Eric Karros Powered Los Angeles Teams of the 1990s
By SAMANTHA CARR
December 19, 2009
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- Eric Karros didn’t mind the pressure. He wanted to be the kind of player kids admired – on and off the field.
Call him a throwback.
|Eric Karros is one of 26 players on the BBWAA ballot for the Class of 2010 at the Hall of Fame.|
“I tell youngsters that if you want a role model, Eric Karros should be your role model,” said Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda.
Karros, who spent 12 of his 14 big league seasons with the Dodgers, is one of 26 players on the 2010 Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot for the Class of 2010 at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Karros is making his debut on the BBWAA ballot.
BBWAA members who have at least 10 years of tenure with the organization can vote in the election, and the results will be announced Jan. 6. Any candidate who receives at least 75 percent of all BBWAA votes cast will be enshrined in the Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2010. The Induction Ceremony will be held July 25 in Cooperstown.
Born on Nov. 4, 1967 in Hackensack, N.J., Karros attended UCLA, where he earned a degree in economics. In September 1991, Karros made his major league debut, and the following season he was named National League Rookie of the Year.
Karros hit 20 homers in 1992, the first of eight seasons in his career when he would hit 20-plus long balls. That same season, the Dodgers lost 99 games.
“[Winning] is what it’s all about,” said Karros. “Who cares if you get three singles and you raise your batting average and your team loses? I just hate to lose. I can’t stand to lose.”
By 1995, the Dodgers had turned it around, going 78-66. Karros earned the Silver Slugger Award at first base and finished fifth in MVP voting. That season, he hit .298 with 32 homers, 105 RBI and 29 doubles.
The Dodgers lost to the Reds in the National League Division Series, but it wasn’t because of Karros’ effort. In the series, he hit .500 with two homers and four RBI, slugging over 1.000.
Often surrounded by trade rumors later in his career, Karros was finally sent to the Cubs in 2003. After one season there, he signed as a free agent with Oakland and retired after 2004.
Over his career, Karros graduated from being a young guy in the Dodgers clubhouse to one of the team’s leaders.
“A leader is not someone who walks around and says he’s a leader. A leader leads by example,” said teammate Brett Butler. “That’s what he does.”
Karros is the Los Angeles Dodgers’ career leader in home runs with 270. A career .268 hitter, Karros finished with 1,724 hits, 324 doubles, 284 homers and 1,027 RBI. With a .993 fielding percentage, Karros never played another field position besides first base.
“He represents so many good things about the Dodgers,” said former general manager Dan Evans.
Samantha Carr is the media relations coordinator at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum