Cory Lidle

Cory Lidle
Cory Lidle

Lidle with the New York Yankees.
Born: March 22, 1972(1972-03-22)
Hollywood, California
Died: October 11, 2006(2006-10-11) (aged 34)
New York, New York
Batted: Right Threw: Right 
MLB debut
May 8, 1997 for the New York Mets
Last MLB appearance
October 1, 2006 for the New York Yankees
Career statistics
Win–Loss record     82–72
Earned run average     4.57
Strikeouts     838

Cory Fulton Lidle (March 22, 1972 – October 11, 2006) was an American right-handed baseball pitcher who spent nine seasons in the major leagues with seven different teams. His twin brother Kevin Lidle also played baseball, as a catcher for several minor league teams. He was a descendant of Robert Fulton, the inventor of the steamboat, as reflected in his middle name.[1]

Lidle was killed when the small aircraft he owned crashed into a residential building in New York City.[2]


Baseball career

Lidle was signed in 1990 by the Minnesota Twins as an amateur free agent. After his release in 1993, he was signed by the Milwaukee Brewers. Lidle was then traded in 1996 to the New York Mets, and made his Major League debut for the Mets on May 8, 1997. Due to his participation as a replacement player during the 1994 Major League Baseball strike, he was not eligible to join the MLB Players Union. Lidle later appeared for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Oakland Athletics, Toronto Blue Jays, Cincinnati Reds, and Philadelphia Phillies. His best season was 2001, when he achieved a 13-6 record with a 3.59 ERA (10th in the American League) for Oakland, helping the Athletics win the wild card. His career zenith occurred in August 2002,[citation needed] when Lidle gave up one run during the whole month (setting Oakland's consecutive innings without an earned run record), won all five of his starts, and was one of the primary drivers in the A's historic run of 20 straight wins. It was on this Oakland team where he earned the nickname "Snacks", for his apparent love of "inhaling" junk food in the bullpen.[3][4]

In 2007, Lidle was posthumously inducted into the Binghamton Baseball Shrine. He played for the Double-A Binghamton Mets (New York Mets).

As a Yankee

On July 30, 2006, Lidle was traded along with outfielder Bobby Abreu from the Philadelphia Phillies to the New York Yankees for minor league shortstop C. J. Henry, the Yankees' first round pick in the 2005 draft, along with left-handed reliever Matt Smith, minor league catcher Jesus Sanchez, and minor league right-hander Carlos Monasterios. In his first start for the Yankees, Lidle pitched six innings, giving up one run on four hits, en route to an 8-1 Yankee victory, a sweep against the Toronto Blue Jays.[5] On August 21, 2006, Lidle pitched six three-hit shutout innings, completing an improbable five-game sweep (in four days) over the then-second place Boston Red Sox (who went from 1 12 games behind to 6 12 games behind).[6]

In his final game (Game 4 of the 2006 ALDS), Lidle pitched 1.1 innings, allowing 3 earned runs on 4 hits. The New York Yankees lost the game to the Detroit Tigers 8-3.


After being traded by the Philadelphia Phillies in July 2006 at the trade deadline, Lidle criticized his former team: "On the days I'm pitching, it's almost a coin flip as to know if the guys behind me are going to be there to play 100 percent." He noted he was joining a Yankees team that expects to win all the time: "That's why I'm most excited about it. Sometimes I felt I got caught up kind of going into the clubhouse nonchalantly sometimes, because all of the other guys in the clubhouse didn't go there with one goal in mind."[7]

After losing to the Detroit Tigers in the 2006 ALDS, he was criticized for telling a reporter, "We got matched up with a team that, I think, was a little more ready to play than we were," which was taken by some as a jab at manager Joe Torre. In his defense, he called up the radio talk show Mike and the Mad Dog and gave an extended defense of himself and the Yankees.[8] The snippy exchange was punctuated by co-host Chris Russo's implication that Lidle was not entitled to "enjoy a day in New York" and co-host Mike Francesa commenting, "I haven't thought much about you at all, to be honest with you." Following reports of Lidle's death, both hosts of the popular New York radio show expressed remorse for their previous hostility to Lidle.[9][10]

Scouting report

Lidle threw an 88–90 mph fastball with cut and sink. He threw a low 70s curveball to keep hitters off balance, as well as a low 80s slider. Lidle was a finesse pitcher who had to rely on changing speeds and hitting location.


On October 11, 2006, a Cirrus SR20 airplane crashed into the Belaire Apartments complex on York Ave. at E. 72nd Street on New York City's Upper East Side, killing Cory Lidle and co-pilot/flight instructor, Tyler Stanger.[11] In addition to the deaths of the two on board the airplane, 21 people were injured as a result of the accident, about half of them New York City firefighters.

Lidle was the third Yankees player to die in the crash of an airplane owned by the player. The preceding two were catcher Thurman Munson (died August 2, 1979) and pitcher Jim Hardin (died March 9, 1991). Yankees owner George Steinbrenner described Lidle's death as a "terrible and shocking tragedy that has stunned the entire Yankees organization" and offered his condolences to Lidle's wife and six-year-old son.[12] On October 12, 2006, before the 2006 NLCS game in New York City between the New York Mets and the St. Louis Cardinals, the teams and spectators observed a moment of silence to honor the memory of Lidle.[13]

The Yankees wore black armbands during the 2007 season in memory of Lidle.[14] The Yankees later added the number 10 above the armband to honor former Yankee shortstop Phil Rizzuto, who wore number 10 and died in August 2007. On April 2, 2007, Cory's widow Melanie and his son Christopher both threw the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day at Yankee Stadium. Melanie Lidle attended the 2007 graduation ceremony at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, California. The community college's aviation team flew across the graduation field during the ceremony to pay respect to both Lidle and Stanger.

Lidle is buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park - Covina Hills, in Covina, California.

One of the baseball fields at West Covina's Cortez Park is named "Cory Lidle Field" in memoriam.

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Yankees' Lidle killed in plane crash
  3. ^ Michael Urban, "Chavez clutch in A's 17th straight" from, 31 August 2002.
  4. ^ Slusser, Susan (2006-10-12). "The A's remember the man they fondly called 'Snacks'". San Francisco Chronicle. pp. A-14. Retrieved 2008-04-16. 
  5. ^ Associated Press, "Lidle pitches in Yankees sweep from, 4 August 2006.
  6. ^ ESPN Wire Services, "Yanks finish Boston beatdown, sweep five-game series" from, 21 August 2006.
  7. ^ Associated Press, "Lidle backs off criticism, but Rhodes keeps firing" from, 2 August 2006.
  8. ^ Tyler Kepner, "Lidle Had Passion for Flying, and for Speaking His Mind" from the New York Times, 12 October 2006.
  9. ^ Neil Best, "Francesa feels haunted by Lidle interview" from Newsday, 12 October 2006.
  10. ^ Andrew Marchand, "Interview got ugly" from the New York Post, 12 October 2006.
  11. ^ "FAA: Plane Registered To Yankees' Pitcher Lidle", WCBS-TV, accessed October 11, 2006
  12. ^ "Investigators go over Lidle crash scene", Hajela, Deepti, Associated Press. October 12, 2006
  13. ^ ALCS Game 3 on Friday afternoon; NLCS Game 2 at night, Associated Press. October 12, 2006.
  14. ^ "Yankees to honor Lidle with armband". The Sports Network. 2007-02-15. 

External links

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