John Shelby

John T. Shelby (born February 23, 1958) is a former center fielder in Major League Baseball (MLB) who played from 1981 to 1991. He began his career as a member of the Baltimore Orioles before later playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Detroit Tigers. Shelby was a member of two World Series–winning teams: the 1983 Orioles and the 1988 Dodgers. His nickname was "T-Bone" because of his slight frame. He currently is a coach in the Atlanta Braves minor league system.

John Shelby
John Shelby Orioles.jpg
Born: (1958-02-23) February 23, 1958 (age 62)
Lexington, Kentucky
Batted: Switch Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 15, 1981, for the Baltimore Orioles
Last MLB appearance
August 11, 1991, for the Detroit Tigers
MLB statistics
Batting average.239
Home runs70
Runs batted in313
Career highlights and awards

Early lifeEdit

Shelby was born in Lexington, Kentucky, on February 23, 1958.[1] In 1976, he graduated from Henry Clay High School in Lexington, where he played baseball (as a shortstop) and basketball and was an all-area performer. After high school, he played one year of baseball at Columbia State Community College in Columbia, Tennessee.

Baseball careerEdit

Playing careerEdit

In the January 1977 amateur draft, Shelby was a first–round pick of the Baltimore Orioles.[1] He made his professional debut that year for the Bluefield Orioles of the Appalachian League, batting .256 in 60 games.[2]

Shelby with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1988

When Shelby was traded to the Dodgers during the 1987 season, the team was so desperate for a center fielder that he was rushed into uniform and into his first game. There was not even time to put his name on the back of his uniform, so he played the entire game without his name stitched onto his uniform. During Game Four of the 1988 National League Championship Series, he drew a crucial walk off Dwight Gooden in the top of the ninth inning, allowing Mike Scioscia to come up and hit a game-tying home run, paving the way for the game-winning home run by Kirk Gibson in the top of the twelfth inning.

On June 3, 1989, he batted 0 for 10 in a 22–inning game against the Houston Astros.[3]

After the Dodgers released Shelby on June 2, 1990, he was signed eleven days later by the Detroit Tigers.[1] He became a free agent following the season, but the Tigers re–signed him on November 26. He was released for good by the Tigers on August 13, 1991.[1]

In 1992, Shelby's final season as a professional baseball player, he appeared in 127 games for the Pawtucket Red Sox, the Class AAA affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. He tallied 17 home runs and 64 RBI, but managed only a .205 batting average.[2]

Coaching careerEdit

He was the hitting coach for the Albuquerque Isotopes, the AAA affiliate of the Colorado Rockies.[4] In addition to managing several minor league teams, he has also served as a coach for the Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Baltimore Orioles, and Milwaukee Brewers. He was hired as a roving minor league instructor with the Atlanta Braves for the 2017 season.

Personal lifeEdit

His oldest son, John Shelby III, is a former player in Minor League Baseball, who now is a student assistant coach for the Kentucky Wildcats baseball team while he completes his college studies. [5] His second oldest son, Jeremy Shelby, played one season in the Baltimore Orioles' farm system. His fourth oldest son, JaVon Shelby, played for the University of Kentucky Wildcats baseball team and was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in 2016 amateur draft.[6] His nephew, Josh Harrison is a major league player.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e "John Shelby Stats". Retrieved November 13, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "John Shelby Minor Leagues Statistics & History". Retrieved November 13, 2017.
  3. ^ "Los Angeles Dodgers at Houston Astros Box Score June 3, 1989". Retrieved November 13, 2017.
  4. ^ "Colorado Rockies minors: Albuquerque Isotopes name John Shelby hitting coach". Purple Row. February 11, 2016.
  5. ^ "John T. Shelby Returns to Program as Student Assistant Coach". Kentucky Wildcats. Archived from the original on 21 February 2018. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  6. ^ "5 JaVon Shelby". University of Kentucky. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 31 March 2014.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Reggie Smith
Los Angeles Dodgers First Base Coach
Succeeded by
Mariano Duncan
Preceded by
Rusty Kuntz
Pittsburgh Pirates First Base Coach
Succeeded by
Lou Frazier
Preceded by
Sam Mejias
Baltimore Orioles First Base Coach
Succeeded by
Wayne Kirby