The Yankees learned early in their successful years that the key to continued success was retooling. So, after winning their second Championship in 1927, they recognized that need, and released righty Bob Shawkey and lefty Dutch Ruether on November 28, 1927. Shawkey had anchored the staff for 13 years, winning 168 games during his stay, and Ruether chipped in with another 15 wins since his arrival the season before.
On November 28, 2001, the Yankees announced the retirement of third baseman Scott Brosius. Scott spent the last four years with the Yankees, during which seasons he stroked 65 home runs with 282 rbi’s. He played in Oakland from 1991 through 1997, with career numbers of 141/531. A good glove at the hot corner, Brosius was named Most Valuable Player of the 1998 World Series, a four-game Pinstriped sweep of San Diego. His retirement came just 27 days after the huge ninth-inning home run he hit to tie Game Five of the 2001 World Series. Scott was recently back in the Bronx throwing out a ceremonial first pitch in the successful 2009 playoff run.
The Yankees news went from the ridiculous to the sublime on November 28, 2012, as first the club designated recently signed free agent catcher Eli Whiteside for assignment. It was much better news when they signed free agent lefty starter Andy Pettitte. Pettitte is probably gone entering 2014 after another fine season but, given the atrocious offensive year the Yanks got from the catching position in 2013, all off-season highlights regarding the position are bad news, at best.
It has become commonplace today, but fans expected trouble when the American League announced on November 28, 1958 that it would start its next season on its earliest date yet. And they were right. Only one game was successfully completed on the following April 9 (the first scheduled day), and the Red Sox and Bombers wouldn’t get their opener in in Yankee Stadium until Sunday, April 12, a 3-2 Yankee win.
The winningest lefthanded pitcher in major league baseball history, Warren Spahn, who passed away just a few years back, won the Cy Young Award on November 28, 1957. He was denied the chance to win the honor unanimously because Dick Donovan of the White Sox got the one vote, but the award’s significance is heightened by the fact that at the time only one player was honored among the two leagues.
Al Bumbry of the Orioles won the American League Rookie of the Year Award on November 28, 1973. In 1979 on the same day, Rick Sutcliffe of the Dodgers won the NL version of the same award; and 10 years earlier second baseman Ted Sizemore of the L.A. Dodgers, again, was so honored, on November 28, 1969.
After winning 34 games over the previous four seasons, Hal Newhouser rode his 29 victories during the 1944 campaign to the American League Most Valuable Player Award on November 28.
Jimmy Stewart and June Allyson starred in the movie, but it was based on a true story. White Sox pitcher Monty Stratton had his leg amputated due to a hunting accident that occurred on November 28, 1938.
Despite five divisional titles, four National League pennants, and two World Championships in nine years, the Cincinnati Reds fired Manager Sparky Anderson on November 28, 1978.
Outfielder Bob Meusel (1977) easily outdistances three other Yankee players to have died on November 28 in terms of longevity, but not Gil McDougald (2010), who spent all of his time from 1951-1960 manning second and third base and shortstop in Pinstripes, with the 119 games he played in his final season being the lowest total. Gil hit 112 home runs good for 576 rbi’s while going 1,291-for-4,676 during that time. All but 10 of the 156 home runs and 62 of the 1067 rbi’s Meusel gathered over 1920-1930 came with the Yanks until 1929; he played with the Reds in 1930. He earned the big offensive numbers with the Yanks while stroking 1,565 hits in 5,032 at bats playing 1,294 games. Outfielder Elmer Miller (1944) reached 12 fences good for 132 rbi’s in two stints (1915-1918, 1921-1922) in New York. Brief stops with the Cardinals and the Red Sox brought those numbers up to 16 and 151. Righthander Earl Moore (1961) went 2-6-1 in 12 games (nine starts) with the 1907 Highlanders in a 1901-1914 career that netted a 162-154-7 mark, with long stops with the Phillies, the Blues, and the Indians. Finally, shortstop Blondy Ryan (1959) had 11 rbi’s (no homers) in 30 games for the 1935 Yankees. In a 1930-1935 career spent mostly with the Giants, he hit eight long balls and drove in 133 runs.
The list of noteworthy nonYankee players who have died on November 20 includes three righthanded pitchers and a catcher, Ed McFarland (1959), who homered 13 times and knocked in 383 runs from 1893-1908 playing six years with the White Sox, five with the Phillies, and two with the Browns. Tommy Hughes (1990) won 31, lost 56, and saved three games mostly with the Phillies from 1941-1948; lefty hitting righthander Dick Erickson (1999) posted a 36-47-13 mark with the Bees, the Braves, and the Cubs from 1938-1942; and Connie Johnson (2004) won 40, lost 39, and saved one game for the White Sox and the Orioles from 1953-1958.
Players Who Have Died This Day
Dave Righetti (1958) is one of only seven Yankee players who were born on November 28. A Rookie of the Year winner, lefty Rags posted a 74-61 record and 224 saves in debuting in the Bronx from 1979 through 1990. He threw a no-hitter at the Red Sox in 1983 when he went 14-8, had a glowing 12-7 record with 29 saves in 1985. He broke the (at the time) one-season save record with 46 in 1986. A first-round (10th pick) 1977 draft choice by the Texas Rangers, Dave arrived in New York with Juan Beniquez, Mike Griffin, Paul Mirabella, and minor leaguer Greg Jemison via a November 1978 trade with the Rangers. The Yanks sent Domingo Ramos, Mike Heath, Sparky Lyle, Larry McCall, Dave Rajsich, and cash to Texas. The Yanks retained Righetti by signing him to a free agent contract following the 1987 season, but let him leave after 1990.
The sky seemed the limit for one of the newest Yankee players born November 28, and catcher/DH Jesus Montero (1989) caused quite a stir during his 18-game debut with the parent club in 2011. Playing just three of the games behind the dish, power-hitting Montero whacked four home runs and drove in 12 runs in just 61 at bats. The jury is out on the big young man’s future behind the plate, but the righty swinger hits with power to all fields. He will, however, do his hitting elsewhere, as the Yanks and Mariners surprised all of baseball with a swap of righthander Michael Pineda for Montero before the 2012 season, a year Pineda missed due to shoulder surgery. Montero struggled in Seattle in 2013, eventually being dispatched to the minors, while Yankee fans finally saw something very positive out of Pineda in 2014, once he returned from a suspension and an injury. Montero played mostly at first base for the Mariners in 38 games in 2015, his most recent appearance in mlb.
Shortstop Roxey Roach (1882) got his start with the Yanks too, where he knocked in 22 runs and stole 15 bases while playing 83 games for the 1910-1911 teams; the rest of his career consisted of the 1912 season with the Senators and a finale in 1915 with Buffalo of the Federal League. He and John Knight were traded by the Highlanders to the Washington Senators for Gabby Street and Jack Lelivelt in December 1911.
Outfielder Jim Jackson (1877) debuted with the 1901 Baltimore Orioles, the franchise that would relocate to New York as the Highlanders in 1903. He hit two home runs with 50 rbi’s in 94 games in Baltimore before jumping to the New York Giants before the 1902 season, and after one season with the Giants and two in Cleveland had compiled four homers with 132 runs driven in. Another player who debuted with the 1901 Orioles, righty Stan Yerkes (1874), ironically nicknamed “Yank” while playing with a team that would be known as the Yankees in some years, lost his only game in Baltimore. After three years in St. Louis, Stan’s record stood at 15-24.
The final two birthdaying Yanks each spent time with the team, but did not play for them. Southpaw Terry Burrows (1968) signed as a free agent with New York in June 1996 after two years with the Rangers, and was released that October. After finishing his career with the Brewers and the Padres, he ended with a 4-4 record and one save. Outfielder Pat Rooney (1957), a June 1978 Montreal amateur draft choice, was traded to the Yankees for Tim Burke in December 1983. Rooney was hitless in five at bats with the 1981 Expos, and struck out three times.
Other birthdays: Wes Westrum (1922); Sixto Lexcano (1953); Walt Weiss (1963); John Burkett (1964); Matt Williams (1965); Robb Nen (1969); Pedro Astacio (1969); Bill Simas (1971); Jose Parra (1972); Adam Bernero (1976); Nook Logan (1979); Carlos Villanueva (1983); Kevin Quackenbush (1988); Taylor Davis (1989); Angel Sanchez (1989); and Miguel Diaz (1994).
Players Born This Day