“I don’t believe in sophomore jinx, I’ve just been lousy,” Stan Bahnsen said after receiving The Sporting News Rookie Pitcher of the Year Award for 1969 prior to the Yankees’ home opener. “If we start worrying about jinxes, I’ll really be in trouble. I just haven’t hit my stride yet, especially with my breaking pitches. I haven’t been able to put the ball where I want it and, especially, I haven’t been able to keep it down. I don’t know whether or not the lower mound has anything to do with it, but it might. I notice I’m not the only starting pitcher to get off to a rough start.”
In his first three 1969 starts, Stan had little reason to cheer. He is 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA. On April 9, he lasted only an inning surrendering five runs in a 7-2 loss in Washington. Four days later, he was lifted after four innings in a 15-4 thrashing by the Tigers. In his last start at home against the Senators, he settled down and pitched eight strong innings, but the Yankees fell in 11 innings, 10-7. In 1968, Bahnsen finished with a 14-12 record and a 2.90 ERA in 35 games.