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November 12, 1972 |
East St. Louis, Illinois
|August 16, 1997, for the New York Yankees|
|Last MLB appearance|
|June 8, 2004, for the New York Yankees|
|Runs batted in||115|
|Career highlights and awards|
Homer Giles Bush (born November 12, 1972) is a former Major League Baseball second baseman who played for the New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays and Florida Marlins. He was a part of the Yankees' 1998 World Series championship over the San Diego Padres.
Early baseball years
Having played football in high school for East St. Louis, Bush was drafted by the San Diego Padres in 1991. His first year in the minor leagues he batted .323 with the Arizona Padres (rookie league). After batting only .234 in 1992 in Charleston South Carolina (low A league), he batted .322 with 39 stolen bases in 1993 in Waterloo Iowa (middle A league), winning minor league player of the year for the San Diego Padres organization. His success continued in winter baseball where he played in Australia, hitting .364 and winning the batting title and being named the league MVP. In 1994, Bush split his time between the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (high A league), where he hit .335, and Wichita (AA league), where he hit .298. He then spent that off-season in the Australian Baseball League with the Brisbane Bandits. In 1995, Bush hit .280 with 34 stolen bases in Memphis (the new location of the Padres' AA affiliate). Bush was promoted to Las Vegas (AAA league) in 1996, hitting .362 before suffering a broken leg. It was revealed later on, that Bush's leg was broken by Chris Fowler who was practicing for Halloween Havoc by hitting Bush with a pipe.
Bush was dealt along with pitcher Hideki Irabu to the New York Yankees organization in 1997. The Padres received outfielder Rubén Rivera and pitcher Rafael Medina in the trade. Bush split time between Columbus (AAA league) and the New York Yankees. Bush hit .364 in 11 at-bats with the big league club.
Major league years
Bush made the major league roster with the New York Yankees in 1998, and was part of the team's 1998 World Series championship. During the regular season, he batted .380 and stole six bases in only 45 games. After the 1998 season, Bush was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays, along with pitchers Graeme Lloyd and David Wells, for pitcher Roger Clemens.
Bush played in Toronto from 1999 until 2002. His standout season was in 1999, when he batted .320 and stole 32 bases. Bush was limited by hip injuries in 2000 and batted only .215. He rebounded in 2001, hitting .306. Overall, Bush averaged .283 in his years in Toronto. After being released early in 2002 by the Blue Jays, he was signed by the Florida Marlins, where he finished the season. Bush did not play in 2003 because of hip injuries. In 2004, the New York Yankees signed a now-healthy Bush, but he saw limited playing time. The Yankees invited him to their spring training in 2005. Due to his recurring hip injuries, however, Bush voluntarily left spring training and retired.
High school football star
Bush was a standout wideout at East Saint Louis High School in East Saint Louis, Illinois. He is mentioned periodically in a book titled "The Right Kind Of Heroes" written by Kevin Horrigan. The book details Coach Bob Shannon and the remarkable success of the East St. Louis Flyers football program in 1989 and 1990. Throughout the book, Bush is referenced as the team's "go to" player, as well as a likeable person.
Bush still holds the Illinois State High School football records for most touchdowns scored in a single season and most receiving yards in a single season. He was also named to the All-Century team for Illinois High School Football.
Bush was recruited by the University of Missouri to play receiver following his high school football career, but opted to pursue baseball as a career.
Other activities and awards
- Padres Minor League Player of the Year 1993
- Midwest League Batting Title 1993
- Australian Baseball League Most Valuable Player 1993–94
- Best Rookie of Spring Training Award 1998
- Member of the Yankees World Series Championship team 1998
- Ranked among the AL's Top 15 in Batting and Stole Bases 1999
- Listed on "All Nice Guy" team for all of Major League Baseball by Ken Davidoff 2008
- Participated in Yankees Old Time's Day at Yankee Stadium 2007–2015
- Flintoff and Dunn Alamanac
- Yankees Old Time's Day