Saturday, October 19, 2013

The 1967 Yankees

Here are the 1967 New York Yankees. (And why do they have their own bass drum?) The Yankees of the late 1960s were a far cry from the Yankees of the early 1960s (and for 40 years before that). They finished with a 72-90 record in 1967, leaving them in 9th place (Hooray for the Kansas City Athletics!)

Starting Pitchers:
Here are the starting pitchers, in order of innings pitched. The Yankees began the season with a rotation of Mel Stottlemyre, Fritz Peterson, Whitey Ford, Fred Talbot, and Al Downing. When Ford retired in late May, his spot was filled by rookie Thad Tillotson until Steve Barber arrived on July 4th. That arrangement lasted until September, when Bill Monbouquette took Talbot’s spot in the rotation.

Stottlemyre and Downing won 15 and 14 games respectively, but nobody else on the entire staff won more than 8 games. In fact, nobody else had a winning record except for Monbouquette and Joe Verbanic (and those were by 1-game margins). Mel and Al also pitched 10 complete games each. Peterson was the #3 starter, compiling an 8-14 record in 181 innings. Talbot went 6-8, starting 22 of his 29 games.

Dooley Womack led the team with 18 saves in 65 appearances. The other relievers are shown in order of innings pitched. Bill Monbouquette was signed on May 31st (after his release from the Tigers) and pitched in 33 games (including 10 starts). Thad Tillotson (pictured below on a Rookies card) was 3-9 in 98 innings pitched.

Joe Verbanic was acquired from the Phillies in the off-season for veteran Pedro Ramos, and appears to have been the long man, pitching 80 innings in 28 games. Steve Hamilton (at age 31 the 2nd oldest on the staff, after Whitey Ford) was the left-handed short man, pitching 62 innings in 44 games. Hamilton, Womack and Hal Reniff were the only pitchers used strictly in relief.

Other Pitchers:
Reniff, a veteran of better days with the Yankees, was in his last season. He pitched in 24 games before going to the Mets on June 28th. Steve Barber was acquired from the Orioles on July 4th, and started 17 games the rest of the way.

Jim Bouton was a 21-game winner in 1963, but was nearing the end of his career by 1967. He made 1 start on April 23rd, and pitched 16 other games in relief. He was also in the minors from late-May to mid-August. Veteran Whitey Ford retired on May 31st after starting 7 games. A workhorse from 1953-1965, Ford only pitched 73 innings in ’66 and 44 innings in ’67, winning 2 games each season.

 Starting Line-up:
Here are the Starting Eight. Jake Gibbs took over the starting catcher job from Elston Howard in 1967. Mickey Mantle played first base in his final 2 seasons (1967-68) because of limited mobility. He started 130 games there in ‘67.

Horace Clarke was the Yankees’ regular shortstop in July and August 1966, and took over the 2nd base job when veteran Bobby Richardson retired before the 1967 season. Ruben Amaro started almost every game at shortstop from May 14th to September 10th.

Charlie Smith had replaced departed 3rd baseman Ken Boyer in St. Louis in 1966, and was now replacing departed 3rd baseman Clete Boyer in New York in 1967. He started 130 games as the regular 3rd baseman, except during “The Roy White Experiment” (see White, below) in late July. 1962 Rookie of the Year Tom Tresh was the everyday left fielder, although he didn’t play after September 10th.

Joe Pepitone swapped positions with Mantle for the 1967-68 seasons. He was a Gold Glove 1st baseman in ’65, ’66, and ’69, but not so much in the outfield. With the departure of Roger Maris after 1966, the Yankees used a trio of right fielders, with Steve Whitaker (74 starts), Bill Robinson (49), and Roy White (29).

Bench Players:
Here are the bench players, in order of at-bats. Bill Robinson was acquired from the Braves in the off-season for Clete Boyer, and was dubbed “the next Mickey Mantle” (as was Steve Whitaker, as was Roy White, as was Bobby Murcer, as was Roger Repoz, as was (you get the idea). At least Murcer panned out). Robinson shared right field with Whitaker, and also started 30 games in center field.

Roy White had started 66 games in left field during 1966, when Tresh moved in to play 3rd base. White began the ’67 season with the Dodgers’ AAA team in Spokane, learning how to play 3rd base. The Yankees recalled him in mid-July and installed him at the hot corner. By August, he returned to the outfield – experiment over.

Elston Howard shared the catching duties with starter Jake Gibbs, then was traded to the eventual AL champion Red Sox on August 4th. John Kennedy was acquired from the Dodgers on April 3rd, and started the first 24 games at shortstop. After that he was relegated to the bench (and the occasional start at 3rd base) for the rest of the season.

Dick Howser came over from the Indians after the 1966 season, and started 13 straight games at 2nd base in early July, but mostly backed up Clarke at 2nd base in ’67 and ’68. Mike Hegan (son of Yankees’ coach Jim Hegan) was in his first full major-league season. He was used as Mantle’s defensive replacement at first base, while also starting 22 games there.

Jerry Kenney made his major-league debut on September 5th, and started 17 of the final 18 games at shortstop. When the Red Sox acquired catcher Elston Howard from the Yanks on 8/4, that made Bob Tillman expendable, so they sold him to New York a few days later. He started 15 games down the stretch, filling in for Gibbs.

Others associated with the 1967 Yankees:
Like Kenney, Frank Fernandez was called up in September, and made his debut on September 13th. He started 7 games at catcher and 2 in right field. He was the starting catcher for 25% of the 1968 season. Ray Barker was a reserve 1st baseman in April and May, then was sent down to the minors. He was traded to the Orioles on July 4th for Steve Barber.

Tom Shopay was another September call-up. He started 7 games in left field during Tresh’s late-September absence. Bill Bryan played 7 games before May 9th, and 9 games after September 8th. In-between, he was in the minors. His only start was the 2nd game of a 9/29 doubleheader.

This was Lou Clinton’s last season. He played in 6 games in April (five as a pinch-hitter), then found work with the triple-A San Diego Padres, where the Phillies were apparently running an old-age home for ex-major-leaguers.

Ralph Houk was in his 2nd term as Yankees’ manager. His first stint (1961-63) resulted in 3 AL pennants and 2 World Series championships. His 2nd stint (1966-73) didn’t go as well. Bobby Murcer did not play for the team this season, as he was in the Army during 1967 and 1968. Too bad - he probably would have won the shortstop job over the Kennedy-Amaro tandem.

Also playing for the Yankees in 1967 was Frank Tepedino, who appeared in 9 games from May to July in his rookie season, mostly as a pinch-hitter.

Here are the rookie cards. All but Stan Bahnsen and Murcer played for the Yankees in 1967. Tillotson bridged the gap in the starting rotation between Ford’s retirement in May, and Barber’s arrival from the Orioles in July.

Also check out the Yankees' 1960s classic lineups: Pitchers     Batters

Transactions from the end of the 1966 season to the end of 1967:

10/19/66 - Released outfielder Hector Lopez.

11/28/66 - Drafted first baseman Frank Tepedino from the Orioles in the rule 5 draft.

11/29/66 - Traded 3rd baseman Clete Boyer to the Braves for Bill Robinson and pitcher Chi-Chi Olivo.

12/08/66 - Traded outfielder Roger Maris to the Cardinals for Charley Smith.

12/10/66 - Traded pitcher Pedro Ramos to the Phillies for Joe Verbanic.

12/20/66 - Traded minor-leaguer Gil Downs to the Indians for Dick Howser.

04/03/67 - Traded pitcher Jack Cullen and outfielder John Miller to the Dodgers for John Kennedy.

05/31/67 - Signed Bill Monbouquette as a free agent.

06/28/67 - Sold Hal Reniff to the Mets.

07/04/67 - Traded Ray Barker to the Orioles for Steve Barber.

08/03/67 - Traded Elston Howard to the Red Sox for pitchers Ron Klimkowski and Pete Magrini.

08/08/67 - Purchased Bob Tillman from the Red Sox.

11/28/67 - Lost Bill Bryan to the Senators in the rule 5 draft.
11/28/67 - Selected outfielder Andy Kosco from the Athletics in the rule 5 draft.

11/30/67 - Purchased shortstop Gene Michael from the Dodgers.

12/02/67 - Purchased catcher John Boccabella from the Cubs. (returned in April 1968)

12/07/67 - Traded Bob Tillman and pitcher Dale Roberts to the Braves for 3rd baseman Bobby Cox.


1 comment:

Commishbob said...

The '67 Yanks were the last of the Yankee clubs I 'shared' with my Dad on a regular basis. (As an Orioles fan I use the term 'share' with some trepidation). I was in high school by then and was driving and did more things with my friends.

I remember the '67 Yanks as a club that caused my Dad to do a lot of grumbling. The Old Guard (Mantle, Ford and Howard) were fading out and the Joe Pepitones of the world always seemed to let him down.