Results tagged ‘ november 9 ’

November 9 – Happy Birthday Harvey Hendrick

hendricksAfter Miller Huggins’ Yankee team lost their second straight World Series to the New York Giants in 1922, the diminutive field skipper spent his offseason trying to figure out what his ball club needed in the way of personnel to finally beat his crosstown rivals in a Fall Classic. He brought his shopping list with him to the Yanks 1923 spring training camp in New Orleans and it included an infielder, two pitchers, a third string catcher and two new outfielders. One of those outfielders ended up being today’s Pinstripe Birthday Celebrant.

Harvey “Gink” Hendrick was born in Mason, TN in 1897 and had played college ball at Vanderbilt University, his native state’s most famous school. He then spent a couple of years in the minors including a solid 1922 season with Galveston in the Texas League during which he belted 16 home runs and averaged .311. The Red Sox signed him to a contract but in early January of 1923, he was traded to New York along with pitcher George Pipgras. Hendrick then performed well enough that spring to earn a spot on Huggins’ Opening Day roster.

He ended up serving as a fifth outfielder and occasional pinch-hitter on that 1923 Yankee squad, which featured a strong starting outfield of Babe Ruth,Bob Meusel and Whitey Witt along with the veteran Elmer Smith as their primary backup. Like fellow rookie and teammate, Lou Gehrig, Hendrick spent most of that season sitting on the Yankee bench. Fortunately for him, however, New York dominated the AL Pennant race that year, beating second place Detroit by a full 16 games. That permitted Huggins to rest his starters the whole final month of his season. That meant lots of playing time for Hendrick and he made the most of it, raising his average by 40 points and hitting all three of his rookie season home runs that September. His strong finish helped convince Huggins to keep the rookie outfielder on the Yanks’ postseason roster. Hendrick made his one and only career World Series appearance in the eighth inning of that Series’ first game as a pinch hitter for Yankee shortstop Everett Scott, flying out to center off of Giants’ reliever Rosey Ryan. He did end up winning a coveted ring.

He spent one more season in New York in 1924, playing about as much and performing about as well as he did the year before. The Yanks released him after that second season and he ended up with the Indians in 1925 and back in the minors in ’26. He got his break in 1927 when he became an often-used utility player for a pretty bad Brooklyn Robins team. For the next three seasons he averaged 120 games played and over 400 at bats playing some outfield, some third base and some first base for Brooklyn. He averaged over .300 in each of those seasons including a career high .354 in 1929.

The Robins traded Hendrick to Cincinnati at the start of the 1931 regular season and he would later also play for the Cardinals and Phillies before his big league career ended in 1936. Evidently, Hendrick struggled in life after his playing days were over because in 1941 he committed suicide by shooting himself in his Covington, Tennessee home. Other former Yankees who have taken their own lives include; Dan McGann, Jake Powell, Hugh Casey and most recently, Hideki Irabu.

Hendrick shares a birthday with this one-time Yankee second baseman and this former Yankee outfielder.

Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
1923 NYY 37 69 66 9 18 3 1 3 12 3 2 8 .273 .294 .485 .779
1924 NYY 40 80 76 7 20 0 0 1 11 1 2 7 .263 .291 .303 .594
11 Yrs 922 3219 2910 434 896 157 46 48 413 75 239 243 .308 .364 .443 .807
BRO (5 yrs) 433 1604 1435 236 456 68 28 34 219 61 129 113 .318 .378 .475 .853
CIN (2 yrs) 231 1021 928 130 287 62 12 5 115 6 76 69 .309 .363 .418 .782
NYY (2 yrs) 77 149 142 16 38 3 1 4 23 4 4 15 .268 .293 .387 .680
PHI (1 yr) 59 127 116 12 34 8 0 0 19 0 9 15 .293 .344 .362 .706
STL (1 yr) 28 77 72 8 18 2 0 1 5 0 5 9 .250 .299 .319 .618
CHC (1 yr) 69 208 189 30 55 13 3 4 23 4 13 17 .291 .346 .455 .801
CLE (1 yr) 25 33 28 2 8 1 2 0 9 0 3 5 .286 .355 .464 .819
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/9/2013.

November 9 – Happy Birthday Jerry Priddy

Robinson Cano is the latest in a long and illustrious line of great New York Yankee second basemen. The first was Hall of Famer Tony Lazzeri and then Joe Gordon. Later on, both Billy Martin and Bobby Richardson became All Stars for New York at that position, as did the great Willie Randolph. One name not on that list is Jerry Priddy and the late, great Phil Rizzuto was always astonished by that omission. Why? Because Scooter was Priddy’s teammate and double-play partner during their climb through the Yankee’s Minor League organization. During his days in the broadcast booth, Rizzuto would often tell listeners that Priddy had been a much better all-around player than he was and that he could not believe his Los Angeles-born former teammate did not make it big in pinstripes.

Priddy and Rizzuto were so good that when they joined the Yankees in 1941, Manager Joe McCarthy moved Gordon from second base to first so that the two rookies could take over the middle of New York’s infield. Rizzuto held his own at short but Priddy struggled to hit big league pitching. The Yankees might have been more patient with a less cocky rookie, but Priddy was anything but. He told Gordon in spring training that he was a better second baseman than the future Hall of Famer so when he got off to a slow start, his veteran teammates offered no assistance, shed no tears and spared no criticism of the outspoken rookie.

Priddy hit just .213 in 56 games during that rookie season. He did better the following year, hitting .280 as Gordon’s backup but when he complained about a lack of playing time, the Yankees decided to give up on their loud-mouthed prospect and traded him to Washington. He had a good year there and then spent the next three seasons in military service. When he returned, Jerry did evolve into one of the league’s better second baseman, playing eleven seasons in all and averaging .265 lifetime. In the mean time, Scooter played himself into the Hall of Fame and was left wondering why his old teammate wasn’t in there with him.

This former Yankee outfielder and this one too were also born on November 9.

Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
1941 21 NYY AL 56 194 174 18 37 7 0 1 26 4 18 16 .213 .290 .270 .560
1942 22 NYY AL 59 222 189 23 53 9 2 2 28 0 31 27 .280 .385 .381 .766
11 Yrs 1296 5427 4720 612 1252 232 46 61 541 44 624 639 .265 .353 .373 .725
DET (4 yrs) 451 1933 1677 228 448 77 17 26 176 8 223 216 .267 .355 .380 .735
WSH (3 yrs) 434 1787 1576 164 390 73 14 13 169 21 186 228 .247 .328 .336 .665
NYY (2 yrs) 115 416 363 41 90 16 2 3 54 4 49 43 .248 .341 .328 .668
SLB (2 yrs) 296 1291 1104 179 324 66 13 19 142 11 166 152 .293 .387 .428 .815
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/9/2013.

November 9 – Happy Birthday Dion James

This Philadelphia native who was born November 9, 1962, had his best big league season as a Yankee in 1993, when he took over New York’s left field starting position and responded with a career-high .332 batting average. James then opted to become a free agent but nobody signed him. He ended up sitting out the entire strike-shortened 1994 season and when he rejoined the Yankees a season later, Gerald Williams had been given his old left field spot. Dion appeared in six games for New York during their 1996 World Championship season, the final six games of his 11-season big league career.

Dion shares his November 9th birthday with this former Yankee second baseman from the 1940s and this one-time Yankee outfielder.

Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
1992 29 NYY AL 67 170 145 24 38 8 0 3 17 1 22 15 .262 .359 .379 .738
1993 30 NYY AL 115 378 343 62 114 21 2 7 36 0 31 31 .332 .390 .466 .856
1995 32 NYY AL 85 231 209 22 60 6 1 2 26 4 20 16 .287 .346 .354 .700
1996 33 NYY AL 6 13 12 1 2 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 .167 .231 .167 .397
11 Yrs 917 3074 2708 362 781 142 21 32 266 43 318 307 .288 .364 .392 .755
NYY (4 yrs) 273 792 709 109 214 35 3 12 79 6 74 64 .302 .368 .410 .778
ATL (3 yrs) 329 1223 1050 141 297 61 11 14 102 20 153 145 .283 .374 .402 .776
MIL (3 yrs) 157 508 456 58 127 20 5 1 34 11 40 49 .279 .339 .351 .690
CLE (2 yrs) 158 551 493 54 143 26 2 5 51 6 51 49 .290 .357 .381 .738
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/9/2013.