Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Jay Campbell Buhner (born August 13, 1964, in Louisville, Kentucky), nicknamed "Bone", was a powerful right-handed hitter in Major League Baseball. He was among the most recognizable players of his day, noted for his shaved head and thick goatee. He put that recognizability to good cause, as well, hosting an annual Buhner Buzz Night, where fans would shave their heads at the ballpark with the proceeds going to charity.
Jay was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2nd round of the 1984 amateur draft and was traded shortly thereafter to the New York Yankees. He made his Major League debut on September 11, 1987, appearing in seven games that year. Jay was traded again the next summer, on July 21, 1988, to the Seattle Mariners along with two career minor leaguers (Rich Balabon and Troy Evers) in exchange for Ken Phelps. The trade is often considered one of the worst made by the Yankees of that period, and the best in Mariner history.
Jay struggled in that season, hitting just .215, and didn't play well the next several seasons.
Jay hit his stride in 1991, hitting 27 HRs with 77 RBIs. While well-known for his tendency to strike out, Jay also developed a patience at the plate which allowed him to walk 100 times in a season on several occasions. By the mid-90s he had developed into one of the premier offensive players in the game, hitting 40-plus home runs in three consecutive seasons, 1995, 1996 and 1997. Had he not been in a line-up surrounded by superstars Ken Griffey Jr., Edgar Martinez, Alex Rodriguez, Jay's accomplishments might have been more noted than they currently are.
- All-star (1996)
- American League Gold Glove award winner (1996, OF)
- Finished 5th in American League MVP voting (1995)
- Hit for the cycle (June 23, 1993)
- Inducted into the Mariners Hall of Fame (2004)
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