Friday, September 03, 2010

#358 Albie Pearson

#358 Albie Pearson
Albie Pearson was a seriously tiny dude: 5'5", 140 pounds. For a little perspective, CC Sabathia is listed as 6'7" and 290 pounds! He's two Albies!

Fun facts about Albie Pearson:

-Born in Alhambra, CA, Albie signed with the Red Sox in 1953.

-After five years in the Boston chain, he was traded to the Senators and made the big league squad at age 23 in 1958.

-As Washington's everyday center fielder, he led the club with 25 doubles and seven steals (they didn't do much running!) and batted .275 with a .354 on-base percentage. He walked twice as often as he struck out and was named A.L. Rookie of the Year.

-Albie suffered from a sophomore AND junior slump, as he batted only .223 with seven doubles and 14 RBI in 350 trips to the plate for the Senators and Orioles in 1959-1960. The O's even shipped him out to their minor league club in Miami.

-The diminutive outfielder hit only one home run during his stint in Baltimore. It was a two-out, eighth-inning grand slam off of New York's Jim Coates. Unfortunately, it only closed the O's deficit to 12-5 in a game they ultimately lost 15-9 (teammate Billy Klaus hit ANOTHER grand slam in the ninth!).

-Chosen by the Angels in the expansion draft, Pearson got untracked, hitting a team-best .288 with a .420 on-base percentage (thanks to 96 walks). He paced the team with 92 runs and 11 steals.

-After topping the American League with 115 runs scored in 1962, Albie was an All-Star the following year. His average was a personal-best .304 (fourth in the league), he walked 90-plus times for the third straight year, and added 26 doubles.

-Derailed by back spasms, he slumped to .223 in 1964 before rallying for one last hurrah the year after (.278 AVG, .370 OBP, 12-of-13 SB). He made it into just three games before the Angels released him in July of 1966.

-In eight-plus seasons, Albie hit .270 with a .369 on-base percentage, 28 home runs, and 214 RBI. He was 77-for-110 as a base stealer.

-Pearson is an ordained minister who has founded an organization to train fellow pastors and ministers. He and his wife have also founded a youth organization to keep kids drug-free, and in 2002 they dedicated Father's Heart Ranch in Desert Hot Springs, CA. It is an 11-acre home for abused, neglected, and abandoned boys.
#358 Albie Pearson (back)

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