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The Players

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This section has to do with the players. Post tidbits about your favorite past players, or Hall of famers you know about and like. And, while we are at it, the player doesn't have to be a Hall of Famer. He could be a career minor leaguer. He could be from the old Negro Leagues. Or from Japan or Cuba. If he was a player, post it here. Also, very important. Try to include a picture of the person you are talking about.

 

You will be amazed at how many players that were really good and are not talked about as much these days.

I'll start one off right here:

 

Simmons01.jpg

 

Meet Al Simmons. He played for Connie Mack's Philadelphia Athletics. Called "Bucketfoot Al" because of an unusual batting style in which he stepped toward the dugout, Al Simmons confounded the purists to the tune of 307 home runs and a .334 average. The Philadelphia Athletics' outfielder compiled more hits than any right-handed batter in American League history until surpassed by Al Kaline. A deadly clutch-hitter, Simmons won batting titles in 1930 and 1931 to help the A's to consecutive pennants. He recorded 11 consecutive seasons as a .300 hitter and 100-RBI man.

 

Simmons02.jpg

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Spud Chandler. Not too many people today have heard of this guy and you would be shocked to know that he played his entire career with the Yankees. So, being a Yankee did not promise you a household name.

 

What stands out for me with this guy is his career winning percentage of .717. You read that right.

 

Spud Chandler.jpg

 

Brief history:

A right-handed pitcher, Chandler didn't make it to the major leagues until he was twenty-nine, and he had just two 20-victory seasons in his brief career. But he never had a losing season and he turned in a remarkable career winning percentage and outstanding ERA.

 

Chandler was named the AL's most valuable player in 1943, when he helped take the Yankees to a pennant, leading the league in victories and winning percentage with a 20-4 record, in complete games with 20, in shutouts with 5, and in ERA with 1.64.

 

He had joined the Yankees during the 1937 season and had a 21-9 record during his first two years. Injuries limited his playing time for the next four seasons, yet he put together a composite 37-16 record before his MVP year.

 

Chandler missed almost all of the 1944 and 1945 seasons because of military service, but he came back to win 20 and lose only 8, with a 2.10 ERA in 1946. He retired after a 9-5 record in the 1947 season.

 

In 11 major league seasons, Chandler had a 109-43 record for a .717 winning percentage, with 26 shutouts and a 2.84 ERA. He struck out 614 and walked 463 in 1,485 innings.

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MarkBTheYankee said:

Yes! That's the point! :)

That's what I mean. Listen to what Mark said NYM. Ok, you talked about Babe Ruth. Anything else you want to add??

How about this? We all know Ruth hit 60 homers in 1927. Well, look at that figure this way:

In 1927, Babe Ruth’s 60 home runs accounted for 14% of all home runs in the American League that year. To put that figure in modern perspective, a player would need to hit over 340 home runs in a season to account for 14% of the American League’s total homerun output.

 

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my favorite player is Mark Mcguire because He is the reason im into Baseball but besides him Randy Johnson i luved rj since i was 7 and I just caught on with he dbacks and Yankees when I was 7 and ive been a fan of both since.

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Harry Heilmann. Another right handed hitter who can pound the ball. He played with and later played for Ty Cobb in Detroit.

 

Harry Heilmann.jpg

 

In the history of the major leagues, Rogers Hornsby and Ed Delahanty are the only right-handed batters to hit for a better average than Harry Heilmann's .342 lifetime mark. Teaming with Ty Cobb for the Detroit Tigers, Heilmann won four batting titles between 1921 and 1927 with averages of .394, .403, .393 and .398; he came within nine hits of hitting .400 each year. Following his retirement from the field, Heilmann broadcast Tigers games for 17 years.

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That's what I mean. Listen to what Mark said NYM. Ok, you talked about Babe Ruth. Anything else you want to add??

How about this? We all know Ruth hit 60 homers in 1927. Well, look at that figure this way:

In 1927, Babe Ruth’s 60 home runs accounted for 14% of all home runs in the American League that year. To put that figure in modern perspective, a player would need to hit over 340 home runs in a season to account for 14% of the American League’s total homerun output.

Ruth_in_Overcoat.jpg

Here's an often forgotten tidbit. Ruth, at the same time as being one of baseball's greatest hitters, and some people forget this, was also one of the best pitchers of all time as well. :)

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Here's an often forgotten tidbit. Ruth, at the same time as being one of baseball's greatest hitters, and some people forget this, was also one of the best pitchers of all time as well. :)

That's right. Read this to confirm what you said: From 1915-17, Ruth won 65 games, the most by any left-handed pitcher in the majors during that time.

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Yogi Berra... one of the least celebrated Yankee legends. You he lots of talks about his Yogisms, but he really did work hard with his baseball. Yogi played until he couldnt, he really loved the game.

Oddball maybe, but definately a player to look up to.

yogi_berra_babe_ruth_plaque_large_large.

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Paul O'Neill.

I'll post more. This was my fav. Yankee player to this very day. Nobody was as intense as O'Neill was and nobody will ever be as intense as O'Neill used to be.

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From what I saw of him, I liked Paul O'Neill. I remember him blowing up at the first base umpire during the 2000 World Series (I think it's game 5, got it on videotape) for getting a call wrong. Joe had to damn near pull him back to the dugout, then he went out for a nice calm discussion with the ump. :lol:

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Pete Reiser, one of my all time favorites because of the way he played the game.

 

The Brooklyn Natural.jpg

 

Who stole home seven times in one season in the 1940s? If you answered Jackie Robinson, it would be a good guess, but wrong. Pete Reiser was the guy, and he exemplified what good baseball is all about. He could turn an out into a single with blazing speed. In his day he was the fastest from home to first. He was only .4 seconds off of world record time for the 100 yard dash, though he did not train as a track star. In 1946 he stole home, a National League record seven times. A bad call in Chicago on an attempt against Johnny Schmitz eliminated an eighth steal of home, which would have tied him with Ty Cobb for the all time Major League record. Rod Carew had seven steals in the American League in 1969 equalling Reiser for second in the Majors.

 

In 1941, Reiser won the NL batting title with a .343 batting average in his first full season in the majors. Playing in 137 games, he was the youngest batting champion of all time at age 22. He led the league in runs with 117, doubles -39, triples-17, a slugging percent of .558 with only 14 home runs, total bases-299, and hit by pitches - 11. No one remembers Reiser that year because a guy name "Ted" hit .406 in the American League, while another guy named "Joe" was hitting in 56 consecutive games. In 1941 Reiser was beaned twice, but it didn't slow him down, yet.

 

In 1942 he would be hitting around .400 in July before his first fateful meeting with an outfield wall. In an extra inning game against the Cardinals, Enos Slaughter drove one over his head in center field. Reiser sprinted for the ball as he approached the wall. He narrowly missed the flagpole, gloved the ball and then collided with the center field wall. The ball was knocked out of his glove, he retrieved it, threw it in and then collapsed unconscious ─ another severe concussion and fractured skull. Two days later Reiser is on the bench with no intention of playing. The game goes into the fourteenth inning with the winning run on second. Leo Durocher asked Reiser if he could hit. Naturally, Reiser agrees to hit, gets the winning hit, rounds first base and collapses unconscious and is out for the year. The Dodgers blow their lead for the pennant to the Cardinals.

 

 

 

 

In 1947, in Ebbets Field, Reiser chased a fly that he thought would be an easy out. The only problem was that he had forgotten that Branch Rickey had moved the fences in about 40 feet. Reiser woke up in the hospital and was paralyzed for 10 days. He recovered in time to have a collision with Clyde King during batting practice. A blood clot formed and he was told to never play again. He was back in the lineup and played the last couple months of the year, but his performance suffered due to poor vision and his career declined severely from that point.

 

Today we praise ballplayers when we see them hustle, "Good hustle". Any ballplayer who played 50 or more years ago would consider that an insult. Today, all too often you see a player trot to first base and then turn on the jets when on outfielder misplays the ball. Nice way to turn a triple into a sure double. While Pete Rose had lots of problems, he consistently performed at 100%, often when he didn't need to, but always when it was needed. Pete Rose played baseball like a football player with an adrenaline rush. Pete Reiser played baseball with the speed of a cheetah, the grace of a gazelle and the fragility of both. When asked if his career would have lasted longer if he didn't play with reckless abandon, he replied that he would never have made it to the majors if he didn't play continually at that level of intensity.

 

Reiser spent 1943 through 1945 in the military, during which time he first encountered Jackie Robinson at Fort Riley, Kansas. He later became one of Robinson's biggest supporters. Reiser returned to the Dodgers in 1946, and won another stolen-base title. His seven steals of home set a ML record. In 1947, he was hurt so severely after hitting the centerfield wall at Ebbets Field that he was given last rites. Although Reiser's mishaps are credited with prompting the padding of outfield walls and the universal use of warning tracks, the move came too late to preserve what many felt was the greatest talent Brooklyn had ever seen. Reiser played in only 64 games in 1948 and was traded to the Braves. He later coached for the Dodgers, Cubs, and Angels.

 

Pete Reiser.jpg

 

 

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Sam Crawford. This guy's in the Hall of Fame, but because he played at the turn of the last century, his achievements have been almost forgotten over time. You may find this hard to believe, but for his entire career, he had 312 triples. That, of course is the All Time total.

 

Sam Crawford.jpeg

 

About Crawford:

 

Sam Crawford was one of the top all-around players from the dead ball era. Combining a powerful stroke and blazing speed, it was with the triple that "Wahoo Sam" would make his mark as he set the major league record with 312, leading the league six times. Over his 19-year major league career he captured 363 steals. Crawford, who teamed with Ty Cobb to lead the Tigers to three straight American League pennants (1907 to 1909), finished his career with 2,964 hits and a batting average of .309.

Did you know ... that Sam Crawford holds the single-season record for most inside-the-park home runs, with 12 in 1901?

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James "Cool Papa" Bell. Quick now, name some famous stolen base leaders of baseball? Ty Cobb, Rickey Henderson, Lou Brock, etc, etc. All very good. But no one held a candle to this guy. Cool Papa was beyond fast. He was a bullet.

 

Cool Papa Bell.jpg

 

Some info on Cool Papa:

 

A talented center fielder with blazing speed, James "Cool Papa" Bell was arguably the fastest man to ever play professional baseball. He began his career as a knuckleball pitcher and earned his famous nickname as a rookie by striking out Oscar Charleston with the game on the line. He later became a leadoff hitter and stolen base artist for three Negro leagues dynasties: the St. Louis Stars of the late 1920s, the Pittsburgh Crawfords of the 1930s and the Homestead Grays of the mid-1940s.

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William "Dummy" Hoy. Mostly everyone has never heard of this guy, because he played during the late 1880's. But because he was deaf, he was responsible for the hand signals that umpires use to let everyone know if the pitch was a ball or strike, or if the player was safe or out. In a sense, we've been aware of Hoy's contribution to the game all this time without knowing it.

 

hoy1.jpg

About Hoy:

Every baseball fan is familiar with the hand signals that umpires use for ball, strike, safe, out, etc. Few however realize that these signs came about because of William "Dummy" Hoy. Hoy, a deaf-mute who played in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries also happens to be one of the finest all-around players not in the Hall of Fame.

 

William Ellsworth Hoy was born on May 23, 1862 in Cincinnati, OH. At the age of 2, he was stricken with spinal meningitis, which left him almost completely deaf. As a result, his speaking skills never fully developed.

 

Despite the handicap, Hoy was both bright and athletic. He decided to pursue a career in baseball after getting four hits against a professional pitcher while playing with his hometown amateur team.

 

It soon became apparent that Hoy was a natural in the field. His strong arm and speed allowed him to play a shallow centerfield. At the plate however, it was a different story. Pitchers realized they could quick-pitch Hoy when he glanced back at the umpire to see whether the previous pitch was a ball or strike. As a result, he hit just .219 in 1885.

 

Before the 1886 season Hoy worked out a system in which the third base coach would signal to him what the previous pitch had been. Hoy gained his revenge on the pitchers that season by tearing up the league with a .367 average.

 

Soon the umpires saw the value in hand signals. They would not only let the other players on the field know what was going on, but also the fans. Soon an early form of the signs that are used today were used in parks all around the country.

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Ferris Fain...

 

Ferris Fain.jpg

 

2 time A.L. batting champion (1951 and 1952) and 2 times convicted for marijuana exploits - at 65 and 68 years of age! 25 pounds in 1985 which he claimed he used for medical reasons. Also a gold glove first baseman who rarely struck out and regularly walked 100 plus times a season. Teamate of good old Eddie Joost on the Philadelphia Athletics.

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the old 'cool papa bell' story by his team mate was that he was so fast

that as he turned off the light switch in his bedroom he was

in bed before the lights were off! :)

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the old 'cool papa bell' story by his team mate was that he was so fast

that as he turned off the light switch in his bedroom he was

in bed before the lights were off! :)

I've heard that many times! It's highly doubtful, but I wonder if any film footage of Bell exists somewhere? I'd love to have seen him in his playing days.

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Ty Cobb

 

Ty Cobb.jpg

 

In 24 seasons, most with the Detroit Tigers, Ty Cobb compiled a .366 batting average, the highest in the history of the game. He was the leader in runs scored for more than 70 years and in hits for nearly 60 years. In 1936, Cobb became the first man inducted into the Hall of Fame, earning 222 out of a possible 226 votes, more than Babe Ruth, Nap Lajoie, Walter Johnson, or Honus Wagner. Cobb blazed and battled a path through baseball, retiring with more records than any other player. He was raised by a demanding father who named his son after the Lebanon city of Tyre, which showed tremendous courage in repelling the armies of Alexander the Great.

 

Nicknames

"The Georgia Peach" or just "Peach"

 

Played For

 

Detroit Tigers (1905-1926), Philadelphia A's (1927-1928)

Managed

 

Detroit Tigers (1921-1926)

Post-Season

 

1907 World Series, 1908 World Series, 1909 World Series

World Champion?

 

No

Ultimate Games (1-1)

 

1908 Regular Season, 1909 World Series Game Seven

 

Honors

 

1911 American League Most Valuable Player

 

Feats

 

Six times in his career, Cobb reached base and proceeded to steal second, third and home. The first time he did it was in 1907, the final time was in 1924... On May 5, 1925, Cobb blasted three homers, a double and two singles in one game, for a then-record 16 total bases. The next day he hit two more homers.

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Fred Merkle. Merkle made a name for himself during the heated pennant race of 1908 between the Cubs and his New York Giants. His base-running miscue in the 9th inning against the Cubs cost the Giants the game. For the rest of his life, this play would be known as "Merkle's boner", and he would be called "Bonehead Merkle". Merkle played for the fiery John Mcgraw on the Giants. If any of you guys seen college basketball coach Bobby Knight in action on the floor, this is what Mcgraw was like, but even worse, if you can imagine. McGraw never once blamed Merkle for this play. In fact, Mcgraw respected Merkle so much because of what kind of player he was, Merkle was the only player McGraw would go to for advice on the game.

 

Fred Merkle.jpg

 

The story:

At the bottom of the ninth in a 1-1 tie, with runners on first and third, it seemed the Giants would defeat the Cubs when Al Bridwell hit an apparent single to center. However, when Merkle (on first) saw Moose McCormick touch home plate with the "winning" run, he left the basepath before touching second base and headed for the clubhouse in center field at the Polo Grounds.

 

Chicago second baseman Johnny Evers called for the center fielder to throw him the ball so he could get a forceout at second on Merkle. The ball was thrown in, and in the tussle, pitcher "Iron Man" McGinnity, who had been coaching at third base, wound up with it and threw it into the stands. Somehow, though, a ball appeared in Evers' hand and he touched second base. Umpire Hank O'Day called Merkle out and, with the Giants already having left the field and the fans swarming it, called the game a 1-1 tie.

 

Later, National League president Harry Pulliam upheld O'Day's decision. The game was replayed after the regular schedule was finished, with the teams tied for first place. The Cubs won the replay to capture the pennant and went on to win the World Series. Ninety-five years later, they haven't won another Series.

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whatever happened to albert belle, and david justice

Look them both up. Do some research. Post your findings in here. It should be easy to find photos of those two.

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Mr. Jose Canseco.

Jose Canseco.jpg

 

Sports columnist Peter Gammons once called Canseco one of the three greatest wastes of talent from 1980 to 2000, lumping him with 1986 Met burnouts Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry. As strange as it sounds for a player who averaged around 30 homers a year, Gammons may be right. Canseco was a baseball giant in size, potential, and gossip, and became the first member of the 40-40 club when he was a mere 23 years old, winning the MVP award that year in a landslide. But arrogance and injuries, some inadvertently caused by the bulging muscles that gave him such exceptional power, ended up wreaking havoc with his career.

 

Canseco's image was gobbled up by tabloids. He initially seemed like the progeny of Babe Ruth for his prodigious power and intense off-field life, but that's where the similarities ended. Canseco was no golden boy of the press, and his questionable attitude and run-ins with the law left him vilified by many fans. But at his peak, few people -- save perhaps his Bash Brother teammate Mark McGwire -- could match his formidable presence and tremendous swing at the plate.

 

Born in Havana, Cuba, Canseco was selected by the Oakland Athletics out of his Miami high school, and showed extraordinary power in the minor leagues. He was promoted to the majors in 1985, and began his big-league career by striking out in 12 of his first 24 at-bats and 31 times in 96 at-bats. But despite a staggering club-record 175 strikeouts in 1986, his 33 home runs and 117 ribbies earned him the Rookie of the Year award in a close decision over Wally Joyner.

 

With great bat speed and power to all fields, Canseco became the first Athletic with back-to-back 100-RBI seasons and became the team's second player with three straight 30-homer seasons. Two years of intense weight training improved his power, but he also improved greatly on defense and showed a strong arm, prompting manager Tony LaRussa to move him from left to right field.

Canseco took home the AL MVP Award in 1988, helping power the A's to the World Series with his .307 average, 42 homers, and 124 RBIs. Supporting Canseco offensively was Mark McGwire, who also won the Rookie of the Year Award a year before when he slugged a rookie-record 49 home runs. Canseco and McGwire became known as the Bash Brothers, and though their career and popularity paths would ultimately take different turns, they would forever be linked in Oakland.

 

Canseco's three homers in the League Championship Series matched George Brett's American League record, and his monstrous dead-center home run in Game Four dented a TV camera over 400 feet from the plate. In Game One of the World Series, he hit his first major-league grand slam, the 16th in Series history and just the second ever by a player in his first game (Dan Gladden had done it in 1987). It would turn out to be his only hit in the Series, as the overachieving Los Angeles Dodgers stunned the favored A's.

 

On the tails of his MVP season, Canseco began a downward spiral into self-adulation. He missed the first half of 1989 with a broken bone in his hand but stayed in the news with a string of speeding tickets that started before the season, including one for which he was clocked at 125 mph in a Jaguar. The outfielder was also gisven a citation for carrying a loaded handgun in a car, prompting a well-documented feud between him and the California Police Chiefs Association.

 

Evidence of his initial popularity with fans, Canseco was elected to start in the Midsummer Classic that season despite not playing a single game in the first half. When he came back to the game in July 1989, a publicist hatched a scheme for Jose to open his own hotline -- 1-900-234-JOSE -- which he did to brief success and the ire of his teammates and manager. Despite the side projects, Canseco totaled 17 second-half homers, and helped the A's sweep the San Francisco Giants in the World Series by batting .357 with a home run.

 

Canseco's bad publicity continued the following year. The outfielder's cockiness was in full effect, no doubt catalyzed on June 27, 1990, when he signed the most lucrative contract in baseball to that date, a five-year, $23.5 million deal. His love for fast cars already well-noted from the many speeding tickets the year before, Canseco began driving a Lamborghini whose plates succinctly said "40-40." Still the slugger continued his pace, bashing 37 homers and driving in 101 runs.

 

In February 1991, having just bought some new aviation fuel for his Porsche, Canseco was nailed in Miami for going 104 MPH. When the officer informed him of his speed, he sardonically replied, "oh, you're so generous." Three months later, Canseco was photographed leaving the New York Upper West Side house of the infamous Madonna, prompting new fodder for tabloids. Tensions mounted at Yankee Stadium when Canseco and a fan almost came to blows over a fan's heckling of Jose and the Material Girl. By mid-May, the outfielder was carrying around a sign that warned reporters he would only talk to journalists that he knew. Yet even these distractions didn't do in Canseco, who hit 44 home runs and drove in 122 RBIs.

 

In August 1992 Canseco was in the middle of a subpar (by his standards) year; with just 22 homers, he seemed apathetic on the field and in the clubhouse. During many of his at-bats, deafening boos filled the Oakland Coliseum. In the midst of a playoff run, the A's traded Canseco to the Texas Rangers for slugger Ruben Sierra, pitcher Bobby Witt, closer Jeff Russell, and cash. Though modestly stunned, Canseco didn't lose a whit of bravado when a reporter asked him where he'd been traded: "To Ethiopia," the slugger replied. "For a box of Froot Loops and a camel to be named later."

 

Canseco suffered his two most embarrassing on-field moments with in Texas. On May 23, 1993, he leapt into the air at the wall to snag a fly ball from Cleveland Indians' Carlos Martinez, but as he did so, the ball ricocheted off his head over the wall for a home run. Three days later, Canseco convinced manager Kevin Kennedy to let him pitch the eighth inning of a blowout to the Red Sox. He did retire the side, despite allowing three earned runs on three walks and a pair of singles, but a month later felt the repercussions. His bulky, muscle-bound body wasn't used to the pitching motions, and Canseco had to undergo ligament surgery in his right elbow, ending his season prematurely.

 

His once-mighty outfield arm severely weakened by the surgery, Canseco came back the following year as a full-time designated hitter. But though he knocked 31 round trippers and tallied 90 RBIs, the Rangers were iffy on his DH-only status, and traded him in the offseason to the Boston Red Sox for speedy leadoff hitter Otis Nixon and third baseman Luis Ortiz.

 

Falling victim to recurrent injuries in Boston, Canseco became as much of a risk as he was an offensive threat. He was on the disabled list for more than a month in 1995 with a sore groin, rib cage, and elbow. The following year, an awkward swing twisted his muscle-stacked torso, and he fell to the disabled list with a back injury in the summer. But even while playing in just 96 games, the big slugger hit 28 home runs, more than anybody else on the team except for Mo Vaughn.

 

In January 1997, Canseco was traded back to Oakland for pitcher John Wasdin and cash, but his reunion with his Bash Brother was short-lived. On July 31, 1997, McGwire was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals, and the following day Canseco hit the disabled list with yet another back injury that would keep him sidelined for the rest of the season.

 

The following season the slugger signed a deal with the Toronto Blue Jays and resurrected his power stroke, if not his batting average. As the DH in Toronto, Canseco played over 150 games for the first time since 1991, and hit 46 homers with 107 RBIs, though he batted just .237 and had a measly on-base percentage of .318.

 

By now, Canseco had drifted away from the tabloid spotlight. He had settled down in a "normal" marriage with a former Hooters waitress and fitness champ and had a young daughter. But even his new serene life combined with a monster 1998 season couldn't get him signed to a multi-year deal, as teams winced at the possibility of the injury-prone Canseco wasting away on the bench. Finally, Jose signed with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, a power-hungry team that finished last in the league in home runs the year before. With the D-Rays, the designated hitter totaled 34 homers even while losing a month to the disabled list with another back injury.

 

Halfway through 2000, after another trip to the DL and just nine longballs under his belt, Canseco was put on waivers, and surprisingly picked up by the New York Yankees, who were en route to their fourth World Series in five years. It didn't take manager Joe Torre's surprised reaction to make it clear that the move was made solely to keep other American League teams from picking up the slugger. Canseco was limited to a platoon DH role, one that he despised, and though he received a warm reception at his former battleground, he was on the Anaheim Angels the following spring.

 

Canseco's tenure with the Halos didn't last long, as he was dropped just halfway through spring training. Incredulous at the decision and still confident he could play with a major-league team, he went to play with his twin brother Ozzie Canseco (who had previously toiled in the Yankees and A's systems) for the Independent League Newark Bears. In June 2001, Canseco was finally signed by a major league team, the Chicago White Sox. Calling his time in Newark "a nightmare," the DH was back hitting homers, trying to reach the 500-mark that once seemed easily within his reach, but got further away with each stint on the disabled list.

 

A quite heads up for anyone struggling to find biographical information, you could just search Google, or look the player up on http://www.BaseballLibrary.com. :)

And some extra info:

 

Jose Canseco pitched for Texas in 1993, throwing 1 inning, surrendering 2 hits, 3 runs, 3 walks and ending his pitching career with an ERA of 27.00. Great information! :lol:

 

 

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Napoleon Lajoie. This guy was the first power hitting second baseman that baseball had. A great glove and a powerful bat defined Lajoie. This guy was so popular, the Cleveland Indians for awhile were renamed the "Naps" in honor of him.

 

Nap Lajoie.jpg

 

Second baseman Napoleon "Larry" Lajoie combined grace in the field with power at the bat. Renowned for hitting the ball hard, Lajoie topped .300 in 16 of his 21 big league seasons, ten times batting over .350 for a lifetime average of 339. In 1901, making the jump from the Phillies to the Athletics of the new American League, Lajoie dominated the junior circuit. He captured the Triple Crown, led league second basemen in fielding average and batted .422 - an American League mark that has yet to be topped..

 

Fast fact:

Did you know ... that on May 23, 1901, Nap Lajoie became the first big league player to be intentionally walked with the bases loaded?

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Harry "The Cat" Brecheen. A very good lefthanded pitcher for the Cardinals and later the Browns. He got his nickname because of his quick cat like reflexes out on the mound. Brecheen won three games in the 1946 World Series for the Cardinals against Boston.

 

Harry Brecheen.jpg

 

About Brecheen:

Brecheen was a two-time All-Star during his 12 year-career, earning the nickname "The Cat" for his fielding. He had a 133-92 record with a 2.92 ERA in 11 seasons with the Cardinals and one with the St. Louis Browns.

 

He had a career record of 4-1 in the World Series. In 1946, he beat the Ted Williams-led Boston Red Sox three times -- including victories in Games 6 and 7 -- to help the Cardinals win the championship in seven games. He pitched complete games in Games 2 and 6, and came on to win in relief in Game 7.

 

Brecheen is one of only 11 pitchers to win three games in a World Series since 1905. Smokey Joe Wood won three games in the 1912 World Series, which went eight games.

 

Brecheen also pitched in the 1943 and the 1944 World Series for the Cardinals.

 

Brecheen's best season came in 1948 when he went 20-7 and led the National League with a 2.24 ERA, 149 strikeouts and seven shutouts. He finished second in the league with 21 complete games. He also led the league with five shutouts in 1946.

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Don Drysdale

 

Don Drysdale.jpg

 

T:R B:R

H:6-5

W:190

Born: 07/23/36, Van Nuys, CA

 

Died: 07/03/93 Montreal, Quebec, Canada

 

Hall of Fame: Elected, 1984

 

Joining the Dodgers in 1956 at the young age of 20, the righthanded Drysdale quickly became an important component in one of the most feared rotations in baseball. In 1962, Drysdale won the Cy Young award with a 25-9 record, 2.84 ERA, 232 SO, and 19 CG. He finished is shortened career (retired at age 33, rotator cuff tear) with 209 wins, 2.95 career ERA, nearly 2,500 SO, 2.9/1 K/BB ratio, and an amazing 167 CG.

 

To put his durability into perspective, he had 169 CG over 14 seasons. Roger Clemens has only 117 CG over his 21 seasons.

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Al Simmons, Spud Chandler, Babe Ruth, Harry Heilmann, Yogi Berra, Johnny Damon.

See the problem? :lol:

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SANDY KOUFAX

Sandy Koufax.jpg

 

Sandford Koufax

 

Born: December 30, 1935, Brooklyn, NY

 

Batted: Right

 

Threw: Left

 

Played For: Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers

 

Elected Into HOF by BBWAA: 1972

344 votes of 396 ballots cast: 86.87%

 

After Sandy Koufax tamed his blazing fastball, he enjoyed a five year stretch as perhaps the most dominating pitcher in the game's history. He won 25 games three times, won five straight ERA titles, and set a new standard with 382 strikeouts in 1965. His fastball and devistating curve enabled him to pitch no-hitters in four consecutive seasons, cumulating with a perfect game in 1965. He posted a 0.95 ERA in four career World Series, helping the Dodgers to three championships.

 

Did You Know: Sandy Koufax attended the University of Cincinatti on a basketball scholarship, playing freshman basketball (and baseball) under legendary hoops coach Ed Jucker?

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Gary Carter

 

Gary Carter.jpg

 

Born: April 8, 1954, Culver City, California

 

Batted: Right

 

Threw: Right

 

Played For: Montreal Expos, New York Mets, San Fransisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers

 

Elected to HOF by BBWAA: 2003

387 votes of 496 ballots cast: 78.02%

 

A rugged reciever and enthusastic on-field general, Gary Carter excelled at baseballs most demanding posistions, as both an offensive and defensive force. A three time Gold Glove winner, Carter belted 324 homeruns in his 19-season major league career. "Kid" who was a two time All-Star game MVP, an 11 time All-Star, still holds the all-time catching record with 12,988 chances accepted. His clutch single in the 10th inning of the 1986 World Series sparked the New York Mets to a dramatic comeback victory and ultimetly a World Series title.

 

Did You Know: Gary Carter was the seven year old National Champion of the "Punt, Pass and Kick" contest in 1961, the first year the youth football league was even staged?

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Bob Fothergill. I'm not sure if there are any Tiger fans in here, but this guy was someone that they may have heard about. For his entire twelve year career in the American League, his biggest struggle was with his weight and not the American League pitchers. His 12 year average was .325.

 

Bob Fothergill.jpg

 

Bob Fothergill

 

Fothergill was an outstanding line-drive hitter more famous for his girth than his hits. Charitably listed at 230, the 5'10" outfielder was sensitive about his size and preferred Bob or Roy (his middle name) to Fat. The stories were told in every dugout: Leo Durocher once complained it was illegal to have two men in the batter's box; during a crash fasting program, Fothergill supposedly bit an umpire after a called third strike; there were several accounts of his shattering outfield fences in pursuit of fly balls. But he could hit. In 1927, his top year, he batted .359 with 114 RBI for the Tigers. Eventually relegated to pinch hitting, he led the AL with 19 in 1929. Of those with more than 200 pinch-hit at-bats, only Fothergill has posted a .300 career average.

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:lol: ok ok i admit it....i took it from the hall of fame page... :D.......im master of the historic players!!!

Wait a second, NYM. It doesn't matter where you got the information from. I've been going all over the place on the net getting my information on the players I've posted about. Some at the Hall of fame site, some from newspapers, etc. It doesn't matter where you get it from. You did the legwork for the entire site to fill them in on who Gary Carter and Sandy Koufax is. If anyone wants to learn more about them, they can do their own search. Thank you for your contributions NYM91.

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Browning.Bio.04.gif

Pete Browning

"The Gladiator"

An illiterate deaf alcoholic, Browning's .341 is the 13th highest career batting average in Major League history. This was the man after whom the 'Louisville Slugger' was named. There are many great stories about his hitting prowess and his bumbling defense. One time, his manager told him to room with a certain player. Browning proclaimed "I will not room with a man who has a.250 batting average!" The other played quickly retorted, "I will not room with a man who has a .250 fielding average!" His .880 FA is awful, but it, in part with his great hitting, made him a legend during his heyday.

He won 3 batting titles, including going .402 in 1884.

This guy should be in the Hall but with the current disregard for the history of the game, probably never will be.

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Lou Brock

Lou Brock.jpg

 

Born: June 18, 1939, El Dorado, Arkansas

 

Batted: Left

Threw: Left

 

Played For: Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals

 

Elected to HOF by BBWAA: 1985

315 votes of 395 ballots cast: 79.75%

 

Other athletes may have worn the title "World's Fastest Human," but no one covered the 90 feet between bases more productively than Lou Brock. His 938 stolen bases set an all-time high (since surpassed by Ricky Henderson), making him an intimidating presence on the basepaths; yet Brock was also a well-rounded performer. One of a select group to collect 3,000 hits, Brock hit 149 roundtrippers, including a 500 foot blast that landed in the Polo Ground's center field bleachers in 1962.

 

Did You Know: In 1967, Lou Brock became the first player to steal 50 bases and hit 20 homeruns in the same season?

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Charlie Gehringer

 

Detroit Tiger second baseman. Gehringer was the heart and soul of the Tigers in the 1930's leading them to two pennants and one World Championship.

 

Charlie Gehringer.jpg

 

The best second baseman in baseball during the 1930s, Charlie Gehringer led his league in assists seven times, and nine times in fielding average. At the plate he topped .300 13 times and won the 1937 Most Valuable Player Award when he paced the American League with a .371 average. He was no punch and judy hitter either - seven times he drove in 100 runs. He was so automatic that he was dubbed the "Mechanical Man." With Hank Greenberg and Goose Goslin, Gehringer formed the vaunted Detroit "G-Men" attack of the 1930s. With Gehringer, the Tigers won three pennants in seven years and their first World Series title in 1935. In that World Series, Gehringer scored the winning run.

 

Nicknames

"The Mechanical Man," which was stuck on him by Yankee pitcher Lefty Gomez, who said Gehringer was automatic. "You can wind him up in the spring and he'll hit .320 with 40 doubles," Gomez said.

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Tommy Henrich

 

An Ohio native of German descent, Henrich was a key player on the great Yankee teams of the 1940s. Mel Allen, the Yankee broadcaster, gave him the nickname "Old Reliable" for his ability to come through in clutch situations. The outfield he played in for the Yankees in the late 40s (Henrich, Joe DiMaggio, and Charlie Keller) is considered one of the great outfields of all time.

 

Tommy Henrich.jpg

 

Along with Joe DiMaggio and Charlie Keller, Henrich formed one of baseball's most acclaimed outfields for the Yankees before and after WWII. Commissioner Landis ruled Henrich a free agent in April 1937 after he had been illegally hidden in the Indians' farm system, and he signed with the Yankees, hitting .320 as a part-timer. He helped the team to six pennants, and although he played in only four WS because of injury and military service, he was a key figure in two of the most famous Series games. In 1941, he was the man whose third strike skipped past Mickey Owen, leading to a legendary Yankee rally. In 1949 he homered off Don Newcombe in the ninth inning of the first game to give Allie Reynolds a 1-0 victory.

 

An excellent fielder, Henrich lived up to his "Old Reliable" nickname with his bat, hitting 22 homers in 1938 and 31 in 1941. After the war, he had his greatest season statistically in 1948, leading the AL in triples and runs scored, and batting .308 with 25 homers and 100 RBI. But he was probably more valuable in 1949, when his consistent clutch hitting helped keep the injury-racked Yankees in the pennant race. In 115 games, he hit 24 homers, batted in 85, and scored 90. He finished sixth in the MVP voting.

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Rollie Fingers

 

Rollie Fingers.jpg

 

Born: August 25, 1946

 

Height: 6'4"

Weight: 195 Lbs.

 

Bats/Throws: Right/Right

 

Played for: Oakland A's, San Diego Padres, Milwaukee Brewers

 

Position: CP/SP

 

First Game: September 15, 1968

Last Game: September 17, 1985

 

Elected to HOF: 1992 (81% of votes)

 

Notable Achivements: 341 Saves, 1299 Strikeouts, 7 Time All-Stars, 6 World Series Saves

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Deion Sanders

 

Deion Sanders.jpg

 

Many people don't know that Deion Sanders was drafted by the Yankees in the 30th round of the amateur draft.

 

Deion Sanders was born on Wednesday, August 9, 1967, and began his Major League baseball career on May 31, 1989, with the New York Yankees. The 22 year-old played for 9 seasons on 4 different teams and ended his big league playing career in 2001.

 

2-time All-America at Florida St. in football (1987-88); 7-time NFL All-Pro CB with Atlanta, San Francisco and Dallas (1991-94,96-98); led major leagues in triples (14) with Atlanta in 1992 and hit .533 in World Series the same year; played on 2 Super Bowl winners (SF in XXIX, and Dallas in XXX); first 2-way starter in NFL since Chuck Bednarik in 1962; only athlete to play in both World Series and Super Bowl.

 

2-time All-America at Florida St. in football (1987-88); 7-time NFL All-Pro CB with Atlanta, San Francisco and Dallas (1991-94,96-98); led majors in triples (14) with Atlanta in 1992 and hit .533 in World Series the same year; played on 2 Super Bowl winners (SF in XXIX, and Dallas in XXX); first 2-way starter in NFL since Chuck Bednarik in 1962; only athlete to play in both World Series and Super Bowl.

 

2-time All-American at Florida St. in football (1987-88); 7-time NFL All-Pro CB with Atlanta, San Francisco and Dallas (1991-94,96-98); led majors in triples (14) with Atlanta in 1992 and hit .533 in World Series the same year; played on 2 Super Bowl winners (SF in XXIX, and Dallas in XXX); first 2-way starter in NFL since Chuck Bednarik in 1962; only athlete to play in both World Series and Super Bowl.

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Dizzy Dean

 

Dizzy Dean.jpg

 

 

The Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals are arguably the fiercest rivals in the history of baseball, if not the history of sport. Jay Hanna "Dizzy" Dean is one of the few baseball players that experienced both sides of that rivalry. As the anchor for the Cardinals pitching staff, Dean earned four consecutive strikeout titles, led the National League in complete games for four consecutive seasons, and won two games in the 1934 World Series. The Cardinals championship in 1934 was kept in the family as Paul "Daffy" Dean, Dizzy's younger brother, won the other two games of the World Series. Dizzy's career in Chicago lacked the brilliance he conveyed in St. Louis, due in part to an injury suffered in the 1937 All-Star game. His toe was broken by a line drive off the bat of Earl Averill. Dean altered his pitching motion to compensate for the broken toe, injuring his throwing arm in the process. Dean last played in 1947, pitching a four inning shutout for the St. Louis Browns. The three-time 20-game winner was elected to baseball's Hall of Fame in 1953.

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Tommy John

 

Tommy John.jpg

 

The famous Tommy John Surgery was named after this man.

 

A sinkerballer with impeccable control, John's major league career spanned 26 seasons and seven U.S. presidents, both ML records. In mid-career, he made history by becoming the game's first "right-handed southpaw" when he had a tendon transplanted from his right forearm to his left elbow to remedy a tear that threatened to drive him from baseball.

 

After breaking in with the Indians, John became an effective starter for the mediocre White Sox from 1965 to 1971, leading the AL in shutouts in 1966 and 1967. He was traded to the Dodgers for Dick Allen before the 1972 season, and in 1973 he led the NL in winning percentage with a 16-9 record. John seemed to be embarking on his best season in 1974, posting a 13-3 mark before injuring his pitching elbow in July.

 

Dr. Frank Jobe performed the revolutionary surgery that saved John's career, and it was amazingly successful. The soft-throwing John joked that he told Jobe to "put in a Koufax fastball. He did, but it was Mrs. Koufax's." He underwent rehabilitation for a year and a half, missing the entire 1975 season, and his 10-10 record in 1976 earned him the Comeback Player of the Year Award. He then won 20 games in three of the next four seasons. John was 20-7 for the Dodgers in 1977 and 17-10 in '78, helping them to the World Series each year. But the Dodgers lost to the Yankees both times. John then signed with the Yankees as a free agent before the 1979 season and won 21 and 22 games in his first two seasons in New York.

 

John was traded to the Angels for Dennis Rasmussen late in the 1982 season and was released in 1985 at the age of forty-two, but after a brief stint with Oakland he returned to the Yankees in 1986 and led the club in innings pitched as a 44-year-old in 1987. He often explained his unusual durability by pointing out that his pitching arm was much younger than his chronological age.

 

John's excellent sinker induced numerous ground balls and double plays throughout his career, and he was usually a fine fielder himself, setting club records with errorless seasons for both the Dodgers and White Sox. On July 27, 1988, however, John tied a ML record by committing three errors on one play. In the fourth inning against the Brewers, John muffed a ground ball for one error and threw wildly past first base for a second. Then, inexplicably, he intercepted the throw home from right field and threw wildly past the catcher.

 

He was released by the Yankees early in the 1989 season.

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David Cone

 

David Cone.jpg

 

A right-handed pitcher, Cone joined the AL's Kansas City Royals briefly in 1986 and was then traded to the New York Mets. After going 5-6 in 1987, he had a brilliant 1988 season, leading the NL with an .870 winning percentage on a 20-3 record.

 

Cone won 14 games each of the next three seasons and led the league in strikeouts with 233 in 1990 and 241 in 1991. He set an NL record by striking out 19 hitters in a 9-inning game on October 6, 1991.

 

The Mets traded him to the Toronto Blue Jays near the end of the 1992 season and he returned to Kansas City as a free agent in 1993. Expected to be the team's ace, he had a disappointing 11-14 season despite a 3.33 ERA. The Royals scored only 18 runs in his 14 losses. He rebounded with a 16-5 record in the strike-shortened 1994 season.

 

Cone opened the 1995 season with the Blue Jays, but was traded to the Yankees in mid-season. He had a combined 18-8 record. The following year, though, he went on the disabled list for the first time in his career because of an aneurysm in two arteries in his right shoulder.

 

Once again, Cone bounced back. He went 12-6 with a 2.82 ERA for the the Yankees in 1997 and then put together his second 20-victory season as the team won the 1998 American League pennant. Cone won the sixth and deciding game of the AL championship series against the Cleveland Indians. He also pitched well in his one World Series start, but didn't get the decision.

 

After a 12-6 record in 1999, Cone struggled the following season, when he went only 4-14. The Yankees let him go into free agency and he signed with the Boston Red Sox. Though he showed signs of his old mastery, Cone was on the disabled list intermittently during the season.

 

He then retired temporarily to become an announcer for the Yankees. In 2003, he attempted a comeback with the Mets, but gave it up on May 30 after a strained hip was slow responding to treatment.

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Earle Combs

 

Earle Combs.jpg

 

A husky six-footer, the quiet leadoff man of the powerful 1927 Yankees covered Yankee Stadium's spacious center field, leading the league's centerfielders in putouts. Combs's specialty was the three-base hit; he had three in a 1927 game, led the AL in triples three times, and collected 154 in his career.

 

A cool, determined player, Combs was often overshadowed by his superstar teammates, but in nine seasons, he batted well over .300. In 1927 he hit .356, leading the AL with 231 hits (a team record until Don Mattingly broke it in 1986). He had a 29-game hitting streak in 1931.

The Kentucky Colonel's career came to an end in 1934 when, before the advent of warning tracks, he smashed into the wall at Sportsman's Park chasing a fly ball. His skull was fractured and his career virtually ended. After trying a comeback in 1935, and knowing that the Yankees would bring Joe DiMaggio up the next season, he accepted a coaching job. When DiMaggio arrived, Combs instructed him on the nuances of Yankee Stadium's outfield.

 

Combs left the Yankees during WWII. A good teacher, he returned to coach the Browns, Red Sox, and Phillies. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1970 by the Veterans Committee.

 

Did You Know, on April 18, 1929, Earle Combs became the first member of the Yankees to step to the plate wearing a uniform number when he wore #1 on Opening Day against the Boston Red Sox.

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