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Navajo Ballplayer’s Career Going in the Wrong Direction

Navajo Ballplayer’s Career Going in the Wrong Direction
November 26
05:04 2019

Jacoby Ellsbury

Maybe The Fat Lady hasn’t sung yet, but she’s definitely humming for baseball player Jacoby Ellsbury.

The New York Yankees released the oft-injured outfielder last week.

The news comes as little surprise since Ellsbury, a member of the Navajo Nation, has not appeared in a Major League game in the past two seasons due to injuries.

Since joining the Bronx Bombers in 2014 Ellsbury has played in 520 games – while missing more than 400.

It is a sad end to what began as a fairytale career.

Ellsbury burst onto the scene with the Boston Red Sox in 2007. The speedy centerfielder looked like the next Willie Mays; he batted .353 in 33 games as the Beantowners won their second World Series in three years. Ellsbury batted an otherworldly .438 in the series.

In his sophomore season, Ellsbury led the league with 50 stolen bases.

A new star had arrived in Boston.

In 2009 Ellsbury set a Red Sox record with a league-leading 70 steals. He won win his third stolen base crown in 2013 with 52. In the playoff series against the Tampa Bay Rays Ellsbury batted .500! The Sox would again win the World Series.

After the 2013 season, Ellsbury signed a $160 million contract with the New York Yankees.

Ellsbury had a decent – if disappointing – first in New York, batting a pedestrian .271 with 39 steals. But that was from the dizzying heights of his Fenway days.

Ellsbury was best by nagging injuries and missed a few games here and there. He missed the entire 2018 season after undergoing hip surgery to repair a torn labrum.

By that point, the Yankees were willing to part ways with Ellsbury but found no takers. The man who would be king had no crown – but he has an albatross of a contract.

Even though he couldn’t play in 2018 or 2019 the Yanks still had to shell out $21 million a year for him.

Though the team has cut ties with Ellsbury, New York still owes him $21 million for the 2020 season and $5 million buy-out option for 2021.

over the next two years. In 2021 the team has the option of paying Ellsbury joins a long list of players who looked like they were on a bullet train for the Hall of Fame only to be derailed by injuries. The list includes names like pitcher Herb Score, outfielder Pete Reiser. Injuries also shortened the career of Dizzy Dean, though he still made it to Cooperstown.

Ellsbury may not have been the prince that was promised, but he won’t be a pauper anytime soon, either.

Though that Yankees do plan to try to recoup of the final payment they owe him because Ellsbury used a private facility during his rehab rather than the team’s.

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