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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News

Pinch hitting: Tyler Patterson

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Pinch hitters on Feb 11, 2011 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Our next Pinch Hitter, Tyler Patterson, is a 25-year-old third-year law student at Penn State. He began following the Yankees in 1995 and wrote that he’s been “spoiled ever since.”

“The best two days of my life,” he said, “were when my family was given tickets to sit in a suite at the old stadium for a late-September game during the 1999 season. During this game we met a very wealthy gentleman who gave us seats for the final game of the series that were right next to the dugout. Before the game I was able to strike up a conversation, albeit a very short conversation, with Mariano Rivera (he did not have a ball to show me his cutter grip) and was also able to chase down batting practice home run balls slugged by Bernie Williams. Heaven.”

For his guest post, Tyler looked back at some of the occasionally overlooked Yankees who made a lasting impact.

Unheralded Yankees You Need To Know

Every Yankee fan, or baseball fan for that matter, is intimately aware of the Yankee greats. Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle, Berra, Ford, Dickey, Gomez, etc. The list goes on and on. However, there is a myriad of other, lesser-known, and perhaps even underappreciated Yankees who contributed to the franchise’s past successes. The don’t carry the name recognition of the legends, but players such as Scott Brosius and Orlando Hernandez will qualify for the “unheralded Yankees” title; non-superstars but legitimate ballplayers who greatly contributed to title-winning Yankee clubs.

One such unheralded Yankee is Allie “The Indian” Reynolds. Reynolds was one of the best pitchers in baseball during his Yankee stint from 1947-1954. During his time in pinstripes, Reynolds compiled a record of 131-60 with an ERA of 3.30 and a FIP of 3.64. Casey Stengel would often match up Reynolds against the opponent’s top starter and he would rarely falter, ironic since he was traded to the Yankees with the reputation of being a “choker.” In 1951 Reynolds finished third in MVP voting (Yogi Berra won), and he won the Hickok Belt award given to the pro-athlete of the year. He had a 17-8 record, two no-hitters (wow), seven shutouts, and seven saves in 14 relief appe

arances. The following season he finished second in MVP voting, leading the AL in both ERA and strikeouts.

The way to make Yankee fans adore you is to perform in October, and Reynolds did just that. He won six titles with the Yankees (1947, 1949-1954) and was brilliant in World Series play. Reynolds won seven of his nine World Series starts with a 2.79 ERA. If that isn’t clutch enough, he had a slash line of .308/.357/.346 in 28 World Series plate appearances. A stalwart of the Yankees’ starting staff during the greatest sports dynasty ever, The Indian is definitely worth knowing if you’re a Yankees fan.

Another unheralded Yankee, Bill “Moose” Skowron, played nine seasons with the Yankees and was a five-time all-star as the everyday first basemen beginning in 1957. Skowron compiled a slash line of .294/.346/.496. He was a part of four Yankee world championship teams and, like Reynolds, he was at his best in October, hitting .293 while slugging .519 and playing excellent defense. In the 1958 World Series, Skowron knocked in the deciding run in Game 6 to force Game 7, in which he hit a three-run homerun to lead the Yankees the title (coming back from a three games to one deficit to defeat the heavily favored Milwaukee Braves). Like Reynolds, Skowron was no legend or Hall-of-Famer, but his consistent performances — especially in October — should not go unnoticed.

One last unheralded Yankee is Tony Lazzeri, who was inducted to the Hall of Fame by the veterans Committee in 1991, and for good reason. Lazzeri played 12 seasons with the Yankees (1926-1937) and hit .293/.379/.467. He was one of the best infielders, if not the very best infielder of his era, playing second, short, and third. Lazzeri won five titles with the Yankees, and as a second-basemen in 1929 he hit a ridiculous .354/.429./561 with 18 home runs and 106 RBI while scoring 101 runs. Even more insane was Lazzeri’s performance in the 1937 World Series in which he hit .400/.526/.733 with a 1.260 OPS. Reggie Jackson, eat your heart out.

There are a number of other former, unheralded Yankees who were equally important to the franchise, players such as Waite Hoyt, Bobby Richardson, Elston Howard, Gil McDougald, and Billy Martin. It is easy to forget, or perhaps even be aware of these Yankee greats. But just think, where would the franchise be without them? Luckily no one has to find out.

Associated Press photo of Reynolds



63 Responses to “Pinch hitting: Tyler Patterson”

  1. CBeck3 February 11th, 2011 at 9:20 am

    Also Hank Bauer, Roy White, Tony Kubek! Nice piece.

  2. Erin February 11th, 2011 at 9:20 am

    cgrand14 on my way to Tampa for Spring Training

  3. gary from chevy chase February 11th, 2011 at 9:25 am

    Enjoyed the PH, Tyler.

    Don’t forget the contributions of Clete Boyer and Bob Turley

  4. Rich in NJ February 11th, 2011 at 9:27 am

    I think Murcer is underrated by some, as is Stottlemyre. They both had the misfortune of playing on too many bad teams.

  5. Mell February 11th, 2011 at 9:27 am

    Tommy Henrich, Bill D*ckey.

    Nice job Tyler. Enjoyable read.

  6. Chip February 11th, 2011 at 9:31 am

    My unheralded Yankees never really won with the Yankees. They were the guys like Gallego, Mike Stanley, Spike Owen, and Jimmy Key – One Yankee championship between them – but without them I don’t think the Yankees would be where they are today.

    They are the guys who were brought in by stick in the early 90s to help change the culture of the team. They were the guys who showed future free agents that New York was a place you wanted to be.

    They’ll never have their numbers retired, never be in consideration for Cooperstown, there will never be a day dedicated to them – but each year I hope that they’ll return for Old Timer’s Day because of how much they meant to this incarnation of the Yankees.

  7. Doreen February 11th, 2011 at 9:34 am

    I thought this was an excellent subject for a guest post. It’s good on its own, but it opens up the conversation and invites others to talk about who they would include on the list.

    Great job. Thanks!

  8. Erin February 11th, 2011 at 9:35 am

    BryanHoch Getting started under overcast skies here at Yankees camp. Windbreaker weather

  9. Erica in NY February 11th, 2011 at 9:36 am

    Completely random note-

    As I was setting my DVR for next week’s TV, I discovered that Joanna Garcia, is now calling herself Joanna Garcia Swisher :-)

  10. upstate kate February 11th, 2011 at 9:38 am

    Sometimes there are unheralded Yankees you really don’t need to know, but they catch your fancy. One of those players for me is Miguel Cairo, and I was happy to see the Reds re-signed him.

  11. BoJo February 11th, 2011 at 9:39 am

    And seriously, who can ever forget Celerino Sanchez?

  12. austinmac February 11th, 2011 at 9:39 am

    Sorry for the hard week to my blog friends.

    Some strong rookie pitching will help us all.

  13. ericns1 February 11th, 2011 at 9:41 am

    Also from that 50s period don’t forget Vic Raschi and Ed Lopat – great post – my Dad would have enjoyed reading about the Big Chief

  14. Erin February 11th, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Ledger_Yankees Don’t ask me to ID them. #nyy

  15. Erin February 11th, 2011 at 9:46 am

    Erica-I noticed that a couple weeks ago. It was an “awwww” moment. :)

  16. Erin February 11th, 2011 at 9:47 am

    BryanHoch Phil Hughes throwing a bullpen. Can’t get close enough for pix – security chased us back

  17. 108 stitches February 11th, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Nice post Tyler. One correction. Allie Reynolds was known as “The Chief”.

    For those that don’t know it, Nik Turley is a big LH pitcher that may start the year at Low A Charleston. He’s the grandson of former Yankee “Bullet Bob” Turley.

  18. Erin February 11th, 2011 at 9:50 am

    BryanHoch Dellin Betances and Adam Warren among those who’ll be throwing live BP this morning

  19. Erin February 11th, 2011 at 9:53 am

    BryanHoch Andrew Brackman and Ivan Nova tossing in the outfield right now

  20. Vineyard Yankee February 11th, 2011 at 9:54 am

    ‘Nice post Tyler. One correction. Allie Reynolds was known as “The Chief”.’


    Unfortunately so is Freddy Garcia. ( known as ‘The Chief’ that is ) No comparison at all.

  21. retire51 February 11th, 2011 at 9:56 am

    How to get Joba’s Velocity back:….

  22. Tom in N.J. February 11th, 2011 at 10:00 am

    I always thought Allie Reynolds was known as “Superchief”

  23. brownies February 11th, 2011 at 10:10 am

    Following the yankees since 95 ! Hilarious. So young. All the way back to 95 LOL

  24. BoJo February 11th, 2011 at 10:10 am

    Tom–It was Superchief according to Wikipedia…

  25. ac1 February 11th, 2011 at 10:11 am

    So Nick Swisher hired Scott Boras too?

    Yikes….. Boras is scooping up Yankees.

  26. West Coast Yankee Fan February 11th, 2011 at 10:13 am

    Swish hires Boras.

  27. SAS February 11th, 2011 at 10:14 am


    Thanks for your interesting article.

    I am not so sure these Yankees and many others are forgotten or don’t get the press. When they were players, they got lots of press. These were the guys who made the team solid. When Reynolds pitched with Raschi, Lopat and Ford, they were the best of their time on one team.

    Johnny Mize, Moose Skowron, Ellie Howard, Blanchard, Hank Bauer, all made these great teams the best of te best. There was Pepitone later on.

    I venture to say I have forgotten more than you and I remembered. They might be in the HOF, with a couple of exceptions, but without them, those Yankee years would have been mundane.

    That’s one of things we forget with today’s players. The non-HOF’rs are just as important as those who give their all every day.

  28. BoJo February 11th, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Interestingly, I would cite players from 1965-1971′s dark ages that still kept my interest and help grow my love for the team. Players like Steve Hamilton (and his Folly Floater), Hoss Clarke, Roy WHite, Fritz Peterson, Stan Bahnsen, etc.

    Without them, my own personal Yankee experience might never have started….so I hold them up as franchise keys.

  29. Erin February 11th, 2011 at 10:23 am

    BryanHoch Mark Prior, earbuds in, jogging around practice fields

  30. Vineyard Yankee February 11th, 2011 at 10:30 am


    Have you begun the ‘big gag’ yet this morning ? LOL !

  31. Fran the original February 11th, 2011 at 10:33 am

    Nice job Tyler. Enjoyed it.

  32. Erin February 11th, 2011 at 10:35 am

    Ledger_Yankees Rob Thomson, one of my favourite Canadians, walked over to introduce himself to Prior. Meanwhile, I’d like to introduce myself to hot tea.

  33. Patrick February 11th, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Good guest post Tyler, I didn’t know much about those players.

  34. SAS February 11th, 2011 at 10:50 am

    I am more than ready for ST. It is sort of like coming out of hibernation…s l o w l y.

    Opening day, regardless of the weather, is definitely the beginning of a new year. The only thing I don’t look forward to is some of those crazy posters who criticize every move Girardi makes and are sure every game is a loss.

    I am anxious to see what the rotation will look like at the end of March. 19 home games in NY in April. It is like being in Alaska and going water skiing.

    I have never understood why the Southern and domed teams don’t get the majority of the early games.

  35. blake February 11th, 2011 at 10:52 am

    Man I wish someone would tape Betances and Warren in live BP and post it…..

  36. DocTodd February 11th, 2011 at 10:55 am

    Looks like Cameron Diaz is looking for big things from ARod too….

  37. John in Ohio February 11th, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Great post!

    I’m glad that Vic Raschi was mentioned by a couple commenters. 120 – 50 in eight years as a Yankee. Wow.

  38. Wave Your Hat February 11th, 2011 at 10:58 am

    I think most of these “unheralded” players are unheralded primarily to the younger generation. To me they are all pretty famous. Billy Martin unheralded?

  39. Jason Voorhees February 11th, 2011 at 10:59 am


    loved jimmy key. Saw him pitch in the 96 world series (game 6) when i was a kid.

  40. BoJo February 11th, 2011 at 10:59 am

    SAS February 11th, 2011 at 10:50 am

    I have never understood why the Southern and domed teams don’t get the majority of the early games
    And I still wish they had put a retractable dome on YS…I hate cold weather baseabll

  41. Erin February 11th, 2011 at 11:02 am

    BryanHoch Neal Cotts throwing live bp. Dellin Betances will be next.

    Ledger_Yankees Appears to be a clean-cut Eric Chavez at third base. #nyy

  42. John in Ohio February 11th, 2011 at 11:03 am

    I thought Ron Blomberg was going to be a big star when he broke in. He tatooed the ball. Line drives.

    Injuries, I guess.

  43. Don February 11th, 2011 at 11:04 am

    If you grew up in the 1950s then Moose Skowron was already a star and was certainly heralded, it is just a matter of perspective. (the same goes for Gil McDougald, Elston Howard, Billy Martin and Bobby Richardson). I guess if you just started following the Yankees in the 1980s or 1990s or even more recently then these are names from ancient history.

  44. Patrick February 11th, 2011 at 11:04 am

    Well Billy Martin is definitely not “unheralded” even to me (the younger generation). And I’ve heard of Bill “Moose” Scowron, Tony Lazzeri and Bobby Richardson. I know a bit more about Elston Howard, but more due to the fact that he was the first African American to play on the Yankee roster.

    But I’ve never really heard of the rest of the guys Tyler mentions, and of the players I just mentioned, I don’t really know what they did.

  45. Vineyard Yankee February 11th, 2011 at 11:14 am

    Now there’s a thought, a retractable dome on YS, might as well since the taxpayers paid for it and it cost a zillion dollars already. It’s already the most expensive palace not named Cowboys Stadium or the Taj Mahal. LMAO !

  46. Yanksgal07 February 11th, 2011 at 11:15 am

    I guess Tyler only being 25 is saying that every age knows the names Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle, Berra and such. It actually is nice to know that there are those of the younger generation who notice and respect the players we don’t hear about that much about once they are out of the game and the era that they played.

    Nice post …thanks Tyler … :)

    Go Yankees 2011 !!!

  47. Yanksgal07 February 11th, 2011 at 11:16 am

    You can take that second “once” out of the sentence…:;…

    Go Yankees 2011 !!!

  48. Yanksgal07 February 11th, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Oh boy ….not a good day for me …take the second “about” out … ;) …LOL

    Go Yankees 2011 !!!

  49. pat February 11th, 2011 at 11:18 am


    GOSSIP BREAK (and quiz): 50% of my Yankee news search stories this morning included a picture of Alex talking to a “real estate agent”. Did you see the picture? Does the real estate agent look familiar to you and not because you’ve bought real estate from her?

  50. Wave Your Hat February 11th, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Fifty years from now some young Yankee fan will say sure, I’ve heard of Jeter and Rodriguez (he’ll have forgotten or never known the nickname “ARod”), but will have never heard of Paul O’Neill, Tino Martinez, Jorge Posada, Mike Mussina or Andy Pettitte.

    Tyler will be grousing to that young Yankee fan the way I’m grousing now. It’s just the way the world works. :)

  51. trebek29 February 11th, 2011 at 11:21 am

    hey guys its Tyler thanks for the comments. Quick Note. Those of you are correct when you say Reynolds’ nickname was “The Chief,” but Stengel would call him “The Indian” when talking about him to other players so thats why I threw it in.

  52. Fran the original February 11th, 2011 at 11:22 am

    Erin and Pat,

    Can I add to the gossip break? My doorman’s cousin is going to Michael Kay’s wedding tomorrow night. Sure therer will be a lot of gossip from there :)

  53. pat February 11th, 2011 at 11:23 am

    benshpigel Chavez on joining the #yankees: “I’ve got a new heartbeat over here.” Said backup role at 3b was appealing.

  54. Ys Guy February 11th, 2011 at 11:23 am

    good post excellent subject, well done tyler!

    jimmy key started 64 RS games for the yankees and won a WS. id say he made out just fine for his short time in ny and he chose to leave.

  55. Yanksgal07 February 11th, 2011 at 11:23 am

    Exactly Wave …;) …

    Go Yankees 2011 !!

  56. Ys Guy February 11th, 2011 at 11:26 am

    personally, i couldnt care less what the yankees players do off the field, i have no interest. even less interesting would be what the yankees announcers do. im happy for him that he’s getting married, but i wouldn’t bother turning around if i walked by the church as they were throwing the rice.

  57. pat February 11th, 2011 at 11:28 am


    Everyone is allowed to play gossip break. It breaks up the monotony and bad trade proposals.

    Tell your doorman’s cousin pictures or it didn’t happen. :wink:

  58. blake February 11th, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Cool guest post.

    I can see Chavez hitting a few balls into the short porch on days Alex has off or is DHing…..I really don’t know what he has.left in the tank but at one time he was a really good player and he’s not.all that old. Potentially really good pickup for the Yanks.

  59. Doreen February 11th, 2011 at 11:31 am

    Another update on GTLU :

    I have done a little housekeeping on the GTLU website. It’s just about ready to go. I just have to get the dates of the Spring Training games I plan on running.

    You will notice that I have re-established the link to the website in my screen name here. Just click on my name for all things GTLU.

  60. pat February 11th, 2011 at 11:36 am

    BryanHoch Eric Chavez stops to chat. Hopes to win backup role behind A-Rod and Tex ~

    Chavez looks different to me in blue.

  61. disco stu February 11th, 2011 at 11:44 am

    The great Yankee Dynasty from 1949-1964 was littered with one unheralded pitcher after another – DiMaggio, Mantle, Berra, Ford, Howard, and Maris were the stars, but man they had one guy after another who could really pitch – Raschi, Reynolds, Lopat, Page, Turley, Terry, Larson, Duren, Arroyo, etc.

    My dad (a lifelong Yankee fan since 1941) would always tell me the Brooklyn Dodgers had the better lineup (top to bottom) but the reason the Yankees kept beating them in the WS was because the Yankees had the better pitching.

  62. Fran the original February 11th, 2011 at 11:46 am

    Tell your doorman’s cousin pictures or it didn’t happen.

    I’ll see what I can do :)

  63. GreenBeret7 February 11th, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    The Yankees have had a lot of “unsung heroes” that comtributed much to the titles flying above Yankee Stadium. Just in the ’50s and beyond, there was Johnny Sain, one of the finest little lefty pitchers of the 40s and 50s (and a great pitching coach), Hank Bauer who once had a streak of 17 straight WS games with a hit and a 4 homer WS in ’58, then there was Hector Lopez, who did nothing but hit. He was an up and coming slugger for KC until being traded to the Yankees and became a clutch hitting part timer. Then, there was Johnny Blanchard….one of 3 Yankee catchers to hit at least 20 homers in 1961. Blanchard was especially close to Maris and Mantle. How much did Johnny Blanchard love being a Yankee? One the day he was traded to KC, he sat in front of his locker crying. Mantle was sad to see his old friend leave and hoping to cheer him up, Mantle said, “Johnny, at least now, you’ll finally get to play full time.” Blanchard said that he didn’t care about playing full time, he just wanted to remain a Yankee.

    There’s Phil Linz, who did a little more than play the harmonica. In the ’64 WS, he hit two homers, one off of Bob Gibson. The Yanks don’t win in 1961 and ’62 without Bill Stafford and Roland Sheldon. They don’t win the AL titles without Jim Bouton and Al Downing or a late ’64 September pick-up for the bullpen in Pete Ramos. Then there’s Tommy Tresh the ’62 ROY. Not sure how anybody confuses Joe Pepitone as unsung. All anybody had to do was ask Pepi. I was happy to tell you that he loved baseball and the Yankees, but, it got in the way of partying.

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