Claudell Washington

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Claudell Washington
Right fielder
Born: (1954-08-31) August 31, 1954 (age 60)
Los Angeles, California
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
July 5, 1974 for the Oakland Athletics
Last MLB appearance
June 18, 1990 for the New York Yankees
Career statistics
Batting average .278
Home runs 164
Runs batted in 824
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Claudell Washington (born August 31, 1954 in Los Angeles, California) is a former right fielder in Major League Baseball who played for the Oakland Athletics (1974–76), Texas Rangers (1977–78), Chicago White Sox (1978–80), New York Mets (1980), Atlanta Braves (1981–86), New York Yankees (1987–88, 1990) and California Angels (1989–90). He batted and threw left-handed.

Professional career[edit]

Washington was one of the youngest All-Stars in major league history when he was named to the 1975 American League All-Star team at the age of 20. He finished 5th in the American league in batting average with a mark of .308 and second in stolen bases with a total of 40. Prior to the 1977 season, Washington was traded to the Texas Rangers for second baseman Rodney Scott and left-handed pitcher Jim Umbarger.

A little over a year later, in May 1978, Washington was traded to the Chicago White Sox for superstar outfielder Bobby Bonds. After struggling in 1978, both before and after the trade, Washington bounced back with a solid 1979 campaign. He was traded once again midway through the following season to the New York Mets for a minor leaguer.

Speed was Washington's ally, but he was also capable of showing outbursts of power. On July 14, 1979, while playing for the Chicago White Sox, Washington hit three home runs in one game. He repeated this feat on June 22, 1980, while playing for the New York Mets, making him one of the few players to hit three home runs in a game in both leagues.

Washington became a free agent after the 1980 season, and signed with the Atlanta Braves before the 1981 season. Washington spent the next five and a half seasons with the Braves, and was named NL Player of the Month in September, 1982, and was named to the All-Star team again in 1984.

In 1985, Washington was among a number of players caught up in the Pittsburgh drug trials scandal. In 1986, he was given a 60-day suspension but was allowed to continue playing if he donated five percent of his base salary and contributed 50 hours of drug-related community service.

Washington was traded in June 1986, from the Braves to the New York Yankees, along with Paul Zuvella, for outfielder Ken Griffey, Sr. and infielder Andre Robertson. He re-signed with the Yankees after the 1986 season, and spent two more years with the Yankees. In April 1988, he hit the Yankees' 10,000th franchise home run. After the 1988 season, Washington once again became a free agent, and signed a contract with the California Angels. Washington was part of yet another mid-season trade in April 1990, when he was traded back to the Yankees, along with Rich Monteleone, for outfielder Luis Polonia.

Washington was eventually released by the Yankees, and retired after the 1990 season. He finished his career with 164 home runs, 312 stolen bases and a lifetime batting average of .278.

Washington holds the dubious distinction of striking out 39 times against pitcher Nolan Ryan, more times than any other batter.[1]

In popular culture[edit]

Game footage of Washington appears in the 1986 movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off. In the film, Washington hits a foul ball at a Cubs game which is caught by the film's title character, who was supposedly sick at home from school. This footage was taken from a game played on June 5, 1985. [2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chass, Murray. "BASEBALL; For the Strikeout King, A Sure Hall of Fame Hit," New York Times (Jan. 4, 1999).
  2. ^ "Atlanta Braves 4, Chicago Cubs 2," Retrosheet (June 5, 1985). Accessed May 16, 2014.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Bill Buckner
National League Player of the Month
September 1982
Succeeded by
Terry Kennedy