Aaron James Small (born November 23, 1971 in Oxnard, California) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher. He is probably best remembered for his short successful stint as a starter for the New York Yankees in 2005.
Small also played for the Toronto Blue Jays, Florida Marlins, Oakland Athletics, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Atlanta Braves. Regarded as a career minor leaguer, he played for a total of more than 20 teams, including his major and minor league stops, during his professional career.
Jason Giambi, his former Yankee teammate, and Small were teammates during their high school years at South Hills High School on a team called The South Hills Huskies. Also on this team was the late Cory Lidle, who, while with the Yankees in 2006, crashed a small plane into a building in New York City, and died.
New York YankeesEdit
Late in the 2005 regular season, he appeared to settle down on the Yankees pitching staff due to injuries suffered by other pitchers, and he recorded 10 major league victories without a loss. Small recorded his first major league complete game shutout, which came against the Oakland Athletics on September 3, 2005. His pitch count during the game was just over 110 and he struck out the last batter he faced, Dan Johnson, and Small received the baseball from catcher Jorge Posada as a remembrance.
Small was the first Yankees pitcher to win his first 9 decisions since Tommy John in 1979, and became just the fourth pitcher in history to win at least 10 games without a loss, joining Tom Zachary, Dennis Lamp, and Howie Krist. He finished the 2005 season at 10-0, with a 3.20 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 76 innings. He was re-signed to a one-year, $1.2 million contract during the off-season.