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Mark McLemore
Second baseman / Outfielder
Born: October 4, 1964 (1964-10-04) (age 45)
San Diego, California
Batted: Switch Threw: Right 
MLB debut
September 13, 1986 for the California Angels
Last MLB appearance
October 2, 2004 for the Oakland Athletics
Career statistics
Batting average     .259
Home runs     53
Runs batted in     615
Stolen bases     272
Teams

Mark Tremell McLemore (born October 4, 1964 in San Diego, California) is a former second baseman and utility player in Major League Baseball.

He played for the California Angels 1986-1990, Cleveland Indians 1990, Houston Astros 1991, Baltimore Orioles 1992-1994, Texas Rangers 1995-1999, Seattle Mariners 2000-2003, and Oakland Athletics 2004.

McLemore's primary claim to fame is his nickname "Supersub", which he earned due to his contributions to the 2001-03 Seattle Mariners. The club's regular 2nd baseman during the 2000 season, in 2001 McLemore was replaced by Bret Boone, acquired during the offseason. With McLemore openly bitter about losing his job, Manager Lou Piniella appeased him by using him regularly in a variety of infielder and outfielder positions (mainly LF, 3B and SS, but also 2B, CF, DH and RF), with remarkable results. During the 2001 Mariners' record-tying 116-win season, he racked up 409 at-bats, 117 hits, 69 walks, .286 batting average, .384 OBP and 39 stolen bases—all while playing without a regular position. The presence of a utility player who can substitute at almost any position with minimal drop-off in offensive or defensive performance was a key factor in the Mariners' historic season. His exceptionally impressive statistics for a utility player not only earned him his nickname, but raised interest in the very concept of a "supersub" (everyday utility player).

Mark McLemore's statistics dropped steadily from his 2001 peak until he left the Mariners after 2003 as a free agent. He retired after one season with Oakland (2004). By having played with Oakland in his final year, McLemore became the first major leaguer to have played for all four teams in the American League West since MLB divisions were realigned in 1994 (Gene Nelson also played for all four AL West teams, but his career ended in 1993, prior to the realignment). He is also one of a handful of players to play for both the Rangers and the Astros, Texas' two MLB franchises.

McLemore had a brief stint as a color commentator for baseball games on ESPN, and currently serves as part of the Texas Rangers broadcast team, teaming with Dana Larson on the Rangers pregame show.

Contents

Supersub Revisited

Remembering McLemore's contributions, Seattle managers, reporters and fans have since repeatedly entertained the thought of employing another supersub, with little success. There are two key drawbacks to the tactic which limit the possibility, and illustrate the uniqueness of McLemore's 2001 season. First, the Seattle Mariners play in the American League, where the designated hitter alleviates some of the need for players who can both hit and field. McLemore's value to the Mariners was enhanced because the DH position was filled by Edgar Martínez, a skilled hitter who could not reliably play a defensive position. Second, keeping a supersub requires having more quality players than positions, a luxury the 2001 Mariners enjoyed, but otherwise very few clubs can afford. Without a surplus of quality players, the best players invariably occupy the regular positions as much as possible.

Early Years

McLemore grew up in Southeast San Diego where he went to Samuel F. B. Morse High School with Sam Horn.

Trivia

Although "Supersub" was intended as a compliment by appreciative Seattle media and fans for his versatility, McLemore himself was bitter about losing his regular position and hated being referred to as a utility player, saying, "A utility guy plays once or twice a week. I play every day. I'm an everyday player. It's not a utility role. I just happen to play everywhere. There's a definite difference."

Carrying the American flag on a tall flag staff, McLemore led the Mariners onto Safeco Field for the first Mariners home game after 9/11.

He is an avid collector of bottle caps, pogs, and other rounded miniatures. He was ejected from a game in June 1995 when an umpire discovered he had pressed a vintage Coca Cola bottle cap into the knob of his bat, an illegal modification.

During his five year stint with the Rangers, he was also commonly referred to as the "Doctor of Defense".

See also

External links

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