Mike Greenwell
Left fielder
Born: (1963-07-18) July 18, 1963 (age 60)
Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
Batted: Left
Threw: Right
Professional debut
MLB: September 5, 1985, for the Boston Red Sox
NPB: May 3, 1997, for the Hanshin Tigers
Last appearance
MLB: September 28, 1996, for the Boston Red Sox
NPB: May 11, 1997, for the Hanshin Tigers
MLB statistics
Batting average.303
Home runs130
Runs batted in726
NPB statistics
Batting average.231
Home runs0
Runs batted in5
Career highlights and awards

Michael Lewis Greenwell (born July 18, 1963) is an American former left fielder in Major League Baseball (MLB) who played his entire MLB career with the Boston Red Sox (1985–1996). He played seven games for the Hanshin Tigers in Japan (1997), before retiring. Greenwell was nicknamed "The Gator". He batted left-handed and threw right-handed.[1] He was fourth in Rookie of the Year voting in 1987. Greenwell was a leading contender for the American League MVP award in 1988, but lost to Jose Canseco, who had the first 40 home run, 40 stolen base season in baseball history. Greenwell hit .325 with 22 home runs and 119 RBIs in 1988, setting career highs in all three categories.

Early life

Greenwell was born in Louisville, Kentucky. When he was five years old, his family relocated to Fort Myers, Florida. He attended North Fort Myers High School, where he played both baseball and football.

Baseball career

Major League Baseball

Greenwell was drafted in the third round of the 1982 Major League Baseball Draft by the Red Sox, and was signed on June 9, 1982.[2] Throughout his Red Sox career, Greenwell suffered under the weight of lofty expectations for a Boston left fielder, as since 1940 the position had been occupied by Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski and Jim Rice — all MVP winners, regular triple crown candidates, and eventual members of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Although his play rarely reached the level of his predecessors, he provided a solid and reliable presence in the team's lineup for several seasons. Well respected, he also served as the team's player representative for a time.[3] Greenwell was runner-up for the 1988 American League MVP Award to Jose Canseco of the Oakland Athletics; years later, Canseco's admission of steroid use led Greenwell to ask, "Where's my MVP?"[4]

On September 14, 1988, Greenwell hit for the cycle,[5] becoming the 17th player to do so in Red Sox franchise history.[6] On September 2, 1996, the Red Sox beat the Seattle Mariners 9–8 in 10 innings at the Kingdome, with Greenwell driving in all nine runs for the Sox,[7] a record for most runs driven in by one player accounting for all of that team's runs in a single game.[8] He also holds the American League record for most game-winning RBIs in a single season, with 23 in 1988;[9] the game-winning RBI has since been discontinued as an official statistic.[10] Greenwell was inducted to the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2008.[11]

Career MLB statistics

1269 4623 657 1400 275 38 130 726 80 43 460 364 .303 .368 .463 2141 3 39 .981

"The Gator"

Greenwell received his nickname during spring training in Winter Haven. He had captured an alligator, taped its mouth shut, and put it in Ellis Burks' locker.[3]

Nippon Professional Baseball

Greenwell signed with the Hanshin Tigers of Nippon Professional Baseball in 1997.[12] His career in the major leagues heightened expectations from Japanese fans, but he left the team during spring training and returned to the United States; he had suffered a herniated disc when diving for a ball.[13] He did not return to Japan until late April.[14] He played his first game on May 3, and hit an RBI triple in that game despite having missed spring training.[15] However, Greenwell suddenly announced his retirement after appearing in just seven games; he had fractured his right foot with a foul tip, and the injury would have prevented him from playing for at least four weeks.[16][17]


In 2001, Greenwell was hired during the offseason as a player-coach for the Cincinnati Reds' Double-A affiliate in Chattanooga, Tennessee.[18] Greenwell was also the interim hitting coach for the Reds in 2001, filling in when Ken Griffey Sr. was given a medical leave of absence.[19][20]

Racing career

Mike Greenwell
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series career
2 races run over 1 year
Best finish69th (2006)
First race2006 City of Mansfield 250 (Mansfield)
Last race2006 O'Reilly 200 (Memphis)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 0 0

Upon his retirement from baseball, Greenwell began driving late model stock cars at New Smyrna Speedway, winning the 2000 Speedweeks track championship.[21] In May 2006, he made his Craftsman Truck Series debut at Mansfield Motorsports Park for Green Light Racing, starting 20th and finishing 26th. In 2010, Greenwell gave up racing.[3]

Motorsports career results


(key) (Bold – Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics – Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led.)

Craftsman Truck Series
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series results
Year Team No. Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 NCTC Pts
2006 Green Light Racing 08 Chevy DAY CAL ATL MAR GTY CLT MFD

Personal life

Greenwell operates several businesses, including "Big League Builders", a general construction company. Greenwell owns a 890-acre (3.6 km2) ranch in Alva, Florida, which, as a developer and county commissioner himself, he has rezoned in 2023 for land development to include new housing and commercial units.[22] He owned an amusement park in Cape Coral, Florida, called "Mike Greenwell's Bat-A-Ball & Family Fun Park", which opened in February 1992. He recently sold the park, which is now known as Gator Mike's.[23]

Greenwell's wife Tracy is a nurse, and they have two sons, both of whom Greenwell coached.[3][24] Bo was drafted as an outfielder in the sixth round of the 2007 MLB Draft; he spent a total of eight years in the minor leagues, in the farm systems of the Cleveland Indians (2007–2013) and the Red Sox (2014).[25][26][27] First baseman Garrett started at Santa Fe Community College in 2011 before transferring to Oral Roberts University in 2013.[28] Greenwell is the uncle of Joey Terdoslavich,[29] who played for the Atlanta Braves (2013–2015).

See also


  1. ^ "Sortable Player Stats". Major League Baseball. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  2. ^ "Mike Greenwell Stats - Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d Grossfeld, Stan (June 29, 2010). "Bo knows". The Boston Globe.
  4. ^ "Greenwell makes case for '88 MVP". ESPN. February 17, 2005. Retrieved January 6, 2018.
  5. ^ "Boston Red Sox 4, Baltimore Orioles 3", Retrosheet, September 14, 1988
  6. ^ Smith, Christopher (June 17, 2015). "List of the 20 Boston Red Sox players who have hit for the cycle starting with Brock Holt". masslive.com. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
  7. ^ "Boston Red Sox 9, Seattle Mariners 8", Retrosheet, September 2, 1996
  8. ^ "RBI Records / Runs Batted in Records". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved January 6, 2018.
  9. ^ "Game Winning Runs Batted In Records". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved 2010-12-10.
  10. ^ "Baseball Prospectus - Wezen-Ball: The Drawbacks and Demise of a Stat". 16 February 2012. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  11. ^ Dzen, Gary (February 25, 2008). "Eight selected to Red Sox Hall of Fame". Boston.com. Retrieved January 6, 2018.
  12. ^ "Greenwell Is Going To Play in Japan". New York Times. December 18, 1996. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  13. ^ Miller, Glenn (February 26, 1997). "Injured Greenwell comes back home". The News-Press. Fort Myers, Florida. Retrieved January 6, 2018 – via newspapers.com.
  14. ^ "Greenwell's Back". The News-Press. Fort Myers, Florida. May 1, 1997. Retrieved January 6, 2018 – via newspapers.com.
  15. ^ "Greenwell triples in Japanese debut". Hartford Courant. Hartford, Connecticut. Associated Press. May 4, 1997. Retrieved January 6, 2018 – via newspapers.com.
  16. ^ Dorsey, David (May 15, 1997). "Greenwell calls it a career". The News-Press. Fort Myers, Florida. Retrieved January 6, 2018 – via newspapers.com.
  17. ^ "Struggling Greenwell calls it quits". South Coast Today. May 15, 1997. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  18. ^ "Greenwell will attempt comeback". reds.enquirer.com. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  19. ^ "Greenwell Promoted". The News-Press. Fort Myers, Florida. June 19, 2001. Retrieved January 6, 2018 – via newspapers.com.
  20. ^ "Griffey Sr. gets acupuncture". Lubbock Avalanche Journal. Associated Press. July 3, 2001. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  21. ^ "Former Boston OF Greenwell slated for NASCAR trucks debut". USA Today. Associated Press. May 23, 2006. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
  22. ^ "Lee County commissioner's Alva land rezoned for major development". Wink News. Retrieved February 10, 2024.
  23. ^ "Mike Greenwell's Bat-A-Ball & Family Fun Park". www.greenwellsfamilyfunpark.com. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  24. ^ Krasner, Steven (1998). "No diamond, but Greenwell's life still a gem". Providence Journal. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  25. ^ "Bo Greenwell Minor Leagues Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved January 6, 2018.
  26. ^ Lauber, Scott (March 2, 2014). "Family reunion: Carl Yastrzemski in Red Sox camp, may get to watch grandson play for Orioles". Boston Herald. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  27. ^ Dorsey, David (March 27, 2014). "Red Sox fans know the Greenwell name". The News-Press. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  28. ^ "Garrett Greenwell Profile and Statistics". The Baseball Cube. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  29. ^ Laurilla, David (May 24, 2013). "Q&A: Joey Terdoslavich, Future Braves Basher". Fangraphs. Retrieved January 10, 2016.

Further reading

Mike Greenwell at the SABR Baseball Biography Project

Achievements Preceded byChris Speier Hitting for the cycle September 14, 1988 Succeeded byKelly Gruber