Gibbons with the Baltimore Orioles
March 2, 1977 |
|April 6, 2001 for the Baltimore Orioles|
Last MLB appearance
|June 3, 2011 for the Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Runs batted in||427|
Jay Jonathan Gibbons (born March 2, 1977) is a former American professional baseball outfielder in Major League Baseball.  He played college baseball at California State University, Los Angeles and in the Major Leagues for the Baltimore Orioles and Los Angeles Dodgers. He attended Mayfair High School in Lakewood, California.
Gibbons was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 14th round, 411th overall, of the 1998 amateur draft and that season captured the Pioneer League Triple Crown with the Medicine Hat Blue Jays, hitting .397 with 19 home runs and 98 RBI. After the 2000 season, he was picked up by the Baltimore Orioles in the Rule 5 draft.
As a rookie for the Orioles in 2001, he hit 15 home runs before a hand injury cut short his season. The next year, he hit a career-best 28 homers. In 2003, Gibbons had another excellent season. Playing in a career-high 160 games, he established personal bests in batting average and RBI (100) and was voted Team MVP.
In 2004, Gibbons suffered multiple injuries and only played in 97 games. Because of his hobbling injuries, his numbers plummeted: his batting average was a mere .246, and he hit only 10 homers. After the 2004 season, he had LASIK eye surgery to improve his declining eyesight, which went from 20–10 to 20–35 in only a few months. He bounced back with a solid 2005 season as he hit .277 with 26 home runs and 79 RBI in 139 games.
He wore No. 25 until Rafael Palmeiro signed a contract with the Orioles in 2004. Out of respect for the older and more established Palmeiro, Jay switched to No. 31, which he wore for the rest of his time with the Orioles, even after Palmeiro left the Orioles.
On September 30, 2006, the Los Angeles Times reported that former relief pitcher Jason Grimsley, during a June 6, 2006, federal raid, told federal agents investigating steroids in baseball that Gibbons was a user of "anabolic steroids." The Times reported that Gibbons was one of five names blacked out in an affidavit filed in federal court. However, on October 3, 2006, the Washington Post reported that San Francisco United States attorney Kevin Ryan said that the Los Angeles Times report contained "significant inaccuracies." Gibbons, along with the other four players named, denounced the story. However, on September 9, 2007, Sports Illustrated reported that a source close to an Orlando-based compound pharmacy alleged that Gibbons had received multiple shipments of performance-enhancing steroids and human growth hormone (HGH) between October 2003 to July 2005.
He was suspended for the first 15 games of the 2008 season on December 6, 2007, and performed so poorly in 2008 spring training that the Orioles cut him even though he was owed nearly $12 million for the last two years of his contract. The Orioles management claimed that the release was a "baseball decision" unrelated to the steroid allegations.
On June 12, 2008, Gibbons wrote an emotional letter to all 30 MLB clubs, asking to return to baseball, promising to donate his salary to charity. The only team that gave him a chance was the independent Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League, a team unaffiliated with MLB. He played in 27 games for the Ducks, hitting .280 with 5 home runs in 107 at-bats.
On July 22, 2008, Gibbons signed a minor league contract with the Milwaukee Brewers and was assigned to the Double-A Huntsville Stars. Gibbons spent approximately one week at Double-A Huntsville before being promoted to Triple-A Nashville on July 27. He became a free agent after the season.
Gibbons signed a minor league contract with an invite to spring training with the Florida Marlins on January 13, 2009. He was released by the Marlins on March 13, 2009; the Marlins stated that they did not have room on the roster for him.
On May 11, 2009, Gibbons agreed to play for the Newark Bears of the Atlantic League.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Gibbons signed a minor league contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers prior to the 2010 season. He was assigned to the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes to start the season and was selected to the mid-season Pacific Coast League all-star team. In 94 games with the Isotopes, he hit .347 with 19 home runs.
Gibbons was called up to the Dodgers on August 8, 2010. In the game that day against the Washington Nationals, he hit a pinch-hit RBI single. Two days later, Gibbons started in left field against the Philadelphia Phillies, finishing 3–4 with a home run and 3 RBI.
He appeared in 37 games with the Dodgers, getting extensive playing time after the trade of Manny Ramirez. He finished hitting .280 with 5 home runs and 17 RBI.
On November 4, 2010, Gibbons signed a 1 year deal to remain with the Dodgers. He began to experience some vision problems while playing winter ball in Venezuela and saw some eye specialists when the problem persisted through spring training, causing him to lose his chance to be the team's regular left fielder. The problems continued into April and he began the season on the disabled list while trying out different contact lenses. He was even concerned that his career might be over. After an extended rehab assignment at AAA Albuquerque that lasted for most of April, he was activated on May 3. He appeared in 24 games, hitting .255 before he was designated for assignment on June 6. He returned to the Isotopes, where he played in 76 games the rest of the season, hitting .300 with 9 home runs and 46 RBI. He became a free agent after the season.
- "Jay Gibbons Stats". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved November 21, 2012.
- Pugmire, Lance (October 1, 2006). "Clemens Is Named in Drug Affidavit". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 1, 2006.[dead link]
- "U.S. Attorney Says Report Alleging Drug Use Contains 'Inaccuracies'". Washington Post. October 3, 2006. p. E02. Retrieved October 4, 2006.
- Llosa, Luis Fernando; L. Jon Wertheim (September 9, 2007). "Gibbons received banned drugs". SI.com. Retrieved September 10, 2007.
- Mitchell, George (December 13, 2007). "Mitchell Report on Steroid Use in Baseball" (PDF). Retrieved December 13, 2007.
- "Orioles: Gibbons released for baseball reasons, not drug suspension – MLB". ESPN. March 30, 2008. Retrieved April 26, 2012.
- Buster OlneyESPN InsiderArchive (June 11, 2008). "Players like Bonds, Gibbons, Logan struggle to find work". ESPN. Retrieved April 26, 2012.
- "Espn.Com". ESPN. July 23, 2008. Retrieved April 26, 2012.
- "Marlins Sign Eight Minor League Free Agents," Florida Marlins press release, Tuesday, January 13, 2009.
- Marlins Release OF Gibbons Yahoo Sports, March 13, 2009
- By Evan Drellich / MLB.com. "Gibbons grateful for chance with Dodgers | MLB.com: News". Mlb.mlb.com. Retrieved April 26, 2012.
- "Jay Gibbons leaves winter ball team due to blurred vision". NBC Sports. January 13, 2011. Retrieved April 26, 2012.
- "Gibbons seeks help for vision problem". Los Angeles Times. March 15, 2011. Retrieved April 26, 2012.
- "Dodger outfielder Jay Gibbons' eyesight ‘an overall mess'". Newsok.com. April 18, 2011. Retrieved April 26, 2012.
- Stephen, Eric (May 3, 2011). "Vision Quest: Dodgers Activate Jay Gibbons, Place Marcus Thames On DL". Truebluela.com. Retrieved April 26, 2012.
- Nicholson-Smith, Ben. "Dodgers Designate Gibbons, Castro For Assignment". MLBTradeRumors.com. Retrieved June 6, 2011.
- Jones, Luke. "Former Orioles Outfielder Gibbons Calls It Quits At Age 35," WNST Radio, Monday, July 9, 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jay Gibbons.|
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Former Oriole Reinstated (Baltimore Sun Article)
- Baseball Almanac