MLBbro Bo Porter (Former player, manager, executive and current Director of Coaching for MLB) tells the story of his greatest MLB playoff moment as a player for the Oakland A’s facing his idol Dr K back in the 90s.
MLBbro Ron LeFlore’s path to The Show wasn’t typical. He outran the suffocating cellblocks of Jackson State Prison to take his rightful place alongside diamond-mining legends.
On the field, he was a blessed bag-swiper and All-Star who once had a 30-game hitting streak. Off the field he was anamoly, who beat the odds like grandma with the switch.
Brandon Carr introduces you to one of the most inspiring sports narratives of the twentieth century.
By Devon POV Mason | MLBbro.com Contributor
There are few moments in sports more exciting than a walk-off homer in baseball.
At one moment, the outcome of the contest is hanging in the balance. A moment later, it’s over.
In baseball history, few players have participated in a walk-off home run more dramatic than Joe Carter’s in Game 6 of the 1993 World Series.
The Toronto Blue Jays were up 3 games to 2 in the World Series over the Philadelphia Phillies but trailing in the bottom of the ninth inning in Game 6.
With runners on 1st and 2nd, Phillies reliever Mitch “Wild Thing” Williams threw a 2-2 fastball to Carter who deposited it over the left field wall for a 3-run home run.
One that walked it off for victory and delivered the city of Toronto it’s second straight World Series Championship.
The call is one for the ages.
Five years after Carter won the World Series, he played his last game, finishing his 16-year MLB career with 396 home runs and 1,445 RBI.
In 2004 he was eligible for the Hall of Fame on the baseball writer’s ballot but received just 19 votes, a 3.8% share that was just shy of the 5% minimum required to remain on future ballots.
Joseph Chris Carter player college ball at Wichita State, and was an RBI man long before he entered the majors, driving in a then NCAA record 120 runs in 1981.
Carter was selected by the Cubs second overall in the 1981 MLB Draft. He was considered a five-tool player, with power, speed and strong-arm (he was a quarterback in high school).
He hit 22 home runs, while stealing 40 bases at AAA Iowa. In 1984, the Cubs were considered contenders and dealt Carter to the Indians in a trade that brought eventual Cy Young winner Rick Sutcliffe to Chicago.
This would be the first of three times that Carter would be involved in mega-trades involving players of significance.
With stops in Chicago, Cleveland, San Diego, Toronto, Baltimore and San Francisco.
From 1984-1998 no player in MLB had more RBI than Carter’s (1444), with Cal Ripken a distant second (1319), followed by Eddie Murray (1220), Barry Bonds (1216) and Jose Canseco (1214).
So, Carter is ahead by a considerable amount. Carter was also 4th in home runs (behind 3 players linked to steroids), and 5th in doubles over those 15 years.
Durability played a huge role as Carter was definitely available on game day. He played in all but 65 games from ‘85 to ‘97.
If Carter were to ever get that call to the Hall, he’d join Bill Mazeroski, as the only two players to end the Fall Classic on a homer and be enshrined in Cooperstown.
Point blank Joseph Chris Carter was an “RBI Man.”
When it came to driving men in, he didn’t play cute. He simply got the job done as well as any run producer of his generation.
Hall of Fame? Maybe. There’s definitely players in Cooperstown that can’t hold his jock strap as a run producer. There are a few clearly better.
But less than a handful of them can claim to be as clutch as “Touch Em All Joe.”
By Devon POV Mason | MLBbro.com Contributor
While Major League Baseball may be a little bit more conservative than the other pro sports, some players still are able to transcend the game with such swag, cultural dominance and elite skills that they grow into larger than life figures.
For example Babe Ruth, was one of the United States’ first celebrity athletes. Derek Jeter would follow in his footsteps, transforming from a quiet workhorse into a ladies-loving Yankees legend.
In St.Louis however, few men stole the spotlight quite like Ozzie Smith.
While Smith’s defensive skills were unforgettable, it’s been over 20 years since we last saw Ozzie shine at shortstop. We still haven’t found anyone who could duplicate his unprecedented greatness with the web.
After spending years of his life in Alabama, Smith and his family moved to Los Angeles. In California, he began to show the athleticism that would later make him famous.
In high school he played both basketball and baseball. While he didn’t earn any major league attention (three of his teammates were drafted) the shortstop did earn a partial scholarship to Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo. That was hardly a ticket to success however.
In college, Smith managed to walk onto the baseball team and when the starting shortstop broke his leg, Ozzie got his chance to shine. He would take advantage of the opportunity and develop into an All-America, while garnering plenty of professional attention.
He was initially drafted by the Detroit Tigers, but he and the team couldn’t agree to terms. So he returned to school for his senior year and was then drafted by the San Diego Padres.
Early in his career, Ozzie Smith became involved in a bitter contract dispute with the Padres and was shipped to the St.Louis Cardinals.
That move as we all know changed the trajectory of his career. In fact in his first season in the Midwest, Smith helped the Cards win the World Series.
The club would capture two more pennants but no more titles during his career. In 1985, Ozzie did his part hitting one of the most iconic home runs in baseball history.
During his career, Smith won 13 Gold Gloves and redefined what it meant to be a middle infielder. While never really known as an offensive threat, he still developed into a capable batter.
By the time he retired he was a .262 career hitter, with a .337 on-base percentage. His defense and backflips however, became the stuff of legends. The Cardinals retired his jersey in 1996, and in 2002 he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame and would forever be immortalized in Cooperstown.
Since retired, he’s dabbled in a few business ventures, and he also became the president of the Gateway PGA Reach Foundation.
The Foundation is a charitable arm of the PGA, dedicated to “positively impacting the lives of youth, military, and diverse populations by enabling access to PGA professionals, PGA Sections and the game of golf. Smith’s branch serves the Gateway section of the country, which includes parts of Illinois and Missouri.
While Ozzie Smith might have made his name on the baseball, St. Louis sports fans of every discipline came to love the Wizard of Oz.
His new role might not be much different. He’s still giving those in “The Lou” something to cheer about. He’s undisputably the best shortstop to ever do it and we need more Black shortstops in MLB if we ever want to surpass the all-encompassing magnificence of the GOAT.
Mark Gray is cooking up some Black In The Day gems at the MLBbro cave as All-Star festivities heat up.
A young Reginald Martinez Jackson crushes one off the light tower in Tigers Stadium.