Tagged: yankees

February 23 – Happy Birthday Roy Johnson

There really have not been too many sets of brothers who made significant marks as members of the Boston Red Sox. Most modern day fans have of course heard of the Conigliaro boys, Tony and his younger brother Billy. Then there was the Hall-of-Fame catcher Rick Farrell and his brother, the pitcher Wes, who while pitching to his older sibling became a two-time twenty-game-winner with Boston back in the thirties. And then there were the Johnson boys, Indian Bob and his older brother, today’s featured birthday celebrant, Roy. Both started in the Red Sox outfield but not at the same time. Bob played for Boston for two seasons at the very end of his big league career, in 1944 and ’45. Roy joined the Red Sox in 1932 after spending his first four big league seasons in Detroit. He started in right field for the 1933, 34 and ’35 Boston teams. He batted over .300 in each of those seasons and drove in a career high 119 RBIs in 1934. When that RBI number fell to 66 the following year, Boston GM Eddie Collins took $75,000 of Tom Yawkey’s money and went out and got Doc Cramer from Collins’ old team, the A’s to play right field and traded Johnson to the Yankees. Two years later, he would return to Beantown and play his final season as a member of the National League Bee’s (later called the Braves.) This part Cherokee Indian from Oklahoma retired with a .296 lifetime batting average. His younger brother would later leave the big leagues with the same exact lifetime average.

This great catcher, also born on February 23rd, also played for both the Yankees and Red Sox.

November 19 – Happy Birthday Everett Scott

In the five years after World War I ended, the Yankees and Red Sox made nine major player transactions. The Yankees came out of most of those deals so far ahead of the Red Sox that many Boston fans and sports writers were sure Red Sox owner Harry Frazee also had an ownership stake in New York’s franchise. Just before Christmas in 1921, Frazee made yet another deal with New York. A total of seven players were involved in the transaction including each team’s starting shortstop. Boston got New York’s Roger Peckinpaugh and then quickly traded him to Washington for another future Yankee, Jumpin Joe Dugan. New York got Everett Scott from the Red Sox.

Scott had started at short for the 1915, ’16 and ’18 Red Sox World Championship teams. In all, he played for Boston for eight seasons, averaging .246 during that span. He absolutely loved playing in Boston and I do mean “loved playing,” because at the time of his trade to new York, he had played in a then Major League record of 830 consecutive games.

That streak would not end until May 5 1925, during Scott’s fourth and final season with New York, when Yankee Manager, Miller Huggins decided his shortstop needed to rest a sore back. At the time he had played in 1,307 consecutive games. Just a couple weeks later, Scott’s Yankee teammate, a young first baseman named Lou Gehrig began a consecutive game playing streak that would eventually overwhelm Scott’s achievement. The player they called “Deacon” was not much of a hitter but he was one of baseball’s best defensive shortstops during his day. And although he didn’t hit for average, Scott barely struck out, making him a valuable hit-and-run weapon. He was also very smart and worked very hard at his craft. That’s probably why Miller Huggins made the guy a Yankee Captain. Old Everett added a fourth World Series ring to his collection in 1923, as a key member of the first-ever Yankee team to win the Fall Classic. In all he played thirteen big league seasons in five different uniforms and hit .249 lifetime. He was born on November 19, 1892 in Bluffton, IN and died almost 68 years later, in nearby Ft Wayne.