The Yankees traded three minor leaguers to the Texas Rangers on November 14, 1979, for Eric Soderholm. The third baseman would hit .287 in 1980, but with only 11 homers and 35 rbi’s. The first-round draft choice of the Minnesota Twins in 1968, Soderholm would miss the 1981 season due to injury, and then retire.
George Weiss retired from his position as president of the New York Mets — and from baseball — on November 14, 1966. The Hall of Fame executive had worked in a front office capacity for the Yankees for 29 years, during which time they won 19 American League pennants and 15 World Championships.
Former Yankee player and manager Lou Piniella was named AL Manager of the Year for the Seattle Mariners on November 14, 2001.
When the Yankees activated four players from the 60-day disabled list on November 14, 2008, it would have been impossible to foretell how each would perform in 2009. Righthanded reliever Jonathan Albaladejo‘s up-and-down year, mostly in AAA, wouldn’t have been hard to guess, and fans would be delighted to watch catcher Jorge Posada recover from major shoulder surgery. But few would have bet money that DH Hideki Matsui would be World Series MVP. Still the last one is the shocker, and a bummer: Righty starter Chien-Ming Wang would pitch very little, and never win a game.
A setup man couldn’t possibly be an MVP, could he? It was closed-minded thinking like that resulted in Juan Gonzalez narrowly edging out Alex Rodriguez for the American League MVP on November 14, 1996, when the man who clearly was the “most valuable” to his team, the Yankees’ Mariano Rivera, lagged badly and finished in 12th place in the voting. And if you think it’s a minor snub, consider this. Rivera has been the best reliever in baseball history the last 14 years, and has no major awards to show for it.
No Yankee on that 1996 Yankee team could win anything (but the World Series) as Pat Hentgen grabbed the AL Cy Young over 21-game winner Andy Pettitte on November 14. Randy Johnson won his second consecutive NL award on the same day in 2000; former Yankee Doug Drabeck won it in the same league for the Pirates in 1990; and Padres reliever Mark Davis won the NL Cy Young on November 14, 1989.
Three years before he would become a Yankee, slugger Reggie Jackson won the 1973 AL MVP unanimously on November 14. Henry Aaron won the National League prize in a close vote over Stan Musial and Red Schoendienst on the same day back in 1957.
Rounding out the other November 14 League Awards, Jim Palmer of the Orioles took the Cy Young on this day in 1973, and Don Baylor won the Junior Circuit Most Valuable Player on the basis of leading the league in runs and rbi’s in 1979.
Things looked to be coming up rosy for the Mets on November 14, 1986. They had just won the franchise’s second Championship and on this day the Doubleday Publishing Company sold the club to Nelson Doubleday and Fred Wilpon. They would win the NL East in 1988, but the club would soon move into some very lean years.
We’ll start a list of six Yankee players to have died on November 14 with Hall of Fame righthander Joe “Iron Man” McGinnity, who passed away on November 14, 1929. Joe compiled a 246-142 record in 10 short years in the bigs, much of it with the Giants, but including going 39-30 in 73 games (66 starts) for the AL Baltimore Orioles’ 1901-1902 team that would be shifted to New York as the Highlanders in 1903. Three catchers come next: Jack O’Connor (1937) drove in 12 runs for the 1903 Highlanders on 43-for-212 hitting in 64 games. Between 1887 and 1910, Jack hit 19 home runs with 738 rbi’s playing for the Indians, the Browns, the Colts, the Pirates, and the Red Stockings. Les Nunamaker (1938) played 369 games for the 1914-1917 Yankees, for whom he hit two long balls and drove in 107 runs on 322-for-1,076 hitting. Subsequent four-year stints with the Red Sox and Indians until 1922 increased his offensive numbers to two and 216. Backstop Jesse Gonder (2004) debuted with the 1960-1961 Yankees by hitting one home run and knocking in six runs batting 6-for-19 in 22 games. Stints with the Reds, the Mets, and the Braves until 1967 left him with 26 long balls and 94 rbi’s. Next, lefthander George Clark‘s (1940) only 11 big league games (one start) were thrown for the 1913 Yankees to a 0-1-0 record; and hurler Luke Nelson (1985) played for the Yanks only as well, with a 3-0-0 record in nine games (one start) for the 1919 club. And most recently stalwart righty bullpenner Lindy McDaniel (2020) pitched to a 38-29 record with 58 saves with the Yankees from 1968 through 1973, appearing in 255 games (three starts). Adding in a 1955-1962 with the Cardinals, 1963-1965 pitching for the Cubs, hurling for the Giants from 1966-1968, and 1974-1975 in Kansas City, Lindy fashioned an overall 141-119 record with 172 saves; he started 74 of 987 games, and hit three home runs with 17 rbi’s, with one and four of those, respectively, in New York.
The list of noteworthy nonYankee players who have died on November 14 includes a righthanded pitcher, a southpaw, two second basemen, and two lefthanded first basemen. Portsider Bill Sherdel (1968) won 165, lost 146, and saved 26 games pitching for the Cardinals and the Braves from 1918-1932; and Hod Lisenbee (1987) posted a 37-58-1 mark pitching with the Senators, the Red Sox, the A’s, and the Reds from 1927-1945. Second baseman Ski Mellilo (1963) cleared 22 fences good for 548 rbi’s from 1926-1935 with the Browns and the Red Sox; and his counterpart Pete Suder (1973) delivered 49 roundtrippers and 541 runs driven in to the A’s between 1941 and 1955. Finally, lefty-hitting first baseman Dick Hoblitzel (1962), playing for the Reds and the Red Sox from 1908-1918, hit 27 homers and drove in 593 runs; while Gail Harris (2012), another southpaw first sacker, cleared 51 fences and drove in 190 runs from 1955-1960 for the Giants and the Tigers.
Players Who Have Died This Day
Yankee November 14 birthdays include Ruben Rivera (1973), part of the Hideki Irabu trade in 1997 and banished from the team for stealing teammate Derek Jeter‘s glove and selling it to a collector after he had been re-signed for the 2002 season. A cousin of future Hall of Fame Yankee reliever Mariano Rivera, Ruben was a 1990 amateur free agent signing by New York.
Lefty-hitting outfielder Jack Lelivelt (1885) knocked in a respectable 27 runs in only 54 games for the 1912-13 Yankees. The New York Highlanders got Lelivelt with Gabby Street from the Washington Senators in December 1911 for John Knight and Roxey Roach. He was sent with Bill Stumpf to the Cleveland Naps for Roger Peckinpaugh in May 1913.
Until 2008 the Yankee birthday list would have been complete with the mention of spitballer Harry Howell (1876), who compiled a 9-6 mark for the 1903 Highlanders before having four killer years for the Browns. Adding to Howell’s New York numbers are the 14-21 and 9-15 marks he earned with the 1901-1902 Baltimore Orioles, the franchise that would move north and become the Highlanders in 1903. Howell’s 1904-1910 stay with the Browns brought his career mark to 131-146.
In 2008, the Yankee list grew by one with the addition of outfielder Xavier Nady (1978), who joined the team along with reliever Damaso Marte in a midseason trade with the Pirates. Nady’s 2003-2008 career (plus one game in 2000) has netted 87 home runs and 325 rbi’s, with 12 and 42 of those coming with the Yankees by the time his 2009 season was shut down due to an elbow injury. He played with the Padres through 2005, and with the Mets in 2006 until they sent him to Pittsburgh. Nady had an effective year in the outfield and at first base for the Cubs in 2010.
The 2021 season brought on a pinstriped addition with the trade for Joey Gallo and Joely Rodriguez (1991) from Texas. A 2009 free agent signing by Pittsburgh, Rodriguez arrived with a 2-5 record with one save in 81 games (no starts) off two years with the Phillies and two with the Rangers. He added a win in 21 games with the Yankees, then went 2-4 in 55 games with the 2022 Mets.
Other birthdays: Jimmy Piersall (1929), who played for several teams, suffered a nervous breakdown, and exhibited bizarre behavior like hiding behind the center field Monuments in Yankee Stadium and running backwards around the bases after hitting his 100th home run for the Mets; Willie Hernandez (1954), who won a Cy Young and an MVP for the Tigers as a relief pitcher; Curt Schilling (1966), instrumental in helping the Diamondbacks prevail over the Yankees in the classic 2001 World Series, and then the Red Sox over New York in the ’04 ALCS; Paul Wagner (1967); Kent Bottenfield (1929); Fu-Te Ni (1982); Guillermo Moscoso (1983); Clete Thomas (1983); Freddy Galvis (1989); Yasmany Tomas (1990); Sam Selman (1990); Daniel Castro (1992); Akeel Morris (1992); Francisco Lindor (1993); J.J. Matijevic (1995); and Spencer Horwitz (1997).
Players Born This Day