December 11 - Pinstripe transactions!

December 11 - Pinstripe transactions!

December 11 - Pinstripe transactions!

Transactions in the month of December are expected, but sometimes a date can have several meaningful ones for one franchise. December 11th was a big day for the Yankees. 

1951 - Joe DiMaggio announces his retirement. "The Yankee Clipper" ends his career with a batting average of .325 and 361 home runs. In deciding to retire, DiMaggio passes up the chance to play for a potential salary of $100,000. Not many players in any era would do such a thing.



1959 - the New York Yankees acquire Roger Maris and two other players from the Kansas City A’s for outfielders Hank Bauer and Norm Siebern, first baseman Marv Throneberry, and pitcher Don Larsen. Maris will win back to back MVP awards and hit 100 home runs over the next two seasons. the debate rages on about his 61 homeruns. This may in fact be the most controversial number in baseball history. He set the mark when the league expanded in teams and in games from 154 to 162. There was the famous asterisk next to his 61 or was there?  MLB Commissioner Ford Frick, who also happened to be Babe Ruth's admirer and ghostwriter, makes a decision. Unless the record is broken in 154 games (the same number Ruth played in 1927), the new record would be listed separately from Ruth's record, because MLB's season is now 162 games long. Contrary to popular belief (and the movie's title) there was never any "asterisk" involved or mentioned in real life.  Maris broke the mark in the final game of the season.

No asterisk was ever officially placed next to Roger's feat, due to separate records being created for the 154 and 162 game seasons. It is revealed that in 1991, six years after Roger's death, baseball's then-Commissioner Fay Vincent decided that a season is a season and separate records would no longer be kept, making Maris the only record holder.

The record which stood alone longer than Ruth's 60, was assualted from 1998 - 2001 was passed 6 times, 3 times by Sammy Sosa, twice by Mark McGwire and once by the all time leader Barry Bonds. All 3 players haveadmitted to steroid use and Sosa was found with an illegal bat. Many fans consider 61 the homerun mark to this day.  

1975 - The New York Yankees make two major trades, picking up infielder Willie Randolph and pitchers Dock Ellis and Ken Brett from the Pittsburgh Pirates for pitcher Doc Medich. The Yankees also acquire outfielder Mickey Rivers and pitcher Ed Figueroa from the Angels for outfielder Bobby Bonds. Randolph would go on to have a distinguished career with the bombers, Randolph peppered the all time batting leaders for the Yankees, he is in top 10 in WAR, At Bats, Walks, Runs Scored,  Steals and he was one of the finest fielding second-basemen in team history. These trades helped New York make 3 straight World Series and win both the 77 and 78 titles.

1987 - In the first trade ever between the Yankees and Mets to involve a major league player, the Mets send SS Rafael Santana and a minor leaguer to the Bronx for C Phil Lombardi and minor leaguers Darren Reed and Steve Frey.




By This Day in Baseball
Monday, 12 Dec 2011

Fay Vincent, Kansas City Athletics, New York Yankees


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