Joey Jay was born on Thursday, August 15, 1935, in Middletown, Connecticut. Jay was 17 years old when he broke into the big leagues on July 21, 1953, with the Milwaukee Braves. His biographical data, year-by-year hitting stats, fielding stats, pitching stats (where applicable), career totals, uniform numbers, salary data and miscellaneous items-of-interest are presented by Baseball Almanac on this comprehensive Joey Jay baseball stats page.
"Fans remember the name Joey Jay, one day he will become the answer to an obscure trivia question, 'Who was the first Little Leaguer to play Major League baseball?'" - Vin Scully
Joey Jay Autograph on a 1954 Johnston Cookies Reprint (#47)
Joey Jay Pitching Stats
Joey Jay Hitting Stats
Joey Jay Fielding Stats
Joey Jay Miscellaneous Stats
|Baserunning Statistics||Other Positions||Common Hitting Ratios||Common Pitching Ratios|
Joey Jay Miscellaneous Items of Interest
|Team [Click for Roster]||Uniform Numbers||Salary||All-Star||World Series|
|1953 Milwaukee Braves||47||Undetermined||-||-|
|1954 Milwaukee Braves||47||Undetermined||-||-|
|1955 Milwaukee Braves||47||Undetermined||-||-|
|1957 Milwaukee Braves||42||Undetermined||-||-|
|1958 Milwaukee Braves||47||Undetermined||-||-|
|1959 Milwaukee Braves||47||Undetermined||-||-|
|1960 Milwaukee Braves||47||Undetermined||-||-|
|1961 Cincinnati Reds||30||$15,000.00||Stats||Stats|
|1962 Cincinnati Reds||30||$28,000.00||-||-|
|1963 Cincinnati Reds||30||$35,000.00||-||-|
|1964 Cincinnati Reds||30||Undetermined||-||-|
|1965 Cincinnati Reds||30||Undetermined||-||-|
|1966 Cincinnati Reds||30||Undetermined||-||-|
|1966 Atlanta Braves||42||Undetermined||-||-|
|Joey Jay Stats by Baseball Almanac|
Did you know that Joey Jay was the last Cincinnati Reds pitcher to win twenty-or-more games in back-to-back seasons? Jay's twenty-one wins in both 1961 and 1962, were the last consecutive 20-win seasons by a Reds pitcher and following the season he was asked what changed, replying, "I won this year because I was able to pitch on a regular schedule. Fred Hutchinson has been a good manager to me. He has come out to the mound and coaxed me. He has come out and chewed me out real good. But he's got great timing. Every time he did what he did, it seemed to be what I needed."
The last Cincinnati Reds pitcher, before Joey Jay, with back-to-back 20-win seasons was actually a pair of aces. Bucky Walters and Paul Derringer each won at least twenty-games in Cincinnati in consecutive seasons, having both done it in 1939-1940.
Joey Jay won his first game on September 20, 1953 , a rain-shortened seven-inning shutout of the Cincinnati Redlegs at County Stadium. Seven years later, Jay was traded to those Reds along with Juan Pizarro in exchange for Roy McMillan . Forty-eight years later, Joey Jay was inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame, part of the Class of 2008 which included Cesar Geronimo , August Herrmann and Barry Larkin .
Arriving in Cincinnati with a lifetime record of 24-24, Jay lost his first three decisions of the 1961 season when the Reds were held scoreless in each contest. From there, Jay fashioned one of the finest seasons by any pitcher in Reds history. Jay won his next eight decisions en route to a 21-10 record. Jay's 21 wins tied for the league lead, and he was among the league's leaders in every other significant pitching category. No Red had won 20 games or led the league in victories since Reds Hall of Famer Ewell Blackwell paced the league with 22 victories in 1947.
Jay's stellar season contributed mightily to the Reds ' surprising pennant run in 1961. After stumbling to a 67-87 record in 1960, there was little reason to believe that the Reds would vault to the league championship. Jay combined with Reds Hall of Famers Jim O'Toole and Bob Purkey to form the league's top starting rotation, and Jim Brosnan and Bill Henry anchored a strong bullpen. Offensively, the Reds were powered by league MVP and Reds Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, along with Reds Hall of Famers Vada Pinson and Gordy Coleman . The club posted 93 victories in claiming its first National League pennant since the World Championship season of 1940.
Awaiting the Reds in the World Series were the New York Yankees, winners of eight World Series in the previous 14 seasons. The Series started in New York with the Yankees eeking out a 2-0 victory over O'Toole . Jay started Game 2 and limited the Yankees to two runs on four hits in a complete-game victory. Coming out of New York with a split against the heavily favored Yankees left the Reds feeling confident about their chances with the next three games scheduled in Cincinnati. Hopes for a World Series victory were quickly dashed, however, as the Yankees bested the Reds by a run in Game 3 and clinched the Series with lopsided wins in Games 4 and 5. In the decisive fifth game, Jay was unable to repeat his dominant Game 2 performance, exiting the game after allowing four runs in the first inning.
Although the Reds were not able to repeat as pennant winners in 1962, Jay remained one of the league's best starting pitchers, as he once again won 21 games and was among the league's pitching leaders in multiple categories. He joined with 23-game winner Purkey to form the Reds ' first pair of 20-win pitchers in a season since Reds Hall of Famers Bucky Walters and Paul Derringer accomplished the feat in 1940."
Beset by injuries that emerged in the 1963 season, Jay was not able to replicate his achievements of 1961 and 1962 over the balance of his Reds career. His performances were consistent enough to allow Jay to finish his career among the Reds all-time leaders in strikeouts. He is tied with Reds Hall of Famer Tom Seaver in career Reds victories with 75 and is the last of only five Reds pitchers since 1900 to win 20 or more games in consecutive seasons. Career accomplishments aside, Joey Jay will always be best remembered for the vital role he played in that magical and improbable pennant-winning season of 1961. "I was signed as a pitcher," Jay said following his Game 2 World Series victory, "but the truth is that I only just learned to pitch. I used to be a thrower. There is nothing like experience". And for fans of the 1960s Reds, there were few experiences quite like the 1961 season.
Excerpt from his Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame Biography. [ Full Biography ]
Joey Jay (First Little League to Major League Player) | Little League Media Guide | Page 8 ( Link )
On July 21, 1953 , Joey Jay stepped onto the mound, making his Major League debut, in relief of Dave Cole , during the seventh inning. Jay was seventeen years old, the youngest player in the National League that season, and the first Little League player to advance to the major leagues!