The Wilson Betemit Uniform
On September 28th, 2008 the Yankees finished their season with a doubleheader in Fenway. Game 1 was the Marquee matchup featuring Mike Mussina trying for 20 wins for the first time in his career and Daisuke Matsuzaka tuning up for his expected postseason appearances. The Yankees would beat the Red Sox 6-2 earning Moose his 20th win and his last of his career. Game 2 would be the ‘lesser’ of the Dher, with both teams employing mostly rookies and backups on the diamond. One of these players was Wilson Betemit making his last start for the Yankees organization.
Betemit was the utility infielder for the Yankees that year, though he saw more action then he could have predicted due to the many injuries that plagued the team. He hit .265 with 6 HR’s in just under 200 plate appearances over the season, nothing eye popping but he did what was expected of him. In this final game of his Yankees tenure, he would be signed by the White Sox in 2009, he went 1-5 with a run scored in a dreary 4-3 New York loss.
During the 2008 campaign I had been collecting as many Game Used jerseys as I could find from the ongoing season. With it being the final year in which baseball would be played in the great cathedral anything that appeared on the field was in high demand and short supply. The first jersey I picked up was of then bench coach Rob Thomson’s road jersey which would spark a whole other obsession, followed by Brian Bruney’s jersey from Opening Day. Then in the offseason I was approached by a Steiner Re-seller who had received the jersey and helmet of Betemit from that final game. The jersey was covered in dirt, the first ‘dirty’ jersey I would own and, well I’m a sucker for helmets, so I purchased them. This would begin an offseason odyssey to complete the uniform in which I luckily stumbled across the pants and locked down one of the toughest items to obtain, a players cleats.
Jersey (Note the distinctive Fenway Dirt)
Pants (The dirt continues!)
Cleats (Signed by Betemit)
Bat (From earlier in the season, signed by Betemit)