Category Archives: Ex-Players

ex Catcher Mike Ryan dies at age 78.

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Mike Ryan, a catcher from 1964-1974 in the majors, passed away at the age of 78.

Ryan played for the Red Sox (1964-1967), Phillies (1968-1973) and Pirates (1974). He was a backup C on the 1967 Red Sox AL Champs, hitting .199-2-27 that season, OPS+ 56. He went 0 for 2 in the World Series that year.

In 636 MLB games, his 162 g. average was .193-7-41, OPS+ 51. He was primarily a backup.

After his playing career ended, Ryan was a long-time Phillies coach from 1980-1995.

 

Ex INF, MGR Kasko dies at 88.

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Eddie Kasko, a former All-Star infielder and later a manager, died at the age of 88, days ahead of his 89th birthday.

Kasko, who mostly played SS and 3B, played for the Cardinals (1957-1958), Reds (1959-1963), Colt .45s/Astros (1964-1965) and Red Sox (1966).

He was the SS on the 1961 Reds team that won the pennant. He was on both (they played two that year) All-Star teams that year, when he hit .271-2-27, OPS+ 74.

He finished 29th in MVP voting in 1962, when he hit .278-4-41, OPS+ 81.

He went 7 for 22, all singles, one RBI in the 1961 World Series against the Yankees.

His 162 game average was .264-3-39, OPS+ 76.

He managed the Red Sox from 1970-1973, posting a winning percentage of .539, which averages out to an 87=75 season. Two 3rd place finishes, and two 2nd place finishes.

In 1972, his Red Sox finished second, just 1/2 a game behind Detroit. There was a strike at the beginning of the season, and the games weren’t made up. As a result, the Tigers were 86-70, and the Red Sox 85-70. There was no wild card back then, and the Tigers went into the ALCS, losing to the A’s. The Red Sox went home.

 

1967 SF CYA McCormick, a one-time Yankee, dies at 81.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Mike McCormick, a lefty who won the NL CYA in 1967, died at the age of 81 from Parkinson’s Disease.

McCormick pitched for the NY and SF Giants (1956-1962), Baltimore Orioles (1963-1964) Washington Senators (1965-1966), back with the Giants (1967-1970), Yankees (1970), and Kansas City Royals (1971).

He led the NL in ERA in 1960 with a 2.70 ERA. In 1962, he was 5-5, 5.38 in 28 games (15 starts) for the NL Champion Giants but did not pitch in the WS against the Yankees.

In the days where there were two All-Star Games a year, McCormick was named to both All-Star Games in 1960 and 1961.

Ironically, he was NOT an All-Star in 1967, but won the CYA that year and also finished 6th in MVP voting. He led the majors with 22 wins in going 22-10, 2.85, ERA+ 118 in 40 games, 35 starts. Also, he, not teammates Juan Marichal or Gaylord Perry, was the first Giant to win the Cy Young Award. (Marichal never won it, and Perry’s two came with the Indians and Padres).

He was briefly a Yankee, finishing the 1970 season as a Yankee after a midseason trade with SF. As a Yankee he went 2-0, 6.10 in 9 games, 4 starts. ERA+ 59. He was released by the Yankees the following spring.

For his career, he was 134-128, ERA 3.73, ERA+ 96 (100 is average). His 162 g. average is 40 games, 28 starts, 11-11, 3.73.

When he made his MLB debut, he was still 26 days away from turning 18.

As a hitter he hit .156 with 7 HR and 39 RBI.

 

 

 

Ex-Yank Claudell Washington dies at 65.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Claudell Washington, a 2x All-Star outfielder who played with the Yankees in the late 1980s, has passed away at the age of 65.

Washington played with the A’s (1974-1976), Texas (1977-1978), Chicago White Sox (1978-1980), New York Mets (1980), Atlanta Braves (1981-1986), New York Yankees (1986-1988), California Angels (1989-1990) and he ended his career back with the Yankees in 1990.

He was on the 1974 A’s WS Champs and also played in the postseason for the A’s in 1975 and with the Braves in 1982.

He finished 14th in MVP voting in 1975 when in his first full season in the majors, he hit .308 and stole 40 bases at the age of 20.

He hit the 10,000th HR in Yankees history. His best season with the Yanks was 1988 when he hit .308-11-64 with 15 SB, OPS+ 120.

His 162 game average was .278-14-70 with 26 SB, OPS+ 106.

In 15 postseason games, he hit .333 with 1 RB1..

 

 

Briefly a Yankee, P Gowell passes at 72. Last AL pitcher to get a hit before the DH.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Larry Gowell, who only appeared in two MLB games, but is the answer to a trivia question, died last Monday, May 11 at the age of 72.

Gowell got into two games at the end of the 1972 season for the Yankees. He relieved in one, and started the other. In 7 MLB innings, he gave up just one run, 3 hits, 2 walks and struck out seven. Nice job, but his only decision was a loss in that start, 1-0 in the last game of that 1972 season.

In that game, Gowell doubled for one of only three Yankees hits. His double was the last hit by an AL pitcher before the birth of the DH the following year.

Ex-Yankees 1B, GM Bob Watson passes away at the age of 74.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Bob Watson had fought kidney disease for years, and has succumbed to it at the age of 74.

The two-time All-Star played for the Houston Astros (1966-1979), Boston Red Sox (1979), New York Yankees (1980-1982) and Atlanta Braves (1982-1984).

He was the General Manager of the Yankees when they won the WS in 1996 and was instrumental in bringing Joe Torre to the Yankees to manage.

Watson got MVP consideration three times, and twice drove in over 100 runs in a season.

Mostly a 1B/LF, he hit .300 or better several times. In 1980, he hit .307 as the Yanks won the AL East.

He scored the one-millionth run in MLB history.

His 162 game average was .295-16-87 with an excellent OPS+ of 129.

In 17 postseason games, all with the Yankees in 1980 and 1981, he hit .371 with 2 HR and 9 RBI.

 

One-Time Yankee Matt Keough passes away at age 64.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Matt Keough, mostly with Oakland but a Yankee in 1983, and later a special assistant with Oakland, has passed away at the age of 64.

Keough pitched for Oakland (1977-1983), the Yankees (1983), St. Louis (1985), the Cubs (1986) and Houston (1986).

He was an All-Star in 1978.

His best season was 1980, when Billy Ball came to Oakland. Keough went 16-13 that season after having gone 10-32 combined the previous two years.

He was 3-4, 5.17 for the Yankees in 12 starts in 1983 (when Billy was back in NY for Billy III). For that season, he was 5-7, 5.33 between the A’s and Yankees.

He was 58-84 in his MLB career, ERA 4.17, ERA+ 91.

He started Game 3 of the 1981 ALCS against the Yankees, giving up two runs, one earned, in 8 1/3 innings, and taking the loss.

As a hitter, he was 6 for 18 (.333).

HOF Induction set back a year.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Derek Jeter’s HOF induction ceremony (along with Ted Simmons, Larry Walker and Marvin Miller) will have to wait until 2021, when they could be joined by Curt Schilling, as well as others like Gil Hodges.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the ceremony has been postponed. A crowd of 70,000 or so is not exactly social distancing, and the elderly are more susceptible to the virus.

A lot of Hall of Famers come back for the ceremony, and many are over the age of 70 and some are over 80. For example, I was at the ceremony last year for Mariano Rivera. Hank Aaron (now 86) and Sandy Koufax (now 84) were there.

 

Briefly a Yankee, Bob Oliver passes away at age 77.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Bob Oliver, who ended his career with a brief stint with the Yankees in 1975, passed away April 19 at the age of 77.

Oliver played for the Pirates (1965), Royals (1969-1972), Angels (1972-1974), Orioles (1974) and Yankees (1975).

He finished 27th in MVP voting in 1970 when he had 27 HR and 99 RBI.

He had 20 HR in 1972 and had 18 HR and 89 RBI in 1973.

He mostly played 1B, 3B and RF. As a Yankee he was 5 for 38 in 18 games.

He hit .256 with 94 career HR. His 162 game average was .256-18-80, OPS+ 100.

One-time Yankee Damaso Garcia passes away at age 63.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Damaso Garcia, who began his career as a Yankee before becoming a 2x All-Star 2B for Toronto, has passed away at the age of 63.

Garcia played in 18 games with the 1978 WS Champion Yankees, and in 11 more games for the Yankees in 1979. With Willie Randolph ensconced at 2B for the Yankees, there wasn’t any room for Garcia.

Garcia was traded to the Blue Jays after the 1979 season in a multi-player trade in which Chris Chambliss was also traded to Toronto. In return, the Yanks got back Rick Cerone and Tommy Underwood. Cerone was the key as far as the Yankees were concerned, since they needed a catcher, what with the death of Thurman Munson in that August 2, 1979 plane crash.

Garcia got the opportunity he was looking for with Toronto. He finished 4th in ROY voting in 1980, won a Silver Slugger in 1982, was an All-Star in 1984 and 1985, and got MVP consideration in 1982 and 1985. In 1985 he helped Toronto to the AL East title.

He hit .300 or better in 1982 and 1983.

He played for the Yankees (1978-1979), Blue Jays (1980-1986), Atlanta (1988) and Montreal (1989). His 162 g. average was .283-6-51, with 32 SB and an OPS+ of 84. He stole 54 bases in 1982 and 46 in 1984.

He was 7 for 30 with 4 doubles and an RBI in the 1985 ALCS.