David Justice

Whenever David Justice hit a home run for the Yankees the scoreboard in Yankee Stadium displayed “…AND JUSTICE FOR ALL,” as homage to a man who had not always been welcomed in New York. In the past he had been greeted with chants of “Hal-le Ber-ry” (the actress whom Justice divorced in 1996), but his late-season home runs in 2000 earned him cheers and ovations.

Throughout his career, the outspoken Justice used his big bat to win over the fans in Atlanta, Cleveland and then New York. The left-hander showed over his career that he could hit for average and power, run the bases and occasionally save a game with a leaping catch over the wall. But Justice rarely reached 500 at-bats in a season, and he always had to fight the knock of being fragile. In spite of his injuries, he was always a winner, going to the playoffs every year between 1991 and 2000 (excluding 1996 and the strike year of 1994), and earning two championship rings, one with the Braves in 1995 and another with the Yankees in 2000.

Some fans and players questioned Justice’s dedication to the game. His 1995 appearance on The Young and the Restless lead some people to believe that perhaps he wasn’t paying enough attention to baseball. Other fans and members of the media doubted his willingness to play hurt, especially in 1997 when he sat out Game Five of the ALDS against the Boston Red Sox with a stiff neck. The Indians lost that game 12-8, and many felt that his bat in the lineup could have made the difference. But Justice maintained that when he took himself out of the lineup, it wasn’t because he didn’t want to play, but because he felt he would be more of a detriment than a help.