The below post comes from one of our readers, Kevin.
A few days ago, I got bored and decided to look up how many men have appeared in a regular season major league baseball game. As of today, that number is 18,805. With the help of the amazing randomizer over at random.org, I thought I would research a random player. It spit out at me the number 9,152. Norman Dalton Cash (also affectionately known as "Stormin' Norman") was a 6', 185 lb. left-handed hitting and throwing first baseman from Justiceburg, Texas. Born on November 10th, 1934, he was the 9,152nd person to appear in a major league game. An All-Lone Star Conference selectee at running back, he was drafted by the Chicago Bears in 1955 but decided to play baseball instead. He was signed out of Angelo State University as a free agent soon afterward by the Chicago White Sox. Cash spent 1955 and 1956 with the Waterloo White Hawks, Chicago's B-level affiliate in the Illinois-Indiana-Iowa League, where he clubbed 40 home runs in 207 games, hitting .314 over his first two professional seasons. He spent 1957 in the military. Cash reemerged in 1958 with the White Sox at the major league level, where he appeared in 13 games and went two-for-eight with two runs and a strikeout. He also played in 29 games at the triple-A level, with the Indianapolis Indians in the American Association and hit .247 with a home run and 10 RBI. It would represent the last minor league appearance for Cash. In 1959, Cash started 25 times at first base for the White Sox, appearing in 58 contests overall. On April 17th, in front of 2,656 at the first Comiskey Park, he batted fifth and smacked a three run shot in the fourth inning as the Sox defeated the Tigers, 6-5. Cash hit four homers with 16 RBI through the season, hitting .240/.372/.375/.747. Later, he went 0-for-4 in four plate appearances against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series. After the season, Cash was traded with Bubba Phillips and John Romano to the Cleveland Indians for Dick Brown, Don Ferrarese, Minnie Minoso, and Jake Striker. Four months later, before appearing in any games for Cleveland, the Indians sent him to the Tigers for Steve Demeter. In 1960, Cash was Detroit's starting first baseman, leading the team with a .501 slugging percentage and a .903 OPS. He walked 65 times to 58 strikeouts, ranking third on the team with 18 homers and fourth with 63 RBI in 121 games. Cash hit .286 for the Tigers that season, starting 86 times at first and three times in left field. On June 14th, in a 2-1 Detroit win over the Boston Red Sox, Cash delivered a pinch-hit seventh-inning, two-out two-run homer to give the Tigers a lead they would not relinquish. On July 10th, he came into the game in the fifth inning to pinch hit for Steve Bilko, and hit a bases-clearing double to turn a 7-5 deficit into an 8-7 lead over the Kansas City Athletics. Cash drew two walks in his next two plate appearances, and the Tigers eventually defeated the A's, 12-10. Cash made his first all-star team in 1961, leading the AL with a .361 batting average, a .487 OBP, and a 1.148 OPS. He also led the league with 193 base hits and 19 intentional walks. He hit 41 home runs (AL sixth) with 132 RBI (AL fourth) and stole 11 bases in 159 games. He ranked fourth in the MVP race and second with 9.2 Wins Above Replacement. He also led the AL with 1,231 first base putouts, ranked second with 127 assists, and third by turning 121 double plays. His .992 fielding percentage placed him fifth in the junior circuit. All that for $13,000. By the WAR metric, the 1961 season was almost twice as good as his next best performance through his career. He had 56 multi-hit games and 37 multi-RBI games. On May 30th, Cash hit a one-out, bases-loaded grand slam in the eighth inning, helping to defeat Kansas City, 5-3. Cash never again hit above .283 (in 1971), but he did end up with a total of 377 home runs in 17 seasons of major league action, which was at the time the 22nd most in major league history (now it's 73rd). He played his way back into the all-star game three more times, in 1966, 1971, and again in 1972. If there is one guy who dreaded seeing Cash more than any other pitcher, it would have to be Bill Monbouquette (who was actually a teammate of Cash in 1966 and 1967 with the Tigers). Through the 1960s, as part of the Red Sox, Cash hit .303 with nine home runs against Monbouquette, with 21 RBI and nine walks for a 1.074 career OPS. Nobody hit more homers off of Monbouquette, and Cash didn't hit any other pitcher as hard (he did hit eight off Catfish Hunter). Cash retired from professional baseball after the 1974 season, and for a time beginning in 1981 would broadcast Tigers' games on ON-TV along with Hank Aguirre and Larry Adderly. By 1983, he couldn't continue in the role due to partial paralysis of his face stemming from a stroke suffered in 1979. Stormin' Norman came to a sad premature end on October 12th, 1986 in Beaver Island, Michigan, when he slipped off a pier in his cowboy boots and couldn't pull himself out of the water. He was only 51 years old.