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Bobby Bonilla

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2002 Topps Heritage #46 Bobby Bonilla

Roberto Martin Antonio Bonilla (Bobby-Bo)

  • Bats Both, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 3", Weight 240 lb.

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[edit] Biographical Information

"When you're 6 feet 3 and swish the bat menacingly across the plate in a low golfer's arc, then rock back, hands low, swaying just a touch to some internal rhumba, it brings back memories of those great right-handed line-drive hitters. . . It's just as rare when a player reminds the game's oldsters of both Willie McCovey and Willie Stargell." - prose by Thomas Boswell, writing in the Washington Post in 1988 about Bobby Bonilla

Bobby Bonilla, who was the highest-paid player in baseball during most of his time with the New York Mets in the early 1990s, had a 16-year career in the major leagues. He was second in the MVP voting in 1990 behind teammate Barry Bonds, and third in the voting in 1991 behind Terry Pendleton and Bonds.

Bonilla was not drafted out of high school and since he had talent with computers, attended technical college for a while.

Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1981 as a free agent after being discovered at a baseball clinic in Europe, he suffered an injury in 1985 and was selected from the Pirates by the Chicago White Sox in the 1985 Rule V Draft. He started the 1986 season with the White Sox before going back to the Pirates in a trade. The White Sox had a team on-base percentage of only .309, and Bonilla's .361 was one of the highest on the team. He hit his first home run off future Hall of Famer Phil Niekro. Originally an outfielder and first baseman in his first season in the majors, he became a third baseman in his second year. He ended up playing 957 games at third base with good range, 889 in the outfield, and 125 at first base in his major league career.

He became a star with the Pirates, and then received his highest income from the Mets. During his prime, he murdered Cub pitching like no one else. He loved to hit at Wrigley Field. Later, in 1996 he drove in 116 runs for the Baltimore Orioles as a right fielder and in 1997 was the third baseman on the World Series champion Florida Marlins, with the highest batting average among the regulars on the team during the regular season.

During the 1997 World Series, he hit in the clean-up spot during the first six games, behing Gary Sheffield in the line-up. Bonilla was dropped to the # 6 spot for Game Seven, in which he hit a key home run in the seventh inning to tie the game.

The similarity scores method shows the most similar player to Bonilla as Fred Lynn, with the second most similar player being Paul O'Neill.

Bonilla was the 1995 MTV "Rock-n-Jock" softball co-MVP. He established the Millie and Bobby Bonilla Public School Fund and appeared on "New York Undercover".

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • 6-time NL All Star (1988-1991, 1993 & 1995)
  • 3-time NL Silver Slugger Award Winner (1988/3B, 1990/OF & 1991/OF)
  • NL Doubles Leader (1991)
  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 7 (1988-1990 & 1993-1996)
  • 30-Home Run Seasons: 2 (1990 & 1993)
  • 100 RBI Seasons: 4 (1988, 1990, 1991 & 1996)
  • 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 3 (1990, 1991 & 1996)
  • Won a World Series with the Florida Marlins in 1997

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