Mike Tauchman deal reminiscent of Paul Zuvella trade

What a difference 24 hours make.  On Saturday, Mike Tauchman was on the bubble not knowing if he would make the Colorado Rockies big league roster or be farmed out to their AAA affiliate Albuquerque.  On Sunday, Tauchman had been dealt to the New York Yankees, made the roster and will be at Yankee Stadium on Opening Day when the contending Bronx Bombers play the Baltimore Orioles.

Mike Tauchman/Credit: You Tube
The trade is reminiscent of one between the Atlanta Braves and Yankees on June 29, 1986.  At the time, I was broadcasting games with Bob Black for the Braves' AAA affiliate Richmond.  On a sunny, Sunday afternoon at The Diamond, word starting sweeping through the press box and the ballpark that Richmond shortstop Paul Zuvella had been traded to the Yankees.  It was my assignment that day to conduct the post game interview on the field.

After the game, the trade was announced and I asked "Zoo" if he would be my guest.  He said "yes" but that he had to talk to the manager first.  That was when Zuvella had been given the word he had been dealt.  He gave me a great interview about Richmond and his days in the Braves organization, including his time in Atlanta, where he played in 97 games over three seasons.

When the interview concluded, I wished Zuvella good luck and predicted he would be in New York
Paul Zuvella/Credit: Gary Cohen
the next night, starting at shortstop for the Yankees against the Detroit Tigers.  Zuvella told me he had no idea where he would be but speculated he would probably be sent to the Yankees' AAA affiliate in Columbus.  Knowing that the Yankees were having big problems at shortstop, I said to "Zoo" the Yankees - who also acquired outfielder Claudell Wahsington in the deal - didn't trade for a shortstop to put him at Columbus.  Sure enough, Zuvella was in the Yankees' starting lineup the next night.

And so it is that Tauchman has gone from perhaps a AAA assignment to becoming a key component of the New York Yankees outfield, currently beset by injuries.  And it couldn't happen to a nicer guy.  My memories of Tauchman - when he played outfield for the New Britain Rock Cats in 2015 - was that of a ballplayer, willing to go the extra mile to realize his major league dream.  For example, after batting practice on the field, there was a good chance you would find him at the indoor cage, working on his batting stroke, before the game.  This latest step in his life as a ballplayer proves that hard work does payoff, whether you are a Colorado Rockie or a New York Yankee.

As for Zuvella, when his playing days were over he stayed in the game for a time, becoming a manager for the New Haven Ravens, who at the time were the AA affiliate of the Colorado Rockies.
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