Friday, March 14, 2014

#176 Darren Lewis

About the Front: This is really a pretty lousy photo. Darren Lewis is out-of-focus, oddly cropped, and lobbing a warmup toss to an unseen teammate. Couldn't Topps have done better? (Then again, couldn't I have scanned it better?)

About the Back: The Athletics were actually the third team to draft Darren. In January 1986, the Dodgers tabbed him in the sixth round, and he did not sign. The following year, Toronto used a 45th-round pick on him in the June draft, and again he declined.

Triple Play:

1. Dusty Baker, Lewis' manager in San Francisco, named his own son after Darren.

2. Despite a paltry .645 career OPS, Darren carved out a 13-year career on the strength of his center field defense and his speed.

3. When the Cubs dealt Lewis to the lowly Pirates at the midseason trading deadline in 2002, he chose to retire rather than reporting to Pittsburgh.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: Through the 1993 season, Lewis had never been charged with an error in his MLB career. (His streak reached a record 392 games before a Cliff Floyd hit skipped under his glove in June 1994.) I considered that the ultimate sign that he was a defensive marvel.

Bill James Said: "In '91 he walked 36 times in 72 games, but as he has moved up in the lineup the walks have magically disappeared, dropping his OBP from .358 (good) to .302 (bad)."

On This Date in 1993: March 14. The Cincinnati Reds declare that Schottzie 02, a St. Bernard owned by currently-supsended team majority owner Marge Schott, will be barred from the Riverfront Stadium field during the coming season.


  1. Darren Lewis was my first ever autograph. I got him to sign a foul ball after a Phoenix Firebirds game back in 1991 or 1992. The Firebirds were the Giants AAA team.

  2. Wasn't he on the cover of Hardball 5?

  3. Daniel - It's neat to remember things like that. In 1996, I got John Stearns (then a coach for the Orioles) to sign a poster for me. That was my first autograph.

    Andy - He may well have been! That takes me back. I had HB 3, 5, and 6 for PC.