Category Archives: Ex-Players

Jimmy Wynn, the “Toy Cannon”, dies at 78. Long Time Astro was briefly a Yankee in 1977.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Jimmy Wynn, one of the Houston Astros’ (1963-1973) first stars (and they were called the Colt .45s in 1963-1964), and who later played for Los Angeles Dodgers (1974-1975), Atlanta Braves (1976), New York Yankees (1977) and Milwaukee Brewers (1977), has died at the age of 78.

Wynn was a 3x All-Star who got MVP consideration 3x, finishing 5th in the voting in 1974, when the Dodgers won the pennant (teammate Steve Garvey was the MVP).

Small but powerful, he led the majors in walks twice.

He hit 30 or more HR in a season 3x, twice with the Astros, despite playing in the Astrodome—a pitcher’s ballpark. He drove in 100 or more runs twice.

Besides power, Wynn also had speed, stealing 43 bases in 1965.

Wynn was mostly a CF, and on baseball-reference.com, JAWS has him ranked as the 17th best CF of all-time.

He hit .250 hit 291 HR and 225 SB. His 162 g. average was .250-25-81 with 19 SB.
OPS+ 129.

He only played in 30 games for the Yankees in 1977. Despite a HR on Opening Day, he went just 11 for 77 (.143) and was released in July so he had no big part in the Yanks’ WS title that year.

In his only postseason with the 1974 Dodgers, he was 2 for 10 (both doubles) and had 2 RBI in the NLCS vs. the Pirates, and was 3 for 16 with a double, a HR and 2 RBI in the WS against the A’s.

 

 

 

 

Ex-Giants ace Antonelli dies at 89.

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A recent notable passing: Johnny Antonelli, LHP, on Feb. 28, age 89.

Antonelli pitched for the Boston Braves (1948-1950). He only got into four games, all in relief, for the 1948 pennant winning Braves and didn’t appear in the WS.

He then spent two full years (1951 and 1952) in the service during the Korean War.

He then came back to the Braves, now in Milwaukee, for 1953. From 1954-1960 he was with the NY, then SF Giants. He ended his career in 1961 pitching for the Cleveland Indians and finished his career back with the Braves.

He is most notable for being the ace of the 1954 WS Champion NY Giants, for whom he went 21-7 with a major league leading 2.30 ERA. He led the NL in winning percentage that year. He also led the majors with six shutouts and an ERA+ of 178. He was an All-Star that year and finished 3rd in MVP voting (won by his teammate, Willie Mays).

He pitched in two WS games that year, starting one, and was 1-0 with an ERA of 0.84. He gave up 1 run in 10 2/3 IP, striking out 12.

He was an All-Star in five different seasons, and besides his 21 win season in 1954, he won 20 in 1956 and 19 in 1959. He finished 14th in MVP voting in 1956. He led the league in shutouts (4) in 1959.

He was 126-110 in his MLB career, ERA 3.34, ERA+ 116. His 162 game average was 13-12, 3.34.

As a hitter, maybe helped by the short dimensions down the lines at the old Polo Grounds, he wasn’t bad, hitting .178 with 15 career HR.

He was only 18 when he made his MLB debut and only 31 when he pitched in the majors for the final time.

Cole’s first S.T. game to be Monday.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Gerrit Cole’s first spring training game is set to be Monday, as the Yanks’ line up their new ace to open the season in Baltimore on March 26.

The spring training game—-the second at home for the Yanks at their S.T. home in Tampa—will be against the team Cole broke into the majors with, the Pittsburgh Pirates.

As for Saturday and the Yanks’ S.T. opener at home vs. Toronto, the starter will be J.A. Happ.

As for Aaron Judge’s sore shoulder, if it were the regular season, he’d be playing, but there is no use in taking unnecessary risks in spring training.

With Andy Pettitte in camp as an adviser, and currently working with Masahiro Tanaka on a cutter, you have to wonder if pitching coach could be in Andy’s future?

Ex-Yankee SS Fernandez dies at age 57.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

On February 3, I wrote that one-time Yankees’ SS Tony Fernandez was in critical condition.

You can go here

https://sommerfrieze.wordpress.com/2020/02/03/one-time-yankees-ss-tony-fernandez-in-critical-condition/

to read about Fernandez’ career, I won’t repeat it here.

Fernandez died yesterday at the age of 57.

 

Baker managing ASG? And a passing.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

In an article on MLB.com, Will Leitch mentions about Dusty Baker being the Manager of the Astros this year, and in that article, has a sentence about Baker managing the next All-Star Game.

No offense to Dusty, but I don’t think he should manage by “default.” Since Hinch was suspended because of the Astros’ scandal, and fired because of it,  I feel the honor should then go to Aaron Boone, whose team lost last year’s ALCS.


Gil Coan, OF for the Washington Senators, 1946-1953, Baltimore Orioles (1955-1956), Chicago White Sox (1955), N.Y. Giants (1955-1956) passed away at the age of 97. Coan finished 23rd in MVP voting in 1951, when he hit .303-9-62.

His 162 g. average was .254-7-49 with 15 SB. OPS+ 84. 1950 and 1951 were his best years–by far—of his MLB career.

When I was a kid, I had a lot of baseball cards. Kept them in an old cedar-chest. I had some old Gil Coan card from the 1950s, probably got it from my dad.

Until the cat we had at that time mistook the chest and the cards for a litter box. Yuk.

I wonder about the value of some of the cards that had to get tossed out.

Not Coan’s, but say a Nolan Ryan rookie card? Dang that cat.

Jeter dissenter remains anonymous.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Today was the day that the public ballots for the Hall of Fame vote became public.

315 of the 397 votes cast were public. The other 82 were private.

To no surprise, all of the 315 public votes had Derek Jeter’s name checked off.

So the one voter who didn’t vote for Jeter decided to remain anonymous.

Now that voter may or may not have had a good reason.

Someone may (and they have) been mad that I called that voter a coward.

But hey, when you decide something take a stand, but then hide behind the cloak of anonymity, what else do you call it but cowardice?

You believe in something, stand up for yourself and your beliefs. This person had to know that they may be the only dissenter.

They had to know that people would want to know why that person was the only one of 397 who didn’t vote Jeter for the Hall of Fame.

Maybe that person had a good reason. Fine. Maybe not. Maybe that person is just moronic.

By not standing up for themselves and by hiding behind the cloak of anonymity, we do know what that person is.

A coward.

There. I said it. And I am not taking it back.

And the same goes for the three who remain anonymous who didn’t vote for Ken Griffey, Jr. a few years back.


Greg Bird finally found a home (or is it nest?) He signed a minor league deal with Texas.

One-time Yankees’ SS Tony Fernandez in critical condition.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Derek Jeter won the ROY Award in 1996, after a 15 game cameo in 1995.

Do you remember who was the Yankees’ starting SS before Jeter?

It was Tony Fernandez, best known for his years in Toronto.

According to the NY Post,

the 57-year-old former shortstop was in critical condition after suffering complications from polycystic kidney disease, which Fernandez revealed he had in 2017.

Fernandez played with Toronto I (1983-1990), San Diego (1991-1992), The NY Mets (1992-1993), Toronto II (1993), Cincinnati (1994), the Yankees (1995), Cleveland (1997), Toronto III (1998-1999), Milwaukee (2001) and finished his career with his FOURTH (Toronto IV) separate stint with Toronto in 2001.

In 1995 for the Yankees, Fernandez played in 108 games, basically missing six weeks, and hit .245-5-45, OPS+ just 75. Not a good year. He did hit for the cycle in one game that season, and I was at that game. He was the Yankees SS in the 1995 ALDS vs. Seattle, hitting 5 for 21.

In 1996, he broke his right (throwing) elbow in a spring training game, and missed the whole season. He was basically “Wally Pipp’d” by Jeter, who took over at SS, won the ROY and was on his way to the HOF.

A switch-hitter, Fernandez was on the 1993 WS Champion Toronto team, was a 5x All-Star and 4x Gold Glove winner. He also played for the Indians in the 1997 WS.

He got MVP consideration 4x, and finished 8th in the 1987 voting.

He hit .288 in his MLB career, with 2276 hits. His 162 game average was .288-7-63 with 18 SB and an OPS+ of 101.

In postseason play, he hit .327-1-23 in 43 games.

Primarily a SS, he did play a little 3B and 2B also.

The JAWS system on baseball-reference.com lists Fernandez #34 as far as all-time greatest SS.

One thing though…. it does seem like he always did better on astroturf (Toronto) than on grass (both NY teams, for example).

Hopefully he pulls through.


About a half hour before the start of the Super Bowl, Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone tweeted out his prediction for the final score, and he nailed it dead on.

Any prediction for the Yankees this year, Skip?