Friday, May 1, 2015

#417 B. J. Surhoff

About the Front: Here's an oddity. B. J. Surhoff is wearing a helmet with #17 on it, yet he wore #5 in Milwaukee. Jim Gantner was #17 during Surhoff's Brewers tenure, but he was an infielder. B. J. did wear #17 later in his career with the Orioles, though.

About the Back: B. J. was the first overall pick in the first round of the loaded 1985 draft, which also included Will Clark, Barry Larkin, Barry Bonds, and Rafael Palmeiro, among others.

Triple Play:

1. His older brother Rich pitched in nine games for the Rangers and Phillies in 1985, going 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA. Their father Dick played in the NBA for the Knicks and the Milwaukee Hawks from 1952-1954.

2. Surhoff shined for the Orioles in his first postseason series, the 1996 ALDS. He batted .385 (5-for-13) with three home runs and five RBI as the O's upset the Indians in four games.

3. His best overall season was 1999, when he made his only All-Star team on the strength of a .308/.347/.492 batting line and career highs of 104 runs scored, 207 hits, 38 doubles, 28 home runs, and 107 RBI.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: The Brewers shifted B. J. from catcher to third base in 1993, and he spent the rest of his career as a third baseman and corner outfielder, so it's always been strange for me to see him wearing the tools of ignorance.

Bill James Said: "He was all right at third base, but doesn't hit as much as you would like your third baseman to hit."

On This Date in 1993: May 1. Ranasinghe Premadasa, the third President of Sri Lanka, is killed by a bomb detonated by the Tamil Tigers militant organization. Dingiri Banda Wijetunga ascends to the presidency.

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