Work in Sports
'Thank God I'm alive'
Yankees' Jimenez fractures veterbra in car crash
Posted: Thursday January 27, 2000 11:33 AM
NEW YORK (AP) -- New York Yankees infield prospect D'Angelo Jimenez fractured a bone in his neck in a car accident and might not play this year.
Jimenez, 22, was hurt Monday when his Acura Integra struck a passenger bus on the Duarte Highway that connects Santo Domingo to the Dominican Republic's northern provinces.
He was transported to the United States for treatment Wednesday night and was at St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, Fla., Thursday, one Yankees official said on the condition of anonymity. He and another source confirmed Jimenez fractured a bone in his neck.
"It's a miracle that I'm here -- I thank God I'm alive," Jimenez said at Santo Domingo's Las Americas Airport Wednesday night. Jimenez said his second vertebra was fractured.
The injury means Jimenez will miss at least the first four months of the season and might not play at all this year, said Gordon Blakeley, the Yankees vice president of international and professional scouting. Blakeley accompanied Jimenez on the flight.
Jimenez was expected to make the major league team as a backup.
"D'Angelo Jimenez was going to play in the majors -- we didn't sign Luis Sojo in order to give the opportunity to him," Blakeley said.
After the Yankees called him up last September, Jimenez was 8-for-20 with two doubles and four RBIs. The switch-hitter batted .327 at Class AAA Columbus of the International League to lead all minor league shortstops.
Jimenez, who is Dominican, played for the Licey Tigers during the winter. He and two companions, Eddy Herrera and Geraldo Almanzar, were returning to Santo Domingo after spending the weekend in northern Jarabacoa.
In addition to the vertebra injury, Jimenez hurt his left leg and thorax.
"I'm alive and full of faith," Jimenez said. "I am trusting in God that I will recuperate and return to the ball field."