One of only two players ever to appear in the majors with his surname, he also appears in a couple of fun queries in Baseball Reference’s Play Index tool (if you don’t have a subscription and are a huge baseball nerd, consider it thoroughly).
First of all, this taught, muscular outfielder is one of only 23 players in the Integration Era with 300+ home runs and 200+ steals in his career.
NOT-SO-SPOILER ALERT! He’s not Barry Bonds.
Of the 23 players on that list, only Darryl Strawberry and Reggie Sanders have fewer RBIs (1000 and 983 resepctively). This cat barely edges out Strawberry with 1008 career ‘rib-eyes’. It should be noted, however, that he achieved these milestones with the third fewest career plate appearances of players on that list. When he took off his cleats for the last time, he had 321 HRs and 243 SBs.
Seeing as that Sanders missed the 1000 RBI cut, I thought to refine the search. This two-time All-Star made that cut — obviously — and also scored 1000 runs in his career. So, if you add 1000+ RBIs and 1000+ Rs to the search criteria the list narrows to 21 Integration Era players. Strawberry also falls off the list.
His best season, in which he finished fifth in the NL MVP vote, entailed hitting 36 bombs, 117 driven in, 26 thefts, culminating in an .854 OPS.
In the third inning of a World Series Game 2, he was erroneously called out for the final out of that inning. The play isn’t even debatable and the out call was arrived at through surreptitious devices utilized by the first baseman-turned-Judo champ. In fact, the only thing debatable about the call is why the umpire was allowed to receive his pension checks from MLB. He should probably be harassed in a passive aggressive manner via social media. Curiously enough, the umpire who made this deplorable out call was also the first base ump during the Pine Tar Game.
Who is this running back in a baseball uniform?