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Saturday, August 05, 2017

Cincinnati Reds could've had 3 of Yankees Core Four: Jeter, Rivera, and Posada. In 1992 Reds GM Jim Bowden drafted Chad Mottola ahead of Derek Jeter. Later, Reds turned down a trade that would've brought Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada to Cincinnati-Rory Ryan, Highland County Press

8/5/17, "A legend passes, and what might have been for the Reds," Highland County Press, Hillsboro, Ohio, Rory Ryan

"I’ve been reading a lot, lately. One of the books that I’m reading for the second time is Harvey Araton’s “Driving Mr. Yogi” about the relationship between Hall of Famers Yogi Berra and Ron Guidry. (Guidry was Yogi’s chauffeur during several of the New York Yankees’ spring training camps in Florida.)

When I reached Page 165 of Araton’s fine book, I had to stop and say something to Colin [Rory's son].

Do you know that the Cincinnati Reds could have had three of the Yankees famous Core Four (Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada and Andy Pettitte) players?

Colin said he didn’t know. Neither did I.

It’s no wonder the Reds haven’t won anything since 1990. They are cursed by three of the Core Four.

Granted, most serious baseball fans understand that Chad Mottola is perhaps more famous as the answer to a trivia question than anything else. In 1992, Reds GM Jim Bowden (old Leather Pants) drafted Mottola ahead of someone named Derek Jeter. No kidding.


Mottola played in just 59 Major League games.

That was Strike One.

Not long after that, according to Araton, the Reds turned down a trade that would send Reds pitcher David Wells to the Yankees for Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada. (Wells would become a Yankee anyway. He had an 18-4 season in New York. And on May 17, 1998, Wells pitched the 15th perfect game in baseball history.

Strike Two and Strike Three.

Jeter, Rivera, Posada and Pettitte joined the New York Yankees organization in the early 1990s as amateurs.

Jeter became the Yankees all-time hits leader on Sept. 11, 2009, with his 2,722nd hit, surpassing Lou Gehrig. On July 9, 2011, he collected his 3,000th hit, the first Yankee to accomplish the feat and collect all 3,000 hits with the team. In 2011, Jeter broke Mickey Mantle's record for most games played as a Yankee. His No. 2 was retired on May 14, 2017.

Rivera played 19 seasons with the Yankees (1995–2013), serving as closer for 17 years. He retired as MLB's career leader in saves (652) and games finished (952), having surpassed Trevor Hoffman in both categories in 2011. On Sept. 22, 2013, Rivera became the first active Yankee player to have his number retired by the organization. He was the last major league player to wear number 42 full-time, following its league-wide retirement in honor of Jackie Robinson.

Posada is only the fifth major league catcher with at least 1,500 hits, 350 doubles, 275 home runs, and 1,000 runs batted in, in a career and the only major league catcher to ever record a .330 batting average or better with 40 doubles, 20 home runs and 90 RBIs in a season. He is only the second Yankees catcher to hit 30 home runs in a season, after Yogi Berra. His No. 20 was retired on Aug. 22, 2015.

Those three could have been Cincinnati Reds.

By the way, Pettitte was no slouch, either.

Pettitte holds the all-time record for postseason victories, with 19 wins in total. Among Yankees pitchers, he ranks first in strikeouts and third in wins (213). His No. 46 was retired in August 2015.

What might have been…

And then there was the Paul O’Neill deal to New York. Never mind…Jim Bowden is what he is."

"Rory Ryan is publisher and owner of The Highland County Press, your only locally owned and operated newspaper with no entangling alliances with anyone."

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