Welcome to the relaunched This Day in Yankees History. The New Year is upon us, and the winter hot stove continues to percolate. That being said, there has not been much movement on the Yankees’ front as of yet, so in the meantime let’s dig into the history books. These daily posts will highlight two or three key moments in Yankees history on a given date, as well as recognize players born on the day. Hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane with us!
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This Day in Yankees History (January 20)
90 years ago
After being released by Cleveland, Joe Sewell will finish his 14-year career with the Yankees. He hit .282 during his three-year tenure in pinstripes with an OPS+ of 97. He also holds the modern single-season record for fewest strikeouts over a full season with just three! That was over the course of 576 plate appearances during the Yankees’ championship season in 1932 — a microscopic 0.5 percent strikeout rate. Sewell was inducted into the Hall of Fame by Veteran’s Committee as Player in 1977.
10 years ago
The Yankees sign Andruw Jones to a one-year, $2 million contract. In his first Yankees at-bat in 2011, Jones hit a home run over the left field wall at Yankee Stadium. He finished the season with a .247 average, 13 home runs and 33 RBI. He became a free agent after the year, but re-signed with New York on another one-year, $2 million deal. He played 94 games in 2012 and decided to play in Japan after the season. He officially retired from baseball in February 2016 and was hired by the Braves as a special assistant later that month.
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Happy birthday to Kevin Maas!
Maas was drafted by the Yankees in the 22nd round of the 1986 draft and made his major league debut for New York on June 29, 1990. He began his big league career on a tear, setting the record for the fewest at-bats to hit 10 home runs with 72. He was the runner-up Rookie of the Year behind Sandy Alomar Jr. in 1990 and it was hoped that Maas would be the heir to Don Mattingly. However, he never lived up to that hype. Maas hit a mere .232 in his four years in pinstripes with a 2.3 bWAR. By 1992, Maas was shuffling back and forth between the major and minor leagues. He was released by the Yankees in 1994.
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We thank Baseball Reference and Nationalpastime.com for providing background information for these posts.