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B.J. Surhoff

B.J. Surhoff

Position(s):
1B, 3B, C, DH, LF, OF, SS, 2B, CF, RF
Born:
August 4, 1964
Bats:
Left
Throws:
Right
Height:
6' 1"
Weight:
185 lbs
Major League Debut:
4-08-1987 with ML4

Originally a catcher, B.J. Surhoff switched to third base with the Brewers, and later became a solid left fielder for several teams. His left-handed bat proved valuable in the lineup no matter where he played, and he was especially popular in Baltimore, where he spent two stints and enjoyed his best seasons. In the 1996 AL Division Series for the Orioles, Surhoff blasted three homers to help defeat the Indians in four games. He collected his 2,000th hit with the Braves in 2001.

Baseball career
Surhoff attended Rye High School in Westchester, New York and hit a monstrous home run as a visitor at Somers High School which cleared route 139 and hit the firehouse. The homerun was dubbed "The Killer," and is infamous in high school baseball lore as it bounced off the firehouse and killed a small squirrel. The spot the homerun landed is still marked to this day. After high school he attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was honored as the 1985 ACC Male Athlete of the Year, and played on the very first (1984) U.S. Olympic baseball team. He was a two time first team All-American at UNC and his career batting average of .392 was a school record until Dustin Ackley set the mark at .412 in 2009.

He was selected by the Brewers with the first pick of the 1985 amateur draft. Surhoff was a very versatile player, having appeared at every position except pitcher over the course of his career. He had 2,326 hits and 1,153 RBI in his career. Although always a consistent hitter, having hit over .280 in 12 of his 19 seasons, Surhoff's finest season was his 1999 campaign with the Orioles, in which he led the American League in at-bats (673), ranked 2nd in hits (207), was selected to the American League All-Star team, and ultimately won Most Valuable Oriole honors for the season, becoming one of 5 players to get 200 or more hits in a season for the team. He also participated in the Home Run Derby. In other notable seasons, he finished 6th in the AL in doubles in 1993 with the Brewers and finished 5th in batting average in the AL with the Brewers in 1995 with a .320 average.

In 2007, Surhoff was elected to the Orioles Hall of Fame, with the official induction ceremony occurring before the start of the Orioles-Twins game on August 25, 2007, at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
[edit] Personal life

His father Dick Surhoff played two years in the NBA in 1952–1953 and 1953–1954 and his brother Rick Surhoff appeared in 9 games in 1985 as a relief pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies and the Texas Rangers. His son, Austin Surhoff, swims at the University of Texas and won the 200 individual medley and 200 backstroke at the 2010 Big 12 Championships. Then he won the 200 Individual Medley national title a month later.

Surhoff lives in Cockeysville, Maryland with his wife Polly and their four children. He is the president of Pathfinders for Autism, a Hunt Valley support group for families with autistic children. Surhoff's son, Mason, is autistic.

Surhoff is the uncle of former UNC third-team All-American pitcher, Brian Moran (baseball), and current UNC third baseman Colin Moran. In 2008 and 2009, Surhoff was a spring training instructor for the Baltimore Orioles. His son, Austin, won the 200 Individual Medleys at the 2010 NCAA Swim competition.

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