Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Player Profile: Mark Belanger

I have eleven cards of Mark Belanger. This one is from 1981 Fleer.

Playing career: Mark Belanger is considered one of the greatest fielding shortstops of all time. He was Baltimore’s regular shortstop from 1968 to 1980, replacing Hall-of-Famer Luis Aparacio and replaced by Hall-of-Famer Cal Ripken. He was an eight-time Gold Glove winner and was a regular in the lineup despite being a very weak hitter. In only three of the 13 seasons he was Baltimore’s regular shortstop did he hit as high as .230, and he had only 389 RBI in over 2000 major league games.

Post-playing career: After his career he had a leadership role in the MLB Players Association, supporting Donald Fehr. A notorious chain-smoker, he died of lung cancer in 1998.

My memories: He is from before my time but I have often heard of him as the ultimate “good-field, no-hit” shortstop.

Google Autocomplete results: He is second when you type Mark Be, between Mark Begich, a Democratic Senator from Alaska, and Mark Bell, a powerlifter. Another prominent Mark Belanger is Chief Risk Officer at Deutsche Leasing USA.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Kevin Belcher.

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