Does anyone remember Mark "Hard Hittin'" Whiten?
I do and very well, also. You probably thought that in my "Does Anyone Remember...." series that I only use football players. Well I use other players, too. I also will do MLB, NBA, PGA, and probably Boxing in my series.
So now I'm with Mark Whiten. Now I have a reason to use every player for my series. I usually get it from my player cards. And that is how I found Mark Whiten with that.
I thought this guy was pretty good and by looking at his statistics, he is pretty good for a player who played in the MLB for only 10 years! Everyone called him "Hard Hittin'." If you don't believe me on that one, Baseball-Reference says so and this cool picture of him.
So you get the picture. But I'm not done yet. And this is where I explain his story:
Well, now that he is 42 years old, you won't be seeing this guy playing. Or will we?
He was an outfielder and, something that is pretty cool, a switch-hitter. He played for the Toronto Blue Jays, Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies, Atlanta Braves, Seattle Mariners, and (get happy Kenny Ducey) the New York Yankees.
Now let's get to the real deal.
Born in Pensacola, Florida, Whiten didn't need to go anywhere for a vacation. He was also destined to be a MLB star. He was drafted by the Blue Jays in the 1986 amateur draft. Four years later, in the year of 1990, he made his MLB debut.
Whiten, to everyone, was a typical up-and-down player. He ended the 1990 year with two home runs and 12 runs. He also had 7 RBI. Everyone called him a power-hitter. He hit for power. But in the field and at plate, the mental lapses hurt him.
His next year was actually pretty good. After having 9 home runs, 46 runs, and 45 RBI; Whiten finished sixth in the AL Rookie of the Year voting. He also played for two teams that year. After those mental lapses, the Blue Jays sent him off to Cleveland during the season. He still had pretty good stats, though.
In 1992, it was Whiten's first-full and last year with the Indians. He finished with nine home runs, 73 runs, and 43 RBI. Whiten would return to Cleveland in 1998. After that disappointing year. But he was the eighth batter in the lineup. But hey, he was 25 years old and was still young.
He was then shipped off to St. Louis to play for the Cardinals. And it was a good thing he went there because that was the best time he had with any other team.
In 1993, his first year with the team, was the best year he ever had.
On September seventh, 1993, Whiten had the best game of the year and of his career. He gained popularity in the MLB with the statistics he had that game. Against the Reds, he had four home runs and 12 runs, which meant that he tied the all-time single-game-records in both categories in the making. He also tied the NL record for most runs batted in with 13.
What a game that was!
That year, he had 25 home runs, 81 runs, and 99 RBI. It also included a .253 batting average.
After a very successful year in 1993, the next year didn't turn out so good. He had pulled his rib-cage muscles but he still managed to play 92 games. He finished with pretty good stats in only 92 games: 14 home runs, 57 runs, and 53 RBI.
Whiten left the Cardinals and had a weird year in 1995. He played for the Red Sox and, my favorite team, the Phillies. That year, he had 12 home runs, 51 runs, and 47 RBI. 1996 became a stranger year for Whiten, as he played for three different teams: Phillies, Braves, Mariners. He had 22 home runs, 76 runs, and 71 RBI that year.
He left the Mariners that year and moved on to the Yankees in 1997. He had five home runs, 57 runs, and 24 RBI. After finally having a full year with a team, the Yankees shipped him off to his for
He played with them from 1998-2000. In his first year with the team, he had six home runs, 31 runs, and 29 RBI. Then in 1999, he had one home run, two runs, and 4 RBI. Then in 2000, it was his last year with the MLB. He had zero home runs, two runs, and one RBI.
Whiten had a great career, in my mind. He had some great stastics for a player who played in the MLB for only 10 years: .259 batting average, 105 home runs, 423 RBI, 465 runs scored, 804 hits, 129 doubles, 20 triples, 70 stolen bases in just 939 games.
He retired at the age of 33.
But his baseball career wasn't over. He played some more baseball from 2001-2003.
He played with the Long Island Ducks, mostly, of the Atlantic League. He didn't play baseball, though, in 2001. He did play in 2002 and 2003. In 2002, he played for two teams: Ducks and the Las Vegas 51s.
In 2002, at the age of 35, he had these stats: eight home runs, three runs, and two RBI. Then in 2003, it was Whiten's last year ever of baseball. At the age of 36, he had two home runs. The rest of the stats were never found, though.
Whiten has also experienced pitching. On July 31st, 1998, when Whiten was on the Indians, he had pitched against the Oakland Athletics. He only pitched one inning, though. He walked two and gave up a hit and a run. He also struck out future AL MVP, Miguel Tejada. According to Wikipedia, he had a perfect K/9 ratio of 27.
Whiten had a great baseball career. There was a 2002 article of Whiten of where he has been, but I explained better. Whiten has done great in his career in the MLB and the other baseball leagues.
And he will always be remembered as Hard Hittin'.
Now do you remember Mark Whiten?
Still a successful baseball player, still Hard Hittin'.
Some of the information has been provided by Baseball-Reference, Wikipedia, and MLB.com.
Whiten has also been featured in Sports Illustrated.