Friday, August 2, 2013

Getting ready for the Yankees

Petco will be packed this weekend, as the Padres play host to the New York Yankees for the second time during the regular season. Excepting the four game rout of the 1998 World Series, the Padres and Yankees have only faced off nine times, with the New Yorkers holding a 7-2 edge in wins, including two shutouts.
The Padres last hosted New York in June 2002, where they lost two-out-of-three games.

It’s interesting to realize the amount of players the Padres and Yankees have shared over the years. Of course, I’m not talking about the many trades, such as Jay Johnstone coming to San Diego for Dave Wehrmeister (1979), or Jim Leyritz being traded to New York for Geraldo Padua (1999).
I’m talking about the players who’ve truly made an impact for both of these teams.

Bursting onto the San Diego major league roster 12 days after becoming the Padres’ first-round draft pick, Minnesotan Dave Winfield proved to be a Padres workhorse. A four-time Padres All-Star selection, as well as a two-time Gold Glove winner, he hit 34 home runs with 118 RBIs in 1979 as captain. After an eight-year career with the Padres, Winfield was granted free agency.
New York came calling with a wad of cash and the former collegiate pitcher signed for a whopping $23 million. Roaming the Yankees outfield from 1981-90, he was named to the All-Star game eight-time more times and earned another five Silver Slugger and Golden Glove awards. He hit .290 as a Yankee, with 205 home runs and 818 RBIs.

All Goose Gossage did during his seven year stint with the Yankees, is tally 42 wins, 151 saves and a 2.14 ERA, to say nothing of 512 Ks and 185 BBs. A six-year, $2.75 million free agent signee from Pittsburgh in 1977, he played in four All-Star games and won the Relief Man Award in 1978.
He signed with San Diego in January 1984, after being granted free agency in November 1983 from the Yankees. His ‘Fu was even more awesome in the Padres orange and yellow. In his initial Padres season, he went 10-6 with a .290 ERA and 25 saves, including the last out of 1984 NLCS against the Cubs. He also earned the All-Star nod in 1984 and 1985 and was 25-20, with a 2.99 ERA and 243 strikeouts as a Padre

Need some Goose Gossage trivia? Who struck out Pete Rose in the Reds player’s final at-bat?
Ding, ding, ding! It was Goose Gossage, on Aug. 17, 1986. Player/Manager Pete Rose stepped in to pinch hit for Cincinnati P Rob Robinson in the ninth inning. The Padres won 9-5.

And of course, there was Jerry Coleman, who played infield for the Yankees from 1949-1957, enroute to winning four championships.  Among his baseball awards were Rookie of Year (1949), All-Star (1950), and World Series MVP (1950). A Marine Corps pilot, he was the only major leaguer to see combat in both World War II and Korea, flying 120 missions and earning the Distinguished Flying Cross twice.
Following a Yankees broadcasting career (1963-70) and a couple of years with the Angels, he’s served as the Padres radio voice since 1972. In 1980, he moved from the airwaves to the dugout, where he managed the Padres to a 73-89 record.

There’s other players, of course – Boomer Wells and Sterling Hitchcock readily come to mind – but I think I’ll stick with these three.
In the meantime, let’s see if Ian Kennedy is worth a win over the Bronx Bombers.

1 comment:

  1. Gossage was a beast when he was with the Yankees. Trust me, I know.