Heath in 1978
February 5, 1955 |
|June 3, 1978, for the New York Yankees|
|Last MLB appearance|
|July 2, 1991, for the Atlanta Braves|
|Runs batted in||469|
|Career highlights and awards|
Michael Thomas Heath (born February 5, 1955) is an American former professional baseball player. He played fourteen seasons in Major League Baseball as a catcher with the New York Yankees (1978), Oakland Athletics (1979–1985), St. Louis Cardinals (1986), Detroit Tigers (1986–1990), and Atlanta Braves (1991).
While Heath played most of his games as a catcher, he started his professional baseball career as a shortstop and played every position except pitcher during his major league career. He played 1,083 games at catcher, 142 games in right field, 79 games in left field, 39 games as a DH, 38 games at third base, four games each at first base and shortstop, and one game each at second base and center field.
Drafted by the New York Yankees in the second round of the 1973 Major League Baseball draft, Heath made his major league debut with the New York Yankees on June 3, 1978 at the age of 23. He hit .228 in 33 games with the 1978 Yankees and appeared in one game of the 1978 World Series.
On November 10, 1978, Heath went to the Oakland A's in a ten-player trade that sent Dave Righetti to the Yankees. Heath got substantial playing time in seven seasons with the A's. Heath hit .333 for the A's in the 1981 American League Championship Series.
Heath was known for his strong throwing arm. In 1989, playing with the Detroit Tigers, Heath led the AL's catchers with 66 assists and 10 double plays.