Manny Ramirez was one of the most fearsome hitters ever in Major League Baseball and made his mark on the league with the Cleveland Indians in 1993.
He played 19 seasons in MLB along with several seasons overseas. He tried to get back to the majors after playing in his final major league game, but never made a roster.
He recently said in an interview with the Taiwan Times that he wanted to play in the Chinese Professional Baseball League again. He previously played with the EDA Rhinos and was among the leaders in several hitting categories in the league.
Here are five more things to know about the 47-year-old outfielder.
1) STUDENT OF SWING
Ramirez has been known as a student of the game. He studied swings after games while also spending notoriously long in the box for batting practice.
He only won one batting title during his career. He hit .349 with the Boston Red Sox in 2002. He hit over .300 11 times during his career. He also led the league in slugging percentage three times and OPS three times.
2) LONG CAREER
The Indians selected Ramirez with the No. 13 pick of the 1991 MLB draft out of George Washington High School in New York. He broke into the majors as a 21-year-old in 1993 and made his first All-Star appearance in 1995.
He would later play for the Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox and Tampa Bay Rays. He last played in the majors in 2011 and tried multiple times to get back in with the Oakland Athletics, Texas Rangers and Chicago Cubs.
He also played several years overseas. He was in the Dominican Professional Baseball League in 2012 and 2013. He then played for the EDA Rhinos in the Chinese Professional Baseball League later in 2013 and was in the top three in several major hitting categories. In 2017, he played for the Kochi Fighting Dogs of Japan’s Shikoku Island League Plus.
3) BREAKING THE CURSE
The Red Sox signed Ramirez as a free agent in 2000 and he would quickly become an integral part of the team that would help break the long streak of failing to make the World Series and win the title.
In 2004, Ramirez hit 43 home runs and drove in 130 RBI. He hit .308 with a 1.009 OPS. His home run and OPS totals were the best in the American League. He would carry that over into the postseason.
Boston came back from three games down to defeat the New York Yankees in the 2004 American League Championship Series. Against the Yankees, Ramirez had a .300 batting average and three runs.
He played a bigger part in the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. He hit .412 with a 1.088 OPS. He had one home run and four RBI. He was named the World Series MVP.
4) BIG TROPHY CASE
Ramirez racked up several awards during his major league career.
Along with the aforementioned batting title, Ramirez was a nine-time Silver Slugger and a two-time World Series champion.
Oddly, Ramirez never won a league MVP award. He finished in the top five in MVP voting four times. He finished third in MVP voting twice.
He was also second in American League Rookie of the Year voting to the Kansas City Royals’ Bob Hamelin. The Royals’ first baseman hit 24 home runs in 1994, but would never hit more than 20 ever again in his career.
5) CONTROVERSIAL CAREER
Ramirez was also a controversial figure during his career. The phrase “Manny Being Manny” was used to describe odd moments. The outfielder once went to the Green Monster to use the bathroom. He also cut off a throw from Johnny Damon in the outfield.
It was revealed in a 2009 New York Times article that Ramirez tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003 during baseball’s “survey” to see whether drugs were being used in the sport. He didn’t face discipline.
In 2009, he was suspended 50 games for violating the league’s drug agreement. In 2011, as a member of the Rays, he reportedly tested positive for a banned PED. He was initially facing a 100-game suspension but it was reduced to 50 games after an agreement between MLB and the MLBPA amid a commotion about his possible retirement.
It’s unclear whether he still would have to serve his 50-game suspension should he return the majors.