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History Highlights for December 11

“We play today; we win today.” Though he was a huge factor in the successful 1996 World Championship season, I am not prepared to tell you that the acquisition of free agent infielder Mariano Duncan on December 11, 1995, was the biggest Yankee news ever on the day. But his trademark quote from that glorious season is just too good to bury. The defense-challenged Duncan would survive less than half the 1997 season in Pinstripes, but the eight homers, 56 rbi’s, and in particular .340 ba were crucial to the ’96 team’s success. Continue reading

History Highlights for December 6

On December 6, 2013, the Yankees wrongly thought they had plugged a few holes when they signed free agent third baseman Kelly Johnson. Rather than thriving with his lefty power and the Stadium’s short porch, Johnson struggled from the outset, his defense at third and second was not sparkling and, perhaps most injurious of all, he did not make a good conversion to first base to back up the oft-injured Mark Teixeira. Continue reading

History Highlights for November 30

Twelve home runs and 204 rbi’s over seven seasons are the kinds of numbers that get passed off as mediocre all the time. And even though this player’s three managerial stretches with the Yanks all netted positive results (34-22 prestrike in 1981; 14-12 post-strike; and 44-42 in 1982), they hardly merited many boldface declarations either. But few would dispute, despite those ordinary numbers, that the acquisition of Gene “Stick” Michael from the Dodgers on November 30, 1967, was one of the Yankee moves of the last third of the last century that had the most far-reaching positive effects. Continue reading

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