Both an intense competitor and the personification of overcoming adversity, Steve Sax is a two-time World Series Champion and one of the more underrated second basemen of the 1980’s. Sax was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the ninth round of the 1978 Amateur Draft out of James Marshall High School in Sacramento, CA and by 1981 he had made his debut in the Dodgers infield alongside Steve Garvey, Ron Cey and Bill Russell. The Dodgers went on to win the World Series that year with modest contributions from Sax, but in 1982 he earned the starting job at second base and went on to win National League Rookie of the Year honors after he collected 180 hits and stole 49 bases.
Sax also earned a spot on the N.L. All-Star Team in 1982, the only rookie named to either team that year. Sax’s intensity was always on display, shone through via broken batting helmets and dirt-stained jerseys. He was also a model of durability, playing in 150 or more games in nine of his first 11 full seasons in the majors, the first seven of which came with the Dodgers. Sax posted the best offensive season of his career in 1986 when he eclipsed the 200-hit plateau for the first time in his career and also collected 43 doubles, 40 stolen bases and a Silver Slugger award for his efforts. Sax and the Dodgers defeated the Oakland Athletics in the 1988 World Series, Sax’s second championship ring, after which the Dodgers traded Sax to the Yankees.
Sax went on to earn another pair of All-Star nods over three seasons in the Bronx. Perhaps not best remembered for his speed on the base paths, Sax was second in stolen bases among all major leaguers in the eighties with 376, behind only Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith. Sax finished out the final three seasons of his career with the Chicago White Sox and Athletics before he retired after the 1994 season. Sax has remained busy post-retirement, between making several cameos on television sitcoms and serving as a commentator on ESPN and FOX Sports. Sax has also worked in the financial sector, including as a Vice President of Investments for the Royal Bank of Canada, managing professional athletes’ wealth.
In 2010 Sax published the acclaimed motivational book SHIFT: Change Your Mindset and you Change Your World which focuses on harnessing the power of positivity. The book also focuses on Sax’s inexplicably high volume of throwing errors he endured early in his baseball career and how he overcame those demons and return to form as a strong defensive second baseman.
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