A New Yankee Hero

Randy Winn is an accomplished Major League baseball player. He has played in the majors for 13 seasons; he has played in more than 1,600 games; he has a lifetime batting average of .286, yet not many Yankee fans recognize him. The veteran outfielder was signed to a free agent contract by the Yankees in early February of this year. Winn, along with Curtis Granderson, Marcus Thames and nick Johnson were signed to fill in the slots previously occupied by Johnny Damon, Melky Cabrera and Hideki Matsui.

On Monday night, in his 15th at bat this season, Winn finally got the attention of Yankee fans. Batting in the ninth hole, Winn came to the plate in the fourth inning with Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner on base. With the count at 1-0, Winn parked the next pitch into the bullpen in right-center for his first Yankee round tripper. The moment was crucial as the three-run homer made the difference in the outcome of the contest. The Yankees won, 4-1. The home run was Winn’s first since April 25, 2009.  Winn e4xpressed his satisfaction with homering, and, more importantly, contributing to the victory of the Yankees, “I’m really, really not a home run hitter. That felt really good. It’s always nice when you can get in there and help your team win. When you’re not playing every day, you have to do what you can.”

The game was only the fourth that Winn has started for New York. He has mainly been used as a defensive replacement in the outfield late in a contest. Winn’s fielding is outstanding. Prior to the start of the 2010 season, Winn had played 209 consecutive errorless games. The change from being an everyday player to a late inning reserve must be difficult for the 35 year-old. In each of his most recent eight seasons, Winn has been in the lineup a minimum of 149 games. After proving his mettle on Monday, Winn may be in the lineup more regularly as Curtis Granderson remains on the disabled list.

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