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Brian Jordan

Brian Jordan

Brian Jordan

Position(s):
CF, LF, OF, RF, 1B, 3B, DH
Born:
March 29, 1967
Bats:
Right
Throws:
Right
Height:
6' 1"
Weight:
205 lbs
Major League Debut:
4-08-1992 with SLN

When healthy, Jordan was a .300-plus hitter, capable of 20 or more dingers and driving in 100 or more runs. But injuries were always a problem for Jordan, who was plagued by leg and back injuries over his first three seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals. Not until the 1995-96 seasons did Jordan reach his potential with 20-plus stolen bases and on-base percentages better than .330.

 

Baseball and football

Jordan was a sports star at Milford Mill Academy in Randallstown, Maryland. After graduating from the University of Richmond, Jordan embarked on a dual baseball and football career. He was drafted in the first round of the 1988 MLB draft by the St. Louis Cardinals. In the 1989 NFL Draft, he was selected in the 7th round by the Buffalo Bills, however he was cut in training camp.

While climbing the ladder in the Cardinals' minor league system, Jordan played defensive back for the Falcons from 1989 to 1991. He had five interceptions and four sacks in his brief NFL career.

In June 1992 Jordan signed a new contract with St Louis that gave him a $1,700,000 signing bonus to give up football and play baseball exclusively, ending his football career. In total he signs a $2.4 million‚ 3-year contract with St. Louis.

St. Louis Cardinals

Jordan made his Major League debut on April 8, 1992 with the Cardinals. He played mostly as a utility outfielder during his first three seasons, but in his first full year, in 1995, he had a deserving season. His stats included 145 hits, 20 doubles, and a .296 batting average in 490 at-bats. He also flashed his power by hitting 22 home runs and 81 RBIs.

He built on his success in 1996, hitting .310 with 104 RBIs and a .349 on base percentage, playing mostly as the right fielder and cleanup hitter for the Cardinals. He also led the major leagues in batting average with the bases loaded.  On June 24, 1996 -  The Cards go on to beat the Braves‚ 9-2‚ ending John Smoltz's 14-game winning streak. Brian Jordan has 6 RBIs to stop Smoltz‚ who was trying to match Gaylord Perry's 15 game streak in 1974. Smoltz‚ 4-9 against the Cards‚ has not beaten them since 1992.

In the postseason that year, Jordan hit .333 in the NLDS and had a game-winning home run in Game 4 of the 1996 NLCS.The Cardinals sweep the Padres with a 7-5 win in Game 3 of their Division Series. Brian Jordan's 2-run HR in the 9th inning is the decisive blow. He hit .333 in the series. He had another game-winning home run in Game 4 of the 1996 NLCS.

Shrugging off a relatively disastrous and injury-riddled 1997 season in which he hit .234 with no home runs, Jordan had possibly the best season of his career in 1998, his last year with St. Louis. He scored 100 runs, saw his power return with 25 home runs, and batted a career-high .316, with an outstanding .534 slugging percentage.

Atlanta Braves

His stats in 1998 helped earn Jordan a $21.3 million contract with the Atlanta Braves. Jordan had a strong April and May to help carry the Braves early in the 1999 season. This propelled him to his only All-Star appearance. He finished the season with 100 runs again and drove in 115 runs.

Jordan was a standout in the 1999 NLDS for the Braves against the Houston Astros. He batted .471, had the game-winning double in the 12th inning of Game 3, and drove in seven of Atlanta's 18 runs during the series. He contributed two home runs in the 1999 NLCS, but went 1 for 13 in his only World Series appearance.

Jordan's batting average and RBI totals dipped in 2000, but in 2001 Jordan hit 25 homers with a .295 average and was superb in the final games of the season, helping to push the Braves to their tenth-straight division title after a tight race with the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets.

Later career

He was involved in a blockbuster trade on January 15, 2002. Atlanta sent him to the Los Angeles Dodgers with pitcher Odalis Pérez for Gary Sheffield.

After a solid season in 2002 in which he hit .285, injuries significantly decreased Jordan's playing time in 2003. The aging Jordan signed a one-year contract with the Texas Rangers in 2004, but only batted .222 and again missed chunks of time with injuries. In 2005, he returned to the Braves, but he spent most of the season on the disabled list with left knee inflammation while rookie sensation Jeff Francoeur took over in right field. Relying more on his veteran savvy than athletic ability at this point, he made the team again in 2006, but was limited to a platoon role at first base before again going on the disabled list. Jordan retired as a player after the 2006 season.

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Tagged:
Atlanta Braves, Brian Jordan, St. Louis Cardinals, Texas Rangers

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