Tuesday, November 5, 2013

1993 TOPPS FINEST: #74 MIKE DEVEREAUX


NEVER WON A GOLD GLOVE BUT SHOULD HAVE.




THE L.A. CASTOFF FOUND A HOME IN BALTIMORE.



DEFINING THE PLAYER

  • Mike Devereaux was a mostly forgotten outfielder for the Dodgers in 1987 and '88 before being traded to the Orioles in March '89. He became the starting center fielder and showed a knack for making spectacular catches, emerging as a key cog in the Why Not O's' ascension from losers to playoff contenders.  

DEFINING MOMENT

  • Devereaux made history by hitting the first home run at Oriole Park in Camden Yards in 1992, but it was another dinger that defined him at Memorial Stadium. On July 15, 1989, his controversial two-run shot inside the left-field foul pole gave the Orioles an 11-9 victory over the Angels in front of a delirious 47,000-plus fans. While the Angels contended the ball was foul, the Orioles celebrated their 50th victory of the season that would end two games short of the AL East Division title.

DEFINING SEASON

  • Devereaux was seventh in the AL MVP voting in '92 when he belted 24 homers, drove in 107 runs had banged out 180 hits, all career-highs.

FIVE FINAL FACTS

  1. Acquired by the O's for starter Mike Morgan.
  2. The effects of that controversial two-run homer against the Angels carried over into the next day when Angels manager Doug Rader was tossed before the game after arguing with umpire Ken Kaiser over the call. 
  3. Batted .520 with the bases loaded in '92.
  4. The end in Baltimore began in '94 after he was beaned on the side of his face and finished with only nine homers and 33 RBI.
  5. As a part-time player with the Braves in '95, Devereaux was named NLCS MVP. He had the game-winning RBI in the 10th in Game 1 against the Reds and slugged a three-run homer in clinching Game 4.

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