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Category Archives: Ex-Players
Art Ditmar, an ex-Yankees’ pitcher who was involved in a controversy regarding the 1960 World Series, passed away last week at the age of 92.
Ditmar pitched for the Philadelphia A’s (1954), Kansas City A’s (1955-1956), Yankees (1957-1961), and back with the Kansas City A’s (1961-1962).
He beat the Yankees for his first MLB victory in the last game the A’s played at old Shibe Park (at that time renamed Connie Mack Stadium) before the A’s moved to KC in 1955. In this game, Yogi Berra played 3B and Mickey Mantle played SS.
Ditmar led the league in losses in 1956, going 12-22.
He pitched well for the Yankees in the 1957 and 1958 World Series, getting a ring for the 1958 World Champs.
He went 13-9, 2.90 in 1959 (ERA+ 126) and 15-9, 3.06 (ERA+ 118) in 1960, his two best years in the majors.
He then started game 1 of the 1960 WS. This prevented Whitey Ford from pitching in Games 1, 4 and 7 and may have cost the Yankees the WS. Ditmar lost both games he started, getting knocked out of Game 1 in the very first inning, getting just one out, and getting knocked out in the second inning of Game 5.
The decision to start Ditmar, and not go with Ford (who threw complete game shutouts in Games 3 and 6) contributed to the Yankees losing the WS and in letting manager Casey Stengel go after that 1960 World Series.
Many years later, a TV commercial insinuated incorrectly that Ditmar was the one who gave up the WS winning HR to Bill Mazeroski (it was Ralph Terry) in that WS. Ditmar sued but the case was dismissed.
Ditmar was 72-77, 3.98 in his MLB career (ERA+ 97; 100 is average). His 162 game average was 11-12, 3.98. That average would be about 24 starts, 20 relief appearances over 162 games.
He pitched six scoreless innings, across two games, against the Braves in the 1957 WS, and 3 2/3 scoreless innings in one game of the 1958 WS against the Braves. But in that 1960 WS against the Pirates he was 0-2, 21.60.
In five WS games, two starts, he was 0-2, 3.18.
As a hitter, he hit .178 with 2 HR.
Jim “Mudcat” Grant, who in 1965 became the first black AL pitcher to win 20 games, has passed away at the age of 85.
Grant went 21-7, 3.30, ERA+ 108 for the Twins that year in leading them to the AL Pennant. He led the league in wins, winning pct., shutouts (6), was an All-Star (he also was one in 1963), and finished 6th in MVP voting that year.
He started 3 games in the WS that year. He won 2 games, both by complete games, and lost one. He won Game 1, lost Game 4, and won Game 6 on just two day’s rest. Not only did he pitch a complete game victory on two day’s rest, but Grant also hit a 3-run HR in that Game 6.
Grant pitched for the Indians (1958-1964), Twins (1964-1967), Dodgers (1968), Expos (1969), Cardinals (1969), A’s (1970), Pirates (1970-1971) and finished up back with the A’s in 1971. His last MLB appearance came in relief for the A’s in the 1971 ALCS.
He was 145-119 in his career with an ERA of 3.63, ERA+ right on the league average of 100. He had 54 saves, 24 in 1970.
His 162 game average was 11-9, 3.63, 4 saves (23 starts, 22 relief).
As a hitter, Grant hit .178 with six HR. OPS+27.
Mike Marshall, who in 1974 became the first relief pitcher to win the Cy Young Award, passed away on Memorial Day at the age of 78.
Marshall pitched for the Tigers (1967), Pilots (1969, and Jim Bouton wrote about him in Bouton’s book Ball Four), Astros (1970), Expos (1970-1973), Dodgers (1974-1976), Braves (1976-1977), Rangers (1977), Twins (1978-1980) and Mets (1981).
A workhorse, Marshall led the league in games pitched four times, games finished five times, and saves three times.
He was a two-time All-Star who from 1972-1974 finished 4th, 2nd and 1st in CYA voting. He also finished 7th in 1978 and 5th in 1979 for the award.
He also finished 10th, 5th and 3rd from 1972-1974 in voting for the MVP, which for a reliever, was remarkable. He also finished 11th in 1979.
In a few of those years, the innings he worked as a reliever rivaled that of many starters.
His 1974 season was amazing. He relieved in 106 of the Dodgers’ 162 games, finishing 83 of them. He pitched over 208 innings, all in relief, going 15-12 with a 2.42 ERA, ERA+ 141. He also led the league with 21 saves.
The Dodgers won the pennant that year, and in his only postseason, Marshall pitched in two NLDS games against the Pirates, pitching three scoreless innings. In the WS that the Dodgers lost to the A’s, Marshall pitched in all five games, going 0-1 with an ERA of 1.00.
His MLB record was 97-112, ERA 3.14, ERA+ 114 with 188 saves. His 162 g. average was 9-10, 3.14, 17 saves.
Out of his 724 games pitched, 24 were starts, 14 of which were in 1969 for the Pilots.
He hit .196 with 1 MLB HR.
Sorry I have been away for a while. This will be a VERY BRIEF catchup of the Yankees’ last five games.
Ok, first things first. Why no recent reports, and why this will be brief.
I had surgery Monday to remove part of my right kidney after a tumor was found on it. Recovery time will be a while, so a BRIEF report on the Yankees, and NO minor league reports. It’ll be this way for a while. Bear with me while I recover.
So while I was away:
Game 40: Yankees get 4 in top of first but Jordan Montgomery (5 R, 3 IP) has nothing and Yankees lose to Baltimore 10-6, Michael King (0-1) taking the loss in relief. HRs Sanchez (5), Frazier (4) and Judge (12)
Game 41. No one is perfect, not even Gerrit Cole. He loses 5-2 to Texas to drop to 5-2, 2.03. HR: Voit (1)
Game 42. Yanks get 4 2/3 innings of scoreless relief and beat Texas, 7-4. Taillon disappointing again. Peralta the win. 3 RBI for LeMahieu, 2 for Urshela.
Game 43. Yanks win 2-0 as Corey Kluber (4-2, 2.86) tosses a no-hitter. Only one walk kept it from being a perfect game. It is the first no-hitter for a Yankees’ pitcher since David Cone’s perfect game in 1999. OF Ryan LaMarre got hurt in this game (hamstring) and his replacement, Tyler Wade, tripled in the first Yankees’ run and scored the second on a SF.
Game 44. Another 2-0 win as Domingo German (4-2, 3.05) pitches seven innings, and both runs score on pinch-hit singles, one by Gio Urshela, and another by Aaron Judge. Yanks 25-19, 3rd place, 1 1/2 out as top four teams in AL East very close.
Other baseball news; Ex-players Rennie Stennett (Pirates) and Richie Scheinblum (several teams) have passed away. Stennett was on the 1971 and 1979 Pirates WS teams and once went 7 for 7 in a 9-inning game.
Del Crandall, an 11x All-Star catcher who won 4 Gold Glove awards, and who was the starting catcher for the 1957 WS Champion Milwaukee Braves, passed away two days ago at the age of 91.
Crandall caught for the Boston Braves in 1949 and 1950, then lost two seasons due to military service. He came back to the Braves, now in Milwaukee, and was with them from 1953 to 1963. He played for the Giants in 1964, Pirates in 1965 and ended his career with the Indians in 1966.
He was runner-up for the Rookie of the Year Award in 1949.
He got MVP consideration 7x, including a 10th place finish in 1958, when the Braves won the NL pennant. He hit .272-18-63 that year. OPS+ 119.
In the WS Title year of 1957, he hit .253-15-46, OPS+ 97.
He hit 20 or more HR 3x.
In 13 WS games, Crandall hit .227 with 2 HR, 4 RBI.
He is ranked the 40th best C of all-time on the baseball-reference site.
His 162 game average was .254-18-68, but of course catchers don’t catch all 162. OPS+ 96. A catcher with some pop.
From 1953-1960 he averaged 130 games a year, .259-19-60, OPS+ 105.
He managed the Milwaukee Brewers from 1972 to 1975, and when he was fired, one of his players was his long-time ex-teammate, Henry Aaron.
He also managed Seattle in 1983 and 1984.
His managerial record was 364-469, winning percentage .437, which equates to a 162 game season of 71-91.
Gerrit Cole left after 7 innings with a 3-2 lead, but the Yanks’ (16-15) bullpen, a strength so far this season, faltered in a 7-4 loss to Houston Thursday afternoon.
The Yanks struck first when the red-hot Giancarlo Stanton hit a solo HR (9). He has a 12 game hitting streak.
Cole gave up a HR in the top of the fourth to Yordan Alvarez, who would torment the Yanks all game.
A 2-run HR (3) by Clint Frazier in the bottom of the fourth put the Yanks’ up 3-1.
Cole gave up another HR to Alvarez in the seventh. 3-2.
In the top of the eighth, the wheels fell off. Chad Green gave up a 3-run HR to Jose Altuve and Houston went up 5-3.
On a strange play in the bottom of the eighth, Gleyber Torres scored all the way from first on an infield single by Aaron HIcks to cut Houston’s lead to 5-4.
But Justin Wilson gave up a 2-run HR in the top of the ninth, final Houston 7-4. The Yanks’ bullpen disappointed today.
Gio Urshela had to leave the game. MRI today.
Can’t wait to get Luke Voit back. Jay Bruce retired after hitting just .118. Mike Ford is 3 for 31 (.091).
Stanton solo HR (9)
Urshela 2 hits.
Hicks 3 for 3, walk, RBI.
Frazier 2 run HR (3)
Cole 7 IP, 2 R, 5 H, 0 W, 4 K. 1.61 Gave up 2 HR.
Green (L, 0-3; BS, 1) 1/3 IP, 3 R, 2 H, 1 W, 1 K. 2.50 Gave up HR.
Luetge 2/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 0 K. 3.63
Wilson 1 IP, 2 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K. 7.04 Gave up 1 HR.
Missing Zack Britton too. Wilson hasn’t filled his shoes.
Two sidenotes about three of the greatest players in MLB history.
One, Happy 90th birthday to Willie Mays.
Two. Albert Pujols released by Angels. 3253 hits, 667 HR.
Three. Miguel Cabrera last I saw hitting about .105. Needs something like 128 hits for 3000, 11 HR for 500, but ugh. Something like 6 for 57 so far.
Minor league report tomorrow morning.
Baltimore got a run in the first inning off of Yankees starter Jordan Montgomery, but the Yanks went ahead 2-1 with a couple of runs in the top of the fifth inning.
The Yanks loaded the bases with no one out when Brett Gardner singled, D.J. LeMahieu walked, and Giancarlo Stanton singled. After two non-productive outs, Rougned Odor singled in two runs.
Montgomery gave up a game-tying HR in the bottom of the sixth, and the O’s went ahead 3-2 in the bottom of the eighth by getting a run off of Darren O’Day.
In the top of the ninth, Mike Ford walked, and after an out, LeMahieu also walked. Then came another out. Down to their last out, Gleyber Torres tied the game with a ground-rule double.
In the top of the tenth, the Yanks started the inning with Gio Urshela at second (I hate this extra inning rule). Tyler Wade couldn’t get down a bunt, and struck out. The Yanks failed to score when Aaron Hicks tapped back to the pitcher and after an intentional walk to Gary Sanchez, Ford struck out.
In the bottom of the tenth, the O’s started the inning with their man on second (once again, I hate that rule). Their guy DID get the bunt down to move the runner to third, then a sac fly brought home the winning run. Exactly what the Yanks needed to do.
One reason I hate that rule. The pitcher does his job, getting two outs, and it wasn’t his fault a man was on second. But he takes the loss. In this case, Loaisiga does nothing wrong. It’s just that MLB forces him to need a strikeout. They are forcing him to get an out a certain way.
Stanton 3 hits
Odor 2 RBI
Montgomery 5+ IP, 2 R, 6 H, 1 W, 1 K. 4.39 Gave up 1 HR.
Green 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 4 K. 0.59
O’Day 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 W, 0 K. 3.00
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K. 0.00
Loaisiga (L, 2-1) 2/3 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 1.17
Before the game Mike King went down, Wandy Peralta (just acquired) up. Wade replaced Tauchman (traded for Peralta) on the roster.
Since I was only six at the time, I don’t remember too much of the 1968 Yankees, other than honoring my dad’s request to call him if he was out of the room every time #7 (Mickey Mantle) came up to bat. It was Mickey’s last season and my dad didn’t want to miss Mickey’s at bats.
Mickey only hit .237 that season, but it still was one of the better averages on a team that only hit .214 (no DH). HIs 18 HR led the team (thanks to a gift from Denny McLain, he beat out Roy White by one HR).
But that team is noted for its offensive deficiencies in the year of the pitcher.
It’s early, but this 2021 Yankees team so far resembles that 1968 team offensively.
There is a lot of time to turn things around, but we the fan base are getting impatient. Especially after the Yanks (6-11) were futile offensively again in losing to Atlanta, 4-1, on Wednesday night.
Corey Kluber started and wasn’t bad until running out of gas in the fifth, when the Braves scored twice. The Braves got another run in the seventh, They got a solo HR in the ninth.
The Yanks’ only run was actually a gift. They should have been shut out. In the bottom of the ninth, Aaron Hicks walked with one out. After another out, Hicks moved up to second on defensive indifference. Clint Frazier blooped a single to drive in HIcks. It was Frazier’s first RBI of the year. It’s hard to believe that after 17 games, both Frazier and Gleyber Torres each have just one RBI.
The Yanks only got give hits in the game, and the team batting average dropped to .205. No need to highlight individual failings, there are so many.
The Yanks express confidence in the team, manager Aaron Boone, and also the coaching staff, but I am pretty sure the hitting coaches (Marcus Thames and P.J. Pilittere) are feeling the heat.
We the fans, are sure impatient. This team has to start hitting soon, but when?
The Yanks are actually second in the league in ERA (3.41) but in 17 games, have given up 11 unearned runs. The defense has to tighten up, too.
Kluber (L, 0-2) 4 2/3 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 4 H, 2 W. 5.40
Nelson 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 3 K. 8.53
Cessa 2 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K. 0.93
Kriske 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 2 W, 1 K. 9.00 Gave up HR.
Kriske was brought up when King went back to the alternate site a few days ago. He was sent back down after the game so that the Yanks could recall Thursday’s starter, Domingo German.