Shawn Abner
Outfielder
Born: (1966-06-17) June 17, 1966 (age 55)
Hamilton, Ohio
Batted: Right
Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 8, 1987, for the San Diego Padres
Last MLB appearance
October 3, 1992, for the Chicago White Sox
MLB statistics
Batting average.227
Home runs11
Runs batted in71
Teams

Shawn Wesley Abner (born June 17, 1966) is an American former professional baseball outfielder who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1987 to 1992 for the San Diego Padres, California Angels, and Chicago White Sox. In 392 career games, Abner had a batting average of .227 with 191 hits, 11 home runs, and 71 runs batted in. He is widely considered a draft bust.

The New York Mets drafted Abner with the first overall selection in the 1984 MLB draft.

Early life

Shawn Wesley Abner was born on June 17, 1966, in Hamilton, Ohio, to Ben Sr. and Carol.[1][2] In middle school, Abner played American football as a running back, though in high school he switched positions to quarterback because his mother stated she did not want Abner to get hurt.[3] Abner attended high school at Mechanicsburg Area High School in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, where he played football and baseball as a center fielder.[4][5] In 1981, in football, the Mechanicsburg Wildcats finished as runners up in the Capital Area Conference (CAC) to Red Land High School as Abner was named to the CAC all-star team, composed of the best players in the conference, as a defensive back.[6][7]

The Mets selected him first overall in the 1984 MLB draft. When Abner signed with the Mets, his $150,500 (equivalent to $375,000 in 2020)[8] signing bonus was the highest in the history of baseball.[9]

Professional career

Abner never played a big league game for the Mets. After moving slowly through the minor league system, he was traded after the 1986 season to the San Diego Padres as part of an eight-player swap that sent Kevin Mitchell west in exchange for Kevin McReynolds.[2] He made his debut on September 8, 1987 in a loss to the Braves. Abner entered in the top of the eighth inning as a pinch hitter for Lance McCullers and flied out to center field in his first major league at bat.[10]

The light-hitting Abner played sparingly over the next five seasons for San Diego, used mostly as a reserve outfielder. He was traded to the California Angels in 1991 and signed by the Chicago White Sox in 1992. His season with the White Sox was probably his best, as he attained a .279 batting average over 97 games.[2]

Abner injured his knee the following season playing basketball before a Triple-A game for the Omaha Royals,[11] and never played in the majors again. While playing in MLB, Abner stood at 6 feet 1 inch (185 cm) and weighed 190 pounds (86 kg). He batted and threw right-handed. In 392 career games, Abner had a batting average of .227 with 191 hits, 11 home runs, and 71 runs batted in.[2] Abner is widely-considered a draft bust.[12][13][14][15]

Personal life

Abner married his high-school sweetheart Kris in October 1987 at A Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas. During the MLB off-season, Abner enjoyed playing blackjack in casinos in Las Vegas.[9] His son Seth "Scump" Abner is a professional Call of Duty player.[16]

On August 28, 2019, Shawn was charged with animal cruelty for leaving his 14 year old husky alone at home, for over a month, resulting in the dog's death. Shawn failed to ask anyone to care for the dog while he was away.[17] He pleaded guilty to felony aggravated animal cruelty and was sentenced in January 2020 to 4.5–23 months in prison.[18]

References

  1. ^ Graham, Steve (June 5, 1984). "Wait is Not Over". The Sentinel. p. b-1 – via Newspapers.com.
  2. ^ a b c d "Shawn Abner". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved November 10, 2021.
  3. ^ Lawton, Kathi (October 19, 1982). "Hero or Goat? The Quarterback Keeps Your Attention". The Sentinel. p. b-1 – via Newspapers.com.
  4. ^ Rosenthal, Ken (June 16, 1984). "Great Expectations: Will Pressure Ruin Shawn Abner as Baseball's Top Prospect?". York Daily Record. pp. 1C, 4C – via Newspapers.com.
  5. ^ Davidson, David (May 31, 1984). "For Shawn Abner, to be Twice Blessed Means Once Cursed". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. p. 3-D – via Newspapers.com.
  6. ^ "Priest Leads Capital Area Football Stars". The Daily News. December 5, 1981. p. 16 – via Newspapers.com.
  7. ^ "Priest, Butz Players of the Year". The Sentinel. December 5, 1981. p. B 2 – via Newspapers.com.
  8. ^ 1634–1699: McCusker, J. J. (1997). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States: Addenda et Corrigenda (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1700–1799: McCusker, J. J. (1992). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1800–present: Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  9. ^ a b Nightengale, Bob (March 3, 1991). "Is the Time Past to Belittle Abner?: Baseball: Intent on Making Good as Padre Center Fielder, the 24-year-old is Changing his Ways". Los Angeles Times.
  10. ^ "San Diego Padres at Atlanta Braves Box Score, September 8, 1987". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved November 10, 2021.
  11. ^ Robinson, Tom (March 27, 1995). "Abner Back with No Great Expectations". The Virginian-Pilot. p. C8.
  12. ^ "MLB Draft Busts". Foxsports.com. October 20, 2016. Retrieved November 10, 2021.
  13. ^ "The 10 Biggest Busts among No. 1 Overall Picks in Baseball History". Sports Illustrated. June 4, 2012. Retrieved November 10, 2021.
  14. ^ Spector, Jessee (May 26, 2014). "Biggest all-time MLB Draft Busts at Every Position". Sporting News. Retrieved November 10, 2021.
  15. ^ Cowherd, Colin (2015). Raw: My 100% Grade-A, Unfiltered, Inside Look at Sports. Simon and Schuster. p. 216.
  16. ^ "Former Cumberland Valley Student Wins Player of the Year at Esports Industry Awards". Penn Live. November 23, 2016. Retrieved November 11, 2021.
  17. ^ Rex, Kaylee (August 28, 2019). "Former Baseball Player Shawn Abner Charged with Animal Cruelty in Cumberland County". WHP-TV. Retrieved November 10, 2021.
  18. ^ Miller, Matt (January 21, 2020). "'What you Did Was Inexplicable,' Judge Says in Sending ex-MLB Draft Pick Shawn Abner Back to Prison for Dog's Death". Penn Live. Retrieved September 25, 2021.
Preceded byTim Belcher First overall pick in the MLB Entry Draft 1984 Succeeded byB.J. Surhoff