John Shelby (TRADING CARD DB)

John Shelby

This article was written by Malcolm Allen

John Shelby (TRADING CARD DB)Imagine being stationed in center field when your team records the final out of the World Series. To experience that twice is less likely than pitching a perfect game or hitting 500 career homers.1 Even rarer – being in center field for clubs from both the American and National Leagues when they became champions, something only two men in the history of Major League Baseball had accomplished through 2021.2 John “T-Bone” Shelby did it first.

Shelby, a strong-armed switch-hitter with speed, played all or parts of 11 years (1981-1991) in the majors with the Orioles, Dodgers and Tigers. He earned his first World Series ring with Baltimore in 1983, the second with Los Angeles in 1988. After his playing career ended, Shelby managed in the minors, and spent 18 seasons as a big-league coach.

John T. Shelby Jr. was born on February 23, 1958, in Lexington, Kentucky. Both of his parents came from large families. They separated when he was seven. John Sr., an Air Force veteran, was a janitor at the Bluegrass Auto Club, according to Lexington’s 1960 city directory. John Jr. and his four younger siblings – two boys and two girls – were raised by their mother, Brenda J. Shelby (née Watkins), in Smithtown, a small, mostly African American community near Transylvania University where “everybody knew everybody.”3 After reaching the majors, Shelby said, “A lot of the credit has to go to my mother. I guess she brought me up the right way.”4

“All my family back in Kentucky, everybody, they’re all National League fans. Me too,” Shelby said in 1987. “We’re all Cincinnati Reds fans.”5 Shelby played his first baseball in Douglass Park, where his grandfather, Taylor Watkins, helped coach the Lexington Hustlers, a Negro League club.6 Shelby’s uncle Darnell also played for the Hustlers, who became the South’s first integrated team in 1947.7

Shelby had his first white teammates as a 12-year-old Little Leaguer at Castlewood Park.8 Speed and a strong throwing arm were his most evident skills. After Shelby matured physically, one writer noted, “He possesses the angular structure of a greyhound, with legs that seem to stretch all the way up to his neck and a stride that swallows large portions of the outfield.”9

“When I was 15 years old and playing Babe Ruth ball. My coach [Bill Mullins] told me if I kept going the way I was I’d be making big money someday,” Shelby recalled. “I laughed because pro ball has always been a dream of mine.”10 In 10th grade, Shelby tried out for the Henry Clay High School team as a third baseman and won the starting job.11 He also played shortstop and pitched for the Blue Devils.12 A right-handed thrower and hitter, he won the Highest Batting Average Award as a junior.13 To aid Shelby’s development, coach Bob Tripure suggested that he join a Connie Mack League team called Man O’ War that summer. But Shelby declined, aware that many of the players came from the same schools that had showered him with racist abuse during Henry Clay’s season.14

As a senior, Shelby was the Blue Devils’ baseball MVP. Following his 1976 graduation, though, most of the scholarship offers he received were for basketball, the sport in which he twice earned All-Area honors.15 But at 6-foot-1, 175 pounds, he doubted he was tall enough to play professionally. After what he called “a lot of soul searching,” Shelby agreed to play baseball for Man O’ War that summer. In Nashville, Tennessee, for a tournament, he impressed the coach of that state’s Columbia State Community College and agreed to matriculate and play shortstop.16

When Shelby arrived at Columbia State, though, he was disappointed to find another shortstop from Lexington, Erwin Bryant, slated to start.17 The Baltimore Orioles drafted Shelby in the first round (20th overall) of the January phase of the amateur draft, but he wanted to gain college experience. Reluctantly, he moved to right field.18 After batting .358 that spring, he signed with Orioles scout Lamar North on May 22, 1977.19 “I said I’d play five years and see how it was,” Shelby recalled.20

The Orioles assigned Shelby to their rookie-level Appalachian League affiliate in Bluefield, West Virginia. He and first-round June draft pick Drungo Hazewood, whom he recalled as the greatest raw talent he ever teamed with, wound up sharing a dilapidated house with several other players, After Shelby explained to his teammates that he went by “T.” – his middle initial that didn’t stand for anything – one replied, “Like T-bone steak?” Initially, Shelby hated being made fun of, but “T-Bone” stuck, and he came to embrace it as part of his identity.21 The Orioles made Shelby a centerfielder like a perennial Gold Glover he admired, the Phillies’ Garry Maddox.22 In 60 games, Shelby batted .256 without a home run, but he tied for the league lead with 12 outfield assists.

In early 1978, Shelby mostly rode the bench for the Miami Orioles in the Single-A Florida State League (FSL). He became so frustrated that he bought a plane ticket to go home, but Hazewood convinced him to speak with manager Jimmy Williams first. Shelby learned that Orioles had always intended to send him back to Bluefield when short-season play resumed. They apologized for not communicating their intention clearly and permitted him to visit Lexington for a week.23 With Bluefield, Shelby scored 49 runs in 64 games to lead the team. Despite nearly losing an eye on a batting-practice bunt that he fouled back into his own face, Shelby batted .282 with six home runs. “Being able to come back and not be afraid of the ball showed me a lot about the guy,” observed hitting instructor Ralph Rowe.24

The Orioles told Shelby they wanted him to become a switch-hitter with Miami in 1979. “He fought it a little,” Rowe recalled. “But you could see his stroke getting better even if it didn’t show in the stats. A kid with that speed, you want him to switch hit if at all possible.”25 Although Shelby hit for a slightly better average left-handed (.241) than right-handed (.237) after reaching the majors, it felt so awkward initially that that he often wanted to give up.26 “I guess something told me it would benefit me in the long run. Maybe that’s all that kept me going,” he reflected. He also credited his girlfriend since high school, Trina Dixon, for building his confidence. “She’s the one who gave me encouragement. It also helped that they kept putting my name in the lineup all the time.”27 Shelby led Miami with 538 plate-appearances and paced FSL outfielders in chances and assists.28 With a strong finish, he wound up batting .201 – one point higher than his modest goal.29

After working as an inspector for IBM that offseason, Shelby advanced to the Double-A Southern League in 1980 and raised his batting average to .241 with the Charlotte (North Carolina) O’s. On June 8, he went 4-for-5 against Memphis, including a triple, and homers from each side of the plate. That commenced a club-record 21-game hitting streak.30 Encouraged to take bigger leads by first-base coach Minnie Mendoza, he also stole 34 bases. One of Shelby’s six home runs was a tie-breaking two-run shot in early August. When Cal Ripken Jr. stepped up to bat next, Jacksonville’s Greg Bargar fired a fastball behind his head, sparking a brawl with six ejections.31 Charlotte went on to win the championship.

In Colombia that winter, Shelby helped the Indios club managed by Mendoza win a title as well.32 Shelby was also added to the Orioles’ 40-man roster that offseason, and married Trina.

Shelby returned to Charlotte to begin 1981. Despite batting just .235 in 62 games, he was promoted to the Rochester Red Wings of the Triple-A International League. There, he improved to .264 in 76 contests and hit for the cycle against Syracuse.33 Between the two levels, he produced personal bests with 32 doubles, 12 triples and 42 steals.

On September 15, 1981, Shelby made his major-league debut. The Orioles trailed, 4-3, at Cleveland when he pinch-ran for Terry Crowley in the ninth inning. Shelby advanced from first to third on John Lowenstein’s single and scored the tying run on Doug DeCinces’s double. Baltimore went on to score four times and prevail. Shelby appeared in seven games – four as a pinch-runner – and went 0-for-2 with two stolen bases. In the Puerto Rican Winter League that offseason, Shelby’s manager with the Criollos de Caguas was Orioles pitching coach Ray Miller.

Shelby played a full season with Rochester in 1982. In 133 games, he scored 92 runs and batted .279 with 16 homers and 34 steals. He was an International League All Star and received the Clyde Kluttz Memorial Award – given annually to the Baltimore prospect who best exemplified desire, dedication and loyalty.34 By the time he rejoined the Orioles in September, though, he had painful bone spurs in his throwing elbow that would require postseason surgery. “If I put you in, can you make a throw?” asked Baltimore manager Earl Weaver.35 Shelby affirmed that he could. He felt okay until he loosened up, at which point throwing became impossible, so he was effectively limited to one throw per day. He avoided playing catch to prevent opposing teams from noticing. He mostly replaced the Orioles’ 35-year-old center fielder, Al Bumbry, in the late innings. When Shelby made his first start, on September 14, he collected his first big-league hits – two doubles off Yankees southpaw Shane Rawley.

Meanwhile the Orioles – after trailing the first-place Brewers by eight games on August 13 – had a chance to pull within two games with seven to play by winning in Milwaukee on September 26. Baltimore held a 3-2 advantage with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning, but the Brewers had runners at the corners when Cecil Cooper flied to center. The Orioles’ media guide described, “John gauged the flight of the ball, retreated a few steps, and then came running in to catch the ball at full stride, using that momentum to aid his throw.”36 With a one-hop strike to catcher Rick Dempsey, he cut down Bob Skube at home plate to complete an inning-ending double play. Teammates greeted Shelby at the top step of the dugout as he exited the field, and reporters made a beeline for his locker after the Orioles’ crucial victory. “You don’t know what you just did, do you?” Ripken asked before explaining the importance of the play to Baltimore’s pennant chances.37 Shelby later admitted, “I had no idea what the game meant.”38

Shelby appeared in 26 of Baltimore’s final 33 games and batted .314. When he hit his first major-league homer, on the final Friday of the regular season off Milwaukee’s Mike Caldwell, he earned a curtain call from the 51,883 in attendance at Memorial Stadium. The Orioles pulled even with the Brewers the following day before losing the division in a heartbreaking season finale. “Nothing in my career compares to that final week,” Shelby reflected in 2008.39

In 1983, Shelby spent the entire season in the majors. He started 59 of his 125 appearances and batted .259 with a team-high 15 steals. On April 23, he enjoyed his first four-hit game – all against Tommy John in California. Batting right-handed in June, Shelby homered to lead off an Orioles victory at the Metrodome, and he delivered a game-tying three-run blast at Fenway Park. From the left side in August, he connected for his only career grand slam, in Kansas City. On September 11 at Yankee Stadium, Shelby threw out the fleet Willie Randolph and Ken Griffey at home plate and notched a third outfield assist on a play at second base.

Baltimore’s 98 wins claimed the AL East, and Shelby appeared in three of four ALCS games as the Orioles defeated the Chicago White Sox. In the World Series, Baltimore beat the Philadelphia Phillies in five games. Shelby started Game Three in Philadelphia and singled twice, including once off future Hall of Famer Steve Carlton. In the Orioles’ come-from-behind win in Game Four, Shelby was credited with the game-winning RBI on a pinch-hit sacrifice fly. “Only a marvelous, well-timed leaping catch by left fielder Gary Matthews prevented the clout from being a two- or three-run double,” observed The Sporting News’s’ Dave Nightingale.40

That winter, Shelby was named the MVP of the Puerto Rican Winter League All-Star Game. Playing for Miller’s Cangrejeros de Santurce, he stole a circuit-leading 24 bases in 59 games and batted .290 with seven homers.41

Shelby started 84 games for Baltimore in 1984 and impressed his peers with his arm and speed. AL players, managers, coaches, and scouts polled by journalist Peter Gammons rated Shelby’s arm the strongest at his position. They noted that only Oakland’s Dwayne Murphy and Texas’s George Wright played more shallowly in center field and named Minnesota’s Kirby Puckett as the lone player faster to first base out of the right-handed batter’s box.42 Shelby began the season in a 3-for-32 slump, however, and hit a combined .148 in June and July. Overall, in 383 at-bats, he hit only .209. “I got off to a real bad start, and no one is harder on myself than I am,” he said.43

That offseason, Shelby rebounded to bat .280 in 14 games during the Orioles’ postseason tour of Japan, and .268 in winter ball for Santurce.44 Baltimore’s center field job appeared to be his when Bumbry was granted free agency in November. But in December, the Orioles signed nine-time All Star Fred Lynn as a free agent. “We have not given up on John Shelby,” said Baltimore GM Hank Peters. “We still think he has a big major league career ahead of him.”45

Shelby was Baltimore’s last cut in spring training 1985. “It hurt, but it was the best thing that ever happened to me,” he reflected later.46 He batted .286 with eight homers in 52 games at Rochester – plus a three-run shot off Storm Davis when the Orioles visited for an exhibition in May.47 After Baltimore recalled him in June, Shelby hit .283 in 69 contests – including a career-high .309 left-handed. “I found a swing that was comfortable,” he explained. “I learned to hit the ball to the opposite field.”48 In addition to using him as a reserve at all three outfield positions, the Orioles also had Shelby take infield practice to improve his versatility. On June 25, he handled his only chance in what proved to be his lone big-league inning at second base. (Baltimore traded for Alan Wiggins two days later, postponing Shelby’s infield experiment until the fall instructional league.49) When Lynn injured his ankle in late August, Shelby started 28 straight games and hit .303 with five homers before he was sidelined by torn cartilage in his ribcage.

Orioles coach Frank Robinson remarked, “I think [Shelby]’s reached the point where you could put him in the lineup and forget about him – and I mean a contender.”50 Although Shelby started 90 times in 1986 and stole 18 bases – his major-league best – he batted just .228 with a .263 on-base percentage. Baltimore finished last for the first time in 33 years – when they were still the St. Louis Browns.

In 1987, Shelby won the Orioles’ right field job in spring training. But he went 1-for-14 in the first four games and started only four more times before he was demoted to Rochester in early May. Although Shelby played just six games in Triple-A, Dodgers scout Mel Didier saw enough to tell Los Angeles GM Fred Claire that he was the hardest-working player on the team.51 On May 22, the Dodgers traded righty reliever Tom Niedenfuer to the Orioles for Shelby and southpaw Brad Havens. When Claire called to deliver the news, Shelby asked how soon he needed to report to Triple-A Albuquerque. “Albuquerque?” Claire replied. “John, you’re not going to Albuquerque. You’re going to join the Dodgers tonight in New York.”52

Shelby started 117 of L.A.’s remaining 122 contests in center field. In his second game, he robbed the Mets’ Kevin McReynolds of a three-run homer with a leaping grab in the eighth inning of a 4-2 victory.53 “We’re a better club with him in center field,” remarked Dodgers manager Tom Lasorda. “I can’t see how Baltimore let him get away.”54

Many of Shelby’s family members made the 80-mile trip from Lexington to Cincinnati to witness his first visit to Riverfront Stadium as a major-leaguer. During the second game of the series on June 6, he hit his only career inside-the-park home run. By homering 21 times for the Dodgers before season’s end, Shelby tied the Reds’ Eric Davis for the most round-trippers by an NL center fielder after the trade.55 Overall, for two teams in 1987, Shelby batted .272 with career highs in games (141), doubles (26), homers (22) and RBIs (72). “I’ve aways felt that if I got the opportunity to play every day, I’d get the job done,” he said. “It helps when the club shows it has the confidence in you and your abilities.”56

In 1988, Shelby went on the disabled list with a strained abdominal muscle after just 13 games. At the time, he was batting only .171. “Tommy [Lasorda] told me I was going to be playing when I came back. That gave me a big lift,” he said.57 After going hitless in his return to action on May 12, Shelby hit safely in 24 consecutive games – the majors’ longest streak that season. On May 26 in Philadelphia, he doubled home the tying run in the ninth inning against Phillies closer Steve Bedrosian and scored what proved to be the game-winning tally. The victory moved Los Angeles, which had been in a first-place tie with Houston, into first place to stay.

Dodgers’ catcher Rick Dempsey had previously played with Shelby in Baltimore. “I don’t think he said five words in three years,” Dempsey recalled. “He’s definitely a different person since coming to L.A…. He’s much more disciplined at the plate. He’s much more aggressive in the outfield. The way Tommy has related to him has brought him out of his shell.” Lasorda observed, “[Shelby] doesn’t say much of anything. He just goes up and gets the job done”58

Shelby batted .286 through July 20, when he left a game after fouling a ball into his right eye. He hit just .236 the rest of the way to finish at .263 but said, “It wasn’t the eye. I was just missing.”59 On September 7, he homered off Mike Scott and drove in all L.A. four runs in a victory over the second-place Astros. Shelby drove another nail into Houston’s coffin on September 19 at the Astrodome by going deep to break up a scoreless tie in the seventh inning.

The Dodgers faced the New York Mets in the NLCS. New York won two of the first three contests, and led and Game Four at Shea Stadium, 4-2, when Shelby led off the ninth inning against former Cy Young Award winner Dwight Gooden. The count went to no balls and two strikes before Shelby coaxed a walk. L.A.’s Mike Scioscia followed with a game-tying homer.60 In the bottom of the 12th, the Dodgers sealed a one-run victory when Shelby raced in and snagged McReynolds’s sinking line drive with the bases loaded and two outs. “Broken bat!” exclaimed announcer Al Michaels on ABC’s telecast. “And Shelby read it dead right.”61 In Game Five, Shelby’s diving catch finished off another win.62 He batted just .190 in the postseason, but the Dodgers overcame the Mets in seven and upset the Oakland Athletics in a five-game World Series. “We were blessed,” Shelby said. “It was a team victory the whole way.”63

The Dodgers finished with a losing record in 1989 and Shelby struggled through a difficult season. On May 20, he slipped into a 0-for-29 slump. By late June, he had struck out more times the entire L.A. pitching staff combined.64 From the 1988 All-Star break until the same point in ’89, Shelby batted just .188 in 161 games (including playoffs). Before July was over, Shelby was demoted to the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. “A lot of people might look at that as degrading,” he acknowledged. “I looked at it as a blessing. I was able to relax and work on some things.”65 Shelby performed well in 32 games with the Albuquerque (New Mexico) Dukes and rejoined L.A. But in 345 at-bats in the majors, he finished with a .183 average and just one homer.

In 1990, Shelby made all but one of his 25 appearances for the Dodgers off the bench before he was released on June 2. He joined the Detroit Tigers as a free agent and hit .248 with four homers in 78 games. That fall, the Tigers re-signed him to a one-year, $525,000 deal.

Shelby saw action in 53 games for Detroit in 1991 and was ejected for the only time in his career. It happened after the Tigers’ Pete Incaviglia and Rob Deer hit back-to-back homers off the Red Sox’s Roger Clemens on July 6. Both benches cleared after Shelby – up next – charged the mound when he was hit by a pitch. Shelby was tackled by Boston catcher John Marzano, and was the only player ejected. “As I told the umpires on the field, we’re here in Boston, there’s a full house in Fenway, so you don’t touch the king,” remarked Detroit manager Sparky Anderson., referring to Clemens.66 Shelby batted .154 before the Tigers released him on August 13.

In 1992, Shelby signed with the Red Sox. With Boston’s Triple-A International League affiliate in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, he hit 17 homers in 127 games, but batted just .205 in the final season of his 16-year professional playing career.

Shelby managed the unaffiliated Butte (Montana) Copper Kings of the rookie-level Pioneer League in 1993. In 1994, he returned to the Dodgers as the skipper of their Bakersfield farm club in the High-A California League, followed by the San Antonio Missions of the Double-A Texas League in 1995 and 1996. After one year leading the Savannah (Georgia) Sand Gnats in the Single-A South Atlantic League, Shelby began 1998 in the Single-A Florida State League as a coach for Vero Beach. When Glenn Hoffman was hired to manage the big-league Dodgers in June, he brought Shelby back to the majors as a first-base and outfield coach. Shelby remained in that role through 2005 under two more skippers.

In 2006 and 2007, Shelby was the Pittsburgh Pirates first-base coach under manager Jim Tracy. He also worked with outfielders. From 2008 to 2010, he performed the same duties for Baltimore Orioles manager Dave Trembley. When Baltimore centerfielder Adam Jones won the first of his four Gold Gloves in 2009, he credited Shelby with helping him improve.67 Shelby spent 2011-2015 as a Milwaukee Brewers coach, and 2016 helping hitters with the Albuquerque Isotopes, before becoming a minor-league instructor in the Atlanta Braves organization.

As of 2022, Shelby resided in Lexington with his wife Trina. “God blessed me with a good wife,” he said.68 Together, they raised six children: sons John T. III, Jeremy and Justin, daughter Tiara, and sons JaVon and Jaren. Of Shelby’s five sons, three were drafted by major-league teams and played in the minors – John T. III, Jeremy and JaVon. Shelby’s nephew, Josh Harrison, was a two-time All-Star with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

“I had good years, I had bad years, but I always did my best… Early in my career I said, if I don’t make it to the major leagues, it will not be because of drugs and alcohol,” he told an interviewer in 2005. “I feel like being a Christian man and living right, it pays off… I’ve been blessed.”69

Last revised: June 14, 2022

 

Acknowledgments

This biography was reviewed by Gregory H. Wolf and David Bilmes and fact-checked by Dan Schoenholz.

 

Sources

In addition to sources cited in the Notes, the author consulted www.ancestry.com, www.baseball-reference.com, www.retrosheet.org, and https://sabr.org/bioproject.

 

Notes

1 Through the 2021 season, there have been 23 perfect games pitched in major-league history, and 28 players have hit at least 500 career home runs, but only 12 players were stationed in center field when their clubs recorded the final out of a World Series more than once: Joe DiMaggio (nine times), Mickey Mantle and Bernie Williams (four apiece), Paul Blair (three) and two times by Willie Davis, Curt Flood, Cesar Geronimo, Terry Moore, Aaron Rowand, Shelby, Tris Speaker and Amos Strunk.

2 Only Shelby (1983 Orioles and 1988 Dodgers) and Rowand (2005 White Sox, 2010 Giants) were in centerfield for both an AL and NL club at the moment of triumph. Strunk (1913 Athletics, 1918 Red Sox), Speaker (1915 Red Sox, 1920 Indians) and Blair (1966, 1970 Orioles and 1978 Yankees) did it with more than one AL team. Through the 2021 season, no one had done it for two NL franchises.

3 Will Jones, “Interview with John Shelby,” Kentucky Sports: African American Athletes Oral History Project for the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at the University of Kentucky Libraries, February 1, 2005, https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt72v6988r9m, (last accessed January 15, 2022).

4 John Kolomic, “‘T-Bone’ Shelby a Prime Choice for Orioles Future,” Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, New York), July 25, 1982: 5E.

5 Mike Downey, “Shelby Plants Himself in Center Field,” Los Angeles Times, July 19, 1987: 3.

6 Jones, “Interview with John Shelby.”

7 The player who integrated the Hustlers in 1947 was Bobby Flynn, who later served as a Kentucky State Senator. His son, Doug Flynn, played for five teams in the majors between 1975-1985. “Lexington Hustlers Baseball Team,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, https://nkaa.uky.edu/nkaa/items/show/164 (last accessed May 2, 2022)

8 Jones, “Interview with John Shelby.”

9 Ray Parrillo “‘T-Bone’ Relaxed with O’s,” Baltimore Sun, March 4, 1983: C4.

10 Kolomic, “‘T-Bone’ Shelby a Prime Choice for Orioles Future.”

11 Derek Bryant was the only Henry Clay alum to play in the majors before Shelby. Through the 2021 season, Collin Gowgill and Walker Buehler had also done it.

12 Jones, “Interview with John Shelby.”

13 Henry Clay High School 1975 Yearbook: 127.

14 Jones, “Interview with John Shelby.”

15 1981 Baltimore Orioles Media Guide: 153.

16 Jones, “Interview with John Shelby.”

17 Bryant was drafted by the Red Sox in June 1977, peaked in Double-A, and become a front-office executive.

18 Jones, “Interview with John Shelby.”

19 1981 Baltimore Orioles Media Guide: 153.

20 John Kolomic, “Wings Bonus: Shelby,” Democrat and Chronicle, July 27, 1981: 2D.

21 Jones, “Interview with John Shelby.”

22 Ray Parrillo, “Shelby, Glove Man in Minors, Blooms as Hitter with Birds,” Baltimore Sun, April 29, 1983: C1.

23 Jones, “Interview with John Shelby.”

24 Richard Justice, “Orioles Want ‘Real’ Shelby,” Baltimore Sun. March 13, 1985: 1E.

25 Parrillo, “Shelby, Glove Man in Minors, Blooms as Hitter with Birds.”

26 Parrillo “‘T-Bone’ Relaxed with O’s.”

27 Parrillo, “Shelby, Glove Man in Minors, Blooms as Hitter with Birds,”

28 1981 Baltimore Orioles Media Guide: 153.

29 Jones, “Interview with John Shelby.”

30 1981 Baltimore Orioles Media Guide: 153.

31 “A Real Brawl Game,” The Sporting News, August 16, 1980: 41.

32 1981 Baltimore Orioles Media Guide: 153.

33 1982 Baltimore Orioles Media Guide: 145.

34 1986 Baltimore Orioles Media Guide: 198.

35 Jones, “Interview with John Shelby.”

36 1983 Baltimore Orioles Media Guide: 151.

37 Roch Kubatko, “Shelby’s First Throw of 1982 Kept Orioles in Playoff Hunt – He Just Didn’t Know It,” Baltimore Sun, May 27, 2008: Z16.

38 Jones, “Interview with John Shelby.”

39 Kubatko, “Shelby’s First Throw of 1982 Kept Orioles in Playoff Hunt.”

40 Dave Nightingale, “Managerial Wheels Spin; Altobelli Burns Rubber,” The Sporting News, October 24, 1983: 17.

41 1984 Baltimore Orioles Media Guide: 176.

42 Peter Gammons “Who’s Who in A.L. for Ardent Devotees,” The Sporting News, September 17, 1984: 14.

43 Richard Justice, “Orioles Want ‘Real’ Shelby,” Baltimore Sun. March 13, 1985: 1E.

44 1985 Baltimore Orioles Media Guide: 180.

45 Larry King, “Peters Itchin’ for Catchin’ and Pitchin’,” The Sporting News, February 18, 1985: 9.

46 Jim Henneman, “Shelby: Solid Finish, Fresh Start,” The Sporting News, April 28, 1986: 24.

47 1986 Baltimore Orioles Media Guide: 197.

48 Tim Kurkjian, “Strong Spring Effort Wins Shelby a Start,” Baltimore Sun, April 7, 1986: 1C.

49 Jim Henneman, “Shelby’s Infield Term Inconclusive,” The Sporting News, November 25, 1985: 54.

50 Henneman, “Shelby: Solid Finish, Fresh Start.”

51 Tyler Kepner, “Byron Buxton, the Twins’ Magician in Center, Cleans Up at the Plate,” New York Times, September 17, 2015: SP4.

52 Gordon Verrell, “Shelby Relishes Everyday Status,” The Sporting News, August 3, 1987: 24.

53 Gordon Verrell, “Niedenfuer Trade Rumors is a Reality,” The Sporting News, June 1, 1987: 26.

54 “Dodgers,” The Sporting News, June 8, 1987: 25.

55 Peter Pascarelli, “Expect a Lot of New Regimes in Front Offices,” The Sporting News, October 12, 1987: 38.

56 Verrell, “Shelby Relishes Everyday Status.”

57 “Shelby Finally Secure About Big Leagues,” Los Angeles Times, March 20, 1989: K8.

58 Gordon Verrell, “The Lasorda Influence,” The Sporting News, July 18, 1988: 22.

59 “Dodgers,” The Sporting News, August 15, 1988: 23.

60 “The Art of the Walk – Meet John ‘T-Bone’ Shelby,” LA Dodger Talk, June 7, 2020, https://ladodgertalk.com/2020/06/07/the-art-of-the-walk-meet-john-t-bone-shelby/ (last accessed January 19, 2021).

61 “1988 NLCS Gm4: John Shelby Runs in to Catch Final Out,” MLB YouTube channel, November 15, 2013, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddFOlXHXwWM (last accessed January 19, 2021).

62 1988 NLCS Gm5: Shelby Makes Great Catch for Final Out,” MLB YouTube channel, September 22, 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCknpivDiN8 (last accessed January 19, 2021).

63 “Shelby Finally Secure About Big Leagues.”

64 “Dodgers,” The Sporting News, July 3, 1989: 15.

65 “N.L. West,” The Sporting News, September 25, 1989: 25.

66 Reid Creager, “Detroit Tigers,” July 15, 1991: 16.

67 Jeff Zrebiec, “Golden Grip,” Baltimore Sun, November 11, 2009: 3D.

68 Jones, “Interview with John Shelby.”

69 Jones, “Interview with John Shelby.”

Full Name

John T. Shelby

Born

February 23, 1958 at Lexington, KY (USA)

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