A former MLB prospect has sued the Cincinnati Reds after unsuccessfully suing the New York Yankees for derailing his career in favor of Derek Jeter.
Garrison Lassiter’s federal lawsuit claims the Reds won’t try him out because he is too old at age 30, the Raleigh News Observer reports.
“Look at all the great players that played way past age 22,” he told the paper in an email. “The Iron Horse Cal Ripken Jr. was well into his 30s/40.”
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Lassiter filed the lawsuit in North Carolina last month as a pro se litigant representing himself. The lawsuit seeks $1.6 million in damages.
In a previous lawsuit against the Yankees, filed in 2018, Lassiter accused the team of thwarting his big league chances after drafting him solely because of Jeter.
He claimed he wasn’t promoted from the minor leagues “to protect the career of Derek Jeter,” the Charleston Post and Courier reported Friday.
Lassiter also brought that lawsuit, which sought $36 million in damages, in federal court in North Carolina and without an attorney.
However, five months after it was filed, a judge ruled against him, writing that the Yankees weren’t responsible for his failed baseball career, according to the Observer.
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Lassiter had a lowly .244 batting average with just four home runs across parts of five minor-league seasons as a third-baseman from 2008 to 2012, the New York Post reported.
He said in the lawsuit and in capital letters that he was kept down, “ALL IN EFFORT TO PROTECT CAREER OF DEREK JETER SHORTSTOP OF NEW YORK YANKEES,” according to the Post, which described the lawsuit as disjointed.
Jeter is a virtual cinch to become a Hall of Famer later this month. He retired following the 2014 season, two years after Lassiter was cut loose by the Yankees, the Post reported.
Lassiter said in the suit that he attended law school after falling out of baseball and onto hard times, the Post reported.
“Many nights I’ve slept in my Car and I’m put in a situation that I do not like,” he writes. “Without a Home and no Money to pay my bills, up to this point I have Educated myself by attending Law School, Earning a Masters Degree and an undergraduate specialization in Sports Administration.”
He was drafted in the 25th round after playing on the USA Junior National Team and with draftniks predicting he would be taken higher, either in the fourth or fifth round, according to reports.
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Yankees did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Post and previously declined comment to other media, which reported on Lassiter’s lawsuits this week, as did the Reds.