During the season when the Milwaukee Brewers would make their only World Series appearance, a young lad had a monster season at Class AA El Paso in the Brewers organization.
Randy Max Ready was ready, drafted in the 6th round of the 1980 MLB June Amateur Draft from Mesa State College in Grand Junction, Colorado. He reported to Butte in the rookie Pioneer League and tore it up from the get-go.
Ready slashed .376/.497/.619 in 288 trips to the plate. Not sure where he ended up on the MVP list, but Ready had a great year, leading the league in runs scored, doubles, batting average, on-base percentage, and OPS. He was second in homers, walks, slugging, a total bases. All in all, a pretty good year.
In 1981, Ready moved up to Class A Burlington in the Midwest League and did not disappoint. In a full season, he hit .308/.439/.493 in 464 plate appearances. Ready played in the MWL All-Star game, walking in one trip.
That brought the right-handed infielder to the west Texas town of El Paso, where he starred in 1982.
Randy Ready, 1982 El Paso (AA)
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Ready had an amazing campaign, leading the Texas League in runs scored (122), hits (178), batting average (.375), on-base percentage (.474), OPS (1.066), and total bases (281). His 99 RBIs and 92 base-on-balls ranked second, while his .592 slugging percentage earned a third spot in the league.
Although the 22-y-o had a great season, he lost out on the MVP voting to a fellow named Darryl Strawberry, even though Ready had a superior season. Once again, the curse of playing at hitter-friendly Dudley Stadium cost a Diablos player the Most Valuable Player award. He did, however, play at third base in the Texas League All-Star game.
Ready moved up to AAA Vancouver in 1983 and put up solid numbers there, slashing .329/.463/.499 in 519 plate appearances. That play earned Ready a call-up to the bigs in September. He played in 12 games, hitting .405/.488/.676 in 43 trips to the plate.
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He appeared ready for stardom, but that would not be the case as he bounced back-and-forth between Vancouver and Milwaukee for the next two years before getting traded to San Diego in June 1986.
Ready played for the Padres for parts of four seasons, including his best season in 1987 when he hit .305/.423/.520 in 124 games.
He was traded to the Phillies (with John Kruk) in June 1989 and played for three seasons before signing with Oakland as a free agent in early 1992. He became the ultimate free agent, signing with Kansas City, Baltimore, Montreal, and Philadelphia over the next several seasons before retiring after the 1997 season.
Ready played in 777 big league games over 13 seasons, hitting .259/.359/.387, showing a good batting eye while accumulating more walks than strikeouts.
He managed for nine years in the minors in three organizations (Detroit, San Diego, and Atlanta) and served as the hitting coach for San Diego from mid-2009 through 2011.