O’Brien made himself into a reliable hitter with some power and a knack for getting on base. He constantly changed his batting stance during the hot and cold periods he experienced within each season, but his season totals were consistent. From 1984 to 1988 he hit between 16 and 23 home runs. He had a high of 92 RBI in 1985, but was generally in lineups where he had few RBI opportunities and wasn’t driven in by those behind him.
After the 1988 season, O'Brien was traded to Cleveland with Oddibe McDowell and Jerry Browne in the blockbuster deal that brought Julio Franco to Texas. He spent a year with the Indians before signing with Seattle, where batted just .237 over four seasons.
O’Brien was one of the best fielders in the league, as he showed by leading AL first basemen in assists in 1983 and 1987. When he started three double plays in a game on May 22, 1984, it tied the major-league record for first basemen. (SH/AF)
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FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
»June 9, 1984:
Pete O'Brien's bizarre sacrifice fly gives Texas a 4–3, 12-inning win over Oakland. With the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the 12th, A's left fielder Garry Hancock catches O'Brien's deep fly ball, then intentionally drops it when he realizes he is in foul territory. The umpires rule that the catch had been made, however, and Wayne Tolleson trots home from 3B with the winning run.
»July 22, 1984: At Detroit, Dave Bergman hits a lead off homer for the Tigers, and they score another on a wild pitch h to beat the Rangers, 2–0. Charlie Hough goes all the way for Texas, while Dan Petry (13–4) is lifted with one on, two out in the 9th. Hernandez retires Pete O'Brien for the win. Detroit (66–29) leads the East by nine games.
»April 11, 1990: California's Mark Langston and Mike Witt combine to no-hit the Mariners 1–0 for the first combined no-hitter in the major leagues since 1976. It is Langston's first start for the Angels since signing as a free agent in the off-season. 1B Wally Joyner makes an error in the 5th when he overthrows Langston on Pete O'Brien's grounder. O'Brien tries for 2B, not realizing that C Lance Parrish baked up the play and has the ball. He's thrown out.