Wins Al Rookie Of The Year Award
In 1969, his first season with the Royals, Piniella batted .282 and won the American League (AL) Rookie of the Year Award. He spent five seasons with the Royals, compiling a batting average of .285 in his years with the team. Piniella in 1974 was traded to the New York Yankees, a once-dominant team that had not won a pennant in nine years. The presence of Piniella and other players acquired by trade helped to energize the Yankees. During his first year in the Bronx, he batted .305 with 70 runs batted in. During his 11 seasons with the team, Piniella batted over .300 in five seasons. With the help of Piniella and others, the team finally snagged a pennant again. Things got even better in 1977 and 1978, when the Yankees not only won the AL pennant but back-to-back world championships. With batting averages of .330 in 1977 and.314 in 1978, Piniella earned the nickname Sweet Lou.
Piniella continued to play with the Yankees through the 1984 season, retiring with a lifetime average of .291 and a total of 1,705 base hits. During Piniella's 11 seasons with the Bronx Bombers, the Yankees four times won the AL pennant and twice were victors in the World Series. After leaving the Yankees, Piniella returned briefly to Tampa but was back in New York the following year to sign on as manager of the Yankees. He piloted the team through the seasons of 1986 and 1987 but was replaced by Billy Martin after the 1987 season ended. Piniella was moved to general manager but in June 1988 replaced Martin as manager, only to be fired at season's end.