All-time Los Angeles Dodger home run leader and former first baseman Eric Karros took his time to speak at the team’s Winter Development Camp at Dodger Stadium this past week.
Karros debuted with the Dodgers in 1991 and remained in Los Angeles until 2002. He was named the National League’s Rookie of the Year in 1992 after hitting .257 with 20 home runs and 88 RBI in 149 games.
He took the time to reflect on what it was like coming up as an aspiring major leaguer via Cary Osborne of Dodger Insider:
I think what all these guys have (in terms of pressure) as young players — you’re up and you’re just trying to prove that you belong. Not just to others, but yourself. (Getting comfortable) may take a couple of years. That doesn’t happen in one week (in the Majors), or one month, or one year. That’s something all these guys and anyone who plays in the big leagues has to deal with.
The 46-year-old mentioned that he stayed with Dodger outfielder Brett Butler at first because he wasn’t sure he was going to remain in the majors. He said it took him three or four years to felt he belonged with the Dodgers, even after winning the award in 1992. Karros began his ascent from serviceable first baseman to a legitimate power threat in 1995 when he hit .298 with 32 home runs and 105 RBI and finished fifth in the NL MVP vote.
Before the major leagues, Karros spent three-and-a-half seasons in the minor leagues and said those times were about surviving to get the the big leagues. He spoke of times when he was forced to get some teammates to join their money for their meals. Karros called the experience “rewarding” and that he was able to find himself.
After the Dodgers, the former slugger went to the Chicago Cubs and Oakland Athletics before retiring and joining the broadacast booth. He remains involved with the Dodgers and was one of many former players to speak at the Winter Development Camp.
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