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Ron LeFlore
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Baseball Player
    (June 16, 1948- )
    Born in Detroit, Michigan
    Outfielder for the Detroit Tigers (1974-79), Montreal Expos (1980) and Chicago White Sox (1981-82)
    .288 career batting average
    1,283 hits
    455 stolen bases
    Named to the American League All-Star team (1976)
    He shaved four years off his age, claiming to be born in 1952.
    He was smoking cigarettes when he was nine, drinking alcohol at eleven, smoking marijuana at thirteen and abusing heroin and cocaine at fifteen.
    He said, 'While other kids were home with their parents in the evening watching TV, I was hanging around dope houses or selling speed and stolen clothes to prostitutes and pimps.'
    While in reform school, he was caught stealing a biology test that he planned to copy and sell to other students.
    He was sentenced to five to fifteen years in prison for armed robbery after stealing $35,000 from a check cashing place (1966).
    He led the league in errors by an outfielder four seasons (1974,1976,1980,1982).
    In his most notorious error, he misjudged a fly ball hit by Gary Allenson so badly that it bounced off his head for an inside the park home run (August 1, 1982).
    After participating in the ceremonies celebrating the last game played at Tiger Stadium, he was arrested for unpaid child support (1999).
    At an autograph signing, he was again arrested for failure to pay child support (2007).
    While in Jackson State Penitentiary, he quit using drugs and earned his GED.
    He had never even hit a ball with a bat before going to prison, but put up such impressive numbers for Jackson State's baseball team (including a .569 batting average) that Tigers manager Billy Martin visited him and invited him to a workout with the team when he got paroled.
    He was the first player to lead both leagues in stolen bases, stealing 68 for Detroit to lead the AL (1978) and 97 for Montreal to lead the NL (1980).
    During his Major League career, he was never ejected from a game.
    His 49-day-old son died from sudden infant death syndrome (1983).
    He lost his right leg to arterial vascular disease (2011).
    He was portrayed by LeVar Burton in the TV movie 'One in a Million: The Ron LeFlore Story.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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