- Height: 6'1"
- Weight: 185lbs
- Date of birth: July 14, 1967
- Birthplace: Santa Maria, CA
- High School: Righetti High in Santa Maria, CA
- College: Oklahoma State
- MLB Debut: September 12, 1989
- Final Game: October 2, 2004
- Position: Third base
- Bats: Left
- Throws: Right
Although he may be best remembered for charging the mound after Nolan Ryan drilled-and then pummeled-him, Robin Ventura was an excellent, durable two-way player who got on base, hit for power and was an exceptional fielder with unparalleled dexterity at fielding bunts and slow rollers. After a standout collegiate career at Oklahoma State, Ventura was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the first round (10th overall) of the 1988 draft. Less than two years later, Ventura was the starting third baseman, embarking on a sparkling stint with the Pale Hose in which he led Chicago to the AL Championship Series in 1992. Ventura demonstrated the grit that endeared him to fans when, after suffering a grisly broken ankle in a 1997 exhibition game, he returned far ahead of schedule and got the game-winning hit in his first game back. However, his criticism of White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf for the infamous (to Sox fans) “White Flag" trade a week later-three Chicago pitchers were sent packing in a gesture that suggested the owner had given up on his team's chances to win their division-soured the team on Ventura. When they let him become a free agent the next year, Ventura signed a four-year deal with the New York Mets. He promptly had the best season of his career in 1999-he hit .301 with 32 home runs and 120 RBIs and only nine errors. Moreover, he hit the famous “Grand Slam Single" in Game 5 of the NLCS against the Atlanta Braves in the bottom of the 15th inning. (His hit went over the fence but a jubilant, if confused, Todd Pratt, the base runner on first, grabbed Ventura and pulled him off the field.) After Ventura helped propel the Mets into the 2000 “Subway Series" despite a cascade of injuries, the team traded him across town to the Yankees, where he hit 27 home runs, played flawless defense and made the All-Star team. Two years later, as age sapped his skills, Ventura was traded to the Dodgers and ended his career there, retiring after the 2004 season.
Career Highlights, Awards, and Accolades:
- 2-time All-Star: 1992, 2002
- 6-time Gold Glove winner at third base: 1991-93, 1996, 1998-99 (Only Brooks Robinson and Mike Schmidt have won more)
- Hit two grand slams in one game: September 4, 1995
- Hit 18 career grand slams, placing him in a tie with Willie McCovey for 4th on the all-time list.
- Only the fifth third baseman in MLB history to hit at least 250 home runs and win at least five Gold Glove Awards
- Named by statistician and historian Bill James, in the 2001 revision of his Historical Baseball Abstract, as the greatest third baseman of the 1990s.