Thursday, February 28, 2019

Meet the 2019 Yankees: Reggie Willits

Last, but certainly not least, is a name that I can remember the Yankees signing to a Minor League deal way back when. Reggie Willits obviously knows the game and has been around the game for much of his adult life, now the former outfielder finds himself as the first base coach for the New York Yankees. Dreams really do come true, so let’s meet the man who saw his dreams come to fruition last winter when he accepted a spot on new Yankees manager Aaron Boone’s staff. Willits is back in the same position here in 2019, so let's meet him once again. This is Meet a Coach: The Reggie Willits Edition.

Reggie Gene Willits was born on May 30, 1981 to Gene and Judy Willits, both of Fort Cobb, Oklahoma. Willits attended both junior high and high school at Fort Cobb-Broxton before attending Seminole State College in Seminole, Oklahoma. Willits eventually transferred to the University of Oklahoma where he played baseball for the Oklahoma Sooners. While with Oklahoma he caught the eye of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim who drafted Willits in the seventh round, 210th overall, of the 2003 MLB First Year Players Draft. Willits made his MLB debut with the club just three years later on April 26, 2006 and even made the Angels Opening Day roster in 2007.

When all was said and done Willits spent five seasons with the Angels before being designated for assignment by the team on August 17, 2011. After the 2011 season Willits elected free agency but was unable to find a job before the 2012 season. Willits took the 2012 season off away from the game before returning to the game in 2013 as the head baseball coach for Binger-Olney High School. Willits was their head coach for two seasons before joining the New York Yankees organization in 2015 as their outfield and baserunning coordinator, a position he held until the 2018 season. For the 2018 season, Willits was promoted to first base coach for Aaron Boone's New York Yankees and saw the team reach the ALDS against the Boston Red Sox, before ultimatrly falling to the eventual World Series Champions. Willits is back with the Yankees, and under Boone, for the 2019 season at the first base coach position, hoping this time he sees his season end in the World Series and in the Canyon of Heroes.

Reggie Willits was named after another Yankees great, Reggie Jackson. No pressure Reggie, but with a name like that we expect big things. Congrats again on the promotion, do us proud!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)