One of the few positive stories emanating from Yankee Stadium during the first month of the 2014 regular season was the overall on-the-field production of third baseman Yangervis Solarte. He played with a hunger you’d expect a veteran of eight minor league seasons would have but by mid-June, his cooled off bat was an indication of why those eight years had been necessary.
Yankee GM Brian Cashman then made one of his better deals by getting San Diego to give him their starting third baseman, the switch-hitting Chase Headley, in exchange for Yangervis and a minor league pitcher named Rafael De Paula. The change of scenery proved a positive for Headley, who had smacked 31 home runs and led the NL with 115 RBIs during a breakout 2012 season but had slumped badly from those highs in 2013. The 30-year-old native of Fountain, Colorado proved to be a good fielder for New York, exhibited a good clubhouse presence and his .371 on base percentage during his 58 games in pinstripes was an indication that he could also be an offensive asset in the Bronx.
It was evidently good enough for Cashman, who signed the free agent Headley to a four-year $50 million-plus deal in December of 2014. The signing also confirmed the Yanks had no intention of using Alex Rodriguez at the hot corner, when he returns from his suspension in 2015. The only other Yankee born on this day was this first baseman who played just 3 games for the 1909 Highlanders.
|SDP (8 yrs)||908||3720||3286||398||873||186||13||87||401||73||377||844||.266||.346||.410||.756|
|NYY (1 yr)||58||224||191||28||50||8||0||6||17||3||29||49||.262||.371||.398||.768|
The only member of the all-time Yankee/Highlander roster to celebrate his birthday on May 8th is this right-handed first baseman who appeared in just three games during the Highlanders 1909 season. He broke into the big leagues in 1906, in Cincinnati, the city of his birth. A few other former Yankees born in Cincinnati include, Miller Huggins, Dave Justice, and Joe Torre’s former bench coach, Don Zimmer.
Here’s my all-time lineup of Yankees who also played for Cincinnati:
1b – Wally Pipp
2b – Billy Martin
3b – Aaron Boone
ss – Leo Durocher
c – Joe Oliver
of – Ken Griffey Sr.
of – Paul O’Neill
of – Roberto Kelly
sp – Carl Mays (right-hander)
sp – Don Gullett (left-hander)
closer – David Weathers
mgr – Miller Huggins
|CIN (2 yrs)||6||13||11||4||2||0||0||0||0||0||2||3||.182||.308||.182||.490|
|NYY (1 yr)||3||9||8||1||3||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.375||.444||.500||.944|