Top 100 Yankees of All-Time...#92, Scott Brosius

Scott Brosius will forever be remembered by Yankee fans for his postseason heroics, amazing defense at third base and professional demeanor. Once he put on the pinstripes, it seemed as if he became part of the Yankee mystique, and helped lead the team to three straight World Championships, earning a World Series MVP along the way. For these reasons and more, Scott Brosius is our Greatest Yankee # 92.

When you say the name Scott Brosius to a Yankee fan, two images immediately pop into their head.  The first is his fist raised in excitement as he sends a late-inning postseason homerun over the wall off of Trevor Hoffman or Byung-Hyun Kim.  The second is of the third baseman charging toward home plate, scooping a ground ball with his bare hand and firing to first with perfect accuracy.  Few players were as good at doing those two things as Brosius, and he became a beloved Yankee as a result.

Brosius came to the Yankees as almost an afterthought.  He was the player to be named in a trade that sent Kenny Rogers from New York to Oakland.  Brosius enjoyed the best season of his career up to that point in 1996, but had a terrible season in 1997, prompting the trade.  His batting average dropped 101 points that year, to a miserable .203.  The bizarre downturn was the result of a combination of injury, bad mechanics and lack of confidence.  But nevetheless, his slump persisted, and a change of scenery was in order.

The Yankees, in need of a replacement for Charlie Hayes (traded to the Giants) and Wade Boggs (signed with the expansion Devil Rays), planned on platooning Brosius with Dale Sveum and Mike Lowell, but Brosius won them over quickly.

Brosius won a Gold Glove in '99
"Scottie B" enjoyed arguably the best season of his career in 1998, hitting .300 with a career-high 98 RBI to go with his 19 homeruns.  He also stole 11 bases.  Batting mainly from the ninth spot in the order, Brosius gave the Yankees a deeper lineup than any other team in baseball, was named to his first All-Star team and helped bring New York back to the World Series as the Yankees won 114 games.

Once the postseason started, Brosius took over.  He hit .400 as the Yankees swept the Rangers in the Division Series, then he batted .300 as they took down the Indians, and he wasn't even getting started yet.  Brosius hit a whopping .471 in the World Series against the San Diego Padres.  He also jacked two homeruns, both in game three, to help bring the Yanks back from behind.  His second blast came off of Trevor Hoffman, one of the best closers in the league, and turned a 4-2 deficit into a 5-4 Yankee lead.  

New York won the game in extra innings, then won the fourth game to complete the sweep and one of the greatest seasons in baseball history.  Brosius appropriately recorded the final out of the series, fielding a Mark Sweeney grounder to bring the 1998 World Series to a close.  As the Yankees celebrated in the locker room, Brosius was named World Series MVP for his homerun heroics and six RBI.  Brosius, a humble man from Oregon, wouldn't allow himself to be given all the credit for the win, and thanked his team publicly.

Year

Team

AVG

AB

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

SO

OBP

SLG

1998

Yankees

.300

530

19

98

86

11

52

97

.371

.472

1999

Yankees

.247

473

17

71

64

9

39

74

.247

.414

2000

Yankees

.230

470

16

64

57

0

45

73

.299

.374

2001 Yankees .287 428 13 49 57 3 34 83 .343 .446

While he would never match the production levels of his 1998 season, Brosius remained a steady player in the lineup for the Yankees and a phenomenal defensive third baseman.  In 1999, battling personal problems surrounding the illness and death of his father, Brosius managed to win his first ever Gold Glove award.  He had a fielding percentage (.962) 12 points better than league average, and a reputation for sparkling defense that was well deserved.

Despite his regular-season struggles, Brosius once again turned it on for the postseason.  He hit two homeruns during the ALCS against Boston, and he batted .375 as the Yankees swept the Braves in the World Series, including a three-hit performance in the first game. 

In 2000, Brosius' batting average dropped even farther, down to .230, but he still hit 16 homeruns and committed only 11 errors at third base.  Once again he came through in the postseason, batting .308 with a homerun and three RBI against the Mets in the Subway Series, which the Yankees won 4-1.

His final season was more of the same.  He got his batting average back up to .287, but his run production slowed down and his defense began to falter.  For the first time as a Yankee, Brosius' fielding percentage was below league average, as he committed a whopping 22 errors at third.  Not even the postseason would be a haven for Brosius, as he racked up only eight hits in 57 at bats. 

But one of those hits was extremely loud. 

Brosius became the third Yankee to victimize Byung-Hyun Kim in just two nights, connecting on a game-tying, two-run homerun in the bottom of the ninth. The Yankees eventually won the game in the 12th, when Brosius' groundout moved Chuck Knoblauch into scoring position so the latter could score on Alfonso Soriano's single.

Brosius' retirement came as something of a surprise to Yankee fans, because he never mentioned it during the regular season.  Fans lost two of their favorites after the 2001 season, as Brosius joined Paul O'Neill on the retired list.

While the Yankees dominated the American League in the late 1990's, they developed a mystique about them that enabled them to bring their game to the next level.  During their championship run, the Yankees were virtually unbeatable in the postseason, and Brosius was a huge part of that.  For his clutch hitting, professional personality, amazing defense and contributions to three championship teams, Scott Brosius is one of the greatest Yankees ever.


Pinstripes Plus Top Stories