BD’s Favorite Yankee Team Ever
“No matter how long a man remains in baseball, he always hankers and looks forward to opening day.” Tommy Henrich, Yankee great
By the time that Bone Daddy was 17 years old and playing center field for the Midland Pony League Yankees, between his junior and senior year in high school, he had put together a pretty significant Yankee baseball card collection….which began with the 1950 team and carried forward year by year
through the 1964 team by this time in his Yankee collection process. BD played organized baseball throughout all of his years while growing up in Midland……from Little League to Pony League to High School and Senior League…..and all the while he was continuing to grow his Yankee baseball card collection on a whopping allowance of $0.25 per week….which was actually provided for school lunches.
Heck, his purchasing power was less than a non-bankrolled small market team in foreclosure. In more precise Chiweenee language….”he had an alligator’s appetite on a hummingbird’s pocket book”….meaning that he didn’t have much to work with….dictating that he had to get very creative in acquiring his collection.
Since I have listened to Bone Daddy telling me many stories about the Yankees teams during the first 17 years of his life while growing up….he would go through his collection pointing out some tidbit of interesting information about each Yankee player card that he had in his card collection from 1949 to 1964 at that point in his life. This was while relating each story to me 45 years later in 2009….for that is when it became apparent to me that BD was a sports nut….a sports fanatic….a Sportsphile.
This period in MLB from 1949 to 1964 was indeed the Golden Age of the New York Yankees Baseball franchise…..as the game of baseball was truly America’s National Pastime.
The Yankees won the American League Pennant 15 times during this 16 year period….while winning the World Series 10 of those years.
To say that the Yankees had dominated MLB during BD’s first 17 years on the Earth was indeed an accurate statement. Also by this time in his life….BD had a pretty darn good cross section of each of those teams by year in his collection….and you know what….you’re gonna get to see them all….so click on every card….cuz they get bigger and you can see them better.
After hearing all those Yankees stories as told by Bone Daddy over the years we’ve been together….I would have to say that his favorite team to that point in his life had to be the 1956 team. Therefore, in the section below….I have given you the entire 1956 Yankee team along with their stats for the year….pretty cool huh!?! So the World Champion 1956 Yankees were as follows:
C Yogi Berra 155 / .298 / 30 / 105 # 1777
1B Bill Skowron 143 / .308 / 23 / 90 # 1766
2B Billy Martin 121 / .264 / 9 / 49 # 1793
3B Andy Carey 100 / .239 / 7 / 50 # 1770
SS Gil McDougal 136 / .311 / 13 / 56 # 1791
LF Elston Howard 76 / .262 / 5 / 34 # 1751
CF Mickey Mantle 188 / .353 / 52 / 130 # 1762
RF Hank Bauer 130 / .241 / 26 / 84 # 1768
OF Bob Cerv 35 / .304 / 3 / 25 # 1752
IF Phil Rizzuto 12 / .231 / 0 / 6 # 1764
OF Joe Collins 59 / .225 / 7 / 43 # 1769
IF Tommy Carroll 6 / .353 / 0 / 0 # 1771
IF Irv Noren 8 / .216 / 6 / 6 # 1779
IF Jerry Coleman 47 / .257 / 0 / 18 # 1782
IF Eddie Robinson 12 / .222 / 5 / 11 # 1783
OF Enos Slaughter 24 / .289 / 0 / 4 # 1681
OF Norm Siebern 33 / .204 / 6 / 6 # 1685
IF Jerry Lumpe 16 / .258 / 0 / 4 # 1693
C Charlie Silvera 2 / .222 / 0 / 2 # 1850
IF Bob Richardson 1 / .167 / 0 / 1 # 1679
Whitey Ford 19 – 6 / 2.47 / 141 # 1776
Johnny Kucks 18 – 9 / 3.85 / 67 # 1784
Tom Sturdivant 16 – 8 / 3.35 / 110 # 1747
Don Larsen 11 – 5 / 3.26 / 107 # 1778
Bob Turley 8 – 4 / 5.05 / 91 # 1765
Bob Grim 6 – 1 / 2.77 / 48 # 1761
Mickey McDermott 2 – 6 / 4.24 / 38 # 1780
Bobby Shantz (traded to Yanks in season) # 1792
Tom Morgan 6 – 7 / 11 / 4.15 # 1909
Jerry Konstanty 0 – 2 / 2 / 4.91 # 1781
Tommy Byrne 7 – 3 / 6 / 3.36 # 1794
Luis Arroyo (traded to Yanks in season) # 1753
The 1956 Yankees went 97 – 57…..winning the American League Pennant ….and beating their mighty and ever hated cross town rival Brooklyn Dodgers in an outstanding 7 game World Series. “Oh my God Dog…was that The Day or what?” The Brooklyn Dodgers with Roy Campanella, Gil Hodges, Jackie Robinson, Charlie Neal, Pee Wee Reese, Jim Gilliam, Duke Snyder, Carl Furillo with MVP Don Newcombe and Roger Craig on the mound….took on the 1956 New Yankees….and what a series that was.
Mickey Mantle was voted the AL MVP after posting incredible numbers with a 150 Games / 188 Hits / .353 BA / 52 HR / 130 RBI / 121 RUNS / 146 BB / 16 SB / .512 OBP / .665 SLUG % / 1.177 OPS….what a year….what a player. The Mick was an incredible athlete….who in baseball was a switch hitter with unbelievable power and speed from either side….cuz that boy could drag a bunt down the first base line and beat out the throw better than anyone in the game when batting from the left side of the plate…it was truly a thing of beauty.
Oh Boy he was a five tool ballplayer if there ever was one and it all came completely natural…..for I don’t think that Mickey ever had to practice at anything….he could just go out and do it. A great center fielder with the ability to cover the vastness of center field at Yankee Stadium….and he had a cannon for an arm….especially when comparing him to present day standards. Damn those degenerative knee joints which cut his career short….which all started in the 1951 World Series when Mickey
was playing right field…..and while chasing a “can of corn” fly ball into center field where during his attempt to avoid a collision with his idol….Joltin Joe DiMaggio….who was making the catch in right center field….when The Mick stepped on a rubber sprinkler cover and blew out his knee. This injury was the start of a series of injuries that eventually cut Mantle’s career short….or he might have ended up being the greatest Yankee player of all time….even greater than The Babe or Joe D. What a hero he was throughout the decades of he 50’s and 60’s. You
can bet your britches that I will write other stories about Mickey Mantle….especially regarding the day Bone Daddy played golf with him in Dallas years after his retirement from MLB. I can still hear Bone Daddy exuberantly explaining how far The Mick could hit a golf ball….as BD said everyone was around 350 yard….and the sound of the crack when he made contact. It had to be all in those powerful wrists and forearms coupled with his eye to hand contact expertise which all came together in perfect harmony..BD says he can hear it like it was just yesterday, KAAAAWHAAAP !!!
By the way….you might be a Sportsphile if these names bring back memories to you….cuz these were the days that everyone was singing about in the popular song of the day….“Talking Baseball….with Wil –lie, Mic-key and The Duke.”….and that too is a whole nuther story featured in L E’s Stories section titled “SPORTS: America’s Therapy Couch or Legal Narcotic?” which has details of the story behind the song.