MLBbro class is in session.
Rob Parker introduces Gen X fans to Hall of Fame pitcher Lee Arthur Smith, one of the most intimidating and productive closers of all-time. Smith played 18 seasons for eight squads and had a whopping 478 career saves. The Black Ace of relief pitchers took the ball whenever, wherever and for as many innings as needed.
Andre Dawson was a feared slugger who hit over 400 career homers and won a Most Valuable Player award in 1987 with the Chicago Cubs. He now has an MLB-sponsored HBCU Tournament (Andre Dawson Classic) named after him.
By Jaelen Ogadhoh| MLBbro.com Intern
He’s led the MLB in steals in the past, but MLBbro Dee Strange-Gordon may now be a steal free-agent pickup for the Chicago Cubs.
On Wednesday, Strange-Gordon agreed to a minor-league deal with the Cubs, reports MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal.
The veteran infielder will add to the Cubs’ depth chart following infielder Nico Hoerner’s left hamstring strain during Tuesday’s 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. The team announced they were placing Hoerner on the 10-day injured list and picking up outfielder Rafael Ortega from their AA affiliate.
Strange-Gordon appeared in 33 games with the Seattle Mariners in 2020 and batted career lows of .200/.268/.213.
In February, the 33-year-old briefly signed a minor league deal with the Cincinnati Reds but wasn’t able to land an Opening Day roster spot. He will provide both speed and versatility to the Cubs, having played second base, shortstop, and center field in past seasons.
Over his 10-year career in the majors, Strange-Gordon certainly left his mark. Perhaps his most impressive run was from 2014 with the Los Angeles Dodgers through 2015 with the Miami Marlins, where he earned two All-Star appearances, a Golden Glove and a Silver Slugger Award while leading the league in steals both years (64 and 58, respectively), in triples (12) in 2014, and in batting average (.333), hits (205), and steals caught (20) in 2015.
He also had a strong showing in 2017 with the Marlins, leading the league once again in steals (60) and steals caught (16).
With this signing, the Cubs are not only adding a veteran on-field contributor but a proven leader off the field as well.
He is a four-time nominee of the Roberto Clemente Award, the honor bestowed upon the player who best represents the game through their exceptional character, philanthropy, and community involvement.
He is also on the advisory board of The Players Alliance, a group of over 100 current and former Black baseball players whose mission, in their words, is “building equitable systems in order to change the trajectory of diversity throughout baseball.”
As with any minor league deal, Strange-Gordon will have to earn his opportunity with the big league club, but the Cubs may have just gotten themselves a steal.
Gary Matthews Jr. followed in the footsteps of his Dad, Gary Matthews Sr. and carved out a productive, 12-year MLB career. The Black Knight is a 2006 MLB All-Star who once hit for the cycle.
In this segment of “Black In The Day,” Gary Jr. tells a story about how one of his 108 career homers cost his former teammates a hefty bag.