Roberto Alomar Velazquez
- Bats Both, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 185 lb.
"Some plays just come out of me, just on instincts. I'll make a play and wonder 'How did I do that'?" - Roberto Alomar
"Dr. J in cleats." Then-Padres general manager Joe McIlvaine
Roberto Alomar was one of the biggest stars of his era, playing for 17 years with a .300 batting average. A 12-time All Star, his 10 Gold Gloves at second base are more than anyone else has ever earned. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2011.
Although never the league MVP, he ranked in the top six on five different occasions.
Based on the similarity scores method, five of the ten most similar players are in the Hall of Fame. Most of the others are still active or still under consideration and may quite possibly get in. The most similar player is Barry Larkin.
Alomar was the son of long-time major league player Sandy Alomar Sr., who was with the Chicago White Sox in the year that Roberto was born. Roberto's brother Sandy Alomar Jr. was signed by the San Diego Padres at around the age of 17. Roberto was also signed with the Padres with scout Luis Rosa on February 16, 1985. They were both to break into the majors in the same year, in 1988.
First, however, Roberto was in the minors, starting in Charleston where he hit .293 without power. In 1986 in Reno, he hit .346 and the following year he was at Wichita where he hit .319 with 12 homers. After only 9 games at Las Vegas in 1988, he came up to the majors for good.
Alomar broke in with the San Diego Padres in 1988, coming in 5th in the Rookie of the Year voting. He would spend 3 years with the Padres, never hitting .300 and not showing much power. However, he stole bases well, with a high of 42 in 1989. The big star on the Padres was Tony Gwynn.
He was known as "Robby" Alomar in his early major league days.
In December of 1990, he was part of a trade of big stars as he was traded by the Padres with Joe Carter to the Toronto Blue Jays for Fred McGriff and Tony Fernandez. He spent five years with the Blue Jays, winning the World Series with them in 1992 and 1993. In the 1993 World Series, he hit .480. In his Blue Jay years, he hit .300 in four of the five seasons, and .295 in the other year. His on-base percentage was over .400 twice (in the World Series years). He began to show power, with a slugging percentage of .492 in the expansion year of 1993.
He then became a free agent and spent three years with the Baltimore Orioles. His first two years were big-number years, as he posted batting lines of .328/.411/.527 and then .333/.390/.500. He was at that point a huge star. Coming to the Cleveland Indians in 1999, he had a couple more tremendous seasons, posting a batting line of .323/.422/.533 and after "only" hitting .310, he posted a line of .336/.415/.541 in 2001.
Although he was only 34 in 2002, his stats began to slip badly, and he closed out his career in 2002-2004 with three different teams, hitting around .260 each year with a slugging percentage under .400.
In March 2011, Alomar was hired by the Blue Jays as a special assistant, serving in baseball operations and community relations in the city of Toronto. He has also designed a clothing line called "second2none" to be sold in the Jays Shop at Rogers Centre.
Lifetime, Alomar had 2724 hits. He clearly would have liked to get to 3000, but it didn't happen. Although he is # 52 on the all-time list (just past Lou Gehrig at 2721 hits), that by itself was not enough to get into the Hall of Fame, as Vada Pinson at 2757 hits has not gotten in.
However, Alomar had many other things to offer. He had 12 All-Star appearances, and everybody with 12 appearances is in the Hall of Fame (except for Pete Rose and for some players who are still active or still under consideration). He scored 1500 runs, and every modern player with 1500 runs scored is in the Hall (again, except again for Pete Rose and those players still active or still under consideration). He has over 500 doubles, and most modern players with 500 doubles are in the Hall of Fame. He has 474 stolen bases, putting him at # 40 on the all-time list. He has 10 Gold Gloves at second base, something that no other player has ever done - Hall of Famers Ryne Sandberg had 9 and Bill Mazeroski had 8, but Alomar had arguably a stronger offensive career than either of them. His career Runs Created total of 1509 puts him at # 65 on the all-time list, just above Willie Stargell and just below Rusty Staub who took 23 years to accumulate such a total.
Perhaps the major things that worked against Alomar's immediate election to the Hall of Fame were his failure to win an MVP award (although he came fairly close several times) and the incident where he spat at umpire John Hirschbeck in 1996. Alomar was suspended for 5 days, and the incident got him huge negative publicity at the time. Alomar was seen as a fiery player, but that was going too far. He and Hirschbeck made up, but Alomar was frequently booed as a result of the incident.
Possibly the oddest aspect of his career is the quick decline phase he experienced. After hitting .336 (his 9th .300 season in 10 years) with 34 2B, 12 3B, and 20 HR in 2001, and having a 149 Adjusted OPS+, Alomar was traded in an eight-player deal to the New York Mets. He never had an Adjusted OPS+ over 100 again, and after only three more years, he was out of the major leagues.
He missed election to the Hall of Fame by a handful of votes in 2010, in his first year of eligibility, receiving 73.7% of the vote (with 75% needed for election). He was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum on June 19, 2010. That year, he was also part of the inaugural class of inductees in the Latino Baseball Hall of Fame. He was the top vote-getter in the 2011 Hall of Fame Election, being included on 90% of the ballots cast, easily clearing the threshold. He made his fourth Hall of Fame in two years in 2011, winning entry into the Caribbean Baseball Hall of Fame along with Carlos Baerga, Luis DeLeon and Candy Maldonado. He had hit .337 with 19 RBI in 98 Caribbean Series at-bats. Following his election to Cooperstown and his induction on July 24, 2011, the Toronto Blue Jays retired his uniform number 12 on July 31st, the first number retired in franchise history.
He previously dated tennis star Mary Pierce. He is the brother of Sandy Alomar Jr. and son of Sandy Alomar Sr. In 2009, a former girlfriend sued him, claiming he has AIDS, but his current girlfriend responded that he does not. As of February 12, 2009, Alomar has not apparently responded yet. Source: lawsuit If true, it might be an explanation why his career declined so quickly after a great season in 2001.
- 12-time All-Star (1990-2001)
- 1992 ALCS MVP
- 1998 All-Star Game MVP
- 10-time AL Gold Glove Winner (1991-1996 & 1998-2001)
- 4-time AL Silver Slugger Award Winner (1992, 1996, 1999 & 2000)
- AL Runs Scored Leader (1999)
- 20-Home Runs Seasons: 3 (1996, 1999 & 2001)
- 100 RBI Seasons: 2 (1999 & 2001)
- 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 6 (1992, 1993, 1996 & 1999-2001)
- 50 Stolen Bases Seasons: 2 (1991 & 1993)
- Won two World Series with the Toronto Blue Jays (1992 & 1993)
- Baseball Hall of Fame: Class of 2011
- Rick Sorci: "Baseball Profile: Second Baseman Roberto Alomar," Baseball Digest July 1994), p. 39
- Rick Sorci: "Baseball Profile: Indians 2B Roberto Alomar," Baseball Digest (June 1999), p. 62