Despite numerous injuries, it was quite an accomplished Major League Baseball career for former centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury.
This two- time World Series winner made his much- anticipated MLB debut on June 30, 2007 with the Boston Red Sox where he became a fan favorite and a fixture in the outfield. It wasn’t until 2014, when he did the unthinkable which was signing a lucrative seven-year $153 million dollar contract to play for the Sox biggest rivals, the New York Yankees.
Ellsbury, who made sports history by becoming the first Native American of Navajo decent to play in the majors, wore the Yankees pinstripes from 2014 until 2017, before major injuries got in the way and wiped out his 2018 and 2019 seasons.
Not surprisingly in November following that 2019 campaign, the Yankees released the injury prone outfielder who in the four seasons he played with them, batted .264 with a .330 on base percentage and a 716 OPS along with 511 base hits, 198 RBI’s and 102 stolen bases.
Meanwhile earlier in his career, Ellsbury played a key role in helping the Red Sox win the 2007 and 2013 World Series. Following a breakout 2011 campaign, which saw him hit .321 with 212 hits, 32 homeruns and 105 RBI’s, this slugger won the 2011 AL Comeback Player of the year award, Silver Slugger Award and the Gold Glove Award.
Another big honor that year for Ellsbury was making the exclusive 30-30 club, which stands for 30 homeruns and 30 stolen bases. During his time with Boston, Ellsbury often displayed his speed, as he won the AL Stolen Base crown on three separate occasions in 2008, 2009 and in 2013.
Originally, Ellsbury was drafted in the 23rd round of the 2002 MLB draft by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays but opted not to sign. It wasn’t until after he finished his third year of college ball with Oregon State University, that the Red Sox called his name 23rd overall at the 2005 draft.
Two years later, Ellsbury, embarked on a lengthy career which saw him accumulate 1,376 hits, 104 homeruns, 512 R.B.I.’s and 343 stolen bases. Naturally the highlight in Ellsbury’s career was winning those two World Series titles in 2007 and 2013.
Along with being the first Native American of Navajo decent to make the majors, Ellsbury is also an enrolled member of the Colorado River Indian Tribes.