Leron Lee

Last updated
Leron Lee
Born: (1948-03-04) March 4, 1948 (age 71)
Bakersfield, California
Batted: LeftThrew: Right
Professional debut
MLB: September 5, 1969, for the St. Louis Cardinals
NPB: April 2, 1977, for the Lotte Orions
Last appearance
MLB: October 3, 1976, for the Los Angeles Dodgers
NPB: October 20, 1987, for the Lotte Orions
MLB statistics
Batting average .250
Home runs 31
Runs batted in 152
NPB statistics
Batting average.320
Home runs283
Runs batted in912
Career highlights and awards

Leron Lee (born March 4, 1948) is a former left fielder. He played 8 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Dodgers, Cleveland Indians and San Diego Padres of Major League Baseball (MLB). He was the inspiration for the 1992 film Mr. Baseball , as Leron was the first Major League player to move to Japan at the height of his career and to wed a Japanese woman.

Left fielder outfielder who plays defense in left field

In baseball, a left fielder (LF) is an outfielder who plays defense in left field. Left field is the area of the outfield to the left of a person standing at home plate and facing towards the pitcher's mound. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the left fielder is assigned the number 7.

St. Louis Cardinals Major League Baseball team in St. Louis, Missouri, United States

The St. Louis Cardinals are an American professional baseball team based in St. Louis, Missouri. The Cardinals compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) Central division. Busch Stadium has been their home ballpark since 2006. One of the most successful franchises in baseball history, the Cardinals have won 11 World Series championships, the second-most in Major League Baseball and the most in the National League. Their 19 National League pennants rank third in NL history. In addition, St. Louis has won 13 division titles in the East and Central divisions.

Los Angeles Dodgers Baseball team and Major League Baseball franchise in Los Angeles, California, United States

The Los Angeles Dodgers are an American professional baseball team based in Los Angeles, California. The Dodgers compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) West division. Established in 1883 in Brooklyn, New York, the team moved to Los Angeles before the 1958 season. They played for four seasons at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum before moving to their current home of Dodger Stadium in 1962.


Early life and United States baseball career

Lee, the oldest of six children, graduated from Grant High School in Sacramento with 36 football scholarship offers from major four-year universities. Instead, he began his professional career at 18 as the number one draft pick of the St. Louis Cardinals in September 1969 after an excellent season at Tulsa where he batted .303. [1] His first major league hit was off Jerry Robertson of the Montreal Expos. In 1970 he had ten multi-hit games, including two games with three hits, a tie breaking home run against the Dodgers and his first major league home run off future Hall of Famer Ferguson Jenkins.

Grant Union High School is a public high school in Sacramento, California, United States.

Sacramento, California State capital and city of California, United States

Sacramento is the capital city of the U.S. state of California and the seat of Sacramento County. Located at the confluence of the Sacramento River and the American River in Northern California's Sacramento Valley, Sacramento's estimated 2018 population of 501,334 makes it the sixth-largest city in California and the ninth largest capital in the United States. Sacramento is the seat of the California Assembly, the Governor of California, and Supreme Court of California, making it the state's political center and a hub for lobbying and think tanks. Sacramento is also the cultural and economic core of the Sacramento metropolitan area, which had 2010 population of 2,414,783, making it the fifth largest in California.

In June 1971, after three seasons with the Cardinals, Leron was traded to the San Diego Padres where he had nineteen multi-hit games, including one memorable game against Cincinnati where he had three hits, including two doubles. A home run off Cito Gaston led to a 1972 2-1 win against Pittsburgh, the same year Leron batted .300 with an amazing thirty four multi- hit games, including six three-hit games.

Cito Gaston American baseball player and coach

Clarence Edwin "Cito" Gaston is a former Major League Baseball outfielder and manager. His major league career as a player lasted from 1967 to 1978, most notably for the San Diego Padres and the Atlanta Braves. He spent his entire managerial career with the Toronto Blue Jays, becoming the first African-American manager in Major League history to win a World Series title.

On July 4, 1972, Lee broke up a no-hit bid by Tom Seaver of the New York Mets. Lee singled with one out in the ninth inning. [2]

No-hitter also called a no-no, a baseball game in which a team was not able to record a single hit

In baseball, a no-hitter is a game in which a team was not able to record a single hit. Major League Baseball (MLB) officially defines a no-hitter as a completed game in which a team that batted in at least nine innings recorded no hits. A pitcher who prevents the opposing team from achieving a hit is said to have "thrown a no-hitter". This is a rare accomplishment for a pitcher or pitching staff: only 299 have been thrown in Major League Baseball history since 1876, an average of about two per year. In most cases in MLB, no-hitters are recorded by a single pitcher who throws a complete game; one thrown by two or more pitchers is a combined no-hitter. The most recent no-hitter by a single pitcher was thrown on May 8, 2018 by James Paxton of the Seattle Mariners against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. The most recent combined no-hitter was thrown on May 4, 2018 by Walker Buehler, Tony Cingrani, Yimi Garcia, and Adam Liberatore of the Los Angeles Dodgers against the San Diego Padres at Estadio de Béisbol Monterrey.

Tom Seaver American baseball player

George Thomas Seaver, nicknamed Tom Terrific and The Franchise, is an American professional baseball pitcher. He pitched in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1967 to 1986 for the New York Mets, Cincinnati Reds, Chicago White Sox, and Boston Red Sox. He played a role in the Mets' victory in the 1969 World Series.

New York Mets Baseball team and Major League Baseball franchise in Queens, New York, United States

The New York Mets are an American professional baseball team based in the New York City borough of Queens. The Mets compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) East division. The Mets are one of two Major League clubs based in New York City; the other is the New York Yankees of the American League East.

Once again, after three seasons with the Padres, Leron was purchased by the Cleveland Indians where he had thirteen multi-hit games. In a game against the Royals he hit a home run then a grand slam to drive in all five runs for a 5-2 victory.

After signing with the Dodgers as a free agent, he remained for two seasons before ending his major league career to pursue a baseball career in Japan.

Japanese baseball career

Following his major league career, he played for the Lotte Orions in Japan from 1977–1987. From his retirement to early 2018, he held the Japanese record for career batting average (players with more than 4,000 at bats). Norichika Aoki overtook him upon returning from MLB. He led the league in home runs and runs batted in in his first season, and won the batting title in 1980. In 1978, he invited younger brother Leon Lee (the father of former Major League Baseball player Derrek Lee) to play in Japan, and the brothers formed a feared cleanup for the Orions.

At bat

In baseball, an at bat (AB) or time at bat is a batter's turn batting against a pitcher. An at bat is different from a plate appearance. A batter is credited with a plate appearance regardless of what happens during his turn at bat, but a batter is credited with an at bat only if that plate appearance does not have one of the results enumerated below. While at bats are used to calculate certain statistics, including batting average and slugging percentage, a player can qualify for the season-ending rankings in these categories only if he accumulates 502 plate appearances during the season.

Home run in baseball, a 4-base hit, often by hitting the ball over the outfield fence between the foul poles without 1st touching the ground; inside-the-park home runs—where the batter reaches home safely while the ball is in play—are possible but rare

In baseball, a home run is scored when the ball is hit in such a way that the batter is able to circle the bases and reach home safely in one play without any errors being committed by the defensive team in the process. In modern baseball, the feat is typically achieved by hitting the ball over the outfield fence between the foul poles without first touching the ground or running to home plate and scoring a point, resulting in an automatic home run. There is also the "inside-the-park" home run where the batter reaches home safely while the baseball is in play on the field.

A run batted in (RBI), plural runs batted in, is a statistic in baseball and softball that credits a batter for making a play that allows a run to be scored. For example, if the batter bats a base hit, then another player on a higher base can head home to score a run, and the batter gets credited with batting in that run.

Before the arrival of Lee, foreign players mostly played in Japan when their careers were winding down. Lee revolutionized the Japanese view of foreign players by playing in Japan during his prime, raising the standard for all foreign players thereafter.

Coaching career

After retiring from Japanese baseball, he went on to become the batting coach for the Oakland Athletics in 1989 when they won the World Series. Currently, he works with the Cincinnati Reds as an advising batting coach to scouted players.

Oakland Athletics Baseball team and Major League Baseball franchise in Oakland, California, United States

The Oakland Athletics, often referred to as the A's, are an American professional baseball team based in Oakland, California. They compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) West division. The team plays its home games at the Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum. They have won nine World Series championships, tied for the third-most of all current MLB teams. The 2018 season was the club's 50th while based in Oakland.

The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) in North America, contested since 1903 between the American League (AL) champion team and the National League (NL) champion team. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff, and the winning team is awarded the Commissioner's Trophy. As the series is played during the fall season in North America, it is sometimes referred to as the Fall Classic.

Cincinnati Reds Baseball team and Major League Baseball franchise in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

The Cincinnati Reds are an American professional baseball team based in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Reds compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) Central division. They were a charter member of the American Association in 1882 and joined the NL in 1890.

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  1. Hand, Jack (6 June 1966). "Catcher No. 1 baseball selection". The Free Lance–Star . p. 17. Retrieved 7 June 2010.
  2. July 4, 1972 San Diego Padres at New York Mets Play by Play and Box Score – Baseball-Reference