Steve Yeager

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Steve Yeager
Position Catcher
MLB Seasons 15
Teams Los Angeles Dodgers
Seattle Mariners
Debut 2 August 1972 (LA)
Final Game 29 August 1986 (Seattle)
Total Games Games:
1269 batting
1230 catching
LCS Appearances 1974, 1977, 1978, 1981, 1983, 1985
World Series Teams 1974, 1977, 1978 & 1981 Dodgers
Allstar Teams (none)
Awards Co-MVP 1981 World Series

Stephen Wayne Yeager (born November 24, 1948 in Huntington, West Virginia) is an American baseball player; catcher. Yeager spent 14 of 15 seasons of his Major League Baseball career, from 1972 through 1985, with the Los Angeles Dodgers. His last year, in 1986, was with the Seattle Mariners.


[edit] Minor League Career

Steve was drafted by Los Angeles on 6 June 1967, in the 4th round, 80th overall pick, of the 1967 amateur draft. After one game with Ogden, Utah (in the Rookie League-Pioneer Division), Steve was sent to Dubuque (Iowa - Single-A league-Midwest Division), for 14 games. The following season, 1968, he played at 59 games in Daytona Beach (Florida - Single-A Florida Southern League). In 1969 he would play 22 games in Bakersfield (California - Single-A - California League), and 1 game in Albuquerque (New Mexico - Double-A - Texas League). He would spend the next two-and-2/3rds seasons in Albuquerque. 1970 & 1971 in "AA" - Texas League, for 162 games, were he would bat .276, have 77 RBI's, and 135 hits in 490 at bats. For 1971 Steve was named to the Allstar team as a member of the Texas League, or Dixie Association - Western Division, catching for the Albuquerque Dukes (67-75), along with teammates Lee Lacy (2B; with a league leading 126 singles) and Paul Johnston(OF). The following season, 1972, he would play 82 games in Albuquerque (Triple-AAA - Pacific Coast League), have 45 RBI's, 72 hits, in 257 at bats, while hitting .280.

[edit] Major League Career

In the beginning of August, 1972, he would get "the call" to the majors, and make his major league debut on the 2nd. In that first-third of a season he would make 106 plate appearances in 35 games, batt .274, and drive in 15 runs on 29 hits, while scoring 18 total runs. He contributed to four World Series appearances with the Dodgers, in 1974, 1977, 1978 and 1981. In the latter, Yeager shared the World Series Most Valuable Player award with Dodger teammates Pedro Guerrero and Ron Cey.

Lou Brock called Yeager "the best-throwing catcher in the game." Steve's specialty was defense and his command of the game on the field. He was very good at controlling the game defensively, especially with young pitchers. His batting, however, was not spectacular; in his best year, 1974, he batted .266 in fewer than 100 games. Yeager is famous for having invented the catcher's throat protector flap, which he began wearing after a life-threatening incident in which a shattered bat pierced his neck and he needed added protection.

In 1999, Yeager was the hitting coach for the Dodgers’ Single-A San Bernardino club, which won the California League championship. Steve is currently coaching for the Dodgers at Double-A Jacksonville. In 2006, Steve was named the hitting instructor/coach for the Dodgers AAA farm club, Las Vegas 51's.

[edit] Outside baseball

Yeager is the nephew of pilot Chuck Yeager. When Steve got married, then Los Angeles mayor Tom Bradley was best man at his wedding. Yeager was infamous for having posed nude for Playgirl magazine in their October 1982 issue.

The Yeager family once appeared as contestants on the television game show Family Feud.

Yeager served as technical advisor and also had a small role, as a pitcher/coach named "Duke", in three movies: Major League, Major League II and Major League: Back to the Minors.

[edit] Stats
  • Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
  • Weight: 190 lb (86 kg)
  • Bats: Right
  • Throws: Right
  • Uniform number: 7
  • World Series teams: 1974, 1977, 1978 & 1981 Dodgers (.298 in 21 games, 17 for 57, 10 RBI's)
  • MLB Career
    • 15 Seasons
    • Debut: 2 August 1972 (LA)
    • Final Game: 29 August 1986 (Seattle)
    • Games: 1269 batting; 1230 catching
    • Putouts: 6110
    • Assists: 674
    • Errors: 88 (catching)
    • Double Plays: 75 (catching)
    • Fielding Percentage: .987
    • Batting average: .228
    • Hits: 816
    • RBI's: 410
    • Home runs: 102
[edit] Transactions
  • 6 June 1967: Drafted by Dodgers in the 4th round, 80th pick, of the amateur draft
  • 12 November 1985: Granted Free Agency
  • 26 November 1985: Signed as a Free Agent with the Los Angeles Dodgers
  • 11 December 1985: Traded by the Los Angeles Dodgers to the Seattle Mariners for Ed Vande Berg
  • 12 November 1986: Granted Free Agency
[edit] Trivia
  • In September 1979, Steve and his family appeared on Family Feud with Richard Dawson. They appeared for a total of 6 days.
  • After his playing career, Yeager converted to Judaism.

[edit] External links

Preceded by:
Mike Schmidt
World Series MVP (with Ron Cey and Pedro Guerrero)
Succeeded by:
Darrell Porter

Steve Yeager

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