Jay Buhner or Bone as he is known to some stands out in a crowd. Shaved head, goatee, and tar on his uniform Buhner was certainly recognizable while on the field.
Despite graduating from a Texas high school, Buhner got his start so to speak right here in the Derby City. Despite being drafted to the major leagues in 1984, it wasn’t until three years later that he got to start in the pros. Sporting a New York Yankees jersey the right fielder quickly proved himself an offensive powerhouse.
Despite all of this the Yankees traded him to the Seattle Mariners, the following year to the anger of many Yankees fans and the delight of the Mariner’s.
In fact, Buhner is the only sports legend of the ‘Ville so far that has been mentioned on the classic NBC sitcom Seinfeld. After George Steinbrenner, the manager of the Yankees at the time, goes to the home of George Costanza’s parents, who he worked for. All George’s dad can say to Steinbrenner is “What…did you trade Jay Buhner for?! He had 30 home runs, over 100 RBIs last year! He's got a rocket for an arm... You don't know what…you're doing.”
And Mr. Costanza (played by Jerry Stiller) had a point. Becoming an all-star selection in 1996, a golden glove winner, and one of the most dependable athletes on offense and defense in the organization Buhner certainly made the Yankees regret the move.
He has since been inducted into the Mariners Hall of Fame, and will more than likely have his jersey retired in Seattle as his number hasn’t been given to anybody else, and enough time hasn’t passed since his retirement according to the Mariner’s rules.
Image courtesy of ESPN