Sunday, November 21, 2010

One Hit Wonders: Larry Sheets

Until the juice started flowing in the mid-Nineties, 1987 was widely viewed as a power-filled anomaly in MLB circles. Balls flew out stadiums at alarming rates that summer. Wade Boggs might’ve been the best example that something was “up”, knocking 24 “big flies” and besting his single season high by 13.

The impeccably coiffed Larry Sheets was another. Boasting a wonderful moustache and a powerful left-handed swing, Sheets put together a huge campaign for the otherwise putrid Baltimore Orioles. His stellar 0.316/31/94 line raised eyebrows across the league and his 0.563 slugging percentage was both considerable and impressive.

Sheets never built upon his 1987 efforts and the only real memory I have of this fella was an unfortunate strikeout against Tom Henke in late 1989 that won the Toronto Blue Jays the AL East crown. Unfortunate but really, Sheets’ look and swagger definitely made most sense circa ’87.

Trivia: 31 is an impressive home run total for any season but again, 1987 was a big time anomaly, especially at the time. Check out this list of also-rans who actually outhomered Larry Sheets that season:
Brook Jacoby (32)
Matt Nokes (32)
Mike Pagliarulo (32)

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