The Lynchburg Red Sox were making a stretch run in 1989 and the organization brought in Vinnie Degifico to help them do that.
Degifico joined a team that included Red Sox prospect Phil Plantier and Degifico soon helped the team with a home run and three RBI in an 11-0 win, according to The Newport News Daily Press.
"I figured they brought me here for a reason," Degifico told The Daily Press. "They needed another big bat in the lineup from the left side to help Plantier get his pitch. If I can give them that, it's going to help."
Degifico was in his third season as a pro that year. He would end up getting two more, never seeing the majors.
Degifico's career began in 1987, taken by the Red Sox in the 17th round of the draft, out of the University of Southern Maine.
At Southern Maine, Degifico played well. In May 1986, Degifico won his school's Athlete of the Month honor. That month, Degifico stole second and later stole home to help his team to a win. He also knocked in four runs on four hits, including a home run in another game that month.
Degifico's 1986 campaign helped get him into the Southern Maine record books. Overall, he hit .526, still a school record. He also hit 16 doubles and 12 home runs. The next year, he hit 13 home runs. His career batting average at Southern Maine came in at .412.
With the Red Sox, Degifico started at short-season Elmira, hitting .254, over 46 games. He moved to single-A Winter Haven for 1988, hitting .235.
He then spent most of 1989 back at Winter Haven, except for seven games at Lynchburg. He hit 17 home runs on the year, including two in a late May contest.
Degifico made AA New Britain in 1990. He hit .249, with three home runs. In an August game, Degifico helped one of his hurlers to a seven-inning no-hitter, knocking in the game's only run on a single.
Degifico returned for one more season, playing 1991 largely back at New Britain. He hit .236 on the year, ending his career.
Degifico soon found himself back where he started, Southern Maine. He has since served more than two decades as an assistant coach at the school. He was inducted into the school's Hall of Fame in 1996.
Read the May 2016 interview: Vinnie Degifico, Great Memories
- Newport News Daily Press, Aug. 26, 1989: Lynchburg Finds Two Prime-Time Heroes
Made the Majors: 741 - 50.5%
Never Made Majors: 726-49.5%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 322
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 192