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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Fritz Brickell and Bobby Richardson hit their first home runs in the same game in 1959, a bit like Tyler Austin and Aaron Judge yesterday.

Yesterday the Yankees beat Tampa 8-4 in Yankee Stadium bringing their record to 60-56 still with a shot of qualifying for the tournament.
Three of the Yankees were in AAA August 1 when the Yankees traded DH Carlos Beltran, supposedly starting a youth movement. Sanchez was brought up two days later but Austin and Judge played their first major league game yesterday, August 13. The Yankees were preoccupied with Alex Rodriguez who was released yesterday making room for one of them.

Anyway, in their first plate appearances (PA) Austin and Judge homered, back-to-back jacks. Supposedly it's the first time in history that teammates homered in their first PA in the same game. PA is more specific than at bat (AB), since PA could include BB, HBP, SF, sac. Austin and Judge homered the very first time that they had the opportunity. Hicks, Gregorius and Castro also homered. All five are younger than 27, supposedly the first time that had happened for the Yankees.

Yankee announcer Micheal Kay said something about first homers many years ago by Fritz Brickell and Bobby ... I wasn't paying attention but I thought he said Bobby Murcer, which I knew was incorrect as Murcer played after Brickell. Kay mispronounced Fritzie's last name, which had the emphasis on the second syllable.

Austin and Judge are big 24 year olds with home run power. But Fritzie Brickell and Little Bobby Richardson were neither big nor home run hitters. The homer by 24 year old Brickell was his only in a very short career (88 AB, 39 with the Yankees), which ended four years before he died of cancer in October 1965 at age 30.

Richardson: Rookie Status: Exceeded rookie limits during 1957 season; would turn 24 August 19, 1959; ZERO homers in 520 AB entering 1959.

Saturday, July 25, 1959, , Briggs Stadium
Attendance: 26,530, Time of Game: 3:35
Yankees 9 (48-48) Tigers 8 (47-51)

Starting Lineups

New York Yankees       Detroit Tigers
1Bobby Richardson2B1Eddie Yost3B
2Norm SiebernLF2Charlie MaxwellLF
3Mickey MantleCF3Harvey KuennRF
4Yogi BerraC4Al KalineCF
5Hector Lopez3B5Red WilsonC
6Elston Howard1B6Gus Zernial1B
7Hank BauerRF7Ted Lepcio2B
8Fritz BrickellSS8Coot VealSS
9Whitey FordP9Paul FoytackP
HR: B Richardson (1, off P Foytack, 1st inn, 0 on, 0 outs to LF); F Brickell (1, off T Morgan, 6th inn, 1 on, 1 out to LF); Y Berra (12, off B Smith, 9th inn, 1 on, 1 out to RF).

Richardson homered as the first batter in the game. Brickell hit a two run homer in the top of the 6th to put the Yankees ahead 6-5. Berra hit a two run homer in the top of the 9th to win the game 9-8. In 1960 Elston Howard would finally replace Berra as the starting catcher, with Yogi moving to left field and catching only occasionally.

For the Tigers Kuenn was leading Kaline in batting average by ten points and would beat him out for the highest in the American League (AL) in 1959. Then in April 1960 Kuenn was suddenly traded to Cleveland for Rocky Colavito who had tied Harmon Killebrew at 42 for most AL home runs. Mantle was having an off year and hit only 31 home runs in 1959.

Ironically, Maas was the winning pitcher for the Yankees in Fritzie's home run game. Maas had been claimed by the Angels in the 1961 expansion draft. Fritzie Brickell was the first shortstop for the Angels, back when they actually played in Los Angeles.

Richardson: hit one more home run in 1959. Richardson hit a bases loaded home run in game three of the 1960 World Series, setting a record for most RBI in one WS game: 6; went on to break Berra's WS RBI record (10) with 12. In 1964 Richardson set WS record for most hits: 13. Most HR in a season: 8 in 1962 when he led AL in PA, AB, Hits; second to Mantle for MVP.

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