A.J. Burnett really made his name and earned his Yankee cred with a dominant performance in Game 2 of the 2009 World Series on October 29, with a 3-1 win over veteran righty Pedro Martinez. Following a Philadelphia sacore in the second inning, Mark Teixeiraequalled matters with a fourth-inning home run. Then making an early case for the Series MVP title he would eventually win, Hideki Matsui cleared the right-field fence with the game winner in the sixth. Jorge Posada delivered an insurance with a pinch-hit rbi single in the seventh.
In what may have been as dramatic a move as any in the long successful history of the New York Yankees, they wooed Red Sox Manager Ed Barrow and hired him to be their business manager on October 29, 1920. The work Hall of Fame Executive Barrow put into the farm system, and the canny trades and player moves he engineered, were largely responsible for the 14 American League pennants and 10 World Titles in the 25 years that followed. Ed is credited with the decision to convert Babe Ruth from pitcher to everyday player and outfielder. And earlier in his career he discovered Hall of Fame shortstop Honus Wagner.
Seeing the Yankees trade for and sign one fading veteran starting pitcher after another in the post-Mickey Mantle years and then again in the eighties, I can appreciate what the new Los Angeles Angels were trying to accomplish when they bought the contract of Bob Turley from the Bronx Bombers on October 29, 1962. But the Yankees knew what they were doing. After going 82-52 with 12 saves in eight years in New York, Turley posted a 2-7 mark in L.A., and a 1-4 record when he was subsequently moved to Boston.
The anchor of a dynamite young starting staff in Flushing, Tom Seaver of the Mets was voted the National League Cy Young Award on October 29, 1969, not a bad honor just weeks after having earned a Championship ring.
White Sox hurler Early Wynn copped the AL prize exactly 10 years earlier, on October 29, 1959. His 22-10 mark represented his last great season, bringing Early the 271st of his 300 career wins, and a third place finish in the AL MVP voting. In the last pre-2005 World Series featuring the White Sox, Wynn got the Game One win over the Dodgers that season, but he also suffered the Game Six loss that ended that Classic in Comiskey Park.
Red Sox center fielder Fred Lynn won the AL Rookie of the Year Award by a landslide on October 29, 1975.
After winning 31 games in ’31, the A’s Lefty Grove was named the American League MVP on October 29, 1931. It was the seventh consecutive season he had outpaced the League in strike outs, and he led in ERA, winning percentage, and complete games too.
Although when historians record the history of the World Series, they count from the early 20th Century with the advent of the American League, the National League’s New York Giants defeated the Brooklyn Bridegrooms of the American Asssociation in an early nine-game version, six games to three, on October 29, 1889.
Players Who Have Died This Day
Although his New York stint was brief, righthander Ewell Blackwell (1996), who went 3-0-2 in 13 games (six starts) with the 1952-1953 club, easily outdistances the other five Yankee players to have died on October 29 in notoriety. Blackwell posted an 82-78-10 record from 1942-1955, mostly with the Reds. Lefty-hitting first baseman/utility player Harvey Hendrick (1934), who debuted by hitting four home runs and 23 rbi’s on 38-for-142 hitting for the 1923-1924 Yankees, finished with 48 long balls and 413 runs driven in after playing mostly with the Dodgers and the Reds until 1934; and outfielder Dave Fultz (1959), who ended his playing days with two homers and 99 rbi’s hitting 257-for-1056 in 305 games for 1903-1905 Highlanders, increased the numbers to three and 223 with short stops with the Phillies, the Orioles and the A’s from 1898-1902. Switch-hitting third baseman/second baseman Bill McKechnie (1965) had 15 hits in 112 at bats good for eight rbi’s in 45 games for the 1913 Yankees, and accumulated eight long balls overall with 240 runs driven in from 1907-1920, mostly with the Pirates and the Reds. Righthander Tom Sheehan (1982) posted a win and a save in 12 games (one start) for the 1921 Yankees, part of a 17-39-5 mark achieved from 1915-1926 with the A’s, the Reds, and the Pirates; and lefty-hitting outfielder George Wilson (1974) garnered no homers nor rbi’s on two hits in 12 at bats ending his 1952-1956 career with the 1956 Yankees. The three home runs and 19 runs driven in he did record came mostly with the Giants.
The noteworthy nonYankee players who have died on October 29 include a catcher and a switch-hitting second baseman. Backstop Pop Snyder (1924) cleared seven fences good for 339 rbi’s from 1876-1891 mostly with the Redlegs, the Red Caps, the Grays, and the Blues; and second sacker Tom Daly (1938) hit 49 roundtrippers and drove in 811 runs from 1887-1903 with the Bridegrooms, the Superbas, and the White Stockings.
Players Born This Day
Lefty outfielder Karim Garcia (1975) became the fifth Yankee October 29 birthday when he had five at bats in two games with the 2002 club before his July release. Garcia was subsequently reacquired, with reliever Dan Miceli, from the Indians in June 2003. Karim hit six home runs and notched 21 rbi’s with the Yanks.
Jesse Barfield‘s (1959) right field arm was his best weapon, and he hit for power as well. He hit 62 homers with 189 rbi’s in the Bronx in the three-plus years he spent with the team after he was acquired for lefty Al Leiter in a 1989 trade from Toronto. With the Blue Jays Jesse had hit another 179 taters with 527 rbi’s since starting his career in 1981. Barfield notched 162 career outfield assists, 45 of them with the Yanks. Cleveland infielder Josh Barfield is Jesse’s son.
Lefty-hitting shortstop Frank Baker (1946) started with the Yanks, getting no homers and 13 rbi’s in 1970 and 1971 before finishing his career with two seasons in Baltimore. Baker was a second-round selection in the secondary phase of the 1967 amateur draft. The Bombers traded Baker to Baltimore for Tom Matchick in April 1973.
Righty Happy Finneran (1891) went 3-6 for the 1918 Yankees once they purchased him from Detroit that May. Happy also played five other seasons including two with the Brooklyn Tip-Tops of the Federal League. And outfielder Solly Hofman (1882) finished up a 14-year career by going 8-for-27 with two rbi’s for the 1916 Yanks, once he jumped to the club from the Buffalo Blues of the newly defunct Federal League. Hofman played most of his earlier years with the Cubs in Chicago.
Other birthdays: Charles Ebbets (1859) who managed the 1898 Brooklyn club, and the guy for whom Ebbets Field was named; Pete Richert (1939); Jim Bibby (1944); R.A. Dickey (1974); Will Venable (1982); Dana Eveland (1983); and Jose Mijares (1984).