Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Jeffrey Hammonds, 1998 Leaf #86
Perhaps ignoring his home/road splits (.399/.465/.651 at home, .275/.325/.415 on the road), the Brewers backed up the Brinks truck in Jeffrey's driveway: three years, $21 million. Unsurprisingly, injuries limited him to 49 games in 2001 and 46 games in 2003. In between those two seasons, he did make it through 2002 with 128 games played, but hit .257 and slugged only .397 while driving in a paltry 41 runs. Jeffrey's career wound down with short and injury-marred stints in San Francisco and Washington, highlighted by an NLDS appearance with the 2003 Giants in which he reached base five times in seven trips to the plate. When the Nationals wanted to option him back to AAA New Orleans in mid-2005, the 34-year-old outfielder chose to retire instead. He stuck around for parts of 13 big league seasons, hitting .272 with 110 home runs and 423 RBI.
When the Baltimore Sun caught up with Hammonds at the end of his career, he offered the following assessment of his time in baseball: "I am not downtrodden. I made millions. I played in the biggest ballyards. I played in some of the biggest games. That would be selfish [to be bitter]. I'm not the norm. And I can say that and say that with pride."