Raul Mondesi

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Position: Outfielder

Teams:

  • Los Angeles Dodgers (1993-1999)
  • Toronto Blue Jays (2000-2002)
  • New York Yankees (2002-2003)
  • Arizona Diamondbacks (2003)
  • Pittsburgh Pirates (2004)
  • Anaheim Angels (2004)
  • Atlanta Braves (2005)

Notables:

  • NL Rookie of the Year (1994)
  • NL All-Star (1995)
  • 2x Gold Glove Award winner (1995 & 1997)
  • One of the best outfield arms in baseball history
  • 9 consecutive seasons of 20+ home runs (1995-2003), including 3 consecutive seasons of 30+ home runs (1997-1999)
  • 271 career home runs, 860 career RBI

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Raul Mondesi had a fast start to his career. As a Los Angeles Dodger in 1994, he was a unanimous choice for National League Rookie of the Year, hitting .306 with 16 HR and 56 RBI in 112 games. He followed that up by making the NL All-Star team the next season. Mondesi went on to have several very successful seasons with the Dodgers, despite never making it back to the All-Star Game. His best season was 1997, when he hit .310 with 30 HR, 87 RBI, and 32 stolen bases. It was the first in a string of 3 seasons in which Mondesi hit 30+ home runs for the Dodgers. It was also the first season in which he stole 30+ bases, a feat which he accomplished two other times in his career.

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He left the Dodgers after the 1999 season in a trade for the Blue Jays’ Shawn Green. Mondesi had 4 more decent years in him, which he spent with the Blue Jays, Yankees, and Diamondbacks. He retained solid power numbers, but his batting average suffered. In 2004 and 2005, he played for the Pirates, Angels, and Braves, but didn’t really do anything. (Mondesi’s career stats)

Mondesi was known for going all-out on the field, whether it be diving into a base, making one of his signature belly-flop diving catches in the outfield, or making a huge turn around 1st base on an obvious single. I think these pictures sum up his style of play:

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Notice how often his hat flew off his head.

You may remember Mondesi from the chants of Rauuuuuuuuuuuul that came out of the crowd when he stepped to the plate. This chant is also used by Seattle Mariners fans for their current left fielder, Raul Ibanez.

Mondesi also had a reputation for having a bad attitude, and he often clashed with coaches and management. These incidents are documented in an article from athomeplate.com titled “Baseball’s Bad Boy: Raul Mondesi”.

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Aside from stealing electricity in the Dominican Republic, Mondesi is also spending his post-baseball career as a member of the Domincan government. According to his Wikipedia page, Mondesi was elected to a seat in the Dominican Republic’s Chamber of Deputies as a member of the Dominican Liberation Party in May 2006. In November 2007, he switched his allegiance to the Dominican Revolutionary Party. El Nacional wrote an article on the switch (here it is in Spanish) (and in poorly translated English).

Youtube:

Fans chat with Raul Mondesi and other Blue Jays outfielders before a spring training game in 2001:

 

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