Nov
22

Open Thread: Ricky Ledee

By

(Photo via LIFE.com)

Ricky Ledee is little more than a footnote in Yankees history, but he’s a great story of perseverance in a game that requires so much of it. The Yankees drafted him out of Puerto Rico in 1990 (16th round), but it wasn’t until nine years later that he finally saw the bright lights of the big leagues. In between, the organization had him spend three seasons in rookie ball, one season in short season ball, two seasons in Low-A, two months in Double-A, and parts of two seasons in Triple-A. Baseball America didn’t put him on their top 100 prospects list until 1998, when they considered him the 46th best prospect in the game.

Still just 24-years-old when he was finally called up in June of 1998, Ledee homered off Scott Erickson in his second career start. He played left field pretty regularly while Chad Curtis was on the DL, then was sent back to the minors in July before coming back up in September. The 114-win Yankees carried him on their playoff roster as an extra left handed bat, and Ledee rewarded them by reaching base in eight consecutive plate appearances to open the World Series against the Padres.

The Yankees used Ledee as part of a left field platoon with Curtis in 1999, though he ended up back in the minors after a slow start before resurfacing in late-June. He hit .293/.368/.537 with 13 doubles and nine homers in 231 plate appearances the rest of the way, eventually taking over the left field job on an everyday basis. The Yankees won their second straight World Series with some help from Ledee’s second straight strong postseason showing. He opened the 2000 season as the regular left fielder, but his batting line sitting at .241/.332/.419 in late-June, the Yankees traded Ledee to the Indians as part of a package for David Justice, who rode into the Bronx on a white horse to save the offense and guide the team to its third straight World Championship.

Ledee’s time in Cleveland was short-lived; they traded him to the Rangers for David Segui just a month later. In the span of five weeks, he’d played for all three of the previous year’s division winners. Ledee bounced around a bit after that, spending time with Phillies, Giants, Dodgers, and Mets before retiring in August of 2007 as a .243/.325/.412 career hitter. He’s one of only three players to play for the four original New York teams, joining Darryl Strawberry and Jose Vizcaino. Ledee turns 38 years old today, and based on the always reliable Wikipedia, he teaches salsa dancing class in his spare time. I hope he does so while wearing those World Series rings.

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Here is your open thread for the night. There’s nothing going on in the local sports scene, so you’re stuck finding your own ways to entertain yourself. Talk about anything you like here, the thread is open for business.

Categories : Open Thread
  • billysbartender

    I remember the grand slam he hit off Beck in the ’99 ALCS, and the near riot it started at Fenway. Fun times

  • Mike Myers

    who wants to sign up for penn state summer camp with me?

    • Thomas Cassidy

      I won’t be accepted; I’m over the age of 12.

      • lies.. all of it

        Latin American players lie about their ages all the time.. why can’t we?

  • MannyGeee

    Ricky Ledee was the man… Until of course he got traded for the man….

  • Kiersten

    My 9-year-old self loved Ricky Ledee. I affectionately nicknamed him Bulldog.

  • CS Yankee

    What an incredible intro to an Open Tread.

    For whatever reason, i thought he spent some time in the Blue Jays org…or maybe he had a career game against them or something.

  • vin

    So the new CBA is really something, huh? I’m still digesting all of it. I’m pretty shocked baseball is planning this many major changes in the next couple years (all the CBA stuff in Mike’s post, Astros to AL, season-long interleague, expanded playoffs, etc).

  • Jamey

    I always liked Ricky Ledee, have a ball he signed for me.

  • Bubba

    He sounds pretty clutch in the post-season. Can we sign him to play right field?

    I keeed, I keeed.

  • Professor Longnose

    If you had the choice, what would you rather have: a World Championship in 2012, or a new Yankees radio contract that leaves Sterling out?

    • Rey22

      Championship. Absolute no brainer, and I really don’t like Sterling. You can always choose not to listen to him and follow the game some other way, but a championship is a championship.

    • http://www.youcantpredictbaseball.com bexarama

      Championship, there’s really zero question about it.

    • Steve (different one)

      I would sign up to have Sterling come to my bedroom and wake me up with his most grating HR calls in the middle of the night every day for a year in exchange for a 2012 WS.

      • Mike Myers

        That would be amazing.

        its up, its long, you have morning wood! Time to get up!

      • Professor Longnose

        Wow. You, sir, are a true fan.

        I’d be willing to gamble: if the Yankees don’t win a championship in 2012, Sterling goes. If they do, he gets to wake you up for a year. I’d sign on for that.

  • Damian

    I would like to thank Ted Nelson for all his contributions to RAB today.

    • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

      He makes me miss Matt.

    • Plank

      He reminds me of the dad neighbor on American Beauty.

      I’m guessing his home life isn’t great.

      (no source on that one)

  • Preparation H

    Not only did he win a couple of World Series rings, but Ledee is also one of the starting outfielders on the “Disclosed Hemorrhoid Cases” team.

  • Karl Krawfid

    http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com.....d=20006631

    This video needs it’s own thread.

  • Sam

    Anyone remember his inside the park home run against the mariners? hit a ball that griffey couldnt get to. Either that or i’m completely misremembering.

  • LarryM.,Fl.

    I enjoyed watching Ricky Ledee play for the Yankees. I was sorry to see him traded. It was probably more about The Boss trading all the young guys but looking back Justice was a factor in the WS run.

    Sorry Ricky teaching salsa lessons with the ladies can’t be so bad as a full time job.

  • Billion$Bullpen

    I recall Ledee playing a horrendous LF for the Yanks one day in Baltimore where there was a rainout the day before and the Yanks only needed one win to clinch in Baltimore. I was telling him witch way to go to get fly balls that of course he did not do and cost us that game and forced me to stay in Baltimore all day to catch the night cap to see the Yanks finally clinch the division. I was one of about maybe 3 or 4 people for the first game in the left field seats and I was in the front row screaming at Ledee the whole time as anybody on earth (including Manny) would have caught the two flys that he botched.

    Because of Ledee I ended up half way sleeping at the balt innner harbor Barnes and Noble.

  • Mister Delaware

    Ricky Ledee was the other hero of the only no-hitter (Millwood) I’ve seen in person. HR for the lone run and a great running play in the gap that required no assistance from the fans.