Larry Sheets

In the minors Larry Sheets was a mystery – an outstanding lefthanded slugging prospect who apparently had no great desire to play baseball professionally. He was drafted by the Orioles in 1977 but did not attend spring training until 1983, both because of college commitments and his personal indecision about his future. He still led the Appalachian League in home runs with 14 in only 37 games for Bluefield in 1980, but then chose not to play organized ball at all in 1981. He returned midway through the 1982 season, and in 1983 he tied Glenn Davis for the Southern League HR title with 25 for Charlotte. By 1985 the enigmatic Sheets had reached the ML, where he made the Topps and Baseball Digest All-Rookie teams with a .262 average and 17 HR as Baltimore’s designated hitter. In 1987 Sheets was outstanding, hitting .316 with 31 HR, including five two-home-run games and one blast onto the roof of Chicago’s Comiskey Park, but he fell apart in 1988, hitting just .230 with 10 HR.