David Gene Parker (born June 9, 1951), nicknamed "The Cobra", is an American former player in Major League Baseball. He was the 1978 National League MVP and a two-time batting champion. Parker was the first professional athlete to earn an average of one million dollars per year, having signed a five-year, $5 million contract in January 1979. Parker's career achievements include 2712 hits, 339 home runs, 1493 runs batted in and a lifetime batting average of .290. Parker was also known as a solid defensive outfielder during the first half of his career, with a powerful arm, winning three consecutive Gold Gloves during his prime. From 1975 to 1979, he threw out 72 runners, including 26 in 1977.
He was a baseball All-Star in 1977, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1985, 1986, and 1990. In the 1979 All-Star Game, Parker showcased his defensive ability and powerful arm by throwing out Jim Rice at third base and Angels catcher Brian Downing at home. Parker also contributed an RBI on a sacrifice fly and was named the game's MVP.
In 1985, Parker was the winner of the League's first-ever Home Run Derby.
Right fielder / Designated hitterBorn: June 9, 1951 (age 67)
Grenada, MississippiBatted: LeftThrew: RightMLB debutJuly 12, 1973, for the Pittsburgh PiratesLast MLB appearanceOctober 2, 1991, for the Toronto Blue JaysMLB statisticsBatting average.290Hits2,712Home runs339Runs batted in1,493Teams
Career highlights and awards