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Albert Belle - Outstanding Hitter

cle season time indians

During his time with the Indians, Belle consistently was one of the leaders in the American League in home runs and runs batted in (RBI). While his temper and his refusals to talk with the press were still problematic, he became one of Cleveland's most popular players, and even had a candy bar named after him. He played in two All-Star games, and despite several suspensions, amassed an impressive record. General manager John Hart was one of Belle's most committed supporters. He commented to the New York Times, "He is a folk hero. We brought him up. He struggled as a young player. They've [the fans have] seen him mature as a human being. Albert does more community things behind the scenes than anyone we have. The community just threw themselves behind him."

In 1995, Belle's power at bat led the team through a phenomenal season. Belle himself hit 50 home runs and had 52 doubles becoming the first major league player to top 50 in both categories in one season. Enjoying tremendous fan support and their new stadium, the Indians went to the World Series for the first time since 1954. The Indians lost that series to the Atlanta Braves, but Belle emerged from the 1995 season a hero. While he lost the Most Valuable Player award that year to Mo Vaughn (members of the press vote on this award), Belle's fans voted him to start in the All-Star game for the first time.

In 1996, Belle signed a five-year, $55 million contract to play for the Chicago White Sox. This briefly made him the highest paid baseball player of all time, and certainly proved his status as one of the best players in the game. Belle used the team change as another chance for him to change his pattern of angry outbursts; the press, though, was not willing to let go of Belle's "bad boy" image. In 1997, Belle was in the spotlight for gambling on football, basketball, and, some alleged, baseball. He was also accused of hitting ex-girlfriend Stephanie Bugusky, but all charges in this matter were dropped.

In December 1998, Belle signed a 5-year contract with the Baltimore Orioles worth $65 million dollars. He jumped on another opportunity to change his image, and even began signing autographs and speaking with the press. Belle's reinvention of himself was cut short, though. An inflamed bursa sac in his right hip made 2001 a grueling season for Belle, and he sat out the 2002 season with what appears to be a permanent injury.

Career Statistics

Yr Team AVG GP AB R H HR RBI BB SO SB
BAL: Baltimore Orioles; CHW: Chicago White Sox; CLE: Cleveland Indians.
1989 CLE .225 62 218 22 49 7 37 12 55 2
1990 CLE .174 9 23 1 4 1 3 1 6 0
1991 CLE .282 123 461 60 130 28 95 25 99 3
1992 CLE .260 153 585 81 152 34 112 52 128 8
1993 CLE .290 159 594 93 172 38 129 76 96 23
1994 CLE .357 106 412 90 147 36 101 58 71 9
1995 CLE .317 143 546 121 173 50 126 73 80 5
1996 CLE .311 158 602 124 187 48 148 99 87 11
1997 CHW .274 161 634 90 174 30 116 53 105 4
1998 CHW .328 163 609 113 200 49 152 81 84 6
1999 BAL .297 161 610 108 181 37 117 101 82 17
2000 BAL .281 141 559 71 157 23 103 52 68 0
TOTAL .295 1539 5853 974 1726 381 1239 683 961 88
Albert Belle - Career Statistics [next] [back] Albert Belle - "snapper"

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