Author Archives: Mike Sommer

Not So Classic Yankees: Ben Chapman

Chapman-and-Jackie-Robinson

As we watch Mariano Rivera make his farewell tour and receive gifts in each major league city, we are reminded about how Mo has conducted himself with class, and of the respect he commands throughout baseball. Not every player has or will conduct himself with class. Some have, and will, tarnish their legacy by their misdeeds. ...

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Classic Yankees: Ralph Houk

ralph-houk

He was known as the “Major,” and for good reason. He kept a helmet on his mantelpiece, a helmet with a bullet hole in it that if that bullet hole were say, ¼” lower, he would have been KIA in WWII. An Army Ranger, Ralph Houk became a Major while serving at Bastogne and fighting in ...

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Classic Yankees: Brian Doyle

brian-doyle

Some players are legends, with many moments over their careers that stand out, while others long for that one brief shining moment; that one moment in time (cue Whitney Houston) where they can be a star. Such a ballplayer was Brian Doyle. Doyle was a small infielder, whose brother, Denny Doyle, played in the 1975 WS as ...

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Classic Yankees: Ralph Terry

No one wants to be the goat, especially of a championship game. If so, you want the chance to redeem yourself. Ralph Terry got that chance… with a bit of good fortune mixed in. Terry came up with the Yanks, was sent to KC for “seasoning” (the criticism of the 1950’s being that KC was like a ...

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Classic Highlander: Wee Willie Keeler

He was 5’4”, 140 lbs. Think Freddie “the Flea” Patek. Yet Wee Willie Keeler was known for “hitting them where they ain’t” while on his way to 2932 hits, a .341 career batting average, and the Hall of Fame. At the same time that the AL Baltimore Orioles moved to NY in 1903 and became the ...

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Classic Yankees: Hideki Matsui

In a week when the Yankees unexpectedly picked up one Japanese superstar player, another Japanese superstar player who once played for the Yankees was designated for assignment and could see his career officially ending. This past winter, Hideki Matsui, affectionately known as “Godzilla,” was searching for a job. He didn’t find one until late this ...

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Classic Yankee: Billy Martin (player edition)

One day, someone may write the definitive biography on Billy Martin. Maybe it’ll be someone like Jane Leavy, who has already written two books, one on Sandy Koufax, and another on Mickey Mantle, that are excellent.  There is a catch, though. There are so many sides to Billy Martin. To capture them all in one ...

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Classic Yankees: Wally Pipp

He’s best remembered for a “headache” and for the person who replaced him. Even today, his name is brought up anytime a regular has a day off and his replacement does well---the fear being that the regular won’t get his job back. But what people seem to forget is that Wally Pipp was a good player ...

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