Results tagged ‘ Tippy Martinez ’

May 31 – Happy Birthday Tippy Martinez

I remember the trade as if it was yesterday. It was an old-fashioned “blockbuster” deal that involved two teams and ten different players. The Yankees got the short-term benefit they needed to win the 1976 AL East pennant, but Baltimore got three players who would help make the Orioles a very tough team to finish ahead of in the standings for the next decade.

The trade took place in June of 1976. New York got pitchers Ken Holtzman, Doyle Alexander, Grant Jackson and Jimmy Freeman along with Baltimore catcher Elrod Hendricks in exchange for catcher Rick Dempsey, pitchers Rudy May, Scott McGregor, Dave Pagan and today’s Pinstripe Birthday Celebrant, Tippy Martinez. In his excellent biography of George Steinbrenner, author Peter Golenbock told us that Gabe Paul was completely against the deal and tried to talk the Boss out of it. Unbelievably, it had been Steinbrenner’s 12-year-old son Hank, who had convinced his old man that Holtzman would win the Yankees the pennant.

Tippy was a home grown Yankee reliever who had made his debut for New York in 1974 and led the team in saves the following season. He was an excellent complement to ace closer Sparky Lyle and together, those two had transformed the Yankee bullpen into one of the best in the league.

As Paul had predicted, the Yankees eventually regretted parting with Martinez who became a mainstay and workhorse in the Orioles’ pen for a dozen seasons, retiring with 115 lifetime saves. Tippy was born in La Junta, CA in 1950. He shares his May 31 birthday with this former Yankee center-fielder.

Year Tm W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
1974 NYY 0 0 4.26 10 0 4 0 0 0 12.2 14 7 6 0 9 10 1.816
1975 NYY 1 2 .333 2.68 23 2 13 0 0 8 37.0 27 15 11 2 32 20 1.595
1976 NYY 2 0 1.000 1.93 11 0 3 0 0 2 28.0 18 6 6 1 14 14 1.143
14 Yrs 55 42 .567 3.45 546 2 320 0 0 115 834.0 732 357 320 53 425 632 1.387
BAL (11 yrs) 52 40 .565 3.46 499 0 298 0 0 105 752.1 665 320 289 49 366 585 1.370
NYY (3 yrs) 3 2 .600 2.67 44 2 20 0 0 10 77.2 59 28 23 3 55 44 1.468
MIN (1 yr) 0 0 18.00 3 0 2 0 0 0 4.0 8 9 8 1 4 3 3.000
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/31/2013.