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Mike Jorgensen
First baseman
Born: August 16, 1948 (1948-08-16) (age 61)
Passaic, New Jersey
Batted: Left Threw: Left 
MLB debut
September 10, 1968 for the New York Mets
Last MLB appearance
October 6, 1985 for the St. Louis Cardinals
Career statistics
Batting average     .243
Home runs     95
Runs batted in     426
Teams

As Player

As Manager

  • St. Louis Cardinals (1995)
Career highlights and awards

Michael Jorgensen is a former Major League Baseball player drafted by the New York Mets in the fourth round of the 1966 Major League Baseball Draft. Born August 16, 1948 in Passaic, New Jersey, he is the only major league player to be born the same day Babe Ruth died.

Contents

Early career

Jorgensen was the fifth youngest player in the major leagues when he made his major league debut with the New York Mets as a September call-up in 1968 at only 20-years-old. He wasn't part of the 1969 World Series chamionship team as he spent that entire season in the minors. On April 5, 1972, he was traded with Tim Foli and Ken Singleton to the Montreal Expos for Rusty Staub. It was in Montreal where Jorgensen enjoyed his greatest success. In 1973, he earned his only Gold Glove Award as a first baseman (though he played some outfield also throughout his career). In 1974, he broke the Expos' single season on-base percentage record with .444. In 1975, he enjoyed his most productive season with the bat—clubbing 18 home runs, and driving in 67 runs.

He became expendable when the Expos acquired future hall of fame first baseman Tony Pérez and was traded to the Oakland Athletics at the start of the 1977 season. Following the season, he signed as a free agent with the Texas Rangers.

Beanball

On Monday, May 28, 1979, Jorgensen was hit in the head by a pitch from Boston Red Sox pitcher Andy Hassler. Dave Roberts needed to come into the game to pinch run for Jorgensen, and Pat Putnam took over as the Rangers' regular first baseman for the next month. Excluding one pinch hitting appearance on May 31, he didn't play again until July 1. After suffering headaches, it was discovered he had a small blood clot inside his head, which apparently caused a seizure, and could have resulted in his early demise.[1] Following the season, he was traded back to the Mets to complete a mid-season deal where the Mets had sent Willie Montanez to the Rangers for two players to be named later (the other player the Mets received was pitcher Ed Lynch).

During the first-ever fireworks night hosted at Shea Stadium on July 4, 1980, Montreal Expos Rookie Bill Gullickson sailed a pitch over Jorgensen's head in the second game of a doubleheader. Having been the victim of one of the worst beanball injuries in baseball history the previous season, Jorgensen didn't appreciate this, and motioned toward Gullickson his disapproval. Mets catcher John Stearns, who wasn't even in the line-up for this game, charged out of the dugout and welcomed Gullickson to the majors by slamming him to the ground.[2]

First post-season

Jorgensen's second go around with the Mets lasted until June 15, 1983. The Mets sold him to the Atlanta Braves on the same day that they traded pitchers Neil Allen and Rick Ownbey to the St. Louis Cardinals for first baseman Keith Hernandez. A year to the day later, the Braves traded him with Ken Dayley to the St. Louis Cardinals for Ken Oberkfell. With the Cardinals, he reached the World Series for the first time in his career in 1985. It was also the final season of his career. Coincidentally, Andy Hassler was also a member of this team. This was also his first World Series and the final year of his career.

Seasons Games AB Runs Hits 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO HBP Avg. OBP Slg. Fld%
17 1633 3421 429 833 132 13 95 426 58 44 532 589 25 .243 .347 .373 .993

Cardinals manager

Following Joe Torre's firing as manager of the Cardinals, he finished the 1995 season as their interim manager. He managed the Cardinals to a 42-54 win-loss record.

Preceded by
Wes Parker
National League Gold Glove First Baseman
1973
Succeeded by
Steve Garvey
Preceded by
Joe Torre
St. Louis Cardinals Manager
1995
Succeeded by
Tony La Russa

References

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