Vernon Wells

Vernon Michael Wells III (born December 8, 1978) is an American former professional baseball center fielder. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Toronto Blue Jays, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and the New York Yankees.

Wells has appeared on three All-Star teams in his career, been awarded three Gold Glove Awards, and one Silver Slugger Award.[1] He is second all-time for the Blue Jays in career hits, doubles, runs, RBI and total bases, and fourth in home runs, behind Carlos Delgado, José Bautista, and Edwin Encarnación.[2]

Vernon Wells
Vernon Wells on May 20, 2013
Wells with the New York Yankees
Center fielder
Born: December 8, 1978 (age 40)
Shreveport, Louisiana
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
August 30, 1999, for the Toronto Blue Jays
Last MLB appearance
September 29, 2013, for the New York Yankees
MLB statistics
Batting average.270
Home runs270
Runs batted in958
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Early years

Wells was born in Shreveport, Louisiana to Vernon Wells, Jr. and grew up in Arlington, Texas, where his family moved in 1988. His father played in the Canadian Football League and is an accomplished painter. In 1993, Wells entered Arlington's Bowie High School where he played quarterback on the football team and was an outfielder on the baseball team. In his senior year, he batted .565 with 7 home runs and 20 runs batted in (RBI). Before entering the Major League Baseball Draft, Wells signed a letter of intent to attend the University of Texas at Austin to play baseball and football (as a wide receiver).[3]

Early career

The Toronto Blue Jays made Wells the fifth pick overall in the 1997 amateur draft out of Bowie High School. He spent several years as a top prospect in the Blue Jays organization, starting with the St. Catharines Stompers, Toronto's Class-A team in the short-season New York–Penn League. In 1998, he played for the Hagerstown Suns and was selected as the Utility Outfielder on the South Atlantic League End of Season All-Star Team. In 1999, he played in the Australian Baseball League with the Sydney Storm.[4] From 1999 through 2001, Wells was a regular September call-up and played in 57 major league games.

Major League career

Toronto Blue Jays (1999–2010)

In 2002, Wells was given his first chance to be an everyday player. Although disqualified from Rookie of the Year contention because he had exceeded the 130 career at-bat limit to qualify as a rookie (the award went to teammate Eric Hinske), Wells proved himself to be one of the game's rising stars. He batted .275 with 23 home runs, 100 RBI and 87 runs while becoming one of the best defensive center fielders in the game.

In 2003, Wells' finished the season with a .317 batting average, 33 home runs, 117 RBI and 118 runs. He led the league with 215 hits, 49 doubles, and 373 total bases and finished 8th in American League MVP voting. He also participated in his first All-Star game. He won the AL co-player of the week for the first time on June 23, 2003, sharing the honor with Corey Koskie.[5] Wells won his first Gold Glove Award in 2004, and a second in 2005.

Wells began the 2006 season on a torrid pace, and continued to hit well throughout the year, ending the season with a .303 batting average, 32 home runs, and 106 runs batted in. Wells' year was capped by a game against the Boston Red Sox in which he hit three home runs, with two coming off of Red Sox starter Josh Beckett. He won the AL player of the week honor on July 24.[6] Wells was selected as a reserve outfielder on the American League All-Star Team and was promoted to the League's starting lineup after an injury to Boston's Manny Ramírez. It was his second appearance in the mid-summer classic.

During the season, Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi criticized Wells, as well as teammates Troy Glaus and Shea Hillenbrand, for failure to perform during key situations after two losses to the Kansas City Royals just before the 2006 All-Star break. He followed such criticisms with great play throughout the rest of the year, including a walk-off home run against New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera. On September 24, he recorded his 500th RBI in a game against the Boston Red Sox.

At the end of the 2006 season, Wells was awarded his third consecutive Gold Glove Award for outfield defense, along with Torii Hunter, and Ichiro Suzuki. He also signed a back-loaded contract for $126 million over seven years.

In 2007, Wells suffered a shoulder injury early in the 2007 season and had shoulder surgery in September.

On May 8, 2008, Wells suffered a broken left wrist while making a diving catch. He returned on June 7, but later strained his left hamstring on July 9 and missed over a month of the season. Despite the significant amount of time missed to injury, 2008 otherwise represented a return to form for Wells as he finished the year hitting .300 with 20 home runs and 78 RBIs in just 108 games.

VERNON WELLS
Wells batting for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2009

During spring training in 2009, Wells suffered another injury, a strained left hamstring which kept him out for several weeks. At the beginning of the season Wells batted fourth in the lineup and was playing center field. He struggled with consistency at the plate, and was subsequently dropped from the fourth spot in the lineup before the All-Star break. Though he stole 17 bases, Wells finished the year with some of the worst numbers of his career, batting .260 with only 15 home runs and 66 RBI and finishing with an OPS near .700. During the season, he received significant criticism from the press regarding his large contract.

Wells began 2010 at a promising pace, hitting four home runs with eight RBI in the first series. He continued to play well, hitting .337 with eight home runs and 16 RBI in April. On April 7 he had a multi-home run game against the Rangers, his first since September 28, 2008. On June 27, Wells hit a two-run home run that made Jamie Moyer of the Philadelphia Phillies, Major League Baseball's all-time leader in home runs allowed, with 506. On July 5, 2010, Wells was named a reserve for the 2010 MLB All-Star Game, along with teammates José Bautista and John Buck. Wells was also a participant in the Home Run Derby, when Chris Berman predicted that Wells, whom he nicknamed the "Canadian Breeze", would carry away the title. Wells ended up hitting two home runs in the first round.

On September 24, 2010, Wells hit his 30th home run of the season. That home run made Wells only the fourth player in Blue Jays history to have three or more seasons with at least 30 home runs, joining Carlos Delgado, Joe Carter and Fred McGriff.[7] At the end of the season, Wells had 31 home runs, 88 RBI, and an .847 OPS, making the 2010 season his best since he signed his contract extension in 2006. He finished the year batting .273, with 161 hits in 590 at bats, giving him over 1,500 hits in his career.

Also in 2010, Wells was selected to receive the Branch Rickey Award for humanitarian works by the Rotary Club of Denver. He is the second member of the Blue Jays to receive this honor; Dave Winfield was the 1992 recipient. The award was presented on November 13, 2010 and Wells was then inducted into the Baseball Humanitarians Hall of Fame.[8]

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (2011–2012)

Vernon Wells on July 23, 2011
Wells playing for the Los Angeles Angels in 2011

On January 21, 2011, Wells was traded to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, in exchange for catcher Mike Napoli and outfielder Juan Rivera.[9] Angels' owner Arte Moreno insisted on the trade, and reportedly told Tony Reagins, the general manager, that he would be fired if he did not acquire Wells within 24 hours.[10]

Wells started out the season hitting below the Mendoza Line through the first month-and-a-half of the 2011 season. At the All-Star break, his batting average improved to .222. Wells "heated up" during the months of June and July, hitting 11 home runs combined in those months, after hitting only four in the previous two. In his first game back in Toronto on August 12, Wells received a standing ovation before his first at bat, and followed that up by taking the first pitch of the at bat thrown by Brandon Morrow over the left-center field fence. In 2011, he batted .218, the lowest batting average of all major league ballplayers with 512 or more plate appearances, and also had the lowest on-base percentage (.248).[11]

New York Yankees (2013)

On March 26, 2013, the Angels traded Wells to the New York Yankees for minor leaguers Exicardo Cayones and Kramer Sneed. The Yankees paid $13.9 million of the $42 million remaining on his contract.[12][13] Wells switched to number 12 as number 10 is retired by the Yankees for Phil Rizzuto. On May 8, 2013, Wells played third base for the first time in his career. He then played second base for the first time on May 15. On July 26, Wells changed his uniform number from 12 to 22 to give to Alfonso Soriano, who had been reacquired from the Chicago Cubs. On August 5, 2013, Wells made his first start and appearance at first base.

On January 10, 2014, Wells was designated for assignment by the Yankees and later released on January 16.[14] In 130 games for the Yankees, Wells hit .233 with 11 home runs in 2013.

Wells was eligible to be elected into the Hall of Fame in 2019, but received less than 5% of the vote and became ineligible for the 2020 ballot.

Personal life

Wells currently resides in Westlake, Texas, near his hometown of Arlington, Texas. In 2001, he married his high school sweetheart, Charlene Valenti.[15] He has two sons, ages 11 and 14 as of May 2016.[16]

Off the field activities

See also

References

  1. ^ "Dirty dozen for Pudge; sixth for Chavez, Hunter, Ichiro". ESPN.com.
  2. ^ "Blue Jays All-Time Leaders". Mlb.mlb.com. Retrieved October 27, 2011.
  3. ^ "The Angels' big offseason acquisition, Vernon Wells, was once a star football player". Mlb.mlb.com. January 26, 2011. Retrieved October 27, 2011.
  4. ^ "Flintoff and Dunn Alamanac". Pflintoff.com. Retrieved October 27, 2011.
  5. ^ Spencer Fordin / MLB.com (June 23, 2003). "ells named AL Co-Player of Week". Toronto Bluejays. MLB. Retrieved October 27, 2011.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ D.C. Reeves / MLB.com (July 23, 2006). "Wells takes home AL weekly honors". Toronto Bluejays. MLB. Retrieved October 27, 2011.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  7. ^ "Bautista blasts Nos. 51, 52 as Jays drop O's". Toronto Bluejays. MLB. September 24, 2010. Retrieved October 27, 2011.
  8. ^ "Wells earns 2010 Branch Rickey Award". Mlb.mlb.com. September 15, 2010. Retrieved October 27, 2011.
  9. ^ "Blue Jays trade Vernon Wells to Angels for Mike Napoli and Juan Rivera | bluejays.com: News". Toronto Bluejays. MLB. Archived from the original on April 5, 2012. Retrieved October 27, 2011.
  10. ^ http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/writer/scott-miller/23286878/broken-angels-tense-atmosphere-nearly-included-pujols-hunter-fight-in-2012
  11. ^ "2011 Regular Season MLB Baseball Batting Statistics and League Leaders". Espn.go.com. Retrieved October 27, 2011.
  12. ^ "Vernon Wells joins Yankees, calls it 'dream come true'". USA Today. 2013-03-26. Retrieved 2013-04-01.
  13. ^ Mike DiGiovanna March 26, 2013, 12:27 p.m. (2013-03-26). "Angels finalize trade of Vernon Wells to Yankees". LA Times. Retrieved 2013-04-01.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  14. ^ "Report: Yankees designate Wells for Assignment". TSN.ca. January 10, 2014. Retrieved January 10, 2014.
  15. ^ "JockBio: Vernon Wells".
  16. ^ Jon Paul Morosi (15 May 2013). "Yankees continuing winning tradition". Foxsports.com.
  17. ^ "Major League Baseball Players Association: Press Releases". Mlbplayers.mlb.com. Retrieved October 27, 2011.

External links

2004 MLB Japan All-Star Series

The 2004 MLB Japan All-Star Series was the ninth edition of the championship, a best-of-eight series between the All-Star teams from Major League Baseball (MLB) and Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB).

MLB won the series by 5–3–0 and Vernon Wells was named MVP.

2006 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 2006 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 77th playing of the midseason exhibition baseball game 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, 2006 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the home of the Pittsburgh Pirates of the National League. The contest was the fifth hosted by the city of Pittsburgh – tying the Cleveland Indians for the record of most times hosted by a single franchise. The game resulted in the American League defeating the National League 3–2, thus awarding the AL champion (which was eventually the Detroit Tigers) home-field advantage in the 2006 World Series.

2007 Toronto Blue Jays season

The 2007 Toronto Blue Jays season was the franchise's 31st season of Major League Baseball. The Blue Jays tried to improve on their 87-win 2006 season, hoping to make the playoffs for the first time since 1993.

In the offseason, the Jays signed All Star outfielder Vernon Wells to one of the richest contracts in MLB history, giving him a seven-year contract worth $126 million. Toronto also extended the contract of first baseman Lyle Overbay, and signed veteran designated hitter Frank Thomas. To offset the loss of starter Ted Lilly to the Chicago Cubs, Toronto signed Japanese pitcher Tomo Ohka and former Atlanta starter John Thomson to one-year contracts and inked former New York Mets hurler Víctor Zambrano to a minor-league deal. All three men, however, were eventually designated for assignment and released. The Jays also picked up infielder Jason Smith from the Rule 5 draft, but he too was released from his contract.

2010 Toronto Blue Jays season

The 2010 Toronto Blue Jays season was the 34th season of Major League Baseball's Toronto Blue Jays franchise, and the team's 21st full season of play (22nd overall) at the Rogers Centre. The 2010 season was the first under general manager Alex Anthopoulos, who replaced J. P. Ricciardi after the 2009 season.

After a poor 2009 season in which the Blue Jays finished with a 75–87 record, 2010 saw the team improve by 10 games, finishing with an 85–77 record and in fourth place in the American League East. Led by José Bautista, whose 54 home runs set a franchise record and led the Major Leagues, the team also set a franchise record with 257 home runs.

Billy Frankenstein

Billy Frankenstein is a 1998 horror-comedy movie directed by Fred Olen Ray and written by his wife Kim Ray.

Branch Rickey Award

The Branch Rickey Award was given annually to an individual in Major League Baseball (MLB) in recognition of his exceptional community service from 1992 to 2014. The award was named in honor of former player and executive Branch Rickey, who broke the major league color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson, while president and general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Rickey also created the Knothole Gang, a charity that allowed children to attend MLB games.The award, created by the Rotary Club of Denver in 1991, was first awarded to Dave Winfield in 1992 at their annual banquet. Each MLB team nominates one individual who best exemplifies the Rotary Club motto: "Service Above Self". A vote is then conducted by the national selection committee, which consists of members of the sports media, previous winners of the award, and Rotary district governors in major league cities. Proceeds of the banquet benefit Denver Kids, Inc., a charity for at-risk students who attend Denver Public Schools. Each winner receives a bronze sculpture of a baseball player measuring 24 inches (610 mm), named "The Player", designed by sculptor George Lundeen. A larger version of "The Player", standing 13 feet (4.0 m) tall, was erected at Coors Field in Denver.Winners of the Branch Rickey Award have undertaken different causes. Many winners, including Todd Stottlemyre, Jamie Moyer, John Smoltz, Torii Hunter, Vernon Wells, and Shane Victorino, worked with children in need. Stottlemyre visited and raised money for a nine-year-old girl who suffered from aplastic anemia and required a bone marrow transplant, while Moyer's foundation raised US$6 million to support underprivileged children. Other winners devoted their work to aiding individuals who had a specific illness, such as Curt Schilling, who raised money for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Trevor Hoffman, who lost a kidney as an infant and devoted himself to working with individuals with nephropathy. Also, some winners devoted themselves to work with major disasters and tragedies. Bobby Valentine donated money to charities benefiting victims of the September 11 attacks, while Luis Gonzalez worked with survivors of Hurricane Katrina.

Circuitry Man

Circuitry Man is a 1990 American post apocalyptic science fiction film directed by Steven Lovy and starring Jim Metzler, Dana Wheeler-Nicholson and Vernon Wells. It was followed by a sequel, Plughead Rewired: Circuitry Man II, in 1994.

Commando (1985 film)

Commando is a 1985 American action film directed by Mark L. Lester and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rae Dawn Chong, Alyssa Milano, Vernon Wells, Bill Duke and Dan Hedaya. The film was released in the United States on October 4, 1985.

The film was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Special Effects but lost to Back to the Future. The film's score was provided by James Horner. A commercial success, Commando was the 7th highest-grossing R-rated movie of 1985 worldwide, and the 25th highest-grossing overall.

Gord Ash

Gordon Ian Ash (born December 20, 1951 in Toronto, Ontario) is Vice President of Baseball Projects of the Milwaukee Brewers. He left his role as assistant general manager with Milwaukee in 2015. He was the general manager of the Toronto Blue Jays from 1995 to 2001.

Ash received a Bachelor of Arts degree from York University in 1974. After graduating, he started at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce working in a branch. In 1978, he joined the Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club in the ticket department. He quickly became Operations Supervisor in 1979, Assistant Director of Stadium Operations in 1980, Administrator of Player Personnel in 1984, and Assistant General Manager in 1989.

From 1995 to 2001, he was the general manager. During his time the Blue Jays made many noteworthy draft picks, such as Roy Halladay, Craig Wilson, and Ryan Freel in 1995, Billy Koch in 1996, Vernon Wells, Michael Young, and Orlando Hudson in 1997, Felipe López in 1998, and Alex Ríos in 1999. A number of these prospects, most notably Michael Young, ended up being traded away before they fully developed. During his tenure, Toronto finished no better than 3rd in the AL East division, with a record of 541–575 over that span. After being replaced by J. P. Ricciardi, in 2001, he became a baseball analyst for TSN before he was appointed assistant general manager of the Milwaukee Brewers. David Stearns, who was hired as the Brewers' general manager after the 2015 season, reassigned Ash within the organization.With Brewers owner Mark Attanasio and pitcher Ben Sheets, Ash is an investor in the Milwaukee Admirals minor league hockey team.

King of the Ants

King of the Ants is a 2003 American independent neo-noir crime thriller film directed by Stuart Gordon, written by Charlie Higson, and starring Chris McKenna, Kari Wuhrer, George Wendt, Vernon Wells, and Daniel Baldwin. It was adapted from Higson's novel of the same name, and was one of the first films produced by The Asylum.

List of Neighbours characters (2001)

Neighbours is an Australian television soap opera. It was created by Reg Watson and first broadcast on 18 March 1985. The following is a list of characters that first appeared in the soap in 2001, by order of first appearance. All characters were introduced by the show's executive producer Stanley Walsh. The 17th season of Neighbours began airing on 15 January 2001. Jess Fielding made her debut in the following month. Matt Hancock arrived in March, while his father, Evan, and Jack Scully began appearing from April. Maggie Hancock made her debut in May and Larissa Calwell arrived the following month. September saw the introduction of Tim Collins. Sandy Allen began appearing from October, while Mitch Foster followed in November. December saw the introductions of Liz Conway, Stuart Parker and Elly Conway, as well as the year's first birth, Ben Kirk.

List of Toronto Blue Jays home run leaders

List of the Toronto Blue Jays franchise home run leaders with 50 or more home runs.(Correct as of April 23, 2019)

Silent Night, Zombie Night

Silent Night, Zombie Night is a 2009 horror film written and directed by Sean Cain which stars

Frank Forcinito, Andy Hopper, Nadine Stenovitch, Vernon Wells, Felissa Rose and Lew Temple. It was the first collaboration between Velvet Hammer Films and ArsonCuff Entertainment, which also produced Breath of Hate.

The Amazing Live Sea Monkeys

The Amazing Live Sea Monkeys is a live-action television series that aired for eleven episodes in 1992 before it was canceled. It focuses on three Sea Monkeys and their creator: Dave (Rob LaBelle), Bill (Peter Pitofsky), Aquarius (Sean Whalen) and The Professor (Howie Mandel). Special guests include Stephen Furst, Gilbert Gottfried, Larry Melman and Vernon Wells.

The Shrimp on the Barbie

The Shrimp on the Barbie, released in Australia as The Boyfriend from Hell, is a 1990 comedy film directed by Michael Gottlieb (under the pseudonym Alan Smithee) and starring Cheech Marin. The title is derived from a line in a 1980s series of popular ads starring Paul Hogan promoting tourism to Australia: "I'll slip an extra shrimp on the barbie for you".

Toronto Blue Jays award winners and league leaders

This is a list of award winners and league leaders for the Toronto Blue Jays professional baseball team.

Vernon Wells (actor)

Vernon George Wells (born 31 December 1945) is an Australian actor. He began appearing on Australian television shows in the mid-1970s, such as Homicide and Matlock Police and All the Rivers Run. He is best known to international audiences for his role of Wez in the 1981 science fiction action film Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior and Bennett in the military action film Commando.After Mad Max 2, Wells began appearing in Hollywood films, such as science fiction comedies Weird Science (1985) and Innerspace (1987). In the 2000s, Wells acted in the television series Power Rangers Time Force portraying the series' main villain Ransik.

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