Friday, March 8, 2013

1993 TOPPS FINEST: #8 B.J. SURHOFF


NO GOLD-GLOVER, BUT A JACK-OF-ALL-TRADES.




CALL HIM DOUR, BUT DON'T CALL HIM A LOLLYGAGGER.


DEFINING THE PLAYER

  • Primarily a left-fielder, B.J. Surhoff played every position in the majors except pitcher. But he was no punch-and-judy utility stiff. He amassed 2,326 hits and 1,153 RBI in his 19-year career that began in Milwaukee in 1987. He did it with intensity and a hard-ass demeanor that made him a favorite in Baltimore, where he played parts of eight seasons.

FINEST MOMENT

  • On May 11, 2005, against the Twins, Surhoff, in his last season, was asked to bunt with runners on first and second in a 4-4 game in the eighth. The Twins brought in lefty specialist J.C. Romero. After bunting the first pitch foul and the infield in expecting another, he laced the next pitch down the right-field line to score what would turn out to be the winning run. Afterward, teammates greeted him wearing B.J. Surhoff T-shirts in the clubhouse, and Surhoff greeted them with same stoic expression he always wore. 

FINEST SEASON

  • Earned his first and only All-Star Game selection in '99, reaching career highs in homers (28), RBI (107) and hits (207) while batting .308 and compiling a 4.8 WAR.

FIVE FINAL FACTS

  1. Received two Hall of Fame votes during his one-and-done year of eligibility in '11.
  2. Inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame in '07 and the College Baseball Hall of Fame in '10.
  3. Surhoff cried after learning he had been traded to the Braves on July 31, 2000, a testament to how much he loved playing in Baltimore and living in the area, which he still calls home.
  4. Named team MVP in '99 and was just the fifth Oriole to have a 200-hit season.
  5. Saying he hated to strike out, Surhoff K'd only 199 times more than he walked (839-640).

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