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Mike Greenwell
Left fielder
Born: July 18, 1963 (1963-07-18) (age 46)
Louisville, Kentucky
Batted: Left Threw: Right 
MLB debut
September 5, 1985 for the Boston Red Sox
Last MLB appearance
September 28, 1996 for the Boston Red Sox
Career statistics
Batting average     .303
Home runs     130
Runs batted in     726
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Michael Lewis Greenwell (born July 18, 1963 in Louisville, Kentucky) is a former left fielder in Major League Baseball who played his entire career with the Boston Red Sox (1985-1996). He also played for the Hanshin Tigers in Japan (1997). Greenwell was nicknamed "The Gator" during his time in Boston, because he wrestled alligators in the off season. He batted left-handed and threw right-handed.[1] Greenwell was a leading contender for the AL MVP in 1988, but he lost out to José Canseco, who pulled off the first 40 home run, 40 stolen base season in baseball history. Greenwell hit .325 with 22 HR and 119 RBI in 1988, setting career highs in all three categories.

Contents

Baseball career

Throughout his Red Sox career, Greenwell suffered under the weight of lofty expectations for a Boston left fielder, as since 1940 the position had been occupied by Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski and Jim Rice – all MVP winners, regular triple crown candidates, and members of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Although his play rarely reached the level of his predecessors, he provided a solid and reliable presence in the team's lineup for several seasons.

He signed with the Japanese Hanshin Tigers for about 2.5 million dollars in 1997, and his career in the major leagues heightened expectations from Japanese fans, but Greenwell left the team's spring training camp and returned to the United States, claiming that he had an injury, and did not return to Japan until late April. He played his first game on May 3, marking 2 RBIs despite having missed spring training. However, he suddenly announced his retirement only 8 days later, after fracturing his left foot with a foul tip. He left Japan on May 16, and never returned again. His name remains infamous among Japanese baseball fans.

Racing career

Upon his retirement from baseball, Greenwell began driving Late model stock cars. In May 2006 he made his Craftsman Truck Series debut at Mansfield Motorsports Speedway for Green Light Racing, starting 20th and finishing 26th.

Facts

  • On September 2, 1996 in Seattle, Greenwell got all nine RBIs in a Boston 9-8 victory over the Mariners in ten innings. That is the highest single-game RBI total for any player driving in all of his teams' runs.
  • Attended the same high school as Ben Moncada, Gerald Rose, Deion Sanders, Jevon Kearse, and Noel Devine (North Fort Myers High School)
  • Played for the Red Sox for his entire career.
  • Filled in as emergency catcher against the Oakland Athletics July 17, 1987.
  • Greenwell was a frequent first pitch swinger, many say current MLB player Nomar Garciaparra modeled his game after Greenwell, and used Greenwells' approach of swinging at the first pitches to try and improve his game .
  • Greenwell owns his own family fun park in Cape Coral, Florida.
  • Greenwell hit two inside the park grand slams against the same pitcher James H. Smith against two different teams New York Yankees and Oakland Athletics.
  • Greenwell was instrumental in convincing the Red Sox to move their spring training facility to his hometown of Fort Myers.

From the news

Greenwell was the runner-up to José Canseco in the 1988 American League MVP voting, and now that Canseco has admitted steroid use, Greenwell feels that award is rightfully his. Canseco has also gone on record stating that if the Major League Baseball wishes to give the award to Greenwell, he would not object.

In 1988, Greenwell hit .325 with 22 home runs, 119 RBI and 16 stolen bases. Canseco hit .307 with 42 HRs, 124 RBI and 40 steals, becoming baseball's first 40-40 man. Canseco's unprecedented season garnered him 392 votes. Greenwell received 242, and third-place finisher Kirby Puckett got 219.

"Every time you renegotiate a contract, if you're an MVP, you have a different level of bargaining power. But in honesty, I don't care about the money. I respect what Jose did in the game. I don't respect that [he used steroids], but I do understand how these guys get caught up in it. There is so much pressure to perform that guys are willing to do anything to stay on top," Greenwell said.

See also

References

  1. ^ http://mlb.mlb.com/stats/historical/mlb_player_locator_results.jsp?playerLocator=greenwell

External links

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