Former New York Yankees’ second baseman Damaso Garcia dies at 63

Andres Chavez
New York Yankees
Dec 7, 2015; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Yankees logo during the MLB winter meetings at Gaylord Opryland Resort . Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

A former New York Yankees‘ player passed away on Wednesday. Damaso Garcia, who played for the Bombers in 1978 and 1979, died today in his native Dominican Republic. He was 63 years old.

Details of the cause of the death of Garcia aren’t available at the time. “It is a sad day for the Dominican baseball community,” Erick Almonte, the president of the Dominican national player federation, told ESPN.

Garcia had a successful career. Although his numbers don’t exactly pop up, he managed to go to the All-Star game in two separate occasions, which is plenty more than the average player can achieve.

The second baseman signed for the New York Yankees back in 1975, as an amateur free agent. He started his 11-year MLB career in 1978. During the 1978 and 1979 seasons, he played only in 29 games in the Bronx, before being traded to the Toronto Blue Jays.

Finding the opportunity that the Yankees couldn’t give him

He received the opportunity to play a full season for the first time in 1980, and that year, he finished fourth in the Rookie of the Year voting, as the New York Post remembers. In total, he spent seven years in Toronto. The mid-eighties saw Garcia’s best moments, as he was an All-Star in 1984 and 1985.

He played with the Braves in 1988 and with the Expos in 1989. That year, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. In fact, doctors told him that he only had a few months to live.

That wasn’t the end of the line for Garcia, however. He underwent surgery and chemotherapy, and while there were some bumps in the road (specifically in the form of speech and mobility issues) he managed to overcome the situation and live several more years.

One of this former Yankee’s contributions to society was managing a baseball camp for children with hemophilia in the Dominican Republic, his hometown. His son suffered the condition.