I had always thought that May 15th was one of the few calendar dates on which no member of the all-time Yankee family was born. Then on May 14, 2012, I was poking around the fantastic Baseball-Reference Web site, I came across a guy by the name of Charles Brittingham Burns. In 1902, the legendary skipper John McGraw, who had not yet become legendary, was managing the Baltimore Orioles, who had not yet been relocated to New York City, where the team was renamed first the Highlanders and then the Yankees. For some reason, in some game, McGraw looked down his Orioles’ bench and pointed at Mr. Burns and told him to grab a bat because he was going to hit. The 23-year-old native of Bayview, MD, who was supposedly known as “C.B.” to his teammates went to the plate for the first time in his big league career and hit a single.
That would turn out to be the one and only time McGraw or evidently any other manager asked C.B. to take an at bat in a baseball game, which means he ended his big league career with a perfect 1.000 batting average. Since then, he has been joined by four other players who batted a perfect 1.000 during their Yankee careers. They are; Heinie Odom (1925) Mickey Witek (1949) Larry Gowell (1972) and the most recent, Chris Latham (2003). Gowell is the only pitcher to do it and Latham is the only one of the five to do it with more than one official at bat. He went 2-2 during his very brief Yankee career. Burns is one of 302 Maryland natives to play in the big leagues. My all-time top five Maryland-born Yankees would be: Babe Ruth – Baltimore; Frank “Home Run” Baker – Trappe; Mark Teixeira – Annapolis; Charlie Keller – Middletown; and Tommy Byrne – Baltimore.
This since departed Yankee infielder celebrated his 26th birthday by joining Burns as a May 15th-born member of the Yankees’ all-time roster on May 15, 2013.
It took a ton of injuries on the Yankee parent club’s roster to get this guy his first shot in the big leagues. He was called up by New York on his birthday, during the 2013 season. He got off to a good start offensively and I remember being impressed by his poise and patience at the plate. The poise lasted but the patience did not and after hitting just .143 during his big league debut, Adams is no longer a Yankee. He began the 2014 season playing in the Orioles’ farm system.
Born in Margate, Florida in 1987, this right-hand hitting infielder was drafted out of high school by the Detroit Tigers in the 21st round of the 2005 Amateur Draft. He chose to play collegiate baseball instead at the University of Virginia and in 2008, he was drafted again, this time in the third round and this time by the Yankees.
It took him six long years to make his way up the rungs of New York’s minor league ladder, with injuries along the way slowing his ascent. But he played well at just about every stop, averaging right around three hundred and playing an acceptable second base. With a durable superstar in Robbie Cano playing second, the Yankees were in no rush to get Adams to the Bronx. He didn’t have the range to play short and though he was playing a lot of third base last season in Scranton, his lack of power made it a long shot that the Yanks would groom him to replace A-Rod at the hot corner. But it was the injury-decimated left side of the Yankee’s 2013 infield that provided Mr.Adams with his first shot to do something special enough to remain in pinstripes or even the big leagues for that matter.
I was rooting for the guy for two reasons. Up until Adams got called up the only Yankee born on this date is a guy named C.B.Burns who got one at bat for the Baltimore Orioles (who were the Yankees before the Yankees moved to New York) in 1902. The second reason I wantede to see Adams stick is his wife, Camille, who is an associate blogger of mine at the MLB Blog site. She writes about what its like to be a wife of a professional ballplayer and she does it very well. You can check her blog out here.