Top 100 Yankees of All-Time...#90, Andy Carey

Andy Carey proved to be a steady third baseman for the New York Yankees for the greater part of six seasons. A $60,000 bonus baby out of California, he became the starter at the Yanks hot corner in the 1954 season. He was the predecessor to Clete Boyer and played in the World Series four straight times for the Yankees. He is given our honor as Greatest Yankee #90. (Free Preview of Premium Content)

Born Andrew Arthur Hexem in 1931, Andy established himself as the starting third baseman in the 1954 season He had batted .321 for 81 at-bats in the 1953 year, and that opened the door for him. He showed that he could add a little pop to the New York line-up. In his first full season Carey batted .302, hit eight homeruns and drove home 65 runs.

Andy also had the distinction of breaking up two potential no-hitters during his career. In a weather-shortened 5-inning affair in 1954, Carey doubled off Billy Hoeft as the Yanks lost to the Detroit Tigers 4-0. Carey's was the lone hit. He also had a fine season defensively. Playing a very solid third base, Carey made only 15 errors and had a .967 fielding percentage in 1954.

Year

Team

AVG

AB

2B

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

SO

OBP

SLG

1952

Yankees

.150

40

0

0

1

6

0

3

10

.209

.150

1953

Yankees

.321

81

5

4

8

14

2

9

12

.389

.531

1954

Yankees

.302

411

14

8

65

60

5

43

38

.373

.423

1955

Yankees

.257

510

19

7

47

73

3

44

51

.313

.378

1956

Yankees

.237

422

18

7

50

54

9

45

53

.310

.339

1957

Yankees

.255

248

6

6

33

30

2

15

42

.309

.393

1958

Yankees

.286

315

19

12

45

39

1

34

43

.363

.486

1959

Yankees

.257

101

1

3

9

11

1

7

17

.306

.356

1960

Yankees

.333

3

0

0

1

1

0

0

2

.333

.333



In the 1954 offseason, Carey joined other members of the Yankees on a junket to Japan. He and Elston Howard were the hitting stars of that trip. The Yankees drew a record 64,000 fans for their first game in Osaka, and Andy slugged 13 homeruns during the tour, while Howard batted .468.

One humorous aside: Carey was a world class eater and could really put away the chow. Because of his eating habits, Yankee management invoked a new club rule that no longer permitted the players to sign for meals on the road.

In 1955, Carey had another solid season, even though his batting average fell dramatically. He batted .257 with seven home runs and 47 RBI. He started the year off with a bang when on April 27th, for the first time in club history, Andy and Hank Bauer homered back-to-back to begin a game against the Chicago White Sox. He also tied teammate Mickey Mantle for the league lead in triples with 11. His excellent fielding continued, and in July 1955, he played a game in which he tied a record by participating in four double plays. In the fall, he appeared in the first of four consecutive World Series. However, he only batted twice as Casey Stengel decided to go with veteran Gil McDougald at third base.

During the 1956 season, although he was still the regular third baseman, Carey's struggles continued. His batting average once again took a tumble, falling another 20 points, down to .237. His fielding also took a hit. His error total ballooned to 21 and his fielding percentage was only .947. For the second time in his career, Andy managed to break up a no-hitter. Don Ferrarese of the Baltimore Orioles no-hit the Yanks through eight frames, but Andy kept Ferrarese out of the record books with a ninth-inning leadoff single.

Having lost the 1955 World Series to the Brooklyn Dodgers, the Yankees rebounded and turned the tables on the Dodgers, winning the '56 Fall Classic.
A. Carey
Carey: The Yankees beat the Dodgers in the 1956 World Series despite Carey batting .158 in the series.
Carey started at third base, and played in all seven games. However, he only had three hits in 19 at-bats, finishing with a miserable .158 batting average.

Carey's poor World Series showing and the emergence of AL Rookie of the Year Tony Kubek had a negative effect on Carey's career from which he never fully recovered. With Gil McDougald still on the club, Andy was relegated to a utility role in 1957. He was limited to 85 games and batted .255. He hit six homeruns and drove in 33 runs. For the 1957 World Series against Milwaukee, Carey was platooned with McDougald. He played in only two games and had but two hits, as the Yanks dropped their second World Series in three years.

In 1958, the Yankees were once again the toast of the baseball world, gaining revenge by taking out the Milwaukee Braves in a seven-game World Series. Even though Carey hit a career high 12 homeruns and had his highest batting average (.286) since his rookie year, he was now in a new platoon. McDougald had moved to second base for the '57 season, but now youngster Jerry Lumpe was present. In 1958, Carey and Lumpe split the third base chores.

Andy appeared in his fourth consecutive World Series in 1958, this time splitting time with Lumpe. Andy just couldn't produce in the postseason. Despite the New York series win, Carey went only one for 12 (.083), in five games. In his four postseason appearances, Carey could only manage a .175 overall batting average.

In 1959, the Yankee streak of four consecutive American League pennants came to an end. They were once again heavily favored, but struggled all season, even dropping into last place on May 20th. They rebounded but couldn't surpass the Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Indians, thus finishing a distant third in 1959. Andy likewise struggled. Injuries limited him to 41 games and he batted .257. New York now had slick-fielding Clete Boyer on the scene, and it was only a matter of time until Carey became expendable.

As the 1960 season began, Andy was still on the scene, however he wouldn't be for long. On May 19th, the Yankees reacquired Bob Cerv from Kansas City. Cerv had had an excellent season in 1958, having slugged 38 homeruns and displacing the great Ted Williams as the All-Star left fielder in the American League. To bring back Cerv, New York sent Carey to Kansas City.

Andy matched his career high, hitting 12 homeruns in 1960 with Kansas City, but batted only .233. He bounced around two more seasons, playing for both KC and the Chicago White Sox in 1961. He completed his career in 1962, finishing up with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Although Andy Carey had little success following his time in New York, he earns our place as Greatest Yankee #90 for helping lead them to four straight pennants in the mid 1950's, while holding down the critical position of third base.

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