Ron Gant spent his best years as a member of the Atlanta Braves. He started out as infielder with the Braves in 1987, but within a few years he was an outfielder. Gant was a key piece of the 1991 Braves squad that made a run from last place in 1990 to the World Series the very next season.
You could probably make the argument that Gant was a bit beyond mediocre, since he played in two All-Star games and won the Comeback Player of the Year Award in 1995. However, his career was riddled with injuries and a personality that was once described as being “too self absorbed” to be a star player.
Gant became only the third player in baseball history to put together 30HR-30SB in back-to-back seasons, joining Bobby Bonds and Willie Mays. Barry Bonds would go on to joing this group shortly after Gant. While Gant obviously is not on their level, that is still a pretty decent accomplishment.
In 1994, Gant signed one of the biggest contracts in Braves history and promptly broke his leg in an ATV accident. I’m not here to judge Ron Gant, but if I just signed a HUGE contract to do a job that required I stay healthy, I would probably work on avoiding things like ATVs.
Anyhow, Gant missed all of the 1994 season due to the injury and his career was in jeopardy. He was released by the Braves and signed with the Reds prior to the 1995 season. The rejuvinated Gant responded with 29 homers and 23 stolen bases. He parlayed that performance into a three-year run in St. Louis and another five years bouncing around the league before finally retiring after the 2003 season.
Gant showed up on the Hall of Fame ballot in 2008. Most everyone knows that it takes 75% of the Hall vote to actually get elected to the HoF. What some people don’t know is that if you fail to receive 5% of the vote, you are kicked off forever. In 2008 Gant received 0 votes and was thus removed from the ballot.
When it was all said and done, Gant slugged over 300 homers and swiped over 200 bases. His career OPS+ of 112 shows us that he was a slightly above average player who managed to carve out a nice 16 year career as a big league ball player. Gant made nearly $45M as a big leaguer.