August 11, 2010

Phil Linz Featured Card of the Week

Phil Linz was a utility player for the Yankees in the 1960s and might be most remembered for his harmonica playing.

Fittingly, this quirky fact about Linz was made known through Ball Four by Jim Bouton, last week’s FCOTW. Here’s the famous harmonica story from Wikipedia:

On the team bus, after a Yankee loss to the Chicago White Sox, Linz was in the back playing a plaintive version of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" on his harmonica. Yankee manager Yogi Berra thought the sad cowboy style mixed with a children's nursery rhyme was mocking the team. He told Linz to pipe down. Linz didn't hear and kept playing. Berra became infuriated and called back from the front of the bus, "If you don't knock that off, I'm going to come back there and kick your ass." Linz couldn't hear the words over the music, so he asked Mickey Mantle, "What he say?" Mantle responded, "He said to play it louder." This led the famous confrontation when Berra stormed to the back of the bus, slapped the harmonica out of Linz' hands, and the instrument hit Joe Pepitone's knee.

As you can tell, Linz is not well recognized for his baseball playing. Although, judging from his career stats he seemed like a serviceable backup infielder and outfielder.

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