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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 10/29/21

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Aaron Judge wins Fielding Bible; Joey Gallo a Gold Glove finalist; Aaron Hicks gets engaged; Bill Bevens’ near-no-no; Elijah Dunham homers twice in AFL game

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New York Yankees v Oakland Athletics
sorry Gardy Coco, none for you
Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

SI.com | Gary Phillips: Yesterday, a pair of Yankees outfielders were recognized for their defensive prowess. Aaron Judge has been considered among the league’s top right fielders for awhile now, and he was honored by Fielding Bible as the best in baseball — even above four-time winner Mookie Betts. The site noted that his cannon led to 5 Outfield Arm Runs Saved, and that he tied for the MLB lead with a pair of home run robberies, nearly snaring a third as well.

Judge narrowly beat out teammate Joey Gallo for the right field Fielding Bible, but Gallo was among three AL right fielders named as Gold Glove finalists. (Judge was omitted, but, well, that’s the voting bloc’s fault.) Although Gallo primarily played left field in New York, his efforts in Texas led to his standing here. The Gold Glove winner will be either him, Hunter Renfroe of the Red Sox, or Kyle Tucker of the Astros.

MLB.com | William Boor: One of the quietly rising Yankees prospects of 2021 was Elijah Dunham, who homered twice in Arizona Fall League action on Wednesday. The outfielder went from undrafted free agent last year to a No. 24 ranking in the system by this season’s end, though the “undrafted free agent” tag is a bit misleading, as in a normal year with more than five rounds, the Indiana product almost certainly would’ve been picked. It doesn’t matter at this point, and after belting 13 homers with an .825 OPS between the two A-ball levels in 2021, Dunham is ready to keep moving up.

MLB.com | Michael Clair: Did you know that prior to Don Larsen, another Yankee nearly threw the first no-hitter in World Series history? Diehards might know this, but Bill Bevens was another unassuming candidate who nearly turned the trick. His no-hit attempt came in Game 4 of the 1947 Fall Classic against Brooklyn, when despite walking 10 (!) batters and allowing a run, he held the Dodgers hitless through 8.2 innings. Alas, the 2-1 didn’t hold, and Bevens lost his shot at history on a walk-off double by Cookie Lavagetto.

Bevens was obviously disappointed and in an odd minor coincidence, neither he nor Lavagetto ever played in the majors again after 1947. However, he could still look back on that series and smile because he still won a World Series thanks to the Bombers’ later efforts against Brooklyn. Go read Mike’s article because it’s great and Mike is also great, but I just love this bit that he cited:

“I wanted three things,” Bevens said in 1990, one year before he passed away from lymphoma at the age of 75. “To be a Yankee, meet Babe Ruth and pitch in the World Series. All my dreams were answered.”

Instagram | Cheyenne Woods: Lastly, congratulations go out to outfielder Aaron Hicks and his now-fiancée, Cheyenne Woods (Tiger’s niece). The couple announced their engagement on Instagram, earning plenty of happy comments from familiar faces, like CC Sabathia and his wife, Amber. Hicks and Woods had been dating since last spring, shortly after the center fielder/former youth golfer appeared on her podcast. Just call it a match made in Stitcher.