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Shawn Green

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Shawn David Green (born November 10, 1972, in Des Plaines, Illinois) is a Major League Baseball player. Green plays right field for the New York Mets, but will be competing with Lastings Milledge to hold that position in spring training in 2007.[3] It is possible that he will play the first series of the season at first base.[4]

Green was a 1st round draft pick, and in the major leagues has been a 2-time All-Star. He has driven in 100 runs 4 times and scored 100 runs 4 times, has hit 40 or more home runs 3 times, has led the league in doubles, extra base hits, and total bases, has won both a Gold Glove Award and a Silver Slugger Award, and set the Dodgers single-season record in home runs. Green has also been in the top 5 in the league in home runs, RBIs, intentional walks, and MVP voting.

Green holds or is tied for the following major league records: most home runs in a game (4), most extra base hits in a game (5), most total bases in a game (19), most runs scored in a game (6), most home runs in 2 consecutive games (5), most home runs in 3 consecutive games (7), and most consecutive home runs (4). He hit his 4 homeruns, 5 extra basehits, and 19 total bases against the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2001 season.

He is one of only 4 active players with at least 300 home runs, 1,000 runs and RBIs, 400 doubles, a .280 batting average, and 150 stolen bases. The others are Barry Bonds, Ken Griffey, and Gary Sheffield, each of whom is at least 2 years older than Green, with at least 1,400 more at bats.

Through 2006, in the 2000s he is 2nd in the major leagues in games played (798), 13th in total bases (1,535), 15th in home runs (162), 16th in hits (842), and 17th in runs (505). He has also hit .351 with the bases loaded. He hit 11 home runs for the Mets in 2007 (5 of them in April) and his 329 total home runs is 2 short of Hank Greenberg's record for Jewish ball players. Green is noted for his smooth swing, as well as for the strength and accuracy of his arm in the outfield (he had 14 assists, for example, in 1998).

Green is one of the more well-known Jewish-American major league ballplayers, and the most prominent one with the Mets since Art Shamsky played right field for the 1969 World Champion Mets.[5] Green has missed games on Yom Kippur, as he did in 2004 when the Dodgers were in the playoff hunt.[1]

High SchoolEdit

Green attended Tustin High School in Tustin, California, where he tied the California Interscholastic Federation record with 147 hits during his senior year, and was a 1st team selection to the 1991 USA Today All-USA high school team, while ranking 3rd in his class academically.

College, and the Baseball DraftEdit

In 1991 Green won a baseball scholarship to Stanford University, and started there in the Fall of that year.

But he was also drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays as their 1st round pick (16th overall) in the 1991 amateur draft. He ultimately struck a deal with the Blue Jays. They agreed that Green would play in the minor leagues during the summer, but go back to university in the off-season.

Green received one of the highest signing bonuses at that time ($725,000), a portion of which he donated to the Metropolitan Toronto Housing Authority Breakfast Club (which provides breakfast for kids who otherwise normally go to school hungry).

Minor league career Edit

In 1992 Green played for the Dunedin Blue Jays of the Florida State League, and was selected to the league's all-star team.

He spent most of 1993 and 1994 in the minors, where he compiled impressive numbers.

In 1994, he hit .344 with 13 home runs and 81 RBIs for Toronto's AAA affiliate, the Syracuse Chiefs. He was an International League all-star, was voted the International League Rookie of the Year, was the Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Player of the Year, and was also voted the International League's Best Batting Prospect, Best Outfield Arm, and Most Exciting Player in Baseball America’s Tools of the Trade poll. In addition, he won the R. Howard Webster Award as the Chief’s MVP, and was the Blue Jays' Minor League Player of the Year.

Toronto Blue Jays (1993-99) Edit

Green made his Major League debut on September 28, 1993, as the 2nd-youngest player in the major leagues. Though he did not get an at-bat in the World Series, he was awarded a World Series ring as the Blue Jays won the World Series. That year and the next Green only had a handful of at-bats with the Blue Jays, in 17 games.

In 1995, his full rookie season, Green started in 97 games, hitting 15 home runs and batting .288. Green set Blue Jays rookie records in doubles (31), hit streak (14), extra base hits (50), and slugging percentage (.509). He came in 5th in voting for the American League Rookie of the Year.

His 1996 and 1997 seasons were similar, in that Green was given limited at-bats, wasn't trusted to hit left-handed pitching, and produced only sporadically. He was, however, more aggressive on the basepaths in 1997 than in any previous year, stealing 14 bases while being caught only 3 times. He also developed his upper body strength in hopes of shedding the skinny-kid persona that had followed him from the minors.

In 1998, for the first time Green was granted an everyday spot in the line-up — right-handed pitcher or left — and he delivered by becoming the first Blue Jay to both hit 30 or more home runs and steal 30 or more bases in the same season. Green had never hit more than 18 home runs in a season (major or minor leagues), but now showed signs of becoming a bona fide power hitter. He finished the season batting .278 with 35 home runs, 100 RBIs, and 35 stolen bases (a career best). He performed the extremely rare feat of having a 35-35 season, 35 home runs and 35 stolen bases. His one disappointment was his 142 strikeouts.

In 1999, Green proved his new-found power was no fluke. On April 22 he hit a 449-foot home run into SkyDome's 5th deck, putting him in prestigious company with Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire, and Joe Carter. By the All-Star break he had hit 25 home runs and knocked in 70 runs, earning him not only his first All-Star appearance, but also a chance to compete in the Home Run Derby at Fenway Park. Green hit only two home runs, however, and was eliminated in the first round. He finished the season batting .309 (a career best), with 42 home runs (5th in the league), 134 runs (2nd in the league, and a career best), 123 RBI, and a .588 slugging percentage (5th best in the league). Green also led the league in doubles (45), extra-base hits (87), and total bases (361). He hit a home run in every 14.6 at bats. After the season, he was awarded a Gold Glove Award for his defense, and a Silver Slugger Award for his offense, and came in 5th in the voting for MVP.

In the off-season, Green expressed a desire to sign as a free agent with a team closer to his California roots after the 2000 season. The Blue Jays, facing the rising contract demands of Green and slugger teammate Carlos Delgado, decided not to leave the decision of which player to pursue until mid-way through the season. On November 8, 1999, Green was traded with Jorge Nuñez to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Pedro Borbón, Jr. and Raúl Mondesí. Green quickly signed an extension with Los Angeles, agreeing to a $84 million/6-year deal that included a $4 million signing bonus.

Los Angeles Dodgers (2000-05)Edit

With a lot of pressure riding on his now well-paid shoulders, Green struggled at times in 2000, his first season with Los Angeles. Still, he led the league in games played (with 162), and was 5th in the league in doubles (with 44). He hit .329 in games that were late and close.

But Green had a career year in 2001, batting .297 (.331 with runners in scoring position) with a .598 slugging percentage (a career best), 49 home runs (a career best), 121 runs (7th in the league), 125 RBI (a career best), 370 total bases (5th in the league), and 20 stolen bases. His 49 home runs were a Dodgers single-season record , but only tied for 4th in the league, behind Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, and Luis González. It was the 4th straight year that he stole 20 or more bases. He hit .331 with runners in scoring position. Green came in 6th in voting for league MVP.

Green made headlines for two decisions that he made during the 2001 season. On September 26 he stood by his word and sat out a game for the first time in 415 games, to honor the most significant holiday on the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur. Green said: "I felt like it was the right thing to do .... I didn't do this to gain approval. I thought it was the right example to set for Jewish kids, a lot of whom don't like to go to synagogue." He also made a second notable decision on September 26 as well, donating his day's pay of $75,000 to a charity for survivors of the New York 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Green started off slowly in 2002, but turned things around with a record-setting power display. On May 23, the turning point of his season, he hit a Major League record-tying 4 home runs against the Milwaukee Brewers, and had 19 total bases, breaking Joe Adcock's 1954 Major League record by one. He hit a 5th home run during the following game to tie the Major League 2-game home run record, and then hit 2 more the game after to break the Major League 3-game record. Green also broke the National League record with 9 home runs in that calendar week. He was voted to the All-Star team, and finished the season with a .285 average, .385 OBP (a career best), 42 home runs (3rd in the league), 114 RBI (4th in the league), 114 runs (4th in the league), 93 walks (a career best), 22 intentional walks (5th in the league), and 20 stolen bases. He hit .333 with runners in scoring position and two out. Green came in 5th in voting for league MVP

In 2003, Green struggled with his power and RBI production. He had problems with tendinitis in his left shoulder, which limited him to a 19 home runs and 85 RBIs as he batted .280. Still, he was 2nd in the league in doubles (with 49; a career best).

Green's power improved in 2004, as he hit 28 home runs and collected 86 RBIs, while batting .266, leading the Dodgers to the 2004 playoffs. Green moved to first base for much of the season. He hit 3 home runs in the post-season, in just 16 at-bats.

Green was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks on June 10, 2005. Green waived his no-trade clause for a 3-year extension from the Arizona Diamondbacks for $32 million. It was a part of a 3-team trade which sent Green and cash to the Arizona Diamondbacks, in exchange for catcher Dioner Navarro and 3 minor leaguers.

Arizona Diamondbacks (2005-06)Edit

While Green's batting average in 2005 (.286) was his best in 4 years, he walked fewer times (62) than he had in the prior 6 years, and hit fewer home runs (22) and scored fewer runs (87) than he had in all but 7 of his prior seasons.

Green came to bat 398 times with the Diamondback before being traded in 2006, and while his batting average and OBP were near his career averages, his slugging percentage (.425) was the lowest it had been since he broke into the majors.

On August 22, 2006, Green was dealt, along with $6.5 million in cash, by the Arizona Diamondbacks to the New York Mets for Triple-A 23-year-old left-handed pitcher Evan MacLane.

New York Mets (2006- )Edit

2006 Season
Batting Average .277
Home Runs 15
Runs Batted In 66
Hits 147
Runs Scored 73
Stolen Bases 4
On Base Percentage .344
Slugging Percentage .432

Green received a standing ovation in his first at bat as a Met. [6] Green's second at bat as a Met was an RBI single off Jason Marquis. On September 6, Green had arguably his best regular season day as a Met so far, going 6-for-8 with 2 home runs in a doubleheader against the Atlanta Braves.

Overall, in 2006 Green had his worst offensive year in a decade. He hit only 15 home runs, with 66 RBIs, 4 stolen bases, a .432 slugging percentage, and a .277 batting average. Green's 15 home runs matched his second-lowest total since becoming a full-time player. His 73 runs scored was also a significant drop-off from the 134 runs he scored in his outstanding 1999 season with Toronto. One bright point was that his .799 OPS against lefties was the 10th-best in the league for lefty batters. Curiously, while he had the 9th-highest ground ball/fly ball ration in the league (2.17), he also tied with Barry Bonds for the longest average home run in the NL in 2006 (407 feet).[7] His 470-foot home run against the Mets on April 11th was the 9th-longest in the NL for the year, and only two longer home runs were hit in the AL. He faded as the season progressed, dropping 65 points -- and batting .240 -- after the All Star break.

After the season ended, Green was 18th of all active players in doubles, and in the top 30 of all active players in home runs, runs, total bases, and extra base hits. He was also in the top 100 of all players ever lifetime in home runs.

2006 marked only the second post-season appearance of Green's career.

In the 2006 playoffs Green tied for the team lead with 3 doubles, and hit .313, second best on the team (as the Mets hit only .250).

On February 13, 2007, it was reported that the Mets declined a $10 million mutual option on Green's contract, that would have kept him in New York through the 2008 season. He'll get a $2 million buyout instead.[8] The report came amid retirement rumors. Green commented on them, saying: "There's been no decision on the future at all as far as I'm concerned. I'm planning on playing and seeing how things go...." "[2]

Fielding Edit

In 1998 Green had 14 assists and 5 double plays from the outfield. Most of Green's innings in the field have been in right field, where he was awarded a Gold Glove Award in 1999. Green has also played over 100 games at first base, however, mostly in 2004 and 2006, and over 50 games each in center field and left field.

Green, lifetime, has a better fielding percentage at each position than the league average.

Accomplishments Edit

  • Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Player of the Year (1994)
  • Finished 5th in AL Rookie of the Year voting (1995)
  • Member of the 30-30 club (1998)
  • Hit a home run into the upper deck of SkyDome (April 22, 1999)
  • All-Star (1999)
  • AL Gold Glove Award (1999)
  • AL Silver Slugger Award (1999)
  • Finished 9th in AL MVP voting (1999)
  • Toronto Blue Jays Player of the Year (1999)
  • Holds Dodgers record for most home runs in a season, with 49 (2001)
  • Finished 6th in NL MVP voting (2001)
  • LA Dodgers Player of the Year (2001)
  • Hit 4 home runs in a game (May 23, 2002)
  • Holds record for total bases in a game, with 19 (May 23, 2002)
  • All-Star (2002)
  • Finished 5th in NL MVP voting (2002)

Salaries Edit

  • 1993 Toronto Blue Jays $109,000
  • 1994 Toronto Blue Jays $109,000
  • 1995 Toronto Blue Jays $130,000
  • 1996 Toronto Blue Jays $287,500
  • 1997 Toronto Blue Jays $500,000
  • 1998 Toronto Blue Jays $1,475,000
  • 1999 Toronto Blue Jays $3,125,000
  • 2000 L.A. Dodgers $9,416,667 (10th highest in the NL)
  • 2001 L.A. Dodgers $12,166,667 (7th highest in the NL)
  • 2002 L.A. Dodgers $13,416,667 (4th highest in the NL)
  • 2003 L.A. Dodgers $15,666,667 (4th highest in the NL)
  • 2004 L.A. Dodgers $16,666,667 (3rd highest in the NL)
  • 2005 Arizona Diamondbacks $8,500,000
  • 2006 Arizona Diamondbacks/New York Mets $10,213,898

Teams Edit

Non-Baseball CareerEdit

  • Appeared as an actor in "Mulva 2: Kill Teen Ape!" (2005)

Personal lifeEdit

Shawn is married and has a daughter, Presley Taylor, born on December 22, 2002.[3]

Green has been very good friends with teammate Carlos Delgado since they were in the minor leagues together. They attended each others weddings, and at Delgado's Green displayed his skills in salsa dancing.[4]


  • While Green is often likened to the former Jewish slugger, Hank Greenberg, it is noteworthy that Green's grandfather in fact shortened the family name from Greenberg to Green, for "business reasons."
  • Mark Grace also played baseball for Tustin High School.
  • Throws his batting gloves to children each time he hits a home run in his home ballpark.
  • Has two bats in the National Baseball Hall of Fame: 1) the bat he used on May 23, 2002, to hit 4 homers against the Milwaukee Brewers; and 2) the bat he used to hit a grand slam on May 21, 2000, one of a record 6 grand slams hit on that day.[9]
  • Donated $250,000 of his salary each year to the Dodgers' Dream Foundation ($1.5 million over 6 years), supporting the development of 4 Dodger Dream Fields throughout LA and the purchase of books for local elementary schools and youth community programs.
  • Honored at the Baseball Assistance Team's annual Going to Bat for BAT fundraising dinner as the recipient of the Bart Giamatti Award for his off-the-field involvement in the community in 2000.

See alsoEdit


  1. Green is arguably the best Jewish baseball player since Sandy Koufax.[1] Of all Jewish major league ballplayers lifetime, Green is 2nd (behind Hank Greenberg) in home runs and RBIs.[2] "Green to sit out on Yom Kippur", ESPN/Alan Schwarz, September 5, 2001.
  3. His father Ira owns The Baseball Academy, where local youths learn various baseball skils including dynamics of Green's swing. "Biography", New York Mets.
  4. David Picker. "Green and Delgado Dance to the Same Music", New York Times, August 25, 2006.

External linksEdit

Preceded by:
Mike Cameron
Batters with 4 home runs in one game
May 23, 2002
Succeeded by:
Carlos Delgado

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