Born: Feb. 24, 1945 in the United States
Drafted: 2nd round, 31st overall, by Honolulu in the 1973 MBBA Dispersal Draft
All-Star selections: 1976, 1978, 1979, 1980
Landis Memorial Series title: 1973
Consistency, thy name is Marquis Futon.
From the MBBA's first year of 1973 to 1981, his next-to-last full season, Futon posted win share marks of 19.7 to 27.7 (his "rookie" campaign). His lowest batting average during that time was .289, with most years being well above the .300 line.
Though Futon never again reached the heights of the league's inaugural year in terms of win shares, he did three seasons with an OPS above his rookie mark of .913 (.925 in 1974, .959 in 1977 and .933 in 1978).
What may be the most remarkable fact of Futon's success and consistency is how often he changed teams. After starting his career in Honolulu, he spent four and a half seasons on the islands before being traded to Phoenix straight up for Steve Sakis in what may be the most lopsided trade in MBBA history.
I can't say that the trade was the most one-sided of all time for two reaons: I haven't been around all that long and, more importantly, Futon played just 82 games in Arizona. He signed with Salt Lake City before the 1978 season for $9.5 million for one year, hitting .340/.388/.545 with 20 homers, 80 RBI, 88 runs and 24 win shares.
Futon parlayed that season into a one-year, $20 million deal from SLC the next season. Salt Lake tired of paying him, though, and shipped him to Vancouver at the deadline. Futon hit .290/.353/.490 with the Mounties, but he left via free agency once again.
He signed a two-year contract with Las Vegas for just over $30 million total in the offseason, but spent just half a year in Sin City before being traded back to Phoenix (along with Thundercrotch) for four players. Despite all the moving, Futon finished the season at .321/.368/.500 with 35 doubles, 19 homers, 94 RBI, 102 runs, 99.8 XR and 20 win shares at the age of 35.
Futon had one more good year left in him (.314/.368/.519, 96.2 XR, 19.7 WS in 1981) before Vancouver decided to try him one more time in a Mounties uniform. The second time was worse than the first, though, with Futon hitting just .274/.331/.400 as his ratings began to dwindle.
With one final chance, Futon spent the first part of the 1983 season with Buffalo, but played so poorly he ended the year in Triple-A before retiring. Despite the poor finish, Futon played at such a high level during the prime of his career that his place in the Hall of Fame can't be questioned.
Plaque written by Levi Chronister
Herein You Find the Inducted