Saturday, April 03, 2010

#226 Yankees Rookie Stars: Elvio Jimenez and Jake Gibbs

#226 Yankees Rookie Stars: Elvio Jimenez and Jake Gibbs
I don't have much to say about this double-shot Yankee card, other than that it breaks up a run of three straight hatless players. As an English major, I also have to call your attention to the apostrophe abuse on the card back. C'mon, Topps!

Fun facts about Elvio Jimenez:

-Hailing from San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic, Elvio signed with the Yankees as a teenager in 1959.

-He climbed sure and steady through the New York organization, hitting .296 or better in each of his first seven pro seasons.

-The Yanks gave Elvio a brief look in 1964 - very brief. His first and only major league game was October 4, 1964. He singled twice against a great pair of pitchers, Luis Tiant and Tommy John. He finished his career with a .333 batting average in six at-bats.

-He continued playing in the minors for seven years after his lone big league game, and logged nine years in AAA in total. He was a .307 hitter in the minor leagues.

-Jimenez also played in the Dominican for Tigres de Licey from 1958-1976, and still coaches for the club.

-His nickname was "Mulito".

-His brother Manny Jimenez was an outfielder who hit .272 in parts of seven seasons with the Athletics, Pirates, and Cubs.

Fun facts about Jake Gibbs:

-Born in Grenada, MS, Jake signed with the Yankees in 1961 after playing collegiately at the University of Mississippi.

-He was also an All-American as Ole Miss' quarterback, and was later inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. He chose a career in baseball despite being drafted by the AFL's Houston Oilers and the NFL's Cleveland Browns. I'm sure a $105,000 bonus didn't hurt.

-Jake was sent straight to AAA Richmond, and spent the better part of four seasons there.

-He had cups of coffee with New York in 1962, 1963, and 1964 before arriving for good in mid-1965.

-After backing up Elston Howard for a few years, Gibbs took over as the primary catcher for the Yanks in 1967. Even by the offense-deficient standards of the late-1960s, he was subpar with the bat, hitting .222 and slugging .282 during his three years in the starting lineup.

-The emergence of Thurman Munson in 1970 pushed Jake back into a reserve role, but he responded by hitting a career-high .301 with eight home runs in 153 at-bats.Link
-On August 14, 1970, his home run in the bottom of the tenth won the game for the Yankees, 3-2 over the Royals.

-A .218 average in 1971 brought his career to a close at age 32. In parts of ten seasons he hit .233 with 25 homers and 146 RBI.

-He returned to Ole Miss as head coach in 1972 and his team won the SEC Championship and set a conference record for consecutive wins. He stayed for 19 seasons and a handful of his players went on to the major leagues, most notably lefty pitcher Jeff Fassero.

-Gibbs came back to the Yankee organization as the manager of the rookie-level Tampa minor league club in 1994 and 1995. He again made his mark right away, guiding the young Yankees to an 80-52 record and a Florida State League championship in his first season.
#226 Yankees Rookie Stars: Elvio Jimenez and Jake Gibbs (back)


  1. there is no incorrect apostrophe use here. while there is some sloppy use (I assume you don't like "'62") it is still done correctly - with the apostrophe facing the correct direction even. did i mention i went to college as a print journalism major? my AP style book is dogeared and always in reach.

  2. Max - Actually I was referring to "Yankee's" Rookie Stars.

  3. ahhhh, i didn't even notice that. some proofreader i am - though the headline is the responsibility of the editor.

  4. Really late entry. Jiminez holds one all time unoffical baseball record that can be viewed on baseball reference. By virtue of one game and six career AB's he holds the projected 162 game season average of 972 plate appearences and At bats. Can't think of any player that exceeds this.