Out of Obscurity, One Great Shining Moment

A Milwaukee Brewers player named Tim Unroe hit a 9th-inning pinch hit grand slam for his 1st MLB homer in a May 3, 1997 17-4 win over the Mariners in the Kingdome. He hit a total of 3 big league homers, with 11 RBIs, in 95 at-bats, 1995-2000. It got me thinking about other short-term big leaguers who did one spectacular thing in an otherwise obscure career. Phil Humber’s perfect game is a better example, but in a slightly longer career. And, Humber is in no danger of being forgotten.

The negative side of this is Ron Wright, who, as a Seattle Mariner, struck out, hit into a double play and hit into a triple play in his three MLB at-bats, on one day, April 14, 2002. Judging from this 2007 New York Times article on Wright, he recovered from the experience pretty well.

Do you have any players to add to these ranks?

Published in: Uncategorized on April 26, 2016 at 1:31 pm  Comments (7)  

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  1. Poor Ron Wright. If that’s not a confidence-killer, I don’t know what is.

  2. Well, here’s another negative “shining” moment for a guy who deserved better. When you hear the name Ray Fosse, what do you think about? Not the .307 average with 18 homers and an All-Star Game selection in 1970 or the decent journeyman career he had, but for getting slammed at home plate by Pete Rose during that All-Star Game.

    Maybe a better one goes farther back: Howard Ehmke in the 1929 World Series. Ehmke was at the end of a decent but totally nondescript career, but Connie Mack saw something.

  3. Luke Stuart – played three games for the St Louis Browns in 1921 as a second baseman. He had three at-bats, and become one of only two players (Johnnie LeMaster being the other) to hit an inside-the-park home run in their first at-bat in their Major League career.

  4. I suppose we could add John Paciorek. One game for Houston against the Mets as an 18-year-old in 1963: 5 PA, 3 H, 2 BB, 4 R, 3 RBI. Never played in MLB again.

  5. Paciorek is the great example of this sort of player, so much so that’s he’s not all that obscure, considering that his game happened 53 years ago.

  6. The other great “one-game wonder” is Ray Jansen. Brought up to the Majors by the St Louis Browns at the end of the 1910 season, Jansen made his debut for the Browns against the Chicago White Sox, and in a 9-1 loss, had 4 hits in 5 at-bats. He never played another MLB game, and still holds the record for the most hits by a player in a one-game career.

  7. I suppose we could add Bobo Holloman: A no-hitter in his debut as a 30-year-old rookie in 1953, sent to the minors for good three months later.

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