Chris Dickerson said there were more familiar faces than he was expecting when he walked into the Yankees clubhouse this morning. He knows Russell Martin from their time in the National League. He knows Brett Gardner because they played against one another in the minor leagues and were in the Fall League together. He knows Eric Chavez because … actually, I’m not sure why he knows Eric Chavez, but he does.
One thing Dickerson did not expect was to have his first Yankees locker right next to the current Yankees captain. Dickerson had been in the clubhouse for a few minutes — getting his gear and being constantly pointed in the right direction — before he finally realized who was in the locker next to him.
“I just noticed that. Seriously,” he said. “I just got back from the training room with my pants, and I was walking over here and I looked. Ohhh. Okay. Yeah. Wow. A trash can separates us.”
And Yankees, meet your new outfielder.
Dickerson doubled in his first at-bat, then hit an RBI single up the middle in his second. He singled again in his third at-bat and — in a most unexpected twist — was pulled from the game with cramping and spasms in his hamstring. The Yankees are hoping it’s a minor issue that resolves itself in a day or two.
With the Brewers, Dickerson opened the spring in a competition for the starting center field job and had settled into a fourth outfielder role before Friday’s trade. With the Yankees, his best chance of making the Opening Day roster is that Curtis Granderson opens on the disabled list.
“It’s not something that you really want to concern yourself about and think too much about,” Dickerson said. “It’s more just coming here and try to get prepared and put yourself in a position to help the team. Continue to work hard these last couple of days. You can’t make it too complex.”
Dickerson’s mother was born in Brooklyn, his grandmother lives in Queens and the Yankees drafted him out of high school (but his mother wanted him to go to college, so he didn’t sign).
“It’s really exciting for my mom’s side of the family especially,” he said.
Here’s Dickerson talking before the game. He was in the trainer’s room after the game and didn’t talk about the injury.
Associated Press photo