Baseball - 2001
Shawn Green is one of the premiere outfielders in Major League Baseball. The Los Angeles Dodgers star right-fielder, with six full Major League seasons under his belt (five with the Toronto Blue Jays), owns a .282 lifetime batting average, with 143 homeruns, 475 runs batted in, and 100 stolen bases.
Born in DesPlaines, Illinois and raised in Tustin, California, Shawn was a first-team selection on the 1991 USA Today All-USA High School baseball team. His 147 hits in his senior year at Tustin High tied the California Interscholastic Federation record. Shawn was offered a baseball scholarship at Stanford University, but signed with the Blue Jays after they made him their first-round selection (16th overall) in the June 1991 First-Year Player Draft.
Following several end-of-season call-ups to the big league club, Shawn became a Toronto starter in 1995, finishing his first full Major League year with a .288 batting average. His breakout season was 1998, followed by an even greater 1999, during which he slugged 77 homeruns, posted consecutive100-run, 100 RBI seasons. He hit .309 in his final year with the Jays, along with 42 homeruns, while winning his first Rawling’s Gold Glove Award and making his first appearance in baseball’s annual All-Star Game.
Toronto traded Shawn to Los Angeles in November 1999, and the Tustin left-hander signed a megabucks long-term six-year deal with the Dodgers. In what, for him, may have been a less auspicious first year in Southern California, Shawn batted .269, with 23 homeruns, 99 RBIs and 24 stolen bases. The 99 RBIs tied the mark for most by a Dodger left-handed batter since the team moved to L.A. He also rapped 44 doubles, #2 most in L.A. Dodgers history, and 72 extra-base hits, #4 most in L.A. Dodgers history. He was the only Dodger to play in all 162 games, and one of just three National League players to be in his team’s line-up every day.
During each of his six seasons with the Dodgers—through 2005—Shawn has committed $250,000 of his annual salary to the Dodgers’ Dream Foundation. His charitable activism is nothing new, however. He also donated a portion of his original signing bonus with the Blue Jays to a Toronto children’s charity, and has continued to support the local communities in which he has played professional baseball.