I was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on April Fools Day
in 1944, but my career was anything but a joke. I
played in the majors for 23 years with five different teams
(HOU, MON, NYM, DET, & TEX), and got to play in one
World Series with the Mets in 1973.
Early in my career, to help get my adrenaline going, I'd
have teammates slap me in the face. That's right.
If I felt that I wasn't as intense going out onto the field
as I should have been, I'd ask them for a slap, and they
were always willing to oblige.
I was born with the first name of Daniel, but everyone
called me by a different name. I was a real student of the
game and liked to learn as much as I could, so when playing
for Montreal, I learned French, and picked up the nickname
of "Le Grande Orange" (translated to "The Big Red Head").
I had a career batting average of .279, hit 292 HR's, 1466
RBI's, and ended up with 2,716 hits. For the majority of
my career, I played either 1B or the OF, but being a good
hitter I also was a DH (I knocked in 90 or more runs six
times during my career). As the years went by, I turned
out to be one heck of a good pinch hitter.
In 1983 with my second stint with the Mets, I tied the
single season record of eight consecutive pinch hits (set
by Dave Philley in '58), and also tied the single season
record for RBI's by a pinch hitter (25 by Jerry Lynch &
Being on the road for 23 years can be a lonely experience,
so to keep myself busy I learned how to cook and became
a gourmet. That way, friends always wanted to be around.