0.947
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/3/2013.

November 4 – Happy Birthday Joe Beggs

Today’s birthday boy won 21 games as the ace of the staff for one of baseball’s best teams in 1937. The problem was, that team was not in the Major Leagues. Instead, Joe Beggs was pitching for the Yankee’s Newark Bears farm team in the International League, a team that won 109 games that season and would probably have been good enough to finish in the upper division of either big league. Neff was 26 years-old at the time patiently waiting for his turn to pitch for Joe McCarthy’s Yankee team. That chance came in 1938 when Beggs got nine starts on the big stage and won three of five decisions. That wasn’t enough to keep him out of Newark the entire season. Nor did it earn him a spot on the Yankee’s winning World Series roster. But it did garner the attention of big league scouts and in 1940, the Reds acquired the right hander and made him their bullpen ace. He went 12-3 that first year in Cincinnati and saved seven games to boot as the Reds won the 1940 series. During those first four years with the Reds, he was one of the premier relief pitchers in the National League before entering military service in 1944. Cincinnati put him in their starting rotation when he returned in 1946 and Beggs went 12-10. He pitched until 1948, retiring with a 48-35 career record and 29 saves. Beggs was born on this date in 1910 in Rankin, PA. He passed away in 1983.

Another Yankee born on this date is this former spare outfielder on the 2000 World Championship team.

Year Tm W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
1938 NYY 3 2 .600 5.40 14 9 3 4 0 0 58.1 69 41 35 7 20 8 1.526
9 Yrs 48 35 .578 2.96 238 41 127 23 4 29 693.2 688 284 228 39 189 178 1.264
CIN (7 yrs) 42 30 .583 2.56 191 32 116 19 4 27 569.0 536 205 162 26 151 147 1.207
NYG (2 yrs) 3 3 .500 4.21 33 0 8 0 0 2 66.1 83 38 31 6 18 23 1.523
NYY (1 yr) 3 2 .600 5.40 14 9 3 4 0 0 58.1 69 41 35 7 20 8 1.526
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/4/2013.

November 3 – Happy Birthday Johnny Keane

I was a sophomore in high school when I realized that David Halberstam was a brilliant historian. I had just finished his epic book, The Best and the Brightest about how the US got entangled in the Vietnam War. It wasn’t until about two decades later that I realized Halberstam knew his baseball too. His book, October 1964, is a detailed and entertaining dissection of that season’s World Series between the Cardinals and the Yankees. In it, Halberstam describes how on the plane ride home from the seventh game of the Series, losing manager, Yogi Berra asked his all star second baseman, Bobby Richardson if he should be bold enough to ask the Yankees for a two-year contract. That’s how certain Berra was that he was going too be re-hired. But when he walked out of Yankee GM Ralph Houk’s office just a few days later, he was the stunned ex-manager of the only team he had ever worked for.

Houk had made the decision to fire Berra much earlier during the 1964 regular season, when certain Yankee players had approached him to complain that Yogi had lost control of the team. A few weeks later, he found out that Gussie Busch intended to fire Johnny Keane. Houk felt the Yankees needed a disciplinarian to replace the easy-going Berra and in his mind, Keane fit that description perfectly. So just minutes before Busch began a post Series press conference to announce he had decided to rehire his team’s skipper, Keane handed the Cardinal owner his resignation letter. He had accepted Houk’s offer to replace Berra as manager of the Yankees. Even though I was just ten years old at the time, I distinctly remember feeling sorry for Berra and angry with Houk for what I felt was a low class double-cross of a Yankee legend.

Keane proved to be a horrible fit with the Yankees from the start. His brand of discipline was geared toward young players and the veteran-filled Yankee roster had few of those. Players like Mantle, Maris, Clete Boyer, Joe Pepitone and Whitey Ford basically ignored the new rules introduced by their new field boss and that disrespect quickly permeated through to just about the entire team. When the Yankees reached the 1965 All Star break with a 41-46 record, Yankee fans like me were in shock. It was beyond the realm of possibility that our favorite team was not going to compete for the AL Pennant and we fully expected a turnaround in the second half.

The team did better, going 46-39 in the second half, but that was only good enough for an unforgivable fifth place finish. Keane should have been fired at the end of that ’65 regular season and probably would have been if the team hadn’t been owned by CBS at the time. The gigantic entertainment network paid little attention to the Yankees day-to-day operations, enabling Houk to delay the inevitable and let Keane stay on to open the 1966 season. Houk was hoping that Keane had just needed time to get the Yankee roster to buy into his management style. But when the Yankees opened the 1966 season by losing 16 of their first 20 games, Houk knew Keane was in over his head and mercifully fired his beleaguered skipper. In less than a year, the dismissed manager was dead, a victim of a heart attack at the age of 55.

A native of St. Louis, Keane had spent fifteen years playing in the Cardinal farm system as a a middle infielder, without ever appearing in a big league game. He then spent another 13 years coaching and managing in the St. Louis farm system. The Cardinals made him their big league skipper in July of 1961, when he replaced the fired Solly Hemus. His three-and-a-half season managerial record with the Cards was a very respectable 317-249. He should have never left St Louis.

Keane shares his November 3rd birthday with this former Yankee starter, this former Yankee reliever and this one too.

Rk Year Age Tm Lg W L W-L% G Finish
5 1965 53 New York Yankees AL 77 85 .475 162 6
6 1966 54 New York Yankees AL 1st of 2 4 16 .200 20 10
St. Louis Cardinals 4 years 317 249 .560 567 3.5 1 Pennant and 1 World Series Title
New York Yankees 2 years 81 101 .445 182 8.0
6 years 398 350 .532 749 5.0 1 Pennant and 1 World Series Title
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/3/2013.