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Bob Horner

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Bob Horner
Third Base
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB Debut
June 16, 1978 for the Atlanta Braves
Final game
June 18, 1988 for the St. Lous Cardinals
Career Statistics
AVG     .277
HR     218
RBI     685
Career Highlights and Awards

James Robert "Bob" Horner (born August 6, 1957 in Junction City, Kansas) is a former Major League Baseball third baseman/first baseman and right-handed batter who played for the Atlanta Braves (1978-1986) and St. Louis Cardinals (1988). He was born in Junction City, Kansas.

Horner went straight from Arizona State University to the Braves starting lineup with an impressive college resume (including the first ever Golden Spikes Award), but was hampered by assorted injuries for most of his major league career.

A second baseman for TSN's College All-America team in 1977 and 1978, Horner set a NCAA record with 58 career home runs for Arizona State, set a 25-homer season record, and was selected the MVP of 1977 College World Series. He was drafted by Atlanta in the 1st round (1st pick) of the 1978 amateur draft and made his debut in the same year. In his first game, he belted a home run off Bert Blyleven of the Pirates. In 89 games, Horner batted .266 with 23 home runs and 63 runs batted in in just 323 at bats. He won the National League Rookie of the Year honors over Ozzie Smith.

In his 1979 sophomore year Horner batted .314 with 33 homers and 98 RBI; .268, 35, 89 the next year, despite being sidelined for 79 games in both seasons after recurrent shoulder and legs injuries. In the strike-shortened 1981 season he hit .277, 15, 42 in 79 games. Horner enjoyed his best seasons in 1982, finishing with 32 home runs and 97 RBI.

On August 1983, Horner was hitting .303 with 20 homers and 68 RBI, but he fractured his right wrist when he was sliding on a base, missing the last 43 games. In May 1984, he broke again the same wrist while diving after a ball and was sidelined for the rest of the season.

Horner found a way to keep healthy in 1985. He played 130 games and finished with a .267 BA, 27 HRs and 89 RBI. In 1986, Horner set personal highlights. In a game against the Expos, he became the 11th player to hit four home runs in a game (a game that the Braves lost). Later in the season, after hitting a record 210 home runs without a grand slam, Horner finally belted a homer with the bases loaded to give the Braves a 4-2 victory over the Pirates. Horner's record stood until 1998 when Sammy Sosa hit a grand slam for his 248th career homer to surpass Horner's mark.

A free agent in 1987, Horner, unable to find a MLB club interested in his services, signed a one-year contract with the Yakult Swallows of the Japanese League. He hit 31 homers and had 73 RBIs for the team. He was given number 50 by the organization because that is how many home runs they expected him to hit.

Horner returned to the majors in 1988 to play with the Cardinals, but after 60 games, he injured his left shoulder. After being invited to the Baltimore Orioles for spring training, Horner at 31, announced his retirement. Horner's career never lived up to expectations. His 23 home runs in his rookie season included 19 in Atlanta and 4 in Chicago. He did not hit a home run in Shea Stadium until 1985 - and his one grand slam came in 1986. When he came up, he was hailed as the next Harmon Killebrew. His 1st baseball picture card (Topps 1979 #586) was subject to heavy speculation because of the "rookie card" craze and his potential, and for some time was the most expensive card of the 1979 Topps' set. In his 10-season career, Horner batted .277 with 218 home runs, 685 RBIs, 560 runs, 1047 hits,169 doubles, 8 triples, 14 stolen bases, a .340 on base percentage, and .499 of slugging average in 1020 games.

On July 4, 2006, Horner was inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame as a member of its inaugural class.

See alsoEdit

External linkEdit

Preceded by:
Harold Baines
First overall pick in the MLB Entry Draft
Succeeded by:
Al Chambers
Preceded by:
Andre Dawson
National League Rookie of the Year
Succeeded by:
Steve Howe
Preceded by:
Dusty Baker
National League Player of the Month
July, 1980
Succeeded by:
Dale Murphy
Preceded by:
Mike Schmidt
Batters with 4 home runs in one game
July 6, 1986
Succeeded by:
Mark Whiten

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