Jay Buhner

Jay Campbell Buhner (born August 13, 1964), nicknamed "Bone", is a former Major League Baseball right fielder. At 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) and 220 lb (100 kg), he was among the most recognizable players of his day, noted for his shaved head, thick goatee, and patch of pine tar on the right hip of his uniform.

Jay Buhner
Jay Buhner
Right fielder
Born: August 13, 1964 (age 55)
Louisville, Kentucky
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 11, 1987, for the New York Yankees
Last MLB appearance
October 7, 2001, for the Seattle Mariners
MLB statistics
Batting average.254
Home runs310
Runs batted in964
Career highlights and awards

Early years

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Buhner was raised in Texas and attended Clear Creek High School in League City, southeast of Houston, where he played baseball under coach Jim Mallory. His nickname, "Bone", came from Coach Mallory after an incident where Buhner lost a ball in the lights. The ball hit him in the skull, but he shook it off. Mallory came out to see if Buhner was OK and commented it was a good thing Buhner had such a bony head, and the name stuck.[1]

Buhner graduated from high school in 1982 and played college baseball at McLennan Community College in Waco. In his freshman season in 1983, the Highlanders made their fourth consecutive trip to the junior college world series in Grand Junction, Colorado, and won their only national title.[2] He was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the ninth round of the 1983 Major League Baseball draft, but opted not to sign.

Minor league career

During his sophomore year in January 1984, Buhner was taken in the second round of the secondary phase of the free-agent draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates.[3] He signed in late May and played for the Watertown Pirates in the Class A short season New York–Penn League.

That December, Buhner was traded to the New York Yankees with infielder Dale Berra as part of a five-player deal for outfielder Steve Kemp and shortstop Tim Foli, a former Pirate.[4][5][6] The next two seasons were in the Class A Florida State League with the Fort Lauderdale Yankees, then Buhner moved up to Triple A in 1987 with the Columbus Clippers in the International League and hit 31 home runs. Managed by Bucky Dent, Columbus finished second in the regular season, but swept both series in the four-team playoffs to take the league title and Governors' Cup.[7]

Major league career

With the minor league playoffs concluded, Buhner made his major league debut in 1987 on September 11, and appeared in seven games that year. In 1988, he was back and forth between Columbus and New York,[8] and was batting .188 (13 for 69) with three home runs in three stints for the big club when was traded on July 21 to the Seattle Mariners,[9] along with two career minor leaguers (Rich Balabon and Troy Evers), in exchange for designated hitter Ken Phelps, a Seattle native.[9][10][11] This trade is often considered one of the Yankees' worst and one of the Mariners' best.[12]

The trade was referenced on the television sitcom Seinfeld, in the January 1996 episode "The Caddy". The Yankees' owner, George Steinbrenner, appears at the home of George Costanza's parents to inform them – mistakenly – that their son is dead. The only response of Frank Costanza (played by Jerry Stiller) is, "What the hell did you trade Jay Buhner for?! He had 30 home runs, over 100 RBIs last year! He's got a rocket for an arm.... You don't know what the hell you're doing!"[13][14][15] The clip was played at Safeco Field when Buhner was inducted into the Mariners' Hall of Fame in August 2004.[16][17]

Later career

Buhner hit his stride in 1991, hitting 27 home runs with 77 RBI, hitting a massive home run against his former team in Yankee Stadium in July,[18] and having continued success against the Yankees.[19] In an extra-inning home game against the Oakland Athletics on June 23, 1993, he became the first Mariner to hit for the cycle.[20] Buhner began his cycle with a grand slam in the first inning, and hit a triple in the 14th inning to complete it; he subsequently scored the winning run on a wild pitch.[21][22] While well known for his tendency to strike out, he also developed a patience at the plate which allowed him to walk 100 times in a season twice (1993 and 1997) and to post a career OBP of .359. By the mid-1990s he had developed into one of the premier offensive players in the game, hitting over 40 home runs in three consecutive seasons (1995, 1996, and 1997), becoming just the tenth player to do so (and the first since Frank Howard in 1970); this feat has since been equaled by several other players.

During his career, the Mariners hosted a popular promotion, "Jay Buhner Buzz Cut Night",[1][23][24][25] where visitors would receive free admission in the right field seats if they had a shaved head. Free buzz cuts were provided for people who showed up with hair.[26] Buhner himself participated in giving fans of all ages buzz cuts, which also included women.[27] George Thorogood's song "Bad to the Bone" was used as Buhner's at-bat music during home games.

After the 116-win 2001 season, Buhner retired at age 37 in December as one of the most popular players in Mariners history.[24][28] Although his jersey number 19 has not been issued since, it has not been officially retired, per the team's policy regarding retired numbers. The Mariners require a player to have spent at least five years with the team and be elected to the Hall of Fame or narrowly miss election after spending substantially his entire career with the team.[29]

Buhner holds the Mariners' career record for strikeouts with 1,375 and has the lowest career stolen base percentage since 1954 – 6 stolen bases against 24 times caught stealing for a success rate of 20%. (Caught stealing counts are not complete until the 1954 season, when Major League Baseball began maintaining official records.)

After his playing days, Buhner and his family remained in the Seattle area, in Sammamish.[1][2] His son, Gunnar, played baseball for Lewis–Clark State College, and in 2017 played for the Philadelphia Phillies' farm team in the Gulf Coast League.[30]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Callahan, Gerry (March 18, 1996). "A real cutup". Sports Illustrated. p. 88.
  2. ^ a b Cherry, Brice (July 25, 2015). "Where are they now? Jay Buhner enjoyed time at MCC, Seattle Mariners and beyond". Waco Tribune. Texas. Retrieved June 24, 2016.
  3. ^ "Free agent draft". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. January 18, 1984. p. 16.
  4. ^ Hertzel, Bob (December 20, 1984). "Ueberroth reportedly OKs Kemp-Berra deal". Pittsburgh Press. p. D1.
  5. ^ Feeney, Charley (December 21, 1984). "Tanner sees Bucs back in contention after trade". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 21.
  6. ^ Nelson, John (December 21, 1984). "Kemp officially joins Bucs; Berra departs". Beaver County Times. Pennsylvania. Associated Press. p. B1.
  7. ^ "Clippers champs". Bryan Times. Ohio. UPI. September 10, 1987. p. 12.
  8. ^ "Yankees option Guetterman; recall Buhner". Evening News. Newburgh, New York. Associated Press. May 14, 1988. p. 2B.
  9. ^ a b "Yanks get Phelps". The Day. New London, Connecticut. Associated Press. July 22, 1988. p. E7.
  10. ^ "M's double deal". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. wire services. July 22, 1988. p. 35.
  11. ^ "Buhner making most of chance with Mariners". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. August 27, 1988. p. 24.
  12. ^ Jonah Keri. "Not Every Trade Worked". Retrieved April 7, 2007.
  13. ^ Blanchette, John (October 11, 2001). "Bone carries torch into twilight". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. p. C1.
  14. ^ Brown, Dave (March 18, 2015). "Watch: Jay Buhner and Ken Phelps reminisce about trade and 'Seinfeld'". CBS Sports. Retrieved June 28, 2016.
  15. ^ Bertha, Mike (March 18, 2015). "Seinfeld reunion alert: Jay Buhner and Ken Phelps hang out at Mariners spring training". Major League Baseball. Retrieved June 28, 2016.
  16. ^ LaRue, Larry (February 25, 2004). "Buhner to be honored". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. (Tacoma News Tribune). p. C2.
  17. ^ "Buhner is inducted into Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame". Spokesman-Review. (AP photo). August 25, 2004. p. C3.
  18. ^ Blum, Ronald (July 26, 1991). "Buhner hits massive home run for Mariners at Yankee Stadium". Lawrence Journal World. Kansas. Associated Press. p. 4C.
  19. ^ "Buhner to NY: Deal with that!". The Day. New London, Connecticut. Associated Press. April 20, 1994. p. F1.
  20. ^ "Seattle Mariners 8, Oakland Athletics 7". Retrosheet. June 23, 1993.
  21. ^ "Buhner's cycle carries M's". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. wire reports. June 24, 1993. p. C1.
  22. ^ "Buhner finishes cycle with game-winning hit". Rome News-Tribune. Georgia. Associated Press. June 24, 1993. p. 4B.
  23. ^ "Buhner Buzz Night". Free Lance-Star. Fredericksburg, Virginia. (AP photo). August 24, 1995. p. B2.
  24. ^ a b Boling, Dave (August 13, 1996). "Cult of the Bone". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. (Tacoma News Tribune). p. C1.
  25. ^ "Buhner Buzz". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Florida. August 7, 1998. p. 5C.
  26. ^ Moore, Jim (May 29, 2003). "Go 2 Guy: Buhner still creating a whole lot of buzz". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved December 15, 2007.
  27. ^ Kuhn, Jill (July 24, 1997). "She looks so cool". Ellensburg Daily Record. Washington. (photo). p. 3.
  28. ^ "Jay Buhner announces retirement". Ellensburg Daily Record. Washington. Associated Press. December 18, 2001. p. A6.
  29. ^ "Guidelines for Selection to the Mariners Hall of Fame". Seattle Mariners. Retrieved September 2, 2015.
  30. ^ "Gunnar Buhner Minor League Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved January 10, 2018.

Further reading

External links

Preceded by
Mark Grace
Hitting for the cycle
June 23, 1993
Succeeded by
Travis Fryman
1983 Atlanta Braves season

The 1983 Atlanta Braves season was the 18th season in Atlanta along with the 113th overall.

1988 New York Yankees season

The New York Yankees' 1988 season was the 86th season for the Yankees. The team finished with a record of 85-76, finishing in fifth place, 3.5 games behind the Boston Red Sox. New York was managed by Lou Piniella and Billy Martin, with the latter managing the team for the fifth and final time. The Yankees played at Yankee Stadium.

1988 Seattle Mariners season

The Seattle Mariners 1988 season was their 12th since the franchise creation, and ended the season finishing 7th in the American League West with a record of 68–93 (.422).

1989 Seattle Mariners season

The Seattle Mariners 1989 season was their 13th since the franchise creation, and ended the season finishing 6th in the American League West, finishing with a record of 73–89 (.451). The season, however, was enlivened by the arrival of the first overall pick of the 1987 draft, nineteen-year-old Ken Griffey, Jr.

1991 Seattle Mariners season

The Seattle Mariners 1991 season was their 15th since the franchise creation, and ended the season finishing 5th in the American League West, finishing with a record of 83–79 (.512). It was the first winning season in franchise history.

1992 Seattle Mariners season

The Seattle Mariners 1992 season was their 16th since the franchise creation, and ended the season finishing 7th in the American League West, finishing with a record of 64–98 (.395). Randy Johnson won the first of four consecutive strikeout titles with 241.

1994 Seattle Mariners season

The Seattle Mariners 1994 season was their 18th since the franchise creation, and ended the season finishing 3rd in the American League West, finishing with a 49–63 (.438) record. The season was cut short by the infamous 1994 player's strike.

1995 American League Championship Series

The 1995 American League Championship Series (ALCS), the second round of the 1995 American League playoffs, matched the Central Division champion Cleveland Indians against the West Division champion Seattle Mariners. The Mariners had the home field advantage, which was predetermined and assigned to either the West Division champion or their opponents in the Division Series.

The two teams were victorious in the AL Division Series (ALDS), with the Indians defeating the East Division champion Boston Red Sox three games to none, and the Mariners defeating the wild card qualifier New York Yankees three games to two. The Indians won the series four games to two to become the American League champions, and lost to the National League champion Atlanta Braves in the 1995 World Series.

1995 Seattle Mariners season

The Seattle Mariners' 1995 season was the 19th in the history of the franchise. The team finished with a regular season record of 79–66 (.545) to win their first American League West title. They had tied the California Angels for first place, and in the one-game tiebreaker, the Mariners defeated the Angels 9–1 to make the postseason for the first time in franchise history.In the postseason, the Mariners defeated the New York Yankees in the best-of-five American League Division Series after losing the first two games, a series notable for Edgar Martínez' 11th-inning double that clinched the series for the Mariners. In the American League Championship Series, Seattle won the opener at home but lost in six games to the Cleveland Indians.

1997 American League Division Series

The 1997 American League Division Series (ALDS), the opening round of the 1997 American League playoffs, began on Tuesday, September 30, and ended on Monday, October 6, with the champions of the three AL divisions—along with a "wild card" team—participating in two best-of-five series. The teams were:

(1) Baltimore Orioles (Eastern Division champion, 98–64) vs. (3) Seattle Mariners (Western Division champion, 90–72): Orioles win series, 3–1.

(2) Cleveland Indians (Central Division champion, 86–75) vs. (4) New York Yankees (Wild Card, 96–66): Indians win series, 3–2.The Baltimore Orioles and Cleveland Indians went on to meet in the AL Championship Series (ALCS). The Indians became the American League champion, and lost to the National League champion Florida Marlins in the 1997 World Series.

1997 Seattle Mariners season

The Seattle Mariners 1997 season was their 21st season, and the team won their second American League West title, with a record of 90–72 (.556), six games ahead of the runner-up Anaheim Angels. For the second straight year, they led the AL in runs scored (925) and shattered the all-time record for most home runs hit by a team in one season (set at 257 by the Baltimore Orioles the year before) with 264. Five Mariners scored at least 100 runs and six hit at least 20 home runs. In addition, the Seattle pitching staff led the league with 1,207 strike outs.

The Mariners drew over three million in home attendance for the first time in franchise history, in the penultimate full season at the Kingdome. Ken Griffey Jr. hit a franchise record 56 home runs and won the Most Valuable Player award in the American League.

Alfonso Pulido

Alfonso Pulido Manzo (born January 23, 1957) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher. Pulido played parts of three seasons in Major League Baseball, with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1983–1984 and with the New York Yankees in 1986, appearing in 12 career games with a 1–1 record.

Before signing with Major League Baseball, Pulido originally pitched for the Mexico City Reds of the Mexican League. In 1983, he won 17 games for the Reds while only losing three. After winning three games in the Mexican League playoffs, the Pittsburgh Pirates signed him to a contract, and brought him into the major leagues at the end of August 1983, saying that he had "Valenzuela-type stuff". He made his major league debut on September 5 against the St. Louis Cardinals, pitching the first two innings of the game and allowing two earned runs in his only appearance that season. He spent most of the 1984 season in the minor leagues with the Hawaii Islanders, winning 18 games, losing six, and posting an earned run average (ERA) of 2.54. In his lone major league appearance of 1984, he pitched for two innings against the Cardinals, allowing two runs on three hits. On December 20, 1984, Pulido was traded by the Pirates, along with Dale Berra and Jay Buhner, to the New York Yankees for Tim Foli, Steve Kemp and cash.Pulido spent the 1985 season with the Columbus Clippers in the Yankees' minor league system. He played in 31 games for the Clippers, finishing the season with 11 wins, eight losses, and a 3.39 ERA. In 1986, Pulido spent some time on the major league squad. After starting the season in the minors, the Yankees placed Tommy John on the injured list with a strained achilles tendon and recalled Pulido in June. He made his season debut later that month and pitched ten games in his final major league season. He played his final major league game on September 1, finishing the season with a win and a loss in ten appearances, with a 4.70 ERA. He spent the full 1987 season with the Clippers, playing in 34 games, winning nine and losing five.After 1987, Pulido returned to the Mexican League, and by 1990 he was out of baseball.

Ken Phelps

Kenneth Allan Phelps (born August 6, 1954) is an American former professional baseball designated hitter and first baseman. He played for six different Major League Baseball (MLB) teams from 1980 to 1990, primarily with the Seattle Mariners. Baseball statistician Bill James cited Phelps as an example of a player who is unfairly denied a chance to play in the majors, despite compiling strong minor league statistics.

List of Seattle Mariners team records

The Seattle Mariners are a Major League Baseball (MLB) team who have participated in 42 seasons since their inception in 1977. Through 2012, they have played 5,707 games, winning 2,664, losing 3,043, and tying two, for a winning percentage of .467. This list documents the superlative records and accomplishments of team members during their tenures as Seattle Mariners in Major League Baseball's American League West.

Ichiro Suzuki holds the most franchise records as of the end of the 2012 season, with ten, including best single-season batting average, most career hits, and most career triples. He is followed by Edgar Martínez, who holds nine records, including best career on-base percentage and the single-season walk record.Two Mariners players currently hold Major League Baseball records. Ichiro holds the record for most single-season hits and singles, obtaining both in 2004. Mike Cameron is tied with 14 others for the most home runs in a game, with four. Additionally, Gene Walter, a Mariner for the 1988 season, is tied for the American League lead in balks for a single game, which he achieved on July 18 in a game against the Detroit Tigers.

Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame

The Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame is an American museum and hall of fame for the Seattle Mariners of Major League Baseball. It is located at T-Mobile Park in the SoDo district of downtown Seattle.

Seattle Mariners award winners and league leaders

The following is a list of Seattle Mariners professional baseball players and managers who have won various awards or other accolades from Major League Baseball or other organizations or have led the American League in some statistical category at the end of the season.

The Caddy (Seinfeld)

"The Caddy" is the 122nd episode of NBC sitcom Seinfeld. This was the 12th episode for the seventh season. It aired on January 25, 1996.

Watertown Pirates

The Watertown Pirates were a Short-Season Class-A minor league baseball team located in Watertown, New York. The team played in the New York–Penn League from 1983 to 1998. They played their home games at the Duffy Fairgrounds Ball Park.

From 1983 until 1988 the club was affiliated with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Some notable Pirates, players from this era are Tim Wakefield, Jay Buhner, and Moisés Alou. In 1989 the team became in an affiliate of the Cleveland Indians and were renamed the Watertown Indians. The team relocated to Staten Island, New York for the 1999 season and became the Staten Island Yankees.


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