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Roberto Alomar

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Roberto Alomar
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Second baseman
Personal information
Date of birth February 5, 1968 (1968-02-05) (age 46)
Place of birth Puerto Rico Flag Ponce, Puerto Rico
Batted Both Threw Right
MLB Debut
April 22, 1988 for the San Diego Padres
Last MLB apperance
September 5, 2004 for the Chicago White Sox
Career information
MLB Draft 1985; Undrafted
Teams
1988-1990 San Diego Padres
1991-1995 Toronto Blue Jays
1996-1998 Baltimore Orioles
1999-2001 Cleveland Indians
2002-2003 New York Mets
2003 Chicago White Sox
2004 Arizona Diamondbacks
2004 Chicago White Sox
Career highlights and awards
10x MLB All Star
1992 AL ALCS MVP
1998 ML AS MVP
4 Silver Slugger Awards
10 Golden Glove awards
Profile @ Baseball-reference.com

Roberto Alomar Velázquez (born February 5, 1968 in Ponce, Puerto Rico) is a former Major League Baseball player (1988-2004), considered by many to be one of the best second basemen in history.[1][2] He holds the record for most Gold Glove awards at that position,[3] and has also won the second most Silver Slugger awards for a second baseman.[4]

A native of Salinas, Puerto Rico, Alomar was a switch-hitter and threw right-handed. He is the son of New York Mets third base coach Sandy Alomar, Sr., a former All-Star second baseman with a 15-year MLB experience. His older brother, Sandy Jr., is a major league catcher.

CareerEdit

Toronto Blue JaysEdit

Template:MLBBioLOE Alomar broke into the Major Leagues in 1988 with the San Diego Padres, where he was regarded as an excellent fielder with speed and a solid bat. Defensively, he displayed excellent lateral range, often making spectacular plays on ground balls hit deep in the hole between first and second base, and on balls hit up the middle well behind second base. In 1991 he and Joe Carter were traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for Fred McGriff and Tony Fernandez. It was in Toronto that he developed into a premier offensive second baseman, combining a .300-plus batting average with some pop and a continued threat on the bases. In 1993 he batted .326, third in the league behind teammates John Olerud and Paul Molitor. He was a large part of Toronto's World Series championships in 1992 and 1993. Next to Joe Carter's World Series-winning shot in 1993, his home run against Dennis Eckersley in the 1992 ALCS is considered by many as the most important hit in the club's history. His service in Toronto will be honoured in the summer of 2007, when the Blue Jays add his name and number to the club's "Level of Excellence".

Baltimore OriolesEdit

In 1995 Alomar moved to greener pastures, signing with the Baltimore Orioles at a time when Toronto was moving to rebuild and Baltimore was building toward a championship-calibre team. He would play again in the playoffs in 1996 and 1997 for the Orioles, although the Orioles were defeated in the American League Championship Series in both years.

ControversyEdit

On September 27, 1996, Alomar gained notoriety when, during a game against his former team, the Blue Jays, he got into a heated argument over a called third strike with umpire John Hirschbeck and spit in his face. He defended himself by saying Hirschbeck had uttered a racial slur and that Hirschbeck had been bitter ever since his one of his son's had died of ALD, and then learned that another one had it also. He was suspended for five games and donated $50,000 to ALD research. Alomar and Hirschbeck settled their differences publicly and made apologies to each other on April 22, 1997, standing at home plate and shaking hands in front of the crowd before an Orioles game and now consider one another friends. Regarding the incident at his retirement, Alomar said, "That, to me, is over and done. It happened over nine years ago. We are now great friends. We have done some things with charity. God put us maybe in this situation for something. But I think people who know me, people who have had the chance to be with me on the same team, know what kind of person I am. Anything I ever did wrong, I would confront it and now it is OK."

Cleveland IndiansEdit

In 1999 Alomar signed with the Cleveland Indians, joining his brother, Sandy Jr. It was in Cleveland that Roberto would have two of his finest seasons -- and perhaps two of the finest seasons ever for a second baseman. In 1999 he hit .323/.422/.533 with 24 HRs, 120 RBIs and 37 stolen bases, and in 2001 he collected .336/.415/.541, 20, 100 and 30. Cleveland would make the playoffs in both years only to lose in the American League Division Series. Alomar finished 3rd in MVP voting in 1999.

On the field, Alomar teamed with shortstop Omar Vizquel to form one of the most decorated defensive combinations of all time. In 2000, with Vizquel committing just three errors all season long, the entire infield committed 34 errors--just one more than the record set by the New York Mets infield the year before. As a result, Vizquel, Alomar and third baseman Travis Fryman each won the Gold Glove Award that season, and the Vizquel-Alomar duo won three consecutive Gold Gloves together, joining a select list of only eight shortstop-second baseman duos to have accomplished this feat in the same year.

Career milestonesEdit

In his career, Alomar established remarkable milestones for a second baseman, including:

  • making twelve straight All-Star teams (1990-2001)
  • winning a record ten gold gloves at second base (1991-96,1998-2001)
  • batting over .300 nine times (1992-1997, 1999-2001)
  • posting an OBP over .400 five times (1992-93, 1996, 1999, 2001)
  • scoring 100 or more runs six times (1992-93, 1996, 1999-2001)
  • driving in 100 or more runs twice (1999, 2001)
  • stealing 30 or more bases eight times (1989, 1991-93, 1995, 1999-2001)
  • and winning four Silver Slugger awards (1992, 1996, 1999-2000)

He was finally traded to the New York Mets before the 2002 season, in the same trade that brought outfielders Matt Lawton and Alex Escobar to the Indians.

Last yearsEdit

In 2002, Alomar hit only .266/.331/.376 with 53 RBIs and 73 runs scored while falling apart defensively at second base. The Mets were puzzled by Alomar's mediocre play, which is generally attributed to his lack of comfort with being under the scrutiny of the New York fans and media. However, not even a midseason trade back to the American League to the Chicago White Sox in 2003 could revive Alomar from his funk. There was more misery ahead with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2004, after missing two months with a broken right hand. On August 5, he returned to the White Sox, and finished hitting just .263/.321/.392 in 56 games.

Alomar agreed to a one-year contract with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for the 2005 season. However,on March 19 2005, after a spring plagued by back and vision trouble, he decided to retire from the game.

In a 17-year career, Alomar was a .300/.371/.443 hitter with 210 home runs and 1134 RBI in 2379 games.

Hall of FameEdit

Roberto Alomar is eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame in BBWAA balloting to be announced Wednesday, January 6, 2010. His candidacy has become cdonvtroverfsial because of the "spitting incident," but based on the record he is highly deserving. Roberto Alomar was not elected, missing the needed 75% by 8 votes and finishing 3rd behind Andre Dawson, who was elected with 20 votes to spare, and Bert Blyleven, who missed by 5 votes. No candidate ever received as many votes, or a higher percentage, in his first year without being elected. Alomar is likely to make it in 2010.

TriviaEdit

The Alomars became the first brothers in the history of MLB to win the All Star MVP Award, which they won in consecutive years (1997 and 1998).

He used to date French-Canadian tennis ace Mary Pierce.

ReferencesEdit

  1. [1] ESPN article
  2. [2] Hardball Times article
  3. [3] baseball-reference.com GG
  4. [4] baseball-reference.com SS

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

Further readingEdit

Preceded by:
Kirby Puckett
American League Championship Series MVP
1992
Succeeded by:
Dave Stewart
Preceded by:
Sandy Alomar, Jr.
Major League Baseball All-Star Game
Most Valuable Player

1998
Succeeded by:
Pedro Martinez


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