Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Yankees History’ Category

I took an English course this past semester at school, and the main theme of the class was “Spectacle”. For our final paper, we were able to choose a topic that we thought fit that category, and I chose George Steinbrenner’s reign as owner of the New York Yankees. The purpose of my paper was to show how the different personality traits that he possessed led to success in many different aspects of his job.

spec·ta·cle [spek-tuh-kuhl]

–noun
1. anything presented to the sight or view, esp. something of a striking or impressive kind:
2. a public show or display, esp. on a large scale

Steinbrenner’s Reign

              George M. Steinbrenner III has gone down in the record books as one of the most controversial and successful owners in the history of sports. His demand for excellence and his hunger to be the best did not always put him in a good light with the people he worked with, because he was stubborn and wanted to do things his way. During his reign as owner with the New York Yankees, he had run-ins with authorities, MLB officials, players, and team personnel. If things didn’t go according to his plan, he would take matters into his own hands, berating players and messing around with the minds of his managers and employees. Even though many of his tactics were thought to be unethical, Steinbrenner transcended the game of baseball in the process by: bringing about the development of free agency, having the first organization to own and operate its own television cable network, controlling the back pages of the newspapers, and changed the way other clubs ran their teams. These developments allowed the fans to forgive and forget about the stunts Steinbrenner pulled. It was his attitude, competitiveness, larger than life personality, and his generosity that allowed his to shine the brightest in the biggest media market in the country. These personality traits were critical factors in his success as an owner: financially, on the ball field, and with the media and fans.

            Steinbrenner was a remarkable competitor, who was motivated to be successful like no other owner in the sports world. “Winning is the most important thing in my life, after breathing. Breathing first, winning next,” he said. His whole life was a competition, dating back to his childhood when he was constantly trying to gain approval from his father. George’s father, Henry Steinbrenner, “ruled with an iron fist” and instilled the idea that winning was all that mattered in life. George could tell him that he won two out of three races in school, but his father would only focus on why he lost that third race and what went wrong. In 1973, Steinbrenner and a small group of investors purchased the New York Yankees from CBS for $8.8 million dollars. Thirty-seven years later, the organization is now worth $1.6 billion, which is the most valuable baseball team in the league (and 3rd most valuable franchise in the world. 1st: Manchester United $1.8B, 2nd: Dallas Cowboys $1.65B). When he first bought the team, he led New Yorkers to believe that he would not be a hands-on owner, but he would rather keep his distance from the team and go back to his family shipping business. “I won’t be active in the day-to-day operations of the club at all. I can’t spread myself so thin. I’ve got enough headaches with my shipping company. We plan absentee ownership as far as running the Yankees is concerned,” he stated. It turned out to be the complete opposite, because he wanted his own project to work on, rather than staying put in his father’s shipping company. “I’m not here to run a country club,” Steinbrenner said. “I’m here to run a winning organization.” He soon donned the nicknames “The Boss” and “Manager George”, and would meddle in the general manager’s meetings and many of the on-field decisions. There were several occasions during the 1970’s where George would call Yankees manager, Billy Martin in the dugout during a game and give him a tongue-lashing. He would complain about anything from why they didn’t bunt in a particular situation to why Reggie Jackson wasn’t batting fourth in the lineup. It was a display of just how unreasonable George could be at times. (more…)

Read Full Post »

George M. Steinbrenner III “The Boss” (80, 1930-2010)

Bob Sheppard “The Voice of God” (99, 1910-2010)

Ralph Houk “The Major” (90, 1919-2010),

Gil McDougald (82, 1928-2010)

Gil McDougald starred for some of the great Yankees teams of the 1950s.

Maury Allen (78, 1932-2010)

Bill Shannon (69, 1941-2010)

Read Full Post »

Steelers head coach Chuck Noll once said his biggest mistake as a coach was sticking too long with the great players who were pivotal in winning him four Super Bowls. It was loyalty. It was comfort. They were proven winners and great guys. It made sense at the time. But they all got old at once, and the dynasty ended. Fast forward to after the 2007 season:

  • The Yankees off the negative public outcry from Joe Torre’s exit, felt pressure to placate the fans. Cashman despite taking a hard line against ARod, had Hank Steinbrenner foolishly handed him a 10 year albatross of a contract. ARod should have been resigned, but not double the money another team was willing to offer.
  • That same offseason, Jorge Posada already 35 years old used Omar Minaya and the Mets to extract a 4 year contract from the Yankees. It was another illogical signing given his age and likelihood of breaking down, but feeling the “heat” from the NY baseball media and fans that were mostly in Torre’s corner, Hank/Hal as neophyte owners caved to public pressure….Fast Forward to the present:

Hal is now the clear lead owner of the Brothers Steinbrenner and has empowered Cashman to fully run the baseball operations (without having Hank around to botch things up). Jeter has been a great player, but no longer is. Given his captaincy and status on the current team, the Yankees offered Jeter double his true market value. Yet, this offer was deemed “baffling” by his agent Casey Close. What’s truly baffling about this negotiation is Jeter’s/Close’s thinking that they’re deserving of 4-5 years and $85-100M. If that’s the case, the Yankees should avoid repeating their sins of the past by caving to fan and media pressure. Similar to what the great Steelers players meant to Chuck Noll, Jeter represents winning, loyalty and comfort to Yankee fans. However, giving him a “blank check” or paying him an exorbitant amount of money for his past achievements and/or future milestones is bad business. I applaud Cashman and Hal for their stance in these negotiations. Sorry Derek as Michael Corleone said, it’s not personal, it’s strictly business. Hopefully offering to make him the highest paid middle infielder in the game isn’t too much of an insult to Jeter/Close.

What do you think of the current Jeter negotiations? Do you side with Jeter or Yankees ownership?

Follow me on Twitter @eddieperez23

Read Full Post »


“I want to get the fans into the action. I don’t look for the glory for myself.” -Freddy ‘Sez’ Schuman

As most of you have heard by now, Freddy ‘Sez’ Schuman passed away at Lenox Hill Hospital yesterday after suffering from a heart attack on Friday night. He was 85.

In the same year, the Yankee family also lost George M. Steinbrenner III, Bob Sheppard and Ralph Houk. He was a “Super Fan”, a Yankee Stadium fixture and was said to be one of the most genial people you could ever meet. With frying pan and spoon in hand, he would walk up and down the stairs of the great cathedral, stirring up the crowd. He would interact with the fans, pose for pictures, and sign autographs. He couldn’t believe that others wanted his autograph, considering he was only a fan of the team. Just last week, people were banging on his shamrock frying pan and shaking his hand, so this caught people by surprise. He was even in a recent Nike commercial (at the 52 second mark). It seemed like he would always be there. I think I can speak for all Yankees fans, in saying that he will be deeply missed. He was as passionate as they get.

Will the Yankees organization have a moment of silence tonight to honor one of their most dedicated fans? According to a bleacher creature, they did it for original Cowbell King Ali Ramirez back in 1996.

Update: 5:00PM ET: According to Kim Jones, the Yankees will honor Freddy “Sez” Schuman with a moment of silence before tonight’s game.

An old friend of Freddy Schuman, Howard Goldstein, recently contacted me after he heard the news of his passing. This man used to take Freddy out for lunch in Manhattan (and then over to the stadium for the game). Howard wanted to share some memories of his friend, and I thought it would be a great idea. I would like to thank him for sharing these stories.

Fond recollections of my friend, the one and only Freddy Schuman  By: Howard Goldstein    

 

I met Freddy “Sez” in the early 1990s, around the time that my son David was born.  This was about the same time that I began to resume being a serious baseball fan, after having been only a casual one for the prior decade.  When I first saw Freddy do his frying pan thing at the old Yankee Stadium (the only real Yankee Stadium in my opinion), I immediately was reminded of the stories that my Dad (a lifelong Brooklynite) had told me about the uber-fan Hilda Chester of his beloved Dodgers.  Freddy appealed to my sense of baseball as a game which, above all else, was supposed to be about having fun. Freddy also appealed to my sense of passion since, when it came to the New York Yankees, I knew of nobody who had greater passion.
 
 Although I did not have much of a rooting interest in those days for either the Yankees (who were my childhood team), or the Phillies (for whom I rooted since moving there in 1978), I nonetheless for a number of years had been a collector/budding historian of all things related to Jews and baseball.  It was Freddy’s Jewish roots which made him of particular fascination to me. I remember approaching Freddy outside the Stadium one day and telling him about my interest in that subject.  As someone proud of his Jewish heritage, Freddy liked hearing me tell him oddball stories about the Jewish ballplayers and others whom I followed.
 
 Over the years my interest in baseball itself, both in the Yankees and the Phillies, grew exponentially to the point that I now have season tickets in both cities.  As a result, I probably came to the Bronx (on average) at least a dozen times per season.  During this period I had begun to email with Freddy and then went to his apartment where I marveled at the incredible number of signs that he had stored from prior years.  I remember buying a few of those from the 1996 World Series and thinking what wonderful works of folk art they were.
 
 It was at this visit that Freddy and I had our first lunch.  I greatly enjoyed talking to him because his passion for the Yankees poured out of every pore.  Freddy regaled me with wonderful stories that day and I hoped it would be only the beginning of many such get-togethers.  From then on, I continued to email with Freddy and also would try to meet him at least once a season for lunch and then drive him to the Stadium for the ballgame that day.  At one of these get-togethers, Freddy graciously agreed to give me one of his precious frying pans so that I could use it when I eventually mount a museum exhibit on Jews and Baseball.  Such an exhibit probably will occur within the next several years, and at that time I will joyfully display the pan (and one of his unique signs) in honor of my warmly remembered friend Freddy.
 
 There will be nobody to replace Freddy “Sez”, and for that the new Yankee Stadium will be the poorer.  The type of daily dedication and passion which Freddy exhibited towards his beloved Yankees is basically a relic of the past (though the real Bleacher Creatures are similar in certain respects.)  What a year this has been for the Yankees. what with the passing of Steinbrenner, Bob Sheppard, Ralph Houk and now Freddy “Sez”.  I just know that Freddy is in heaven arguing with George about the over-the-top size of his Monument Park statue.  If it were up to me, I would put one there of Freddy because the joy that he brought to innumerable Yankees fans over the years was priceless.

Read Full Post »

Met Freddy 'Sez' Schuman for the very first time this season

From the NY Daily News:

Freddy “Sez”, a Yankee Stadium staple for the last 20 years, has died at age 82, according to friend Chuck Frantz.

At almost every Yankee game, Freddy could be seen outside Yankee Stadium with his daily message for the Yanks and a frying pan he banged like a drum. He also let other fans bang it as well.

He became such an institution that his lucky frying pan and spoon, thanks to Frantz, were put into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Yogi Berra museum in 2004.

“He was a very close friend of mine,” said Frantz. “It took me by surprise.”

Freddy was also a big fan of the Manhattan and Fordham sports programs. 

Update: According to several other reports, Freddy was 85 years old…not 82.

Read Full Post »

Here is some extremely rare color footage of the 1939 World Series between the Yankees and Reds.

Take a look at the fans, ushers and the old-fashioned clothes they wore. Check out the facade of the old Yankee Stadium, the New York City skyline, the bunting along the upper deck and the players warming up on the field. Fans were even able to walk on the field to exit the ballpark. It’s quite a scene.

There’s something about this video that is timeless. It makes you feel like you’re in the stands, actually watching this go on before your very eyes. It’s mesmerizing stuff.

Read Full Post »

On October 1, 1961, Roger Maris broke Babe Ruth’s single season home run record (60) on the last game of the season. He ended up with 61 home runs in total. Throughout the 1961 season, Roger was considered an “outsider”, and wasn’t consiered “Yankee material.” Mickey Mantle was an American icon at the time, and a lot of fans didn’t want to see Roger break the record. He wasn’t very big on talking to the media, went about his business in quiet fashion, and was a family man. With all that said, he was sent hate mail by the fans and he was booed out of his own ballpark.

Maris’ record stood until Mark McGwire broke it in 1998, totaling 70HR’s on the season. Barry Bonds than hit 72HR’s in 2001. With all the people who admitted using steroids, and allegations surrounding others, many believe (including me) that Roger Maris still holds that single-season home run record. I didn’t grow up at that time, but from what I can tell….that was one magical season.

“It would have been a helluva lot more fun if I had not hit those sixty-one home runs.” – Roger Maris

Read Full Post »

I don’t know how long this will be up on YouTube, but you should check it out if you missed it. ESPN did a great job.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

NEW YORK- SEPTEMBER 25: Alex Rodriguez

With the Yankees 1 strike away from another loss and lifeless night at the plate, Alex Rodriguez singled-handedly carried the Yankees to a much needed win tonight, catapulting the team into first place and burying any thoughts from New England that the Red Sox had a chance. Big homeruns are nothing new for ARod, as his inability to “come through in the clutch”, has always been more of a media and fan perception then reality (He’s hit as well in the post-season for his career as he has during the regular season). Yes, he’s a polarizing figure, because of his contract, former agent, the many dumb things he’s said and done throughout his career, but one thing is certain, ARod since joining the Yankees has been their best and most important player.

If we take a stroll down memory lane you will remember after the 2004 collapse, it was ARod who drew most of the heat (with Kevin Brown and Javy Vazquez feeling the wrath as well). The 3 members of the “Core 4” (Andy was in Houston), all underperformed that series (Mo blew game 4, Jeter and Posada both hit poorly), but had the 4 rings as currency. Two years later, Clueless Joe after 3 games dropped ARod to 8th in the lineup versus Detroit in the ALDS, heightening the feeding frenzy for both fans and media. In 2007 ARod carried the Yankees to the playoffs having a monster season and winning his 2nd MVP as a Yankee. To put that into perspective, before ARod you have to go back to the early ‘60s to find a Yankee that had won multiple MVPs (Mantle and Maris). However, despite Wang having an awful series and Jeter/Posada going a combined 5 for 32 with 0 HR, once again ARod was the scapegoat.

As we all know, last year ARod in the post-season carried an ineffective Yankees offense (Teixeira, Cano and Swisher were inept) getting several monster hits and this year despite a mediocre season by his standards, has come through repeatedly late in ball games. ARod generates headlines, brings fans to the ballpark, but above all in good times and in bad is the focal point of the Yankees. If you could pick one guy on the Yankees you would want up down a run in the 9th, who would you pick? I know who I would want up…ARod, the man, the myth, the legend, the face of the Yankees 27th World Series championship and hopefully a few more.

With that I’ll leave you with this final note: ARod during his 7 years as a Yankee has accumulated a 46.8 WAR, the next closest Yankee during that same time period has been Jeter with a 32.1 WAR. To give that disparity some context, you would have to delete ARod’s 2 MVP season’s (’04 – 6.6 WAR and ’07 – 9.2 WAR), to have their WAR values be similar. Yeah that ARod…he’s pretty good.

Follow me on Twitter @eddieperez23

Read Full Post »

NY Daily News/Aris Sakellaridis

Sabathia & Berra lend their voices to ‘Henry & Me’ C.C. Sabathia, Yogi Berra, Reggie Jackson, Alex Rodriguez, as well as other Yankees players, recorded parts for the upcoming movie, ‘Henry & Me.’ “Their message to the sick child “Jack,” the “Me” in the story: You can do it, kid. Just keep telling yourself you can, and you will.”

Ron Guidry and the Beach Boys:Guidry played the drums when he was with the Yankees, and he was skilled enough to perform once with the Beach Boys as a drummer in a post-game concert. But playing the drums also benefited Guidry’s pitching.”

“I kept a set of drums at Yankee Stadium for one reason,” said Guidry. “Playing the drums kept my wrists very strong, and a strong left wrist allowed me to throw my slider more effectively.”

Yankees and  Jay-Z team up on co-branded merchandise. From the AP: “The hip-hop mogul is teaming up with his favorite baseball squad on co-branded clothes that will be sold exclusively at Yankee Stadium beginning next week. All the items, from baseball caps to T-shirts and hooded sweat shirts, will feature Yankees and Jay-Z logos. In a news release Thursday, the Yankees said the attire was created to commemorate the first official concerts at the new Yankee Stadium on Sept. 13 and 14, when Jay-Z and Eminem will co-headline.”
 
  • Yanks lose fourth straight, grip on first place
  • CANALI RE-SIGNS MO AS THEIR MR. OCTOBER
  • Nobody can throw the ball like Catfish can
  • Donald Trump blogs about Steinbrenner
  • (more…)

    Read Full Post »

    Horace Meredith Clarke played second base for the New York Yankees from 1965-1974.  With the retirement of longtime Yankee, Bobby Richardson, Clark became the Yankees full-time second baseman in 1967. In his 10 seasons with the Yankees, he hit .257, with 27HR’s and 300RBI’s.

    My dad was born in 1955, and grew up watching these Yankees. It wasn’t a time of celebration, but rather a decade filled with disappointment. From 1965-1974, the Yankees won absolutely nothing. Some of these teams included the likes of Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, Bobby Murcer and Thurman Munson.

    The big complaint about Clarke was that he wasn’t able to turn the double play. With runners trying for the take out slide at second base, he would wind up holding onto the ball instead of turning it. With that said, Clarke was also a durable player, who came out ready to play everyday. He became the face of those poorly performing Yankees ball clubs, which is often called “The Horace Clarke Era” or “The Horace Clarke Years.”

    In a recent interview, conducted by Kenneth Hogan, Clarke expressed his feelings on the subject:

    You see (Laughs) every time I hear “the Horace Clarke Era” I don’t know how to take it but I think it is mostly because we were losing and I was a member of all of those teams. I could understand because fans, writers, and commentators were spoiled at being so successful for so long. I know how the fans feel about the drought that we went through, it was a let down during that losing era. But when I hear it I think, “Here we go again. The Horace Clarke Era, the Horace Clarke Years”. I’m going to tell you something, while I was there some guys (writers) always target me, I was targeted more than anybody I think because I played just about everyday. When I was traded to San Diego a writer wrote, “You know, that guy wasn’t so bad after all.” Because he had gone to the record books and saw what I had done over those years.

    They said I couldn’t make the double-play but Gene Michael and I were tops in double plays a couple of years. I have looked in Yankee books and compared my stats to some of the older second basemen over the years and they didn’t do any better than me but they were among elite players that won World Series. My play was consistent over the years. I got on base and scored runs everyday. During the time I played I had the 3rd leading fielding percentage among second basemen. How could I be that bad?

    Year Tm   W L Ties  W-L% Finish
    1974 New York Yankees 89 73 0 .549 2nd of 6
    1973 New York Yankees 80 82 0 .494 4th of 6
    1972 New York Yankees 79 76 0 .510 4th of 6
    1971 New York Yankees 82 80 0 .506 4th of 6
    1970 New York Yankees 93 69 1 .574 2nd of 6
    1969 New York Yankees 80 81 1 .497 5th of 6
    1968 New York Yankees 83 79 2 .512  5th of 10
    1967 New York Yankees 72 90 1 .444 9th of 10
    1966 New York Yankees 70 89 1 .440 10th of 10
    1965 New York Yankees 77 85 0 .475 6th of 10
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
    Generated 8/21/2010.

    Read Full Post »

    Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak is widely considered one of the most enduring records in sports history. It’s right up there with Cy Young’s 511 wins, Ripken’s 2,632 consecutive games, Celtics’ eight consecutive NBA championships and Gretzky’s 2,857 career points.

    The streak began on May 15, 1941. During the streak, he had a batting average of .408, 15 home runs and 55 runs batted in. The streak ended on July 16, 1941. In the process, he snapped “Wee Willie” Keeler’s 45-game hitting streak. On July 17th, Cleveland Indians pitchers, Al Smith and Jim Bagby held Joe hitless. He hit two hard shots, but Ken Keltner was flashing the leather at 3rd base that day, and it was all over.

    When the streak ended, DiMaggio began a new one. This one lasted only 16 games. Over the span of both streaks, Joe hit safely in 72 of 73 games during that 1941 season.

    It’s been just about seventy years since “The Yankee Clipper” achieved this remarkable feat. The only one to really challenge the record was Pete Rose in 1978, when he had a hit in 44 consecutive games. Just like everyone else who went after it, they all came up short (Molitor [39], Rollins [38], Castillo & Utley [35]). A person has to wonder if the record will ever be broken.

    Hitting StreaksPlayers With At Least 1 Hit in At Least 30 Consecutive Games
    Rank Year Name Team League Games
    1. 1941 Joe DiMaggio (AL Record) New York AL 56
    2. 1896-1897 Willie Keeler (NL Record) Baltimore NL 45
    3. 1978 Pete Rose Cincinnati NL 44
    4. 1894 Bill Dahlen Chicago NL 42
    5. 1922 George Sisler St. Louis AL 41
    6. 1911 Ty Cobb Detroit AL 40
    7. 1987 Paul Molitor Milwaukee AL 39
    8. 2005-2006 Jimmy Rollins Philadelphia NL 38
    9. 1945 Tommy Holmes Boston NL 37
    10. 1896-1897 Gene DeMontreville Washington NL 36

    “Now this is over thirty years later and the guy said he was that cab driver (who drove DiMaggio to the game on July 17th). He apologized (for telling DiMaggio that he thought the streak would end that day) and he was serious. I felt awful. He might have been spending his whole life thinking he had jinxed me, but I told him he hadn’t. My number was up.” – Joe DiMaggio (more…)

    Read Full Post »

    « Newer Posts - Older Posts »

    %d bloggers like this: