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Posts Tagged ‘Bobby Murcer’


ESPN New York released their “50 Greatest Yankees” list the other day. I can’t really argue too much with their list, although I probably would have swapped Thurman Munson (#12) and Bill Dickey (#10). Yes, I know Dickey is in the Hall of Fame and Munson isn’t. But it was Munson’s leadership, as much as anything else that returned the Yankees to their winning ways in the ’70s. And who knows what kind of numbers he would have put up if not for the plane crash?

Anyway, here’s their list. I’ve added in the dates they played for the Yanks, along with their position. An asterisk denotes a playing career interrupted by a military commitment; # denotes a Hall-of-Famer. Current players are in red type. Feel free to let us know how you feel about the list!

50. Mike Mussina (RHP, 2001-2008)

49. Bob Meusel (LF, 1920-1930)

48. Albert “Sparky” Lyle (LHP, 1972-1978)

47. Gil McDougald (IF, 1951-1960)

46. Jim “Catfish” Hunter (RHP, 1974-1978)#

45. David Cone (RHP, 1995-2000)

44. Roy White (LF, 1965-1979)

43. Hank Bauer (RF, 1948-1959)

42. Jack Chesbro (RHP, 1903-1909)#

41. Eddie Lopat (RHP, 1948-1955)

40. Rickey Henderson (1985-1989)#

39. Vic Raschi (RHP, 1946-1953)

38. Joe Gordon (2B, 1938-1946)*#

37. Tommy Henrich (RF, 1937-1950)*

36. Charlie “King Kong” Keller (LF, 1939-1949)*

35. Bobby Murcer (CF, 1969-1974, 1979-1983)

34. Spurgeon “Spud” Chandler (RHP, 1937-1947)

33. Willie Randolph (2B, 1976-1988)

32. Waite Hoyt (RHP, 1921-1929)#

31. Mel Stottlemyre (RHP, 1964-1974)

30. Paul O’Neill (RF, 1993-2001)

29. Graig Nettles (3B, 1973-1983)

28. Dave Winfield (OF, 1981-1990)#

27. Herb Pennock (LHP, 1923-1933)#

26. Allie “Superchief” Reynolds (RHP, 1947-1954)

25. Rich “Goose” Gossage (RHP, 1978-1983, 1989)#

24. Elston Howard (C, 1955-1967)

23. Earle Combs (CF, 1924-1935)#

22. Roger Maris (RF, 1960-1966)

21. Jorge Posada (C, 1995-present)

20. Phil Rizzuto (SS, 1941-1956)*#

19. Bernie Williams (CF, 1991-2006)

18. “Poosh ‘Em Up” Tony Lazzeri (2B, 1926-1937)#

17. Ron “Gator” Guidry (LHP, 1975-1988)

16. Andy Pettitte (LHP, 1995-2003, 2007-2010)

15. Reggie Jackson (RF, 1977-1981)#

14. Vernon “Lefty” Gomez (LHP, 1930-1942)#

13. Alex Rodriguez (3B, 2004-present)

12. Thurman Muson (C, 1969-1979)

11. Don Mattingly (1B, 1982-1995)

10. Bill Dickey (C, 1928-1946)#

9. Charles “Red” Ruffing (RHP, 1930-1942)#

8. Edward “Whitey” Ford (LHP, 1953-1967)*#

7. Derek Jeter (SS, 1995-present)

6. Lawrence “Yogi” Berra (C, 1946-1963)#

5. Mariano Rivera (RHP, 1995-present)

4. Mickey Mantle (CF, 1950-1968)#

3. “Joltin” Joe DiMaggio (CF, 1936-1951)*#

2. Lou “Iron Horse” Gehrig (1B, 1923-1939)#

1. George “Babe” Ruth (RF, 1920-1934)#

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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.

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The Yankees have been a part of my family since I can remember. I attended my first game in 1970, for my 5th birthday, at the original Yankee stadium. They weren’t very good then and they lost the game, but I do remember Bobby Murcer hitting a drive that hit the monuments and bounced straight back to the center fielder. Murcer was thrown at third. Such was the Yankees fate in those days.

In 1988, I introduced my niece to the Yankees. She was 3 at the time and once again, the team was pretty bad. Oh, they sort of hit – but the pitching staff was terrible. Billy Martin started Rick Rhoden (the pitcher) at DH that day. But somehow, they won that game on a Claudell Washington walk-off single. Afterwards, the real reason I was able to convince my sister to attend the game: a Beach Boys concert. (John Stamos was in the back-up band at the time and she was a huge Stamos fan back then).

So, before getting yourself worked up about Mark Teixeira’s average or Chan Ho Park’s ERA, think back to the first Yankee team you fell in love with. Unless you were born after 1995, odds are that first team was pretty bad. Maybe your first hero was Donnie Baseball or Dave Winfield. Perhaps, like me, you wore a Fred Stanley jersey with pride (and incessant ribbing from your friends and Little League teammates). Yes, the team has room for improvement. But at 50-31, this isn’t the 1988 or 1970 Yankees.

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     These threats from Bud Selig about punishing A-Rod is a bunch of bologna. I don’t think it will happen. A-Rod claims that he used steroids from 2001-2003 with the Texas Rangers. At that time..there were no punishments for players who tested positive for PED’s. The following year, penalties would be given out if they tested positive for banned substances.

This is what Bud had to say:

“On behalf of Major League Baseball, I am saddened by the revelations concerning Alex Rodriguez’s use of performance-enhancing substances. While Alex deserves credit for publicly confronting the issue, there is no valid excuse for using such substances and those who use them have shamed the game.

“What Alex did was wrong and he will have to live with the damage he has done to his name and reputation. His actions are also a reminder to everyone in baseball—under our current drug program, if you are caught using steroids and/or amphetamines, you will be punished. Since 2005, every player who has tested positive for steroids has been suspended for as much as 50 games. Eradicating performance-enhancing substances from the game of baseball has been my first priority over the past decade and it is important to remember that these recent revelations relate to pre-program activity.”

The other thing Selig said was that he was “not dismissing” re-instating his friend, Hank Aaron, as baseball’s all-time home run king, while admitting that “once you start tinkering you create more problems.”

My question is..why didn’t Bud punish Giambi & Pettitte…?

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an interesting report:

Johnny Damon: I turned down steroids:

“When I was 13, somebody tried to push it on me, but since I was 6-1 and 180 pounds, I knew I didn’t ever have to take it,” Damon told the radio station. “I’m a big boy by nature, I’ve been blessed with strength. … I made the right decision, but sometimes guys don’t make that right decision.”

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GIAMBI GLAD PLAYERS ARE TALKING / B.A.T. creates Bobby Murcer Award

Brian Cashman: Players who tested positive for steroids should come clean

Cashman can’t say whether Alex used performance-enhancing drugs w/Yanks

Hunter saddened by A-Rod’s admission / Welcome to Fun City

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