November 2 in Yankee History

  • The Yankees threatened a big come-from-behind win before falling 8-6 to the Phillies in Philadelphia in game 5 of the 2009 World Series on November 2. After the home team jumped on A.J. Burnett for six runs through six outs, the pen held the home team until Chase Utley and Raul Ibanez hit singleton jacks in the seventh. Too bad because the Yanks scored three in the eighth on Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez doubles and one more in the ninth to forge the final score.
  • Taking care of offseason business on November 2, 2015, the Yankees released righthander Chris Martin, and sent righty Diego Moreno outright to the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. In addition, outfielder Chris Young, second baseman Stephen Drew, lefthander Chris Capuano, and righty Sergio Santos elected free agency.
  • Although it would have no real bearing on the two games left, the Yanks activated Ramiro Pena before that November 2, 2009 game because they DL’d Melky Cabrera, who pulled a hamstring trying to beat out a slow roller the day before. Melky was out for the year, so the Yankees were allowed to add a position player to take his place.
  • “Clueless Joe,” the tabloid back covers trumpeted the day after November 2, 1995. The Yanks had just filled the vacant managing position that had been created with Buck Showalter‘s departure with the veteran player, manager, and baseball announcer Joe Torre. Most (though not all; New York is a tough town) have ridiculed that characterization now that Joe brought in four World Titles and 12 playoff appearances in the following 12 years. And he led the L.A. Dodgers to the post in 2008 and 2009 after leaving New York, eventually passing on that job to ex-Yankee favorite Don Mattingly.
  • Five different Yankee players filed for free agency on November 2, 2017, but only CC Sabathia would end up back in the Bronx in 2018. The other four players who selected free agency were righthander Michael Pineda, lefthander Jaime Garcia, third baseman Todd Frazier, and DH Matt Holliday. Also declaring free agency, in his case from Milwaukee following a late-season trade there from the Mets, was infielder Neil Walker, who would be signed by the Yanks late in 2018 Spring Training, and who would play a key role in their 100-win season.
  • In the second-closest vote ever, Roger Maris edged out Mickey Mantle for the American League Most Valuable Player Award on November 2, 1960, by a count of 225-222. It went some distance toward setting up their dramatic home-run battle in the next season.
  • On that same 1960 day, 66-year-old George Weiss resigned his position as general manager of the Yankees.
  • Preparing for a year where their vaunted offense would seriously let them down, the Yankee move to exercise their 2008 club option on right fielder Bobby Abreu on November 2, 2007, has to be considered one of their better decisions. Not only were the 20 home runs and 100 rbi’s solid numbers, Bobby was a pretty consistent offensive performer throughout the season. They would opt to take another direction after the 2008 season, however.
  • History tells us that November 2, 1964, was a black day in Yankee land indeed, as the CBS purchase of the club precipitated a sharp downward turn in their fortunes afield. The neglect-driven decline wouldn’t be reversed until George Steinbrenner saved the franchise from the kind of disinterested, ineffective, and uncaring ownership that allowed the team to languish near the bottom of the American League standings for most of the next eight seasons following the CBS purchase.
  • Joe DiMaggio also lost a tight race for American League Most Valuable Player, back on November 2, 1937, when Detroit Tiger batting champ Charlie Gehringer beat him in a close vote.
  • Another Yankee star was MVP runner-up when Jimmie Foxx outpointed Yankee catcher Bill Dickey for the AL version on this day in 1938.
  • Babe Ruth made two appearances on the pages of history on November 2, in 1934 when he began a tour of Japan, and again in 1938 when he applied for the job of manager of the St. Louis Browns.
  • Steve Carlton had the most convincing of four November 2 Cy Young Award-winning votes when he copped the NL prize on that day in 1972.
  • San Diego Padres hurler Randy Jones beat Jerry Koosman of the Mets for the NL prize on November 2, 1976; Steve Carlton (again) outpointed L.A.’s Tommy John on the same day the following year; and Philadelphia Phillies starter John Denny defeated runner-up Mario Soto of the Reds on November 2, 1983.
  • On November 2, 1950, Phillies reliever Jim Konstanty won the NL MVP on the strength of a 16-7 record with 22 saves and a 2.66 era. He amassed that win toll totally out of the bullpen. Later in his career, Konstanty posted an 8-3 record with the Yankees from 1954 through part of 1956.
  • In the first game of its kind in Japanese-American exhibition history, Baltimore’s Pat Dobson threw a 2-0 no-hitter against the Yomiuri Giants on November 2, 1971. Dobson had just teamed with Dave McNally, Mike Cuellar, and Jim Palmer as the only four 20-game-winning teammates ever, and he would be pitching in the Bronx in 1973.
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    Players Who Have Died This Day

  • Red Sox and Yankees shortstop Everett Scott (1960), who had the only major-league 1,000-plus-game-playing streak until Lou Gehrig broke it, is the first of two Yankee players to have died on November 2. He played 481 of those games in New York from 1922-1925, clearing 13 fences good for 173 rbi’s on 431-for-1,698 hitting during that time. From 1914-1926, Scott hit 20 home runs overall, and drove in 551 runs. Righthander Billy Zuber (1982) won 18, lost 22, and saved two games pitching 66 games (40 starts) for the 1943-1946 Yankees, increasing those numbers to 43-42-6 playing five years with the Indians and two each with the Senators and the Red Sox between 1936 and 1947.
  • The list of noteworthy nonYankee players who have died on November 1 includes one righthanded pitcher, one lefty, one lefty-hitting outfielder, a lefthanded center fielder, three shortstops, and a catcher. Southpaw Bill Bailey (1926) won 38, lost 76, and saved none mostly for the Browns from 1907 through 1922; Lew Moren (1966) posted a 48-57-3 mark pitching parts of four seasons with both the Pirates and the Phillies from 1903-1910; and portsided-hitting outfielder Greasy Neale (1973) hit most of his eight home runs with 200 runs driven in from 1899-1911 with the Reds. The three shortstops are: Joe Sullivan (1897), who hit 11 long balls with 227 rbi’s from 1893-1896 mostly with the Phillies and the Senators; Freddy Parent (1972), who hit 20 home runs with 471 runs driven in from 1899-1911 with the Americans and the White Sox; and Roy McMillan (1997), a light-hitting crowd favorite with the Mets for three years who had previously played with Cincinnati for 10 years and Atlanta for four, totaling 68 roundtrippers and 594 runs knocked in from 1951-1966. Lefty-hitting, righty-throwing catcher Joe Ginsberg (2012) hit 20 home runs and drove in 182 runs playing mostly for Detroit and Baltimore from 1948-1962. And most recent addition is lefthanded center fielder Eddie Milner (2015), who hit 42 home runs and drove in 195 while playing with the Reds from 1986 through 1986 and again in 1988, and with the Giants in 1987.
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    Players Born This Day

  • One of five Yankee November 2 birthdays belongs to Greg Harris (1955), who got into only three games for the team once they picked him up in 1994 before the strike ended the season on August 12. Greg was signed as a free agent that July and released 10 days later with an 0-1 record. Harris was the last Boston pitcher the Yanks signed until they nabbed lefty reliever Alan Embree in 2005. He spent five-plus of his 15 years in the bigs with Boston. Harris was one of the very few ambidextrous pitchers in major league baseball history, though he was forced to throw righty only for most of his teams.
  • Infielder Wilson Betemit (1981) has 40-plus home runs and 50-plus rbi’s through the 2009 season since first appearing in the big leagues with Atlanta in 2001, but he finished the latter season in the Bronx once New York sent Scott Proctor to the Dodgers for him. A switch-hitter most comfortable at third base, Betemit hit four home runs with 24 rbi’s for the Yankees in roughly half the 2007 season. The five home runs and 25 runs driven in through all of 2008, then, was a disappointment, and he was traded away for Nick Swisher.
  • But the list of November 2 baseball birthdays includes a few other Yankee influences. Although Billy Connors (1941) posted just an 0-2 career mark with the 1966 Cubs and the 1967-1968 Mets, he has served as a Yankee minor league pitching guru in Tampa for some time.
  • And then there’s 1977 New York Yankees draft choice and 1985 NL MVP Willie McGee (1958), who did not play in New York but rather patrolled outfields in St. Louis, Oakland, and San Francisco for 18 years. Signed as a Yankee amateur free agent in January 1977, McGee was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for Bob Sykes, in October 1981. Shortly thereafter Sykes faded from the scene with injuries and was no help to New York at all.
  • Also, lefty DH Sam Horn (1963), who in one game playing for the visiting Red Sox lined a homer off the back wall in the Yankee Stadium right field bleachers. Power-hitting Horn blasted 62 homers with 179 rbi’s for the Sox, the Orioles, the Indians, and the Rangers from 1989 through 1995. The Yanks signed him as a free agent in December 1993, and released him the following June.
  • And the Yankee list grew one more in 2006 when ex-Baltimore starter Sidney Ponson (1976) was signed for five weeks around the All Star break. Ponson showed promise early with the Orioles, but lost a game in five appearances with the Yanks and was released. He was reacquired due to multiple pitching injuries in mid-2008, and won four of eight decisions in 16 games (15 starts).
  • A new kid on the Yankee November 2 birthday block is southpaw Tommy Layne (1984), who posted a 6-4 record with four saves pitching two years with the Padres and two-plus with the Red Sox until Boston released him in August 2016, and the Yankees signed him three days later. In 29 games in the Bronx, Layne added two wins and one save to those numbers. Retained for the 2017 season, Tommy struggled in 19 games before being released in July, when the Dodgers picked him up, though they released him as well one month later.
  • Newer still on the Yankee birthday stage is righthander Jonathan Loaisiga (1994), a free agent signing with the club in 2016, once he had signed with, then been released by, the Giants. Jonathan would go 2-0 in nine games (four starts) with the 2018 Yankees, and he was particularly effective when he first got the call. But he experienced arm troubles, then struggled upon his return, ending with a 5.11 era. Still, he will be watched closely going forward, in hopes the Yanks got lucky with an undrafted signing.
  • Other birthdays: the last ballplayer in any alphabetical listing, Dutch Zwilling (1888); Hall of Fame New York Giants shortstop Travis Jackson (1903); winner of back-to-back no-hitters Johnny Vander Meer (1914), who threw 11 of 13 seasons in Cincinnati; notorious Dodgers exec Al Campanis (1916) who did see action during one year in the bigs; Dick Sisler (1920); Ron Reed (1942); Tom Paciorek (1946); Orlando Merced (1966); Travis Miller (1972); Orlando Cabrera (1974); Paul Rigdon (1975); Yunel Escobar (1982); Taylor Green (1986); Seth Rosin (1998); Matt Koch (1990); Brian Goodwin (1990); and Carlos Asuaje (1991).