At the tender young age of 23 years and 296 days old, this first baseman made his major-league debut; the 12, 725th player in the history of the game. That Tuesday afternoon in April, he went 1-for-5 — a seventh inning double off of Mike Moore in his fourth at-bat of the game. He would not score a run, being stranded at third after a bases-loaded hit by pitch drove the runner in front of him home. (He also had a teammate with the last name Moore in that game.)
That year, he finished second in Rookie of the Year voting, eighth in the MVP race, and made his only All-Star appearance. He slashed .290/.348/.457 with an OPS+ of 119 in 154 games. With 22 dingers and 100 RBIs, he is still one of only 20 players in the Integration Era to post 100 or more RBIs in his rookie season. He also had three more sacrifice flies than the guy who beat him for RoY honors.*
After his twenties, he became a solid journeyman first baseman and occasional DH. He played for four different teams, including returning to his initial club for his farewell campaign. That season, he only played in 53 games and with a 72 OPS+, he was almost as valuable as Derek Jeter in his grand finale (Jeets posted a 76 OPS+ in his last season).
For his career, he had essentially identical walk and strikeout rates (10.3% and 10.2% respectively) and a cool, even .300 Batting Average on Balls In Play (BABIP).**
In his final season, he was the sixth oldest player in the American League. Can you identify this player with a nickname that links him to Chevy Chase?
PS – he’s the only player in the history of the major leagues with his last name.
*the infinitely resourceful Baseball Reference
**freakin’ FanGraphs is awesome, guys!