John Olerud got his start in professional baseball in 1989 as a third round selection of the Toronto Blue Jays out of Washington State University. His college career is something of legend, as he dominated both on the mound and as a position player. During his freshman year he earned All-American honors after hitting .414 with 5 homeruns and posting an 8-2 record on the mound. The following year he hit .464 with 23 homeruns and posted a perfect 15-0 record on the mound, earning him consensus first team All-American honors as a first baseman and pitcher and the College Baseball Player of the Year award. Prior to his junior season he suffered a tragic brain aneurysm, which left him with an uphill battle in regards to his baseball career. However, he overcame the odds and returned to the field in 1989, hitting .359 with five homeruns in just 78 plate appearances and also winning three games on the mound. Upon being drafted by the Blue Jays he was sent straight to the big leagues, and played the first eight of his 17 seasons in in Toronto. He’d go on to play with the New York Mets, Seattle Mariners, New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox before retiring in 2005. During his major league career he hit a solid .295 with 255 homeruns, 2,239 hits and 1,230 RBI while earning two All-Star selections, three Gold Glove Awards at first base and winning the 1993 AL batting title with an astonishing .363 average. The highlight of his career came in 1992 and 1993 when he helped the Blue Jays to back-to-back World Series titles.
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