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Question 6 - Who Was I?

I was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on April Fools Day in 1944, but my career was anything but a joke.  I played in the majors for 23 years with five different teams (HOU, MON, NYM, DET, & TEX), and got to play in one World Series with the Mets in 1973.

Early in my career, to help get my adrenaline going, I'd have teammates slap me in the face. That's right.  If I felt that I wasn't as intense going out onto the field as I should have been, I'd ask them for a slap, and they were always willing to oblige.

I was born with the first name of Daniel, but everyone called me by a different name. I was a real student of the game and liked to learn as much as I could, so when playing for Montreal, I learned French, and picked up the nickname of "Le Grande Orange" (translated to "The Big Red Head").

I had a career batting average of .279, hit 292 HR's, 1466 RBI's, and ended up with 2,716 hits. For the majority of my career, I played either 1B or the OF, but being a good hitter I also was a DH (I knocked in 90 or more runs six times during my career).  As the years went by, I turned out to be one heck of a good pinch hitter.

In 1983 with my second stint with the Mets, I tied the single season record of eight consecutive pinch hits (set by Dave Philley in '58), and also tied the single season record for RBI's by a pinch hitter (25 by Jerry Lynch & Joe Cronin).

Being on the road for 23 years can be a lonely experience, so to keep myself busy I learned how to cook and became a gourmet. That way, friends always wanted to be around.

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