2017-04-10 23:46:36 UTC
Former Yankees outfielder Bob Cerv dies at age 91
BY Joe Belock NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Updated: Sunday, April 9, 2017, 12:50 AM
Former Yankee Bob Cerv, who played in three World Series with the Bombers
- winning one in 1956 - died Thursday in Blair, Nebraska. He was 91.
Cerv, a World War II Navy veteran who survived a kamikaze attack on his
destroyer in 1944, was a backup outfielder with the Yankees from 1951-56
In 1957, Cerv finally got a chance to start after being sold to the Kansas
City A's. He blossomed into an All-Star in '58, hitting .305 with 38 home
runs and 104 RBI despite playing one month with his jaw wired shut after a
home plate collision in Detroit.
On the heels of the lopsided Roger Maris trade, the A's, who acted as the
Yankees' de facto Triple-A team for most of the 1950s, inexplicably traded
Cerv back to the Yankees in May 1960 for third baseman Andy Carey. The
righty outfielder went on to hit .357 in the 1960 Series loss to the
Pirates but was taken by the Angels in the 1961 expansion draft. The
Angels traded him back to the Yankees in May but Cerv missed the 1961
World Series due to a knee injury.
In June 1962, the Yankees sold Cerv to Houston; he was released after 19
games with the Colt 45s and retired, eventually coaching college baseball
at Southeast Missouri State. He hit .276 with 105 home runs in his 12-year
Upon his return to the Bombers in 1961, Cerv roomed with Mickey Mantle and
Roger Maris. Being at the epicenter of the M&M Boys' legendary home run
battle led to Cerv being portrayed by actor Chris Bauer in the "61*" TV
movie in 2001; Cerv later said the scene of he and Mantle watching Maris'
historic home run together in the hospital did not happen.
Cerv was the subject of another ultimately false piece of baseball lore.
The story goes that Casey Stengel sits down next to Cerv in the dugout and
says "There's not many people that know this, but one of us has been
traded to Kansas City." Cerv wasn't traded - his contract was sold to
Kansas City, and it happened during the offseason.