George Weiss retired from his position as president of the New York Mets — and from baseball — on November 14, 1966. The Hall of Fame executive had worked in a front office capacity for the Yankees for 29 years, during which time they won 19 American League pennants and 15 World Championships.
The Yankees traded three minor leaguers to the Texas Rangers for Eric Soderholm on November 14, 1979. The third baseman would hit .287 in 1980, but with only 11 homers and 35 rbi’s. The first-round draft choice of the Minnesota Twins in 1968, Soderholm would miss the 1981 season due to injury, and then retire.
Former Yankee player and manager Lou Piniella was named AL Manager of the Year for the Seattle Mariners on November 14, 2001.
Four months ahead of embarking on a World Series-winning campaign, the Yankees activated four players from the 60-day disabled list on November 14, 2008. Through an up-and-down 2009 spent mostly in AAA, righthanded reliever Jonathan Albaladejo would win five games and lose but one, with a high era. Catcher Jorge Posada recovered from major shoulder surgery, rebounding with 22 home runs and 81 rbi’s; but righthander Chien-Ming Wang would lose six of seven decisions, to an almost 10.00 era. But saving the best for last, hobbled DH Hideki Matsui would bounce back to become the World Series MVP.
Power hitter Juan Gonzalez narrowly edged out fellow offensive star Alex Rodriguez for the American League MVP on November 14, 1996. But many would agree that the man who clearly was the “most valuable” to his team that season was the Yankees’ setup man Mariano Rivera, who finished 12th in the voting. An understandable snub for a young hurler, perhaps, but consider that 17 years later Rivera would retire as the best reliever in baseball history, and then become the lone unanimous selection to the Hall of Fame, without ever having won an MVP or Cy Young Award.
That 1996 Series-winning Yankee team could win no major individual awards. The closest they came was when Blue Jay Pat Hentgen outpointed 21-game winner Andy Pettitte for the AL Cy Young Award on November 14 of that year.
Three years before he would become a Yankee, slugger Reggie Jackson won the 1973 AL MVP unanimously on November 14.
Hall of Fame righthander Joe “Iron Man” McGinnity, who passed away on November 14, 1929, compiled a 246-142 record in 10 short years in the bigs, much of it with the Giants, but because he went 39-30 in 73 games (66 starts) for the AL Baltimore Orioles’ 1901-1902 team, he qualifies as a borderline Yankee player death this day. Three catchers come next: Jack O’Connor (1937) drove in 12 runs for the 1903 Highlanders on 43-for-212 hitting in 64 games; Les Nunamaker (1938) played 369 games for the 1914-1917 Yankees, for whom he hit two long balls and drove in 107 runs on 322-for-1,076 hitting; and backstop Jesse Gonder (2004) debuted with the 1960-1961 Yankees by hitting one home run and knocking in six runs batting 6-for-19 in 22 games. Also among the group are lefthander George Clark (1940), whose only 11 big league games (one start) were thrown for the 1913 Yankees to a 0-1-0 record; and hurler Luke Nelson (1985) another Yankee only, with a 3-0-0 record in nine games (one start) for the 1919 club.
Yankee November 14 birthdays include outfielder Ruben Rivera (1973), with big off-the-field headlines and two home runs and 16 rbi’s in New York; and lefty-hitting outfielder Jack Lelivelt (1885), who knocked in a respectable 27 runs in only 54 games for the 1912-1913 Yankees. Spitballer Harry Howell (1876) compiled a 9-6 mark for the 1903 Highlanders; and outfielder Xavier Nady (1978) cleared 12 fences and knocked in 42 in 2008 and 2009..