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History Highlights for January 5

The signing of veteran knuckleballer Phil Niekro to a two-year contract on January 5, 1984, had quite a few implications. It gave the Yanks a sixth starter to go with Ron Guidry, Ray Fontenot, Shane Rawley, John Montefusco, and Dave Righetti just when reliever Goose Gossage was making it clear that he would not re-sign to pitch with the club in ’84. Righetti was moved to closer, where he would get 31 saves in 1984, and Niekro posted a 32-20 mark over the next two years. And when Rawley was traded away to Philly for pitcher Marty Bystrom and infielder Keith Hughes in June, lefty Dennis Rasmussen became a rotation cog. Continue reading

History Highlights for January 4

Though few historians refer to it this way any longer, the franchise that is the New York Yankees came into existence when the American League Baltimore Orioles ballclub was incorporated on January 4, 1901, with John McGraw as manager and part owner. McGraw would already be in New York piloting the National League Giants by the time the franchise was moved to the city on the Hudson River two years later to start the 1903 season, first as the Highlanders and later as the Yankees. Continue reading

History Highlights for January 3

On January 3, 1973, a group of investors headed by shipbuilder George Steinbrenner purchased the Yankee team from CBS for $10 million. Players and fans have come and gone, and mistakes have been made, but I’ll let the numbers do the talking when judging George’s ownership of the team: Seven World Championships and 11 American League pennants. Of course, we lost George in the summer of 2010, in a year rife with losses of beloved former Yankees. Continue reading

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