Results tagged ‘ Whitey Ford ’
Mariano Rivera’s first appearance of the 2013 season Thursday night set a club record for years with the Yankees. This marks Mo’s 19th season in pinstripes, which breaks the tie he had shared with Yogi Berra (1946-63), Mickey Mantle (1951-68) and Derek Jeter (1995-2012). Once Jeet comes off the disabled list, of course, he will go back into a tie with Rivera.
Next in line with 17 seasons with the Yankees are Lou Gehrig (1923-39), Bill Dickey (1928-43, ’46), Frankie Crosetti (1932-48) and Jorge Posada (1995-2011). With 16 seasons apiece are Whitey Ford (1950, ’53-67) and Bernie Williams (1991-2006).
Rivera’s save to preserve the 4-2 victory over the Red Sox for Andy Pettitte also made it 18 years in a row (1996-2013) in which Mo has saved at least one game, tying the major-league record with John Franco.
In the major-league opener Sunday night between the Astros and the Rangers, Houston center fielder Justin Maxwell hit two triples to become one of only six players in history to triple twice in a season opener. One of them was the Yankees’ Tommy Henrich in 1950, his final season. “Old Reliable,” as Henrich was known, had more triples (8) than doubles (6) or home runs (6) that year. Henrich hit 73 triples over his 11-season career (he lost three full seasons to military service during World War II) and led the league twice, with 14 in 1948 and 13 in 1947.
It was Opening Day at Yankee Stadium Monday, but not for everybody with the Yankees. They opened the franchise’s 1111th season with five important ingredients missing due to injuries. No Derek Jeter. No Alex Rodriguez. No Curtis Granderson. No Mark Teixeira. No Phil Hughes.
With four major position players out of the lineup, the Yankees had a decidedly different look from the team that finished the 2012 season. Newcomers to the squad included Vernon Wells in left field, Kevin Youkilis at first base and Ben Francisco as the designated hitter with familiar faces from the bench getting starting nods, Eduard Nunez at shortstop, Jayson Nix at third base and Francisco Cervelli behind the plate.
It may take some time for Yankees fans to warm up to Youkilis, a long-time target of disdain during his years with the Red Sox. He was slow to acknowledge the bleacher creatures’ first-inning roll call and heard some boos then and again when he batted in the first inning. Youk did hear cheers when he threw a runner out at the plate in the second inning, a rough one for CC Sabathia, who was touched for four runs on four hits and two walks.
Brett Gardner, who missed most of last season with a wrist injury, was back but this time in center field. Yankees manager Joe Girardi toyed with the idea of flip-flopping Granderson and Gardner during spring training, but when Curtis went down with a forearm injury the experiment never materialized.
Sabathia made the 10th Opening Day start of his career and the fifth in a row for the Yankees. He became the sixth pitcher in franchise history make at least five Opening Day starts. The only pitchers with more were also lefthanders, Whitey Ford and Ron Guidry with seven apiece and Lefty Gomez with six.
A moment of silence was observed before the game in memory of former Yankees fireballer Bob Turley, the 1958 American League Cy Young Award winner and World Series hero who died last week at the age of 82.
There was also a touching tribute before the game in memory of the victims of the Sandy Hook School shooting in Newtown, Conn. An honor guard of Newtown police officers and firefighters were on the field as a list of the victim’s names appeared on the center field video screen. Yanks and Red Sox players wore special ribbons on their uniforms to commemorate the tragedy.
Lee MacPhail, whose ties to the Yankees go back more than 60 years, died Thursday night of natural causes at his home in Delray Beach, Fla., two weeks after his 95th birthday. MacPhail had been the oldest living member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, a distinction that belongs now to former Red Sox second baseman Bobby Doerr, 94.
Born Oct. 25, 1917 in Nashville, Tenn., Lee MacPhail was the son of another Hall of Fame executive, Larry MacPhail. They are the only father-son combination in Cooperstown. Lee followed in his father’s footsteps by serving as a front office executive in baseball for 45 years.
“Baseball history has lost a great figure in Lee MacPhail, whose significant impact on the game spanned five decades,” Hall of Fame board chairman Jane Forbes Clark said. “As a Hall of Fame executive, Lee developed one of the game’s strongest farm systems for the New York Yankees before serving as American League president for 10 years. He will always be remembered in Cooperstown as a man of exemplary kindness and a man who always looked after the best interests of the game.”
MacPhail began his career with the Yankees in 1949. He served as farm director and player personnel director for 10 years and built a system that resulted in the team winning nine AL pennants and seven World Series championships during his tenure.
“Lee MacPhail was a good man, and I had a great relationship with him for many, many years,” Hall of Fame pitcher Whitey Ford said. “I was pleased to see him elected to the Hall of Fame because he was so talented at building winners. As farm director, he was integral in maintaining the Yankees’ championship run.”
MacPhail left the Yankees in 1959 to become general manager of the Orioles. In Baltimore, he laid the groundwork for the 1966 World Series championship squad that began a decade-long stretch of success for that franchise.
In 1965, MacPhail became the chief administrative assistant to newly-elected commissioner William Eckert. After being named Executive of the Year in 1966 by The Sporting News, MacPhail returned to the Yankees as general manager and served in that capacity from 1967 to 1973 before being elected president of the AL.
From 1974 to 1983, MacPhail oversaw expansion in Toronto and Seattle, helped develop the designated hitter rule and ruled on George Brett’s famous pine tar home run in 1983. MacPhail was not popular with Yankees fans for that decision which upheld Brett’s home run. Principal owner George Steinbrenner felt strongly that Brett had broken baseball’s rule for how much pine tar could be used on a bat, but MacPhail ruled that the spirit of the rule was violated by negating the home run. The incident still causes debates today nearly 30 years later.
MacPhail resigned after the 1983 season but continued his work in baseball as the president of Major League Baseball’s Player Relations Committee. He was elected to the Hall of Fame’s board of directors in 1974, making him the longest-tenured member of the current board, and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1998 by the Veterans Committee.
“Lee was one of the nicest, most considerate general managers I ever dealt with,” Hall of Fame executive Pat Gillick said. “And as president of the American League, he was one of the most professional individuals with whom I have ever worked.”
No services are planned at this time. A memorial will be held at a date to be announced.
In lieu of flowers, the MacPhail family has asked that donations in his memory be made to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
Here is the reading on Lee MacPhail’s Hall of Fame plaque:
Leland Stanford MacPhail Jr.
One of the leading executives in baseball history, his name is synonymous with integrity and sportsmanship. As farm director and player personnel director of the Yankees (1949-58), helped build a system which yielded seven world championships. As Orioles general manager (1959-65), helped lay the groundwork for one of the game’s most consistently successful franchises; and he later rejoined the Yankees in the same capacity. Served admirably as American League president (1974-83) before concluding his 45-year career as president of the Player Relations Committee. He and his father Larry form the first father son tandem in the Hall of Fame.
So I was trying to think of which Yankees legend would throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Wednesday night’s Game 3 of the American League Division Series at Yankee Stadium.
The octogenarians Yogi Berra and Whitey Ford aren’t up to the task anymore, and neither is Don Larsen, probably. Reggie Jackson hasn’t been seen around the Stadium for months.
It never dawned on me until I saw him trot to the mound that the Yankees had the ideal guy all along to handle the assignment – Mariano Rivera. What a concept; a guy used to throwing the last pitch throws out the first one instead.
A perfect choice.
Whitey Ford never did it. Red Ruffing never did it. Ron Guidry never did it.
A.J. Burnett did do it.
Strike out four batters in an inning, that’s what.
That is what Phil Hughes did in the fourth inning Thursday night at Yankee Stadium against the Blue Jays. Obviously, one of the batters reached base, which is how it can happen. The second strikeout victim, Adeiny Hechevarria, reached first base on a passed ball by Russell Martin. Hughes struck out J.P. Arencibia before Hechevarria and Anthony Gose and Brett Lawrie after that for a four-K inning.
Hard to believe that it was only the second time in franchise history the feat was accomplished. Perhaps even harder to believe that the first time was just last year, by Burnett June 24 in the sixth inning of a 4-2 loss to the Rockies at the Stadium. The victims were Chris Iannetta, Carlos Gonzalez, Chris Nelson (who reached base on a wild pitch) and Todd Helton.
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. – Former Yankees managers Lou Piniella and Joe Torre were among the baseball people who came to the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s Induction Weekend. I kidded them that they must be rehearsing for when their time comes for induction. In another two years, both will likely be on the Veterans Committee’s ballot from the Expansion Era for their careers as managers.
Lou was here for both of Sunday’s inductees, Barry Larkin and the late Ron Santo. Larkin was the shortstop on Piniella’s Reds team that won the 1990 World Series in a sweep of the Athletics. During his time as manager of the Cubs, Piniella also became a friend of Santo, the former third baseman who later was a fixture at Wrigley Field as a broadcaster.
Santo died last year, and his widow, Vicki, gave a moving acceptance speech. How she got through it without breaking down was amazing to me. She painted a brilliant picture of the man who was as identified with the Cubs as former teammates Ernie Banks and Billy Williams, who were on hand for the ceremony. They were among the 45 Hall of Famers who attended the ceremony, including Yankees favorites Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Dave Winfield, Phil Niekro and Rickey Henderson.
Larkin told a story about how Piniella addressed the Reds in 1990 before the start of spring training and explained to them that he did not like losing and that he did not intend for this team to lose. Cincinnati won its first nine games that season and went wire to wire to win the National League West, the division the Reds were in before the NL Central was created with realignment in 1994. They defeated the Pirates in the NL Championship Series before sweeping the A’s in the World Series, so Lou kept his promise about not losing.
Larkin was that baseball rarity that played his entire career for his hometown team. I could think of only three other Hall of Famers who did that, and all were Yankees – Lou Gehrig, Phil Rizzuto and Whitey Ford. Gehrig grew up on the West Side of Manhattan, the Scooter in Brooklyn and Ford in the Queens neighborhood of Astoria, and each spent his entire playing career in the Bronx.
I remember when Paul O’Neill was traded to the Yankees from the Reds in 1993, and a lot of people said that he would have trouble playing in New York. O’Neill, who was also on that ’90 Reds team and like Larkin had grown up in Cincinnati, told me once that he never had any doubts that he would do well in New York. He was not unfamiliar with the city because his sister, Molly, then the food critic for the New York Times, lived there for many years.
“There was a lot more pressure on me playing for the Reds because it was my hometown,” Paulie said. “I never felt that kind of pressure in New York. The fans in New York welcomed me and got behind me early on. I enjoyed the New York experience a lot more than Cincinnati.”
Torre came up for Saturday’s program at Doubleday Field for former teammate Tim McCarver, who was honored with the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasting alongside Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun as the J.G. Taylor Spink Award winner for baseball writing. Joe and Timmy were teammates with the Cardinals and have remained good friends over the years.
Among the people McCarver credited for his playing career, which covered four decades from 1959 through 1980, was Hall of Fame catcher Bill Dickey, a career Yankee. McCarver said that in those pre-draft years of the 1950s that he almost signed with the Yankees because he was so impressed by Dickey but wound up signing with the Cardinals.
“Bill Dickey gave me the greatest piece of advice I ever received for a catcher,” McCarver said. “He told me, ‘Be a pitcher’s friend.’ And I am happy to say that a couple of Hall of Famers who are up on this stage with me have been lifelong friends, Bob Gibson and Steve Carlton.”
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. – Yogi Berra is here after all.
Yogi was not on the original list of returning Hall of Famers for this year’s Induction Weekend at the National Baseball Hall of Fame. He was not expected to attend due to some recent health concerns.
But there he was in the lobby of the Otesaga Hotel Thursday night with his wife, Carmen, and son, Larry.
“He called me the other day and asked what I was doing this weekend,” Larry told me. “I said I had nothing planned. ‘Good,’ he said. ‘You can drive me to the Hall of Fame.’ He and Mom just love this weekend. They couldn’t stay away.”
Yogi and Carmen are treated like royalty, as well they should be. One by one, Hall of Famers from Bert Blyleven to Billy Williams to Al Kaline to Eddie Murray to Ozzie Smith to Robin Yount to George Brett to Tony Perez came over to talk to the Berras. Yogi was getting around pretty well on his cane.
“Hey, this weekend is about fun,” Yogi said, “and I could use some fun.”
Whitey Ford and his wife, Joan, were also walking around the lobby. Whitey seemed surprised when I told him Yogi was here.
“Oh,” Whitey said, “I was hoping he wouldn’t come until Monday.”
Only a joke, of course. The Yankees’ most popular batterymates remain the closest of friends.
The Sunday induction ceremony is for former Reds shortstop Barry Larkin, who was elected by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, and the late Cubs third baseman Ron Santo, who was elected by the Golden Era Committee. Also to be honored Saturday will be Tim McCarver with the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasting and Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun with the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for baseball writing. Legendary Cardinals managers Red Schoendienst, Whitey Herzog and Tony La Russa will also be part of the Saturday program.
Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson and I greeted Larkin and his family as they pulled up in front of the hotel.
“This is just the beginning,” Jeff told Barry.
“I know,” Larkin said, “I can’t wait.”
Among the people Larkin sent invitations to for Induction Weekend was Derek Jeter, but the Yankees’ captain is with the team for a weekend series in Oakland, Calif.
“I knew he couldn’t come, but I wanted him to know I was thinking of him,” Larkin said. “He is one of the guys you think of when it comes to shortstops. He’ll be here someday, too.”
Nearly 50 former players, managers and coaches of the Yankees plus the widows of five of the most prominent team alumni will be on hand at the 66th annual Old-Timers’ Day Sunday, July 1, at Yankee Stadium.
Ceremonies are scheduled to begin at 11:15 a.m. with the traditional Old-Timers’ game to follow, both of which will be aired exclusively on the YES Network. The Yankees will then play the White Sox at 2:05 p.m., also on YES. General public gates will open to ticket-holding guests at 10 a.m. Fans are encouraged to be in their seats by 11 a.m. for the festivities.
The Old Timers are headlined by several members of past Yankees’ World Series championship clubs, including Hall of Famers Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Goose Gossage, Rickey Henderson and Reggie Jackson. Former Yankees and current YES Network broadcasters David Cone, Paul O’Neill and Lou Piniella will also be part of the program.
Also invited back are former Yankees managers Joe Torre and Stump Merrill. For Merrill, who currently serves as a Special Assistant to the General Manager, it will mark his first Old-Timers’ Day appearance. Gene Monahan, who retired at the end of the 2011 season after serving as a trainer in the Yankees organization for 49 years, will also make his Old-Timers’ Day debut.
Joining the Hall of Famers and former Yankees on the baselines will be the widows of five legendary Yankees—Arlene Howard, widow of Elston Howard; Helen Hunter, widow of Jim “Catfish” Hunter; Jill Martin, widow of Billy Martin; Diana Munson, widow of Thurman Munson and Kay Murcer, widow of Bobby Murcer.
Here is the full list of those scheduled to attend:
Luis Arroyo, Jesse Barfield, Yogi Berra, Ron Blomberg, Dr. Bobby Brown, Homer Bush, Jerry Coleman, David Cone, Bucky Dent, Al Downing, Brian Doyle, Cecil Fielder, Whitey Ford, Oscar Gamble, Jake Gibbs, Joe Girardi, Goose Gossage, Ron Guidry, Charlie Hayes, Rickey Henderson, Sterling Hitchcock, Arlene Howard, Helen Hunter, Reggie Jackson, Tommy John, Pat Kelly, Don Larsen, Graeme Lloyd, Hector Lopez, Jill Martin, Tino Martinez, Lee Mazzilli, Stump Merrill, Gene Monahan, Diana Munson, Kay Murcer, Matt Nokes, Paul O’Neill, Joe Pepitone, Lou Piniella, Willie Randolph, Bobby Richardson, Mickey Rivers, Aaron Small, Mel Stottlemyre, Darryl Strawberry, Tanyon Sturtze, Ralph Terry, Joe Torre, Bob Turley, Roy White, Bernie Williams.
The New York Yankees Museum presented by Bank of America, which is located on the Main Level of Yankee Stadium near Gate 6, has opened a new exhibit this homestand entitled, “Mickey Mantle: The Life and Legacy of a Baseball Hero.” It includes a selection of artifacts borrowed from the Mantle family and private collectors, some of which are being put on display for the first time.
Featured artifacts include:
• Mantle’s first Yankees contract, signed when he joined the organization in 1949.
• His 1956 American League Most Valuable Player Award and Hickok Belt Award.
• Game-worn jerseys from 1959 and 1961, along with a jersey and pants set from 1968.
• His outfielder’s glove from his third MVP season of 1962.
• His bat used in the 1964 World Series to hit his final postseason home run, off Cardinals lefthander Curt Simmons in Game 6 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
• Baseball cards from each of his 18 seasons, including his 1951 Bowman rookie card and 1952 Topps card.
Mantle remains one of the most popular players in baseball history, let alone among Yankees fans. A powerful switch-hitter, the “Commerce Comet” batted .298 with 536 home runs over an 18-season career from 1951-68 played entirely with the Yankees. His clubs won seven World Series (1951-53, ’56, ’58, ’61-62) and appeared in the Fall Classic 12 times (also 1955, ’57, ’60, ’63-64). His 18 home runs are the most in World Series play.
Mickey’s uniform No. 7 was retired by the Yankees in 1969. It remains the only No. 7 retired by a major league baseball team (although the Rangers are strongly considering retiring the same number for recently retired catcher Ivan Rodriguez). Mantle was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1974 and inducted that year with long-time teammate Whitey Ford.
The Mantle exhibit is the second new installation to open this season at the New York Yankees Museum presented by Bank of America, joining “Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig: Baseball’s Hardest-Hitting Teammates.” The Ruth and Gehrig exhibit includes the bat used by Ruth to hit Yankee Stadium’s first home run April 18, 1923, a ticket stub from the game featuring Gehrig’s “Luckiest Man” speech July 4, 1939 and game-worn Yankees caps and jerseys from Ruth and Gehrig.
Artifacts from the Ruth and Gehrig exhibit are borrowed from the private collections of Marshall Fogel and Dr. Richard C. Angrist, with all photos coming from the Fogel collection. Guests can enjoy the New York Yankees Museum presented by Bank of America on game days from the time the gates open until the end of the eighth inning. On non-game days, visitors can experience the museum as part of Yankee Stadium tours.
The Mantle exhibit, as well as the Ruth/Gehrig exhibit, will remain on display in the New York Yankees Museum presented by Bank of America through the end of the 2013 season.
Mark Teixeira led off the fifth inning Sunday night with a single. The Yankees were leading the Angels at the time by a score of 8-3, so some eyebrows were raised when Teixeira stole second base. There was a time when such a maneuver was against one of baseball’s unwritten rules, which was not to steal if your team had a lead of five or more runs.
That was a long time ago, however. In the modern era where offense is so rampant and ballparks like Yankee Stadium favor hitters so much, putting on the breaks is not expected in those situations. I remember years ago when Hall of Fame manager Whitey Herzog had a track team in St. Louis and clubs would get upset if his speedsters kept stealing bags even when the Cardinals had a big lead.
“Tell those sluggers in the other dugout to stop trying to hit home runs, and I’ll tell my guys to stop trying to steal bases,” Herzog said.
Okay, Teixeira could never be confused with Vince Coleman or Willie McGee or Ozzie Smith, but the point was that the Yankees should not have felt comfortable because they had a five-run lead. As it turned out, the Angels closed the gap to 8-5 in the seventh inning. This game was far from over.
Another stolen base proved pivotal for the Yankees in the bottom of the seventh. Robinson Cano, who walked with one out, swiped second as Teixeira went down on strikes for the second out. It put Cano in scoring position for Nick Swisher, who singled through the middle to bring Robby home. Raul Ibanez then greeted reliever Jason Isringhausen with a two-run homer that swelled the Yanks’ lead to 11-5 that was the final score.
The Yanks had a nice offensive mixture in this victory, which stretched Ivan Nova’s winning streak dating to June of last year to 14. They had a sustained attack to scored four runs in the third on RBI hits by Alex Rodriguez and Teixeira and a sacrifice fly by Swisher. Derek Jeter pushed them ahead even further with a three-run homer to right in the fourth.
Nova was touched for four runs and eight hits, including two home runs, in six innings, but he had eight strikeouts and held the Angels hitless in six at-bats with runners in scoring position (they were 1-for-11 in the game and 2-for-22 in the three-game series). Nova tied Whitey Ford and Steve Sundra for the second longest winning streak by a Yankees pitcher. Ford’s streak covered June 2 to July 10, 1961 and Sundra’s from Sept. 22, 1938 to Sept. 20, 1939. The club record is 16 straight by Roger Clemens from May 26 to Sept. 19, 2001.
David Robertson did another of his rescue missions in the seventh inning when the Angels staged a comeback attempt. They got a run off Rafael Soriano to make it 8-5 and had the bases loaded with two outs when Robertson came in and retired Mark Trumbo, who had homered off Nova earlier, on a fly to right.
It remains a weird situation that the Yankees have yet to get a run batted in out of the cleanup spot this season through nine games. Cano, who had two hits and scored three runs, lost a shot at getting the first cleanup RBI when his drive to left-center in the eighth inning bounced over the fence for a ground-rule double that kept Curtis Granderson, who likely would have scored, at third base. Yanks 4-hole hitters are batting a combined .206 with no RBI in 34 at-bats.