December 29 – Happy Birthday Dennis Werth

When the 1980 spring training season ended, Yankee manager, Dick Howser brought rookie Dennis Werth north with the team and gave him some at bats and spot starts at first base in April. Werth responded so well that Howser began platooning the young right-handed hitter with veteran Bob Watson at first base. Werth did even better, keeping his batting average above the .350 mark until late June. He cooled off after the All Star break and was sent back down to Columbus but he still managed to hit .308 for the season. He never again approached that figure and by 1982 he was out of baseball for good. Jayson Werth, the Philadelphia Phillies’ right fielder who gave Yankee fans a few fits during the 2009 World Series, is Dennis’ stepson.

Werth shares his December 29th birthday with this long-ago Yankee outfielder,  this other former Yankee first baseman and this one time Yankee starting pitcher.

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