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Yankee Doodle Dandies--and Dogs

Dec. 24, 2001
Dec. 24, 2001

Table of Contents
Dec. 24, 2001

Catching Up With...

Yankee Doodle Dandies--and Dogs

Beginning in 1974, when George Steinbrenner lured erstwhile A's
ace Catfish Hunter to the Bronx, the Yankees have signed 85 free
agents (including Reggie Jackson, right), with varying results.
Here, listed chronologically, are the six best pickups and a
dirty half dozen.

This is an article from the Dec. 24, 2001 issue Original Layout

--David Sabino

The Hits

PLAYER SIGNING DATE CONTRACT TERMS
WHAT HAPPENED IN NEW YORK

Catfish Hunter Dec. 31, 1974 5 years, $3.75 million
Won 40 games total in first two seasons

Reggie Jackson Nov. 29, 1976 5 years, $2.9 million
144 homers in five years; World Series heroics made him Mr.
October

Rich Gossage Nov. 22, 1977 6 years, $2.7 million
150 saves in six seasons; clinched all three postseason series
in 1978

Tommy John Nov. 22, 1978 3 years, $1.4 million
No other American League pitcher had more wins (62) during his
1979 to midseason '82 stint

Dave Winfield Dec. 15, 1980 10 years, $23 million
20 or more homers and 100 or more RBIs five times

David Wells Dec. 19, 1996 3 years, $13.5 million
Won 34 of 48 decisions and pitched a perfect game

The Misses

PLAYER SIGNING DATE CONTRACT TERMS
WHAT HAPPENED IN NEW YORK

Dave Collins Dec. 23, 1981 3 years, $2.4 million
.315 on-base percentage and 13 steals in lone season as leadoff man

Steve Kemp Dec. 9, 1982 5 years, $5.5 million
19 home runs, 90 RBIs in two years

Ed Whitson Dec. 27, 1984 5 years, $4.4 million
Mercilessly booed after starting 1-6; broke manager Billy
Martin's arm in a fight

Pascual Perez Nov. 21, 1989 3 years, $5.7 million
Three victories over two injury- and drug-plagued seasons

Kenny Rogers Jan. 4, 1996 4 years, $20 million
12-8 in 1996 before surrendering 11 earned runs in seven playoff
innings

Henry Rodriguez Feb. 15, 2001 1 year, $1.5 million
Missed two months with sore back, then went 0 for 8; released in
June

COLOR PHOTO: NEIL LEIFER