Tag Archives: Pepitone

Pepitone, Yankees star from 1960s, passes away, age 82.

Joe Pepitone was the first player to bring a hair dryer into the Yankees clubhouse. It’s kind of appropriate Pepi was known for his hairdo (and toupees) since he was born October 9, 1940, the same day another person known for his hairstyle, former Beatle John Lennon, was born.

Pepitone died today at the age of 82. He played for the Yankees (1962-1969), Astros (1970), Cubs (1970-1973) and Braves (1973). He was a 3x All-Star and 3x Gold Glove winner who was there at the end of the Yankees dynasty of 1921-1964 and at the beginning of the dark ages of the mid to late 1960s.

Pepitone was a backup in 1962, earning a WS championship ring but not getting into that WS. In one game that season, he hit two homers in the same inning. He then took over the 1B position in 1963 after the Yankees traded Moose Skowron to the Dodgers. Pepi was the regular 1B on the Yankees’ AL pennant winners of 1963 and 1964. He was an All-Star 1963-1965. He finished 17th in MVP voting in 1963 and 27th in 1966.

In 1963, his first full season in the bigs, he hit .271-27-89, OPS+ 109 to help the Yanks win the pennant. The Yanks this year won the pennant despite Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris both missing considerable time. But Pepi made a costly error that cost the Yanks in the fourth and final game of that 1963 WS. Pepitone hit .251-28-100 in 1964 as the Yanks won another pennant. In the two WS Pepitone played in, in 11 games, he hit .154 with 1 HR and 5 RBI. He hit a grand slam in Game 6 of the 1964 World Series.

The Yanks collapsed in 1965. They finished last in 1966 despite Pepitone’s 31 HR. In 1967, Pepitone moved to CF for two years in order for Mickey Mantle to move to 1B because of his bad knees. Pepitone returned to 1B in 1969. He won Gold Gloves at 1B in 1965, 1966 and 1969.

A .258 career hitter, the flamboyant and controversial Pepitone hit 219 HR in his career. His 162-game average was .258-25-84. OPS+ 105. Good, but his was a career where you wondered what more he could have done if he put more of his heart into it. Even Pepitone’s autobiography was “Joe, you could have made us proud.” It seems like he wasted a lot of his talent with a lackadaisical attitude.

Pepitone had his run-ins away from the field. As a teenager growing up in Brooklyn, he was shot in the stomach by a classmate at the age of 17 and in the same week his father died of a stroke at the age of 39. Some characters he ran around with were shady and got Joe into trouble in the mid 1980s. He had run-ins with the law and spent some time in jail.

After his MLB days ended, he went to Japan in 1973, but only played in 14 games there, hitting .163 with 1 HR and 2 RBI. He skipped games due to claimed injuries but was seen out in Japanese discos. The Japanese, not impressed, put his name into their vernacular, meaning “goof off”. As I mentioned, Pepitone had a problem with how much he devoted himself to his job.

Sometimes, he’d show up so late at Yankee Stadium for the game that manager Ralph Houk had to call the NYPD to put out a APB on Joe’s whereabouts. Fed up with Pepi, the Yanks traded him after the 1969 season, even though he had led the Yanks with 27 HR in 1969. By that time, fans were booing Pepi and getting a bit fed up with him.

Less partying would have done Joe good. He even once posed nude for a magazine.

He was a decent player who could have been even better. One thing is for sure. He was quite a character.

Game 148. Pinstripes Pummel Pirates, 14-2. 5 RBI each for Cabrera, Gleyber.

History was made at Yankee Stadium Wednesday night, but not the history fans came to see.

Aaron Judge didn’t hit HR #61 but did hit two doubles in the game. He still leads the AL in batting average, .3171 to .3166 over Xander Bogaerts as he tries to become only the second Triple Crown winner since 1967.

If Judge is to get HR #61 tonight, it would be against the same team Roger Maris got #61 against—the Red Sox. One thing though—Judge is 0 for 14 against Red Sox starter Michael Wacha.

With the win, 14-2 over Pittsburgh, the 90-58 Yankees’ magic # is 8 to clinch the division, and 1 to ensure a playoff spot. Since the Yankees own the tiebreaker over Baltimore, any Yankees’ win or Orioles loss and the Yankees get at least the #6 seed.

Oswaldo Cabrera and Gleyber Torres each had 5 RBI in the game, and each did it in record-setting fashion.

Luis Severino came off of the IL and was great, giving up just one run in five innings. With Frankie Montas going on the IL and who will probably NOT be ready for the playoffs (and Montas wasn’t pitching well anyway), Severino could be the starter for Game #3 after Cole and Cortes and in front of Taillon.

Miguel Andujar was sent down in order to bring Severino off of the IL.

In the bottom of the first, Cabrera hit a grand slam (3) to put the Yankees up 4-0. From MLB.com, here are a few history-making notes about his grand slam.

It marked the first time in AL/NL history that a team had won a game on a grand slam (Giancarlo Stanton’s ultimate slam on Tuesday night), then scored its first four runs in the next game with another slam.

It was also only the third instance of a team hitting a grand slam in the final inning of one game and then another slam in the first inning of its next contest. The others involved the Red Sox in 1955 and the Dodgers in 2017, according to Stats Perform.

The Yankees — who rode consecutive-inning slams by Judge and Aaron Hicks to a rout of these same Pirates on July 6 — also became the first club in history to hit slams in back-to-back innings twice in one season. The feat is so rare that no other team has hit a pair of consecutive-inning grand slams against the same opponent at any point in its history — not to mention the same season.

Pittsburgh got a run in the fourth off of Severino to cut the Yankees’ lead to 4-1.

The Yanks scored two in the bottom of the fifth. With one out, Judge doubled. If he would have gotten under the ball just a little bit, maybe #61. Instead, the ball went 305 feet down the 318 ft. LF line and one-hopped the fence for a ground-rule double. After another out, Judge moved up on a WP and scored on a single by Torres. Josh Donaldson then doubled in Torres to make it 6-1.

The Pirates got a run in the top of the sixth off Lucas Luetge. 6-2.

Then the Yanks scored 8 in the eighth to blow the game open. Torres led off with a HR (22). Donaldson and Stanton each walked. Cabrera doubled in Donaldson, Stanton to third. Harrison Bader doubled in both runners to make it 10-2. So far in his first two games as a Yankee, Bader has been a sparkplug. 5 RBI for him in the two games. After an out, Jose Trevino doubled in Bader. Judge walked, and after a WP and another out, Torres hit his second HR (23) of the inning to make it 14-2.

Torres became the fifth Yankee to HR twice in the same inning. Judge can’t do everything by himself, so to see Torres get hot is a great sign. Now for Rizzo and Stanton to do the same.

Once again, from MLB.com:

The 25-year-old joined the company of Alex Rodriguez (who did it twice, most recently on Oct. 4, 2009), Cliff Johnson (1977), Joe Pepitone (’62), and Joe DiMaggio (’36). Coincidentally, Torres’ own skipper (Aaron Boone) also accomplished the feat during his playing days, smashing a pair of long balls for the Reds in the first inning on Aug. 9, 2002.

Judge 2 hits. Leads in all triple Crown categories. Barely in average. .3171 to .3166 over Bogaerts.
Torres 3 hits, 5 RBI. Solo and 3-run HR (23), Both HR in the same inning.
Cabrera 2 hits, 5 RBI. Grand Slam (3)
Bader 2 RBI.

Severino (W, 6-3) 5 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 W, 6 K. 3.36
Luetge 2 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 W, 3 K. 1 HBP 2.82
Marinaccio 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. 2.25
Weissert 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K. 6.10

Game 1. What a debut for Stanton in Yanks’ 6-1 win.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

For the first time since 2011, the Yanks won on Opening Day, and what a Yankees’ debut for Giancarlo Stanton.

Stanton became the first Yankee to homer twice on Opening Day since Joe Pepitone in 1963.

He became the first Yankee to homer twice in his first game as a Yankee since Roger Maris on Opening Day of 1960.

What the Yanks did in their final exhibition game against the Braves on Monday night carried over to today. Get an early HR to take an early lead. Get another HR to add onto it. Get great starting pitching and a lights out performance from the bullpen.

I’ll take that recipe all year long.

In the first, Gardner reached on an error, and after Judge struck out, Stanton, in his first official AB as a Yankee, hit a 2-run HR.

In the fifth, with two out, Judge walked, and back-to-back doubles by Stanton and Sanchez gave each an RBI and made it 4-0.

Brett Gardner, who was robbed of a couple of hits earlier on well-hit balls, hit a HR in the seventh to make it 5-0 Yankees.

Luis Severino went 5 2/3 and Chad Green 1 1/3 of one-hit ball. So the Yanks had a shutout and a one-hitter going into the bottom of the eighth but Dellin Betances gave up a HR.

In the top of the ninth, Stanton hit his second HR of the game to make it 6-1.

I have to admit, John Sterling’s HR calls for Stanton were horrible. Just say “give that man a Stanton ovation” …..works better than what he used.

The Blue Jays have to be worried about 3B Josh Donaldson’s shoulder. The 2015 MVP made poor throws to first on each play he had today. Very poor throws.

Gardner solo HR, robbed of two hits
Judge 2 hits, single and double, walked, struck out twice
Stanton double, 2 HR, scored 3 runs, drove in 4
Sanchez RBI double
Hicks 2 hits.

The Yanks’ pitchers threw a 2-hitter with 12K.

Severino (win) 5 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 3 W, 7 K
Green 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K.
Betances 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. Gave up HR.
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.

Just a reminder that there will be posts on the minor leagues once the minor leaguers start next week, so you can keep up on Torres, Sheffield, McKinney, Adams, Florial and others…

So Aaron Boone wins his MLB debut as a manager…. of course the team made it easy for him….


How do you know what tomorrow brings?

It’s interesting to see some people’s comments on Damon and Matsui. Now don’t get me wrong. I am going to miss both of them. Clutch. Very good players. Hard to replace.

But in reading between the lines, I get the assumption that people expect the same from them in 2010 as they did in 2009.

Which, maybe, they accomplish. One thing I did mention to friends was this: The 2009 Yankees were one of the oldest teams to win a WS. Think about it. The #3 starter (ages at WS time) was 37. Your closer just short of 40. A 35 year old SS. The oldest SS to win a WS since Pee Wee Reese in 1955. Third base? 34. Not to mention a 38 year old catcher, soon to be 36 LF and 35 year old DH. How long could superb production out of that group have continued?

Matsui got a one-year deal. If he duplicates .274-28-90, OPS+ 131 more power to him. What are the odds that he does not? He’ll be 36 next summer.

Damon was apparently looking for a two-year deal. What are the odds that, at 36, Damon cannot replicate .282-24-82 with 12/12 in SB and an OPS+ of 126?

What are the odds that both, in 2010, start a decline?

Branch Rickey always said that it is best to get rid of a player one year too early than one year too late.

I’ll miss JD and Matsui. But people should not naturally assume that 2010’s numbers will be the same as 2009’s. It is why I consider Posada the key to the 2010 season. At 38, 39 in August of 2010, how close can he come to his almost unprecedented numbers for a catcher that he put up this year? .285-22-81? OPS+ 133?

38 year old catchers aren’t supposed to do that.

Can Jeter, 35 now, 36 next summer, hit over .330 again? How much does Andy and Mo have left in their arms? 

People have to remember 1965. After winning their fifth straight pennant and falling to the Cardinals in a seven-game WS in 1964, the Yanks had a 36 year old catcher who fell off the face of the earth. Ellie Howard went from .313, 84 RBI and 3rd in the MVP vote to .233 and 45 RBI. How many in Feb. 1965 saw that kind of drop coming?

Mantle was just 33 but had a body that seemed much older. Could Matsui’s knees be going like Mantle’s were? Who knows. But in Feb. 1965, who saw Mickey’s numbers going from 1964 MVP runnerup at .303-35-111 to .255-19-46?

Who foresaw Maris at 30 getting an injury that would preclude him from ever hitting over 13 HR ever again?

Who foresaw a pitcher who won 39 games over the prior two years (Bouton) going 4-15? Bouton was just 26.

Who foresaw the 37 year old Whitey Ford starting out 1965 3-6, 5.30 on his way to 16-13, 3.24…then going just 4-9 after 1965?

Who foresaw Pepitone dropping from 100 RBI to 62? After all, he was just 24.

It kind of reminds me of Bernie. We all loved him and miss him. But eventually the numbers do go down. In Feb. of 2003, who would have thought the 34 year old would drop from .333-19-102, OPS+ 141 to .263-15-64, OPS+ 107 and miss some forty games?

There is more. The point is, We hope that what someone did in the past translates to the future. But you don’t know. You just don’t know.

I’ll miss JD and Matsui.

But to think they would have replicated 2009 in 2010….you just don’t know.