October 3, 1956 |
San Antonio, Texas
|Batted: Right||Threw: Right|
|September 25, 1979 for the San Francisco Giants|
|Last MLB appearance|
|June 20, 1987 for the Seattle Mariners|
|Runs batted in||133|
|Career highlights and awards|
Robert Henry Kearney (born October 3, 1956 in San Antonio, Texas), is an American former professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball as a catcher for the San Francisco Giants, Oakland Athletics, and Seattle Mariners from 1979 to 1987.
Major League career
Kearney was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the fourteenth round of the 1977 Major League Baseball Draft out of the University of Texas. He made his major league debut with the Giants late in the 1979 season, but returned to the minor leagues for the following season. Kearney was drafted by the Oakland Athletics from the Giants in the 1980 minor league draft. Kearney's strong throwing arm was made evident in a game against the Tacoma Indians in 1981 when, he threw out five baserunners attempting to steal second base. He was selected as the catcher for the 1981 Pacific Coast League Northern Division All-Star team.
Kearney began the 1982 season with the Athletics when regular catchers Mike Heath and Jeff Newman were sidelined by injuries but, would later be sent back to the minor leagues. In September, he was recalled to the major leagues after hitting for a .253 batting average in Tacoma. He shared catching duties with Heath in 1983, posting a .255 batting average with 8 home runs and 32 runs batted in. Kearney was named as the catcher for the 1983 Topps All-Star Rookie Team and was also named the Baseball Digest All-Star Rookie Catcher Of The Year.
Kearney was traded to the Seattle Mariners before the 1984 season, replacing Rick Sweet as their starting catcher. Despite his strong throwing arm, he developed a reputation for poor pitch-calling skills. During the 1984 season, Mariners pitchers Salomé Barojas and Mike Moore both demanded to have Orlando Mercado as their catcher. This lack of pitch-calling skills along with his light-hitting caused the Mariners to trade for veteran catcher Steve Yeager before the 1986 season. Yeager was expected to catch the majority of the Mariners' games however, he had a disappointing season and Kearney would eventually lead the team's catchers by appearing in 81 games. In 1987, he was displaced by Dave Valle as the Mariners' starting catcher and was released in July of that year after posting a .170 batting average in 51 games.
In an eight-year career, Kearney played in 479 games, accumulating 316 hits in 1356 at bats for a .233 career batting average along with 27 home runs and 133 runs batted in. He ended his career with a .987 fielding percentage. Kearney led American League catchers in 1984 with 823 putouts, and in 1985, he led the league in fielding percentage with a .995 average, committing only three errors in 108 games.
- "Bob Kearney at Baseball Reference". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 16 April 2011.
- "1977 Major League Baseball Draft". thebaseballcube.com. Retrieved 16 April 2011.
- "Bob Kearney Trades and Transactions". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved 16 April 2011.
- "Minor league hits a peak". Rome News-Tribune. 19 July 1981. p. 3. Retrieved 16 April 2011.
- "Tribe places Henderson on All-Stars". The Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. 11 September 1981. p. 36. Retrieved 16 April 2011.
- "A's Pitching Woes Continue". Herald-Journal. Associated Press. 4 June 1982. p. 3. Retrieved 16 April 2011.
- "Transactions". Observer-Reporter. 7 September 1982. p. 6. Retrieved 16 April 2011.
- "1983 Oakland Athletics season". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 16 April 2011.
- "Rookie team named". The Spokesman-Review. 19 November 1983. p. 19. Retrieved 16 April 2011.
- "Rookie Catchers Of The Year". The Encyclopedia of Baseball Catchers. Retrieved 16 April 2011.
- "1984 Seattle Mariners season". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 16 April 2011.
- "No Middle Ground". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 13 February 1986. p. 20. Retrieved 16 April 2011.
- "It was a great year for baseball oddities". The Day. 30 December 1984. p. 9. Retrieved 16 April 2011.
- "1986 Seattle Mariners season". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 16 April 2011.
- "1984 American League Fielding Leaders". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 16 April 2011.
- "1985 American League Fielding Leaders". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 16 April 2011.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference