July 3 – Happy Birthday Carl Everett

everettThough he put together a terrific offensive season during his first year as a Red Sox in 2000, Carl Everett’s most notable contribution might have been pinning the nickname “Curly-headed Boyfriend” on Boston Globe sports reporter, Dan Shaughnessy.” That came about as an act of retribution on Everett’s part because Shaughnessy had nicknamed the Tampa, Florida-born outfielder “Jurassic Carl” after he made  statements indicating his personal belief that dinosaurs had never existed.

Unfortunately, the first paragraph of this post provides a fitting description of this talented ballplayers big league career, which can be summed up in two words, “easily distracted.” A first-round draft pick of the Yankees in 1990, the Marlins got Everett from New York in the expansion draft of 1992. He made his big league debut with Florida the following year but couldn’t stick on the parent club’s roster.

The Mets traded for him after the ’94 season and over the next three years, this switch-hitter got his chance to play regularly. He also began his reputation for controversy, when he became embroiled in a bizarre child abuse allegation involving a claim that he had slapped his child during a Mets’ road-trip in Houston, even though his family had not accompanied him on the road trip.

In any event, Everett ended up in Houston in 1998, after the Mets traded him to the Astros. The following year, he put together a 25-HR, 108 RBI season for the Stro’s, while averaging a robust .325. Ironically, those gaudy numbers convinced the Houston front-office they couldn’t afford to sign Everett to a long term deal so they traded him to the Red Sox.

At first, Everett and Fenway Park seemed a perfect match. He belted 38 home runs, drove in 108 and averaged .300 for Jimy Williams in his 2000 Red Sox debut season and made his first All Star team. But the controversies continued. When he got off to a slow start at the plate the following year, his run-ins with umpires and disagreements with Williams were magnified. Appearing in just 102 games for Boston in 2001, his production nosedived and he was traded to Texas during the offseason.

Everett continued playing big league ball until 2006. He ended up with 202 big league home runs and a .271 batting average for his 14-season big league career.

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