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1914 Boston Braves

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    Jeffrey Leonard


    Called Hac-Man for his aggressiveness at the plate and Penitentiary Face for his perpetual scowl, Leonard escaped the streets of Philadelphia to become a dangerous, free-swinging ML hitter. He led all minor leaguers with a .365 average at Albuquerque (Pacific Coast League) in 1978 and was TSN NL Rookie Player of the Year when he hit .290 with 23 steals for the Astros in 1979. Traded to the Giants with Dave Bergman for Mike Ivie in late 1981, the sullen-looking slugger injured his hand diving for a ball in 1982 but rebounded with 21 HR in both 1983 and 1984, and his .302 average in 1984 was a career high. A sizzling start in 1987 (he was hitting .374 on May 27) earned Leonard an All-Star appearance, and in the 1987 LCS he became only the third player in postseason history to win the MVP award while his team lost the series. Leonard hit home runs in each of the first four games, taunting the Cardinals with his slow, deliberate "one-flap-down" trot, with one arm held against his side and the other arm extended. He hit .417 for the series. He was traded to Milwaukee for Ernest Riles in June 1988, and after the season signed as a free agent with Seattle, where he resurrected his career. A foot injury confined him to DHing, but he nonetheless reached career highs with 24 HR and 93 RBI. (SCL)

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