Ronald John Oester (born May 5, 1956, in Cincinnati, Ohio) is a former Major League Baseball second baseman. Bill James described him as "a quiet, efficient player who was always overlooked".
Drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 9th round of the 1974 MLB amateur draft, Oester made his debut with the Reds on September 10, 1978, and appeared in his final game on October 3, 1990.
Oester was one of the few major leaguers who did not wear batting gloves. He perpetually developed blisters on his hands, and according to teammates, they would develop into deep wounds on his palms.
In 1984 Oester had a career best 21 game hitting streak. In 1985 he had a .295 batting average, a career high.
On July 5, 1987, during a Mets-Reds game at Riverfront Stadium, the New York Mets' Mookie Wilson slid hard into second base during a double-play attempt. During the slide, Oester, who was playing second, collided with Wilson. His cleats got caught in the turf, and he tore his left ACL. Oester did not return to action until July 16, 1988.
Oester was a member of the Cincinnati Reds team that defeated the Oakland Athletics in the 1990 World Series. Although he lost the starting second baseman job to Mariano Duncan that season, Oester was one of the team's top pinch hitters, hitting .299 that season and going 2-for-4 (.500) in the postseason.
He is currently the infield instructor for the Chicago White Sox.
- ^ James, Bill (2003-04-06). The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract. New York: Free Press. pp. p. 531. ISBN 0743227220.
By Dean Hanley
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