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Clutch homer offers reminder of Hafner's heyday

The SportsXchange

Travis Hafner likely will play his last game in a Cleveland Indians uniform Wednesday night.

On Tuesday night, Hafner hit what might be his last home run for Cleveland, making him one of the heroes in the Indians' 4-3, 12-inning win over the Chicago White Sox.

With the Indians trailing 3-1 in the bottom of the ninth inning, Hafner, entering the game as a pinch hitter, hit a game-tying two-run homer. It was the 201st home run of his career, his 200th with the Indians.

Hafner ranks eighth on the club's career home run list. He is also in the team's top 10 for slugging percentage. Hafner is the senior member of the Indians in terms of service, as he is completing his 10th year with the team.

He would be much higher on many of the team's career lists, but he's spent most of his last five years battling injuries. His last full productive season was 2007, when he belted 24 home runs and had 100 RBI. That was the final year in a four-year run when he was one of the most feared sluggers in the American League.

In those four years, Hafner hit .296 and averaged 32 home runs and 108 RBI. That earned him a four-year, $57 million contract extension, but unfortunately for Hafner and the Indians, his health issues have prevented him from matching his earlier production.

The Indians hold a $13 million club option on his contract for next year, but the team is expected to pay the $2.75 million buyout on the option, which will end Hafner's career in Cleveland.
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