November 19, 1993 is a date that may forever live in infamy for many Dodger fans. That is the day that the Dodgers traded then top prospect pitcher Pedro Martinez to the Montreal Expos, one for one, for Delino DeShields. This article isn’t to analyze the trade. We already know it was a horrible trade, ranked as one of the worst in Dodger’s history. No, this article is to document Delino Deshield’s historic offensive failures over the course of the three useless seasons he played in Los Angeles. So with no further adieu, we give you the number 5 LA Dodger Bum of all time….Delino Deshields (DeBum)…
Delino Deshields was born in Seaford, Delware. Deshields went to Seaford High School, and played for their basketball team. Deshields was going to attend Villanova University, where he would have played point guard. However, instead he was drafted in the 12th round of the 1987 amateur draft by the Montreal Expos. He chose to play baseball and forgo going to Villanova. I’m sure many Dodger fans wonder what might have been if only Deshields had decided to play basketball instead.
Deshields made his MLB debut in 1990 and became the regular second baseman for the Montreal Expos. Like many players on this list, he was pretty good, until he came to the Dodgers that is. Deshields batted lefty, the 6’1 170 pound infielder finished second in the NL rookie of the year voting. Deshields had a good rookie year. He put up a line of .289/.375/.393 with 4 home runs, and 44 RBI. Deshields stole 42 bases, but was caught 22 times.
His sophomore year wasn’t good. He batted just .238 with 10 home runs. Deshields stole 52 bases, but was caught 23 times that year. Deshields had 134 hits, and whiffed an unreal 151 times in 1991. Deshields returned to form and was pretty good over the next two seasons. From 1992-1993, Deshields batted .295, and .292 respectively, while stealing 46 and 43 bases. Then after the 1993 season, the Dodgers needed a second baseman. After Deshields was traded to the Dodgers, he rendered himself completely useless in every way at the plate.
Deshields was utterly mediocre in his first season in Los Angeles. In 1994 he played in 89 games, and he hit .250 with a .357 OBP, two home runs, and 27 stolen bases. A scary collision with Raul Mondesi forced Delino to miss some games.The next year Deshields was just as useless. Putting up a .252 batting average and a .353 OBP in 1995. He played in 123 games that year hitting 8 home runs and driving in 37 runs. He did steal 39 bases that year though.
Once Deshields final season in Los Angeles came around in 1996, he went from being below mediocre to downright pathetic. Delino could only muster up a .224 average in a full season playing in 154 games. Deshields had a putrid OBP of .288, while collecting as many whiffs as he did hits. He had 124 strikeouts and 130 hits. He was so bad that year that the Dodgers had to bench him during their playoff run.
After the 1996 season he signed with the Cardinals. He returned to the high average, high on base, top of the lineup speedster he was for Montreal. From 1997-1998 Deshields hit .295, and .290. Deshields hit a career high 11 home runs in 1997, and led the league with 14 triples. He stole 55 bases in 1997 and 26 bases the next year.
Injuries prevented him from playing full time in Baltimore from 1999-2001. Still Deshields put up decent numbers in his two plus seasons there. In 2000 Deshields had one of his better years for the Orioles. He hit .296 with 10 home runs and 86 RBI. Deshields was eventually traded to the Cubs where he played his last couple of years from 2001-2003. By then Deshields was already in decline. Deshields was the last out in Hideo Nomo’s second no-hitter against Baltimore.
When all was said and done, Deshields was a career .268 hitter with a .354 OBP. For a smaller guy, Deshields went on to hit 80 home runs in the majors, while stealing 463 bases. Deshields played for 13 seasons. Just an example of another winner trade for the Dodgers. Typical, while Deshields was a .268 hitter, he hit a measly .241 in his three years with the Dodgers.
Deshields is very active these days. He tours with former player Oil Can Boyd, as the co-founder and VP of the Urban Baseball League. They are part of the Oil Can Boyd Urban All-Stars, traveling around the country promoting Baseball in Urban cities. Delino was named manager of the Reds class A ball Dayton Dragons in 2011. His Son Delino Jr. was drafted in the first round as the 8th overall pick by the Houston Astros. I’m curious if the apple falls far from the tree?
Pedro Martinez went on to win three Cy Young awards, while Deshields whiffed 260 times in three years. During his 13 year career, he only batted .250 or lower six times Of those six years, three were with the Dodgers. Still sickening isn’t it?