In one of the worst trades in Atlanta history, Jacoby, Brett Butler, and Rick Behenna were sent to Cleveland for Len Barker in 1983. Jacoby had spent five years in the Braves system, hitting with power, and he quickly became the Indians' hardy, everyday third baseman. An exceedingly quiet, unaggressive player, he proved a calm and sure-handed fielder, good on fielding the bunt and going to his left, but hesitant to dive for a ball.
A poor baserunner and a streaky hitter, Jacoby peaked in 1987 (the year of the rabbit ball) when he cut down on his strikeouts. He batted .300 but managed just 69 RBI -- 27 of his 32 homers were solo shots, and he hit just .225 with runners in scoring position. Despite a slump the following year, he remained the Tribe's everyday third baseman and turned in another All-Star season in 1990. It was his last year as a regular; a sore right elbow began to limit his power, and he was dealt to Oakland in July 1991 for prospect Lee Tinsley.
Jacoby returned to Cleveland in 1992, and won a starting job when rookie Jim Thome broke his wrist that spring. But by mid-season the veteran infielder was back on the bench, and at the end of the year he was let go. Jacoby signed with the Chunichi Dragons of the Japanese League, but hit just .183 in 18 games before calling it quits. (JCA/JGR)
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FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
»August 28, 1983:
The Indians trade pitcher Len Barker to the Braves for Rick Behenna, cash, and two players to be named later. The two turn out to be OF Brett Butler and 3B Brook Jacoby.