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Joe Pepitone Gets a Raise, Shakes off Series Error

Jan. 27, 1964 - Joe Pepitone, among the few Yankees who can call himself a New Yorker, today signed his 1964 contract for a “substantial increase.” The Brooklyn-born Pepitone, who has shifted his residence to the Bronx, signed for a salary reported at $18,000, an increase of about $6,000 over his 1963 salary. The 23-year-old first baseman has recovered from depression caused by his error last October that paved the way for a Los Angeles victory and a four-game sweep of the World Series. Said Pepitone today: “The fans haven’t bothered me too much about that error. The people have been very nice, and I honestly don’t think about it much any more.” Ralph Houk, general manager of the Yanks, had high praise for Pepitone: “Peppy is a true asset to our club. He plays deeper and closer to second than most first basemen, and he has certainly tightened up our infield.”

Pepitone said he planned to work overtime in spring training at Fort Lauderdale. “I expect to get into shape early and then begin to work on my faults,” he said. Pepitone hit 27 home runs in his rookie season last year, and his .271 batting average was second among the Yankees playing 100 or more games. Elston Howard hit .287 and hit 28 home runs. Pepitone led the Yankees in runs batted in with 89. He gained the first baseman’s job last spring after the Yanks traded Moose Skowron to the Dodgers for pitcher Stan Williams. Pepitone played in 63 games for the Bombers in 1962 before ending that season at Richmond in the International League.


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