Otis Nixon

It's close to miiiiid-niiiiiiight...

Why we like him: Some players just look like they were meant to play this game (Dale Murphy, Don Mattingly, etc.).  Some players look like they were born to be computer programmers but were good at this game anyway (Tom Henke, Vance Law, etc.).  Otis Nixon looked like he was born to be the "after" picture on a just-say-no-to-crystal-meth poster.  Even when this guy was young, he looked like he had just pried open his own casket and crawled out onto the diamond to steal bases, catch fly balls, and eat brains.

Otis, whose middle name, not suffix, was Junior, didn't possess any particular baseball skill of note other than the fact that he could run as fast on the basepaths as he could run away from law enforcement.  Had he been a little bit better from the plate, Nixon probably could have at least made Tim Raines sweat for his fifth spot in the all-time steals list instead of settling for sixteenth behind Kenny friggin' Lofton, who nobody likes, not even Kenny himself.

Nixon played for what seemed like half the league (Yanks, Tribe, 'Spos, Braves, Red Sox, Rangers, Jays, Dodgers, Twins, and Braves again) over the course of his 17-year career.  The biggest issue for him during his career was his cocaine habit, which started in the 80s like every other cocaine habit in history, and he was even arrested in 1987 while playing for Cleveland.  Late in the 1991 season with the Braves, Otis failed a drug test for apparently snorting the third base line at Fulton County Stadium which earned him a 60-day suspension and caused him to miss the 1991 World Series.  This oft-forgotten detail may have even cost the Braves a title that year, seeing as Nixon had the best season of his career, batting .297 with a career-best 72 steals.

In the end, the Otis Nixon saga along with anything regarding Dwight Gooden is a prime example of how drugs can derail a semi-promising baseball career.  I hate to bring a player's personal life into relevance with the game, but with Nixon, it was always a black cloud that followed him wherever he went.  At least he wasn't on steroids.

Ladies and gentlemen, Otis Nixon, Ballplayer.

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