April 27, 1957 |
|Batted: Left||Threw: Left|
|April 9, 1978 for the Toronto Blue Jays|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 28, 1988 for the Cleveland Indians|
|Runs batted in||528|
Willie Clay Upshaw (born April 27, 1957 in Blanco, Texas) is a retired Major League Baseball player who played first base for the Toronto Blue Jays (1978, 1980–1987) and Cleveland Indians (1988), both of the American League. Following his Major League career, he played two seasons in Japan for the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks (1989–1990). He is currently the field manager of the minor league Bridgeport Bluefish.
Upshaw was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 5th round of the 1975 Major League Baseball Draft. Following the 1977 season, he was selected by the expansion Toronto Blue Jays in the Rule 5 draft. In 1982, he became the Blue Jays' regular first-baseman and led the team in home runs with 21, RBIs with 75, and extra base hits. In 1983 he became the first Blue Jays' player to reach the 100 RBI plateau in a season, driving in 104 runs and batting .306.
Prior to the 1988 season, Upshaw's contract was purchased by the Cleveland Indians. Upshaw is currently Major League Baseball's career leader in home runs (123) and RBIs (528) for players whose surname begins with the letter U.
From 2006 to 2007, he served as the first base coach for the San Francisco Giants. When Barry Bonds broke Hank Aaron's career home run record, Upshaw was the first to congratulate him with a high-five as Bonds circled the bases. Upshaw is the cousin of NFL Hall of Famer Gene Upshaw and former NFL player Marvin Upshaw. In May 2007 his son, Chad Upshaw, signed a 3-year contract with the Carolina Panthers as a tight end after going undrafted following his graduation from Buffalo. He is currently the manager for the Bridgeport Bluefish, having served as their bench coach as well as the team's first manager in the late 1990s. He currently resides in Fairfield, Connecticut.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)