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bill stafford, new york yankees

Player: Stafford, Bill

Card: 1963 Topps #155

Position: RHP

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"In an interview, his wife, Sharon Stafford, said Bill (Stafford) considered playing for the Dodgers, but signed with the Yankees because 'the Dodgers would not give Bill a pair of spikes. The Yankees did.'" - New York Times Obituary (09-20-2001)

William Charles Stafford (b. August 13, 1938 in Catskill, NY– d. September 19, 2001 in Wayne, MI) was a professional baseball player who pitched in the Major Leagues from 1960 to 1967. Stafford was a successful pitcher for the New York Yankees from 1961 to 1962, winning a combined 28 games in two seasons. He appeared in the World Series 3 times for the Yankees from 1960 to 1962, and was the winning pitcher in Game 3 of the 1962 World Series versus the San Francisco Giants. Overall, Bill pitched 21.2 innings in postseason play, with a .0969 WHIP and a 2.08 ERA.

Bill Stafford had a terrific first three years in the majors, but then struggled with an arm injury.

Signed by the New York Yankees in 1957, he came up to the parent team in 1960 to go 3-1, and pitched 6 innings in the 1960 World Series. In 1961 and 1962, he went 14-9 each year, and was in the World Series each of those years as well. His lifetime ERA in 21 2/3 innings of World Series play was 2.08, and he won Game 3 of the 1962 World Series.

He is remembered as the winning pitcher in the 1961 game when Roger Maris hit his 61st home run.

After 1962, his career was up-and-down. The best season in the rest of his career was 1964 when he went 5-0 with 4 saves, starting only 1 of his 31 appearances. He did not make an appearance in the 1963 or 1964 World Series. In his last major league season, 1967, he had a 1.69 ERA with the Kansas City Athletics, which was the best on the squad.

Bill was identified as having Italian American heritage by baseball historian Lawrence Baldassaro in his book "Beyond Dimaggio" (p.310)

(excerpted from SABR, Find-A-Grave, Baseball Almanac, BR Bullpen & Wikipedia)


1961 Topps #213
1964 Topps #299
1965 Topps #281
bill stafford, new york yankees
Image from Pinterest
Photo from Pinterest
Feb 1962, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, via Find-A- Grave


Bill is part of the New York Yankee Players Tour – Go To the Next Stop

See Bill’s baseball cards at TCDB

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