January 19 in Yankee History

  • One of the highlights about January from a baseball fan perspective is that it is the month during which great players are often honored by being named to the Hall of Fame. And on January 19, one of those honorees was New York Yankee catcher Yogi Berra, joined on the dais in 1972 by the legendary Sandy Koufax and by 300-game winner Early Wynn. Yogi played for the Yanks from 1946 through 1963 (we won’t mention the handful of at bats for the Mets in 1965). He smacked 358 home runs, drove in 1,430 runs, and even stole 30 bases, and won three American League Most Valuable Player Awards.
  • The Yanks acquired veteran Phillies outfielder Johnny Callison conditionally on January 19, 1972, the same day that Yogi was honored in the Hall. Callison was a multiple All Star and garnered 226 career home runs and 840 rbi’s. The Bombers went through with the deal and shipped veteran reliever Jack Aker to Philly for Johnny. Aker had posted a 16-10 record and amassed an impressive 31 saves in the Bronx from 1969-1972. Callison would end his career with the Yanks in 1972 and 1973, during which time he would chip in with 10 taters, 44 rbi’s, and four stolen bases in 137 games.
  • On January 19, 2022, the Yankees signed free agent shortstop Santiago Gomez to a minor league contract.
  • On January 19, 2012, the Yankees signed free agent righthander Jose Pujols.
  • On January 19, 1937, Cy Young, Nap Lajoie, and Tris Speaker were voted into the Hall. And on the same day in 1977 and 1978, respectively, Ernie Banks and Eddie Matthews received the nod. (Eddie is the only guy to play for the Boston, Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves.)
  • President Ronald Reagan pardoned Yankee owner George Steinbrenner on January 19, 1989, for having made illegal campaign contributions to the Richard Nixon campaign years before.
  • In a January 19 transaction that would involve future Yankee players in the most bizarre fashion, the Braves released veterans Paul “Big Poison” Waner and Johnny Cooney in 1943. Waner would play for Brooklyn in 1943 and begin the 1944 season there as well. Then he would finish up with the Yanks, playing nine games in 1944 and one in 1945. In the 10 games, he would manage seven at bats, notch one rbi and steal one base. Cooney did almost exactly the same thing, playing in Brooklyn in 1943 and 1944, and then playing 10 games for the Yanks. The only differences: Cooney got one more at bat (eight), did not steal a base, and he played all 10 games with the Yanks in 1944, retiring before the 1945 season, although he would manage the Braves for 46 games in 1949. Another difference: Waner would be named to the Hall of Fame on January 31, 1952; Cooney won’t be receiving the same nod.
  • On January 19, 1956, Hoboken dedicated a plaque in honor of Alexander Cartwright as an early organizer of baseball at Elysian Field in that New Jersey city.
  • The Oakland A’s unveiled a new elephant logo on January 19, 1993.
  • Although he did not play the game, another January 19 transaction involving a future Yankee was the announcement of Larry MacPhail as new Brooklyn Dodgers’ GM in 1938. MacPhail would later join Dan Topping and Del Webb in purchasing the Yankee franchise from the Ruppert Estate in 1945. While with the team, he fired long-time Manager Joe McCarthy, but later brought Allie Reynolds to New York (although some reports credit the selection of “Superchief” as a player to trade for to Joe DiMaggio).
  • Given the huge part the Broadway show No, No Nanette played in the Yankees’ ability to pry Babe Ruth out of Boston more than 85 years ago, it is ironic that that very show was running as a revival in New York when the Yanks pulled off another Beantown coup, when they acquired Sparky Lyle from the Red Sox after the 1971 season. The Nanette revival opened on January 19, 1971.
    Players Who Have Died This Day

  • One of two Yankee players to have died on January 19 was a star in the Bronx, lefty-hitting outfielder George Selkirk (1987). Playing exclusively for the Bombers from 1934-1942, George hit 108 home runs and knocked in 576 runs. Lefty-hitting outfielder Roy Weatherley (1991) reached seven fences for 28 rbi’s playing for New York in 1943 and 1946. But Roy got most of his 43 long balls and 290 rbi’s from 1936 through 1950 with the Cleveland Indians.
  • There are another six players to follow, but two huge nonYankee figures in the game passed away on January 19, 2013. Hall of Fame lefthanded outfielder and first baseman Stan “The Man” Musial played his entire 1941-1963 career (minus 1945, when he served in the military) with the St. Louis Cardinals. Musial, who won the NL MVP three times and came in second in the voting another four times, accumulated 475 home runs and 1,951 rbi’s. Baltimore Orioles Manager Earl Weaver led the O’s from 1968-1982 and again from 1985 to 1986. His teams won four American League pennants and beat the Reds four games to one in the 1970 World Series. A colorful character and umpire baiter, Weaver dogged the Yankees for years, and compiled an overall record of 1,480-1,060. Boston catcher Marty Bergen killed his wife, his two children, and himself on January 19, 1900. In addition there are two lefthanded pitchers, a righty, and a lefty-hitting first baseman/third baseman on the list of noteworthy nonYankee players who have died on January 19. Southpaw Jim Joe Edwards (1965) won 26 games, lost 37, and saved four with the 1922-1925 Indians, the 1925-1926 White Sox, and the 1928 Reds; and Milt Shoffner (1978) posted a 25-26-3 mark from 1929-1940 with the Indians, the Bees, and the Reds. Righty Johnny Babich (2001) won 30, lost 45, and saved one game with the Dodgers and the A’s from 1934-1941; and infielder Bill Everitt (1938) hit 11 home runs and drove in 341 runs mostly with the Colts and the Orphans from 1895-1901. Shortstop Bert Pena (2023) hit one home run and drove in 10 runs playing 88 games from 1981-1987, all for Houston.
    Players Born This Day

  • Even though he only garnered one hit in seven at bats in the Bronx, one of the three Yankee players born on January 19 was very much on Yankee fans’ lips in Spring Training in 2003. A switch-hitting, power-hitting first baseman who seemed at home around the bag, Fernando Seguignol (1975) was removed from the 40-man roster back then to make room for Tony Clark. Fernando, who signed with the Yanks as a free agent in 1993, was sent to Montreal in the trade that brought John Wetteland here in 1995. After playing with the Expos from 1998-2001, Seguignol signed with the Yanks as a free agent again, and got into five games in 2003, which is when he managed his only Yankee hit.
  • When Jeff Juden (1971) joined the 1999 Bombers to finish his nine-year big-league career, he was playing with his sixth team. He had played parts of two seasons with the Astros and the Phillies, and one each with the Giants, the Brewers, and the Braves. He went 0-1 in two games (one start) with the Yankees.
  • And outfielder Pat Maloney‘s (1888) only big league play came with the 1912 Highlanders, during which season he scored nine runs, knocked in four, and stole three bases in 25 games.
  • Other birthdays: Old-time first baseman Chick Gandil (1887), who was rumored to be the ringleader of the group of White Sox players who threw the 1919 World Series; Jon Matlack (1950); Chris Sabo (1962); Jim Morris (1964), who achieved some fame in the film The Rookie; Anthony Young (1966), who set the consecutive-loss record with the Mets; Orlando Palmeiro (1969); Rick Krivda (1970); Phil Nevin (1971), a good ballplayer who unfortunately is well known for being chosen ahead of Derek Jeter in the 1992 amateur draft; Chris Stynes (1973); Amaury Telemacho (1974); Wilton Veras (1978); Byung-Hyun Kim (1979); Terry Evans (1982); James Darnell (1987); Shawn Tolleson (1988); James Beresford (1989); Jharel Cotton (1992); and Nick Burdi (1993).