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Ronald Edwin "Ron" Gant (born March 2, 1965, in Victoria, Texas) is a former American Major League outfielder and second baseman earlier on who played for the Atlanta Braves (1987-1993), Cincinnati Reds (1995), St. Louis Cardinals (1996-1998), Philadelphia Phillies (1999-2000), Anaheim Angels (2000), Colorado Rockies (2001), Oakland Athletics (2001), San Diego Padres (2002), and again the Athletics briefly in 2003.
Joining the Braves in 1987 as a September call-up, Gant got 22 hits in 83 at bats, 2 of them home runs. By the next season, Gant was an everyday player for a struggling Braves team that was just 54-106 on the year. Gant had an average rookie season, but wouldn't get to play every day until two years later, in 1990, when he batted .303 with 32 home runs and 84 RBIs. He also picked up 33 stolen bases, putting him in the 30-30 club.
Gant also become only the 3rd player in history to have two 30 HR and 30 SB seasons in a row. Willie Mays(1956 - 1957) and Bobby Bonds(1977 - 1978) were the others, while he was followed by Barry Bonds, who accomplished the feat 3 years in a row.
Although his home run and stolen base totals were extremely similar the following year, most of his other stats were not as good: he hit just .251 with over 100 strike outs and 23 fewer hits in just 14 fewer at bats. His RBI numbers also increased to 105.
The Braves lost to the Minnesota Twins in the 1991 World Series. Gant batted .267 in the series, with 4 RBIs, as the Twins won it in a close and exciting 7th game. During Game 2 of the 1991 World Series, Gant had a memorable and controversial confrontation with Twins first baseman Kent Hrbek. As Gant was trying to make it back to first base in order to avoid a pick-off play, Hrbek pulled Gant's leg off the base. The umpire ruled that Gant's momentum would have carried him off the bag, and Gant was called out.
Although he would never hit .300 again, Gant's batting average continued to climb back up into the .270's and his power numbers stayed great, while he continually drove in over 80 runs a year, peaking at 117 in 1993. In both 1991 and 1993, he was in the top 5 in the league in runs batted in. His speed and power combination made him a bidworthy item, and the Reds and Cardinals each paid a lot for him in the mid 90's.
Shortly after signing one of the richest contracts in Braves history in 1994, Gant broke his right leg in an ATV accident. The Braves ended up releasing him; He wouldn't play again until 1995. Former teammate Paul Assenmacher described Gant as "too self-absorbed" to become a standout player.
1997 was the low point of Gant's career, when he struck out 162 times, and batted .229 for the Cardinals. After the Cardinals didn't play him full-time in 1998 (though he still hit 26 homers), he was traded by the Cardinals with Jeff Brantley and Cliff Politte to the Philadelphia Phillies for Ricky Bottalico and Garrett Stephenson on November 19.
The next year, Gant would have his last real quality season. With the Phillies in 1999, he batted a solid .260 with 17 home runs and 77 RBIs. He had 13 stolen bases and 107 runs scored, with 27 doubles and 2 triples, in 134 hits.
After a non-productive 2003 season with the A's, Gant retired at age 38.
In a 16-season career, Gant batted .256 with 321 home runs and 1008 RBIs. He had 243 stolen bases and 1080 runs scored in 1832 games. Gant had 302 doubles and an even 50 triples in his career. He ended with 1651 hits in 6449 at bats. Gant averaged 20 home runs, 63 RBIs, and 15 stolen bases a year. In postseason play, Gant was a .228 hitter with 8 home runs and 28 RBIs in 52 playoff games; he had 43 hits in 189 at bats. He has often stated that during his entire baseball career, he is most proud of his time as an Atlanta Brave.
During the 2005 Major League Baseball season, Gant worked as a color commentator for the Atlanta Braves on TBS. He currently works as an analyst on SportSouth during Braves games. He was quoted on Peachtree TV while working as an analyst stating that Fulton County Stadium was his favorite to play in.
- Top 500 home run hitters of all time
- List of Major League Baseball players with 1000 runs
- List of Major League Baseball players with 1000 RBI
- List of Major League Baseball leaders in career stolen bases
- 30-30 club
- The Official Site of The New York Yankees: News: Goose not a fan of Joba's celebrations . MLB.com. Retrieved on 2008-09-04.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube
|Awards and achievements|
|NL Comeback Player of the Year