November 18th, 2013

November 18 – Happy Birthday Clay Bellinger

bellingerClay Bellinger was an all-around utility man for the Yankees from the time he was first called up to the Bronx in April of 1999 until he was released by New York right after the 2001 postseason. During those three years, he played every position on the field for manager Joe Torre, except catcher and pitcher, but he hit just .194 in the 311 at bats he got while doing so.

Born in Oneonta, NY on November 18, 1968, this six feet three inch right-handed hitter played his collegiate baseball for Rollins College in Winter Park, Fl. He was good enough to get selected in the second round of the 1989 MLB amateur draft by San Francisco. He spent the next decade playing his way upwards in the farm systems of three different big league organizations. He was a decent fielder at every position but third base and his career highlight play as a Yankee was appropriately one he made with his glove and not his bat.

Inserted as a late-inning defensive replacement for David Justice in Game 2 of the 2000 World Series, Bellinger leapt in front of Yankee Stadium’s left field wall to rob the Mets’ Todd Zeile of a go-ahead two-run home run in the ninth inning of a 6-5 Yankee victory. He then took his two Yankee World Series rings and signed with the Angels in 2002 but couldn’t stay on their big league roster. He later became a pitching teacher at a Queens, NY baseball school and coached his son Cody in the 2007 Little League World Series.

Patterson shares his birthday with this former Yankee outfielder and this former Yankee relief pitcher.

Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
1999 NYY 32 46 45 12 9 2 0 1 2 1 1 10 .200 .217 .311 .529
2000 NYY 98 209 184 33 38 8 2 6 21 5 17 48 .207 .288 .370 .658
2001 NYY 51 88 81 12 13 1 1 5 12 1 4 23 .160 .207 .383 .590
4 Yrs 183 344 311 57 60 11 3 12 35 7 22 82 .193 .257 .363 .621
NYY (3 yrs) 181 343 310 57 60 11 3 12 35 7 22 81 .194 .258 .365 .623
ANA (1 yr) 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/18/2013.