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He earned All-Big Ten honors as an outfielder in 2002, after batting .348 with 10 home runs and 52 RBI.
Swisher was selected by the Oakland Athletics with the Boston Red Sox first round pick in 2002 as compensation for the loss of free agent Johnny Damon.
Swisher, and the Athletics' 2002 draft, are heavily featured in Michael Lewis' 2003 book Moneyball.
In a book whose key theme is the gulf between orthodox baseball thinking and the new sabermetric influenced system being implemented by Billy Beane, Swisher was notable as one of the few examples of a player who traditional scouts and Beane could agree upon.
Swisher was a two-sport star at Parkersburg High School in football and baseball as well as a letterman in basketball.
As a strong safety he was recruited by several Division I-A football programs, including University of Notre Dame, but chose to pursue baseball.
During the season, Swisher wrote a column for about his various baseball experiences called Sophomore Year.
This included multiple articles that pertained to his early MLB playing experiences, as well as the MLB Draft of 2002.
A power hitter with excellent plate discipline, Swisher hit at least 20 home runs in each of nine consecutive seasons from 2005 to 2013 and reached 75 bases on balls on seven occasions in that span.
While Swisher quickly established himself as a fan favorite on his new team he struggled offensively, batting just .219 through the season (the lowest batting average in the majors), though he improved his home run total from 22 in 2007 to 24 in 2008.
Because of his poor offensive play White Sox manager Ozzie Guillén benched Swisher for most of September, saying publicly that "I have to put the best lineup out there to win the game ...
After spending one year with the White Sox in 2008, the Yankees acquired him prior to the start of the 2009 campaign.
He played in New York for four years before signing with the Cleveland Indians prior to the 2013 season.