Yankee fans, the Yankee press and even some of his own Yankee teammates had not been too thrilled with this right-hander’s performance since he came to the Bronx in a November 1951 trade that sent a good-looking New York prospect by the name of Clint Courtney to the Browns. Born in Oregon and raised in Modesto, California, McDonald spent his first season in pinstripes pitching mostly out of Casey Stengel’s bullpen with an occasional starting assignment thrown in the mix.
After a couple of rough early outings, he had started throwing very well and when July rolled around his ERA was under two. That’s when he had an eight game stretch in which he lost three decisions, blew a save and doubled his ERA. Meanwhile, Courtney was having a solid rookie season for the Browns and every time the Yankees played St. Louis, he seemed to have big days at the plate. It was looking like the Yanks had made a very bad deal.
Fortunately for McDonald, Yankee pitching coach Jim Turner had faith in him. When the ’53 season rolled around, New York’s Holy Trinity starting three of Reynolds, Raschi and Lopat had all reached their mid-thirties and required more rest. In June of that year, Turner started using McDonald as his team’s fifth starter and he did OK, finishing the season with a 9-7 record and an ERA of 3.82.
That earned him a surprise start in the fifth game of that year’s World Series against the Dodgers. He wasn’t exactly brilliant that day, but he did manage to pitch into the eighth inning and get the win, making him at the time the 26th Yankee pitcher in history to earn a World Series victory (as of Opening Day 2014 that number of pitchers has increased to 59.)
McDonald then pitched sparingly but well for New York in 1954, winning four of his five decisions and lowering his ERA to 3.17. Then that November, in one of the biggest and most complicated trades in baseball history, he was traded to the Orioles in a transaction involving sixteen players. He pitched in the big leagues until 1958.
|NYY (3 yrs)||16||12||.571||3.57||69||33||17||10||3||0||270.0||253||123||107||8||124||83||1.396|
|CHW (3 yrs)||0||3||.000||5.82||21||3||4||0||0||0||43.1||53||34||28||5||21||22||1.708|
|BAL (2 yrs)||7||12||.368||5.24||37||19||8||5||0||1||135.2||160||96||79||10||76||48||1.740|
|BOS (1 yr)||1||0||1.000||3.79||9||0||1||0||0||0||19.0||23||9||8||1||10||5||1.737|
You want to know why I was sort of excited when the Yankees signed Pascual Perez to a three year, $5.7 million contract after the 1989 season? I’ll give you five reasons; Andy Hawkins, Dave Lapoint, Chuck Cadaret, Clay Parker and Walt Terrell. They were the Yankee starting rotation during the ’89 regular season and they were also cumulatively, a key reason why that New York team finished in fifth place in the AL East, thirteen games below .500. Perez had been a decent pitcher for the Braves and Expos and based on the ages and pedigrees of the Yankee starters he’d be joining in 1990, Pascual had the opportunity of becoming ace of the staff. That didn’t happen.
The Yankees’ new right hander had started just three games for New York at the beginning of the 1990 season when he hurt his throwing shoulder. He did not pitch again that season and the Yankees finished dead last in the AL East. It was again hoped that a healthy Perez would help rejuvenate the Yankee rotation in 1991 but it was not to be. Injuries sidelined him all of April, half of May, all of June and July and the first part of August. He was able to start fourteen games when he wasn’t on the DL but his 2-4 record was a bitter disappointment for Yankee fans.
With one more year left on his contract, there was hope Perez would be pitching the 1992 season with extra motivation. Instead, this guy violated the Major League drug policy which got him suspended for a full year. He never again pitched in a big league game.
Pascual was one of two brothers to pitch for the Yankees (Melido was the other.) He was one of three Perez brothers to play in the Majors and one of seven siblings to play minor league ball. His trademarks were sprinting to the mound from the dugout and his long curly unkempt hair style. Another former Yankee who had a brother playing in the big leagues shares Pascual’s May 17th birthday, as does this former Yankee co-owner and this long-ago Yankee World Series game-winning pitcher.
UPDATE: Pascual Perez was murdered on October 31, 2012, during a home invasion at his residence on the outskirts of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. He was 55 years-old.
|ATL (4 yrs)||34||33||.507||3.92||101||96||2||11||2||0||601.2||621||291||262||60||176||375||1.325|
|MON (3 yrs)||28||21||.571||2.80||70||65||3||8||2||0||456.2||363||165||142||35||105||341||1.025|
|PIT (2 yrs)||2||8||.200||3.94||19||15||1||2||0||0||98.1||107||56||43||5||36||53||1.454|
|NYY (2 yrs)||3||6||.333||2.87||17||17||0||0||0||0||87.2||76||29||28||7||27||53||1.175|
Born in Birmingham, AL in 1948, Carlos spent most of his very decent, decade-long big league career in the Windy City as a member of the White Sox. He was a number 1 draft pick of Chicago’s in 1966 and the 18th selection overall that year. He lost part of his right thumb during his rookie season, when a mortar misfired during weekend Marine Reserve duty. His best big league season was 1973 when he hit 20 home runs and drove in 96. He came to New York in a 1976 mid-season trade in exchange for Ken Brett and Rich Coggins. Carlos then became the regular DH on that year’s pennant-winning Yankee team, hitting .278. New York sold him to the Angels the following year. Carlos was the younger brother of the slugging first baseman, Lee May.
Carlos was the only Major League baseball player to wear his birthdate on his uniform. During much of his career in Chicago, Carlos wore uniform number 17. The White Sox jerseys also included the last name of the player on the reverse side above the uniform number. So the back of May’s jersey read “May 17” and Carlos was born on May 17, 1948. He shares his birthday with this former long-haired Yankee pitcher, this pitcher who won a World Series game for NY in 1953 and this long-time Yankee co-owner.
|CHW (9 yrs)||1002||4164||3633||486||1000||154||20||85||479||84||52||456||508||.275||.359||.399||.758|
|NYY (2 yrs)||152||536||469||59||121||18||3||5||56||1||1||51||56||.258||.333||.341||.674|
|CAL (1 yr)||11||23||18||0||6||0||0||0||1||0||0||5||1||.333||.478||.333||.812|