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Gary Sheffield

Gary Sheffield
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Gary Sheffield Biography

Gary Antonian Sheffield (born November 18, 1968) is an American baseball player. He was born in Tampa, Florida, where he played on the same high school team as his uncle, Dwight Gooden. Sheffield was originally drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers as an infielder. He has since played for the San Diego Padres, Florida Marlins, Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves and the New York Yankees as a right fielder. He bats and throws right handed.

Gary Sheffield at bat, September 13, 2005. Sheffield has posted high-caliber numbers wherever he's played. He is one of the most feared right handed hitters in all of baseball, known for his pre-swing waggle and unmatched bat speed. He broke out in 1990 with the Milwaukee Brewers, batting .294 with 67 RBI. He also had a team high 25 stolen bases. In 1991 he was limited to only 50 games because of lingering wrist and shoulder problems. Unhappy in Milwaukee, Sheffield was traded to the San Diego Padres before the 1992 season. He made a run at becoming the first National League Triple Crown winner since Joe Medwick in 1937. Sheffield led the league with a .330 average (to date, the batting title is the only one won by a Padre other than then-teammate Tony Gwynn), and hit 33 home runs with 100 RBI and a .385 on base percentage. He was honored by The Sporting News with the Player of the Year and Comeback Player of the Year awards. Sheffield began 1993 with the Padres but was traded to the Florida Marlins midseason. He made history as the first player from a first year expansion team to start an All-Star Game. He had an average season driving in only 73 runs with 17 stolen bases, and his on base percentage was still in the mid to high 300s. During the 1994 strike shortened season, Sheffield hit 27 home runs in only 87 games, breaking a Marlins season-record. His shoulder bothered him again, and he spent two stints on the disabled list with a bruised rotator cuff and an irritated labrum in his left shoulder. At the time of his injury Sheffield had a career high .584 slugging percentage; ninth in the league. Injury plagued him again in the 1995 season with the Marlins. A torn ligament in his left thumb limited him to only 63 games. Still he ranked third on the team with 19 stolen bases and third with 55 walks. Sheffield had his career-best numbers in 1996, after hit 42 home runs with 120 RBI, 118 runs, 163 hits, and 142 walks in 161 games. This was his first full year without going on the DL. He also broke ten of the Marlin's individual club records and made his third All-Star berth. The following season, Sheffield led the 1997 World Champions Marlins with a .424 on base percentage and 121 walks. Sheffield wasn't only a great hitter but a deft fielder. He had 14 outfield assists, which ranked third in the league. He also hit 21 home runs with 71 RBI and collected his 1000th career hit off Alan Benes. In 1998 Sheffield was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He played in a combined 130 games with Florida and the Dodgers during that season, batting .302 with 22 home runs and 85 RBI, despite missing the last 25 games after suffering a severely sprained left ankle. He also swiped twenty bags, making this the first time he had reached the 20/20 plateau, and struck out only once for every 11.9 at bats. In his first full season with the Dodgers in 1999, Sheffield batted .304 with 34 home runs and 101 RBI and again was selected to the All-Star Game. He finished with a team-high 101 walks and a .407 on base percentage. On August 22, Sheffield hit his career sixth grand slam off reliever Steve Montgomery. He finished the season strong hitting home runs in four of his last six games. 2000 was one of Sheffield's best offensive seasons ever. He became the first Dodger to hit .300 with 30 homers, 100 RBI, 100 runs and 100 walks in consecutive seasons. He also set a team record by hitting his 41st home run, surpassing the old mark set by Mike Piazza. Sheffield reached base safely in 123 of 141 games, ending with a .438 on base percentage that ranked him third in the NL, and had the second best home run-hitting ratio (one-for-11.7 at bat). For one month from June 10 to July 13, he hit .500. In 2001 Sheffield played with a painful sprained left index finger. He had 36 home runs and 100 RBI while hitting .311. Twenty-three of his 36 homeruns gave the Dodgers the lead or tied the game, and he also extended his career seasons with twenty or more home runs to ten. On June 12, he became the first player in major league history to win three 1-0 games in a season with a home run, when he solos to beat the Braves, 1-0. He also supplied the only scoring by homering in April 2, against the Brewers, and in May 7, against Florida. He hit his 300th career home run in July 21. Again, his deft fieldwork paid off. His 17 outfield assists ranked second in the NL. Sheffield spent his 2002 season with the Atlanta Braves. He reached base in 52 consecutive games, breaking Dale Murphy's Atlanta record of 48 games. However, Sheffield had a sub-par season by his standards only hitting 25 home runs and driving in 84 runs. But his hits again were clutch, with 23 game-winning RBI for the Braves. Sheffield missed ten of his last twelve games because of a sprained left thumb. After an injury plagued season, in 2003 Sheffield resumed his place as one of the most feared hitters in baseball. He smashed 39 home runs and drove in 132 runs, breaking the Atlanta record of 127 set by Hank Aaron. Sheffield also stole his 200th bag on September 6th of that year off the Pittsburgh Pirates and made his seventh All-Star team appearance as a starting outfielder. A free agent before the 2004 season, he signed with the New York Yankees. In his first year with the Yankees, Sheffield hit .290 with 36 home runs and 121 RBIs. Sheffield came in 2nd to the AL Most Valueable Player in 2004. In 2005, Sheffield hit .291 with 34 home runs and 123 RBIs. Late in the 2005 season, Sheffield strained his left thigh muscle and missed a couple of games. Sheffield's immense strength allows him to induce a lot of torque on the bat, producing a unique swing that nonetheless drives the ball far upon contact. His bat speed, cited among the best in the American League, allows him to make contact with almost any pitch and keeps his strikeouts low; however, it also makes it nearly impossible for him to check his swing, due to the momentum of his bat. Sheffield remains a great hitter with high on base and slugging numbers, even in his late thirties when most players decline significantly. Although most consider Sheffield to have put up Hall of Fame-caliber numbers over his 18 seasons in the major leagues, it is unclear whether or not he will be inducted. His off field temper and frequent outbursts have not endeared him to the writers who vote on inclusion in the Hall. His admission to using steroids could also affect ballots. Also he has led his league in a Triple Crown category only once (a .330 batting average for San Diego in 1992), and has never won an MVP award, both of which historically have played a large part in the writers' considerations. Read Full Bio >>

Gary Sheffield Trivia

  • As a kid, played in the Little League World Series.
  • Outfielder for Milwaukee Brewers (1988-91), San Diego Padres (1992-93), Florida Marlins (1993-98), Los Angeles Dodgers (1998-2001), Atlanta Braves (2002-03) and New York Yankees (2004 - present).
  • Is the nephew of former All-Star pitcher Dwight Gooden.
  • Wife is a gospel singer DeLeon Richards who was the youngest person (9 years old) ever to be nominated for a Grammy.
  • Los Angeles Dodgers All-Time On Base Percentage Leader (.424).
  • Finished 3rd in voting for 1992 National League MVP. Finished 6th in 1996. Finished 9th in 2000.
  • Highest paid player in MLB in 1998 earning $14,936,667.
  • Member of 1997 World Series Champion Florida Marlins team. Member of 2002 and 2003 National League Eastern Division Champion Atlanta Braves teams.
  • Named to 7 National League All Star Teams (1992-93, 1996, 1998-2000 and 2003).
  • Children: Jaden Amir (b. 5 September 2002) by wife DeLeon; Gary, Jr., daughters Ebony and Carissa by previous relationships. Ebony and Carissa were junior bridesmaids at their father's wedding.
  • Led National League in On-base percentage (.465) in 1996.
  • Led National League in Batting Average (.330) and Total Bases (323) in 1992.
  • Finished 3rd in voting for 1992 and 2003 National League MVP. Finished 6th in 1996. Finished 9th in 2000.
  • Made major league debut on 3 September 1988.


Gary Sheffield Photos

  • Gary Sheffield

    13th Annual Harold and Carole Pump Foundation Gala - Arrivals

  • Gary Sheffield

    2005 MLB - New York Yankees at Los Angeles Angels (6-8) - July 23, 2005

  • Gary Sheffield

    2005 MLB - New York Yankees at Los Angeles Angels (6-8) - July 23, 2005

  • Gary Sheffield

    2004 MLB - New York Yankees at Los Angeles Angels (4-2) - May 19, 2004

  • Gary Sheffield

    2004 MLB - New York Yankees at Los Angeles Angels (4-2) - May 19, 2004

  • Gary Sheffield

    2004 MLB - New York Yankees at Los Angeles Angels (4-2) - May 19, 2004

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