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On This Day In History | 1981

November 30, 2012
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10/8/1981 | In his postseason debut vs. Milwaukee he allowed just 4 hits over 6 innings with 10 Ks (Sports Illustrated)

10/8/1981 | In his postseason debut vs. Milwaukee he allowed just 4 hits over 6 innings with 10 Ks (Sports Illustrated)

On this day 31 years ago, Dave Righetti was named the American League Rookie of the Year, despite beginning the season with AAA Columbus.  He was acquired from Texas on November 10, 1978 after the Rangers had drafted him as the 10th overall pick a year earlier.  In January 1979 he was very close to being sent to Minnesota as part of a deal that would have brought Rod Carew to the Bronx in exchange for Chris Chambliss, Juan Beniquez, Dámaso García and Righetti.  The transaction fell threw and “Rags” returned to the minor leagues before being brought up in 1981 after going 5-0 with a 1.00 ERA.  He was given the uniform number 19, a vote of confidence from an organization that reserved numbers ending in 9 for their best pitching prospects.

Righetti did not disappoint, going 8-4 with a 2.05 ERA.  He continued his youthful brilliance in the postseason, defeating the Brewers twice in the Division Series and helping the Yankees reach the World Series for the 3rd time in 5 years.  His stellar season gave him the AL Rookie of the Year award by a vote of 127-64 over Rich Gedman.

Dave Righetti’s 1981 Statistics

8-4 | 2.05 ERA | 2 CG | 24 ER | 1 HR | 38 BB | 89 SO | 1.073 WHIP | 6.4 H/9 | .1 HR/9 | 7.6 SO/9

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