Les Nunamaker was the second starting catcher in New York Yankee history. He succeeded a guy named Jeff Sweeney who in addition to being the first starting catcher for the Yankees in 1913, had also been the last starting catcher for the New York Highlanders the season before. The Yankees purchased Nunamaker from the Red Sox during the 1914 season and immediately put him in the starting lineup. He set a record that first season with New York that can never be broken, when he threw out three runners attempting to steal second base all in the same inning. Not a great hitter, Nunamaker was a big burly guy who was fearless behind the plate. He caught for New York for four years until Miller Huggins took over for Bill Donovan as Yankee skipper after the 1917 season. Huggins included Nunamaker in a package of five players that he traded to the Browns for future Hall of Fame hurler Eddie Plank and Del Pratt, in January of 1918.
After one season in St Louis, Nunamaker was traded to the Indians where he became best buddy with and a regular fishing and hunting partner of the great Tris Speaker. He was also involved in a whacky moment off the field during the 1920 season. One morning he awoke in his hotel bedroom to find a wad of bills wrapped up under his pillow. Since this was just one season after the Black Sox scandal, Nunamaker immediately turned over the cash to then baseball commissioner, Ban Johnson. When the wad was unrolled it was found to consist of sixteen Confederate one dollar bills. Nunamaker played until 1922 and then became a coach and manager in the minor leagues. He passed away in his native Nebraska in 1938 at the very young age of
This veteran reliever was acquired by the Yankees from Texas in a trade for fellow reliever Cecilio Guante, late in the 1988 regular season. Guante had begun that season as a favorite and frequent late-inning pitching choice of Yankee skipper Billy Martin. But Martin had gotten fired in late June of that year and replaced by Lou Piniella. Sweet Lou was not as sweet on Guante as Billy had been and quickly lost faith in him. Mohorcic had been a closer with Texas and the big right-hander had just put together his best year in 1987 with 16 saves and 7 victories. He had however, gotten off to a horrible start during the ’88 season and it was obvious that both teams were hoping simple changes of scenery would be the elixir these two right-handers needed to once again get late-inning outs. Unfortunately for both clubs and both players, that did not happen.
A native of Cleveland, Mohorcic won two games and lost two more for New York that September and then appeared in 32 games for the Yanks the following season, going 2-1 with two more saves. But his ERA went sky-high that second season in the Bronx and the Yanks released him. He than finished his career with Montreal in 1990.