Tuesday, March 17, 2015

#393 Ron Gant

About the Front: I almost feel sorry for the baseball that Ron Gant is preparing to hit. That's a strong-looking dude.

About the Back: Gant batted .277/.372/.529 with the Durham Bulls in 1986 and slugged 31 doubles, 10 triples, and 26 homers with 102 RBI. He was 35-of-44 in stolen bases to boot.

Triple Play:

1. In the second game of the 1991 World Series, Gant was tagged out at first base on a controversial play; he lost a wrestling match with Kent Hrbek. The Twins won the game (and eventually the World Series) by a single run.

2. He broke his leg in a dirtbike accident and missed the entire 1994 season, with the Braves releasing him that spring. He eventually signed with the Reds and was the 1995 National League Comeback Player of the Year, as he hit .276/.386/.554 with 29 home runs and 88 RBI in 119 games.

3. Ron is now an in-studio analyst for the MLB Network, and has also appeared on Braves telecasts.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: It seemed so strange to me that Gant had played second and third base when he first came to Atlanta. I was so used to him as an outfielder.

Bill James Said: "Most-similar season ever: Dale Murphy, 1982." The tale of the tape has Murphy in the first of his back-to-back MVP years batting .281/.378/.507 with 113 runs, 23 doubles, 36 HR, 109 RBI, and 23-of-34 in steals. Gant was the fifth-place finisher in the 1993 MVP race, and had a line of .274/.345/.510, 113 runs, 27 doubles, 36 HR, 117 RBI, and 26-of-35 in steals. Murphy had the better year by virtue of his high OBP and his value in center field, but the offensive stats are quite cosmetically similar.

On This Date in 1993: March 17. Actress Helen Hayes, "The First Lady of the American Theatre", dies in Nyack, NY at age 92. She was one of 12 people to date to win an Emmy, Oscar, Grammy, and Tony Award (EGOT).

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