Jeff Liefer

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Jeffrey Dale Liefer

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Biographical Information[edit]

"I don't want to be remembered as the guy who got stuck in the bathroom." - Jeff Liefer

Jeff Liefer played parts of seven seasons in the big leagues and two seasons in Japan.

Born in Fontana, CA and a graduate of Upland High School in California, Liefer was an All-American at California State University, Long Beach and a first round pick in 1995 amateur draft by the Chicago White Sox. Primarily a first baseman and left fielder, he played in the minors from 1996 through half of 1999 and came up with the White Sox in 1999 for 45 games, hitting .248. Since the White Sox had Carlos Lee and Magglio Ordonez in the outfield, Paul Konerko at first base, and Frank Thomas at DH, it was a tough team for Liefer to find a spot on.

Although he was to be in the majors each year from 1999 to 2005, Liefer also spent part of each season in the minors except for 2002. Most of his major league at-bats came with the White Sox. In 2000, when the Sox won a division title, he only had 11 at-bats, but in 2001, he hit 18 home runs with a .256 batting average in 254 at-bats. The next year, 2002, he had 7 home runs with a .230 average in 204 at-bats. In a notable incident that year, Mike Cameron, a former White Sox player then with the Seattle Mariners, hit four home runs one day and might have hit a fifth had not Liefer caught the ball deep in the outfield on the warning track.

After 2002, Liefer was traded to the Montreal Expos in the Bartolo Colon deal, and hit .193 for Montreal before being selected off waivers by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in June. He hit .120 in 9 games for Tampa Bay. Signed by the Milwaukee Brewers for 2004, he appeared in 16 games with them, hitting .214. With the Cleveland Indians the next year, 2005, he played in 19 games at the major league level with a .196 average.

Peak performances in the minors include slugging 32 home runs for the Charlotte Knights in 2000 and hitting .321 with 19 homers in 89 games with the Buffalo Bisons in 2005.

However, he achieved fame in 2004 when he was stuck in a bathroom for 20 minutes during a minor league game, because the handle didn't work. People made fun of it, such as Jamey Carroll's comment that "maybe his California lifestyle had something to do with him getting locked in there . . . I'm going to have to make a phone call to see how he's recovering.".

In January of 2006, Liefer was signed by the Seibu Lions of Japan. He was sent to the minors by them at one point but was back with the Lions in 2007. He hit .252 with 13 homers and 32 RBIs in 49 games the first year, and ..261 with 8 homers and 28 RBIs in 47 games the following season. He then ended his playing career back with AAA Charlotte in 2008, hitting .224 in 40 games before deciding to retire in early June. He finished with over 200 career home runs at all levels.

In a career low-light, he struck out against infielder Scott Sheldon of the Texas Rangers in Sheldon's only career pitching appearance on September 6, 2000. Sheldon played all 9 positions in the game.

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