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Monday, December 26, 2022

Sammy Arena started as clubhouse manager, became club GM

Tampa Yankees general manager Sammy Arena knew he had his work cut out for him in 1998, as a crowded sports market got even more crowded with the major league Tampa Bay Devil Rays setting up shop right in the Tampa market, according to The Stuart News.

"There are a few so you have to be better in order to stay ahead," Arena told The News of the competition. "It helps in that we're in the biggest market in the league. But I'm not sure what affect the Devil Rays have had on us. Our two biggest nights of the season so far have been nights when we have gone head-to-head with the Devil Rays."

By that point, Arena had been working to make his Yankees teams better for eight seasons, first as a clubhouse manager and then as a minor league general manager. 

Arena's career in minor league baseball began with the Yankees in 1990, as clubhouse manager with high-A Prince William. His work got him on to the team photo card, front row left.

He joined the Yankees after graduating from Tampa Catholic High School, where he'd also played on the baseball team. He'd also attended Edison Community College and Hillsborough Community College. 

For 1991, he joined the Yankees in Florida, at Fort Lauderdale. By 1994, he was assistant general manager with the club after its move to Tampa, showing around a group of former Soviet players from Siberia.

"They had never seen a professional baseball game before, so we set it up for them to get some autographs and a box of goodies," Arena told The Tampa Tribune. "The loved it."

By 1997, he was the club's general manager. He stayed as Tampa GM through at least 2004.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,096
Made the Majors:1,357-33.1%
Never Made Majors:2,739-66.9%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:553
10+ Seasons in the Minors:335

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