August 15th, 2013

August 15 – Happy Birthday Scott Brosius

If you watched last evening’s (8/14/2013) Yankee game, in which New York destroyed the Angels for the second consecutive night, you heard Paul O’Neill tell his TV booth partners that the 1998 Yankee team he played on was as close to a perfect team as he had ever been associated with. I couldn’t agree more.

The 1961 Yankees were my favorite team of all time and the 1978 Yankees were the most dramatic. The 1996 Yankees gave me the biggest thrill I ever had as a baseball fan but it was the 1998 Yankees who were the best team I’ve ever seen play a season, beginning to end. And if you had to point to one roster change that made the biggest difference between the team that lost the Divisional playoffs to Cleveland the year before and the one that won 114 regular season games and swept the Padres in the 1998 World Series, it would be the addition of Scott Brosius as New York’s starting third baseman. Born on today’s date in 1966, in Hillsboro, OR, the Yankees signed Brosius as a free agent after he spent his first seven big league seasons in Oakland.

Joe Torre inserted his right-handed bat at the bottom of the Yankee lineup. Brosius responded by hitting .300, smacking 19 home runs, scoring 86 runs and driving in 98 more. He turned the bottom of that lineup into an opposing pitcher’s nightmare and he played superb defense as well. But he saved his best for that year’s post season, batting close to .400 in thirteen October games and winning the 1998 World Series MVP award. He was an AL All Star that first year in pinstripes, a Gold Glove winner in 1999, and his thrilling game-winning home run during Game 5 of the 2001 Series against Arizona was a fitting culmination of his brief but great Yankee career.

Brosius shares his birthday with this former Yankee pitcher.

Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
1998 NYY 152 603 530 86 159 34 0 19 98 11 52 97 .300 .371 .472 .843
1999 NYY 133 529 473 64 117 26 1 17 71 9 39 74 .247 .307 .414 .722
2000 NYY 135 519 470 57 108 20 0 16 64 0 45 73 .230 .299 .374 .673
2001 NYY 120 478 428 57 123 25 2 13 49 3 34 83 .287 .343 .446 .789
11 Yrs 1146 4356 3889 544 1001 200 8 141 531 57 348 699 .257 .323 .422 .744
OAK (7 yrs) 606 2227 1988 280 494 95 5 76 249 34 178 372 .248 .315 .416 .731
NYY (4 yrs) 540 2129 1901 264 507 105 3 65 282 23 170 327 .267 .331 .428 .759
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/15/2013.