The end is in sight, but with New Year’s Eve still a couple days away, we are still firmly in the holiday season. However with that looming, we are drawing closer to the January and February doldrums before baseball returns. This year there might be a little more excitement with some free agents still available, but it’s still the bleakest no baseball period of the calendar.
Before we get there, however, let’s keep up the holiday spirit. Here is a team of holiday-themed names of Yankees throughout the years.
Pitcher: Garland Braxton
The “circular or spiral arrangement of intertwined material (such as flowers or leaves)” (shoutout to Merriam-Webster) which often serve as Christmas decorations, is also the first name of a Yankees pitcher from 1925-26. Braxton gave the Yankees 86.2 decent innings before being shipped off to the Senators, where he won an ERA title in 1928.
Catcher: Pi Schwert
Take your pick for what holiday we’re commemorating with his name. Obviously, there’s Thanksgiving and the pie connections, but if you love the mathematical concept of Pi, then he also works for Pi Day. Schwert played in just 12 career games, but more notably later went into politics. He appears to be the only former Yankee to serve in the US House of Representatives. However, he died in office in 1941 at just 48 years old.
First Base: J.T. Snow
Although not nearly as bad letting Buhner go, Snow was another Yankee who turned into a decent player somewhere else in the majors after getting traded. He played in seven career games in New York, putting up a 69 OPS+.
Second Base: Red Rolfe, Shortstop: Paddy Greene
Ok, so Rolfe technically never played at second base in his career, but a middle infield duo made up of Christmas colors was too good to pass up.
Rolfe had a good 10-year career with the Yankees, making four All-Star teams. To the best of my knowledge, he is also the only Yankee player to go on and coach an NBA team. As for Greene, he played four career games for the New York Highlanders in their first ever season in 1903.
Third Base: Angel Aragon
Aragon was just the seventh ever Cuban born player when he broke in with the Yankees all the way back in 1914. He was the first player of Latin origin of any kind to ever play for the team. First does not equal best, however, as he put up a career OPS+ of -4.
Outfield: Ham Hyatt
Hyatt represents New Year’s on the team, as a ham on the first day of the year is a tradition for many. He had last played in the majors three years before when the Yankees picked him up in 1918. Not surprisingly, he was a below average hitter, and didn’t play in the majors again after that season.
Outfield: Rico Noel
The outfielder was primarily used as a pinch runner with the Yankees, as he played in 15 games, but recorded just two at-bats, with the team in 2015. He is the only person with that surname to play for the club, so I guess you could say he was the Yankees’ First Noel.
Outfield: Melky Cabrera
Obviously, he was chosen here because his first name sounds like “milk”. However, please don’t leave a glass of Melky Cabrera out for Santa next year. None of the options for what that means are good.
Designated Hitter: Matt Holliday
No team of holiday-named people would be complete without the guy whose last name is literally Holliday.
Wilson, Nick. Early Latino Ballplayers in the United States: Major, Minor and Negro Leagues, 1901-1949. McFarland & Co., 2013.