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Albert Belle Chronology


Belle Bottom Blues
The professional life and often hard times of Albert Belle
   
June 2, 1987   Selected by the Cleveland Indians in second round of the amateur draft.  
July 15, 1989   Makes major league debut against Texas, going 1-for-4 with an RBI. His first major league hit comes against Nolan Ryan.  
June 14, 1990   Enters alcohol rehabilitation clinic after being suspended for destroying part of a bathroom.  
May 11, 1991   Hits a taunting fan in the chest, with a thrown ball at Cleveland Stadium. He is suspended six games and ordered to give one week's salary to charity.  
May 4, 1992   Charges the mound at Kansas City pitcher Neal Heaton. On Aug. 4, he is suspended for three games.  
May 13, 1993   Charges the mound at Kansas City pitcher Hipolito Pichardo. On May 18, he is suspended for three games.  
July 15, 1994   Has bat confiscated by Chicago manager Gene Lamont. It is found to contain cork and on July 29 he is suspended for seven games.  
Sept. 30, 1995   Hits 50th home run of the season off of Kansas City's Melvin Bunch. Becomes first major-league player to collect 50 home runs and 50 doubles in one campaign. Following season, named The Sporting News and Baseball DigestMo Vaughn.  
Oct. 24, 1995   Has profanity-laced tirade directed at NBC reporter Hannah Storm, prior to Game 3 of the World Series. Fined $50,000 in April 1996 for the verbal abuse.  
Oct. 31, 1995   Chases trick-or-treating teenagers, in his vehicle, who had thrown eggs at his house. Later charged with willful disregard of safety and fined $100 for the incident.  
April 6, 1996   Hits Sports Illustrated photographer Tony Tomsic with a baseball after becoming angry that Tomsic was taking pictures while he was stretching.  
May 16, 1996   As a result of Tomsic incident, ordered by AL president Gene Budig to undergo counseling and perform community service  
May 31, 1996   Hits Milwaukee's Fernando Vina with a forearm between first and second. Belle is suspended for five games by Budig, who later reduces the penalty to a two-game suspension and $25,000 fine.  
Oct. 28, 1996   Files for free agency.  
Nov. 19, 1996   Signs five-year contract with Chicago White Sox worth a $55 million -- baseball's richest in both total package and average annual value.  
Feb. 11, 1997   In a sworn deposition related to a civil lawsuit, testifies that he lost as much as $40,000 gambling on pro football and college basketball.  
June 6, 1997   Fined $5,000 by the AL for "making an obscene gesture" to the fans in Cleveland at the end of a game on June 3.  
June 28, 1997   Granted immunity in a federal investigation of illegal bookmaking, money laundering and tax fraud. Was interviewed by federal investigators, but was not the target of the probe.  
July 20, 1998   Charged with domestic battery for allegedly hitting girlfriend Stephanie Bugusky and then ripping her phone from the wall as she tried to call for help. A temporary order of protection was issued against Belle and he was released on a $3,000 signature bond a few hours before a game against the Cleveland Indians.  
Sept. 20, 1998   Became the active leader in consecutive games played when Cal Ripken's streak ended at 2,632 games. Belle's streak stood at 334 at the end of the 1998 season.  
Sept. 20, 1998   Bugusky drops charges, and Belle agrees to pay for damages and drop a telephone harassment charge against her.  
Sept. 22, 1998   A judge denies Belle's request for a restraining order against Bugusky.  
Oct. 23, 1998   Becomes eligible for free agency when the White Sox refuse his demand for a $4.25 million raise over three years. Belle's contract contains a unique provision allowing him to demand he will remain one of the three highest-paid players in baseball.  
Oct. 27, 1998   Files for free agency. Belle has option to go back to his White Sox contract anytime through Dec. 2.  
Dec. 1, 1998   Signs a five-year, $65 million contract with Baltimore Orioles.  
June 9, 1999   Gets into heated argument with Orioles manager Ray Miller after failing to run out a ground ball to third and Miller takes him out of the game for "defensive purposes." 
June 11, 1999   Stint as baseball's reigning iron man ends at 392 games as Belle is benched because of the incident the two days before. Belle returns to his "no-talking" policy with the press and a sign above his locker tells reporters to consult his web site for quotes. 
June 22, 1999   Before game against Red Sox, sign appears on Belle's locker reading "Petition to boycott the exhibition game June 28 at Rochester." Only Belle and Scott Erickson dissent ... sign disappears before first pitch. 
Sept. 9, 1999   Reaches the 100-RBI plateau for the eighth consecutive season. It is Belle's eighth consecutive 30-homer, 100-RBI season, tying Babe Ruth for the third longest such streak. Only Jimmie Foxx (12) and Lou Gehrig (11) have longer streaks. 
July 1, 2000   Named American League player of the month for June after hitting .364 with 12 homers and 37 RBIs.  
July 31, 2000   Hits only home run in July ending longest homerless streak of his career (27 games).  
Sept. 4-25, 2000   Belle misses 20 games trying to rest his arthritic hip.  
Sept. 29, 2000   Collects 100th RBI for the ninth consecutive season, tying Frank Thomas for the fourth longest streak. Foxx and Gehrig (13) and Al Simmons (11) have longer streaks. 
Oct. 1, 2000   Hits a home run in the final game of the season. 
Sept. 29, 2000   The Baltimore Orioles released a statement saying that Belle has been termed "totally disabled and unable to perform as a major league baseball player" after doctors examined his degenerative right hip. 
 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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