Category Archives: Awards

Game 17. Yanks (11-6) win slugfest 12-8 behind 5 HR, 3 by Rizzo.

Back after a ten-day vacation visiting my sis across the country. Some comments at end of article.

Anthony Rizzo hit three of the Yanks (11-6) five homeruns in the Yanks’ 12-8 win over Baltimore Tuesday night. Luis Severino pitched 5 1/3 hitless, shutout innings before tiring, and the Yankees’ bullpen made things nervously close.

Rizzo hit a 3-run HR in the third to start the scoring. Joey Gallo hit his first HR of the season to make it 4-0 in the fourth. Rizzo’s second HR of the game, a 2-run HR, made it 6-0 in the fifth.

After losing his no-hit bid, Severino walked the next hitter then gave up a 3-run HR and Baltimore had cut the lead to 6-3. The Orioles scored another run in the top of the seventh to close the score to 6-4.

In the bottom of the seventh, D.J. LeMahieu led off with a single and Aaron Judge singled D.J. to third. Rizzo walked to load the bases. Giancarlo Stanton singled in one run, and after Josh Donaldson struck out, Gleyber Torres tripled to clear the bases and make the score 10-4.

Baltimore made things uncomfortable again, scoring four runs in the top of the eighth, three on a HR given up by Jonathan Loaisiga (who has been struggling lately) to cut the score to 10-8.

In the bottom of the eighth, the Yanks got back-to-back homers by Judge (4) and Rizzo (8) to make it 12-8, which wound up being the final score.

LeMahieu 2 hits
Judge 2 hits, RBI, solo HR (4)
Rizzo 3 hits, all HR (8), 6 RBI Now leads majors in HR
Stanton 2 hits, RBI
Torres 3 RBI
Gallo solo HR (1)

Severino (W, 2-0) 6 IP, 4 R, 3 H, 2 W, 5 K. Gave up 1 HR. 3.32
Holmes (H, 5) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K. 1.04
Luetge 2/3 IP, 3 R, 2 H, 0 W, 0 K. 1 HBP. 6.00
Loaisiga 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. Gave up 1 HR. 8.10
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 2 K. 0.00

A few notes on the games while I was away. A disappointing weekend in Baltimore, where the Yanks lost two of three. So far the pitching (except for last night) has carried the team. In the first 13 games of the season, the Yanks were shut out three times, and in another game, they only scored one run in an eleventh inning loss. Higashioka, Gallo, and Stanton have been struggling. Now in the last two games, they have scored ten and twelve runs, so maybe the bats are waking up. The team batting average is .242, meanwhile the team ERA of 2.85 leads the league. A good thing is Severino looking like the Severino of old. Meanwhile, Nestor Cortes, Jr. and Mike King have been great.

Tim Locastro was brought up, and J.P. Sears sent down. Miguel Andujar was brought up because Aaron Hicks is out on paternity leave. There will be some more moves coming because those extra players allowed because of the shortened spring training will have to be lopped off the roster after Sunday’s games.

One thing I didn’t know until a few days ago is that EACH MLB team is now using humidors for the baseballs. Before, because of the light air and the way balls fly out, only teams like Colorado were doing so. The humidor helps to deaden the baseballs.

Congrats in order to Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera, who became only the seventh player to have 3000 hits and 500 HR in his career. The other six are Aaron, Mays, A-Rod, Pujols, Palmeiro and Murray.

Plaque in Monument Park Yes; Number retired? No.

Since it was announced yesterday that Paul O’Neill’s #21 will be retired, I thought I would list some people who have plaques in Monument Park, but whose number, which I will list, has not been retired.

This may or may not be a total list. It’s the list of people I know have plaques in Monument Park, but whose numbers have not been retired (and in one case, retired for another player).

Of course, there are non-players who have plaques out there. Broadcasters (Mel Allen), PA announcers (Bob Shepard), Owners (George Steinbrenner and Jacob Ruppert), Popes for Masses held in Yankee Stadium, GM (Ed Barrow) … this post is just on players. Short bios.

#11. Lefty Gomez LHP. Yankees 1930-1942. A 7x All-Star who won the Pitching Triple Crown (led league in wins, ERA and strikeouts) twice (1934 and 1937). Was (Per baseball-reference and WAR (Wins Above Replacement)) the Yankees best player in 1937—on a team that featured Ruffing, Lazzeri, DiMaggio, Dickey and Gehrig. A 5x WS Champ who was 6-0 in the World Series. Won 20 or more games 4x. 189-102 in his career, ERA 3.34 (ERA+ 125). HOF. 4x MVP consideration, and 3x in the top 10.

#15. Red Ruffing. #15 of course, is retired in honor of Thurman Munson. Ruffing, HOF, was just 39-96 for Boston before coming to the Yankees. Yankees 1930-1942, 1945-1946. He missed two seasons due to WWII. With the Yankees he was 231-124, ERA 3.47. For his career, 273-225, 3.80, ERA+ 109. The Yankees’ best player of 1938, on a team that had Gomez, DiMaggio, Gehrig (in the early stages of his ALS), Dickey and Gordon. A 6x All-Star and 6x WS Champ. Won 20 or more games each year 1936-1939. 7-2 in WS play. Also a great hitter for a pitcher. Hit .269 with 36 HR in his career. 4x MVP consideration, finishing top 10 3x.

#22 Allie Reynolds. 1947-1954 Yankees. Superchief went 131-60 as a Yankee ERA 3.30, and was 182-107, ERA 3.30 in his career, ERA+ 109. A starter and reliever on 6 WS Champs. He went 7-2 in WS play. Finished 3rd in MVP voting in 1951 and was the runner-up in 1952. 20 game winner, 1952. 2 no-hitters in 1951. 6x All-Star.

#24 Tino Martinez. A Yankee 1996-2001, and in 2005. 4x WS Champ. 2x All-Star. .271 with 339 career HR. 192 HR as a Yankee, hit .276 as a Yankee. Runner-up for 1997 MVP (44 HR, 141 RBI). 12th in MVP voting 2001. Drove in 100 or more runs 5x as a Yankee. Grand slam Game 1, 1998 WS. OPS+ 113.

#30 for two people. Willie Randolph. A Yankee from 1976-1988. 3B Coach later on. 6x all-star, 5x with Yankees. 2x WS Champ. MVP consideration 2x. Hit .275 as a Yankee with 251 SB. OPS+ 105. According to WAR, best player on 1980 team.

#30 Mel Stottlemyre. 1964-1974. 3x 20-game winner on poor hitting teams. Later pitching coach. 164-139 in career, ERA 2.97 (ERA+ 112). 1-1 in 1964 WS in 3 starts. 5x All-Star. MVP consideration 4x, and finished 10th in 1968. Best player on 1965 and 1969 teams.

#54 Rich “Goose” Gossage. Yankees 1978-1983. WS Champ 1978. HOF. 124-107, 310 career saves, ERA 3.01 ERA+ 126. As a Yankee, 42-28, 2.14 with 151 saves. 9x all-star, 4x with Yankees. Best player on 1982 team. 5x CYA consideration, 3x with Yankees. MVP consideration 5x, 2x Top 10, finished 3rd for 1980 MVP and 9th in 1981.

Some of these players had great seasons with the Yankees but the number of years with the Yankees were not many (but that didn’t stop Reggie Jackson 1977-1981 from having HIS #44 retired).

There are two people who I think are overdue for plaques. Note I wrote plaques, and not retired numbers. The numbers they wore are already retired.

Bobby Murcer. Wore #1 and later #2 (1-Billy Martin, and 2-Derek Jeter, numbers already retired). Yankees 1965-1966, 1969-1974, 1979-1983. Later long time broadcaster. 5x All-Star, 4x with Yankees. MVP consideration 4x, 3x top 10. Yankees best player 1972. .277 career hitter, 252 HR. As Yankee, .278, 175 HR.. OPS+ 124, 129 as a Yankee.

Graig Nettles. #9 (retired for Roger Maris). 390 career HR, 250 as a Yankee. OPS+ 110, 114 as Yankee. Yankee 1973-1983. .248 career hitter, .253 as Yankee. Led AL in HR (32) in 1976. Yankees’ best player 1976 and 1977 (even though Munson won the 1976 MVP award). 6x All-Star, 2x WS Champ. 2 GG, and who can forget Game 3 of the 1978 WS, when Nettles put on a defensive show? MVP consideration 4x, and top 10 in 1977 and 1978. ALCS MVP 1981.

I think it is long past due that Nettles and Murcer got plaques, if they don’t have one already.

Yankees to retire #21 for Paul O’Neill

As long as there is a baseball season this year, the Yankees plan on honoring Paul O’Neill on August 21 by retiring #21. O’Neill previously had a plaque placed in Monument Park (as has for example, Lefty Gomez, Allie Reynolds, Willie Randolph, Mel Stottlemyre, Red Ruffing and Tino Martinez to name several.) But now, O’Neill gets the ultimate honor. (Who knows about Tino’s #24; also worn by Robbie Cano and now worn by Gary Sanchez; Cano and A-Rod, whose #13 is now worn by Joey Gallo have problems with getting their numbers retired what with the serious steroid issues involving them).

O’Neill played for the Reds from 1985-1992, winning a World Series with them in 1990, when he finished 19th in the MVP voting. He was an All-Star in 1991.

He then came to the Yankees in a trade for Roberto Kelly and played for the Yankees from 1993-2001. With the Yankees, he won 4 WS titles and 5 AL pennants. He was a 4x All-Star with the Yankees, got MVP consideration 4x, and finished 5th in MVP voting in the strike-shortened 1994 season, a season when he led the AL with a .359 batting average.

O’Neill was a .288 career hitter, but as a Yankee, he hit .303. He drove in 100 or more runs each season from 1997-2000.

O’Neill joins the following as players who have had their numbers retired by the Yankees. You can argue whether some of them deserve the honor, but what an honor it is.

1-Billy Martin; 2-Derek Jeter; 3-Babe Ruth; 4-Lou Gehrig; 5-Joe DiMaggio; 6-Joe Torre; 7-Mickey Mantle
8-Yogi Berra AND Bill Dickey; 9-Roger Maris; 10-Phil Rizzuto; 15-Thurman Munson; 16-Whitey Ford
20-Jorge Posada; 21-Paul O’Neill; 23-Don Mattingly; 32-Elston Howard; 37-Casey Stengel
42-Mariano Rivera (as well as throughout MLB for Jackie Robinson); 44-Reggie Jackson
46-Andy Pettitte; 49-Ron Guidry; 51-Bernie Williams.

Whew. The Yankees will look like a football team out there.

What could have been. Elston Howard, manager?

One recent occurrence, and one we are in now, have me thinking.

What could have been?

The recent hiring of a female to manage the Yankees’ Low-A Tampa team is groundbreaking. The Yankees could have been the first to break some other ground many years ago.

With this being Black History Month, has a feature up on Elston Howard, who became the first black Yankees player in 1955. In 1963, Howard became the first black player to win the AL MVP award—an award that had already been won several times by blacks in the NL.

The YES network, I am sure, will also run their biography on Howard this month. I have seen that bio before and it does raise an interesting what if?

In 1973, the Yankees played their final season in the original (pre-renovation) Yankee Stadium. After the last game of the season, Ralph Houk resigned. As the Yankees were going to play in Shea Stadium in 1974 and 1975 while Yankee Stadium was being renovated, the question now arose as to who would be the Yankees manager in 1974.

At first the Yankees hired Dick Williams, who had just managed the Oakland A’s to two straight WS titles but then who resigned immediately after the 1973 WS (in which the A’s beat the Mets). But the hiring was nullified by Commissioner Bowie Kuhn after A’s owner Charlie Finley protested that Williams owed Finley the final year of his deal (Finley had no qualms of releasing Williams from the obligation in mid-1974 so that Williams could manage the Angels). The Yankees turned to Bill Virdon instead.

But what if they had chosen Howard? In the YES bio, Bobby Murcer talks about how Ellie had the respect of the whole team and no one would have argued against the hiring of Howard to be the Yankees’ manager.

Howard, upon his retirement from playing after the 1968 season, had become a coach for the Yankees. In so doing, he became the first black coach in the AL.

If the Yankees WOULD have promoted Howard to manager for the 1974 season, he would have become the first black manager in MLB history—-an honor that went to Frank Robinson (Cleveland) in 1975.

But from 1974-1991, as you know, the Yankees had an endless parade of managers, led by Billy Martin’s five separate terms. Others had repeats, too.

Virdon 1974-1975
Billy Martin I 1975-1978
Bob Lemon I 1978-1979
Billy II 1979
Dick Howser 1980
Gene Michael I 1981
Lemon II 1981-1982
Michael II 1982
Clyde King 1982
Billy III 1983
Yogi Berra II 1984-1985 (Yogi I was in 1964)
Billy IV 1985
Lou Piniella I 1986-1987
Billy V 1988
Lou II 1988
Dallas Green 1989
Bucky Dent 1989-1990
Stump Merrill 1990-1991

Since 1991, there have been just four managers.

Buck Showalter 1992-1995
Joe Torre 1996-2007
Joe Girardi 2008-2017
Aaron Boone 2018-present.

So some stability since 1992. But you wonder. If the Yankees had hired Ellie, and if Ellie’s health had held out (he died of a heart condition Dec. 14, 1980 at the age of 51, on the same day that thousands of people in Central Park, along with millions around the world, gathered to mourn the loss of John Lennon, who was assassinated six days before) would the Yankees have had stability in the 1970s/1980s? Granted, stability in managers wasn’t a trait of the Boss, George Steinbrenner, but you wonder. If Ellie were manager, how well would he have done, and would it have stopped the merry-go-round of managers, especially with Billy Martin?

We’ll never know what could have been.

The All-Time Top 100?

Let the debates begin.

ESPN polled dozens of editors and writers and put together a list of the 100 greatest baseball players of all time. I won’t list them all but here are the top 20, and I will list where other Yankees ended up.

20. Rogers Hornsby
19. Frank Robinson
18. Mike Schmidt
17. Roger Clemens
16. Joe DiMaggio (I’m a bit surprised he wasn’t higher, but three years lost to WWII probably hurt)
15. Mike Trout (are you surprised he is this high already?)
14. Greg Maddux
13. Ken Griffey, Jr.
12. Honus Wagner
11. Pedro Martinez
10. Stan Musial
9. Walter Johnson
8. Barry Bonds
7. Mickey Mantle (appropriate he’s #7, right? and guess what. Sandy Koufax came in at #32!)
6. Lou Gehrig
5. Ted Williams
4. Ty Cobb
3. Hank Aaron
2. Willie Mays
1. Babe Ruth (no doubt his pitching skills, added to his hitting skills, put him here)

Other players who played for the Yankees

99. Phil Niekro (Went 16-8 in 1984, 16-12 in 1985 for Yankees)
90. Pudge Rodriguez (the catcher was there briefly in 2008, and did not do well)
60. Whitey Ford
56. Dave Winfield (1981-1989)
55. Reggie Jackson (1977-1981 with Yankees)
46. Ichiro Suzuki (with Yankees 2012-2014)
45. Wade Boggs (1993-1997)
39. Yogi Berra
31. Mariano Rivera
28. Derek Jeter
26. Alex Rodriguez
24. Randy Johnson (17-8 in 2005, 17-11 in 2006 with Yankees)
23. Rickey Henderson (Yankees 1985-1989)

Ortiz only player elected by writers into the HOF.

I had the feeling that the only person to be elected to the Hall of Fame by the writers would be David Ortiz, and I also had the feeling that if he made it on the first ballot, that it would not be by much.

Correct on both counts. The Red Sox legend got 307 votes where he needed 296 out of 394 to get in. Needing 75%, Ortiz got 77.9%.

Many notables dropped off the ballot, as Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa and Curt Schilling were in their last year of eligibility. They now go to the Veterans’ Committee. For Bonds, Clemens and Sosa, steroid allegations cost them the Hall. For Schilling, his political viewpoints and some controversial statements.

Others remaining on the ballot, but who have been associated with PEDs found themselves far from the 75% threshold. That included Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez.

Ortiz also has a questionable past with that. Supposedly his name came up on a list that came up positive in 2003, however he has denied it, and there have been false positives associated with the list. Also, there was no list of banned vs. ok substances. So something picked up legitimately at a GNC could cause a positive. To his credit, Ortiz never came up positive after rules were enforced later on.

Ortiz, mostly a DH, was a 10x All-star, 3x WS champ (get to that in a moment), 7x Silver Slugger, a WS MVP, and an ALCS MVP, who played for the Twins (1997-2002) and Red Sox (2003-2016). While ok with the Twins (OPS+ 108), he blossomed into a superstar with Boston (OPS+ 148). He was probably the most influential and most important player in helping the Red Sox end “the Curse of the Bambino” by helping Boston to its first WS title in 86 years in 2004, then he added two more titles onto that.

Ortiz wound up hitting 541 HR, and getting MVP consideration 8x. While never winning the MVP award, he finished in the top 10 7x, and finished 5-4-2-3-4 from 2003-2007. His final season was probably the greatest final season of any player in baseball history, and he finished 6th in MVP voting that year. In his last year, Ortiz, 40, hit .315-38-127, leading the AL in RBI, the majors in doubles (48), the majors in slugging and OPS, and the AL in intentional walks. He hit .286 for his career with an OPS+ of 141 (100 is average). His 162 game average was .286-36-119. He led the league in HR once (54 in 2006), RBI 3x, doubles once, walks 2x, OBP, slugging, total bases and OPS once each, and intentional walks 3x.

In 85 postseason games, he hit .289, with 17 HR and 61 RBI. He won both games 4 and 5 of the 2004 ALCS for Boston, leading them back from a 0-3 deficit to win the AL pennant and eventually the WS, breaking the 86 year old “Curse of the Bambino.” He was ALCS MVP in 2004 (12 for 31, 3 HR, 11 RBI) and WS MVP in 2013 (11 for 16, 2 HR, 6 RBI).

One thing I was and still am critical about is pitchers not coming inside to dust him off of the plate. Can you believe in his whole career, Ortiz was HBP only TWICE? (By comparison, Mantle 13x, Mays 45x, Aaron 32x, Ruth 43x). I’m not for headhunting, but back the guy off the plate?

Ortiz only played 278 games at 1B. 2028 were as a DH.

Here is the ballot, with some notes.

David Ortiz30777.91
Barry Bonds26066.010
Roger Clemens25765.210
Scott Rolen24963.25
Curt Schilling23158.610
Todd Helton20552.04
Billy Wagner20151.07
Andruw Jones16341.15
Gary Sheffield16040.68
Alex Rodriguez13534.31
Jeff Kent12932.79
Manny Ramirez11428.96
Omar Vizquel9423.95
Sammy Sosa7318.510
Andy Pettitte4210.74
Jimmy Rollins379.41
Bobby Abreu348.63
Mark Buehrle235.82
Torii Hunter215.32
Joe Nathan174.31
Tim Hudson123.02
Tim Lincecum92.31
Ryan Howard82.01
Mark Teixeira61.51
Justin Morneau51.31
Jonathan Papelbon51.31
Prince Fielder20.51
A.J. Pierzynski20.51
Carl Crawford001
Jake Peavy001

Bonds, Clemens, Schilling, Sosa drop off. So does anyone not getting 5%, which includes Ryan Howard (MVP , 6 top-10 MVP finishes, and 382 HR), Tim Lincecum (Back-to-Back CYA), Justin Morneau (MVP), Joe Nathan (6x all-star) and Mark Teixeira (409 HR) to name a few.

It really looks good for Scott Rolen to maybe get in next year. A-Rod and Manny Ramirez stand no chance due to steroids and suspensions. Omar Vizquel dropped considerably because of domestic violence and sexual harassment allegations. Andy Pettitte stays on, but HGH admissions hurt him.

Next year will be Jeff Kent’s last year on the ballot. (377 HR, MVP).

The biggest name coming onto the ballot next year is Carlos Beltran (.279, 435 HR, 312 SB). While I think Beltran eventually makes the HOF, I don’t think it will be on the first ballot. The only other one that can get considerable consideration among next year’s newcomers is Francisco Rodriguez. K-Rod had 437 saves, 62 in 2008.

Kaat vs. John

If I gave you this to choose from, could you choose one over the other?

Pitcher A: LHP. 25 MLB seasons. 283 wins. ERA 3.45. ERA+ 108. 283-237. 3x MVP consideration. 3x 20 game winner. CYA consideration once. 3x All-Star. Ranked 109 on list of greatest pitchers of all-time.

Pitcher B: LHP. 26 MLB seasons. 288 wins. ERA 3.34 ERA+ 111. 288-231. 2x MVP consideration. 3x 20 game winner. CYA consideration 4x. 4x All-Star. Ranked 77 on list of greatest pitchers of all-time.

Almost similar stats, right? Pitcher A is Jim Kaat, just elected to the Hall of Fame. Pitcher B is Tommy John.

This isn’t to disparage Kaat. Congrats to Kitty. But why isn’t John getting the same consideration?

Six Hall of Famers named; and some Yankees news

Six new Hall of Famers were named yesterday, and I’ll get into them in a moment, but first some Yankees news.

First off, forget about Freddy Galvis as a possible short-term solution at SS. He’s headed to Japan to play.

Congrats to Yankees’ legend Derek Jeter who became a dad for the third time. Another girl, making 3 girls for him.

The Yanks may have interest in Japanese star Seiya Suzuki. Boston and Toronto also are said to have interest. Suzuki, primarily a RF, has played 3B and SS as well. He is 27 and a righty hitter. But he is pegged as a RF (4 Japanese Gold Gloves) and the Yanks are looking at CF, being that they have Judge for RF (unless they move Judge to CF, which isn’t likely). Suzuki can play CF, but is mostly a RF. But if they get Suzuki for LF, then Joey Gallo may be moved, and maybe moved for a CF. Other teams are said to be interested in Gallo, who only hit .160 for the Yanks after the Yanks got him from Texas. Suzuki hit .317-38-88 for his Japanese team in 2021, with 9 SB, and is a career .300+ hitter over there. In the last 4 years, he’s hit .319 and has averaged 30 HR a season. He doesn’t strike out much, either. (Info from

Roger Maris and Allie Reynolds fell far short of induction to the Hall of Fame by the Veteran’s Committee. Maris only got 3 votes or less, and Reynolds got 6, and 12 were needed.

Dick Allen missed by one vote.

Getting in were (and I’ll try to keep bios brief):

Gil Hodges. Hodges started as a catcher, but with Roy Campanella there for Brooklyn, moved to 1B. He also got a little time in at LF, RF and 3B, as well as one game each at 2B and CF. He played for the Dodgers (Brooklyn/LA) in 1943, then 1947-1961, and with the Mets 1962-1963. An 8x All-Star, he was on 2 WS Champs, 1955 and 1959. He hit 370 HR, including 4 in one game. He got MVP consideration 9x, and finished in the top 10 3x. He won 3 Gold Gloves. Hodges drove in 100 or more runs in each season 1949-1955. A Marine, he served in WWII. Twice he topped 40 HR in a season. His 162 g. average was .273-29-100, OPS+ 120. In WS play he hit .267-5-21 in 39 games. Later he became manager of the Senators (1963-1967) and Mets (1968-1971). He managed the Mets to the 1969 WS Championship. He was 321-444 as manager of Washington, and 339-309 as Mets manager. His #14 is retired by the Mets. He died of a heart attack two days before his 48th birthday in April of 1972. Played in WS of 1947, 1949, 1952, 1953, 1955, 1956 and 1959.

Jim Kaat. 16 Gold Glove Awards. 283 career wins (meanwhile, Tommy John, with 288 wins, is still not in the HOF). Washington Senators 1959-1960, Minnesota Twins 1961-1973, Chicago White Sox 1973-1975, Phillies 1976-1979, Yankees 1979-1980, Cardinals 1980-1983. 3x All-Star, WS Champ 1982. 5th in MVP voting in 1966 when Kaat led the AL with 25 wins. 1965 AL Pennant with Twins. Also a 20 game winner in 1974 and 1975. MVP consideration 1967 and 1975 as well, CYA consideration 1975. Average 162 game season 13-11, 3.45, ERA+ 108. Long time broadcaster. Hit .185 with 16 HR. Went 1-3, 4.01 in 9 postseason games, 5 starts. Went up against Koufax 3x in 1965 WS, going 1-2. 1965 AL Pennant, 1969, 1970, 1976, 1977, 1978 division champs, 1982 WS Champs.

Minnie Minoso. OF. Indians 1949, 1951. White Sox 1951-1957. Indians again, 1958-1959. White Sox again, 1960-1961. Cardinals 1962. Senators 1963. White Sox again, 1964, 1976!, 1980! Played at age 50 in 1976, going 1 for 8, and got in two games at age 54 in 1980. 9x All Star. Also Negro Leagues star 1946-1948. 2nd in ROY to Gil McDougald in 1951, when he was 4th in MVP voting. Led Majors in triples and AL in SB that year. Twice more led AL in triples, twice more in SB. 5x top 10 in MVP voting. 8x MVP consideration. 3x Gold Glove. 162 game average .291-16-91 with 18 SB, OPS+130. #9 retired by White Sox.

Tony Oliva. Twins 1962-1976. #6 retired by Twins. 3x Batting Champ. ROY 1964 and 4th in MVP voting. 2nd in MVP voting 1965, 1970. 5x top 10 mvp voting. MVP consideration 8x. Serious knee injury cost him most of 1972 season. Wasn’t the same after 1971. From 1964-1971 averaged .313-24-99 for 162 games, OPS+ 140. Led league in hits 5x, doubles 4x. Hit .314 in 13 postseason games with 3 HR, 5 RBI. 1965 AL Pennant, 1969 and 1970 division champs.

Buck O’Neil. 1st black coach in MLB history. Featured prominently in Ken Burns’ documentary on baseball giving his first hand account of life in the Negro Leagues. 1B in the Negro Leagues 1937-1943, 1946-1948. Career interrupted by WWII. 337 Negro League games, hit .258-9-175. OPS+ 97. In as Pioneer/Executive. Helped create the Negro Leagues Hall of Fame. Led Negro Leagues in doubles and RBI in 1940. 3x Negro Leagues All-Star. Won 1942 Negro Leagues WS. Managed 1948 Negro Leagues KC Monarchs, went 62-32. 1st place, lost that Negro Leagues WS in 7 games.

Bud Fowler. P, 3B, 2B. Black player in 1878, 1884-1890, and 1895. Often teams wouldn’t play if he played, because of his skin color, and that included his teammates. As a result, he played for many teams. Because of the time frame (he lived 1858-1913), records on him are sketchy.


Yankees news; Former CYA Hoyt dies.

All quiet in Yankeeland but some ex-Yankees found new homes.

Darren O’Day==Braves
Clint Frazier—Cubs
Rougned Odor—Orioles
Phil Nevin—now 3B coach for Angels.

Chris Gittens was released and is going to Japan.

With the catching market thin, the Yankees did tender Gary Sanchez a contract. A couple of potential catching targets dried up. Florida traded Jorge Alfaro to San Diego, and Yan Gomes signed a 2 yr, $13MM deal with the Cubs.

Former CYA winner LaMarr Hoyt died at the age of 66. Hoyt won the 1983 CYA with the White Sox, going 24-10, 3.66 ERA+ 115 in leading them to the AL West crown. He also finished 13th in MVP voting that year. He led the majors in wins.

From Wikipedia: He pitched a complete game victory over the Baltimore Orioles in the first game of the 1983 American League Championship Series, giving up only one run on five hits with no walks.

Hoyt had led the league in wins with 19 in 1982 (19-15), but led the majors in losses in 1984, going 13-18. After spending 1979-1984 with the White Sox, Hoyt went to San Diego, where he was 16-8 in 1985, and the All-Star game MVP, but (from Wikipedia, below) Hoyt frittered away his career.

Following the 1985 season, he was arrested twice within a month (between January and February 1986) on drug-possession charges, checking into a rehabilitation program nine days after the second arrest.
This prevented him from playing most of spring training. He pitched through an injury to his rotator cuff rather than risk a surgery that could end his career, and he logged an 8–11 won-loss record with a 5.15 ERA.

(This was his last year as a MLB player).

Barely a month after the season ended, Hoyt was arrested again for drug possession when he tried to bring 500 pills through the San Ysidro Port of Entry on the U.S.–Mexico border.[3][10] He was sentenced to 45 days in jail on December 16, 1986, and suspended by then-Commissioner Peter Ueberroth on February 25, 1987. An arbitrator reduced his suspension to sixty days in mid-June and ordered the Padres to reinstate him. Though the Padres still owed Hoyt $3 million under the terms of his contract, the team gave him his unconditional release the following day.[3]

Later career
The White Sox gave him a second chance, signing him after his San Diego release and giving him time to get back into shape. A fourth arrest on drug charges in December 1987 ended his return.[11] He was sentenced to one year in federal prison in January 1988.[12] He began to serve his sentence at Federal Correctional Complex, Allenwood,[13] and was transferred to a halfway house in Columbia in July.

Just 31, and just 3 years after his CYA winning season, Hoyt was done. Drugs ruined him.

Hoyt was originally drafted by the Yankees in 1973, and was traded to the White Sox in 1977 with Bob Polinsky, Oscar Gamble and $200,000 for Bucky Dent.

Hoyt was 98-68, 3.99 in his career, ERA+ 99. His 162 g. average was 16-11, 3.99.

Judge, Cole make all-MLB team, Odor released.

As with Clint Frazier, mentioned in another blog post, Rougned Odor was released by the Yankees yesterday, several days after being dfa’d.

The All-MLB team was released yesterday, and Aaron Judge and Gerrit Cole were each named to the first team.