November 1 in Yankee History

  • The Yankees managed only five hits off Miguel Batista in World Series Game Five on November 1, 2001. Mike Mussina allowed only five as well, but two were singleton homers by Steve Finley and Rod Barajas in the fifth, and the Yanks entered the ninth inning down 2-0. Undaunted, Yankee fans spent the better part of an inning cheering Paul O’Neill, playing his last Yankee Stadium game, win or lose. Everyone rooting back then remembers that Scott Brosius duplicated Tino Martinez‘s feat from the day before with a two-run, two-out, bottom-of-the-ninth, game-tying homer off Byung-Hyun Kim. Albie Lopez was the eventual loser when Alfonso Soriano singled in Chuck Knoblauch in the 12th. But in a perhaps forgotten detail, Soriano had made a diving catch of a one-out, bases-loaded, infield-in liner off Reggie Sanders in the 11th to keep the game going.
  • Few highlights could rival that miraculous win in 2001, but I was very tempted to report what happened on November 1, 2009, in Game 4 of the World Series in the City of Brotherly Love up before it. With the Yanks up 2 to 1 in games, CC Sabathia outpitched Joe Blanton through two outs into the seventh when Chase Utley closed the score to 4-3 with a home run. Joba Chamberlain struck out two in the eighth, only to have Pedro Feliz tie it with a two-strike homer of his own. Unfortunately for the Phils, that’s when Johnny Damon took over. Battling to a two-out single in the ninth, he stole second and continued onto third when the shifted Philly infield failed to cover. Following a hit by pitch, Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada doubles plated three off Brad Lidge, and Mariano Rivera saved the 7-4 Yankee win.
  • The good news from November 1, 1979, was that the Yanks acquired Rick Cerone to replace the deceased Thurman Munson, getting pitcher Tom Underwood from the Blue Jays too, but parting with popular first baseman Chris Chambliss and hot prospect second baseman Damaso Garcia. Unfortunately, they didn’t stop there. In another move that same day, the price of Juan Beniquez and Jim Beattie would prove to be too much to pay for center fielder Ruppert Jones, whom they acquired from Seattle.
  • Duh! In one of the most obvious Cy Young selections ever, Ron Guidry was awarded the 1978 AL Award on November 1. Boston’s Jim Rice would edge Gator out in the MVP voting. Three decades later, it’s pretty clear that Gator’s 25-3 mark for a World Champion team should have surpassed even Rice’s fine offensive numbers.
  • Ten years earlier, 31-game winner Denny McLain of the Tigers was also an obvious Cy Young choice on November 1, 1968.
  • And two years before that Sandy Koufax swept the voting for NL Cy Young for the second year in a row, and became the first three-time winner ever on November 1, 1966.
  • The Yankees activated outfielder Colin Curtis from the 60-day disabled list on November 1, 2011.
  • The American League statistics published on November 1, 1943, found Yankee starter Spud Chandler with the best winning percentage (.833 at 20-4) that season, and the lowest era (1.64) since 1919.
  • Roy Campanella won his first of three NL MVP Awards on November 1, 1951, and Ernie Lombardi won the same award on the same day in 1938.
  • Reds third baseman Chris Sabo, who hit .271 with 11 home runs and 46 stolen bases, won the 1988 National League Rookie of the Year Award on November 1. Chicago’s Mark Grace was runner-up.
  • Brilliant yet erratic Dodgers GM Larry MacPhail entered the army on November 1, 1942. When he returned he joined the Yankees’ front office, and led them to the 1947 Championship. MacPhail was also behind the one-time rumored Joe DiMaggio for Ted Williams trade, which never did take place.
  • On November 1, 2010, the Yankees outrighted lefty Royce Ring to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Off his second so-so stop in the Bronx in two years, righthander Chad Gaudin elected free agency on the same day, and the Yankees called up center fielder Melky Mesa from the Tampa Yankees.
  • The precursor to perhaps the most significant sale in baseball history took place on November 1, 1916, when Harry Frazee and Hugh Ward bought the Boston Red Sox. Frazee would sell Babe Ruth to the Yankees four years later.
  • Arriving on the Yankee scene from different teams and leagues in 2004, one might assume that Spring Training that year was the first time Alex Rodriguez and Gary Sheffield ever suited up as teammates. But eight years earlier both were members of a major league All Star team that played in Japan. They opened their tour with a 6-5 loss on November 1, 1996. Cal Ripken, Mike Piazza, and Hideo Nomo were among their teammates.
  • Baltimore shortstop Ron Hansen was voted American League Rookie of the Year on November 1, 1960, with 22 of the 24 votes. The other two votes went to Orioles teammates Chuck Estrada and Jim Gentile. Hansen would play 120 games for the Yankees near his career’s end 10 years later.
  • Major League owners voted not to renew the contract of Commissioner Bowie Kuhn on November 1, 1982, though he would retain the office until a replacement could be found. This would eventually lead to the ascension of at-the-time Milwaukee owner and just retired Commissioner Bud Selig to the role.
  • Joe Torre‘s last Yankee third base coach, and his later one in L.A., Larry Bowa, got the job he wanted on November 1, 2000, when the Phillies hired him to manage their club for the 2001 season. He played 12 of his 16 big-league seasons in the City of Brotherly Love. Bowa lasted four years in Philly, and is one of the few to hold that job with a plus-.500 record.
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    Players Who Have Died This Day

  • “Bullet” Joe Bush (1974) easily earns first mention among the four Yankee players to have died on November 1 even if he spent just the 1922-1924 seasons in New York during a career that spanned 1912-1928. The hard-throwing righty posted a 62-38-4 mark while pitching in 115 games (91 starts) for the Yanks, but won 195, lost 183, and saved 20 games overall, pitching more often than not for the A’s and the Red Sox. Fellow righthander “Long” Tom Hughes (1961) debuted with the 1906-1910 Highlanders by both winning and losing 17 games, with two saves, in 54 games (35 starts). After a subsequent five-year stint with the Braves, his career mark was 56-39-16. And yet another righty, Charlie Caldwell (1957) threw all three of his big-league games (no starts) with the 1925 Yankees, to no record. Make it four of a kind, as righthander Pascual Perez (2012), who suffered a violent death in his home country, finished his big-league career in New York winning three games and losing six in 1990 and 1991 around a suspension for drugs. Perez, whose brother Melido Perez would follow him into the Bronx, won 67 games and lost 68 from 1980-1991 pitching mostly for the Braves, the Expos, and the Pirates.
  • The list of noteworthy nonYankee players who have died on November 1 includes three pitchers too, though one of them threw from the port side; a shortstop; and a catcher too. Southpaw Ed Brandt (1944) won 121, lost 146, and saved 17 games from 1928 through 1938 pitching mostly with the Braves; Benny Frey (1937) posted a 57-82-8 mark pitching most often for the Reds from 1929-1936; and Tom Cheney (2001) won 19, lost 29, and saved two games pitching five years with the Senators along with significant stops with the Cardinals and the Pirates from 1957-1966. Shortstop Mickey Doolan (1951) hit 15 home runs and drove in 554 runs from 1905-1918, playing primarily with the Phillies; and catcher John Orsino (2016) hit 40 home runs, drove in 123, and stole three bases while playing for the Orioles, the Giants, and the Senators from 1961 through 1967.
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    Players Born This Day

  • Now three Yankees share a November 1 birthday, but several others spent time with the organization while not playing for them. Luis de los Santos (1977), who played for the Devil Rays in 2002, was another Bomber draft pick who never played in Pinstripes and was born this day. The Yanks selected him from the amateur list in February 1995, and released him in July 2001. The Rays picked him up that November.
  • Lefty-batting first baseman/outfielder Ham Hyatt (1884) played six years in Pittsburgh and one in St. Louis before closing out his career by stroking two homers and collecting 10 rbi’s in 53 games for the 1918 Yankee squad. Something of a pinch-hitting wiz, Hyatt’s three pinch-hit triples in the 1909 campaign established a record that stood until 1970, and his three pinch-hit homers in 1913 wouldn’t be topped until 1932.
  • Switch-hitting shortstop Carlos Rodriguez (1967) got seven hits and two rbi’s in 37 at bats during 15 games for the 1991 Bombers, and finished up playing in Boston in 1994 and 1995.
  • More famous than any of the three listed so far is first baseman Vic Power (1927), who hit 126 home runs and 658 rbi’s in a 12-year career once the Yanks traded him with Don Bollweg, Jim Finigan, Johnny Gray, Bill Renna, and Jim Robertson to the Philadelphia Athletics for Harry Byrd, Eddie Robinson, Tom Hamilton, Carmen Mauro, and Loren Babe in December 1953. Power looked to be destined to be the second African American to play for the Yankees once New York purchased his contract and that of Elston Howard from Syracuse (International League) on the same day before the 1952 season, but Power was traded before cracking the lineup.
  • Rich Thompson (1958) pitched for the Indians in 1985 before the Yanks signed him as a free agent in March 1987. After New York released him two months later, he pitched for the Expos in 1989 and 1990 for a career record of 3-10 with five saves. In the same group is lefty-hitting shortstop Jim Kennedy (1946), whom the Yanks signed as an amateur free agent before the 1966 season. Lost to St. Louis in the 1969 rule-V draft, Kennedy scored one run on three hits in 12 games for the 1970 Cardinals in his only big-league play.
  • The third player with a November 1 birthday to actually play for the team is a biggie, who signed a seven-year contract to pitch here. Righthander Masahiro Tanaka (1988) arrived in New York with lots of hype from a stellar career pitching in Japan, and immediately proved that that was no fluke. Neither was the injury to his elbow he sustained, however, and the Yanks and their fans have looked anxiously forward to see if he can really avoid arm surgery and continue to pitch well. A 13-5 campaign in 2014 was more good news than bad, the 12-7 2015 season was somewhat injury-marred, but 2016 was decidedly better, as he led the league in era for some time and posted a 14-4 win/loss mark. Masahiro had some bad streaks during the 2017 campaign, going 13-12, but was superb down the stretch and in the postseason, then went 12-6 and was good in the post again in 2018.
  • Other birthdays: Hall of Fame Cincinnati second baseman Bid McPhee (1859); Pat Mullin (1917); Gary Redus (1956); Fernando Valenzuela (1960); Bob Wells (1966); Ryan Glynn (1974); Coco Crisp (1979); Steven Tolleson (1983), son of one-time Yankee infielder Wayne Tolleson; Stephen Vogt (1984); Paulo Orlando (1985); Rhiner Cruz (1986); Steve Geltz (1987); Anthony Bass (1987); Donnie Joseph (1987); Alex Wimmers (1988); Engel Beltre (1989); and Eric Hanhold (1993).