Tuesday, May 12, 2009
1989 Topps Major League Debut #83: Hensley Meulens
For those not familiar with Meulens, his last name is pronounced "MYOO-lens"
Or you can just call him Bam Bam for short.
Meulens was the first major-leaguer from Curaçao (and if you don't know how to say that, it's CURE-a-sow, where "sow" rhymes with "how".) A few more natives of Curaçao have since made it to the bigs, including Andruw Jones.
PHOTO: A fine photo, ho hum.
STAT: The last 2 homers of Meulens' MLB career were both hit in Stade Olympique in Montreal. The penultimate was as a member of the Expos, while the very last was as a visiting member of the Diamondbacks.
ANAGRAM: Hensely Muelens = He's sullen enemy
Bam Bam put up good power numbers in the minors, hitting 28 HR in 116 games in 1987, 26 HR in 136 games in 1990, and another 26 HR in 141 games in 1991. Given several chances in the majors by the Yankees, though, Meulens never showed as much power there, finishing with 15 HR in just under 500 AB.
Why, then do I give Meulens a 4 instead of a 2? Because he went to Japan in 1994 (after the Yankees sold his contract) and worked hard to continue his career, putting up decent power numbers there and working his way back to North America, eventually appearing with the Expos and Diamondbacks in 1997 and 1998. He even came back in 1999 and 2001 with the independent Newark Bears to try to impress another team into signing him. He gets a 2 for his actual major-league statistics, but bumps up to a 4 for his effort.