Sunday, March 27, 2011


I'm not sure why, maybe because I've been sick with the flu, but I was having several delirious dreams.One of those dreams involved me at Yankee Stadium, it was the House that Ruth Built, but it was 2011. The Yanks just signed 2 players. Dion James and Claudell Washington. It was a situation where the Yanks needed hitting stability and they knew the damage these guys did for the Yanks back in the 80's and 90's and they figured they'd be a cheap, "magic in the bottle" situation for the bench. Totally bizarre. I remember it like it was real!

Anyway, I woke at around 3ish, wrote it down Dion's name, took an Advil and went back to bed. But I never did fall back to sleep, I was achy, had a headache and all I was thinking about was "Dion James and Claudell Washington. What happened to those guys?" Don't ask me why, it's been a weird few days. But the story is true.DION JAMES: I remember when Dion James was with the Yankees, he was a decent ballplayer. He was never a home run hitter, but he was a solid athlete. The problem was he was already surrounded by great talent so he got lost in the shuffle. Greats like Don Mattingly, Wade Boggs, Paul O'Neill and an up and comer, Bernie Williams were there and people loved them.Dion signed with the Yanks in 1992. He was supposed to be a part-time outfielder but in 1993 he had a full-time gig with the Yanks batting .332. James left the Bronx for Japan after that season, but returned in 1995. By then, there wasn't much playing time for him. He did hit .287 with 60 hits in 209 at bats. He was also part of the 1995 playoffs, it was the first time in his career, but we all know how that ended. He was back in 1996, but that season was short lived and he was released May 1, 1996 before the Yankees won their Championship.

CLAUDELL WASHINGTON: Washington was traded in June 1986, from the Braves to the Yankees, along with Paul Zuvella. In return, Atlanta received Ken Griffey, Sr. and infielder Andre Robertson.
Claudell re-signed with the Yankees after the 1986 season, and spent two more years in the Bronx. The biggest Yankee highlight for Washington may be his April 1988 home run which was the Yankees' 10,000th franchise home run.

During Washington's career in New York, 4 total seasons, he has 26 home runs, 34 stolen bases and a .277 batting average. His best season was 1988 when he hit .308 with 11 Homers and 64 RBI's.

After the 1988 season, Washington became a free agent, and bolted for a contract with the then California Angels. Eventually he was traded back to the Yanks in 1990, but they later released him. That's where his career officially ended.So yeah, don't ask. Sometimes sickness brings out weird thoughts in me, many times it's baseball. One things for sure though, James and Washington gave their all in pinstripes and for sure have been forgotten. Whatever the reason, I'm not sure, but it's clear to me people needed to be reminded about these gentlemen, and where else would they be remembered most, than Bleeding Yankee Blue. A salute to some damn good ballplayers...Dion James and Claudell Washington.

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