Let’s celebrate some Yankees birthdays
As we look back on the history of the New York Yankees franchise, here are three former Bronx Bombers who were born on this day in history.
Yankees birthday: RHP Tom Morgan
A native of California, Morgan was born in 1930. He was one of the notable Yankees to make his major league debut during the 1951 season — another one, of course, being Mickey Mantle. Morgan took the loss in his debut, Game 2 of a doubleheader against the Washington Senators on April 20, when he allowed five earned runs in five innings of action. The 20-year old right-hander posted a 3.68 ERA in 27 games (16 starts) in his rookie campaign, though his best work came in October. Morgan pitched two scoreless innings against the crosstown rival Giants in the World Series. He even struck out fellow rookie, and future Hall of Famer, Willie Mays in Game One of the series.
Morgan pitched the first five of his twelve major league seasons for the Yankees, from 1951-thru-1956. He did not pitch in 1953 due to military service. He posted a 38-22 record, with a 3.48 ERA in 156 games (46 starts) during his tenure with the club. Morgan was a three-time World Series champion, though he did not pitch in the 1952 Fall Classic. Morgan was traded to the Kansas City Athletics following the 1956 season.
Yankees birthday: LHP David Wells
Wells is the author of one of baseball’s most iconic games — a perfecto back in May of 1998. However, the legendary lefty is far more than his perfect game. He signed with New York as a free agent following the 1996 season. During his four seasons in the Bronx, Wells posted a 68-28 record with a 3.90 ERA.
Wells was an All-Star during the 1998 season, posting 18 wins and leading the AL with a .818 winning percentage. He finished third in the AL Cy Young voting and was named ALCS MVP against the Indians.
His .708 winning percentage is the third-highest in franchise history (with a minimum of 75 games started). Only Johnny Allen (.725) and Spud Chandler (.717) are better.
Yankees birthday: OF Bobby Murcer
One of the most beloved Yankees of any era, Bobby Murcer was born on this day in 1946 in Oklahoma. He made his debut with the Bombers in September of 1965 on a team that featured legends like Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, and Elston Howard. Murcer was limited to just 32 games from 1965-68 due to military service. He thrived upon his return, having averaged 23 homers and 89 RBI per year over a six-season span. Murcer was a four-time All-Star during those six seasons, which included a career-year in 1971. Murcer hit .331 and led the majors with a .427 on-base percentage. He also hit 25 homers, drove in 94, and walked 91 times in 146 contests. The 25-year old outfielder finished seventh in American League MVP voting that season.
Murcer would spend 13 of his 17 major league seasons in the Bronx. He is one of just 22 players in franchise history to reach 175 home runs. Keep in mind, there have been 1,297 different people to record a plate appearance in Yankees’ history.