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This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. Please help by adding reliable sources. Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately, especially if potentially libelous or harmful. (February 2010) Steve Balboni First baseman / Designated hitter Born: January 16, 1957 (1957-01-16) (age 53) Brockton, Massachusetts Batted: Right Threw: Right  MLB debut April 22, 1981 for the New York Yankees Last MLB appearance October 2, 1993 for the Texas Rangers Career statistics Batting average     .229 Home runs     181 Runs batted in     495 Teams New York Yankees (1981-1983) Kansas City Royals (1984-1988) Seattle Mariners (1988) New York Yankees (1989-1990) Texas Rangers (1993) Career highlights and awards World Series champion (1985) Stephen Charles Balboni (pronounced /bælˈboʊni/) (born January 16, 1957) is a retired Major League Baseball player with the New York Yankees, Seattle Mariners, Kansas City Royals, and Texas Rangers. He was a player with home run power and a tendency to strike out. He was nicknamed "Bye Bye" because of his home run hitting prowess. He was also known by the nickname "Bones", which is a malapropism for Balboni.[citation needed] Contents 1 College career 2 Minor league career 3 Major league career 3.1 Curse of the Balboni 4 In popular culture 5 See also 6 References 7 External links // College career Born in Brockton, Massachusetts, he attended Manchester Memorial High School in Manchester, New Hampshire and Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida. He was drafted by the New York Yankees in the second round of the free agent draft in 1978. They noted that his tremendous power helped them make the decision to draft him. He was named designated hitter on The Sporting News college All-America team in 1978. Minor league career Balboni played in the minors off and on from 1978 to 1993. In a total of nine seasons in the minors, he hit 239 home runs and drove in 772 runs. He also struck out 930 times. His career minor league batting average was .261. He won the Most Valuable Player award in 1979 with the Fort Lauderdale Yankees of the Florida State League and in 1980 for the Nashville Sounds of the Southern League. Balboni led the league in home runs six different seasons, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1992 and 1993. He led the league in Runs Batted In in 4 seasons, 1979, 1980, 1981 and 1992. He led the league in strikeouts in 2 seasons, 1979 and 1981. He homered every 14.6 at bats and struck out every 3.8 at bats in the Minors. Major league career Balboni made it to the New York Yankees in 1981. He went on to play in the big leagues through 1990 with a short comeback in 1993. He played for the Yankees from 1981 to 1983 and then in 1989 and 1990. He was the starting first baseman for the Kansas City Royals from 1984 to mid-1988, when they traded him to the Seattle Mariners. He only played in Seattle until the end of that season. In parts of 11 Major League seasons, Steve hit 181 home runs and had 495 RBI. He also struck out 856 times. His batting average was .229. In 1985, he led the American League with 166 strikeouts. He also set the single season home run mark for the Royals with 36.[1] That record still stands today. He homered every 17.2 at bats and struck out every 3.6 at bats in the Major Leagues. The year 1985 turned out to be his best season for many reasons. He had career highs in games played (160), at bats (600), hits (146), runs (74), doubles (28), triples (2), homers (36) and runs batted in (88-tied in 1989). He led American League first basemen with 1686 total chances and 1573 putouts in 1985. He also was the starting first baseman in the 1985 World Series. Steve batted .320 with 3 RBIs in that Series that the Royals won over the St. Louis Cardinals, four games to three. He also demonstrated good glove work in the field, something he was not known for during his career. After retiring, he moved on to another team known as the Royals - The Flor-Mad Royals of Madison, New Jersey. Curse of the Balboni This alleged curse was first brought up by columnist Rany Jazayerli[2]. Of course, named after Steve Balboni, the curse pertains that any team that employs a player hitting 36 or more home runs for the season, will not win the World Series. As previously mentioned, in 1985, Balboni hit 36 home runs for the Kansas City Royals while winning their first and to date, only World Championship. At that point, the last team to win a World Series with a player hitting at least 36 home runs was the 1980 Philadelphia Phillies, with Mike Schmidt hitting 48. The "Curse of the Balboni" was broken in 2001, when the Arizona Diamondbacks won the World Series despite employing Luis Gonzalez, who hit 57 home runs that season. Six more players have won the World Series with at least 36 home runs since: the 2004 Boston Red Sox had Manny Ramirez (43 home runs) and David Ortiz (41), the 2005 Chicago White Sox had Paul Konerko (40), the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals had Albert Pujols (49), the 2008 Philadelphia Phillies had Ryan Howard (48), and the 2009 New York Yankees had Mark Teixeira (39). In popular culture Balboni was the subject of a running joke on Episode 7 of the web series Back on Topps. In this episode, Ed Helms plays his younger brother. See also List of top 500 Major League Baseball home run hitters References ^ [1] Kansas City Royals website ^ The Curse of the Balboni External links Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube The Curse of the Balboni v • d • e Kansas City Royals 1985 World Series Champions 1 Buddy Biancalana | 2 Onix Concepción | 3 Jorge Orta | 4 Greg Pryor | 5 George Brett | 6 Willie Wilson | 8 Jim Sundberg | 9 Dane Iorg | 11 Hal McRae | 12 John Wathan | 15 Pat Sheridan | 20 Frank White | 21 Lonnie Smith | 23 Mark Gubicza | 24 Darryl Motley | 25 Danny Jackson | 26 Steve Farr | 27 Joe Beckwith | 29 Dan Quisenberry | 31 Bret Saberhagen (World Series MVP) | 35 Lynn Jones | 37 Charlie Leibrandt | 40 Bud Black | 45 Steve Balboni | Jamie Quirk Manager 10 Dick Howser Coaches: Gary Blaylock | Mike Ferraro | José Martínez | Lee May | Jimmie Schaffer Regular season • American League Championship Series Persondata Name Balboni, Steve Alternative names Short description Date of birth January 16, 1957 Place of birth Brockton, Massachusetts Date of death Place of death