Forgotten Yankees players on Opening Day rosters

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Sam Evers
·3 min read
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Kevin Youkilis with Yankees in 2013
Kevin Youkilis with Yankees in 2013

The Yankees have had their fair share of remember that guy?! players on their Opening Day rosters over the last few decades. Here are some of the most memorable of the forgotten:

Kenny Lofton, 2004

The Yankees signed the borderline Hall of Famer heading into their doomed 2004 season, which added another moment of heartbreak to Lofton’s resume. He hit .275 in 83 games with the Yanks, then was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for the start of the 2005 season.

Tony Womack, 2005

Four years after hitting the game-tying single in the ninth inning of Game 7 of the 2001 World Series against New York, Womack signed with the Yankees for the ‘05 season. On Opening Day, he went 3-for-5 in a 9-2 win over Boston. So, his time in Pinstripes wasn’t for nothing.

Josh Phelps/Doug Mientkiewicz, 2007

After spending the 2006 season in the Detroit Tigers' minor league system, the Yankees took a flier on Phelps to platoon him with Mientkiewicz, as Jason Giambi became the team's DH. What a duo. The latter got the bulk of the time at first until he collided with Mike Lowell in early June and suffered a concussion that kept him out for three months. Phelps was DFA'd about two weeks later.

LaTroy Hawkins, 2008

The relief pitcher of 1,000 teams (actually 12) appeared in 33 games for New York for the 2008 season. His 5.71 ERA over that span played a part in his July trade of that season to Houston. He also was booed after wearing Paul O'Neill's No. 21, and it hasn't been worn since.

Kevin Cash, 2009

Enemy No. 1 of the 2020 Yankees was very briefly on the right side during the 2009 season. He signed in December of 2008, appeared in 10 games in May for the Yankees’ stable of pitchers, then was optioned back down to Triple-A.

Travis Hafner, 2013

After 10 years in Cleveland, Hafner signed with the Yankees in the offseason leading into the 2013 season. In 82 games, he performed exactly how you might think a 36-year-old Travis Hafner might: a .202 average with 12 home runs and 37 RBI.

Kevin Youkilis, 2013

It's truly a miracle that the 2013 Yankees finished above .500 -- that entire roster could potentially make this list. But yes, Youkilis was that year's Opening Day third baseman, clean shaven after spending his previous nine seasons with the Boston Red Sox. But he only played in 28 games after suffering neck and back injuries early in the season.

Brian Roberts, 2014

A Baltimore Orioles legend, Roberts signed a one-year deal with the Yankees after 13 seasons with the division rival. He was the replacement for Robinson Cano, who went to Seattle on a 10-year deal that Brian Cashman refused to give. He hit .237 in 91 games with them, and was DFA'd on Aug. 1.

Brandon Drury, 2018

The Yankees thought they found a diamond in the rough when they acquired Drury prior to the 2018 season from Arizona -- their last trade with the D-Backs was for Didi Gregorius, so fans thought the Yankees fleeced them again. He got the Opening Day start at third base in 2018, but suffered from migraines early in the season. He played a grand total of 18 games with the big league club before being traded to Toronto, along with Billy McKinney, for J.A. Happ.

Troy Tulowitzki, 2019

Poor Tulo was near the end when he signed with the Yankees two years ago, and his time in The Bronx didn’t last long., despite him getting the Opening Day start over DJ LeMahieu. He played five of the first six games of the 2019 season, then went on the IL, then voluntarily retired a few months later, in July. He’ll always be tied to the Yankees through baseball trivia lore, though: With what team did Troy Tulowitzki play his final game?