How the Yankees’ Luckiest Batboy Ended Up Unmarked:
In 1998, a young man named Jorge Posada was given the honor of being the Yankees’ batboy. Little did he know that he would become one of the team’s biggest stars.
Posada was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico, and grew up a Yankees fan. His father worked for the team, and Posada would often go to games with him. When he was 10 years old
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When most people think of the New York Yankees, they think of baseball’s most successful franchise. But there’s one member of the Yankees organization who didn’t have much success on the field: Mariano Rivera, the team’s batboy from 1979 to 1980.
Mariano was born in Panama and came to the United States with his family in 1974. His father, a former professional baseball player, worked as a groundskeeper at Yankee Stadium. Mariano started working as a batboy when he was just 13 years old.
For two years, Mariano served as the Yankees’ batboy. He didn’t get to see much action on the field, but he did get to meet some of the team’s biggest stars, including Reggie Jackson and Thurman Munson. He also got to witness firsthand some of the team’s most dramatic moments, like Bucky Dent’s home run in the 1978 American League East tiebreaker game.
Eventually, Mariano’s time as a batboy came to an end. He continued to work at Yankee Stadium until he graduated from high school in 1982. After that, he returned to Panama.
Today, Mariano is a successful businessman in Panama City. He owns a chain of convenience stores and a baseball academy. And he still has fond memories of his time as a batboy for the New York Yankees.
The Yankees’ batboy
In 1967, the New York Yankees were in the midst of one of the most successful periods in franchise history. They would go on to win the World Series that year, their second championship in a row. But behind the scenes, there was someone who was even more lucky than the team itself: the Yankees’ batboy.
His name was Tommie Reynolds, and he had a seemingly charmed life. He never had to buy a ticket to a Yankees game, and he was given free meals and souvenirs. He even got to spend time with some of the team’s biggest stars, including Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra.
But Tommie’s luck would eventually run out. In 1973, he was involved in a fatal car accident that killed two people. He spent time in prison for his role in the accident, and when he was released, he found himself estranged from his former life as a Yankee.
These days, Tommie Reynolds is living a quiet life in upstate New York. He rarely talks about his time with the Yankees, and his memories of that period are largely hidden away. But his story is a reminder of how quickly luck can change – and how hard it can be to come back from a fall from grace.
For years, the Yankees’ luckiest batboy went unmarked.
Few people knew his name. He wasn’t mentioned in the team’s press releases or interviews. In fact, he was barely noticed at all – except by the Yankees players, who knew him as the reason behind their good fortune.
The batboy’s name was John Blum, and he started working for the Yankees in the early 1950s. He was in charge of making sure the bats were clean and polished, and he also had to retrieve them when they were hit out of the stadium.
Blum quickly gained a reputation as a lucky charm because whenever he retrieved a bat, the player who used it would get a hit. If Blum didn’t get the bat back in time, the player would make an out. The players started asking for Blum to retrieve their bats more often, and soon he became known as the team’s good luck charm.
The players started giving Blum gifts and bonuses, and they even started calling him “the lucky batboy.” Word of Blum’s luck spread beyond the team, and soon fans were asking for his autograph.
However, even though he was famous among the Yankees players and fans, Blum remained largely unknown to the general public. This changed in 1998 when Sports Illustrated did a feature on him. After that, Blum became something of a celebrity, appearing on TV shows and giving interviews about his lucky career.
These days, John Blum is retired from his job as a batboy. But his legacy continues – every time a Yankee hits a home run, fans can’t help but think of the team’s lucky batboy.
It’s impossible to know for sure how many more hits Mattingly would have had if he had been wearing the number 23 his entire career, but it’s safe to say that he would have finished with well over 3,000 hits. He retired with 2,153 hits, which is good for 20th all-time among first baseman. He also would have likely been a first-ballot Hall of Famer had he reached 3,000 hits.
While it’s sad that Mattingly never got to wear his favorite number for his entire career, it’s heartening to know that he was able to find success even without the number 23. He is still beloved by Yankees fans and is remembered as one of the best players of his generation.