While some players become legends for their long, enduring careers, others make their mark with one amazing season. We look back on some of MLB’s best one-season stars.
Every kid’s dream is to make it to the big leagues. Every kid also dreams of staying there, and having a great career. Of course, that’s not the case for some players.
One-year wonders unfortunately exist. You either love to hate them, or hate to love them. Here are eight (okay, seven — you’ll see) of baseball’s most famous, or infamous, one-year wonders.
.373/.411/.910, 10 home runs (three grand slams), 27 RBI in first 27 games
The 1998 Yankees are one of the best teams of all time. Bernie Williams won that season’s batting title. David Wells threw a perfect game. They had only one losing streak that lasted more than three games. They won 114 games that season, and ultimately won the World Series.
But the story of the 1998 season cannot be told without Shane Spencer’s remarkable run in September.
Spencer’s run was so great, it earned him legitimate postseason time to cap off one of the greatest season’s ever. Two of his five hits in that postseason were home runs. He instantly became a fan favorite, and three grand slams in 27 games is probably a big reason why. Derek Jeter hit just one in his career, and it took until his 10th full season to hit it.
But Spencer’s run was short lived. He would go on to hit just 49 more home runs in his remaining 511 games, and racked up just a .730 OPS in that span. He did, however, earn three rings in his career. He signed with the Cleveland Indians in January of 2003, was traded to the Texas Rangers six months later, and wrapped up with the Mets in 2004.