This native of Rapid City, SD is one of only two all-time Yankee roster members I could find who celebrate their birthday on May 1. He went to high school in Roswell, New Mexico, site of the space center where most of America’s space rockets were originally designed. Appropriately, this southpaw had a rocket for a fastball but not much else. The Yankees selected him in the 34th round of the 1998 amateur draft. He got the attention of the parent club’s brain trust in 2001, when he went 14-4 and led every minor league player in the country with 220 strikeouts.
Claussen ended up appearing in only one game for New York, a single start during the 2003 season in which he was credited with the victory. That win however, was not Brandon’s only contribution to helping the Yankees get into that season’s World Series. He was also included in the July 2003 trade with the Reds that brought Aaron Boone to the Yankees. He had a 10-win season for Cincinnati in 2005 but after a bad year in ’06 he was out of the big leagues for good.
Claussen shares his May 1 birthday with another pitcher who played for the Yankees over a century earlier.
|NYY (1 yr)||1||0||1.000||1.42||1||1||0||0||0||0||6.1||8||2||1||1||1||5||1.421|
The American League was established in 1901 with no member franchise based in New York. Back then, the team that would eventually become the New York Yankees was named the Orioles and they were located in Baltimore. The legendary John McGraw was Manager of that 1901 Orioles team and he skippered it to a 67-65 fifth place finish in the AL’s inaugural season. Like Joe Girardi with today’s Yankees, McGraw was having trouble putting together an effective starting rotation. When the Boston franchise released 38 year-old southpaw Frank Foreman, “Little Napoleon” signed him and put him in the Baltimore rotation.
Nicknamed “Monkey,” Foreman had actually pitched for the Orioles in Baltimore a dozen seasons earlier when the franchise was a member of the old American Association League. He threw an almost unbelievable 414 innings for the Birds during that 1889 season and finished the year with a 23-21 record. He would make his return to the city memorable by finishing 12-6 for McGraw, to lead the 1901 team in winning percentage. He was brought back by McGraw to pitch for the Orioles in ’02 but his 39-year-old left arm had nothing left and he was released after losing his first two starts.
Foreman would remain in the game as a big league scout and is credited with finding and signing the hall-of-fame pitcher, Eddie Plank. Foreman shares his May 1 birthday with another Yankee who pitched for the same franchise 101 seasons later.
|BLA (2 yrs)||12||8||.600||3.86||26||24||2||20||1||1||207.2||253||138||89||2||64||43||1.526|