||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2009)|
November 23, 1971 |
|Batted: Right||Threw: Right|
|June 11, 1994 for the Toronto Blue Jays|
|Last MLB appearance|
|June 15, 2006 for the New York Yankees|
|Earned run average||5.20|
Aaron James Small (born November 23, 1971 in Oxnard, California) is an American former Major League Baseball pitcher. He is probably best remembered for his short successful stint as a starter for the New York Yankees in 2005.
Small also played for the Toronto Blue Jays, Florida Marlins, Oakland Athletics, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Atlanta Braves. Regarded as a career minor leaguer, he played for a total of more than 20 teams, including his major and minor league stops, during his professional career.
Small's high school baseball teammates included future major league players Jason Giambi, who he would later play with on the Athletics and Yankees, and Cory Lidle, as well as Jeremy Giambi. Small also played high school baseball with Shawn Wooten, who was on the 2002 World Series Angels team.
Small was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 22nd round of the 1989 Major League Baseball Draft. He debuted for the Blue Jays in 1994, but was traded to the Florida Marlins in 1995 for minor leaguer Ernie Delgado. Over the next ten years, Small would split most of his time between Triple-A and the majors, with major league appearances for the Oakland Athletics, Arizona Diamondbacks, Atlanta Braves, and a second stint with the Marlins, before joining the Yankees.
New York Yankees
Small began 2005 in the Yankees minor league system, pitching for Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Columbus. Due to injuries, he was called up to the Yankees to fill in, making his first start on July 20, which he won.
Small recorded 10 major league victories without a loss. Small recorded his first major league complete game shutout, which came against the Oakland Athletics on September 3, 2005. His pitch count during the game was just over 110 and he struck out the last batter he faced, Dan Johnson, and Small received the baseball from catcher Jorge Posada as a remembrance.
Small was the first Yankees pitcher to win his first 9 decisions since Tommy John in 1979, and became just the fourth pitcher in history to win at least 10 games without a loss, joining Tom Zachary, Dennis Lamp, and Howie Krist. He finished the 2005 season 10–0 with a 3.20 earned run average and 37 strikeouts. He was re-signed to a one-year, $1.2 million contract during the off-season.
Personal life and post-retirement
On August 2, 2008, Small took part in the 62nd Annual Old-Timers' Day at Yankee Stadium. Six weeks prior, Small survived a bout with encephalitis that included a medically induced coma lasting eight days. He was again honored by the New York Yankees at Old Timers' Day on June 26, 2011 and July 1, 2012.
Small, along with his wife Macy, is a devout Christian. He is active in his church, Fairview Baptist Tabernacle in Sweetwater, Tennessee, where he and his wife are involved in ministry to students.
- "Yankees to celebrate 62nd -- and largest -- Old-Timers' day with six Hall of Famers and 18 first-time attendees". MLB.com. 2008-07-31. Retrieved 2009-02-05.
- Brennan, Sean (July 20, 2009). "Aaron Small beats encephalitis to be at Yankee Stadium for Old-Timers' Day". Daily News (New York).
- Aaron Small: The Long Road to the Field of Dreams