Author Archives: Stacey Gotsulias

Baseball Stars of 1960

As everyone knows from reading the first four posts of my High Heat Stats tenure, I enjoy writing about players and games from the past and this post will be no different, thanks to a gem of a book my brother happened to find in my father’s room.

Now, don’t worry, this will not be a book report – I haven’t written one of those in, well, decades so I probably wouldn’t be any good at it but I will tell you that the book is about 30 players who were touted to be the “Stars of 1960” and the essays written about them shine a spotlight on their 1959 season(s).

For this piece, I will forego writing about the usual suspects like Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Don Drysdale because that’s boring and predictable. Instead, you will read about Roy Face, Sam Jones, and Wally Moon, who were well-known then but who may not be as recognizable to most fans today.

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Taking A Look At Mickey Mantle’s 1956

I once saw a tweet that mentioned Mickey Mantle‘s OPS+ in his second to last season as a player – it was 149. The person was impressed by the number. Mantle was 35-years-old and on his last legs. Then I thought about Mantle’s career as a whole and I remembered looking some of his numbers from his MVP winning years – 1956, 1957 and 1962 – when I was researching for another post. So I decided to take a look again at his stats and I was amazed.

All fans of the New York Yankees, young and old, know that Mickey Mantle was quite a player and I thought for this post, I’d focus on one of those MVP years in particular.

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August 8, 1983: The First Yankees Lineup(s) I Ever Saw In Person

This post is a personal trip down memory lane and not stats based – I promise I will do one of those soon.

Happy Holidays, everyone!


I was a couple weeks shy of my 9th birthday when I finally attended my first Yankee game(s).

At the time, I was very frustrated with my father for waiting so long to take me to Yankee Stadium. I also remember thinking it was because I was a girl and that if his first born child were male, he’d have been to a few games by then.

My dad made up for it by taking me to a single admission doubleheader in August 1983. The Yankees were scheduled to play the Toronto Blue Jays and on top of being able to see two games in one day, my dad also invited Joe, the boy I had a crush on to go with us, along with two of my other male friends, Billy and John.

As a young girl, I led a double life, so to speak. I did girly things like play with Barbies and gossip about boys during lunch with my girlfriends but I also traded baseball cards and played kickball with the boys during recess.

We had passed the Stadium many times while taking trips into the city or out to Long Island to visit relatives so it wasn’t like I hadn’t seen it before. It always seemed so enormous to me and when I walked inside for the first time it was even bigger than I had imagined. 9-year-old Stacey was in total awe.

I soaked in as much as I could as we made our way to our seats. The grass seemed so much greener in person than it did on TV. And the blue outfield walls were more vibrant in person. The scoreboard was massive and home plate seemed so far away from our seats. I didn’t want to sit down, I wanted to explore.

Our seats were in the first row of the second to last section in left field at field level. In those days, the wall extended all the way back to the seats – there was no space for balls to fall into, no plexiglass, no fold up chairs – so if anything were to be hit our way, we’d catch it. Well, not me, as much as I loved sports as a little girl, I wasn’t allowed to participate because I had eye issues and my hand/eye coordination was pretty poor. That made playing the outfield in kickball during recess quite the adventure.

Anyway, without further adieu, here is the first New York Yankees lineup I saw in action:

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Flashback: J.R. Richard

One of my favorite things to do is to sit and talk about players from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s with my father. He’s the reason I became such a big baseball fan in the first place and the amount of information he knows about these players is extraordinary.

For instance, I could name a random player whose name I just happened to have seen tweeted – more than likely by Andy – and my dad will know what position he played, which side he batted from or pitched from, depending on the player and will rattle off all the teams he played for. He’ll even mention if they were traded and who they were traded for. Sometimes I sit there with my mouth agape because of his ability to know that much about guys who haven’t played – in some cases – in fifty years.

This was the case a few days ago when we were watching one of those MLB Network Countdown shows together. The one we caught was a countdown of the Top 30 Most Intimidating Players. Players that all baseball fans know like David Ortiz, Nolan Ryan, Darryl Strawberry and Mariano Rivera were on the list. In fact, I knew all 30 players except for one.

When they got to number eight, the name wasn’t ringing a bell at all. Most of the people on the list are Hall of Famers, will be Hall of Famers or just missed being Hall of Famers. Of course, when my dad saw J.R. Richard appear on the screen, he said, “I remember J.R. Richard! He threw a 98 m.p.h. slider!” I gasped at the thought of a 98 m.p.h. slider, wondered if my dad was actually remembering correctly and then laughed at him for being a diehard Yankee fan who remembered a guy who played for the Houston Astros from 1971-1980.

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