Sam Horn has leveraged his twenty plus years of experience in the game of baseball to develop several entrepreneurial ventures. In addition to being a television personality and sports analyst for the Boston Red Sox and NESN, Sam has developed and sold a successful sports center and baseball school, Around The Horn Sports Center, in Rhode Island. Sam’s goal is to “build an individual’s confidence in their abilities, teach them to recognize and minimize their weaknesses, and help any athlete get the maximum results out of his or her potential.”
He is also the President of the number one website for Red Sox fans: sonsofsamhorn.com. This site is “dedicated to all things Red Sox,” and gets more unique visitors than any other “Red Sox” site. Sam is currently launching a new internet show “What is your Pre-Game” on redsox.com. It will focus on the world of athletes, celebrities, and CEO’s who have developed their own formula to enhance their competitive edge. We all know that the mental aspect of the game is a key, but their physical preparation for the game or match is equally important. What is done in regards to nutrition prior to, during, and even after they perform is key to their success.
Sam’s baseball career speaks for itself. He turned down a full baseball/football scholarship to The University of Southern California to accept an offer from the Boston Red Sox as a first round draft pick right out of high school in 1982. Sam not only hit a home run his first time at bats as a professional player, but he repeated this by hitting a home run for the Boston Red Sox on the day of his Major League debut. He became fondly known as the “Fenway Fridge.”
Sam holds the #1 all time offensive record for the Pawtucket Red Sox. In 1987, Sam became one of the most celebrated players in the history of the Pawtucket Red Sox by hitting 0.321, with 30 home runs and 82 RBI’s before July 15, 1987. That same year, Sam set a Major League record, hitting 10 home runs in his first 82 trips to the plate.
In 1990, Sam dazzled Baltimore fans with the best Opening Day performance in the Orioles’ history, batting 5 for 6, with 2 home runs and 7 RBIs. Horn’s home runs came off of Kansas pitchers Bret Saberhagen and Steve Farr.
In 1993, Sam was named MVP of the Minor League and AAA World Series as he led the Minor Leagues with 48 home runs. Then again in 1997 Sam led the Major Leagues in Taiwan by setting the home run record there with a total of 37.
Could Sam Horn’s Orioles debut have been any more dramatic?
Taken from the minor’s just days before the 1990 opener and rocked by his mother’s recent stroke, Horn hit a pair of three-run home runs to help the Birds defeat Kansas City 7-6 in 11 innings. That day Horn had five hits, all with bats he borrowed from teammates because his clubs had not yet arrived. He dedicated that game to his mother, which he likes to think played a part in her recovery.
Sam Horn after hitting a home run.
“Has it been 19 years?” Horn said. “For me, the date (April 9) never gets old. I’ve moved on, but the thought of that game will be there as long as I live.” Now 52, he works as a Goodwill Ambassador for the Boston Red Sox, the club that originally signed and then surrendered the would-be slugger. The Orioles took one look at the hard-swinging Horn, 6 feet 5 and 240 pounds and named him their designated hitter on opening day.
Horn arrived in Kansas City with heavy heart after visiting his mom in California.
“I didn’t want to leave her but there was nothing I could do,” he said. “The Orioles had told me, ‘If you want to make the team, you have to come now. I was sad, but I remember my mom looking up and mumbling, ‘Go back, baby.’ I told her I loved her and that I was going to play and put forth my best effort on every pitch.” But no one predicted the rampage to come. In the second inning, with two on base, Horn poled a fastball off KC ace Brett Saberhagen, the Cy Young winner, deep into the waterfalls at Royals Stadium. In the eighth, with the Orioles down 6-3, Horn tagged a curveball off reliever Steve Farr into the bullpen to tie the game.
His seven RBIs set a club record for opening day. “[Horn] has spoiled us,” manager Frank Robinson said. “I’ll tell you, he’s so big and strong, and you expect him to hit them that way. If he doesn’t drive in five or six runs every game, we’re going to tell him to hit the road.” The next day, Horn got two more hits, eliciting praise from Royals star George Brett. “If the season ended today,” Brett said, “Horn would win the Triple Crown.” Of course, that didn’t happen. Horn played three years with the Orioles, hit 42 home runs and knocked in 125. He hung around the majors for another few seasons, played briefly in Taiwan and then retired.
Sam Horn a proud father of three (Briona, Jamale and Kyla) has settled in Providence R.I. and works for Merecedes-Benz of Burlington. He still plays in charity games and hopes one day to return to broadcasting.
He remains a cult hero around Boston where, as a player, he was known as “The Fenway Fridge.” A Website set up in his honor, sonsofsamhorn.com, continues to flourish. “God bless, I’m doing pretty good,” said Horn. “I weigh 285 now and your health is everything once you get to this age. I work out five days a week and I love to hit a golf ball nice and hard. Baltimore was a nice time in my life and I wouldn’t change a thing, especially that game in KC. I know that on one special opening day, in one special year (1990), I was the best player in baseball.”