Who Am I? | July 27, 2011

****Remember, try this without research. Release your inner James Joyce and show us your stream of consciousness as you decipher the answer. Add to that the teachings of Myagi: patience. If you don’t get the answer right away, give your brain a chance to work if for no other reason than to stay in the discussion. You may not have THE answer, but you might prompt another reader by asking the right question.

 

By Chas

There aren’t that many major league players who were born in North Dakota. Only 15, in fact. I’m the all-time leader among players from my home state in runs, hits, doubles, triples, RBI and stolen bases. Only Travis Hafner has hit more home runs, and only he could potentially challenge some of my other marks.

I’m not North Dakota’s favorite son, however. That would be a guy who wasn’t even born in the Peace Garden State, but there’s a museum in his honor in Fargo nevertheless. His family moved there when we he was 10, and since he held a record that was revered for a long time, I’m not surprised they make a bigger deal of him than me.

But, I was a pretty big deal too. I earned varsity letters in three sports other than baseball in high school. One of those sports was track and field, where I won state titles in the 110 and 300-meter hurdles. We didn’t have a baseball team, so I played American Legion ball instead.

I went to college out of state and was a two-sport star there. In fact, I was a member of a national championship team in a sport other than baseball.

It was at the professional level where I earned my baseball glory. I was a member of the first (and only) World Series championship team for the franchise who drafted me (first overall), and who I played most of my career with. I batted .352 in that postseason (25-for-71 in 16 games), with 2 HR, 7 RBI and 14 runs scored, and even recorded the final putout in our Series clinching game.

My career didn’t quite live up to the potential of a first overall pick in the draft. I had my best season at age 26, leading the league in hits, finishing second in batting average and notching over 100 runs and 100 RBI. I never came close to matching those numbers again. However, I am the only player to win a particular award at two entirely different positions in my career.

Who Am I?

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