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Wally Joyner
First baseman
Born: June 16, 1962 (1962-06-16) (age 47)
Atlanta, Georgia
Batted: Left Threw: Left 
MLB debut
April 8, 1986 for the California Angels
Last MLB appearance
June 14, 2001 for the Anaheim Angels
Career statistics
Batting average     .289
Home runs     204
Runs batted in     1,106
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Wallace Keith "Wally" Joyner (born June 16, 1962 in Atlanta, Georgia) is a former first baseman and hitting coach in Major League Baseball. He played for four major league teams during a 16-year career, most notably for the California Angels, for whom he was an All-Star. He was a member of the pennant-winning 1998 San Diego Padres.

Contents

Early life and career

Joyner attended Redan High School in Stone Mountain, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta. He attended college at Brigham Young University.

He credited a stint with the Mayagüez Indians of the Puerto Rican Professional Baseball League as fundamental in his improvement as a slugger. Then-batting coach José Manuel Morales forced him to do power weight training and modify his posture at the batting cage as to develop upper body strength. He was consequently the top hitter on Puerto Rico's winter league on the 1985-1986 season.

California Angels

During his rookie season in MLB with the California Angels, Joyner became a fan favorite and briefly inspired a sensation in which Anaheim Stadium was dubbed "Wally World". The film National Lampoon's Vacation had featured a fictional theme park by that name, and the Angels' proximity to Disneyland may also have helped inspire the moniker.

Joyner was the starting first baseman in the 1986 All-Star Game, becoming the first rookie to be voted into the All-Star Game by the fans. Joyner tied Darryl Strawberry for first place in that year's Home Run Derby.

When the Angels met the New York Yankees in a game in August 1986, a fan threw a knife at Joyner. Joyner was grazed on the left arm by the butt end of the weapon, escaping injury. Said Joyner: "I picked it up and gave it to [Angels' manager] Gene Mauch."

Joyner and the Angels advanced to the 1986 ALCS, where they came within one strike of the franchise's first World Series.

At the end of the 1986 season, Joyner was the runner-up in the voting for the Rookie of the Year Award, losing to José Canseco.[1]

Post-Angels

After six years with the Angels, Joyner signed with the Kansas City Royals as a free agent for the 1992 season. He played with the Royals for four years. After the 1995 season, Joyner was traded to the San Diego Padres for Bip Roberts. He played with the Padres for four years, and was the starting first baseman on the 1998 pennant-winning team. After the 1999 season, Joyner was traded to the Atlanta Braves in a deal that also sent Reggie Sanders to the Braves and Bret Boone and Ryan Klesko to the Padres. He played with the Braves for one year before ending his career where it had begun, with the Anaheim Angels.

Joyner announced his retirement on 16 June 2001. In a taped message that was played on the Edison Field videoboard after the first inning that day, he thanked the Angels fans for their support and received a standing ovation.[2]

Steroid use

In a November 2005 interview with ESPN The Magazine, Joyner revealed that he had briefly used steroids. At age 36, as his career was beginning to decline, he asked Padres teammate Ken Caminiti how to obtain them and did so. He took three pills before deciding not to continue and flushed them down the toilet.[3] Joyner told Buster Olney that his reason for telling his story in public was to set the record straight for the sake of his daughters.[4] Joyner was listed in the 2007 Mitchell Report.

Coaching

On July 31, 2007, Joyner was hired by the San Diego Padres to be their hitting coach, replacing Merv Rettenmund.[1] Previously, Joyner had served as a special assistant to Padres' General Manager Kevin Towers. Between 2003 and 2007, he also acted as a roving minor league instructor and spring training instructor for the Padres.

In September 2008, Joyner resigned as the hitting coach for the Padres due to a number of factors including the team's low rankings in batting categories and a difference in philosophy in regards to hitting with members of upper management (most notably, CEO Sandy Alderson). The resignation came as some what of a surprise due to Joyner's relationship with the GM/VP Kevin Towers. Their friendship goes all the way back to the early '80s as college teammates for the BYU Cougars. Towers even traded for Joyner in late 1995, one of the first few transactions he made as the new GM for the Padres. In spite of this, Joyner was likely to be let go at the end of the year like Bench Coach Craig Colbert was on September 29, 2008 due to the same factors in his resignation.

Personal

Joyner now resides in Mapleton, Utah. Joyner has invested and appeared in movies marketed to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon church), including playing "Brother Jensen" in the 2003 movie, The R.M. [2]

See also

References

External links

Preceded by
Dave Parker
Home Run Derby Champion
1986
Succeeded by
Andre Dawson







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