When thinking of the New York Yankees, there are a number of all-time greats that come to mind. Starting with Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Joe DiMaggio, the lineage was passed on to the likes of Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Mickey Mantle, and Roger Maris.
From there, the Yankees turned into the Bronx Zoo with Thurman Munson, Reggie Jackson, Ron Guidry, and Billy Martin and passed the torch to Don Mattingly, Dave Winfield, and Rickey Henderson. The organization went back to their winning ways with the Core Four and will hope the tradition continues with the Baby Bombers of today. We’ll see if the current core can ever rise up.
But just because the Yankees are known for the big names doesn’t mean everyone that wears pinstripes becomes a star. It’s hard to live up to expectations when you’re playing for one of the most iconic franchises in all of sports.
Over the years, the organization has signed and traded for players that haven’t necessarily made an impact on the field — but once their playing days were over, they’ve gone on to make headlines in a number of ways.
Where are they now? Let’s take a look at 15 players you may not even remember wearing pinstripes.
15. Rick Honeycutt
There aren’t many Major League Baseball players that can say they’ve played over 20 years but Rick Honeycutt is someone who holds that honor. Known best for his time with the Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Dodgers, Honeycutt — who worked as both a starter and reliever — sports a career 3.72 ERA. Unfortunately, his time with the New York Yankees wasn’t only brief, it was unsuccessful; in just three games in 1995, Honeycutt posted a bloated 27.00 ERA before joining the St. Louis Cardinals the following season.
But Honeycutt, meanwhile, has translated his playing days into a coaching career, as he’s currently the pitching coach for the Dodgers, a job he’s had since 2006. Working with the likes of Clayton Kershaw, Kenta Maeda, Kenley Jansen, and others, Honeycutt has done a strong job with the organization and has been a key reason behind the team’s continued success over the last number of seasons.
14. Kevin Cash
Unlike Rick Honeycutt, Kevin Cash didn’t have a long career — and even though he was relegated to backup duties for a majority of it, he played for eight big league seasons nonetheless. Spending his career almost entirely in the American League East, Cash suited up for the Toronto Blue Jays, Tampa Bay Rays, Boston Red Sox — as well as the Houston Astros — and of course, the New York Yankees. After inking a minor-league pact with the organization, Cash made his way to the Bronx for 10 games in 2009 before his season ended due to injury.
But just because he wasn’t the greatest catcher of all time doesn’t mean he didn’t parlay his playing experience into bigger things. After spending two seasons as a coach with the Cleveland Indians, Cash got his first managerial job with the Rays and is currently entering his second season with the organization.
13. Bartolo Colon
When looking across Major League Baseball, there may not be a more beloved figure than Bartolo Colon. The right-handed hurler is entering his 20th year of service and has gone from an overpowering presence to a rotund figure over that span. A four-time All-Star, Colon revitalized his big-league career when he signed with the New York Yankees in 2011 after missing the entire 2010 campaign. In his lone season in pinstripes, he started in 26 games and and had a respectable 4.00 ERA in the back end of the rotation.
From there, he joined the Oakland Athletics and then the New York Mets, where he had a pivotal role in their recent success. This past offseason, Colon inked a one-year, $12 million contract with the Atlanta Braves and he’s expected to be their number three starter. Not bad for a soon-to-be 44-year-old.
12. Raul Mondesi
A staple of Major League Baseball in the 1990s, Raul Mondesi was a rising star with the Los Angeles Dodgers — where he won the Rookie of the Year award in 1994 and was an All-Star the following season — and looked to continue his torrid path when he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays. Unfortunately, injuries derailed his time up North which resulted in a trade to the New York Yankees in 2002. Mondesi’s career began to go on a downswing in the Bronx, as he hit a combined .250 during his one full season before being traded in 2003.
After retiring in 2005, Mondesi decided to trade in his baseball uniform for a suit and tie as he got involved in politics in his native Dominican Republic. The outfielder earned a seat in the country’s Chamber of Deputies and was eventually elected as the mayor of his hometown. On top of his success in politics, Mondesi is also watching his sons rise up the ranks as members of the Kansas City Royals and Milwaukee Brewers.
11. Shelley Duncan
As a member of the New York Yankees minor league affiliates, Shelly Duncan was a prospect on the rise as his energy and raw power were off the charts. He began his MLB career in 2007 with a bang as he crushed four home runs in his first 11 days in the Bronx. Over the next two campaigns, Duncan spent time in the majors but injuries and ineffectiveness hindered his growth. The outfielder, first baseman, and designated hitter playing sparingly with the Cleveland Indians and Tampa Bay Rays before hanging up his cleats in 2013.
After his playing days ended, Duncan followed in his father’s footsteps and got a job as a coach. His first gig was in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization as he led their short-season squad in 2015 and 2016. This season, he received a promotion as he’s now the manager of their High-A affiliate.
10. Sal Fasano
Sal Fasano made a career for himself as a locker room leader and quality backup catcher and had 11 major league seasons to show for it. While he hit just .211 over that span, Fasano played for nine different teams — and for 28 games in 2006, he played for the New York Yankees. The backstop may have hit just .143 over that span but was a hit in the clubhouse in his brief time in the Bronx.
Due to his positive presence wherever he’s gone, it was no shock that Fasano received a chance to be a manager in the minor leagues. His latest stint on the bench came during the latest World Baseball Classic, where he was on the coaching staff for Team Italy.
9. Jim Abbott
Jim Abbott is one of the most unique players in MLB history. During his playing days, which spanned over 10 years which began in 1989, the left-handed hurler was noted for having one hand. His physical setbacks didn’t hinder his potential on the mound, as Abbott found moderate success over his career. Two of his seasons took place with the New York Yankees (1993-94), where he sported a 4.45 ERA in 56 starts.
Because Abbott overcame a lot in his life, he has translated his success into helping others. Over the last number of years, the former pitcher has worked as a motivational speaker, where he helps young kids and adults alike in subjects like adjustability, determination, accountability, perseverance, and trust, what he calls his ADAPT program.
8. Jose Canseco
When Jose Canseco was an active player, he was known as one of the premier power hitters in all of Major League Baseball. Revisionist history has Canseco seen as a cheater more than anything else due to steroid abuse, but it’s hard to deny his popularity during the 1980s and 1990s. He joined the New York Yankees during the tail end of his career as the organization acquired him to help them in their quest to the World Series in 2000. Canseco spent just 37 games in the Bronx but hit six home runs and 19 RBI.
Ever since retirement, Canseco may be more popular for his antics than he ever was on the field. Other than being involved with legal issues, he’s become a mixed martial artist, has starred in shows like The Celebrity Apprentice and The Surreal Life, and plays in the Amateur Adult Baseball league.
7. Chili Davis
When thinking of the New York Yankees dynasty during the mid-to-late 1990s, names like Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Bernie Williams, Paul O’Neill, and Tino Martinez all come to mind. But during the 1998 and 1999 seasons, Chili Davis played a huge role as the team’s designated hitter. Despite being at the tail end of his career, he combined to slash .273/.368/.446 and helped the organization win two World Series Championships.
Today, however, Davis is working on the other side of the rivalry as he’s the hitting coach for the Boston Red Sox. After a stint with the same position with the Oakland Athletics, he was in the running for the Yankees job until the Red Sox made him a better offer.
6. Drew Henson
In a world with numerous two-sport athletes, Drew Henson was seen as someone with immense potential no matter what path he chose. As a quarterback with the University of Michigan, he split time with Tom Brady while also playing third base for the New York Yankees minor league affiliates. Playing in just eight games in two seasons, Henson never became the baseball player that many believed he could be. Once he struggled with the Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings, and Detroit Lions in the NFL, all of his sports dreams were dashed.
But just because Henson isn’t suiting up doesn’t mean his knowledge of baseball isn’t being utilized. The 36-year-old is currently working as a scout with the Yankees — a job he got in 2016 — and looks to help the organization in ways he never thought of.
5. Chad Curtis
Chad Curtis had a 10-year MLB career but none of his stops compared to his time spent with the New York Yankees. In two and a half seasons in pinstripes, Curtis only combined to slash .263/.366/.400 but was a quality member of two World Series Championships, which were won in 1998 and 1999. In the latter season, Curtis is remembered for his heroics in the World Series against the Atlanta Braves, as the outfielder hit a game-winning home run in Game 3.
Unfortunately for Curtis, his time past his playing days hasn’t been anything but bad. After taking a job as head varsity football coach in a Michigan High School, he was accused and charged with six counts of criminal sexual conduct. Curtis was arrested and charged in 2013 and is serving seven to 15 years in prison.
4. Ivan Rodriguez
While there were plenty of rumors about Ivan Rodriguez and steroid use, it’s hard to deny his success as a catcher during his 21-year career. Voters believed that his statistics were enough, however, as the 14-time All-Star was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2016. Unlike the Texas Rangers, the New York Yankees won’t be retiring the all-time great’s number, simply because he spent just 33 games in the Bronx and hit just .219 over that span.
Nowadays, Rodriguez is being honored all across the country for his playing days. As mentioned above, the Texas Rangers have announced that they will retire his no.7 jersey and will hold a ceremony in his honor in August of this year. Pudge has also worked with numerous foundations — including the Make-a-Wish Foundation — with the hopes of helping struggling youth.
3. Aaron Boone
Aaron Boone played in 12 big league seasons and suited up for the Cincinnati Reds, New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, Washington Nationals, and Houston Astros, and was a serviceable player for a majority of his career. But there’s no denying that he’s most famous for his 54-game stint in the Bronx, one where he hit .254 during the regular season and belted the game-winning home run against the Boston Red Sox in the 2003 American League Championship Series.
After announcing his retirement in 2010, Boone signed a deal with ESPN to become a baseball analyst. Entering his seventh year on the job, the former third baseman has turned into one of their better talents and has gotten better as the years have gone on.
2. Kerry Wood
There was a time when many believed that Kerry Wood was going to be the next phenom of Major League Baseball. Equipped with an overpowering fastball, nasty slider, and imposing frame, Wood was a dominant force for the Chicago Cubs until injuries derailed his career. Once he moved to the bullpen, Wood was eventually shipped to the Yankees in 2010 and displayed flashes of brilliance as the team’s set-up man as he sported a 0.69 ERA in 24 appearances.
Nowadays, Wood is back with the organization that he began with. Working as a special advisor to Cubs GM Jed Hoyer, the former hurler has a hand in player personnel decisions and played a hand in putting together the team’s World Series Championship roster last season.
1. Deion Sanders
There may be many readers that are confused to see Deion Sanders on this list. Yes, one of the greatest football players of all time also played in Major League Baseball — and he began his career with the New York Yankees. Spending the first two years of his baseball life in pinstripes, Sanders wasn’t anything special; in fact, he only combined to hit .178 between 1989 and 1990 as the team’s center fielder. Chalk it up as early-career jitters, as Sanders ended up hitting .263 in nine MLB seasons.
Sanders, of course, has done a ton of things since hanging up both his football and baseball cleats. Nowadays, he’s most notably for his time spent in the studio and on the sidelines while working for the NFL Network, as he’s considered one of their top analysts and game day personalities.
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