October 7, 1956 |
|September 12, 1978, for the Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 4, 1986, for the Kansas City Royals|
|Runs batted in||199|
Rudy Karl Law (born October 7, 1956), is a former professional baseball player who played outfield in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1978 to 1986. He played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox, and Kansas City Royals. In 1983, he stole 77 bases, setting the White Sox single-season record.
Law's play helped the White Sox win their division and get to the 1983 American League Championship Series, the franchise's first postseason appearance since 1959. He was one of the few Sox position players who came through in the ALCS, going 7-for-18 at the plate (.389) and stealing two bases. The team managed to score just three runs in the entire series and lost it to the Baltimore Orioles, three games to one.
Law attended Ravenswood High School in East Palo Alto, California. He made his MLB debut at age 21 as a 1978 late-season call-up with the Dodgers, appearing in 11 games in September but not on their roster for the 1978 World Series. His best season for the Dodgers came in 1980, when he appeared in 128 games and stole 40 bases.
But with a team bound for the 1981 World Series and a season interrupted by an MLB players' strike, the Dodgers had no available spot for Law in the outfield. He spent all of 1981 in the minors, where he hit .335. Just before the beginning of the following season, the Dodgers traded Law on March 30, 1982 to the White Sox for Cecil Espy and Burwell Geiger. Though Law had a weak throwing arm and had poor instincts in the field and while baserunning, he made up for some of those deficits with his speed.
Given a chance to play in Chicago, he hit .318 during the 1982 season with 36 steals. Then came his breakout season in 1983, with a career-high 142 hits and with his 77 stolen bases the second-best total in all of baseball that year (as of 2015, the 77 steals remain a White Sox single-season record) on a White Sox team that won the American League West title for the franchise's first postseason berth since the 1959 World Series. Law was released by the Sox at the end of spring training in 1986 and by the Kansas City Royals in spring of 1987, ending his MLB career at age 30.
- Dodgers, Chisox trade
- Faber, Charles F. (22 October 2010). Major League Careers Cut Short: Leading Players Gone by 30. McFarland. p. 163. ISBN 978-0-7864-6209-4. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
- Malcolm, Chris (July 11, 2003). "Where are they now?". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
- Scott, Gerald (June 16, 1985). "Law takes Angels into own hands : Ex-Dodger helps White Sox strengthen AL West lead". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
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