On January 11, 1983, George Steinbrenner hired Billy Martin for his third stint as manager of the Yankees in eight years. Billy would lead the club to a 91-71 season, but that was only good enough for third place, as the Baltimore Orioles marched to a 98-win season and the World Championship.
Although he never played in Pinstripes, we acknowledge the January 11, 2000, death of 1978 Champion Yankees Manager and ace Cleveland pitcher (207-128 from 1946 to 1958) Bob Lemon. Bob lost a son shortly after the big win in New York and his last two decades were not the happiest.
Wally Pipp (1965), who lost his first base job to Lou Gehrig, and who hit 80 Yankee homers with 826 rbi’s, died on January 11. A portsider, Pipp accumulated 90 home runs overall, from a one-year stop with the Tigers before playing in New York and a 1926-1928 stint with the Reds afterward.
The third Yankee to fall this day, righthander Fred Talbot (2013) is arguably more famous for being a foil for Yankee and Seattle Pilots teammate Jim Bouton in his famous baseball tell-all, Ball Four. Fred, who pitched to a 14-24 mark in the Bronx from 1966 through 1969, posted overall numbers of 38-56-1 pitching from 1963 to 1970 for the KC A’s, the White Sox, and the Pilots, in addition to the Yanks.
The most notable player with no Yankee connection to have died on January 11 is quite recent: Hall of Fame outfielder Monte Irvin passed on this day in 2016. Irvin played with the Giants from 1949 through 1956 before finishing off the latter season with the Cubs. Monte reached 99 fences and drove in 443 runs.
Stars and Stripes
With his patriotic anthem being sung at ballparks throughout the baseball season, we acknowledge the anniversary of the birth of Francis Scott Key — who penned the famous anthem — on January 11, 1843.