Mike Heath began a lengthy pro career when he was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 2nd round of the 1973 MLB amateur draft. He worked his way up the team's minor league system and made his debut for the Yankees in 1978 and played 33 games for the team that season. The Yankees traded Heath along with pitchers Sparky Lyle, Dave Rajsich, Larry McCall and infielder Damingo Ramos to the Texas Rangers for outfielders Juan Beniquez and Greg Jemison, pitchers Dave Righetti, Paul Mirabella, Mike Griffin. Heath spent time in the minors for the Rangers until being dealt by the club to the Oakland A's midway through the 1979 season along with infielder Dave Chalk for pitcher John Henry Johnson.
Heath became a regular in the A's lineup after the trade, initially splitting receiver duties with Jim Essian. He ended up being the A's primary catcher for much of his seven seasons with the club. Heath was known for his strong arm and versatility, having started games at every position during his career. His best seasons were arguably 1984 and 1985 where he averaged 139 games and 13 home runs. Prior to the 1986 season, Heath was dealt by the A's to the St. Louis Cardinals along with pitcher Tim Conroy in exchange for pitcher Joaquin Andujar. He only lasted a half season with the Cardinals before they traded him to the Detroit Tigers along with a player to be named later (Mike Laga) for pitcher Ken Hill. Heath became a free agent after the 1987 season but resigned with the Tigers, who lost their long-time starter, Lance Parrish to the Philadelphia Phillies in free agency that same offseason. Heath remained with the Tigers until the end of the 1990 season and spent one final season with the Atlanta Braves in 1991, signing with them as a free agent. Over his career, Heath played in 1,325 games with a batting average of .252 and 86 home runs.
This Wilson size 40 jersey was worn by Heath during the 1982 season for home games. It comes from the second set of alternate home white jerseys used by the team. The A's also donned their "Wedding Gown White" Sunday home jerseys at the Oakland Alameda Country Coliseum that year, which would mark the final season that style was put into use. This jersey has what appears to be dirt staining in spots on lower areas of the garment.