The recently retired Nick Swisher is a guest instructor for the New York Yankees this spring and he brings more to the table than we think.

Yesterday, Nick Swisher officially announced his retirement after a 12-year career. No, he most likely won’t be a Hall of Fame candidate, but he certainly made a difference in his time with the New York Yankees.

Even though his career has ended, he’s still giving back to the Yankees by serving as a guest instructor at spring training.

While Swisher is known for his entertaining on-field persona, fans tend to forget just how valuable he is as a mentor. Sure, he’ll bring an attitude boost to spring training. But we can’t forget the other great things he’ll bring to the table.

Swisher served as a valuable member of the 2009 World Series Championship team in the Bronx after overcoming his early postseason slump. It’s time to look back on his career so we can see just how valuable he’ll be with the younger players.

The man responsible for the “Swisher Salute” will bring a vibrant, “play hard, have fun” attitude to camp along with a valuable skill that these young players can really benefit from.

In Swisher’s career, he saw an average of 4.18 pitches per plate appearance. His patience at the plate is a gift that not many students of the game possess. Especially with these free-swinging youngsters like Aaron Judge and even Starlin Castro listened closely, they could lower their strikeout total from learning from Swisher.

Along with Swisher’s sparkling personality comes his perseverance. While he was never considered one of the top-tier players on any squad he played on, he continually worked endlessly to get a starting spot.

Even though Swish was never the number one choice, he never gave up on playing the game. Even after arthroscopic knee surgery, Swisher never believed his career was over and worked his way back to a higher level of play.

With so many youngsters battling their way to the majors, Swisher is a perfect example of why you never give up. Despite not having the best numbers, Swisher consistently worked to improve himself. No matter the circumstances, Swisher never gave up.

That’s the perfect lesson to take away from someone who is probably an expert.

Swisher also boasts a lifetime .351 OBP, mostly thanks to his careful eye at the plate. He also has a lifetime .447 slugging percentage. That comes courtesy of all his success at Yankee Stadium.

In his four seasons in the Bronx, he launched 105 home runs and got the hang of the ballpark immediately. Even though these youngsters bring power to the team, they don’t quite know how to work the short porch like Swish did.

Swisher’s skills will be invaluable to the upcoming Yankees at spring training and his attitude will bring a lighter feel to the rigor of competition.

The Yankees took a chance on a lackluster Swisher back in the offseason of 2008-09 and got both a World Series championship and a friendly New York icon. Now, they’re taking a chance on him again to help lead them into the future.


  1. We all liked Swisher as a role player who could hit homers when he was with the Yankees, but in this article I did not glean a single point on how he could help the youngsters hone their skills. Swisher is a nice cheerleader, but hardly an expert in the art of hitting. You mentioned ‘the other great things he brings to the table,’ but what are they? He took pitches at a good rate, but in the playoffs he was an ‘out-man.’ .

    • Thanks for the comment, Ray! With such a big personality with Swisher, it’s difficult to look past all that he brings on the attitude side. However, I did mention he definitely can help with patience at the plate and also the ins and outs of Yankee Stadium itself. Also, Swisher also can show that one bad season does not necessarily mean that one is done with the game. That is something that young players need to learn.
      I also merely said that he would serve as a mentor for certain aspects of the game, not necessarily be the one to help them hone specific skills!