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Yankee4Life

The Players

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This section has to do with the players. Post tidbits about your favorite past players, or Hall of famers you know about and like. And, while we are at it, the player doesn't have to be a Hall of Famer. He could be a career minor leaguer. He could be from the old Negro Leagues. Or from Japan or Cuba. If he was a player, post it here. Also, very important. Try to include a picture of the person you are talking about.

 

You will be amazed at how many players that were really good and are not talked about as much these days.

I'll start one off right here:

 

Simmons01.jpg

 

Meet Al Simmons. He played for Connie Mack's Philadelphia Athletics. Called "Bucketfoot Al" because of an unusual batting style in which he stepped toward the dugout, Al Simmons confounded the purists to the tune of 307 home runs and a .334 average. The Philadelphia Athletics' outfielder compiled more hits than any right-handed batter in American League history until surpassed by Al Kaline. A deadly clutch-hitter, Simmons won batting titles in 1930 and 1931 to help the A's to consecutive pennants. He recorded 11 consecutive seasons as a .300 hitter and 100-RBI man.

 

Simmons02.jpg

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Spud Chandler. Not too many people today have heard of this guy and you would be shocked to know that he played his entire career with the Yankees. So, being a Yankee did not promise you a household name.

 

What stands out for me with this guy is his career winning percentage of .717. You read that right.

 

Spud Chandler.jpg

 

Brief history:

A right-handed pitcher, Chandler didn't make it to the major leagues until he was twenty-nine, and he had just two 20-victory seasons in his brief career. But he never had a losing season and he turned in a remarkable career winning percentage and outstanding ERA.

 

Chandler was named the AL's most valuable player in 1943, when he helped take the Yankees to a pennant, leading the league in victories and winning percentage with a 20-4 record, in complete games with 20, in shutouts with 5, and in ERA with 1.64.

 

He had joined the Yankees during the 1937 season and had a 21-9 record during his first two years. Injuries limited his playing time for the next four seasons, yet he put together a composite 37-16 record before his MVP year.

 

Chandler missed almost all of the 1944 and 1945 seasons because of military service, but he came back to win 20 and lose only 8, with a 2.10 ERA in 1946. He retired after a 9-5 record in the 1947 season.

 

In 11 major league seasons, Chandler had a 109-43 record for a .717 winning percentage, with 26 shutouts and a 2.84 ERA. He struck out 614 and walked 463 in 1,485 innings.

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MarkBTheYankee said:

Yes! That's the point! :)

That's what I mean. Listen to what Mark said NYM. Ok, you talked about Babe Ruth. Anything else you want to add??

How about this? We all know Ruth hit 60 homers in 1927. Well, look at that figure this way:

In 1927, Babe Ruth’s 60 home runs accounted for 14% of all home runs in the American League that year. To put that figure in modern perspective, a player would need to hit over 340 home runs in a season to account for 14% of the American League’s total homerun output.

 

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my favorite player is Mark Mcguire because He is the reason im into Baseball but besides him Randy Johnson i luved rj since i was 7 and I just caught on with he dbacks and Yankees when I was 7 and ive been a fan of both since.

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Harry Heilmann. Another right handed hitter who can pound the ball. He played with and later played for Ty Cobb in Detroit.

 

Harry Heilmann.jpg

 

In the history of the major leagues, Rogers Hornsby and Ed Delahanty are the only right-handed batters to hit for a better average than Harry Heilmann's .342 lifetime mark. Teaming with Ty Cobb for the Detroit Tigers, Heilmann won four batting titles between 1921 and 1927 with averages of .394, .403, .393 and .398; he came within nine hits of hitting .400 each year. Following his retirement from the field, Heilmann broadcast Tigers games for 17 years.

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That's what I mean. Listen to what Mark said NYM. Ok, you talked about Babe Ruth. Anything else you want to add??

How about this? We all know Ruth hit 60 homers in 1927. Well, look at that figure this way:

In 1927, Babe Ruth’s 60 home runs accounted for 14% of all home runs in the American League that year. To put that figure in modern perspective, a player would need to hit over 340 home runs in a season to account for 14% of the American League’s total homerun output.

Ruth_in_Overcoat.jpg

Here's an often forgotten tidbit. Ruth, at the same time as being one of baseball's greatest hitters, and some people forget this, was also one of the best pitchers of all time as well. :)

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Here's an often forgotten tidbit. Ruth, at the same time as being one of baseball's greatest hitters, and some people forget this, was also one of the best pitchers of all time as well. :)

That's right. Read this to confirm what you said: From 1915-17, Ruth won 65 games, the most by any left-handed pitcher in the majors during that time.

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Yogi Berra... one of the least celebrated Yankee legends. You he lots of talks about his Yogisms, but he really did work hard with his baseball. Yogi played until he couldnt, he really loved the game.

Oddball maybe, but definately a player to look up to.

yogi_berra_babe_ruth_plaque_large_large.

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Paul O'Neill.

I'll post more. This was my fav. Yankee player to this very day. Nobody was as intense as O'Neill was and nobody will ever be as intense as O'Neill used to be.

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From what I saw of him, I liked Paul O'Neill. I remember him blowing up at the first base umpire during the 2000 World Series (I think it's game 5, got it on videotape) for getting a call wrong. Joe had to damn near pull him back to the dugout, then he went out for a nice calm discussion with the ump. :lol:

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Pete Reiser, one of my all time favorites because of the way he played the game.

 

The Brooklyn Natural.jpg

 

Who stole home seven times in one season in the 1940s? If you answered Jackie Robinson, it would be a good guess, but wrong. Pete Reiser was the guy, and he exemplified what good baseball is all about. He could turn an out into a single with blazing speed. In his day he was the fastest from home to first. He was only .4 seconds off of world record time for the 100 yard dash, though he did not train as a track star. In 1946 he stole home, a National League record seven times. A bad call in Chicago on an attempt against Johnny Schmitz eliminated an eighth steal of home, which would have tied him with Ty Cobb for the all time Major League record. Rod Carew had seven steals in the American League in 1969 equalling Reiser for second in the Majors.

 

In 1941, Reiser won the NL batting title with a .343 batting average in his first full season in the majors. Playing in 137 games, he was the youngest batting champion of all time at age 22. He led the league in runs with 117, doubles -39, triples-17, a slugging percent of .558 with only 14 home runs, total bases-299, and hit by pitches - 11. No one remembers Reiser that year because a guy name "Ted" hit .406 in the American League, while another guy named "Joe" was hitting in 56 consecutive games. In 1941 Reiser was beaned twice, but it didn't slow him down, yet.

 

In 1942 he would be hitting around .400 in July before his first fateful meeting with an outfield wall. In an extra inning game against the Cardinals, Enos Slaughter drove one over his head in center field. Reiser sprinted for the ball as he approached the wall. He narrowly missed the flagpole, gloved the ball and then collided with the center field wall. The ball was knocked out of his glove, he retrieved it, threw it in and then collapsed unconscious ─ another severe concussion and fractured skull. Two days later Reiser is on the bench with no intention of playing. The game goes into the fourteenth inning with the winning run on second. Leo Durocher asked Reiser if he could hit. Naturally, Reiser agrees to hit, gets the winning hit, rounds first base and collapses unconscious and is out for the year. The Dodgers blow their lead for the pennant to the Cardinals.

 

 

 

 

In 1947, in Ebbets Field, Reiser chased a fly that he thought would be an easy out. The only problem was that he had forgotten that Branch Rickey had moved the fences in about 40 feet. Reiser woke up in the hospital and was paralyzed for 10 days. He recovered in time to have a collision with Clyde King during batting practice. A blood clot formed and he was told to never play again. He was back in the lineup and played the last couple months of the year, but his performance suffered due to poor vision and his career declined severely from that point.

 

Today we praise ballplayers when we see them hustle, "Good hustle". Any ballplayer who played 50 or more years ago would consider that an insult. Today, all too often you see a player trot to first base and then turn on the jets when on outfielder misplays the ball. Nice way to turn a triple into a sure double. While Pete Rose had lots of problems, he consistently performed at 100%, often when he didn't need to, but always when it was needed. Pete Rose played baseball like a football player with an adrenaline rush. Pete Reiser played baseball with the speed of a cheetah, the grace of a gazelle and the fragility of both. When asked if his career would have lasted longer if he didn't play with reckless abandon, he replied that he would never have made it to the majors if he didn't play continually at that level of intensity.

 

Reiser spent 1943 through 1945 in the military, during which time he first encountered Jackie Robinson at Fort Riley, Kansas. He later became one of Robinson's biggest supporters. Reiser returned to the Dodgers in 1946, and won another stolen-base title. His seven steals of home set a ML record. In 1947, he was hurt so severely after hitting the centerfield wall at Ebbets Field that he was given last rites. Although Reiser's mishaps are credited with prompting the padding of outfield walls and the universal use of warning tracks, the move came too late to preserve what many felt was the greatest talent Brooklyn had ever seen. Reiser played in only 64 games in 1948 and was traded to the Braves. He later coached for the Dodgers, Cubs, and Angels.

 

Pete Reiser.jpg

 

 

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Sam Crawford. This guy's in the Hall of Fame, but because he played at the turn of the last century, his achievements have been almost forgotten over time. You may find this hard to believe, but for his entire career, he had 312 triples. That, of course is the All Time total.

 

Sam Crawford.jpeg

 

About Crawford:

 

Sam Crawford was one of the top all-around players from the dead ball era. Combining a powerful stroke and blazing speed, it was with the triple that "Wahoo Sam" would make his mark as he set the major league record with 312, leading the league six times. Over his 19-year major league career he captured 363 steals. Crawford, who teamed with Ty Cobb to lead the Tigers to three straight American League pennants (1907 to 1909), finished his career with 2,964 hits and a batting average of .309.

Did you know ... that Sam Crawford holds the single-season record for most inside-the-park home runs, with 12 in 1901?

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James "Cool Papa" Bell. Quick now, name some famous stolen base leaders of baseball? Ty Cobb, Rickey Henderson, Lou Brock, etc, etc. All very good. But no one held a candle to this guy. Cool Papa was beyond fast. He was a bullet.

 

Cool Papa Bell.jpg

 

Some info on Cool Papa:

 

A talented center fielder with blazing speed, James "Cool Papa" Bell was arguably the fastest man to ever play professional baseball. He began his career as a knuckleball pitcher and earned his famous nickname as a rookie by striking out Oscar Charleston with the game on the line. He later became a leadoff hitter and stolen base artist for three Negro leagues dynasties: the St. Louis Stars of the late 1920s, the Pittsburgh Crawfords of the 1930s and the Homestead Grays of the mid-1940s.

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William "Dummy" Hoy. Mostly everyone has never heard of this guy, because he played during the late 1880's. But because he was deaf, he was responsible for the hand signals that umpires use to let everyone know if the pitch was a ball or strike, or if the player was safe or out. In a sense, we've been aware of Hoy's contribution to the game all this time without knowing it.

 

hoy1.jpg

About Hoy:

Every baseball fan is familiar with the hand signals that umpires use for ball, strike, safe, out, etc. Few however realize that these signs came about because of William "Dummy" Hoy. Hoy, a deaf-mute who played in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries also happens to be one of the finest all-around players not in the Hall of Fame.

 

William Ellsworth Hoy was born on May 23, 1862 in Cincinnati, OH. At the age of 2, he was stricken with spinal meningitis, which left him almost completely deaf. As a result, his speaking skills never fully developed.

 

Despite the handicap, Hoy was both bright and athletic. He decided to pursue a career in baseball after getting four hits against a professional pitcher while playing with his hometown amateur team.

 

It soon became apparent that Hoy was a natural in the field. His strong arm and speed allowed him to play a shallow centerfield. At the plate however, it was a different story. Pitchers realized they could quick-pitch Hoy when he glanced back at the umpire to see whether the previous pitch was a ball or strike. As a result, he hit just .219 in 1885.

 

Before the 1886 season Hoy worked out a system in which the third base coach would signal to him what the previous pitch had been. Hoy gained his revenge on the pitchers that season by tearing up the league with a .367 average.

 

Soon the umpires saw the value in hand signals. They would not only let the other players on the field know what was going on, but also the fans. Soon an early form of the signs that are used today were used in parks all around the country.

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Ferris Fain...

 

Ferris Fain.jpg

 

2 time A.L. batting champion (1951 and 1952) and 2 times convicted for marijuana exploits - at 65 and 68 years of age! 25 pounds in 1985 which he claimed he used for medical reasons. Also a gold glove first baseman who rarely struck out and regularly walked 100 plus times a season. Teamate of good old Eddie Joost on the Philadelphia Athletics.

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the old 'cool papa bell' story by his team mate was that he was so fast

that as he turned off the light switch in his bedroom he was

in bed before the lights were off! :)

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the old 'cool papa bell' story by his team mate was that he was so fast

that as he turned off the light switch in his bedroom he was

in bed before the lights were off! :)

I've heard that many times! It's highly doubtful, but I wonder if any film footage of Bell exists somewhere? I'd love to have seen him in his playing days.

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Ty Cobb

 

Ty Cobb.jpg

 

In 24 seasons, most with the Detroit Tigers, Ty Cobb compiled a .366 batting average, the highest in the history of the game. He was the leader in runs scored for more than 70 years and in hits for nearly 60 years. In 1936, Cobb became the first man inducted into the Hall of Fame, earning 222 out of a possible 226 votes, more than Babe Ruth, Nap Lajoie, Walter Johnson, or Honus Wagner. Cobb blazed and battled a path through baseball, retiring with more records than any other player. He was raised by a demanding father who named his son after the Lebanon city of Tyre, which showed tremendous courage in repelling the armies of Alexander the Great.

 

Nicknames

"The Georgia Peach" or just "Peach"

 

Played For

 

Detroit Tigers (1905-1926), Philadelphia A's (1927-1928)

Managed

 

Detroit Tigers (1921-1926)

Post-Season

 

1907 World Series, 1908 World Series, 1909 World Series

World Champion?

 

No

Ultimate Games (1-1)

 

1908 Regular Season, 1909 World Series Game Seven

 

Honors

 

1911 American League Most Valuable Player

 

Feats

 

Six times in his career, Cobb reached base and proceeded to steal second, third and home. The first time he did it was in 1907, the final time was in 1924... On May 5, 1925, Cobb blasted three homers, a double and two singles in one game, for a then-record 16 total bases. The next day he hit two more homers.

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Fred Merkle. Merkle made a name for himself during the heated pennant race of 1908 between the Cubs and his New York Giants. His base-running miscue in the 9th inning against the Cubs cost the Giants the game. For the rest of his life, this play would be known as "Merkle's boner", and he would be called "Bonehead Merkle". Merkle played for the fiery John Mcgraw on the Giants. If any of you guys seen college basketball coach Bobby Knight in action on the floor, this is what Mcgraw was like, but even worse, if you can imagine. McGraw never once blamed Merkle for this play. In fact, Mcgraw respected Merkle so much because of what kind of player he was, Merkle was the only player McGraw would go to for advice on the game.

 

Fred Merkle.jpg

 

The story:

At the bottom of the ninth in a 1-1 tie, with runners on first and third, it seemed the Giants would defeat the Cubs when Al Bridwell hit an apparent single to center. However, when Merkle (on first) saw Moose McCormick touch home plate with the "winning" run, he left the basepath before touching second base and headed for the clubhouse in center field at the Polo Grounds.

 

Chicago second baseman Johnny Evers called for the center fielder to throw him the ball so he could get a forceout at second on Merkle. The ball was thrown in, and in the tussle, pitcher "Iron Man" McGinnity, who had been coaching at third base, wound up with it and threw it into the stands. Somehow, though, a ball appeared in Evers' hand and he touched second base. Umpire Hank O'Day called Merkle out and, with the Giants already having left the field and the fans swarming it, called the game a 1-1 tie.

 

Later, National League president Harry Pulliam upheld O'Day's decision. The game was replayed after the regular schedule was finished, with the teams tied for first place. The Cubs won the replay to capture the pennant and went on to win the World Series. Ninety-five years later, they haven't won another Series.

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