|KEN PHELPS FOR JAY BUHNER, ANYONE?|
|NOTHING SAYS THE '90s LIKE OAKLEY EYE WEAR.|
DEFINING THE PLAYER
- Jay Buhner was yet another discarded Yankee farmhand who found success in another organization. Joining Willie McGee and #106 Fred McGriff on the railway out of the Bronx, Buhner was traded to the Mariners in 1988 and played Robin to Ken Griffey Jr.'s Batman in the middle of the order. Buhner appeared in 32 games for the Yankees and the other 1,440 with the Mariners, hitting 310 homers and driving in 965 with a slash line of .254/.359/.494 in 15 years. He was as beloved as Griffey, and maybe even more as many identified with his blue-collar approach to the game.
- With the score 2-2 in the 11th inning of Game 3 of the ALCS on Oct. 13, 1995, Buhner silenced the Jacobs Field crowd with a three-run blast off Eric Plunk, giving the Mariners a 5-2 victory over the Indians. However, the Indians would win the next three games to end underdog Seattle's magical postseason ride.
- Buhner established career-highs in homers (44) and RBI (138) in '96, slashing .271/.369/.557. He was named an All-Star for the only time in his career and won his only Gold Glove as a right fielder.
FIVE FINAL FACTS
- The Yankees acquired Buhner, Dale Berra and Alfonso Pulido from the Pirates for Steve Kemp, Tim Foli and cash in December '84.
- George Steinbrenner couldn't leave well enough alone, sending Buhner to the Mariners in July '88 for Ken Phelps, whom the Boss saw as filling a power need with the AL East title there for the taking. Phelps hit 10 homers in 107 at-bats, but the Bombers finished 85-76, fifth in the East.
- Although a free-swinger who averaged 155 strikeouts a season, Buhner took his share of walks, twice drawing 100-plus.
- On June 23, 1993, he hit for the cycle against the Athletics, with his 14th-inning triple leading to the winning run.
- Hit four homers in the '95 postseason -- three in the ALCS -- and drove in eight runs. Overall, in 85 at-bats covering 26 playoff games, he hit .306 with eight homers and 12 RBI.