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Card-by-Yankees Card: The 1977 Topps Set, Card #123, Fred Stanley (Article 23)



by Paul Semendinger July 1, 2020

***

The late 1970’s were a time when team described their shortstops with poultry nicknames. The Red Sox had Rick Burleson, “The Rooster.” The Yankees had Fred “Chicken” Stanley.

Fred Stanley is another of these guys who played forever – 14 years to be exact. He was a solid, if unspectacular shortstop who also saw time at second base and third base. He made the plays. He wasn’t showy. He didn’t make highlight reels. I doubt if he was ever featured on “This Week in Baseball.”

Fred Stanley was a Yankee from 1973 through 1980. He played eight seasons in the Bronx. In 1976, the year the Yankees went to the World Series, the year before Reggie, Fred Stanley played the bulk of the games at shortstop.

In the years from 1973 through 1976, Stanley posted a positive dWAR every season. His high was 1975 when his dWAR was 1.3.

It was important that he could field the position well enough (this was an age when shortstop’s only job was fielding) because he never really hit much.

In 1973, he batted .212

In 1974, he batted .184

In 1975, he batted .222

In 1976, he batted .238

Fred Stanley’s best season, batting average wise, at least, was 1977 when he hit .265. That was the only season in his career when he hit over .238 (his previous year’s best which was the only other time he batted higher than .225).

For his career, Fred Stanley batted .216, but as a Yankee, his lifetime mark was .222.

In his career, Stanley hit ten home runs, six coming as a Yankee.

And, just because we had to, his six home runs as a Yankee were as follows:


September 8, 1973 (vs Milwaukee off Kevin Kobel)


August 16, 1976 (vs Texas off Gaylord Perry)


July 2, 1977 (vs Detroit off John Hiller)


June 20, 1978 (at Boston off Mike Torrez)


August 16, 1979 (vs Minnesota off Geoff Zahn)


August 21, 1979 (at Kansas City off Paul Splittorff)

***

When I was a kid, I got to meet Fred Stanley and get his autograph.

I still have it.

When I think of a player who wears #11 for the Yankees, I think first of Fred Stanley.

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