Last week, after a successful turn as hitting instructor in the Yankees minor league system, former Major Leaguer Marcus Thames was promoted to assistant hitting coach with the big club.
Do you remember Thames' first Major League at-bat? It was as a Yankee, during an interleague game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The pitcher was a future Hall Of Famer: Randy Johnson.
Ah, yes. Thames connected on his first Big League swing and sent the ball over the left centerfield wall. What a thrilling moment!
After the game he was the subject of an on-field ESPN interview, during which he was hit in the face with a whipped cream pie. As I recall, he wiped his eyes and said, "I can't see nothin'!"
Thames saw everything during that at-bat, and saw a lot during a respectable 10-year career. Greg Bird and other Yankee prospects have a lot of respect for him. Here's hoping he earns it from the Yankees 25-man roster as well.