Delino “Bop” DeShields

Quick Hits

Position: Second Baseman

Teams:

  • Montreal Expos (1990-1993)
  • Los Angeles Dodgers (1994-1996)
  • St. Louis Cardinals (1997-1998]
  • Baltimore Orioles (1999-2001)
  • Chicago Cubs (2001-2002)

Notables:

  • A point guard in high school, DeShields committed to Villanova to play basketball in 1987
  • 12th overall pick in the 1987 MLB draft and chose baseball over basketball.
  • Second in Rookie of the Year Award voting in 1990
  • Led National League in Triples in 1997
  • Finished in the top-10 in stolen bases in the NL for 9 straight years (1990-1998]
  • Ranks 45th on the MLB Career Stolen Bases List (463), (Just ahead of Bobby Bonds)
  • Stole 43 bases and hit .285 in 1993 with the Montreal Expos.
  • Career .268 batting average with 80 home runs and 561 rbi’s. Played in 1615 games

Had DeShields chosen to pursue basketball, he would have been a part of the Villanova team that reached the Elite 8 in 1988. He would have played alongside future NBAer Doug West (a definite RFP who had a long career in the NBA with Minnesota and Vancouver)

(Doug West)

Delino “Bop” DeShields is the Co-Founder and current VP of The Urban Baseball League (www.theubl.com), and along with Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd he is traveling and playing on The Oil Can Boyd Urban All Stars to promote baseball in African American communities (more). The UBL started in 2007 and is an independent baseball league composed of four teams. DeShields is also the founder of the Delino DeShields Foundation to support and educate character development among young men. DeShields is a great advocate for African American communities and baseball.

“You have to know and respect where you come from. If you don’t know those things, then you don’t know where you’re going.

“That’s where I come from. If those guys (in the Negro Leagues) didn’t go through the things they went through, I wouldn’t be here playing. It’s really important.”

– DeShields (Source)

DeShields even wants Negro League Baseball added to the curriculum in history classes. DeShields would like to see more African-American ballplayers interested in their roots:

“It hit me when I got out of high school,” said the Delaware native. “There wasn’t a lot of African-American history in school. After school when I got into pro ball, I started reading and I started collecting more and more books and it turned into an avalanche, I guess you could say.” (Source)

DeShields wore his socks high to honor the players of the Negro Leagues.

“One of the worst trades in Major League History”

On November 19, 1993 Delino DeShields was traded from the Expos to the Dodgers for Pedro Martinez in what ESPN calls the 8th most lopsided trade in the history of sports. In three years in L.A., DeShields did not hit higher than .256. Martinez went on to win three Cy Young Awards and established himself amongst the greatest pitchers in the game’s history. While in hindsight the trade was a horrible one for Los Angeles, at the time DeShields was building a reputation as one of the more versatile hitters in the game, capable of putting the ball into play or getting a walk, combined with his stolen base capabilities, had made him a much sought-after player at the time of the trade.

This ESPN reader saw it a different way:

“At the time, DeShields wasn’t even a top second baseman, and Pedro was already on the winning track after his rookie year. Any ballclub would take a rookie starter who wins 10 games.” -Ryan Clabo (Victorville, CA)

The “Not About Delino DeShields” Blog

Delino DeShields has a blog (not) named after him. (Not About Delino DeShields) Not About Delino DeShields contributor “Dan” also has another blog named after Delino: “The Delino Factor for Kids

Recently, I interviewed Dan about how he came up with the idea for his blog. Here is the interview:

RFPoftheDay: How did the name for the site come about?
Dan: The name for the site came about back in the Spring of ’05, when I decided to start a blog for my humor writing. I figured it would be funny to drive traffic to my blog by naming it something like “BarryBonds.blogspot.com” or “AlexRodriguez.blogspot.com” (as you can tell, my favorite sport is baseball) and then having confused sports fans find my site instead of a baseball blog. But of course all of the famous baseball players’ names were taken.

So then I happened upon the idea that I’d named the blog after an obscure baseball player, with the joke being that I was trying to trick the thousands fans on the internet who might search for this guy into reading my humor blog, when of course there were probably really like ten people searching for this guy.

I thought of some of my favorite baseball players from the late ’80s and early ’90s, which was when I was in full-on baseball card mode, and after going through a couple names like Juan Samuel and Pete Incaviglia, I settled on Delino DeShields.

RFPoftheDay: What is the reference to Delino DeShields? and what did Delino DeShields mean to you?
Dan: The idea of the title “Not About Delino DeShields” was that the theoretical many people on the internet searching for the baseball player would immediately realize they’d been fooled. Though my first post ever was actually a table showing Delino DeShields’ career statistics, just to get things started (http://delinodeshields.blogspot.com/2005/02/now-that-youre-here.html)

RFPoftheDay: Why Delino though?

Dan: I decided on Delino DeShields because I had always liked him as a player for the Expos and had several of his cards when I was a kid. I admired him for his speed on the basepaths, which appealed to me as a small kid who couldn’t hit for power and wanted to excel at some other aspect of the game. I think his name being so unique was another thing that drew me to him as a kid, and also when I was deciding on the name of the blog.
In my mind I always associated him with his Expos teammate Marquis Grissom. And in fact, my brother was inspired by me to start his own blog and called it Not About Marquis Grissom (marquisgrissom.blogspot.com)!

I can’t figure out why Dan would say DeShields is an “obscure” player. I mean, he’s a major league record holder. He holds the record for the most career at-bats by a player born in Delaware. If that doesn’t scream Hall of Fame I don’t know what does.

>>Return to RFP Homepage

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One Response to “Delino “Bop” DeShields”

  1. My company does video news stories on great people with awesome attitudes — they don’t get much better than some of the Negro League players who broke barriers in baseball!

    You can see a video we did at MLB’s recent symbolic draft of Negro League players, which includes Millito Navarro, Peanut Johnson, Charley Pride and Bill Blair as well as Ken Griffey and Dave Winfield.

    I hope you enjoy it!

    http://growingbolder.com/media/Sports/Baseball/Righting-a-Wrong-155775.html

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