If Your Birthday is June 2nd...

...you share it with Raul Ibanez. The lefty-hitting outfielder spent 19 seasons in the majors, hitting 305 regular season homers and another six in the playoffs -- most famously, this walk-off blast in 2012 to beat the Orioles in the 12th inning of an ALDS game that he'd tied in the 9th with a pinch hit homer.  Ibanez now works for the Commissioner's office, focusing on rules, equipment and on-field technology, as well as MLB initiatives in scouting and amateur baseball.  

Mike Stanton pitched in the Bronx for seven of his 20 big league seasons -- earning rings in 1998, '99 and 2000.  Now an Astros broadcaster, the Houston native has one more link to New York -- he's one of the 155 players to have appeared for both the Yankees and Mets,

We also remember a pair of long-time Yankees:

Gene Michael, who deserves a plaque in Monument Park.

Hockey uses the term "builder" to describe outstanding front office talent, and in Yankee history, that's the best way to describe "Stick"'s contribtions. This onetime shortstop excelled in scouting and personnel decisions.  Along with Buck Showalter, Gene is credited with restoring order to the organization during George Steinbrenner's 1990s suspension, trading for Paul O'Neill, signing Mariano Rivera out of Panama, drafting Derek Jeter and laying the groundwork for the Yanks' most recent dynasty. 

Horace Clarke, often and unfairly derided as the symbol for the dozen lost years between the end of the Mantle/Ford dynasty and the team's late 1970s revival as the free agent era began.  Succeeding Bobby Richardson as the club's 2nd baseman, he was dependable and durable, if not flashy. The native of the U.S. Virgin Islands passed away in 2020.

It's also the birthday of Jerry Mathers... so all these players share their birthday with the iconic star of TV's Leave It to Beaver!!


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