In honor of just finding out that Yankee folk hero Clay Bellinger grew up in our college town of Oneonta NY, I decided to make the most important list you will ever see. No, it is not the best Yankees ever, nor the greatest ballplayers alive, and not even the best Hollywood actors; these are just a few of the athletes who emerged from the cold darkness known as obscurity. Their batting averages and other statistics cannot tell their whole story for their careers.
Heck, some of these guys are considered more of a Yankee than A-Rod ever will be.
Alright, I can’t tell a lie, they all are.
Here the most obscure Yankees of recent memory:
Other than having one of the coolest last names in the English language to ever be uttered, (it’s pronounced Maahs) Maas was the the O.S, or for you kids not from the hood, the original Shane Spencer. Maas came up in 1990 and put on a show, hitting 21 home runs in 79 games. Thats about all he did as he was out of the majors by 1996.
Spencer got the call to the show and delivered big-time, hitting 10 home runs in 29 games for the Yankees. His performance got him comparisons to Mickey Mantle, but now we can compare him to Kevin Maas. Although he won 3 world championships with the Yankees his career looked a lot like the man mentioned before; Spencer was out of the spotlight and baseball by 2005.
The most famous Yankee fan…ever. Single-handedly responsible for starting the Yankees dynasty when he reached over the fence and caught a ball hit by Derek Jeter. To make a long story short, the umpire ruled it a homerun (when it clearly wasn’t) and the Yankees went on to win the 1996 ALDS, beating the Orioles and eventually beating the Braves to capture their first championship in almost 20 years. Get this kid a plaque in monument park!
Aaron “insert your expletive here” Boone (as he’s known in Boston) hit the greatest homerun I have ever seen. The walk-off, game 7 winning, pennant winning, Home-run in the bottom of the 11th. He got hurt that off-season and the Yankees traded for A-Rod.
The Oneonta High School Alum (who still holds the school record for HR’s in a season with 6 in 1986…maybe it’s time they install a new weight room down there?) was the official utility man for the Yankees from 1999-2001. He played in 3 World Series and earned himself two championship rings.
Chad Curtis- one of those types of players who would run through a wall if he needed to catch the ball. He would throw the ball in from the outfield so hard, he would end up face down on the ground after completing a throw. He won two World Series rings and hit a game-winning homer in game 3 of the 1999 World Series.
A few other guys I don’t have a ton of room to write about:
Andy Fox-I have his autograph: I think it de-valued the baseball
Graeme Lloyd-One of the tallest Yanks: Remember him leading the charge out of the bullpen in the Benitez fight?
Mariano Duncan-“we play today, we win today”
Ricky Ledee- did you know he was in the Kevin Costner movie For the Love of the Game?…He played CF for the Yanks in the movie
None of these guys deserve a place in monument park, (except for Maier) but they do deserve to be recognized as obscure Yankees.