Justin and I were chatting it up about baseball, talking about some players from the 90s. This is what we do with our pathetic lives. Anyway, I said, "Hey, this would be a cool idea for a weekly blog. Let's just choose a random baseball player from say the 80s or 90s and write about them."
So that's what we're going to do. First up in the series, Juan Samuel....
Years Played: 1983-1998.
Teams Played For: Philadelphia Phillies(83-89), New York Mets(89), Los Angeles Dodgers(90-92), Kansas City Royals(92 & 95), Cincinnati Reds(93), Detroit Tigers(94-95), Toronto Blue Jays(96-98).
Positions: 2B(1190 Games), CF(197 Games), 1B(73 Games), RF(40 Games), LF(34 Games), 3B(14 Games).
Career Line: .259 AVG, 873 R, 1578 H, 161 HR, 703 RBI, 396 SB, .315 OBP, .420 SLG, .735 OPS.
Best Season: 1987- .272 AVG, 28 HR, 100 RBI, 35 SB, .335 OBP, .502 SLG, .837 OPS.
Awards/Leaderboard: 3-Time All-Star(84, 87, 91).
NL Silver Slugger At 2nd Base In 1987.
Led NL In At Bats 3 Times(84-701, 85-663, 87-655).
Led NL In Triples 2 Times(84-19, 87-15).
Led NL In Strikeouts 4 Times(84-168, 85-141, 86-142, 87-162).
Led NL In Extra Base Hits In 1987(80).
Fun Facts: Juan shares the same birthday as me, December 9th. I've been well aware of that since being 6 years old living in Los Angeles while he was a member of the Dodgers.
In 1984, he set the MLB record for most at bats in a season by a right-handed hitter with 704.
Juan was inducted into the Philadelphia Phillies' Wall of Fame in 2008.
He had 102 career triples. No active player has that many.
He was the first player in MLB history to reach double-digits in his first 4 seasons in doubles, triples, home runs, and stolen bases.
His 4 straight years of leading the league in strikeouts are tied for the most consecutive years in doing so with Vince Dimaggio, Hack Wilson, and Reggie Jackson
He finished second in the NL in the Rookie of the Year voting in 1984, behind Dwight Gooden, who had one of the greatest rookie seasons in the history of baseball. However, The Sporting News named Juan their Rookie of the Year.
Some of the sabermetric freaks these days would not be a fan of Samuel's career, as he said, "You don't walk off the island(Dominican Republic), you hit."
He is currently the third base coach for the Baltimore Orioles.
And my favorite, he has a son named Samuel Samuel, but it's pronounced Sam-yull Sam-well.
Update(6/4/10): He's now the manager(on an interim basis at least) of the Baltimore Orioles.