Timothy John Foli (born December 8, 1950), nicknamed Crazy Horse, is an American former professional baseball player, coach and minor league manager. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a shortstop for the New York Mets, Montreal Expos, San Francisco Giants, Pittsburgh Pirates, California Angels and New York Yankees from 1970 to 1985. At age 17, Foli was the first pick in the Major League Baseball Draft in 1968 and went on to be a member of the 1979 World Series champion Pirates. Foli was known as a fiery player who was a reliable fielder but only an average hitter. Foli was a free swinger, especially in 1982 when he walked only 14 times, the lowest total ever for 150 or more games played (Ozzie Guillén broke Foli's notorious record three years later). His free swinging did not aim for the fences, however, as he averaged less than two home runs per season.
His lack of power, combined with a lack of running speed (averaging approximately a stolen base every 20 games) resulted in Foli typically batting either second in the lineup or near the bottom. Although he accumulated few walks, Foli was also one of the most difficult to strike out, posting the league's best strikeout percentage three times and finishing in the top ten five times. Foli compiled a .333 batting average in the 1979 postseason, contributing to Pittsburgh's last World Championship. He was an accomplished bunter, finishing in the league top ten in sacrifice hits eight times including an American League-leading 26 in 1982.
Defensively, Foli led league shortstops in fielding percentage in 1980 and 1982. He led the National League in double plays twice, in total chances twice, and in putouts once. Foli's defensive low occurred on September 9, 1972 when he committed three errors in one inning, leading to three runs in Montreal's 8–3 loss.
- ^ Biddle, Joe (2005-05-31). "Zephyrs' struggles beginning to test Foli's patience". The Tennessean. Retrieved 2006-06-18.
- ^ "Pittsburgh Pirates 8, Montreal Expos 3". Baseball-reference.com. 1972-09-09.
By Dean Hanley
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