In a 16-year career, Chet Lemon established himself as one of the finest defensive center fielders in the American League, though he never won a Gold Glove Award. Lemon had great instincts in the outfield, setting a record for chances and putouts by an outfielder with the Chicago White Sox in 1977.
He was traded to the Detroit Tigers in 1982 straight-up for Steve Kemp in one of the best deals in Tiger history. Lemon was a key figure on the 1984 World Series championship club and in Motown many of his doubles started to turn into homers – he topped 20 home runs three times as a Bengal.
Lemon was a fan favorite both in Chicago and Detroit, with his bright smile and hustling play. He gained notoriety for two strange habits – getting hit by pitched balls (he led the AL four times in that category) and sliding head first into first base.
His skills eroded quickly in his mid 30s and he retired after the 1990 season with 215 homers and more than 1,800 hits.