Knowing that New York Yankees’ Roger Maris had bested Babe Ruth‘s single-season home run title with 61 in 1961, one might assume that he ran away with the AL MVP that year in the vote on November 15, but his winning total of 202 votes narrowly edged teammate Mickey Mantle‘s 198, and Baltimore’s Jim Gentile followed with a respectable 157.
Yankee third baseman Gil McDougald won the AL Rookie of the Year crown on November 15, 1951. He not only hit 14 homers with 63 rbi’s with a .306 batting average over 131 games, he finished in the Top Ten in a slew of offensive categories, including stolen bases, sacrifices, batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage.
The since felled by PED controversy Roger Clemens won his sixth AL Cy Young Award as a Yankee on November 15, 2001. It’s doubtful that he would have copped the prize in 2018, a time when starter wins has lost its luster as a performance measurement, but he did go 20-1 to start the season, breaking Rube Marquard‘s almost 100-year-old record.
The Yankees came to terms with outfielder Hideki Matsui on a four-year contract extension through the 2009 season on November 14, 2005. Hideki had a lost year in 2006 after breaking his wrist in early May. He was AL Player of the Month in July for the 2007 team, but struggled mightily with a bad knee down the stretch. Hideki had a good year going in 2008 until trouble with his other knee slowed him down. But even though he did not appear in the outfield at all, “Godzilla” would enjoy a huge comeback season in 2009, culminating with his World Series MVP.
A sinkerballing lefthanded reliever on three Yankee pennant winners, Joe Ostrowski (1915) is the one Yankee player born November 15. Joe, who posted a 9-7 record with 10 saves for the Bombers, finished up his baseball career with the 1950-1952 Yankees after two seasons with the St. Louis Browns.
He arrived in the Bronx in June 1950 with Tom Ferrick, Sid Schacht, and Leo Thomas in a trade in which the Bombers sent Jim Delsing, Don Johnson, Duane Pillette, Snuffy Stirnweiss, and cash to St. Louis. When Joe retired from the Yanks, he was free to return to his “day job,” as the bespectacled professor taught high school mathematics during the off-season.