A case can be made that Dion James’ season with New York in 1993 was one of the Top 25 offensive performances (ever) by a Yankees semi-regular in team history.
Something magic was going on for Dion in 2003. Whether it was the influence of Rick Down or the benefit of (mostly) batting between Wade Boggs and Don Mattingly, I’m not sure. Maybe it was both of those things? Maybe it was neither?
I always liked Dion James when he was with the Yankees. Maybe it was his funky batting stance? Maybe it was because he was just about my age? Maybe it was because he was “found” from “nowhere”? I was sort of bummed, at the time, when he decided to go play for the Chunichi Dragons in Japan after 1993. But, the Dragons offered him about $2 million more than the Yankees – so, it’s easy to see why he did it.
It was fun to see him return to the Yankees in 1995. But, he was not close – at all – to the player he was in 1993. And, he was terrible in the 1995 ALDS.
August 29th was probably James’ best day in 1993. Down, 7-2, after three, the Yankees came back to win that day, 14-8. Now, that’s one that I would like to see someday on Yankees Classics.