|Name:||Manuel Aristides Onelcida Ramirez||Position:||Right Field|
|Accolades:||3 Time Silver Slugger (1995, 1999-2000), 4 Time All-Star (1995, 1998-2000), 2nd Place Rookie of the Year (1994), Top 10 MVP (1998-2000)|
|Best Season (1999)||147||522||131||174||34||3||44||165||346||96||131||2||4||33%||.442||.663||.333||1.105||.330|
|Post Season Career||52||188||26||42||8||0||13||26||89||28||50||0||0||0%||.339||.473||.223||.813||.250|
Manny Ramirez had excellent timing. He arrived just at the moment the Indians were about to peak and provided the last missing piece to the Indians offense of the 1990’s. He then left with what was perfect timing for him, jettisoning from a falling Indian team that would only make the playoffs one more time in the next six years to join a rising Red Sox team that would win the World Series twice during his tenure. Of course the timing of the departure was actually coincidental and had more to do with the 165 million reasons the Red Sox gave Manny to play with him during his time in Boston.
Despite his cancerous reputation, Ramirez has to be considered one of the best hitters in baseball history. Overall, he now ranks ninth over all Major League Baseball history in both slugging percent and OPS. Most famous for his power, Ramirez hit 555 home runs in his career, good for 15th all time and membership in the exclusive 500 home run club.
While Ramirez played 11 seasons after his time with the Indians and will likely enter the Hall of Fame as a Red Sox (if he is allowed to enter after his two steroid suspensions) his time with the Tribe ranks above all but the greatest Indian hitter of all time. Ramirez holds career team records in slugging percent and OPS, the single season record in RBI and the post season record in walks. His 236 home runs hit as an Indian rank second all time, while his career RBI and OBP are also in the top ten. He holds top ten single season marks in home runs (2 seasons), RBI (2), runs scored and slugging percent.
Ramirez was part of the five players who made up the core of the Indians offense in the mid 1990’s (along with Omar Vizquel, Kenny Lofton, Sandy Alomar Jr., and Jim Thome). Those five players hold every single career record for playoff performance. Falling in line with that, Ramirez is in the top five in career playoff seasons, games played, at bats, runs, hits, doubles, home runs (second), RBI, walks (first) and strike outs. He hit two home runs in six separate playoff series with the Tribe, a record for more series with multiple home runs and the second most homeruns in an individual series (behind Thome who hit four twice).
While the phrase Manny-Being-Manny was coined by Mike Hargrove while he was still playing in Cleveland, the vast majority of his hi-jinks and downfalls have come since his exit. All steroid allegations occurred after he left the Indians and while the major steroid scandals didn’t start until after 2003, there have been no serious accusations of the Indians powerful 1990’s offense with steroid use. This makes his time with the Indians the most legitimate part of his career.
Manny Ramirez definitely deserves more respect than he is given, due mostly from his last few seasons where he jumped from team to team as people who didn’t know anything about him got to know his personality. Hopefully he will be given his due once enough time as passed and he will be enshrined in at least the Cleveland Indians Hall of Fame and deservedly in the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame as well. If each of those things happen, he also deserves to have his number 24 retired by the team. It will be interesting to see how things play out, but there is still a chance of Ramirez being one of six possible Hall of Fame players from the 1990’s (including the already enshrined Eddie Murray and Roberto Alomar). If all those players are entered in the Hall of Fame, the rafters above the mezzanine section at Progressive Field could get very crowded very quickly.