August 5 – Happy Birthday Eric Hinske
During last year’s MLB playoffs, in addition to rooting for the Yankees I was also rooting for the Braves to beat the Giants in the ALDS. I had two reasons for wanting Atlanta to win. My wife’s Mom & Dad are huge Atlanta fans and watching Braves’ baseball is their very favorite thing to do. I’m also a huge Bobby Cox fan and he would be ending his outstanding managerial career as soon as the Braves 2010 playoffs were over. I wanted to see that career last until Atlanta made the final out against my Yankees in the 2010 Series. And if the unthinkable happened and the Braves and Cox happened to beat my favorite team in my dream 2010 Fall Classic, I’d probably only be depressed for one month instead of the normal four it took me to get over any other Yankee postseason defeat.
I really also thought Cox and the Braves had a real good shot at getting into the 2010 Series because they had Eric Hinske on their postseason roster. Hinske is the only man in baseball who played in the 2007, 2008 and 2009 World Series. In ’07, he had won a ring with the Red Sox. In ’08, his Tampa Bay team had lost to the Phillies. He then got revenge for that defeat in 2009 as a member of the Yankees, when New York beat Philadelphia and Hinske collected his second ring in three seasons.
After Tampa Bay lost their World Series, Hinske had signed as a free agent with the Pirates and began the 2009 season in Pittsburgh. The Yankees got Hinske the last day of June in 2009 to strengthen their bench and it didn’t take the Menasha, Wisconsin native very long to do just that. He got into seven games during his first month in pinstripes and hit five home runs and drove in eight. He provided a better than expected utility spark and it helped New York kick their season into high gear right after the All Star break. He cooled down after that hot start, finishing his half season in pinstripes hitting just .226.
Hinske’s one and only plate appearance as a Yankee in the postseason took place in New York’s Game 5 loss when he pinch hit, walked and scored a run. He signed with the Braves the following January and has been a valuable role player for that team ever since. Hinske began his big league career with a bang in Toronto, when he won the AL Rookie of the Year Award as a Blue Jay, in 2002.