Albert Jojuan Belle (born August 25, 1966), known until 1990 as Joey Belle, is an American former Major League Baseball outfielder for the Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox, and Baltimore Orioles. Belle was one of the leading sluggers of his time, and in 1995 became the only player to ever hit 50 doubles and 50 home runs in a season. He was also the first player to break the 10-million-dollar per year compensation contract in Major League Baseball.
Belle was a model of consistency, compiling a .295 career batting average, and averaging 37 home runs and 120 RBIs a season between 1991 and 2000. Belle is one of only six players in MLB history to have nine consecutive 100-RBI seasons.
Belle with the Chicago White Sox in 1997
|Born: August 25, 1966|
|July 15, 1989, for the Cleveland Indians|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 1, 2000, for the Baltimore Orioles|
|Runs batted in||1,239|
|Career highlights and awards|
Albert and his fraternal twin, Terry, were born on August 25, 1966, in Shreveport, Louisiana, the son of Albert Belle Sr., a high school baseball and football coach, and Carrie Belle, a former math teacher. A former Boy Scout, he attained the rank of Eagle Scout. Belle attended Huntington High School in Shreveport, where he was a star baseball and football player, a member of the National Honor Society and vice president of the local Future Business Leaders of America. He graduated sixth in his high school class and made the all-state baseball team twice. In 1984, he was selected to play for the USA in the Junior Olympics, in which the U.S. won a silver medal. He played outfield and pitched, winning one game. After graduation, Belle was offered an appointment to the United States Air Force Academy. However, Belle decided to stay close to home, and accepted a baseball scholarship to Louisiana State University.
Belle played college baseball at Louisiana State University from 1985 to 1987, where he made 1st team All-SEC in 1986 and 1987 and played in 184 games, with 585 at bats, 194 hits, 30 doubles, 49 home runs, 172 runs batted in, 157 runs, a .670 slugging percentage, and a .332 batting average.
After college, he was drafted by the Cleveland Indians.
Belle became the fourth player to have eight straight seasons of 30 home runs and 100 RBIs, joining Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx and Lou Gehrig (a feat since matched by Albert Pujols, Rafael Palmeiro, Manny Ramirez and Alex Rodriguez). He was an accomplished baserunner, with a career high 23 steals in 1993, and 17 steals in 1999 despite hip problems. He led the league three times in RBIs, three times in total bases, three times in extra-base hits and twice in slugging. He was a five-time All-Star between 1993 and 1997. He had a powerful throwing arm, and was a gifted pitcher in high school. His range factor by games played was consistently higher than the major league average at that position; nevertheless, he still managed to accrue a -12.5 defensive WAR during 12 major league seasons.
Belle's career highs in home runs, RBIs, batting average, runs scored and walks occurred in five separate seasons. In 2006, the Hardball Times published a statistical comparison of Belle's career statistics with that of 60 of his current and former peers. The article ranked him in career "prime value", behind current Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner and recent inductee Frank Thomas.
In 1994, he lost the batting title to New York Yankees outfielder Paul O'Neill, .359 to .357. His postseason record was limited to two hitting appearances, in which only his batting average suffered: he hit .230/.405/.557 (batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage, respectively) with six home runs and 14 RBIs in 61 at-bats.
In 1995, he became the first player in major league history to hit 50 home runs and 50 doubles in the same season; the last player before him to reach as many as 40 in both categories had been Willie Stargell in 1973. The achievement was especially impressive because Belle played only 143 games in 1995 due to a season shortened by the previous year's player strike.
His reputation, and disdain of the media cost him votes for the 1995 MVP Award That he was caught cheating the year before, in the infamous 1994 Bat Burglary, didn't help his cause either. He finished second in the voting to the Boston Red Sox' Mo Vaughn even though he led the American League that season in runs scored, home runs, RBIs, slugging percentage and total bases, and outpaced Vaughn head-to-head in every important offensive category except RBIs (both men had 126); both players' teams reached the playoffs. This was in the middle of a three-year streak in which Belle finished 3rd, 2nd and 3rd for the American League MVP. Belle had two other top ten MVP finishes, in 1993 (7th) and 1998 (8th).
In the winter of 1996, he signed a 5-year, $55 million ($85,840,589 today) deal with the Chicago White Sox as a free agent. This contract made him the highest paid player in baseball for a brief period. He enjoyed two great seasons in Chicago, including a career-high 27-game hitting streak in May 1997, and came close to another 50/50 season in 1998 with 49 home runs (a White Sox team record that still stands) and 48 doubles. He also drove in 152 runs to break Zeke Bonura's single-season franchise record of 138 in 1936 (to date, the RBI total also remains a White Sox single-season record). Additionally, when Cal Ripken, Jr. ended his record consecutive game streak at 2,632 in September 1998 on the last day of the season, it was Belle who took over as the major leagues' active leader in the category.
His White Sox contract had an unusual clause allowing him to demand that he would remain one of the three highest paid players in baseball. In October 1998 he invoked the clause, and when the White Sox declined to give him a raise he immediately became a free agent. He again became the game's highest paid player, signing a five-year, $65 million ($97,759,688 today) deal with the Baltimore Orioles. But his career ended just two seasons later when he was forced into retirement at age 34 by degenerative hip osteoarthritis. He was, however, kept on Baltimore's active 40-man roster for the next three years as a condition of the insurance policy which largely reimbursed the Orioles for the remainder of his contract.
Belle was suspended in 1994 for using a corked bat, and gained further notoriety for sending teammate Jason Grimsley through the building's ceiling panel to break into the locked umpires' dressing room to retrieve his corked bat and substitute it with another teammate's bat, resulting in a seven-game suspension. The revelation of Belle's use of corked bats was given more emphasis when Cleveland teammate Omar Vizquel wrote in his autobiography that it would be naive to suggest otherwise and that "all of Albert's bats were corked." He was fined in 1996 for knocking down Brewers infielder Fernando Viña, who had blocked his way between bases.
Sports reporters resented Belle's refusal to grant interviews before a game. A profane outburst directed at a group of reporters in his team's dugout, including NBC Sports personality Hannah Storm, was widely reported during the 1995 World Series. He was unrepentant afterward: "The Indians wanted me to issue a statement of regret when the fine was announced, but I told them to take it out. I apologize for nothing."
Eventually, Belle routinely refused to speak with the media. "I don't get excited talking about myself", he explained. "Guys such as Sandy Koufax, Joe DiMaggio and Steve Carlton did not interview, and it was no big deal. They were quiet. I am also quiet. I just want to concentrate on baseball. Why does everyone want to hear me talk, anyway?"
In his first year of Hall of Fame eligibility (2006), he garnered only 7.7% of the baseball writers' votes, missing election by an extremely wide margin. But his vote total was high enough to keep his name on the ballot for the following year. In 2007, however, he garnered only 19 votes (3.5%).
In retirement, Belle had his first encounter with the Cleveland Indians since leaving the club in 1996, during their 2012 spring training in Goodyear, Arizona and was joined by former teammates Kenny Lofton, Sandy Alomar, Jr., and Carlos Baerga.
Belle has had a chilly relationship with the Indians franchise during his retirement. He declined to attend the 20th anniversary celebration of the 1995 World Series team and he declined to attend the ceremony when he was inducted into the Indians team Hall of Fame.
In October 1995, Belle's house in Euclid, Ohio was egged after turning away trick-or-treaters on Halloween. Belle chased one of the trick-or-treaters in his car. Belle was fined $100 for reckless operation of a vehicle. The guardian of the teenager sued Belle for $850,000 contending that Belle's car bumped into the teenager. The lawsuit was settled in 1997.
In 2006 Belle was sentenced to 90 days in jail and five years' probation after he admitted to stalking his former girlfriend.
Major League Baseball (Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox, Baltimore Orioles):
The 1993 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 64th playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 13, 1993, at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland, the home of the Baltimore Orioles of the American League. The game resulted in the American League defeating the National League 9-3.
This is also the last Major League Baseball All-Star Game to date to be televised by CBS.1994 Cleveland Indians corked bat incident
The 1994 Cleveland Indians corked bat incident took place on July 15, 1994, at Comiskey Park in Chicago during a game between the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago White Sox.
In the first inning, White Sox manager Gene Lamont was tipped off that Indians batter Albert Belle was using a corked baseball bat. Under the rules of Major League Baseball, a manager may challenge one opponent's baseball bat per game. Lamont challenged Belle's bat with umpire Dave Phillips, who confiscated the bat and locked it in the umpires' dressing room.1995 Cleveland Indians season
The 1995 Cleveland Indians season was the Major League Baseball season that led to the Indians returning to the World Series for the first time since 1954. In a season that started late by 18 games – giving it just 144 games – the Indians finished in first place in the American League Central Division with a record of 100 wins and 44 losses. This was the first team in the history of the American League ever to win 100 games in a season that had fewer than 154 games.The most outstanding pitcher for the Indians was their relief pitcher, José Mesa, who finished second in the voting for the American League's Cy Young Award. Mesa pitched in 62 games; he led the league by being the finishing pitcher in 57 games, and he saved a league-leading 46 games, even though he pitched just exactly 64 innings. Mesa was the winning pitcher in three games, and he lost none. Mesa's earned run average was a microscopic 1.13. Mesa only gave up eight earned runs, one unearned run, and three home runs in the entire regular season.
The most outstanding batter and everyday player for the Indians was their left fielder, Albert Belle, who finished second in the voting for the American League's Most Valuable Player Award. Belle played in 143 of the 144 games, and had more than 50 doubles and 50 home runs. Belle led the league in runs scored (121), runs batted in (126), doubles (52), home runs (50), total bases (377), and slugging percentage (.690). Belle had 173 hits and a batting average of .317.
The second most outstanding batter and everyday player for the Indians was their right fielder, Manny Ramirez. Ramirez played in 137 games, scored 85 runs, batted in 107 runs, hit 26 doubles and 31 home runs, had 149 hits, and batted .308.
On a team that was led by its outfielders in batting, the Indian's center fielder Kenny Lofton, playing in just 118 games, also had 149 hits, scored 93 runs, batted .310, and led the American League with 13 triples and 54 stolen bases. This was Lofton's fourth of five consecutive years leading the American League in stolen bases. Lofton also won a Gold Glove in the outfield. However, Lofton only hit seven home runs and batted in 53 runs.
The Indians won the Central Division by an overwhelming 30 games over the second-place Kansas City Royals, and they went into the playoffs going strong. In their American League Division Series, the Indians defeated the Boston Red Sox in a three games to none sweep. Next, in the American League Championship Series, the Indians defeated the Seattle Mariners four games to two. The Indians' starting pitcher, Orel Hershiser, was voted the American League Championship Series' Most Valuable Player.
In the World Series, the Indians faced the Atlanta Braves, who had finished the regular season with a 90 – 54 record, had defeated the Colorado Rockies three games to one in the National League Division Series, and had swept the Cincinnati Reds four games to none in the National League Championship Series. The Braves had the National League's Cy Young Award winner in Greg Maddux, who finished the season with a 19 – 2 won-loss record and a 1.63 earned run average as a starting pitcher. Maddux also finished in third place in the voting for Most Valuable Player.
In the World Series, the Indians lost the World Series to the Braves by four games to two, with the Braves winning all three games in Atlanta, and the Indians winning two out of three games in Cleveland. The World Series Most Valuable Player was the starting pitcher Tom Glavine of the Braves, who won two games in the Series.1995 Major League Baseball season
The 1995 Major League Baseball season was the first season to be played under the expanded postseason format, as the League Division Series (LDS) was played in both the American and National leagues for the first time. However, due to the 1994–95 Major League Baseball strike which carried into the 1995 season, a shortened 144-game schedule commenced on April 25, when the Florida Marlins played host to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Atlanta Braves became the first franchise to win World Series championships for three different cities. Along with their 1995 title, the Braves won in 1914 as the Boston Braves, and in 1957 as the Milwaukee Braves.1995 World Series
The 1995 World Series was the championship series of Major League Baseball's (MLB) 1995 season. The 91st edition of the World Series, it was a best-of-seven playoff played between the National League (NL) champion Atlanta Braves and the American League (AL) champion Cleveland Indians. The Braves won in six games to capture their third World Series championship in franchise history (along with 1914 in Boston and 1957 in Milwaukee), making them the first team to win at least one crown in three different cities. This was also Cleveland's first Series appearance in 41 years and marked the resumption of the Fall Classic after the previous year's Series was canceled due to a players' strike.
The Series was also remarkable in that five of the six games were won by one run, including the clinching sixth game, a 1-0 combined one-hitter by Tom Glavine and Mark Wohlers.1996 Major League Baseball season
The 1996 Major League Baseball season was the final season of play before the beginning of Interleague play the following season. It ended with the New York Yankees defeating the defending champion Atlanta Braves in six games for the World Series title, the Yankees first championship since 1978. The record for most home runs hit in an MLB regular season, set at 4,458 in 1987, was broken, as the AL and NL combined to hit 4,962 home runs. Only 196 shutouts were recorded in the 2,266 MLB regular-season games.1997 Chicago White Sox season
The 1997 Chicago White Sox season was the White Sox's 98th season. They finished with a record 80-81, good enough for 2nd place in the American League Central, 6 games behind the 1st place Cleveland Indians.1998 Chicago White Sox season
The 1998 Chicago White Sox season was the White Sox's 99th season. They finished with a record 80-82, good enough for 2nd place in the American League Central, 9 games behind the 1st place Cleveland Indians.1998 Major League Baseball home run record chase
The 1998 Major League Baseball home run chase in Major League Baseball was the race between first baseman Mark McGwire of the St. Louis Cardinals and right fielder Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs that resulted in both players breaking Roger Maris's long-standing and highly coveted record of 61 home runs. McGwire broke Maris's record on September 8 against the Cubs and finished with 70 home runs. Sosa finished with 66.
Several players had come close to breaking Maris's record in the years before 1998. Before the 1994 season was cut short by a labor dispute, Matt Williams of the San Francisco Giants and Ken Griffey, Jr. of the Seattle Mariners were both on a pace which threatened Maris's record: they hit 43 and 40 home runs respectively in a season which was shortened by approximately 50 of the scheduled 162 games.
In 1995, Albert Belle became the first player since Cecil Fielder in 1990 to hit 50 home runs in a season. Belle was only the 4th player in the previous three decades to reach the 50 home run- milestone (George Foster hit 52 in 1977, following Willie Mays in 1965).
In 1996, Brady Anderson of the Baltimore Orioles hit 50 home runs, twice the number he hit during any other season. Of more note was Mark McGwire of the Oakland Athletics, who first drew attention by hitting a league-leading 52 home runs that season while only playing in 130 games. The 1997 home run chase featured McGwire against Ken Griffey, Jr. of the Seattle Mariners. It was during that season that full-fledged interest over the record kicked in as both players were on record pace well into the summer. McGwire finished with 58 home runs following his mid-season trade to the St. Louis Cardinals, besting Griffey's total of 56.1999 Baltimore Orioles season
The 1999 Baltimore Orioles season involved the Orioles finishing 4th in the American League East with a record of 78 wins and 84 losses.2000 Baltimore Orioles season
The 2000 Baltimore Orioles season involved the Orioles finishing 4th in the American League East with a record of 74 wins and 88 losses.36th Sports Emmy Awards
The 36th Sports Emmy Awards was presented on May 5, 2015 at the Frederick P. Rose Hall at the Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City. George Bodenheimer, former ESPN president, was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Sports.50 home run club
In Major League Baseball (MLB), the 50 home run club is the group of batters who have hit 50 or more home runs in a single season. Babe Ruth was the first to achieve this, doing so in 1920. By reaching the milestone, he also became the first player to hit 30 and then 40 home runs in a single-season, breaking his own record of 29 from the 1919 season. Ruth subsequently became the first player to reach the 50 home run club on four occasions, repeating the achievement in 1921, 1927 and 1928. He remained the only player to accomplish this until Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa matched his feat in 1999 and 2001, respectively, thus becoming the only players to achieve four consecutive 50 home run seasons. Barry Bonds hit the most home runs to join the club, collecting 73 in 2001. The most recent players to reach the milestone are Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge, achieving the feat during the 2017 season.In total, 29 players have reached the 50 home run club in MLB history and nine have done so more than once. Of these, seventeen were right-handed batters, eleven were left-handed, and one was a switch hitter, meaning he could bat from either side of the plate. Four of these players (including two active members of the 50 home run club) have played for only one major league team. The New York Yankees are the only franchise to have five players reach the milestone while on their roster: Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Alex Rodriguez, and Judge. Ten players are also members of the 500 home run club and two of them (Willie Mays and Rodriguez) are also members of the 3,000 hit club. Ten players won the Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award in the same year as their 50 home run season. Mantle is the only player to have earned the Major League Triple Crown alongside achieving 50 home runs, leading both leagues in batting average, home runs and runs batted in (RBI). Mantle and Maris—collectively known as the M&M Boys—are the only teammates to reach the 50 home run club in the same season, hitting a combined 115 home runs in 1961 and breaking the single-season record for home runs by a pair of teammates. Albert Belle is the only player to amass 50 or more doubles in addition to attaining 50 home runs. Prince Fielder, at 23 years and 139 days, was the youngest player to reach the milestone while Bonds, at age 37, was the oldest.Due to the infrequent addition of members into the 50 home run club, Baseball Digest called it "a restrictive fraternity comprising slugging elite" in 1954, when there were only six members. Of the seventeen members eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame, eight have been elected and three were elected on the first ballot. Eligibility requires that a player has "been retired five seasons" or deceased for at least six months, disqualifying four active players and five players who have been retired for less than five seasons. Some believe the milestone has become less important with the large number of new members; fifteen players joined the club on a total of 24 occasions from 1995 to 2010. Additionally, several of these recent members have had ties to performance-enhancing drugs.Cleveland Indians award winners and league leaders
This is a list of award winners and league leaders for the Cleveland Indians professional baseball team.Hal Trosky
Harold Arthur Trosky Sr., born Harold Arthur Trojovsky (November 11, 1912 – June 18, 1979), was an American first baseman in Major League Baseball for the Cleveland Indians (1933–1941) and the Chicago White Sox (1944, 1946). Trosky was born in Norway, Iowa. He batted left-handed and threw right-handed. His son, Hal Trosky Jr., pitched briefly (3 innings) with the White Sox in 1958.
Trosky had a career .302 batting average, with a high of .343 in 1936. He hit 228 career home runs and had 1012 RBIs. He had 1561 career hits. His 216 HRs with the Indians ranks him fifth on the team's all-time list, behind Earl Averill, Manny Ramirez, Albert Belle, and Jim Thome. His best numbers came in his third full year in the major leagues, 1936, when he had 42 home runs, 162 RBIs, and a .644 slugging percentage. Despite being hailed as the next Babe Ruth, he is widely considered one of the best players to never make an All-Star team. The reason for this omission was the ill-fortune of being an American League first baseman at the same time as Hall of Fame first basemen Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx and Hank Greenberg.
Starting in 1938, Trosky started experiencing near constant migraine headaches, which began to affect his vision. After nearly being hit by a pitch, he announced on July 12, 1941, to Indians manager Roger Peckinpaugh and reporters, "a fellow can't go on like this forever. If I can't find some relief, I'll simply have to give up and spend the rest of my days on my farm in Iowa." Peckinpaugh replaced Trosky with Oscar Grimes. Trosky retired in 1946 at age 33.List of Chicago White Sox team records
This is a list of team records for the Chicago White Sox professional baseball team.Major League Baseball Player of the Month Award
The Player of the Month Award is a Major League Baseball award named by each league every month of the regular season. The National League started recognizing the award on June 4, 1958. National League president Warren Giles conducted a poll of baseball writers in each Major League city and awarded the winner an engraved desk set. The American League did not follow suit until 1974. The National League created a separate award for pitchers starting in 1975 and the American League did likewise in 1979. Pitchers have not been eligible since then.Silver Slugger Award
The Silver Slugger Award is awarded annually to the best offensive player at each position in both the American League and the National League, as determined by the coaches and managers of Major League Baseball. These voters consider several offensive categories in selecting the winners, including batting average, slugging percentage, and on-base percentage, in addition to "coaches' and managers' general impressions of a player's overall offensive value". Managers and coaches are not permitted to vote for players on their own team. The Silver Slugger was first awarded in 1980 and is given by Hillerich & Bradsby, the manufacturer of Louisville Slugger bats. The award is a bat-shaped trophy, 3 feet (91 cm) tall, engraved with the names of each of the winners from the league and plated with sterling silver.The prize is presented to outfielders irrespective of their specific position. This means that it is possible for three left fielders, or any other combination of outfielders, to win the award in the same year, rather than one left fielder, one center fielder, and one right fielder. In addition, only National League pitchers receive a Silver Slugger Award; lineups in the American League include a designated hitter in place of the pitcher in the batting order, so the designated hitter receives the award instead.Home run record-holder Barry Bonds won twelve Silver Slugger Awards in his career as an outfielder, the most of any player. He also won the award in five consecutive seasons twice in his career: from 1990 to 1994, and again from 2000 to 2004. Retired former New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza and former New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez are tied for second, with ten wins each. Rodriguez' awards are split between two positions; he won seven Silver Sluggers as a shortstop for the Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers, and three with the Yankees as a third baseman. Wade Boggs leads third basemen with eight Silver Slugger Awards; Barry Larkin leads shortstops with nine. Other leaders include Ryne Sandberg (seven wins as a second baseman) and Mike Hampton (five wins as a pitcher). Todd Helton and Albert Pujols are tied for the most wins among first baseman with four, although Pujols has won two awards at other positions. David Ortiz has won seven awards at designated hitter position, the most at that position.
|Awards and achievements|
Rafael Palmeiro & Iván Rodríguez
| American League Player of the Month
August & September 1995
Members of the Cleveland Indians Hall of Fame