Saturday, March 14, 2009

#68 -- Jim York

Jim York

Jim's pictured here at the Royals' old spring training location at Terry Field in Fort Myers. I'll occasionally hear Buck Martinez talking about that site on his XM Radio show. From the looks of some of the Florida spring training sites in this set, the teams have certainly gotten an upgrade. Those complexes (a generous word) such as pictured in Jim's card look like nothing more than today's rec league softball complexes. I'd say that only Dodgertown was better than what we see on most of these.

Jim went to UCLA and was on a team that went to the College World Series. As you can see from the stats on the back of his card he flew through the minors and rarely met any resistance. He was also a reliever all the way through. Even if a guy is projected as a reliever, a lot of teams like to have them start through the minors to give them innings, experience and build arm strength.

I hadn't known Jim was a sidearmer, but his card back says that. Funny, because the pose on the front of his card doesn't look like he's finishing a sidearm delivery. That Royals team also had Ted Abernathy, who was a sidearmer, too.

I don't really know much about Jim and wasn't able to find much. He went to the Astros before the 1972 season as the main part of the John Mayberry trade. That trade worked out very well for the Royals because they got a power hitting first baseman that anchored the lineup for most of the 70's and Jim never approached the success he had in 1971 and spent some time in AAA every year for the rest of his career. That's one of the dangers in putting too much value in a middle reliever. Most of them are very up and down from year to year.

Jim made his debut in the second game of a double header against the cellar-dwelling White Sox in Comiskey. He came into a 1-1 game in the 4th and went the rest of the way to earn the win. For some reason when I think of the Royals playing in Chicago, I think of the moron and his son that rushed the field to attack coach Tom Gamboa (No, I don't think all Sox fans are like that. In fact, I've gotten to know some pretty decent Sox fans on here.) However, there wasn't much chance of York getting bumrushed that night. There were only 674 fans in attendance. That was back in the days when they counted actual attendance, rather than the number of tickets sold.

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