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Dan Uggla

Dan Uggla

Position(s):
2B, DH
Born:
March 11, 1980
Bats:
Right
Throws:
Right
Height:
5' 11"
Weight:
205 lbs
Major League Debut:
4-03-2006 with FLO
Allstar Selections:
2010 SS

Daniel Cooley Uggla (born March 11, 1980) is an American professional baseball second baseman with the Atlanta Braves of Major League Baseball. Uggla finished third in the 2006 National League Rookie of the Year voting behind teammate and winner Hanley Ramirez, and Ryan Zimmerman of the Washington Nationals, but won the Players Choice and Sporting News NL ROY awards. Dan also had his own fan club at Sun Life Stadium who called themselves "Uggla's Ugglies." Uggla is the all-time leader in home runs for the Marlins, and is the only second baseman in MLB history to hit at least thirty home runs in four consecutive seasons.

Personal life and early career
Uggla was born in Louisville, Kentucky, the son of Elizabeth Armistead (née Cooley) and John Carl Uggla.[1] After graduating from Columbia Central High School in Columbia, TN, in 1998, Uggla attended the University of Memphis where after his junior season he was named an All-American by Baseball America, Baseball Weekly, and Collegiate Baseball.

Minor leagues
Drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 11th Round (338th overall) of the 2001 Major League Baseball Draft, Uggla spent five seasons in the Diamondbacks organization, including a year with the short season-advanced team, the Yakima Bears in Yakima, Washington. He amassed a .276 career minor league batting average, .341 on-base percentage, and .443 slugging percentage, to go along with 64 home runs, 311 runs batted in, and 62 stolen bases. Although he was 25 years old, which would make him the same age as many AAA players, and moderately successful in 2005, he never advanced past the AA level.

Uggla was left off the Diamondbacks 40-man roster in 2005, and the Marlins selected him in the Rule 5 Draft.

Florida Marlins
Starting the 2006 season with the Marlins, Uggla would get his first major league hit just three days later when he singled off Houston Astros pitcher Andy Pettitte; his first home run was on April 13 against San Diego Padres starter Dewon Brazelton; his first stolen base was a steal of home plate against the Philadelphia Phillies on April 21.

Uggla was named to the 2006 Major League Baseball All-Star Game on July 2, 2006, as a reserve; he is believed to be the first player in history to be selected for the All-Star Game in the same season in which he had been a Rule 5 pick.[2]

On September 15, 2006, Uggla hit his 25th home run, breaking Joe Gordon's record for most home runs by a rookie second baseman. Because he received less publicity as a prospect than some of his fellow rookies in Major League Baseball, such as Prince Fielder, Ryan Zimmerman, and Nick Markakis, Uggla's display of power in the majors and his selection to the National League All-Star team caused him to suddenly draw more attention.[3] Throughout his rookie season, due to the many mispronunciations of his last name, Marlins television announcers Rich Waltz and Tommy Hutton have exclaimed, "And his name...is DAN UGGLA!!", when Uggla hit a home run. Waltz and Hutton continue to use this call for most of Uggla's home runs.

Uggla finished his rookie season with 27 homers and 90 runs batted in. He won numerous rookie awards, including the Players Choice NL ROY award and Sporting News Rookie of the Year Award.

The Marlins finished Uggla's second season in last place. Uggla finished the year with a .245 batting average, caused mainly by slumps in April and September.[4] However, he did surpass his rookie home run total, hitting 31 home runs and knocking in 88 runs.

Uggla is considered media friendly. He has hosted This Week in Baseball in the past with several of his teammates. He also appears weekly on Sirius' Mike & Murray Show (hosted by Bruce Murray and Mike Yam on channel 123) every week during the 2008 baseball season and has made multiple appearances on the Bubba the Love Sponge radio show.

On May 10, 2008, Uggla hit his first career Grand Slam in the fourth inning of the game against the Nationals off Joel Hanrahan. On May 25, 2008 Uggla set a Marlins record for most home runs for a Marlins in any month (12) passing Gary Sheffield. On June 11, 2008, about a month after his first grand slam, he hit a walk-off grand slam off Tom Gordon to defeat the Philadelphia Phillies 6-2 at Dolphin Stadium.

The rising star emerged in 2008, named to the 2008 MLB All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium, as well as opting to take part in the 2008 Major League Baseball Home Run Derby. Uggla hit six home runs in the first round of the derby, two on the first two balls. Uggla finished fifth, tied with Grady Sizemore. In the All-Star Game, Uggla committed two consecutive errors on playable balls in the 10th inning that appeared to end the National League's hopes of victory, but those errors did not result in runs. He committed a third error in the bottom of the 13th, making him the first player with three errors in a single All-Star Game.[5] Uggla also struck out three times, and grounded into a double play.

On September 28, 2008, Uggla hit the last home run ever at Shea Stadium.[6]

During the 2008 offseason, Uggla went to arbitration with the Marlins and was awarded $5.3 million dollars; the Marlins had offered him $4.4 million.[7]

On June 5, 2009, Uggla became the fastest 2nd Basemen in history to get to the 100HR mark, in 502 games. He took the record from Alfonso Soriano, in 34 fewer games.[8]Dan Uggla with the Florida Marlins, at Wrigley Field in 2009

Uggla signed a one-year, $7.8 million contract with the Marlins on January 18, 2010. On July 31, he hit his 144th career home run, setting the Marlins all-time career mark. On September 13, he became the first second baseman in Major League History to hit 30 or more home runs in four seasons.

Atlanta Braves
After the season Uggla rejected a four-year, $48 million contract offer from the Marlins.[9] Soon thereafter, Uggla was traded to the Atlanta Braves for infielder Omar Infante and reliever Michael Dunn.[10] On January 4, 2011, Uggla and the Atlanta Braves agreed to a 5-year, $62 million contract with the Atlanta Braves.[11]

During the 2011 season with the Braves, Uggla became the 55th player in MLB history to have a hitting streak of at least 30 games. His thirty-first consecutive game with a hit came on August 10, 2011 on the road against his former team, the Florida Marlins. [12]

References
   1. Ancestry of Dan Uggla
   2. http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/sports/articles/0711allstarnb0711.html
   3. The Official Site of The Florida Marlins: News: Uggla: Rule 5 draftee to ROY candidate
   4. The Official Site of Major League Baseball: Stats: Individual Player Game by Game Log
   5. Night Starts Out Badly for Uggla, and Stays That Way
   6. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=280928121
   7. Marlins' Uggla Wins Arbitration Yahoo Sports, February 12, 2009
   8. http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/baseball/story/1078547.html
   9. http://www.fishstripes.com/2010/11/8/1801196/dan-uggla-rejects-marlins-offer
  10. http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/Florida-Marlins-Atlanta-Braves-Dan-Uggla-trade-talks-111610
  11. http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/Dan-Uggla-signs-with-Atlanta-Braves-for-five-years-62-million-010411
  12. http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2011_08_10_atlmlb_flomlb_1&mode=gameday

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Tagged:
All Star, Arizona Diamondbacks, Atlanta Braves, Dan Uggla, Florida Marlins, National League Rookie of the Year, University of Memphis, Yakima Bears

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