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Sunday, March 31, 2019

Ricky Ledee, Be Aggressive - 14

Ricky Ledee hadn't expected to play in that World Series, much less start Game 1. Given the opportunity, he quickly took advantage, according to The New York Times.

Ledee did so by going 2 for 3 with a walk. He also knocked in the Yankees' first two runs of the night.

"It's amazing," Ledee told The Times afterward. "I was fearless. I have nothing to lose. I just have to go out there and be aggressive."

Ledee went on to start three of the four games in the series - and pick up two hits in each of those three contests.

Ledee did all that in his first season in the majors. He eventually saw time in 10 big league campaigns, but he never quite equaled that early high.

Ledee's career began in 1990, taken by the Yankees in the 16th round of the draft out of his native Puerto Rico. He was then credited by his formal name, Ricardo Ledee.

Ledee started with the Yankees in the rookie Gulf Coast League at the age of 16. He spent his first three seasons there before he moved to short-season Oneonta in 1993.

He made single-A Greensboro for 1994 and 1995. In 1995, he hit .269 in 89 games. That August, he hit two home runs in one, after a series of tough games at the plate, according to The Greensboro News & Record.

"The first half of this series I really struggled," Ledee told The News & Record. "But today I woke up with a new attitude, a positive one. And everything worked out. I have to thank (Greenville manager Trey Hillman) for showing a lot of confidence in me and working with me."

Ledee made AA Norwich and then AAA Columbus in 1996, then an abbreviated 1997 at Columbus. He then debuted in the Bronx in June 1998.

He got into 42 games for the Yankees in 1998 and hit .241. Left off the postseason roster to start, an illness suffered by Darryl Strawberry led to Ledee rejoining the club, and to Ledee's World Series success.

Ledee returned to the Yankees for 1999 and he hit .276 over 88 games. That August, he hit an inside-the-park home run against Seattle. He and the Yankees returned to the World Series that October and went 2 for 4 in Game 2 against the Braves.

He started 2000 with the Yankees, then he got traded to the Indians, then to the Rangers. He told The Hartford Courant the trade from the Yankees devastated him.

"I couldn't sleep, I cried all night," Ledee told The Courant. "Now I understand it's part of the business. I am still in the major leagues. I'm getting a chance to play every day."

Ledee returned to Texas for 2001, then played at Philadelphia from 2002 into 2004. He hit 13 home runs in 2003, with a .247 average.

He moved to the Giants for the second half of 2004, then to the Dodgers for 2005. He returned to the Mets for 2007 and played his final games with them in 2007.
1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured:3,095
Made the Majors:1,133-36.6%-X
Never Made Majors:1,962-63.4%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 469
10+ Seasons in the Minors:281

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