• Jimmy Key

    Posted by on May 19th, 2006 · Comments (2)

    The Yankees could use a Jimmy Key right about now……..

    From The State.com:

    JIMMY KEY CAPTURED All-ACC honors at two positions, won 186 major-league games and finished high in the American League Cy Young Award balloting three times.

    He made the AL All-Star team four times and earned the victory in the decisive World Series game in 1992 and ‘96.

    Those achievements require no embellishment and make him a worthy selection for the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame’s Class of 2006.

    But there is more.

    Ask about Key, who will be among eight inducted into the state athletic shrine Monday night at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, and a pattern emerges: Jimmy Key defines class.

    “Unbelievable; a reporter’s dream on and off the field,” said Bill Madden, national baseball columnist for the New York Daily News.

    “A winner and a guy not overly impressed with himself,” said Gene Michael, the general manager who signed Key for the Yankees and is now an adviser to Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.

    Michael, then Yankees general manager, looked for free-agent pitchers after the 1992 season. His first choice: Greg Maddux. His second: Jimmy Key.

    “Jimmy was such a smart pitcher,” Michael said. “I can’t imagine Whitey Ford being any smarter. They were the same type of pitchers, and they were winners.”

    Playing and pitching for the Yankees is no place for the faint of heart. The media horde, tabloids and talk shows test the strongest resolve.

    “He said something at the press conference (to announce his signing) that told me we had the right guy,” Michael said. “Someone asked about (the pressure of) pitching in New York, and he said something like, my wife always says I’m lifeless.

    “His saying that about himself impressed me, and I knew we didn’t have to worry about his getting overly excited. He didn’t worry about what anybody was thinking or saying.”

    Some players tend to duck the media after bad games, but Madden said the press never had to worry about Key.

    “He was always cooperative, always there after games,” he said. “You could go to him for an evaluation of a situation or a whole game, and he would be right on.”

    Something to remember about Key, as a member of the Yankees, in the post-season, he was always good. Not many of the other “great” recent Yankees pitchers can say that.

    Comments on Jimmy Key

    1. May 19th, 2006 | 9:38 am

      Man, Jimmy Key – brings back some memories. He was my favorite Yankee pitcher before Petitte came up. He was fun to watch and great to root for and he always seemed to have a knack for getting the win and stopping a Yankees losing streak.

    2. MJ
      May 19th, 2006 | 9:51 am

      After Pettitte, Jimmy Key was my favorite of all the myriad starters we’ve had come through the Bronx. Always a classy, gutsy guy. I even liked him in Toronto…

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