"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Yankee for a Minute: 1993

“…while Hall reveled in the status that being a Yankee conferred, he was hardly deferential toward the organization’s tradition. During Old Timer’s Day in 1992, he walked out onto the field and asked Showalter, by then the Yankee manager, “Who are these old fucking guys?”
“That’s when I knew he had to go,” said Showalter.” – Greg Hanlon; SB Nation

Out with the old and in with the new. Buck Showalter, going into his second season with the Yanks as the manager, presumably had collected enough intel on the clubhouse to know what changes needed to be made, and together with Stick began to reshape the clubhouse. Beyond Mel Hall, it’s anyone’s guess who the guys were that they thought needed to be shipped out due to their behavior, but the dark cloud choking the clubhouse was beginning to dissipate, and the Yankees embarked on a long and unbroken string of winning seasons that endures to this day.  Culture was the word of the season, and Stick addressed this even further by importing players who in their eyes had a good combination of winning and character.  The end result would be an 88-74 record, which put them in second place in the AL East; not quite as remarkable a turnaround as it was for the worst-to-first Atlanta Braves of 1990-91, but for Yankee fans, a great portend of things to come…

  • Opening Day Starters:                                   underline
  • Also Played:                                                        #
  • Regulars On Roster:                                       blank
  • Renowned From Other Teams:                 bold
  • Unheralded Rookie/Prospect:                   *
  • Unheralded Vet:                                                italics
  • Rookie Season (became regulars):          ~


  • 25 Jim Abbott
  • 43 Paul Assenmacher
  • 34 Andy Cook*
  • 26 Steve Farr
  • 35 Paul Gibson
  • 42 John Habyan#
  • 53 Neal Heaton
  • 34 Sterling Hitchcock
  • 57 Steve Howe
  • 53 Mark Hutton*
  • 42 Domingo Jean*
  • 43 Jeff Johnson
  • 28 Scott Kamieniecki
  • 22 Jimmy Key
  • 34 Sam Militello
  • 55 Rich Monteleone
  • 54 Bobby Muñoz*
  • 33 Mélido Pérez
  • 47 Lee Smith
  • 31 Frank Tanana
  • 27 Bob Wickman
  • 39 Mike Witt


  • 38 Matt Nokes
  • 20 Mike Stanley


  • 12 Wade Boggs
  •  2 Mike Gallego
  • 14 Pat Kelly
  • 13 Jim Leyritz
  • 24 Kevin Maas
  • 23 Don Mattingly
  • 17 Spike Owen
  • 47 Dave Silvestri
  • 35 Andy Stankiewicz


  • 29 Mike Humphreys
  • 19 Dion James
  • 31 Hensley Meulens
  • 21 Paul O’Neill
  • 45 Danny Tartabull
  • 18 Randy Velarde
  • 51 Bernie Williams
  • 13 Gerald Williams

Offseason Moves:

  • November 3, 1992: Roberto Kelly was traded by the Yankees to the Cincinnati Reds for Paul O’Neill and Joe DeBerry (minors).
  • November 6, 1992: Greg Cadaret was purchased from the Yankees by the Cincinnati Reds.
  • November 17, 1992: Charlie Hayes was drafted from the Yankees by the Colorado Rockies with the 3rd pick in the 1992 MLB Expansion Draft.
  • December 4, 1992:Spike Owen was signed as a free agent by the Yankees.
  • December 6, 1992: J.T. Snow, Jerry Nielsen, and Russ Springer were traded by the Yankees to the California Angels for Jim Abbott.
  • December 7, 1992: Sherman Obando was drafted from the Yankees by the Baltimore Orioles rule 5 draft.
  • December 10, 1992: Jimmy Key was signed as a free agent by the Yankees.
  • December 15, 1992: Wade Boggs was signed as a free agent by the Yankees.

Notable Transactions:

  • July 30, 1993: John Habyan was traded by the Yankees to the Kansas City Royals as part of a 3-team trade. The Chicago Cubs sent Paul Assenmacher to the Yankees. The Royals sent Tuffy Rhodes to the Cubs.
  • August 31, 1993: Rich Batchelor was traded by the Yankees to the  St. Louis Cardinals for Lee Smith.

Okay, so the obviously strong additions were Paul O’Neill, Jimmy Key, Jim Abbott and Wade Boggs. I remember not being too particularly thrilled at the time with the Roberto Kelly-for-Paul O’Neill trade as Kelly was a recognized homegrown product, but O’Neill came three seasons removed from a World Series championship with the Cincinnati Reds, while Key was a two-time champion starting pitcher late of the Toronto Blue Jays.  The acquisition of Abbott was in the works for over a season, so that was pleasant, though not surprising (losing J.T. Snow was sort-of a blow, but his eventual replacement more than made up for it.).  Getting Boggs was quite shocking though; it hardly ever happens that a renowned star from your arch-enemy willingly comes over to your side; well, ever since the No-No-Nanette thing.

However, do you remember Spike Owen (also a renowned cog of the enemy wheel) did the same thing less than two weeks earlier? And whatever happened to Rich Batchelor (you know, the minor leaguer traded for some guy named Lee Smith, who happened to be one of the most dominating relievers in all baseball)? Now Lee Smith is one of the poster children for this series; after spending the bulk of his career with the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals (with an extended stopover in Boston in between), he was almost literally a Yankee for a minute: traded on August 31st of the 1993 season, he pitched a total of 8 innings in the last month as the closer, earning three saves while giving up 3 hits, 5 walks and striking out 11.  He didn’t even have time to quantify an ERA+… (he didn’t allow a run anyway, so…). But for reasons unknown, Smith filed for free agency at the end of the season and the Yanks didn’t retain him; which was a shame because he was actually great the following season with the Orioles (P.S.: Eras committee, put this man in the Hall of Fame; screw the writers).

Spike Owen, on the other hand, is not going to get any looks from that committee anytime soon, we can imagine.  It’s funny, when I think of him, it’s as a shortstop for the Red Sox, but he actually spent more time with both Seattle (who drafted him in the first round as the #6 overall pick in 1982) and with Montreal (where he started at shortstop also for four seasons before signing with the Yanks).  While he was here for a season; ostensibly to help push the Yanks into the playoff picture (and at the expense of fan favorite Stanky), he pretty much did little to nothing offensively to justify that theory, and coupled with some suspect defense, it was pretty much a waste of one year of everyone’s life.

Frank Tanana was here, too. For a minute.  So was Paul Assenmacher, whose main trivia is that he was involved in a three-way trade with Karl “Tuffy” Rhodes, who a couple of years later embarked on an extended career as a prolific home run hitter in the Nippon Baseball League (where he also faced a young Yu Darvish in the 2009 Pacific League Climax Series).  Meanwhile, Assenmacher was to become the second of two pitchers in major League history to give up home runs to both Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds.  Time flies, doesn’t it?


1 rbj   ~  Feb 26, 2018 9:33 pm

Mel Hall sounds like an ignorant asshole.

2 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 27, 2018 7:29 am

[1] I wouldn’t say he’s ignorant (outside of baseball history and Yankee lore in particular), but certainly arrogant; a smooth operator who eventually ran out of gas. The article by Greg Hanson I linked to certainly indicates that he knew quite well what he was doing, and alludes that he was driven by deep insecurities.

I agree with the rest of it, though...

3 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 28, 2018 5:25 pm

A must-read from guest columnist Randy Wilkins over at RAB. I've gotta get in touch with this dude. Don't read the comments if you value your own sanity though; it reminds me by contrast just how special our community is...

4 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Feb 28, 2018 7:23 pm

[3] Yes and YES! Great stuff, and without a doubt, never read the comments at RAB..

5 rbj   ~  Feb 28, 2018 9:12 pm

[3] damn shame about those comments. I want the next Rickey Henderson and Dave Winfield in baseball. Preferably on the Yankees. I like the Reviving Baseball in Inner cities initiative. The widest net possible to get the best baseball players.

And I am not someone who will be identified as a bleeding heart liberal. (As far as I’ll talk poly-ticks here)

6 Boatzilla   ~  Mar 1, 2018 6:31 am

[3] Yes. Good piece. I didn't read or see the comments [as my policy is Never Read the Comments], but I was tempted. I will assume it was a wise choice to avoid.

Dang, now I'm tempted again. Time to go offline and home. ;>)

7 GaryfromChevyChase   ~  Mar 1, 2018 11:51 am

Tip to Banterers: Just finishing up a new book by Gator: "My Life in Pinstripes." Great memories, good read.

8 rbj   ~  Mar 1, 2018 7:22 pm

Andujar looking good early. Four dingers already. Still I expect him to be sent down for a while to gain another year of team control.

9 Chyll Will   ~  Mar 1, 2018 10:00 pm

[8] And to justify having traded for Drury while still being able to keep Lil' Ronnie around. If it's playing with house money, why not?

10 GaryfromChevyChase   ~  Mar 3, 2018 3:02 pm

Yanks, Sox spring training! All is right with the world.Romine steals a base!

11 GaryfromChevyChase   ~  Mar 3, 2018 3:09 pm

would be nice if the Sawks announcers gave us the names of the yanks.

12 rbj   ~  Mar 3, 2018 3:25 pm

It is spirit training, but these Sawx announcers are awful.

13 GaryfromChevyChase   ~  Mar 3, 2018 4:36 pm

the kid at 3rd looks ready.

14 rbj   ~  Mar 3, 2018 4:52 pm

Nice catch Hendrix. Way to put this broadcast out of our misery.

15 GaryfromChevyChase   ~  Mar 3, 2018 4:52 pm

It may be spring training, play anytime time we beat the Sox it's satisfying. Took almost 4 hours as usual.

16 rbj   ~  Mar 3, 2018 8:12 pm

Hope everyone on the east coast survived the storm of the century of the week.

17 GaryfromChevyChase   ~  Mar 7, 2018 11:04 am

Day game today on MLBTV

18 rbj   ~  Mar 7, 2018 1:43 pm

Mets broadcasters are kind of bland.

19 rbj   ~  Mar 7, 2018 3:08 pm

Good thing it’s still early enough in ST

20 rbj   ~  Mar 7, 2018 3:43 pm

Grand salami!

21 rbj   ~  Mar 7, 2018 4:05 pm

And now double digits.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver