Ron Gant

Ronald Edwin Gant (born March 2, 1965) is an American television news anchor and former baseball player who played for the Atlanta Braves (1987–1993), Cincinnati Reds (1995), St. Louis Cardinals (1996–1998), Philadelphia Phillies (1999–2000), Anaheim Angels (2000), Colorado Rockies (2001), Oakland Athletics (2001), San Diego Padres (2002), and again the Athletics briefly in 2003. Gant is currently a co-host on WAGA-TV's morning news program Good Day Atlanta.

He joined the 30–30 club (at least 30 stolen bases and at least 30 home runs in the same season) in 1990 and 1991 with the Braves. He is right-handed.

Ron Gant
Ron Gant 2012
Gant in 2012
Left fielder
Born: March 2, 1965 (age 54)
Victoria, Texas
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 6, 1987, for the Atlanta Braves
Last MLB appearance
May 25, 2003, for the Oakland Athletics
MLB statistics
Batting average.256
Home runs321
Runs batted in1,008
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Early life

Gant was born in Victoria, Texas to George Gant, a chemistry professor, and Alice Hardeman, a special education teacher.[1][2] Gant played football and baseball in high school. He was recruited heavily to play college baseball for such schools as Texas and Oklahoma but turned down scholarship offers to go pro after high school.[2][3]

Playing career

Gant was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the fourth round of the 1983 MLB draft (100th overall), and joined the Braves in 1987 as a September call-up, after winning the Bill Lucas Award as the Braves' Minor League Player of the Year in 1986.[4] He collected 22 hits in 83 at bats, including two home runs. During the 1988 season, the rookie Gant was an everyday player for the struggling Braves, who finished with a record of 54–106. After a disappointing sophomore season in 1989 Gant was sent down to the minor leagues to learn how to play the outfield, Gant returned to form and the starting line up in 1990, when he batted .303 with 32 home runs and 84 RBI, and winning National League Comeback Player of the Year.

Additionally, Gant stole thirty-three bases in 1990, qualifying for the 30–30 club. He duplicated that feat in 1991, joining Willie Mays (19561957) and Bobby Bonds (19771978) as the only players in Major League history to that point to have two 30 home run/30 stolen base seasons in a row. Barry Bonds later eclipsed the accomplishment, qualifying for the 30-30 Club in three straight seasons, from 19951997.

Although his home run and stolen base totals were extremely similar the following year, most of his other stats were not as good: he hit just .251 with over 100 strike outs and 23 fewer hits in just 14 fewer at bats. His RBI numbers also increased to 105.

The Braves lost to the Minnesota Twins in the 1991 World Series. Gant batted .267 in the series, with four RBIs, as the Twins won it in a close and exciting seventh game. During Game 2 of the 1991 World Series, Gant had a memorable and controversial confrontation with Twins first baseman Kent Hrbek. As Gant was trying to make it back to first base to avoid Twins pitcher Kevin Tapani's pickoff, he claimed Hrbek pulled his leg off the base during the swipe tag and Gant was called out. Drew Coble, the first base umpire, ruled that Gant's momentum would have carried him off the bag, and refused to change his call. Aiding the controversy the commentators at the time remarked[5] that it appeared that Hrbek had in fact lifted Gant off the bag and that his 235-pound frame helped him lift the lighter Gant who weighs only 172 pounds. Also, New York Times writer Claire Smith wrote that "Hrbek seemed to lift Gant's leg right off the bag as the Braves' center fielder fought to keep his balance." This play caused the Braves bench to empty during the argument.[6][7]

Although he would never hit .300 again, Gant's batting average continued to climb back up into the .270s and his power numbers stayed great, while he continually drove in over 80 runs a year, peaking at 117 in 1993. In both 1991 and 1993, he was in the top five in the league in runs batted in. His speed and power combination made him bidworthy, and the Reds and Cardinals each paid a lot for him in the mid 90s.

Before the 1992 season, Gant got into an altercation with future congressman Connie Mack IV.[8] In 1992, Gant made his last World Series appearance, where he got one double in eight at-bats, and the Braves lost again, this time in six games to the Toronto Blue Jays.

On September 15, 1993 during a nationally televised game on ESPN against the Cincinnati Reds, Gant hit a game-winning walk-off home run off Rob Dibble to give the Braves a come from behind victory. The Braves trailed, 6–2, going into the bottom of the 9th.

Shortly after signing one of the richest contracts in Braves history in 1994, Gant broke his right leg in an ATV accident. The Braves ended up releasing him; he would not play again until 1995, emerging with the Cincinnati Reds before being signed by the St. Lous Cardinals in 1996.

1997 was the low point of Gant's career, when he struck out 162 times and batted .229 for the Cardinals. After the Cardinals didn't play him full-time in 1998 (though he still hit 26 homers), he was traded by the Cardinals with Jeff Brantley and Cliff Politte to the Philadelphia Phillies for Ricky Bottalico and Garrett Stephenson on November 19.

The next year, Gant would have his last real quality season. With the Phillies in 1999, he batted a solid .260 with 17 home runs and 77 RBIs. He had 13 stolen bases and 107 runs scored, with 27 doubles and two triples, in 134 hits.

He set the lowest RBI total ever by a player with 25 or more homers (tied in 2015 by Joc Pederson, who also hit 26 home runs with 54 RBIs).[9]

After a non-productive 2003 season with the A's, Gant retired at age 38.

In a 16-season career, Gant batted .256 with 321 home runs and 1008 RBIs. He had 243 stolen bases and 1080 runs scored in 1832 games. Gant had 302 doubles and an even 50 triples in his career. He ended with 1651 hits in 6449 at-bats. Gant averaged 20 home runs, 63 RBIs, and 15 stolen bases a year. In post-season play, Gant was a .228 hitter with 8 home runs and 28 RBIs in 52 playoff games; he had 43 hits in 189 at-bats.

Broadcasting

During the 2005 Major League Baseball season, Gant worked as a color commentator for the Atlanta Braves on TBS. He also worked as an analyst on SportSouth during Braves games and on the MLB Network.

On October 25, 2012, he became a news anchor for the Atlanta Fox owned-and-operated station WAGA-TV, co-hosting the morning show Good Day Atlanta.

Personal life

In February 2005, Gant was involved in a fatal car accident when his sport utility vehicle collided with a pickup truck in Fulton County, Georgia, killing the truck's driver.[10]

As of 2015, Gant lived in Suwanee, Georgia has four children: Son named Ryan, daughters named Alexus, Symara and Halyn.[3]

See also

References

  1. ^ Lidz, Franz (June 12, 1995). "Right off the Bat Red-Hot and Healthy, Barry Larkin and Ron Gant Have Lifted Cincy to the Top of the National League Central". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Ronald "Ron" Gant" (PDF). Voices United (Volume 5, Number 15). February 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  3. ^ a b Rosenebrg, I.J. (May 29, 2015). "Dirt-bike accident put an end to Gant's Braves career". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  4. ^ "1993 tOPPS BASEBALL CARD # 393".
  5. ^ 1991 World Series Game 2
  6. ^ Smith, Claire (October 21, 1991). "BASEBALL; Who's On First? Not Gant". The New York Times.
  7. ^ Hrbek says he's received death threats
  8. ^ That time Ron Gant and Connie Mack IV Got Into a Bar Fight
  9. ^ Curtis Granderson Flirts with Strange Record
  10. ^ "Former Brave Gant involved in fatal accident". Chicago Tribune. February 24, 2005. Retrieved 1 December 2017.

External links

1988 Atlanta Braves season

The 1988 Atlanta Braves season was the 118th in franchise history and their 23rd in Atlanta.

1989 Atlanta Braves season

The 1989 Atlanta Braves season was the 119th in franchise history and their 24th in Atlanta.

1990 Atlanta Braves season

The 1990 Atlanta Braves season was the team's 25th season in Atlanta, the 115th in franchise history as a member of the National League and the 120th season overall. The Braves went 65–97, en route to their sixth-place finish in the NL West, 26 games behind the World Champion Cincinnati Reds, and ending up with the worst record that year. On June 23, Bobby Cox replaced Russ Nixon as the team's manager, a job Cox would hold for the next two decades.

1991 Atlanta Braves season

The 1991 Atlanta Braves season was the 26th in Atlanta and the 121st overall. They became the first team in the National League to go from last place one year to first place the next. This feat was also accomplished by the 1991 Minnesota Twins. The last Major League Baseball team to accomplish this was the 1890 Louisville Colonels of the American Association.

The Braves had a last place finish in 1990 but managed to overtake the Los Angeles Dodgers for first place in the National League West clinching the division on the next to the last day of the regular season.

1991 National League Championship Series

The 1991 National League Championship Series was played between the Atlanta Braves (94–68) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (98–64), with the Braves coming out on top in the Series 4–3. It was considered one of the best-pitched seven-game series of the modern era, featuring three 1–0 finishes and four shutouts. The Braves went on to lose in the World Series to the Minnesota Twins in seven games.

The Pirates had the best record in the National League in 1991, and were the first NL East team to win consecutive division championships since the Philadelphia Phillies, their in-state rivals, during their run of three straight NL East championships, from 1976–1978 (in fact, the Pirates won the 1991 NL East title in a game against their rivals). and were expected to win this Series and advance to the World Series. However, the Braves, who went from last place in the National League West in 1990 to first place in the division in 1991, were able to pull off the upset in their memorable run to the World Series versus the Minnesota Twins.

1992 Atlanta Braves season

The 1992 Atlanta Braves season was the 27th in Atlanta and the 122nd overall. It involved the Braves finishing first in the National League West with a record of 98 wins and 64 losses, clinching their second straight division title.

In the National League Championship Series, the Braves defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates in seven games. In the World Series, Atlanta faced the Toronto Blue Jays, who were making their first appearance in the World Series. However, the Blue Jays won in six games, becoming the first non-U.S.-based team to win a World Series.

1992 National League Championship Series

The 1992 National League Championship Series was played between the Atlanta Braves (98–64) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (96–66) from October 6 to 14. A rematch of the 1991 NLCS, Atlanta won the 1992 NLCS in seven games to advance to their second straight World Series. The series ended in dramatic fashion; in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 7, with Atlanta down 2–1 and the bases loaded, the Braves' Francisco Cabrera cracked a two-run single that scored David Justice and Sid Bream. Bream famously slid to score the Series-winning run, beating the throw by Pirates left fielder Barry Bonds.

The Braves would go on to lose to the Toronto Blue Jays in the World Series in six games.

1993 Atlanta Braves season

The 1993 Atlanta Braves season was the Braves' 123rd in existence and their 28th since moving to Atlanta. The Braves were looking to improve on their 98-64 record from 1992 and win the National League pennant for a third consecutive year.

The Braves finished the season with a 104-58 record to win the National League West for the third consecutive year after trailing the San Francisco Giants, who finished in second place by one game, for most of the season in what is generally regarded as the last real pennant race before playoff expansion. 1993 was also the last year that the team competed in the National League West, as they would shift to the National League East for 1994.

Despite their excellent regular season, the Braves' streak of National League pennants ended at two as they fell to the underdog Philadelphia Phillies in six games in the National League Championship Series. By a twist of fate, the Braves beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Phillies in-state rivals, in back-to-back NLCS series in 1991 and 1992, but in 1993, lost to the Pirates in-state rivals.

1993 National League Championship Series

The 1993 National League Championship Series was played between the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves. The Phillies stunned the 104-win Braves, who were bidding for their third consecutive World Series appearance, and won the NLCS, 4–2.

The Phillies would go on to lose to the Toronto Blue Jays in the World Series in six games.

1995 Cincinnati Reds season

The Cincinnati Reds' 1995 season was a season in American baseball. It consisted of the Reds winning the National League Central, and the National League Division Series in three straight games over the Los Angeles Dodgers before losing the National League Championship Series in four games to the eventual World Series champion Atlanta Braves.

1995 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1995 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 66th 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 11, 1995, at The Ballpark in Arlington in Arlington, Texas, the home of the Texas Rangers of the American League. It was the first All-Star Game held in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, but not the first hosted by the franchise (as the Washington Senators, the team hosted the game in 1962 and 1969).

In this All-Star Game, American League pitchers held National League batters to just three base hits, but all three were home runs. The game resulted in the National League defeating the American League 3-2. This is also the most recent All-Star Game to be televised by the ABC television network.

Because of the MLBPA Strike, and the lack of official champions, the leagues chose to designate the managers of the unofficial league champions (teams with the best record at the time of abandonment of the season) as managers for this All-Star Game.

There were two color guards participating in the pregame ceremonies. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police National Color Guard from Ottawa, Ontario, carried the Canadian flag, while the 1995-96 Del Rio (TX) High School ROTC Color Guard carried the American flag. Country singer Michelle Wright later sang "O Canada", while fellow country singer (and native Texan) Lyle Lovett sang "The Star-Spangled Banner". Nolan Ryan threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

National League President Len Coleman presented Jeff Conine with the All-Star Game MVP Award in lieu of the Commissioner of Baseball, marking the second year in a row that Coleman presided over the MVP Award presentation.

1996 National League Division Series

The 1996 National League Division Series (NLDS), the opening round of the 1996 National League playoffs, began on Tuesday, October 1, and ended on Saturday, October 5, with the champions of the three NL divisions—along with a "wild card" team—participating in two best-of-five series. The teams were:

(1) Atlanta Braves (Eastern Division champion, 96–66) vs. (4) Los Angeles Dodgers (Wild Card, 90–72): Braves won series, 3–0.

(2) San Diego Padres (Western Division champion, 91–71) vs. (3) St. Louis Cardinals (Central Division champion, 88–74): Cardinals won series, 3–0.The St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves both swept their Division Series, and went on to meet in the NL Championship Series (NLCS). The Braves would rally to win that series four games to three and become the National League champion, but would lose to the American League champion New York Yankees in the 1996 World Series.

1997 St. Louis Cardinals season

The St. Louis Cardinals 1997 season was the team's 116th season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 106th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 73-89 during the season and finished 4th in the National League Central division, eleven games behind the Houston Astros.

1998 St. Louis Cardinals season

The St. Louis Cardinals 1998 season was the team's 117th season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 107th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 83-79 during the season and finished 3rd in the National League Central division, 18 games behind the Houston Astros. First baseman Mark McGwire broke Roger Maris' single-season home run record this season by hitting 70 home runs, battling with the Chicago Cubs' Sammy Sosa, who finished runner-up in the National League with 66.

30–30 club

In Major League Baseball (MLB), the 30–30 club is the group of batters who have collected 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases in a single season. Ken Williams was the first to achieve this, doing so in 1922. He remained the sole member of the club for 34 years until Willie Mays achieved consecutive 30–30 seasons in 1956 and 1957. Bobby Bonds became the club's fourth member in 1969 and became the first player in MLB history to reach the 30–30 club on three occasions and ultimately on five occasions, subsequently achieving the milestone in 1973, 1975, 1977 and 1978. He remained the only player to accomplish this until 1997, when his son Barry Bonds achieved his fifth 30–30 season. The most recent players to reach the milestone are José Ramírez and Mookie Betts, who achieved the feat during the 2018 season.

In total, 40 players have reached the 30–30 club in MLB history and 13 have done so more than once. Of these 40 players, 27 were right-handed batters, eight were left-handed and five were switch hitters, meaning they could bat from either side of the plate. The Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies, New York Mets, and San Francisco Giants are the only franchises to have three players reach the milestone. Five players—Hank Aaron, Barry Bonds, Willie Mays, Alex Rodriguez and Sammy Sosa—are also members of the 500 home run club, and Aaron, Mays and Rodriguez are also members of the 3,000 hit club. Dale Murphy, Jose Canseco, Barry Bonds, Larry Walker, Jimmy Rollins, Braun and Betts won the Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award in the same year as their 30–30 season, with Bonds achieving this on two occasions (1990 and 1992). Both Mays and Rollins also reached the 20–20–20 club in the same season. Four different players accomplished 30–30 seasons in 1987, 1996, 1997 and 2011, the most in a single season.Due to the rarity of a player excelling in the combination of hitting home runs and stealing bases, Baseball Digest called the 30–30 club "the most celebrated feat that can be achieved by a player who has both power and speed." Of the 22 members eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame, five have been elected and two were elected on the first ballot. Eligibility requires that a player has "been retired five seasons" or deceased for at least six months, disqualifying nine active players and six players who have been retired for less than five seasons.

Bob Walk

Robert Vernon Walk (born November 26, 1956), nicknamed "The Whirly Bird", is an American former professional baseball pitcher, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Philadelphia Phillies (1980), Atlanta Braves (1981–1983), and Pittsburgh Pirates (1984–1993).

During his rookie season in Philadelphia, Walk recorded 11 regular season wins and a victory in Game One of the 1980 World Series, his Phillies defeating the Kansas City Royals in six games. Traded to the Braves, he bounced between the main club and Triple-A, until being released in March 1984. Walk was signed to a minor league contract by the Pirates and led the Pacific Coast League (PCL) in earned run average (ERA) and wins in 1985, earning a trip back to the majors. He was named to the All-Star team in 1988 when he won 12 games and posted a 2.71 ERA.

In his waning years, Walk served as a spot starter and swingman for the Pirates' teams that won three straight NL East titles from 1990-1992. His most memorable outing being when manager Jim Leyland removed him from the bullpen and named him a surprise starter in Game Five of the 1992 NLCS against Atlanta. Walk tossed a complete game three-hitter to stave off elimination in a series which the Pirates would eventually lose in seven games. He was also the pitcher who was warmed up in the bullpen when Francisco Cabrera hit the two-run, game-winning single against Stan Belinda, which won the series for Atlanta. Despite both Walk and Cabrera being right-handers, Leyland opted to keep Belinda (despite having walked Damon Berryhill to load the bases and giving up a deep fly ball to Ron Gant) to pitch to Cabrera.

On June 30, 2007, the Pirates honored Walk with a Stadium Give Away bobble head night, during a game against the Washington Nationals.

Walk is currently an announcer for the Pittsburgh Pirates on AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh and radio. He is also a fill-in game analyst on MLB on FOX.

Greg Brummett

Gregory Scott "Spike" Brummett (born April 20, 1967) is a former right-handed Major League Baseball starting pitcher who played for the San Francisco Giants and Minnesota Twins in 1993.

Prior to playing professionally, Brummett attended Wichita State University. With them, he won the 1989 College World Series Most Outstanding Player award while a senior. He is the only player from Wichita State University to win that award. In 1989, he tied for the Division I lead in wins with Kirk Dressendorfer and Scott Erickson. That total also tied him with Bryan Oelkers for most wins ever by a Wichita State pitcher.

To close out his collegiate career, he had 13 straight victories. Overall, he had 43 wins, 59 starts and 424 innings pitched in his collegiate career. He also had 364 strikeouts.

Brummett was drafted by the Giants in the 11th round of the 1989 amateur draft. He played for two different minor league teams in 1989, the San Jose Giants and the Everett Giants. For San Jose, he went 0-1 with a 5.59 ERA in two games. For Everett, he went 4-2 with a 2.88 ERA in 14 games (10 starts).

In 1990, Brummett played for the Clinton Giants, going 2-2 with a 3.51 ERA in six games (four starts). He again played for Clinton in 1991, going 10-5 with a 2.72 ERA in 16 games. Brummett split the 1992 season with the San Jose Giants and the Phoenix Firebirds. He appeared in 19 games for the Firebirds, going 10-4 with a 2.61 ERA. In three games with Phoenix, he went 0-1 with a 7.71 ERA.

He spent about half of the 1993 season in the minors and half in the big leagues. In the minors, he played for Phoenix, going 7-7 with a 3.62 ERA in 18 starts. On May 29, he made his major league debut, against the Atlanta Braves, pitching 6​2⁄3 innings, striking out three batters (all three were Ron Gant) and earning the win. He would end up pitching eight games for the Giants, going 2-3 with a 4.70 ERA.

On September 1, 1993, he was the player to be named later in a deal that originally took place on August 28. The Giants sent a player to be named later (Brummett), Aaron Fultz and minor leaguer Andres Duncan to the Twins for Jim Deshaies. Brummett would start five games for the Twins, going 2-1 with a 5.74 ERA. Overall, he went 4-4 with a 5.08 ERA in 13 big league games. He played his final game on September 30.

Although his big league career was over, his professional career was not. In fact, he played in 1994 for the Pawtucket Red Sox of the Boston Red Sox organization and the Salt Lake Buzz in the Twins organization. He went 1-1 with a 5.27 ERA in eight games for the Red Sox and 4-3 with a 5.53 ERA in 13 games with the Buzz. He did not play professionally in 1995, but in 1996 he played for the Tyler Wildcatters of the Texas–Louisiana League. He went 4-9 with a 4.37 ERA in 13 games with them.

He was inducted into the Wichita State University Hall of Fame in 1995.

Robin Jennings

Robin Christopher Jennings (born April 11, 1972) is a Singaporean-born American former professional baseball outfielder. He is the only person born in Singapore to play in Major League Baseball (MLB), appearing in games for the Chicago Cubs, Oakland Athletics, Colorado Rockies, and Cincinnati Reds.

Drafted by the Cubs in the 33rd round of the 1991 Major League Baseball draft, Jennings made his Major League Baseball debut on April 18, 1996, and appeared in his final game on October 7, 2001. He played in a total of 93 games, batting .244 in 213 at-bats, with three home runs and 24 runs batted in (RBI).

He was traded twice in July 2001. The Oakland Athletics sent him to the Colorado Rockies for Ron Gant on July 3. He played in only one game for the Rockies, and was traded to the Cincinnati Reds on July 19.

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