The Kansas City Royals last week released first baseman-designated hitter Bob (the Hammer) Hamelin, the 1994 American League Rookie of the Year, who, like several past top rookies, including Detroit Tigers pitcher Mark Fidrych ('76) and Cleveland Indians outfielder Joe Charboneau ('80), never fulfilled the potential he showed in his debut season. Here are others for whom first-year fame didn't portend a productive career.
Negro leagues outfielder finally made it to the majors with Boston Braves in 1950, at 32, and was named National League Rookie of the Year after batting .273, with 18 home runs and 35 steals. Poor fielding, exacerbated by vision problems, drove him out of the majors in '54.
The 1979 American League co-Rookie of the Year (with Toronto Blue Jay Alfredo Griffin) hit .285 and .302 in first two seasons and made seamless switch from third base to second to accommodate Gary Gaetti. But back surgery ended his career in '84.
Six-foot-six righty, former Oklahoma basketball star, went 15-7 for Boston Red Sox in 1961 to win American League rookie honors. Biggest claim to fame thereafter: traded to Pittsburgh Pirates for first baseman Dick (Doctor Strangeglove) Stuart.
Brushback specialist was American League's top rookie in 1952, despite going a mediocre 15-15 with a decent Philadelphia A's team. Mediocre describes rest of career too: He retired after '57 season with a 46-54 record.