November 21 in Yankee History

  • The loss to the Royals in the ALCS did him in, so even though Manager Dick Howser of the 1980 New York Yankees had led his charges to a 103-win season, he gracefully “resigned” on November 21, 1980, when he was replaced on the bench by Gene “Stick” Michael.
  • The Yankees purchased the contract of Joe DiMaggio from the San Francisco Seals on November 21, 1934.
  • The Bombers signed free agent catcher Joe Oliver to serve as the second fiddle to Jorge Posada on November 21, 2000. Oliver was one in a series of disappointing backup backstops the Yanks signed, a trend they halted when they signed John Flaherty, and improved upon in 2006 when they acquired Jose Molina.
  • First baseman Hal Chase had replaced Gene Stallings as manager of the second-place Highlanders with 11 games remaining in the 1910 season. But he didn’t enjoy the job as much after the club slid to sixth place in the 1911 season. It did not matter that they posted a respectable 76-76 record, and he resigned on November 21, 1911. But he did continue playing in New York for two more years. He would be replaced by Harry Wolverton and the team would plummet to 50-102 and seventh place in 1912.
  • Bob Scheffing was hired to manage the Detroit Tigers on November 21, 1960, but only after Casey Stengel, recently “retired” by the Yankees, had turned down the job.
  • Chuck Klein became the only player to be traded after a Triple Crown season when the Phillies sent him to the Cubs on November 21, 1933 for three guys with Pinstripes in their blood. Shortstop/third baseman Mark Koenig (1925-1930) and outfielder/first baseman Harvey Hendrick (1923-1924) had gotten their respective starts in the Bronx, and rookie pitcher Ted Kleinhans would later (1936) pitch one year for the Yanks.
  • Darryl Strawberry of the Mets became the first non-Dodger to win the Rookie of the Year Award in the National League since 1978 when he copped the prize on November 21, 1983. Joe Black of the Dodgers won it on the same day in 1952; Bob Horner of the Braves eked out a win over Padre Ozzie Smith for the award on November 21, 1978; Baltimore’s Eddie Murray bested Oakland’s Mitchell Page for the AL Award on the same day one year earlier; and both leagues bestowed the honor on November 21, 1972, with Carlton Fisk of the Red Sox winning in the AL, and New York Met Jon Matlack copping the senior circuit prize.
  • Brooklyn Dodger Don Newcombe doubled his pleasure in 1956, winning the first-ever Cy Young Award, and the NL MVP on November 21. Despite 44 home runs and 119 rbi’s from Willie Stargell, Pete Rose of the Reds won the 1973 NL MVP on this same day; and San Francisco Giant Kevin Mitchell brought the honor home on November 21, 1989 on the strength of his 47 home runs.
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    Players Who Have Died This Day

  • Righthander Slow Joe Doyle (1947), whose 70 games pitched (50 starts) with the 1906-1910 Highlanders comprised almost his entire career, is the first of six Yankee players to have died on November 21. Doyle pitched to a 22-21-1 record in New York, numbers which did not change following a five-game stint with Cincinnati in 1910. Fellow righthander Norm Branch‘s (1971) only big league play was in 37 games (no starts) for the 1941-1942 Yankees, with whom he went 5-2-4. The least effective of the four righties to die this day was Fred Glade (1934), who lost four games (with no wins or saves) of the five games (all starts) he pitched at the end of his career with the 1908 Highlanders. An earlier one-year stop with the Cubs and pitching with the Browns from 1904-1907 resulted in an overall 52-68-2 mark. Lefty-hitting outfielder Dusty Cooke (1987) played 122 games with the 1930-1932 Yankees to start his career. He hit seven home runs with 35 rbi’s in that time, numbers that ended up at 24 and 229 after playing with the 1933-1936 Red Sox and the 1938 Reds. The most recent members of this club also comprise a righthander and an outfielder. Righty Ken Johnson (2015) went 1-2-0 in 12 games (no starts) with the 1969 Yanks in a 1958-1970 career spent mostly with the Braves, the A’s, and the Houston Colt 45s; his overall mark was 91-106-9. Portsided outfielder Kerry Dineen (2015) debuted in the bigs by driving in two runs in 11 games for the 1975-76 Bombers, going 10-for-29 at the plate. He finished up getting two hits in eight at bats over four games with the 1978 Phillies, with no homers or rbi’s.
  • Two of the three noteworthy nonYankee players to have died this day are Hall of Famers with the at-the-time crosstown New York Giants. Lefty-hitting outfielder Mel Ott, who passed away on November 21, 1958, hit 511 home runs and drove in 1,860 runs with the Giants from 1926-1947. Southpaw Carl Hubbell (1988) won 253 games, lost 154, and saved 33 solely with the Giants as well, from 1928-1943. Finally, first baseman Frank McCormick (1982) hit 128 long balls and knocked in 951 runs playing from 1934-1945 with the Reds, 1946-1947 with the Pirates, and 1947-1948 with the Braves.
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    Players Born This Day

  • Until 2014, the only Yankee born on November 21 was Todd Erdos, who notched a save in 20 games for the Yanks from 1998 through 2000. He was taken from San Diego in the 1997 expansion draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks. But in four months the Yanks traded Andy Fox to Arizona for Erdos and former Bombers prospect Marty Janzen in March 1998. Erdos finished the 2000 season with the Padres and appeared with the Red Sox in 2001.
  • The frustration of fans built through the final days of the 2014 season as promising talent lingered below with the Yanks fielding players who did not give them the best chance to win, when it was Martin Prado surgery to the rescue. At long last, second baseman Jose Pirela (1988) got the call to report to the Bronx. Eyes were on Pirela in 2015 after he accumulated eight hits in seven games, while knocking in three runs with the Yanks, scratching (unsuccessfully) to make the post. Jose was signed as a free agent in July 2006. He did not fare as well in 2015, hitting .230 with one home run and five rbi’s in 37 games, often entering late in games. Once Pirela was traded to San Diego for hurler Ronald Herrera prior to the 2016 season, he collected just six hits in 15 games, then hit 10 long balls good for 40 rbi’s in 83 games as a utility player in ’17.
  • Other birthdays: lefty-hitting third baseman for Brooklyn from 1922-1934 Andy High (1897); Hall of Fame New York Giants third baseman Freddie Lindstrom (1905), who became the youngest player to appear in the World Series when he played against Washington in 1924; Hall of Fame St. Louis Cardinal known as “The Man,” Stan Musial (1920); former manager Paul Richards (1908); Mark Almon (1952); Mark Eichhorn (1960); Dick Schofield (1962); Ken Griffey, Jr. (1969); Brian Meadows (1975); 2003 All Star Game hero Hank Blalock (1980); Enrique Cruz (1981); Quintin Berry (1984); Ryan LaMarre (1988); Matt West (1988); Abel De Los Santos (1992); and Jason Garcia (1992).