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Sid Bream
First baseman
Born: August 3, 1960 (1960-08-03) (age 49)
Carlisle, Pennsylvania
Batted: Left Threw: Left 
MLB debut
September 1, 1983 for the Los Angeles Dodgers
Last MLB appearance
July 24, 1994 for the Houston Astros
Career statistics
Batting average     .264
Home runs     90
Runs batted in     455
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Sidney Eugene "Sid" Bream (born August 3, 1960 in Carlisle, Pennsylvania) is an American former Major League Baseball player. He played his entire 11-year career (1983-1994) in the National League. He is currently the hitting coach for the State College Spikes of the New York-Penn League.

Contents

Career

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Los Angeles Dodgers

After attending Liberty University, Bream was drafted in the second round by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1981 amateur draft. During his minor league career he hit .329 with 83 home runs and 407 RBI, including a .419 on-base percentage and a .537 slugging percentage in the Dodgers farm system; he made his debut with the team in 1983. Despite his good numbers in the minors, he was just a mediocre hitter in the Major Leagues with good gap power (resulting in lots of doubles) and above-average defense at first base. The Dodgers expected him to replace Greg Brock at first base, who himself performed below expectations when Steve Garvey left to sign with the San Diego Padres. But Bream fared no better than Brock at the plate, and ultimately Franklin Stubbs was given a chance to be the one to finally fill in the void left by Garvey's departure. However, it was not until Eddie Murray arrived in Los Angeles that the Dodgers finally had an above average hitting first baseman.

The Dodgers finally gave up on Bream late in the 1985 season and traded him along with Cecil Espy to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Bill Madlock, who was in the declining phase of his career. It was in Pittsburgh where Bream finally had a chance to play every day. In 1986 he set an MLB record with 166 assists at first base.

Atlanta Braves

He remained as the everyday first baseman until 1990, when he became a free agent and signed with the Atlanta Braves. Bream suffered through injuries in Atlanta, limiting his playing time; however, he did play in two World Series, in 1991 and 1992. After a poor start in 1993, he was relegated to a pinch-hitter role for the rest of the season when the Braves acquired Fred McGriff, a role in which he thrived.

The Slide

In one of the most replayed scenes in Braves history, first baseman Sid Bream is mobbed by teammates after scoring the winning run in Game 7 of the 1992 NLCS against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The most famous moment of Bream's career came in Game 7 of the 1992 National League Championship Series. Bream was the Atlanta first baseman, and the Braves were playing his old team, the Pittsburgh Pirates, in the NLCS.

The Pirates carried a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning under the pitching of their ace, Doug Drabek, needing just three outs to make the World Series. However, Drabek gave up a leadoff double to Terry Pendleton, then allowed another runner (David Justice) on an infield error by second baseman Jose Lind. After Drabek walked Bream to load the bases, Pirates manager Jim Leyland pulled him out of the game. Reliever Stan Belinda replaced him on the mound, and managed to get two outs, despite giving up a run on a sacrifice fly by Ron Gant. Then, Braves third-string catcher Francisco Cabrera belted a single to left field, and Justice scored easily to tie the game. Pirates left fielder and eventual National League MVP Barry Bonds fielded the ball as Bream (known as a slow runner, possibly one of the slowest in baseball) plodded around the bases toward home plate. Bonds' throw arrived first, but it was slightly offline towards the first-base line. As soon as catcher Mike LaValliere received the ball, he desperately lunged toward the plate to tag Bream out, but Bream was able to slide just underneath the tag to score the winning run and send the Braves to the World Series for the second consecutive year.

Noted baseball announcer Sean McDonough uttered arguably the most famous call of his career while he was relaying what came to be known as "The Slide" to North American television viewers on CBS:

Line drive and a base hit! Justice has scored the tying run, Bream to the plate, and he is... SAFE! Safe at the plate! The Braves go to the World Series!

McDonough got so caught up in the moment that his voice cracked when Bream arrived safely home ahead of the throw from Bonds.

Braves announcer Skip Caray delivered his defining call on the play as well:

Swung, line drive left field! One run is in! Here comes Bream! Here's the throw to the plate! He is...safe! Braves win! Braves win! Braves win! Braves win!...Braves win!

Houston Astros and retirement

Following the 1993 season, Bream signed with the Houston Astros and served as a backup to Jeff Bagwell, and continued his success as a pinch-hitter. He hit .344 in limited play, and retired during the baseball strike. Bream is currently a motivational speaker. He will be serving as the hitting coach for the State College Spikes in 2008.[1]

External links

References

  1. ^ When Sid slid - ajc.com

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