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1914 Boston Braves

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    Mark Belanger


    When the Orioles traded shortstop Luis Aparicio after the 1967 season, they replaced him with his roommate, Belanger. The slender "Blade" didn't relinquish the position until 1982. An eight-time Gold Glove winner, he played in 43 postseason games during a decade of strong Baltimore teams and holds several ALCS defensive records for shortstops. Seldom spectacular, Belanger rarely fielded a ball one-handed or sidearmed a throw, but he moved around short with sure-handed ease and grace. Although an unimpressive hitter, he had the distinction of swatting a home run in the first ALCS game played, versus Minnesota (10/4/69). That year was his best offensively, as he hit .287 with 50 RBI.

    Granted free agency after 1981, Belanger signed with the Dodgers for his final season. A longtime player representative with Baltimore, he became a special assistant with the Major League Baseball Players' Association after retiring as a player. (JCA)

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