Joseph Gregory Randa (//; born December 18, 1969) is a former Major League Baseball player. He was primarily a third baseman during his career. His nickname is "The Joker" due to his resemblance to the comic book character in Batman and his ever-present smile, especially during his plate appearances. It was given to him by Tony Muser, the Kansas City Royals manager during Randa's second tour with the ballclub. This had resulted from Muser having to constantly answer questions about why Randa was always smiling. "I'd tell them that's not a smile, it's his normal look", Muser explained.
Randa at Marshall Army Airfield in 2010
|Born: December 18, 1969|
|April 30, 1995, for the Kansas City Royals|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 1, 2006, for the Pittsburgh Pirates|
|Runs batted in||739|
High school yearsEdit
Randa attended Kettle Moraine High School in Wales, Wisconsin, lettering in football, basketball, baseball, and tennis. Randa's #12 was retired by the Lasers. He is also a member of the Kettle Moraine Laser Trailblazer Hall of Fame.
Randa made his major league debut in 1995 with the Kansas City Royals, playing in 34 games. He played the next three seasons as a competitive third baseman with three different teams, hitting .303, .302, and .254 for the Royals, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Detroit Tigers, respectively.
The Royals reacquired Randa prior to the 1999 season. Installed as a full-time third baseman for the first time in his career, Randa hit .314 with 16 home runs and 84 RBIs, establishing himself as a run producer in the middle of the order and a steady fielder at third base. In 2003, Randa set the Kansas City Royals' team record for the most consecutive errorless games by a third baseman, going 75 games without an error. After the 2004 season ended, Randa signed with the Cincinnati Reds as a free agent. On Opening Day, Randa hit the game-winning home run in the bottom of the 9th for Cincinnati in a 7-6 victory. On July 23, 2005, Randa was traded to the San Diego Padres for pitchers Justin Germano and Travis Chick. He was then signed by the Pirates on December 28, 2005 for a one-year contract worth between $3.5 and $4 million. On November 2, 2006, Randa announced his retirement. He batted .284/.339/.426 with 123 HRs and 739 RBIs in 1,522 games over 12 seasons.
Randa is one of only three players in Kansas City Royal history to collect six hits in a nine-inning game, which he did on September 9, 2004 in the first game of a doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park; he went 6-for-7 in a 26-5 Royal blowout win. Bob Oliver had collected six hits in a 1969 (the franchise's inaugural season) game and Kevin Seitzer in 1987.
Randa made his first and only playoff appearance in 2005 with the Padres, hitting .364 in three games.
Post pro careerEdit
Randa works with the Royals' minor league teams as a special assistant.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube
|Awards and achievements|
| Topps Rookie All-Star Third Baseman
| American League Player of the Month
Rafael Palmeiro & Iván Rodríguez