A Salute to the Greats During the Year of the Greatest!

I was 12 years old when the Indians drafted John Lee Lowenstein, and 14 when I finally got to see him play.  Over the course of eight seasons in Cleveland, I watched John maintain a solid .235 batting average while racking up a whopping 43 home runs.

Make no mistake, he was not good, but he was amazingly consistent.  During three seasons – 1974, 1975 and 1977 – John Lowenstein finished each season with a .242 batting average.  This isn’t a coincidence, this is a feat… a feat of mediocrity, but a feat nonetheless.

Known to his fans as Mr. Apathy, John was in fact a dedicated, fun-loving player who perfectly represented the Indians of the ’70s.  “There is a great solace in not caring,” he said in 1975.  “People today are so uptight about everything – war, gasoline, unions – that having complete apathy about something would be welcomed.  In a small way, I can bring a moment of peace to my fellow man.”

Despite his mediocrity and apathy, John does hold an MLB record: Hitting home runs from the most positions (9). He was also a tremendous outfielder, with a 1.000 fielding average in five different seasons. And he even managed to hit 20 home runs in 1982, and won a World Series ring in 1983 with the Baltimore Orioles.

But it wasn’t the stats, but rather John’s personality that made him so damn lovable.  In his own words,

“If you act like you know what you’re doing, you can do anything you want – except neurosurgery.”


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