Friday, January 30, 2009

Number of Days Until Spring Training: Several Individuals I'm Guessing You've Never Heard Of (#14)

To figure out who we are going to do for what number, for this countdown, we use To switch it up a bit, I looked through the 88 players who donned the number 14 for the Yanks over the history of the franchise, and plucked out a few random guys with odd or old-timey sounding names and Baseball-Referenced them. The results are shown below.
  • Rugger Ardizoia -One of only six Italian natives to ever play in the Major leagues, he pitched in exactly one game for two innings on April 30th, 1947. He gave up two runs in a 15-5 loss.

  • Harry Bright - A true journeyman, Bright spent time on 14 different minor league teams in 5 different Major League organizations. He played every infield and outfield position along with catcher. As a Yankee, Harry had the honor of being struck out by Sandy Koufax in the 1963 World Series for a record 15th K in a WS game. Bright hung up his cleats in 1965 and went on to become a minor league manager and scout.

  • Monk Dubiel - Brother Dubiel made his major league debut with the Yankees at age of 26 in 1944. He threw 232 innings at a slightly better than league average ERA and went 13-13, which was easily the best season of his career. Each proceeding year he threw fewer and fewer innings until 1952, when he threw only 2/3 of an inning for the Cubs and was out of the league.

  • Lonny Frey - Linus Reinhard Frey, to be exact. Lonny actually spent 14 seasons in the majors and was a pretty solid offensive force for a second baseman. He was a Yankee for only 24 games at the end of 1947 and 1 game in 1948, during which he had a .410 on-base, but only a .250 slugging percentage.

  • Bump Hadley - Spent five years in Pinstripes (1936-1940), and collected World Series rings in each of his first four. He had a winning recordas a starting pitcher in each season as a Yankee, but never pitched more than 178 innings although he averaged 252 over his four seasons prior to coming to the Bronx. Next time someone complains about innings limits and pitch counts, mention Bump Hadley. They won't have any idea who you're talking about unless they are an 80 year-old die hard baseball fan with an incredible memory, but do it anyway.

  • Hank Johnson - Johnson made the big leagues at age 19 and was both a starter and releiver for the Yanks from 1925-1932. He defected to the Red Sox the following year and made stops in Philadelphia and Cincinatti before his career was cut short by chronic bursitis.

  • George Pipgras - After brief stints in the Majors in 1923 & '24, Pipgras's official rookie campaign came on the legendary 1927 Yankees. The following year he threw 300 1/3 innings and led the AL in wins. He also won Game 2 of the World Series in '28, helping the Yankees sweep the St. Louis Cardinals for their second title in a row. He game up through the Red Sox organization and finished his career with them as well. After his playing career, in additon to being a Major League umpire, he spent time as a scout for the Sawx as well.

  • Butch Wensloff - After throwing 223 1/3 innings to a 2.54 ERA in 1943 Wensloff was employed in a war-plant and served in the Army for three years. When he returned to the Majors again until 1947, he threw 51 regular season innings and tossed two scoreless frames in the World Series.
And last but not least...
  • Cuddles Marshall - Wondering why a grown man would want to be referred to as "Cuddles"? Well, his real name was Clarence Westly Marshall. C-Money tied the record for the best single-season ERA by a relief pitcher in 1948. He threw one inning, gave up three walks, but did not surrender a run. His Yankee career lasted three years, and in 132 1/3 innings, his ERA was 5.17.
Aren't you happy you got through this entire post?


No one?


Fuck... I should have done Lou Pinella.

Number of Days Until Spring Training: Moose Skowron (#14)

I was all ready to write up a post on William Joseph "Moose" Skowron, Jr., but then I found this:

Thanks for transcribing everything I was about to write and putting it into YouTube form, Heroes In Pinstripes! (The baseball camp?)

See if you can catch the factual error in the first 30 seconds. First one to point it out in the comments wins a brand new... um... actually... just, wins! Wooohoo!!!!!

Former Yankees #14 Headed To Mets

From MLBTR, the Mets signed Matt DeSalvo to a minor league deal.

A then 26 year-old DeSalvo was thrust into the spotlight after seemingly everyone on the Yankees came down with hamstringitis in 2007. He lacked a truly dominant pitch and was said to "hide the ball well" with his delivery. Other scraptastic descriptors were applied in attempts to explain how a kid who never broke 90 with his fastball was getting guys out at the Major League level, for a little while anyway.

In his first two starts with the Yanks, Matty D went 13 2/3 IP, gave up 3 runs and picked up a win. League eventually caught up to him and that would be his last win in Pinstripes. This sums up his time with Yankees almost perfectly:

He was granted free agency in December 2007, and signed with the Braves, where he started in AAA in Richmond. He went 2-10 there, with a 4.91ERA, but struck out almost one batter per inning. He saw only two innings of Major League action in 2008 and gave up 7 runs (31.50ERA).

According to his Wikipedia page, he is a "voracious reader". Good luck Matt, you're still only 29 and hopefully you get another shot at the Bigs.