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Posts Tagged ‘Goose Gossage’


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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On July 24th, 1983, the New York Yankees and Kansas City Royals went head-to-head at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees were leading 4–3 with two outs in the top of the ninth, when George Brett stepped up to the plate and hit a 2-run home run off of Goose Gossage to give the Royals a 5-4 lead.

Billy Martin ran out of the dugout and asked the umpires to examine Brett’s bat. The umpires concluded that the pine tar on the bat handle exceed the amount allowed by Major League Baseball. Home plate umpire, Tim McClelland, called Brett out and mayhem ensued. George Brett came storming out of the dugout and had to be restrained by players and the other umpires from hitting McClelland.

The rule book stated: (Rule 1.10 b) “a bat may not be covered by such a substance more than 18 inches from the tip of the handle.” The game was protested by the Royals, and Tim McClelland had his decision overruled by AL President Lee MacPhail. George Brett’s home run was restored, and the game resumed on August 18th. Final Score: Royals 5, Yankees 4.

The game has gone down in history with the name: “The Pine Tar Game.”

The bat has been on display at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY since 1987.

File:George brett pine tar bat rotated.JPG

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The Goose speaks out about people who cheated the game and the Hall of Fame:

From the AP: 

NEW YORK – Goose Gossage watched Mark McGwire’s televised confession to steroids use and was happy his former teammate came clean. That’s where the praise ended, with the Hall of Fame reliever saying there should be no place in Cooperstown for McGwire or any other player who used performance-enhancing drugs.

“I definitely think that they cheated,” Gossage said Tuesday in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “And what does the Hall of Fame consist of? Integrity. Cheating is not part of integrity.”

For Gossage, Hank Aaron still holds the career record of 755 home runs and Roger Maris owns the season record of 61. The Goose tosses out the fantastic figures posted by Barry Bonds, McGwire, Sammy Sosa as part of a “cheating era,” dismissing them as if they were scuffed baseballs being rolled to the clubbies. He equated them with Pete Rose, barred from the Hall ballot because of his lifetime ban for betting on Cincinnati while managing the team.

“The integrity of the Hall of Fame and the numbers and the history are all in jeopardy,” said Gossage, inducted two years ago. “I don’t think they should be recognized. Here’s a guy Aaron, we’re talking about the greatest record of all records. And he did it on a level playing field. He did it with God-given talent. And the same with Maris, absolutely. These are sacred records and they’ve been shattered by cheaters.”

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This isn’t all of them, but there will be more in the future. Enjoy!

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22 years ago today, before some of us were born, Rich ‘Goose’ Gossage signed a free agent contract with the Yankees for 6 years/$2.75 million (Wow, wasn’t he a bargain!). As a reliever he was elected to play in 8 All Star games, a record that would stand until Mariano Rivera passed him in 2008. Gossage, like Mariano, typically employed only one pitch, a fastball that sat in between the mid 90’s-102 mph. However, at times he would use a slurve or a change up as well.

Not only can he arguably be credited as being one of the pioneers of the closer movement, he also holds the career record for most blown saves (112). Luckily for Brad Lidge, he’s a good distance from breaking that record.

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