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Baseball Player Name of the Week

Great baseball names always seem to come in bunches. Tonight I was looking up Carl Crawford’s stats when I decided, for no particular reason, to look all the players born on his birthday, August 5th. This yielded a number of very solid Name of the Week candidates, but my favorite has to be:

Fabian Gaffke.

Fabian Sebastian Gaffke, in fact. Born in Milwaukee in 1913, Gaffke played for Boston from 1936 to 1939, and for Cleveland in 1941 and 1942. With many players away serving in WWII, Gaffke and his career line of .227/.297/.361 (good for a career OPS+ of 67) lasted longer than they otherwise might have. But he did have his moments. Per the Baseball-Reference Bullpen, in 1937 he had a five-hit game, a separate  five-run game, and a three-homer game for the Red Sox, and his OPS+ that year was 102. Before and in between stints in the majors, he played for the Minneapolis Millers in the American Association.

Other excellently-named players born on August 5th include Ossie Chavaria (who in 38 games for the 1967 Kansas City Royals put up a remarkable OPS+ of 5), Rocky KrsnicRube Novotny, Ebba St. Claire, Slim McGrew, Buddy Gremp, and Bob Daughters.

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1 The Mick536   ~  Dec 15, 2010 3:47 pm

Born on today's date was Stan Bahnsen, a Yankee born and bred, who stayed around in the bigs for 16 years, finishing up with the Phillies who just got Cliff Lee. I mention it because I would like to see the Yankees raise arms, rather than pay for them.

In 1968 he was named Rookie of the Year following a 17-12 season with an era of 2.05, 162 k's and only 62 walks.

Bahnsen left the Yankees in 1971, having gone 14-12, following a 14-11 year. An innings eater, he was traded for Rich McKinney. It was during the time the Yankees were looking for a third baseman, a quest that ended the next year when they acquired Greggie.

2 Bruce Markusen   ~  Dec 15, 2010 8:24 pm

Any player named Fabian (or Fabio, for that matter) is all right with me.

Ahh, Rich McKinney. One of the worst trades in Yankee history. Shortly after joining the Yankees, McKinney asked Marty Appel, the team's public relations director, where he could score some drugs!

3 BobbyB   ~  Dec 15, 2010 10:28 pm

anyone watching the 1960 game 7 on MLB network. Fascinating, thrilling seeing Mantle, Maris, Berra, Kubeck, Richardson not to mention Clemente, Virdin, Vern Law Hal Smith pinch hit three run homer and Mazerowski. What a game! And you get Mel Allen, too.What late inning drama. This was the first game I paid attention to when I was 8 years old. No wonder I became a lifelong baseball fan. This must be the greatest games ever played. The stunning turn of events almost batter by batter as the game got into the 7th, 8th and 9th is gripping even when you know what's going to happen.

4 BobbyB   ~  Dec 15, 2010 10:57 pm

Bob Feller passed away. A true legend. R.I.P.

5 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 16, 2010 12:45 am

[4] I had heard he was released to hospice care just yesterday, which usually means the end is imminent, but it doesn't have to be at the hospital. Same with Sparky earlier.

And Jazz probably already knows, but we lost James Moody a few days ago, too...

6 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 16, 2010 12:59 am

Ossie Chavaria was traded by the Yanks to the Mexico City Tigers in the Mexican League for one Celerino Sanchez... I didn't know you could do a straight trade like that to international leagues. When was the most recent straight-up player trade between a major league team and an international team?

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