From BronxBanter: I have to say, having Meacham return to the Yankees as a coach is much stranger than having failed pitching prospect Eiland emerge as one of the organization's top pitching gurus. Meacham was drafted out of San Diego State (where he played with Tony Gwynn
(See Below) and Bud Black) by the Cardinals with the eighth-overall pick of the 1981 draft and came to the Yankees following the 1982 season in a surprisingly innocuous trade that brought Meacham and Stan Javier in exchange for three players who never reached the majors. Meacham was jumped straight from A-ball to triple-A and made his major league debut in his first season in the Yankee organization beginning a frustrating six-year career with the Yankees that saw him make countless trips between triple-A and the majors on what was then known as the Columbus Shuttle.
The most famous incident came after the fourth game of the 1984 season in which Meacham was inserted in the eight-inning of a tie-game as a defensive replacement and committed a two-out error that allowed the winning run to score. Following the game, George Steinbrenner ordered Meacham demoted all the way to double-A. The team fell out of the race quickly, even without Meacham, and thus Bobby was recalled to become the teams' starting shortstop in June and held the position in 1985 despite being flat out dreadful both in the field and at the plate (though a dislocated tendon in his left hand, which was never made public by the Yankees, was responsible for many of his struggles in the latter season). Bill Madden and Moss Klein sum up Meacham's Yankee career perfectly in their classic account of the dreadful 1980s Yankees, Damn Yankees:
While so many Columbus shuttlers have had experiences they'd
never want to tell their grandchildren about, no "war story" is more
rife with disappointments and setbacks than Bobby Meacham's. For six
years, from 1983 until his trade to Texas in December 1988, Meacham
was the embodiment of all the turmoil and torment that have befallen
all those bright-eyed Yankee prospects. During those six seasons,
Meacham did it all--or rather had it all done to him. He was a
Columbus-New York frequent flyer in 1983, being called up four
times, twice for a one-day stay; he was exiled in 1984, dropped all
the way to AA ball for making an error in the fourth game of the
season; he went from being the Yankees' regular shortstop in 1985
(playing the final two months with a hand injury at the Yankees'
request) to a utility infielder at Columbus in less than a year.
Willie Randolph was outspoken about the way Meacham was treated: "What they're doing to Meacham is downright criminal," he said in late 1986. "Why don't they just trade him so he can have a chance."
When he didn't make the team out of camp in 1987, Meacham finally snapped:
Meacham sat in front of his locker in Fort Lauderdale, his eyes
red and near tears. Pitcher Dennis Rasmussen, his closest friend on
the team, sat next to him, consoling him while motioning the writers
Upon regaining his composure, Meacham said: "I'm shocked
this time. I played well enough to make the team. It seems obvious
they just don't want me around. They're messing with my mind now."
Meacham volleyed back and forth again in 1987. In 1988 he made the team as a backup only to suffer a pinched nerve in his neck. Meacham was ready to come off the DL in August of that year when he found out he'd been placed on the 60-day DL while watching a game on TV at home. "I was absolutely stunned. I was just about ready to come back. I had seen a chiropractor, and he gave me the go-ahead. The Yankees knew that. And then they knock me out for the whole season."
He was finally traded following the 1988 season, but failed to make the Rangers out of camp and spent two more disappointing seasons in triple-A with the Pirates and Royals organizations before retiring.
Meacham began his post-playing career in 1992 as a single-A manager in the Royals' system. He coached in triple-A for the Rockies in their debut season of 1993. Managed the Pirates' double-A team to a championship in 1994. He spent the next five years in the Pirates organization as a manager, base running coach, and infield instructor. He then spent 2002-2004 managing the Angels' single-A California League team in Rancho Cucamonga. In 2005 he became the Rockies' roving infield instructor. In 2006 he was Joe Girardi's third-base coach in Florida, and [in 2007] he was the Padres first-base coach under his old SD State teammate Bud Black.
Notes: Tony Gwynn was a walk-on at San Diego State. Meacham was the
shortstop on the team and knew of Gwynn after playing with him in summer
leagues. Meacham convinced San Diego St. coach Jim Dietz to give Gwynn a
shot. The rest is history. Gwynn would later go on to say, with a
laugh, that if not for Bobby Meacham, he would not have gotten into the Hall of