I’m no Yankees fan, but I loved Billy Martin‘s fiery attitude as a manager. He was the skipper for the Yankees five different times: 1975-1978, 1979, 1983, 1985, and 1988. He took over for Lou Piniella after the 1987 season, but was fired after 68 games and Piniella was re-hired to finish out 1988. There is speculation Martin would be hired for another round of abuse from George Steinbrenner in 1990, but he died in an auto accident on Christmas day in 1989.
May 16, 1928
Billy Martin played 11 years in the major leagues, mostly for the Yankees, but also for the Twins, Milwaukee Braves, Kansas City Athletics, Reds, Indians, and Tigers. His claim to fame, however, was his fiery attitude as a skipper and his on-again, off-again managerial relationship with George Steinbrenner and the Yankees in the 1970s and 1980s. Sadly, Martin was killed in a drunk driving accident on Christmas in 1989.
One of these days I’m going to start a collection of Martin’s managerial cards. I loved his passion.
I picked up two rack packs of 1983 Donruss last night at the Redsfest for $1 each. I thought surely they were just in the wrong place on the table, but no…$1 each. And with a Reggie Jackson Diamond King showing on top, how could I resist?
I started putting together this virtual set of “fun cards” near the end of the 2011 baseball season. I intended to begin posting them in November after the postseason wrapped up, but got busy with other projects and real life. Since I have the ’11 date on the front of the cards, I decided I should go ahead and start posting them now!
Featuring all the retired uniform numbers in baseball, this set includes Hall of Famers, managers, some lesser-known players, and even a handful of broadcasters. I used the team pages on Baseball-Reference.com as the main source of what numbers are retired, although they are missing a couple. There are also some discrepencies between B-R and Wikipedia as to which pre-number players are honored by teams. In these cases, I simply went with B-R’s information.
Billy Meyer, Pittsburgh Pirates
We’ll start with #1, retired by seven MLB teams, honoring four Hall of Fame players and three managers. The most curious selection among these is manager Billy Meyer, whose .412 record is nothing to brag about, nor is the 42-112 record in 1957, worst in Pirates history. Regardless of his short and unsuccessful managerial career, the team chose to retire his uniform number in 1954.
Billy Martin, New York Yankees
Bobby Doerr, Boston Red Sox
Fred Hutchinson, Cincinnati Reds
Ozzie Smith, St. Louis Cardinals
Pee Wee Reese, Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers
Richie Ashburn, Philadelphia Phillies