Top Nine Late-Season Additions
By Lou DiPietro
The Yankees wasted no time in expanding their roster this year, calling up six players from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Sept. 1. Chris Dickerson and Eduardo Nunez immediately made their presences felt in their first weekend back in the Bronx, and over the years, there have been many other late-season additions that have paid dividends for the Bombers -- whether it was that season or in the long run. We salute them here, because after all, it's better late than never, right?
JESUS MONTERO AND JORGE POSADA (2011/1995)
Posada had two cups of coffee in 1995 and 1996 before spending the next 15 years as a fixture behind the plate -- and in 2011, he watched as his potential heir, Montero, took over his role as DH and hit .328 with four September homers. That's synergy, or irony, or life coming full-circle or something.
FREDDY GUZMAN (2009)
The Yankees snagged Guzman from the Orioles on Aug. 31 right before the waiver-trade deadline, and the speedster stole four bases and provided an excellent pinch-running or late-game defensive option in September.
ALFREDO ACEVES (2008)
Technically, Aceves made his debut on Aug. 31, 2008, and the Yankees didn't make the playoffs that year. But he hung around and went 10-1 with a 3.54 ERA out of the pen in 2009 to help the Yankees win the World Series, so we'll give him a break…even if he is a member of the Red Sox now.
SHANE SPENCER (1998)
"The Home Run Dispenser" played 13 games for the Yankees earlier in 1998, but after returning that September, he posted a .421-8-21 line to help the Bombers continue one of the most dominant seasons ever and then topped himself with two more bombs in the ALDS against Texas.
DAVE RIGHETTI (1979)
"Rags" went 0-1 with a 3.63 ERA in three September starts in 1979, and didn't return until 1981…but that next decade brought some serious riches in the form of 74 wins, 224 saves, a Rookie of the Year Award, and a no-hitter against Boston on July 4, 1983.
IAN KENNEDY/JOBA CHAMBERLAIN (2007)
Chamberlain unleashed "Jobamania" on Aug. 7, 2007, and rode his filthy repertoire to a 0.38 ERA and a spot in the postseason 'pen, while Kennedy went 1-0 with a 1.89 ERA in three starts in relief of a struggling Mike Mussina. Not bad for two guys who were playing college ball the year before.
BOBBY MURCER (1965)
In September 1965, Murcer made his debut as a 19-year-old shortstop. He smashed a walk-off homer for his first MLB hit, and by the time he notched his last in 1983, he had become one of the most beloved Bombers of all-time.
DON MATTINGLY (1982)
In 1982, a 22-year-old outfielder named Don Mattingly came up and went 2-for-12 in seven games. The Yankees moved him to first base full-time in 1983, and all "Donnie Baseball" did in return was hit .307 for his career and spend a dozen years as the face of the franchise.
YOGI BERRA (1946)
Lawrence Berra debuted on Sept. 22, 1946, and went 8-for-22 in his first seven games. Twenty years, 15 All-Star appearances, 10 Championships and three MVPs later, he retired as one of the best to ever play the game. That worked out well, no?