Random Athlete Of The Day- Mark Grudzielanek
Over his fifteen year MLB career, Mark Grudzielanek played for six teams and served as a true veteran shortstop and second baseman. Grudzielanek was just about everything you could ask for in your above average shortstop, hitting an average of .289 and playing solid defense. Expectations were high when Grudzielanek made his first all-star appearance in just his second season (with the Montreal Expos), but unfortunately that was also his last.
However, it should be noted that in 2003 Grudzielanek finished 27th in the National League MVP voting, ranking ahead of players like Miguel Cabrera, Dontrelle Willis, Bobby Abreu and Derek Lee (thank you Baseball Reference for having this completely unnecessary fact).
But, Mark was far more than just a baseball player. In high school he an all-state basketball selection in Texas as well as a regional Skee-Ball champion in 1987. I wasn’t personally there, but I imagine it went down something like this:
Some other highlights in Grudzielanek’s career include leading the NL in at-bats in 1997, hitting for the cycle in 2005, and winning the AL Gold Glove in 2006. So is Mark Grudzielanek a first ballot hall-of-famer? No, probably not. Will he be remembered as one of the best second basemen of the 90s? I don’t really see that happening. But will Expos, Dodgers, Cubs, Cardinals, Royals and Indians fans always remember him as that second basemen with the crazy last name that was kind of good? Definitely. And that is exactly why he is the Random Athlete of the Day.