Thursday, February 23, 2017

Quick Hit: The History Behind the Yankees Historic Logo

Hello again Yankees fans and family, here’s a quick history lesson for you as we close up shop for another night here on The Greedy Pinstripes. The history behind the historic and well-known New York Yankees logo.

What makes the logo so historic? Well it wouldn’t be nearly as historic or well-known if the team wasn’t as successful as it has been throughout their history. As we are set to enter the 2017 season the Yankees have 18 American League East Division (and division titles before there was an American League East) titles under their belts along with 40 American League pennants and a whopping 27 World Series championships. With success on the field comes success off the field as well which is evident by the 44 players from the Yankees and 11 managers who are currently in the Hall of Fame for the team.

The interlocking “NY” has been the Yankees logo since the 1913 season when the team has eight different variations of the logo. The logos were all basically the same with slight variances in each where the bat and ball logo with the word “Yankees” written in cursive has been around since the 1947 season. The bat and ball logo changed once in 1968 and has remained the same ever since.

Uncle Sam’s hat sitting on top of the bat and the strategically placed “K” in Yankees just screams “America’s Team” to me and I wouldn’t change a thing about either logo if I could. Well maybe I’d put a “Brought to you by Daniel Burch and the Greedy Pinstripes” somewhere but that just may be me tooting my own horn. Sue me.

Speaking of Alex Rodriguez… A Gift Bomb… From A Rod

We spoke about Alex Rodriguez and his retirement from Major League Baseball this morning as I asked the question “Why does no one believe Alex that he’s really retired?” Well this evening as many of you are headed home from your jobs, at home preparing meals for your families or simply headed into work to start your day I wanted to bring a little good news to the site and that good news and charity comes from Mr. Rodriguez himself. According to reports the former Yankees third baseman and designated hitter gave the University of Miami a donation and gift in the sum of $500,000 thus establishing the Graduate Entrepreneurship and Innovation Endowed Fund.

The fund, which I will not be typing out ever again so I will shorten it to the GEIE fund…. Because wow the English language doesn’t make it easy on you some days, is designed to support new co-curricular programs for participants in the school’s Miami Executive MBA for Artists and Athletes program.

In recognition for the award the school built a courtyard within the School of Business complex and have name aptly name it the Alex Rodriguez Courtyard. Here’s a direct quote from Alex during the courtyard ceremony that took place on February 17th:

 “As an athlete and an entrepreneur, I am thrilled to help the School of Business create unique initiatives around innovation and entrepreneurship, particularly in the Executive MBA program for artists and athletes,” said Rodriguez. “It’s my hope that these initiatives will encourage athletes and others to explore their own entrepreneurial path outside what they are exposed to in the classroom.”

The fund is designed to help enrich workshops that help young students in the entrepreneurship, negotiation, multinational leadership, family business and wealth management fields. Kudos, Alex. Kudos, indeed. 

Yankees Tickets & Derek Jeter Night

The New York Yankees will honor their Captain and one of the greatest players and people to ever put on a Yankees uniform on May 14th when the organization and the team hold Derek Jeter Night at Yankee Stadium. I don’t have to own a blog and a Twitter account with nearly 5,000 followers to tell you that this is going to be the biggest ticket to have on that night in all of the state of New York. If you want those tickets you better get them now and if you want them you better be willing and able to dig pretty damn deep into those pockets because the price for that game are skyrocketing.

As of the time of this writing the price for just a bleacher seat will run you anywhere from $140 to $155 each according to the website. Once those seats are gone you can expect that price to rise on the Yankees Ticket Exchange. The grandstand seats are also pushing the $150 mark and prices are up across the board everywhere in the stadium, and for good reason. Jeter was a career-long Yankees player, he helped bring five World Series championships to the Bronx and he will be the last person to ever wear a single digit uniform for New York.

Jeter’s number two jersey will be the 21st number retired in the franchise’s history.

The game will take place against the Houston Astros on May 14th inside historic and majestic Yankee Stadium. Be there as the Yankees honor one of their own and make sure you save some money for those $15 beers and NYY Steak as well. 

Why Does No One Believe Alex Rodriguez is Really Retired?

Man, it’s always something with Alex Rodriguez isn’t it? Even when it’s not something it always finds a way of being something, it’s unreal and it’s insane. Let’s start at the beginning. The New York Yankees essentially bought Alex out of his contract that runs through the 2017 season thus allowing him to retire, or to not if he so chooses, while also giving him a special advisory role with the team. A role that he is currently fulfilling down in Spring Training camp down in Tampa as we speak. Ever since the news broke that this was going to happen the media immediately speculated that Alex not only could, but would, play for another team in 2016. The media also, and almost immediately, began licking their lips as they speculated where Alex would play in 2017 while all the while Rodriguez was claiming that he was retired and his playing days were over. Why does no one believe that?

Alex confirmed, once again, at Yankees camp this week that he has “zero” interest in returning to the field after officially ending his playing career on August 12th in the Bronx. Alex stated that multiple teams had contacted him after the season but he has not so much as taken batting practice all winter long, and doesn’t plan to either.

I know that doesn’t sell papers or gather Twitter followers or even garner clicks on your websites there fellas but Alex called a spade a spade. He’s done, so stop asking about it. Please? Lord, journalism these days really gets under my skin. It’s no longer about presenting the news and it’s become more about who can get the most recognition. It’s sad and it’s ultimately the reason I started getting into this whole writing game.

Guys, he’s done.  Alex is not working out and he no longer wants the circus and media that follows him around during every single second of his life anymore. He’s finally matured and while I know that may be hard for some to realize or accept it seems to be the truth. So in the immortal words of a friend of mine….. Deal with it. 

The Legend of Ping Bodie...

After a week of seeing pics of Alex Rodriguez patting players on the back and stories of Derek Jeter taking young prospects to dinner, there really hasn’t been much to talk about in the Yankees Universe.  Things should start to pick up with the first spring game tomorrow featuring a start for rotation hopeful Bryan Mitchell.

Nevertheless, I thought it would be a good opportunity to remember one of my favorite all-time Yankees.  We always hear about Lou Gehrig (my personal all-time favorite Yankee) and Babe Ruth, but we rarely hear about the guys that played prior to Gehrig’s arrival.  Ping Bodie has long been one of my favorites.  I’ve always enjoyed hearing stories about Bodie and I am sure that he was a fan favorite in his day.

Francesco Stephano Pezzolo was born in the Cow Hollow section of San Francisco on October 8, 1887.  He anglicized his name to Frank Steven and adopted the name of a now defunct city in California he once lived as his last name (Bodie).  He acquired the nickname of “Ping” for the sound of the ball coming off his monster 52-ounce bat.

By today’s standards, Bodie was very small (5’8” and 195 pounds).  He was primarily an outfielder , and he played during baseball’s "dead-ball" era.  Sportwriter Wood Ballard once described Bodie as anthropoid-like with broad stooping shoulders and long dangling arms which seemed to hang lower when he trotted to and from his outfield position.

In 1910, while playing for the PCL’s San Francisco Seals, Bodie hit a then unheard of 30 home runs.  This opened the door for his major league debut with the Chicago White Sox on April 22, 1911.  He responded by hitting 4 home runs, 97 RBIs, and had a .289 batting average. 

On March 8, 1918, the Yankees acquired Bodie from the Philadelphia Athletics for first baseman George Burns (no, not that George Burns) whom the Yankees had purchased earlier in the day from the Detroit Tigers.  In the 1918 season, Bodie hit 3 home runs and 46 RBI’s to go with a .256 batting average.  It might not sound like much, but the 3 homers placed Bodie 7th in the American League for total homers.  By comparison, Babe Ruth of the Boston Red Sox had 11 home runs, while the Yankees third baseman Home Run Baker had 6.  Burns would actually go on to have a better 1918 season than Bodie (6 HR, 70 RBI, .352 BA), but the Yankees already had Wally Pipp entrenched at first base.  Apparently Pipp didn’t have a headache that year.

Bodie would go on to have two more productive seasons with the Yankees with .278 and .295 batting averages in 1919 and 1920.  He also had 77 RBI’s in 1920 (his most productive year as a Yankee).  During those 1919 and 1920 seasons, he roomed with new Yankee Babe Ruth.  Once asked what it was like to room with Ruth, Bodie said, “That isn’t so…I room with his suitcase”.

Also, during the Yankee years, at a tour stop in Jacksonville, Florida, Bodie entered a spaghetti-eating contest against an ostrich named Percy.  Bodie was declared the winner when Percy passed out after his 11th bowl of spaghetti.  This was obviously before the creation of PETA.

At games, his young son would boast “My dad is the best hitter in all the league”.  When asked how he knew, he would respond “Dad told me so”.

In 1921, Bodie’s playing time and performance deteriorated substantially and he was dealt to the Boston Red Sox in August.  The Yankees would go on to win the American League Pennant but lost the World Series to the New York Giants.  Having spent the majority of the season with the Yankees, Bodie requested a half share of the World Series money for the losing Yankees but was denied.  After the season, he refused to go back to the Red Sox (who wouldn’t?) and played the next 7 years in the minors.

For his major league career, Bodie finished with 43 home runs, 514 RBI’s, and .275 batting average.  He also had 1,011 hits and a .965 career fielding percentage.  With only 83 career stolen bases (in 9 seasons), sportswriter Arthur “Bugs” Baer once said, “There’s larceny in his heart but his feet were honest”.  Sounds kind of like Chris Carter on the basepaths.

When his playing career ended, Bodie became a bit actor and electrician, often working on the Universal lot, in Hollywood.  Bodie would routinely make references to his baseball career with statements like, “You should have heard me crash the old apple.  I whaled the onion”.  Late in life, Bodie was asked if he could still hit.  He replied, “Give me the mace and I’ll drive the pumpkin down Whitey Ford’s throat”. 

Bodie died in San Francisco on December 17, 1961 due to throat cancer.  He was 74 years old. 

Bodie, one of the first Italian Americans to play major league baseball, is credited as an inspiration for players like Tony Lazzeri, Frank Crosetti, and the DiMaggio brothers.   He was elected to the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in 1980.

Forgotten by many, Ping Bodie was one of a kind and a great part of Yankees history.  

New York Yankees Photo Day 2017

Here are a few highlights from the New York Yankees Photo Day 2017. Enjoy!

Gleyber Torres!!!

Dellin Betances

Jon Niese

Jonathan Holder

Masahiro Tanaka

Gary Sanchez

Ruben Tejada

Chris Carter

Clint Frazier

Starlin Castro


Aaron Judge

Greg Bird

Rob Refsnyder <3

Didi Gregorius

So it Seems I’m Breaking the Kode

 So it seems like I may be finally breaking this Kode. Yes I know how to spell CODE but Kode is code for code if you know what I mean. You don’t actually and that’s the point of the Kode. Thoroughly confused now? Good.

Really though, after 31 years on this planet I think I may be finally starting to put two-and-two together and I think I may be finally starting to figure this whole “living” thing out. No longer am I simply okay with the “new normal” or whatever you want to call it. I have a taste of the good life now and I am not merely content with going back to the way things were.

Always go forward, never go back or stay the same. If you’re not going forward you need to find out what’s keeping you from going forward, remove that from your life and leave them or it in your dust. Kind of like what the Yankees need to do with Randy Levine and his fat mouth that he has zero issue with running 24/7. Don’t get me started on him again because I could totally rant on him again and again and again.  

The New York Yankees are on their way to cracking the code, you can see evidence of that with youth movement, but they need to really crack the Kode. No more signing the Matt Holliday’s and Chris Carter’s of the league, let the kids have a shot at it. Let the kids flourish and be happy.


This Day in New York Yankees History 2/23: Nothing So...

Why not listen to some good music. It truly is my favorite thing.