is a Cincinnati native who played at Western Hills and was drafted by Houston in 1986 (third round). He was a speedy, walk-drawing CF-type coming up through the minors, but struggled to hit during several early-nineties callups with the Astros and was released in April 1993. Catching on with the Cubs (after signing with the Royals, going back to the minors and then getting traded to Chicago in the now-legendary three-team deal that sent Paul Assenmacher to the Yankees and John Habyan to KC- I'm sure everyone remembers that one), Rhodes hit well at the end of the year and had his famous 3 HR game on Opening Day 1994 (off Dwight Gooden and the Mets as others have said). That year was also his only full major-league season (he hit just .234/.318/.387). After washing out of the Chicago organization the following year, then Boston, he signed with the Kintetsu Buffaloes of the Japanese Pacific League for the 1996 season.
He played eight brilliant seasons with Kintetsu, then moved to the Yomiuri Giants for 2004. From 2001-2004, Rhodes hit 55, 46, 51, and 45 homers. In 2005 he struggled with injuries, dropping to 101 games played and a .240 average.
I think his nickname has to do with his small stature (5-11, 170#) relative to the considerable power he generated once he hit his mid-twenties (in fact, he went from the Willy Taveras slugging model to 33 homers between AAA and the bigs in 1993), similar to what happened with Kirby Puckett.