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Shawn Green

From Academic Kids

Shawn David Green (born November 10, 1972 in Des Plaines, Illinois) is a left-handed power hitter in Major League Baseball. He is noted for his swing and his arm in the outfield. He is also one of the most notable Jewish ball players.

Contents

Early career

Shawn Green was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1st round (16th pick) of the 1991 amateur draft and made his Major League debut on September 28, 1993. He spent most of 1993 and 1994 playing in the minors, where he compiled impressive numbers. For the Syracuse Chiefs in 1994 he hit .344 with 13 HRs and 81 RBIs.

In 1995, his rookie season, Shawn started slowly but picked up the pace later on as he became more comfortable with Major League pitching. He started in 97 games that season, hitting 15 HRs and batting .288. The 1996 and 1997 seasons were very similar in that Shawn faced limited at-bats, wasn't trusted to hit left-handed pitching, and continued to produce only in sporadic intervals. He was, however, developing in other ways. He proved to be more aggressive on the base paths in 1997 than any previous year and stole 14 bases. He was also developing his upper body strength in hopes of alleviating the skinny kid persona which had followed him from the minors.

Best years

In 1998, for the first time, Shawn was granted an every day spot in the line-up -- right-handed pitcher or left -- and he delivered by becoming the first Blue Jay to hit 30 or more home runs and steal 30 or more bases in the same season. The season was beyond what even his fiercest apologists over the previous seasons had predicted. Shawn had never hit more than 18 HRs in a season (Major or minor leagues) but was now showing the signs of becoming a true power hitter. He finished the season batting .278 with 35 HRs, 100 RBIs and 35 SBs.

In 1999, Shawn proved his new-found power swing was no fluke. On April 22 he belt a 449-foot home run into SkyDome's 5th deck, putting him in prestigious company with the likes of Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire and Joe Carter. By the All-Star break he had hit 25 HRs and knocked in 70 RBIs, earning him not only his first All-Star appearance, but also the chance to compete in the Home Run Derby at Fenway Park. Shawn hit two home runs but was eliminated in the first round. He finished the season batting .309 (a career best), with 42 HRs and 123 RBIs.

In the off-season, Shawn expressed his desire to sign with a team closer to his California roots as a free agent after the 2000 season. The Blue Jays, strapped with the rising contract demands of Shawn and slugger teammate Carlos Delgado, decided it was best not to leave the decision of which player to pursue until mid-way through the season. On November 8, 1999, Shawn was traded with Jorge Nunez to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Pedro Borbon and Raul Mondesi.

Shawn was quick to sign an extension with Los Angeles, agreeing to a $84-million/6 year deal that included a $4 million signing bonus. With a lot of pressure riding on his now well-paid shoulders, Shawn struggled in 2000, his first season with Los Angeles, but had a career year in 2001, batting .297 with 49 HRs, 125 RBIs and 20 SBs. His 49 HRs were a Dodgers season record but placed only fourth in the league, behind Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Luis Gonzalez.

Shawn started off slowly in 2002 but quickly turned things around. On May 23, which can aptly be called the turning point of the season, Shawn hit four home runs against the Milwaukee Brewers and had a total of 19 total bases, both Major League records. Shawn went on a tear from there on, finishing with a .285 AVG, 42 HRs, 114 RBIs and 20 SBs.

Accomplishments

  • All-Star (1999, 2002)
  • American League Gold Glove Award (1999)
  • Finished 5th in National League MVP voting (2002)
  • Finished 6th in National League MVP voting (2001)
  • Finished 9th in American League MVP voting (1999)
  • Member of the 30-30 club (1998)
  • Holds Dodgers record for most home runs in a season (2001, 49 HRs)
  • Hit 4 home runs in a game (May 23, 2002)
  • Holds record for total bases in a game (May 23, 2002, with 19 TBs)
  • Hit a home run into the upper deck of SkyDome (April 22, 1999)

Yearly salaries

  • 1993 Toronto Blue Jays $109,000
  • 1994 Toronto Blue Jays $109,000
  • 1995 Toronto Blue Jays $130,000
  • 1996 Toronto Blue Jays $287,500
  • 1997 Toronto Blue Jays $500,000
  • 1998 Toronto Blue Jays $1,475,000
  • 1999 Toronto Blue Jays $3,125,000
  • 2000 Los Angeles Dodgers $9,416,667
  • 2001 Los Angeles Dodgers $12,166,667
  • 2002 Los Angeles Dodgers $13,416,667
  • 2003 Los Angeles Dodgers $15,666,667

Teams

External links

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