On This Date In History: Reggie Becomes # 44 in NY

On November 29, 1976, Reggie Jackson signed a 5 year 2.96 million dollar contract to play with the New York Yankees. 

You know the rest about Reggie's playing time in the Bronx but do you know how he landed on # 44?

Reggie's first choice was # 9  but since that was taken by Graig Nettles that was out.  His second choice was # 42, in honor of Jackie Robinson, but that was
claimed by pitching coach Art Howler. 
 Third choice was # 44
, in honor of recently retired Hank Aaron.  Obviously that one stuck.

November 29, 2012 | E-mail | Comments (0) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

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On This Date In History: # 19 for the Yankees

On October 9, 1961, the New Yrok Yankees won game five of the World Series, earning their 19th World Championship.  They beat the Reds at Crosley Field, 13 - 5.  Check out some of our favorite pics from this historic fall classic.

 

October 9, 2012 | E-mail | Comments (0) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

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On This Date In History: 61

 

On October 1, 1961, Roger Maris hit his 61st home run of the season.  With that swing of the bat, Maris became the first player to hit 61 home runs in a single season, surpassing Babe Ruth and his 60 home runs.  The game was played at Yankee Stadium, on the final day of the regular season, against the Boston Red Sox.  In his first at bat in the bottom of the first, Maris flied out to deep left field.  He came to the plate again in the 4th, and this happened .

 

 

 

The ball was caught by 19 year old truck driver Sal Durante, who received $5,000 in return for the ball. 

 

Asterisk or no asterisk, October 1, 1961 was one of the most memorable days in the history of baseball.

 

October 1, 2012 | E-mail | Comments (0) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

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Today in History- Mr. October Comes to The Hall

Today at Mitchell & Ness we pay tribute to Mr. October himself, Reggie Jackson, who was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on this day nine years ago. Jackson was born in 1946 outside of Philadelphia, where he became a multi-sport star at Cheltenham High School. Recruited for baseball and football. Recruited by colleges for both, Jackson chose to attend Arizona State for baseball primarily. But after showing off his talents to the school's baseball coach and being forced into a position change at football, baseball would become his sole game.

A collegiate All-American, Jackson was drafted 2nd overall in the 1966 Draft by the Kansas City Athletics. Reggie would break through quickly, debuting just a year later in 1967 before the club moved to Oakland. Jackson would become a star in Oakland, especially with his breakout 1969 season that saw Jackson hit a career-high 47 home runs. Jackson would become a perennial All-Star, as the A's began to turn into a dynasty. Oakland won back-to-back-to-back World Series from 1972-74, led by Jackson's bat. 1973 was Jackson's most honored year, as the outfielder won both the American League and World Series MVP. However, the rise of free agency would find Jackson leaving Oakland.

A's Owner Charlie O. Finley, unwilling to pay Jackson's increased wages, traded the player to the Baltimore Orioles for one season. Jackson would play one season in Maryland, trying the consecutive game home run record at six. But after the season, the free agent was rewarded by the Yankees with a five-year contract totaling $2.96 million. Jackson would become a divisive figure in New York, earning the ire of George Steinbrenner, manager Billy Martin and catcher Thurman Munson while putting up his same strong numbers. The disfunctional clubhouse was nonetheless successful, as the Yanks reached the the World Series versus the Los Angeles Dodgers. Jackson would put on an iconic performance, hitting three home runs in the series-clinching game six, as Jackson took home another World Series MVP.

Jackson and the Yankees would repeat in '78 over the Dodgers, giving Jackson his fifth and last World Series Championship. Jackson would continue to star with the Yankees for another three seasons. But his last at-bats would come as the Dodgers got their revenge, defeating the Yankees in the 1981 World Series. A free agent, Jackson signed a five-year contract to join the California Angels. Jackson would help the Angels win two AL West division titles in 1982 and 1986, but ALCS losses kept Jackson from ever returning to the World Series. At the age of 40 Jackson signed a contract to return to the A's for his last season, wearing his now iconic #44 instead of his original #9. He retired after that 1987 season, posting a legendary 21 season career.

Mitchell & Ness remembers Jackson on the anniversary of his first-ballot Hall of Fame election, where the legend of Oakland, New York, and Anaheim's plaque resides. Mitchell & Ness offers authentics for Jackson on his three iconic franchises, which you can check out here. Here are a couple of our offerings: 

 

August 1, 2012 | E-mail | Comments (0) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

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Today in History- Don Mattingly hits 2,000

 

Today on the Mitchell & Ness blog we pay tribute to Don Mattingly. The "Hit Man" stroked his 2,000th hit 18 years ago today. Perhaps the greatest Yankee never to win a World Series, Mattingly was the anchor of the Yankees teams through the 80's and into the 90's.

Born and raised in Evansville, Indiana, Mattingly was a high school star. After getting drafted by the Yankees, Mattingly forgoed a scholarship to Indiana State to begin his baseball career. Mattingly got a cup of coffee with the Yankees in 1982, and became a part-time player in 1983. However, it would be Steve Balboni's trade to the Kansas City Royals before the 1984 season that would give Mattingly his big opportunity.

'84 was Mattingly's breakout season, as the first baseman hit .343 and won his first All-Star Game appearance. The subsequent season would see Mattingly win his first and only MVP as the Yankees won 97 games, yet missed out on the playoffs behind the 99 win Blue Jays. Mattingly also took home his first Gold Glove and Silver Slugger that year, but that failure to qualify for the post-season would haunt the Yankees during the Mattingly era.

'86 saw Mattingly hit a career-high .352 as he finished 2nd in MVP voting and took home yet another Gold Glove/Silver Slugger combo, but the Yankees fell even deeper away from the playoff hunt. 1987 would see the last year of prime Mattingly, as he again took home a GG/SS combo with an All Star Game appearance.

The remaining years of the '80s into the early '90s saw an increasingly irrelevant Yankees side that tumbled down the standings of the American League East and posted losing records. Mattingly remained a sole bright spot of the era, as he became a fan favorite with his gritty play.

However, the end of Mattingly's career saw him help lead a rise of the Yankees. The '93 season saw the Yankees win 88 games after posting four consecutive seasons of losing records. 1994 saw Mattingly get his 2000th hit, becoming only the 6th Yankee to do so. But the '94 MLB Players strike robbed Mattingly of his best chance to win a World Series, as the Yankees had a 70-43 record, best in the American League at the time of play halting. 

1995 would see Mattingly's first and only playoff appearance, as the Yankees became the first team to win the American League Wild Card. That Yankees team fell in five games to to the Mariners, but Mattingly made the most of his lone opportunity, hitting .417 with a home run in the series. That lone playoff berth would mark Mattingly's last games of his career, as he retired after the 1995 season. The Yankees would win their first World Series the next year in 18 seasons, launching the rise of the Yankees dynasty of the era.

Mattingly has gone on to have a long coaching career. He was a spring instructor through 2003, when he took the job as the Yankees hitting coach before moving on to the same position with the Dodgers in 2008. In 2011 Mattingly was given his first chance to manage when he took over the Dodgers, and has held that job ever since.

Mattingly was unlucky to fall between eras of greatness for the Yankees. But you cannot underrestimate his impact on a generation of Yankees fans, where he was the lone star of a struggling team. The Yankees have not forgotten Mattingly, as his #23 was retired on August 31, 1997. His plaque in Monument Park calls him, "A humble man of grace and dignity, a captain who led by example, proud of the pinstripe tradition and dedicated to the pursuit of excellence, a Yankee forever."

Mitchell & Ness pays tribute to "Donnie Baseball" and is proud to offer Mattingly authentics in our Cooperstown Collection:

1995 Home Jersey

 

1984 Batting Practice Jersey

1995 Batting Practice Jersey

 

July 23, 2012 | E-mail | Comments (0) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

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