Chuck Carr

After being selected in the expansion draft by the Florida Marlins in 1993, Carr quickly showed the potential to build a solid career out of making spectacular catches and stealing bases. He led the league with 58 thefts in his first season in South Florida — the first rookie to lead the league in steals since the Cardinals’ Vince Coleman in 1985 — and stole a total of 115 in his three years with the club. But to steal bases, one must get on base, and Carr’s a career on-base percentage of .318 never cut the mustard in the big leagues.

In mid-August 1995, after serving a stint on the DL, Carr decided to give up switch-hitting and for a short time became solely a right-handed batter. But the Marlins sought a true leadoff hitter, and they traded him to Milwaukee following the 1995 season.

Carr’s penchant for making the highlight reel finally got him into trouble on May 31, 1996, when he blew out his right knee while making one of his standard spectacular catches in center field. As one of the season’s most horrific highlights was replayed around the country, Carr underwent nearly five hours of reconstructive surgery. He missed the rest of the season and played just 26 games with the Brewers in 1997 before being released. Carr could still run, insisted Brewers manager Phil Garner, but he had lost his edge at the plate. Carr spent the second half of the year with the Astros, but Houston refused to offer him a contract after the season.

Carr’s quick fade from the baseball spotlight may have been due in part to a brash personality that once earned him a ranking as one of Sports Illustrated‘s “Top 10 Jerks in Baseball.” Even though at his best he played Gold-Glove caliber defense, his cockiness and one-handed snap catches irritated opponents. Supposedly, Carr was so confident in his abilities early in his career that he once told fellow Mariners farmhand Ken Griffey, Jr. to find another position.