James Michael Maler
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 4", Weight 230 lb.
- School Miami Dade South Community College, University of Miami
- High School Coral Gables High School
- Debut September 3, 1981
- Final Game July 24, 1983
- Born August 16, 1958 in New York, NY USA
The draft and minors
In his first year in the minor leagues he suffered a severe knee injury that slowed his success. A power hitter, he hit as high as .310, hit as many as 24 home runs, and drove in as many as 100 runs in the minors. His success in the minors did not carry over to the Major Leagues.
On September 3, 1981, at the age of 22, Maler made his big league debut, collecting 2 hits in 4 at bats against the Boston Red Sox, with his first at-bat turning into a double off the "Green Monster" at Fenway Park against pitcher Tom Burgmeier. His debut game ended up being a 19-inning ordeal, with the Mariners beating the Red Sox, 8 to 7. This was a rather interesting game, as it set the Fenway Park longest game record in terms of innings played. He played 12 games in the majors in 1981, hitting .348 in 23 at-bats. It seemed as if he would live up to his prospect status.
In 1982, he appeared in 64 games, batting .226 in 221 at-bats. One of the highlights of his season was a grand slam he hit on May 22nd off Randy Lerch of the Milwaukee Brewers. Perhaps the best game of his career came on April 6th - his first game of the year. Maler went 3 for 4 with a home run and five RBI in a 11-7 win over the Minnesota Twins. Maler had the first single ever hit in the Metrodome and the first home run by a visiting player at the Metrodome.
It seems that, just as quickly as Maler's promising young career began, it was over. He played his final big league game on July 24, 1983. His big league career was over before his 25th birthday, as he suffered another devastating knee injury in 1984.
Maler hit .226 in 102 major league games. In 310 at-bats, he collected 70 hits (including 5 home runs), drove in 31 runs, scored 24 runs, walked 19 times and struck out 47 times. He was a very solid fielder though, posting a .994 career fielding percentage. He totaled 97 Home Runs, 170 Doubles, 27 Triples and over 500 RBIs in his minor league career.
The uniform numbers Maler wore were 11 in 1981 and 33 in 1982 and 1983. Maler is one of two first basemen who hold the record for most assists in an inning in the American League, with three. Dick Stuart is the only other American League first baseman to have had three assists in an inning.
At last check, Maler lived in North Miami Beach, FL.