Shannon Stewart (baseball)

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Shannon Stewart
P1000642 Shannon Stewart.jpg
Left fielder
Born: (1974-02-25) February 25, 1974 (age 40)
Cincinnati, Ohio
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 2, 1995 for the Toronto Blue Jays
Last MLB appearance
June 7, 2008 for the Toronto Blue Jays
Career statistics
Batting average .297
Home runs 115
Runs batted in 580
Teams

Shannon Harold Stewart (born February 25, 1974) is a former[1] American professional baseball outfielder with the Toronto Blue Jays, Minnesota Twins and Oakland Athletics of Major League Baseball. Stewart currently lives in Miami, Florida.

High school years[edit]

Stewart was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and attended Miami Southridge High School in South Miami Heights, Florida.[2] and was a student and a letterman in football, baseball, and track. In football, he was a starting cornerback as a sophomore, and as a junior, he was an All-Dade County selection. In baseball, as a senior, he was an All-Dade County selection.

Professional career[edit]

Toronto Blue Jays[edit]

Shannon Stewart was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1st round (19th pick) of the 1992 amateur draft and made his debut on September 2, 1995. Stewart fluctuated between the majors and minors over the next several seasons, eventually finding a place in the every day Blue Jay lineup by the end of 1997.

In his first full season with the Blue Jays in 1998, he hit .279, belting 12 home runs and driving in 55 runs. During that season, he stole 51 bases, a career-high. Playing alongside superstars Jose Canseco, Roger Clemens, and Carlos Delgado that year, Stewart became a catalyst at the top of the Toronto lineup, providing speed and base-stealing ability, as well as some power and clutch-hitting. In every season from 1999 to 2002, Stewart batted .300 or higher and scored over 100 runs. He also showed some unexpected power, hitting 21 HRs in 2000.

Stewart spent parts of eight seasons with Toronto before he was dealt to the Minnesota Twins for Bobby Kielty in 2003. Stewart played in 855 games with Toronto, batting .301 with 218 doubles, 73 home runs and 163 stolen bases.

Minnesota Twins[edit]

Stewart was traded, along with the balance of his salary, in 2003 to the Minnesota Twins for Bobby Kielty. Following that off-season, the Blue Jays would trade Kielty for Ted Lilly.[3] Stewart performed well for the Twins in the pennant race with the Chicago White Sox, hitting .322 with the Twins, with an on-base percentage of .384. The Twins won the American League Central Division title that year, but lost to the New York Yankees 3 games to 1 in the American League Division Series.[4] Despite his team's loss, Stewart batted .400 with a .471 On Base Percentage in that series.[4] That year, Shannon finished 4th in American League MVP voting,[5] a remarkable accomplishment for a leadoff hitter.

Oakland Athletics[edit]

On February 7, 2007, Stewart and the Oakland Athletics agreed to a one-year deal worth $1 million with a possible extra $1.5 million more in incentives based on playing time.[6]

On June 7, 2007, Stewart broke up Curt Schilling's bid for a no-hitter with a two out, bases-empty single in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Stewart finished his one season with the A's hitting .290 with 12 home runs and 48 RBI in 146 games.

In 2007, Stewart was noted as one of only 69 (9.2%) players on the 25-man roster of MLB teams who identified as African American, as compared to 27% of players identifying as African American in 1975.[7]

Second stint with Blue Jays[edit]

The Toronto Blue Jays signed Stewart to a minor league deal on February 24, 2008, and gave their former first-round pick an invitation to spring training. This move came as a surprise to many who never thought Stewart would be back in a Jays uniform, especially when the Jays re-signed left fielder Reed Johnson.

Stewart ended up being chosen by the Jays to take over left field, in a platoon with Matt Stairs, over the fan favorite Reed Johnson, who was released by the team. On March 30, the Blue Jays purchased Stewart's contract from Triple-A Syracuse. He was released by the Blue Jays on August 11.

Injuries[edit]

After his stellar 2003 season, Stewart suffered from plantar fasciitis problems in both feet, limiting him to 92 games in 2004 and only 44 in 2006. While playing football in high school, Stewart suffered an injury to his shoulder, thus weakening his throwing ability. Because his arm is not as strong as it once was, he has sometimes been considered a liability in the field; opposing base runners frequently take bases they might not take if another fielder were playing his position.

Accomplishments[edit]

  • Finished 4th in American League MVP voting (2003)
  • 3rd in the American League in steals (1998, 51 steals)
  • 4th in the American League in steals (1999, 37 steals)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]