Warren Newson

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Warren Dale Newson
(The Deacon)

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Biographical Information[edit]

Warren Newson was an eight-year major leaguer who played on four division champions. He was a bit of a favorite with baseball cognoscenti for having a high on-base percentage and decent power for a role player.

Newson was born in Newnan, GA in July 1964, the same place where Jerome Walton was born in July 1965.

He was drafted in the fourth round by the San Diego Padres in the 1986 January draft. His height (5' 7") may have slowed his progress in professional baseball.

He spent 5 1/2 years in the minor leagues before getting his chance at the major leagues. In the minors, he usually hit over .300, had plentiful walks so his on-base percentage was always over .400, and he usually slugged over .500. The Padres probably should have brought him up earlier, since they were not all that good in the late 1980s (their highest finish was 2nd in 1989). Instead, they traded him to the Chicago White Sox right before the season started in 1991.

With the White Sox Pacific Coast League affiliate, the Vancouver Canadians, he put on quite a show in 33 games, hitting .369/~.504/.550. That got him to the major leagues, where he hit excellently as a backup in 71 games in 1991, with .295/.419/.424. The 1991 Sox won 87 games, featuring Frank Thomas in his first full season (he was third in the MVP voting), 23-year-old Robin Ventura at third base, and an outfield of Tim Raines, Lance Johnson, and Sammy Sosa.

In the following year, 1992, Newson slumped to .221 with the White Sox, but his on-base percentage was almost as high, at .387. He appeared in 19 games in the minors, again with an OBP over .400.

In 1993, the White Sox won the division, while Newson spent most of the time in Triple A hitting .341/~.460/.477. Up in the majors, he did quite well, with .300/.429/.450 in 26 games. He appeared with the White Sox in 2 games of the Championship Series.

The next year, 1994 the White Sox again won the division in a strike-shortened year, and Newson was up the whole season. His numbers were more modest, but as usual he drew lots of walks.

1995 found him traded to the Seattle Mariners in mid-season, while his OBP with the White Sox was over .400. Between the two teams, his numbers were decent for a back-up: .261/.411/.395. The Mariners won the division, behind Randy Johnson, who was 18-2, and Jay Buhner, who hit 40 home runs, and Edgar Martinez, who hit .356. Ken Griffey Jr. was able to appear in only 72 games, hitting 17 home runs, and that may have given Newson playing time.

He became a free agent, and signed with the Texas Rangers. With them in 1996, he got 235 at-bats, the most he would get in any one season in his career. He posted a batting line of .255/.355/.451 on a team that led the division. Dean Palmer hit 38 home runs, Ivan Rodriguez scored 116 runs, Juan Gonzalez had 47 home runs to win the MVP award, and Mickey Tettleton had an even higher walk percentage than did Newson.

Newson's batting average dropped sharply in 1997, but his walks and power were still good: .213/.333/462. He had 10 home runs and 31 walks in 169 at-bats.

1998 found him mostly in the minors, where he showed he could still hit at the Rangers AAA affiliate, the Oklahoma RedHawks, where he hit .307/~408/.523 with 21 home runs. However, he managed to get only 10 games at the major league level, hitting .190, and finishing his major league career.

He wasn't finished with professional baseball, though. He played with the Albuquerque Dukes in 1999, was briefly with the Winnipeg Goldeyes in 2000 but spent most of the season in the Mexican League with the Algodoneros de Torreon hitting .386/~.496/.734. In the Korea Baseball Organization in 2001, he hit .209/~.311/.435 with 7 homers in 35 games for the Hanwha Eagles. In 2002, he was with with the Sultanes de Monterrey in Mexico for 39 games and the Memphis Redbirds in Triple A for 20 games. In 2003 at the age of 39, he was with the St. Paul Saints for 17 games, where, as usual, he had a high OBP. That was the end of his professional career.

Although he played major league ball for 8 years, he never earned the biggest bucks. The largest salary he ever got was $375,000, and mostly he was around $200,000 or lower.

The most similar players, based on the similarity scores method, don't do him justice. For example, Midre Cummings and Eddie Williams, both on the list, were both long-time backups that were Newson's contemporaries. But neither had anywhere near the OBP that Newson did, neither stole bases like Newson did, and neither had quite the power that Newson had.

Apparently, he still lives in Georgia.

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