There are times that I wish I paid more attention as a kid when I watched baseball games, and this is one of them. DeShields was signed after the 1996 season to come in and replace Luis Alicea at second base. DeShields was probably a very exciting player to watch, much in the way that Vince Coleman and Lou Brock were exciting to watch in the 80s.
In Deshields’ first season as a Cardinal the speedy second baseman hit .295 and got on base at a .357 rate. He stole 55 bases that season and was caught stealing only 14 times in 69 attempts. He also contributed 51 extra-base hits that season (26 doubles, 14 triples, 11 homers), those 14 triples were the best in his career and best in the league that season.
DeShields didn’t have as good of a season in 1998 as he did in 1997, but he did have another solid season for the Cards. He finished with .290 average and a higher OBP of .371, but only managed to steal 26 bases in 36 attempts that year. The drop in stolen bases were due to missing over a month in the middle of the season. Which, I gotta figure hurt the team in their hunt for the division title as they finished third that season, despite the wonderful season by Mark McGwire.
DeShields’ son Delino DeShileds’ Jr. is currently playing for the Texas Rangers.
Next: Jason Isringhausen