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Shane Andrews

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Darrell Shane Andrews (Caveman)

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[edit] Biographical Information

Shane Andrews was the 11th player chosen in the 1990 amateur draft, by the Montreal Expos. He was a shortstop coming out of Carlsbad High School in Carlsbad, NM, whose teams are known as the Cavemen, hence his nickname.

Andrews was a rather raw project coming into professional ball, but as a large, slow-footed player with lots of power, he was quickly moved from shortstop to third base. While the power was always there, it took him a while to adjust to professional pitching: in 1991, he hit for .208 with 132 strikeouts for Sumter of the Class A South Atlantic League, and followed that with a .230 average with 173 strikeouts at Albany, in the same league, in 1992. He started turning things around the next season, and by 1994, he was one of the top players on the AAA Ottawa Lynx, scoring 79 runs and driving in 85 in 137 games. The 1994 strike prevented a call-up to the big leagues, but he made the Montreal Expos roster out of spring training in 1995.

Andrews did not waste any time making an impact in the National League, as he hit a game-winning 9th inning home run off Jim Gott of the Pittsburgh Pirates in his first start at third base on April 27, 1995 [1], and then, for good measure, added another home run the next day. He also finished that year with a bang, hitting a pinch hit grand slam off the Cincinnati Reds' Chuck McElroy on September 28 [2]. Despite a few slumps that season, and limited playing time, he had shown enough to let the Expos trade regular third baseman Sean Berry to the Houston Astros. Andrews celebrated this show of confidence by committing nine errors in April 1996, but settled down and only added six more the rest of the season. He had an incredible record in 11 games against the Reds that year, hitting .471 with 6 home runs and 21 runs batted in. He was hit by a Ramon Martinez pitch on August 17 [3] and only hit .066 the rest of the season, ending the year on a down note.

The down note would become the deepest bass in 1997, when he hurt his shoulder on opening day, continued to play through the pain for a month, hitting only .203, before going on the disabled list for the rest of the year. He had his best season in 1998, with 25 home runs and 69 runs batted in, but by now the Expos had let go of all the stars that had led them to the best record in baseball in 1994 and were seriously treading water. In 1999, the Expos' top brass wanted to give more playing time to rookie Michael Barrett, who split time behind the plate and at third base, relegating Andrews to a part-time role. He did not take well to the change and was unable to raise his batting average over .200 the entire season, until the Expos decided to give him his unconditional release on September 6. He managed to find a job with the Chicago Cubs for the last month of the season, filling in for the 40-year old Gary Gaetti.

After a great start to the 2000 season, when he stood among the early National League leaders for home runs and runs batted in, Andrews was injured again on May 15 and missed the bulk of the year. He was the first player to hit a regular season home run in the 21st Century, hitting a blast off Dennis Cook on March 29, 2000 at the Tokyo Dome. His last taste of Major League action was a seven-game cup of coffee with the Boston Red Sox in 2002.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 1 (1998)

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