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Steve Yeager

Stephen Wayne Yeager (born November 24, 1948) spent 14 of the 15 seasons of his Major League Baseball career, from 1972 through 1985, with the Los Angeles Dodgers. His last year, 1986, he played for the Seattle Mariners. He was co-MVP of the 1981 World Series.

Steve was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 6, 1967, in the 4th round of the 1967 Major League Baseball draft, when he was 18 years old.  After one game with the rookie level Ogden Spikers of the Pioneer League, Yeager was sent to the Dodgers' Single-A affiliate, the Dubuque Packers of the Midwest League.  The following season, in 1968, Yeager played 59 games for the Single-A Daytona Beach Dodgers of the Florida State League.   In 1969, he played 22 games for the Bakersfield Dodgers, the Dodgers' Single-A affiliate in the California League, where he threw out 26 runners from behind the plate.  That season he suffered a fractured leg in a first-inning collision with a runner at home plate, but was not aware how bad his injury was, and finished the game.

Yeager was promoted to Double-A before the end of the 1969 season and spent the next two-and-2/3 seasons with the then Double-A Albuquerque Dukes.  In 162 games played over the 1970 and 1971 seasons, he hit .276, with 77 RBIs in 490 at bats. He threw out 84 runners, second in the league that year, and was named to the Texas League All-Star team as a catcher in 1971.  In spring training in 1972 he won the Dodgers writers' Dearie Mulvey Memorial Trophy as the best rookie.  Steve remained with the team when the Dukes become the new Pacific Coast League Triple-A affiliate in 1972. With the Triple-A Dukes, he played 82 games, batting .280 with 45 RBIs and a slugging percentage of .502, in 257 at bats.

Yeager made his Major League debut with the Dodgers on August 2, 1972, and went on to play 15 season in the major leagues. He started 34 games that season and batted .274/.374/.406.  In the winter before the 1973 season he was named to the Dominican League All Star team. He backed up Joe Ferguson in 1973, and split time with Ferguson for the pennant-winning 1974 club as he hit .266 with 12 home runs.  Thereafter, Yeager was the starting catcher for the Dodgers and became an integral part of the Dodgers' success in the 1970s and early 1980s.

In 1976, he led NL catchers in assists, with 77.  In 1977, he came in second in voting for the Gold Glove Award. He led NL catchers in baserunners caught stealing percentage in both 1978 (46.7%) and 1982 (43.1%)

Yeager helped the Dodgers to the World Series in 1974, 1977, 1978, and 1981. In the '81 Series against the New York Yankees, he shared the World Series Most Valuable Player award with teammates Pedro Guerrero and Ron Cey. Yeager, who was backing up Mike Scioscia by that time, did not have overwhelming stats for the Series, as he went 4-for-14 (.286), but one of his hits was a double and two were home runs. One of the homers, off Ron Guidry, turned out to be the game-winner in Game 5.

While with the Dodgers, Yeager caught Jerry Reuss' no-hitter on June 27, 1980.

Since his retirement, Steve has been a minor league coach in the Dodgers' organization as well as catcher's coach at the major league level.  Steve has also been technical advisor and played a small role in the "Major League" baseball franchise as well as a Jersey Mike's franchisee.

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