Wednesday, June 25, 2014

#240 John Olerud

About the Front: That's a nice level swing by John Olerud. His blue-and-white batting gloves help you see that his fingers are lined up on the bat. I have very little idea of what I'm talking about.

About the Back: You can see Olerud's trademark flapless helmet that he always wore in the field. This provided extra protection after he suffered a brain aneurysm in college.

Triple Play:

1. His father, also named John, was a minor-league catcher for seven years, primarily in the Angels' system. He went on to become the head of the University of Washington's Division of Dermatology.

2. Olerud won three Gold Gloves and was a two-time All-Star.

3. John retired in 2005 with a career slash line of .295/.398/.465, 2,239 hits, 500 doubles, 255 home runs, and 1,230 RBI. He currently ranks 58th all-time in doubles and 67th in on-base percentage.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: It was kind of exciting to discover that a star major leaguer shared my birthday, though my enthusiasm was tempered somewhat because he played for the dastardly Blue Jays.

Bill James Said: "I'm a great admirer of Frank Thomas, but I think Olerud was probably more valuable in '93 than the MVP. He's a better first baseman, and he created more runs." John led the American League in 1993 with a .363 average, .473 on-base percentage, and 54 doubles.

On This Date in 1993: June 25. Kim Campbell is sworn in as the first female Prime Minister of Canada.

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