The Arm that Owned the Yankees

 

Glancing Back, and Remembering Frank Lary

He “owned” the New York Yankees when that franchise was at the pinnacle of major league dominance. From 1955 to 1961, no other pitcher beat the Yankees as often or as consistently as Frank Lary.

Frank Lary was 23-9 with a 3.24 ERA for the Detroit Tigers in 1961. He led the American League with 22 complete games that season, the third time he led the league in that pitching category.

Frank Lary was 23-9 with a 3.24 ERA for the Detroit Tigers in 1961. He led the American League with 22 complete games that season, the third time he led the league in that pitching category.

And in between starts against the Yankees, Frank Lary was also a pretty good right-hander and the ace of the Detroit Tigers staff going into the 1960s.

Lary was signed by the Tigers off the University of Alabama campus in 1950. He made his debut at the end of the 1954 season, and in 1955 went 14-15 in his rookie campaign with a 3.10 ERA. In 1956, Lary went 21-13, leading the American League in wins, games started (38), and innings pitched (294).

That was the season when Lary’s reputation as a “Yankee Killer” began. In 1956, Lary went 5-1 in seven starts against the team that would end the season as World Series champs. In 1958, Lary won 16 games for the Tigers and led the league in complete games (19) and innings pitched (260.1). Against the Yankees, he was 7-1 in eight starts with a pair of shutouts and a 1.86 ERA.

Lary won five out of six decisions against the Yankees in 1959 when he went 17-10 for the Tigers. His best season came in 1961, when Lary went 23-9 and 4-2 against the Yankees. He finished third in the 1961 Cy Young balloting behind Warren Spahn and that season’s winner, Whitey Ford.

Frank Lary’s dominance over the New York Yankees lasted six seasons. From 1956-1961, Lary was 23-5 against the Yankees.

Frank Lary’s dominance over the New York Yankees lasted six seasons. From 1956-1961, Lary was 23-5 against the Yankees.

Lary was never the same pitcher after the 1961 season.  From 1955 through 1961, he averaged 17 victories and 257 innings per season. From 1962 through 1965, arm problems limited Lary to a combined record of 11-23 and an average of only 90 innings per season. He stayed with Detroit into the 1964 season, and then bounced between the New York Mets, Milwaukee Braves and Chicago White Sox before retiring after the 1965 season.

In a 12-season career, Lary won 128 games, 28 against the Yankees, and 100 against everyone else.

Top_10_Tigers_Cover

 

 

Free Report

Click Here for Instant Download

 

 

Solid in Center

 

Glancing Back, and Remembering Ted Uhlaender

Ted Uhlaender was an everyday outfielder for the Minnesota Twins in the second half of the 1960s. He was a contact hitter with excellent defensive skills and more than enough speed to cover center field.

Ted Uhlaender’s .283 batting average led the Minnesota Twins in 1968 … and was the fifth-highest batting average in the American League that season.

Ted Uhlaender’s .283 batting average led the Minnesota Twins in 1968 … and was the fifth-highest batting average in the American League that season.

Uhlaender was signed by the Twins in 1961 and joined the big league club in September of 1965, long enough to savor the Twins successful pennant race but not enough to qualify for a roster position in the 1965 World Series. In his rookie season of 1966, Uhlaender hit .226 and batted .258 in 1967, ending that season as the Twins’ starting center fielder.

In 1968, Uhlaender led the Twins in hitting. His .283 batting average was fifth best in the American League. He also had career bests in doubles (21) and stolen bases (16) while hitting seven home runs with 52 RBIs. Uhlaender batted .273 in 1969 with eight home runs and 62 runs batted in.

In December of 1969 Uhlaender was traded with Dean Chance, Bob Miller and Graig Nettles to the Cleveland Indians for Luis Tiant and Stan Williams. He hit .268 for Cleveland in 1970 with 11 home runs and 46 RBIs. He batted .288 in 1971, and following that season was traded to the Cincinnati Reds for Milt Wilcox. Uhlaender appeared in 73 games for the Reds in 1972, batting .159 before retiring.

Over an eight-season major league career, Uhlaender had a batting average of .263.

 

Top_10_Twins_CoverJPG

 

Free Report

Click Here for Instant Download

Mets Spend for Spahn

 

This Week in 1960s Baseball

(November 23, 1964) – The New York Mets announced today that they had purchased left-handed pitcher Warren Spahn from the Milwaukee Braves.

Left-hander Warren Spahn was the first 300-game winner to wear a New York Mets uniform. During his 21-year career, Spahn won 363 games, but only four of those victories came with the Mets.

Left-hander Warren Spahn was the first 300-game winner to wear a New York Mets uniform. During his 21-year career, Spahn won 363 games, but only four of those victories came with the Mets.

The 43-year-old Spahn was 6-13 with a 5.29 ERA for the Braves in 1964, his twentieth season with that franchise. Spahn won 355 games for the Braves, and won 20 or more games in a season 13 times, tying him with Christy Mathewson for the most 20-win seasons by a National League pitcher. Only a year before, he was 23-7 for the Braves and led the league in complete games for the seventh consecutive season. Spahn pitched only four complete games in 1964.

Spahn would make 20 appearances in 1965 before being released by the Mets and signed by the San Francisco Giants. For 1965, he would have a combined record of 7-16 and a 4.01 ERA. At the end of the 1965 season, Spahn would retire with 363 career victories, the fifth highest total in major league history and the most by a southpaw.

Top_10_Pitchers_Cover

 

Free Report

Click Here for Instant Download

Gibbon ‘Em Nothin’ to Hit

 

Glancing Back, and Remembering Joe Gibbon

Joe Gibbon was a multi-sport athlete in high school and college. On the basketball hardwood, he was the NCAA’s second-highest scorer in 1957, the same year he signed a contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates (in favor of playing in the NBA with the Boston Celtics).

He would last 13 seasons in the big leagues, a southpaw reliever who could throw hard and throw strikes.

Gibbon started in the Pirates’ farm system as an outfielder and pitcher, but switched to pitching full-time and won 16 games for AAA Columbus in 1959. That earned him a shot with the Pirates, and he made the Pittsburgh roster coming out of 1960’s spring training.

He won his first major league game in the second game of the 1960 season, and finished his rookie season at 4-2 with a 4.03 ERA in 27 appearances. Moving into the Pirates’ starting rotation in 1961, Gibbon went 13-10 with a 3.32 ERA.

As a starting pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1961, Joe Gibbon was 13-10 with a 3.32 ERA. He led the team with three shutouts.

As a starting pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1961, Joe Gibbon was 13-10 with a 3.32 ERA. He led the team with three shutouts.

Arms problems limited Gibbon’s effectiveness in 1962 to 3-4 and 5-12 in 1963. He rebounded with a 10-7 record and a 3.68 ERA in 1964, but struggled to a 4-9 season in 1965. So the Pirates traded Gibbon with Ozzie Virgil to the San Francisco Giants for outfielder Matty Alou. The trade turned out to be a steal for the Pirates, as Alou went on to win the National League batting title in 1966. That same season, Gibbon was 4-6 with a 3.67 earned run average.

He pitched in four seasons with the Giants. His best season in San Francisco came in 1967, when he was 6-2 with a 3.07 ERA. He was dealt back to the Pirates for pitcher Ron Kline in 1969 and was outstanding coming out of the bullpen, going 5-1 with a 1.93 ERA. In 35 relief appearances, Gibbon finished 23 games and saved nine.

A year later, he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds, where he played for parts of two seasons, and closed his 13-season career with a quick stop in Houston before retiring in 1972.

Gibbon finished his major league career with a 61-65 record and a 3.52 ERA.

pirates_top_10_cover

 

Free Report

Click Here for Instant Download

Winning with What’s Left

 

Glancing Back, and Remembering Bud Daley

In his prime, Bud Daley was a very good pitcher with a very bad team.

He was a knuckleball pitcher who offset the flutter pitch with an outstanding curve ball. And he was that most prized of baseball assets: a southpaw with control.

Bud Daley had his best seasons as a starter for one of the American league’s worst teams, the Kansas City Athletics. He won 16 games in both 1959 and 1960, and was an All-Star both seasons.

Bud Daley had his best seasons as a starter for one of the American league’s worst teams, the Kansas City Athletics. He won 16 games in both 1959 and 1960, and was an All-Star both seasons.

Daley grew up in California and was signed by the Cleveland Indians in 1951. He spent six seasons in the Indians’ farm system, winning 18 games at Sacramento in the Pacific Coast League in 1955, the same year he made his major league debut. He pitched in 34 games for Cleveland in 1957, starting 10, and went 2-8 with a 4.43 earned run average.

In April of 1958, he was traded with Dick Williams and Gene Woodling to the Baltimore Orioles for Larry Doby and Don Ferrarese. Two weeks later he was traded to the Kansas City Athletics for Arnie Portocarrero. It would be in Kansas City where Daley would develop into one of the American League’s best pitchers … for one of the league’s worst teams.

Daley was 3-2 with a 3.31 ERA as a reliever for the Athletics in 1958. He moved into the starting rotation in 1959 and responded with a 16-13 record and a 3.16 ERA for the seventh-place A’s. In 1960 the Athletics finished last despite Daley’s winning 16 games again, third most in the league. He also finished fourth in the league with 13 complete games.

Daley started the 1961 season by going 4-8 for the Athletics and was sent back to the bullpen, where he was rescued in a trade to the New York Yankees for Art Ditmar and Deron Johnson. He was 8-9 for the Yankees the rest of that season, and was the winning pitcher in the fifth and final game of the 1961 World Series.

Bud Daley was the winning pitcher in the fifth and final game of the 1961 World Series. He pitched 6.2 innings of relief as the Yankees clobbered the Cincinnati Reds 13-5.

Bud Daley was the winning pitcher in the fifth and final game of the 1961 World Series. He pitched 6.2 innings of relief as the Yankees clobbered the Cincinnati Reds 13-5.

In 1962 Daley appeared in 43 games for the Yankees, all but six in relief. He went 7-5 with a 3.59 ERA and four saves. It would be his last season as an impact pitcher for the Yankees. He made only a single appearance in 1963, and was 3-2 in 13 appearances for New York in 1964.

After the 1964 season, he was sent back to the Cleveland Indians as one of the players named later in the deal that brought Pedro Ramos to New York. (The other player was pitcher Ralph Terry.) Daley was released by the Tribe just prior to the start of the 1965 season and retired.

In 10 major league seasons, Daley was 60-64 with a career ERA of 4.03. He was a member of the American League All-Star team in 1959 and 1960.

Top_10_Pitchers_Cover

Free Report

Click Here for Instant Download

Talent in Reserve

 

Glancing Back, and Remembering Gino Cimoli

Gino Cimoli was a much-traveled and much-valued outfielder who played from the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s. He played for seven different major league clubs in a 10-year career, the valuable reserve who could play any of the outfield positions and cause problems for opposing pitchers when he came to bat.

As a rookie with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1957, Gino Cimoli batted .293 and was a member of the National League All-Star team.

Cimoli was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1949 and made his major league debut in 1956. In 1957 he hit .293 for the Dodgers with 10 home runs and 57 RBIs. He was a member of the National League All-Star team that season.

Cimoli’s first “move” as a major leaguer was with the Dodgers, going with the team to Los Angeles for the 1958 season and being the first major league player to bat on the West Coast when he led off on Opening Day in San Francisco. Cimoli hit .246 for the Dodgers in 1958, and was traded after the season to the St. Louis Cardinals for Wally Moon and Phil Paine.

Cimoli hit .275 for the Cardinals in 1959, with eight home runs and 72 RBIs. Following that season, he was traded with Tom Cheney to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Ron Kline.

In Pittsburgh, Cimoli was used primarily as the team’s fourth outfielder, hitting .267 with 14 doubles and 28 RBIs in 1960. He batted .250 in the 1960 World Series. During the 1961 season, the Pirates sent Cimoli to the Milwaukee Braves for Johnny Logan, and he finished the 1961 season with the Braves … only to be selected by the Kansas City Athletics in the 1961 Rule 5 Draft.

Gino Cimoli batted .275 for the Kansas City Athletics in 1962, leading the major leagues with 15 triples.

Gino Cimoli batted .275 for the Kansas City Athletics in 1962, leading the major leagues with 15 triples.

Cimoli hit .275 for the A’s in 1962, his best all-around season in the major leagues. He hit 20 doubles and 10 home runs, with 71 RBIs. His 15 triples were the most in the majors that season. He followed with another solid year in 1963, batting .263 with 19 doubles, 11 triples and 48 RBIs.

Cimoli was released by Kansas City in May of 1964 after appearing in only four games with the A’s, and signed as a free agent with the Baltimore Orioles, batting .138 in only 38 games. He was released by Baltimore after the 1964 season and signed with the California Angels, but played in only four games with the Angels in 1965 before retiring.

Cimoli finished his major league career with 808 hits and a .265 batting average.

 

pirates_top_10_cover

Free Report

Click Here for Instant Download

Feasting on Hits

 

Glancing Back, and Remembering Danny Cater

Infielder-outfielder Danny Cater played wherever he was needed, and hit wherever he played.

Danny Cater’s .290 batting average in 1968 was second highest in the American League.

Danny Cater’s .290 batting average in 1968 was second highest in the American League.

A versatile, heady player who generated runs with line drives rather than fence-busting power, Cater had the knack of getting wood on the pitch. That made him tough to strike out, but his lack of speed made him susceptible to double plays.

Still, he was the tough out you could rely on to get on base, move runners, and drive in runs.

Cater was signed out of high school in 1958 by the Philadelphia Phillies. He made his major league debut in 1964, hitting .296 in 60 games for the Phillies.

Cater spent only that single season in Philadelphia, and was to become one of the most traveled players of the 1960s. He was dealt to the Chicago White Sox (with Lee Elia) for Ray Herbert and Jeoff Long. In 1965, his only full season in Chicago, Cater hit .270 with 14 home runs and 55 RBIs.

A month into the 1966 season, he was traded again, this time to the Kansas City Athletics for infielder Wayne Causey. In nearly four seasons with the A’s (his longest tenure with any team), Cater hit .290 or higher twice. His .290 batting average in 1968 was the second highest in the American League (to Carl Yastrzemski’s .301). Cater also had a career-best 76 RBIs in 1969.

Following the 1969 season, Cater was traded with Ossie Chavarria to the New York Yankees for Al Downing and Frank Fernandez. In his first year with the Yankees, Cater batted .301 and matched his 76 RBIs from the previous season. He hit .276 for the Yankees in 1971, and then was traded to the Boston Red Sox for pitcher Sparky Lyle.

Cater took on a part-time role in his three years in Boston, hitting a combined .262 with a high of .313 in 1973. In 1974 he was traded one last time – to the St. Louis Cardinals for Danny Godby. He played in 22 games for the Cardinals in 1975 and then retired.

Cater started his career as an outfielder, but also played at first base and third base. That versatility and his potent bat are what kept him in the big leagues for 12 seasons despite a lack of power and speed. He collected 1,229 hits during his career, batting .276.

Cy Young Settles for a Tie

 

This Week in 1960s Baseball

(October 4, 1969) – For the first time, the American League today announced not one but two winners of the Cy Young Award for the league’s best pitcher.

Mike Cuellar of the Baltimore Orioles and Denny McLain of the Detroit Tigers finished in a tie in the voting.  Each pitcher received 10 of the 24 votes cast by baseball writers. The other four votes were split between Jim Perry of the Minnesota Twins and Baltimore’s Dave McNally.

Denny McLain

Denny McLain

It was the first-ever tie in the Cy Young voting. The award was instituted in 1956 to recognize the best pitcher in the major leagues. Until 1967, only one pitcher received the Cy Young award. Starting in 1967, the award was presented to the best pitcher in each league.

The National League Cy Young award for 1969 would go to Tom Seaver of the New York Mets.

Cuellar was the ace of the Orioles staff in 1969. He went 23-11 with a 2.38 ERA over 290.2 innings pitched. In 39 starts, Cuellar pitched 18 complete games with five shutouts. In the 1969 World Series against the Mets, Cuellar was 1-0 in two starts with a 1.13 earned run average.

Mike Cuellar

Mike Cuellar

McLain was the first repeat Cy Young winner since Sandy Koufax in 1966. Coming off his Cy Young season in 1968, McLain was nearly as brilliant for the Tigers in 1969, going 24-9 with a 2.80 ERA. His 24 victories were tops in the American League. He also led the league in games started (41), innings pitched (325) and shutouts (9).

 

Top_10_Pitchers_Cover

 

Free Report

Click Here for Instant Download

Bob All Over

 

Glancing Back, and Remembering Bob Bailey

For 17 major league seasons, Bob Bailey was a dependable and versatile player for five different major league teams.

In four full seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Bob Bailey batted .259 and averaged 12 home runs and 48 RBIs.

In four full seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Bob Bailey batted .259 and averaged 12 home runs and 48 RBIs.

Bailey was signed as a teenager out of high school in 1961 by the Pittsburgh Pirates. He debuted with the Pirates in 1962 and became the team’s starting third baseman in 1963, replacing the departed Don Hoak.

Bailey batted .228 in his rookie season, with 12 home runs and 45 RBIs.  The next season he improved his batting average to .281. In four seasons with the Pirates, Bailey batted a combined .259 and averaged 12 home runs and 48 runs batted in.

In December of 1966, Bailey was traded with Gene Michael to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Maury Wills. He batted .227 in each of his two seasons with the Dodgers, and was acquired by the Montreal Expos, where he played for the next seven seasons. In 1970, he hit .287 for the Expos with 28 home runs and 84 RBIs. In 1973, he hit 26 home runs with 86 RBIs.

In four full seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Bob Bailey batted .259 and averaged 12 home runs and 48 RBIs.

Bob Bailey’s best seasons as a hitter came with the Montreal Expos, starting in 1969. From 1970 through 1974, Bailey averaged 21 home runs and 77 runs batted in per season

In 1975, Bailey was traded to the Cincinnati Reds for Clay Kirby. Now limited to part-time duty, he batted .298 in 1976 and .253 in 1977. He was traded to the Boston Red Sox at the end of that season, and hit .191 for the Red Sox in 1978 before retiring.

In 17 major league seasons, Bailey batted .257 with 1,564 hits and 189 home runs.

 

pirates_top_10_cover

 

Free Report

Click Here for Instant Download

Out of the Frying Pan …

 

Glancing Back, and Remembering Woodie Fryman

Woodie Fryman pitched for six different teams during an 18-year major league career. He was signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1965 and made his major league debut with the club in 1966, going 12-9 with a 3.81 ERA. His rookie season included nine complete games and three shutouts.

Woodie Fryman was a hard-throwing rookie with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1966, going 12-9 with a 3.81 ERA. His career would last 18 seasons, winning 141 games with a 3.77 career ERA.

Woodie Fryman was a hard-throwing rookie with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1966, going 12-9 with a 3.81 ERA. His career would last 18 seasons, winning 141 games with a 3.77 career ERA.

Fryman slipped to 3-8 in 1967. In the off-season, he was traded with Harold Clem, Bill Laxton and Don Money to the Philadelphia Phillies for Jim Bunning.

Fryman pitched for the Phillies for five seasons, winning 12 games in both 1968 and 1969. In 1972, he was acquired by the Detroit Tigers and was instrumental in helping the Tigers claim the Eastern Division title. He was 10-3 for Detroit with a 2.06 ERA.

Fryman also pitched with the Montreal Expos, Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Cubs. He pitched for eight seasons in Montreal, winning 13 games as a starter in 1976 and working almost exclusively as a reliever in his last six seasons with the Expos. He was 7-4 for Montreal in 1980 with a 2.25 ERA and 17 saves. In 1982, at age 42, Fryman was 9-4 with 12 saves for the Expos.

Woodie Fryman was starved for run support in his four-plus seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies. His combined 3.76 ERA produced only a 46-52 record in Philadelphia.

Woodie Fryman was starved for run support in his four-plus seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies. His combined 3.76 ERA produced only a 46-52 record in Philadelphia.

He retired after the 1983 season with a career record of 141-155 and a 3.77 ERA. Fryman posted 58 saves and 68 complete games in his career, including 27 shutouts.

He was named to the National League All-Star team in 1968 and 1976.

pirates_top_10_cover

 

Free Report

Click Here for Instant Download