With the acquisitions of Kerry Wood and Lance Berkman, the Yankees continued a decades-long tradition of picking up vets for the stretch run. Oh, contenders do it all the time, but no one contends as much as the Yankees have, and no one seems to do it better. Here are my five favorites:
1. Glenallen Hill, 2000: picked up on waivers from the Cubs, Hill went on to be AL Player of the Month in his first month with the Yankees! He hit .333/.378/.735 for the 2000 Yankees.
2. Aaron Small, 2005: Technically picked up at the start of the season, but didn't make his Yankee debut until July 20. Went on to finish the year 10-0, 3.20 ERA.
3. Johnny Mize, 1949: The original Big Cat was purchased on August 22, 1949 from the New York Giants for $40,000. He hit .261/.393/.435 in the regular season, added a perfect 2-for-2 in the 1949 World Series, then had a strong year in 1950.
4. Enos Slaughter, 1956: This marked the second time the Yankees brought Slaughter in mid-season. His age-40 campaign was more memorable, capped by a .350/.440/.500 performance in the 1956 World Series.
5. Pedro Ramos, 1964: A terrific starter for some awful Washington teams, the Yankees acquired Ramos on September 5, 1964. He pitched 21 2/3 innings for them in September, posting a 1.25 ERA, with an astounding ZERO walks and 21 strikeouts.