Clint Hurdle

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Clint Hurdle
Clint Hurdle.jpg
Hurdle with the Pittsburgh Pirates
Pittsburgh Pirates – No. 13
Outfielder / Manager
Born: (1957-07-30) July 30, 1957 (age 57)
Big Rapids, Michigan
Batted: Left Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 18, 1977 for the Kansas City Royals
Last MLB appearance
June 26, 1987 for the New York Mets
Career statistics
(through April 9, 2014)
Batting average .259
Home runs 32
Runs batted in 193
Games managed 1,653
Win–loss record 784–869
Winning % .474
Teams

As player

As manager

Career highlights and awards

Clinton Merrick Hurdle (born July 30, 1957) is a former Major League Baseball outfielder and current manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Hurdle's 10-year career was spent with the Kansas City Royals, Cincinnati Reds, New York Mets, and St. Louis Cardinals. After retiring from playing baseball, Hurdle became a manager. His eight seasons with the Colorado Rockies included leading his 2007 club to the franchise's first National League pennant. On November 14, 2010, Hurdle was hired as the manager of the Pirates, leading them to their first winning season since 1992 in 2013.

Personal life[edit]

Clint Hurdle is named for his father, Clinton, who played collegiate baseball for Ferris State University. When Hurdle was four years old, the family moved from Michigan to Florida so his father could take a job at the Kennedy Space Center.[1] Hurdle is a 1975 graduate of Merritt Island High School in Merritt Island, Florida.[2]

Hurdle is married to third wife Karla and has three children; daughter Madison (who was born in 2002 and has Prader-Willi Syndrome), son Christian (who was born in 2004), and daughter Ashley (who was born in 1985 and is from a previous marriage).[3] Hurdle is a recovering alcoholic and is afflicted with a permanently reddened complexion due to his struggles with alcohol during his playing days.[4]

Playing career[edit]

Hurdle as a player with the Cardinals

After being selected by the Kansas City Royals with the 9th pick of the first round in the 1975 amateur draft, Hurdle played for the Royals from 1977 to 1981, but never achieved the level of play suggested by his high draft position. Playing regularly only in 1978 and 1980, he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds in December 1981, and after spending 1982 with the Reds, went on waivers to join the New York Mets (1983, 1985) and St. Louis Cardinals (1986) before ending his career with the Mets in 1987. Hurdle had been featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1978 as that year's "phenom." Throughout his career, he also played first base, third base, catcher and designated hitter.

Hurdle also played in the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League during three different seasons. In his first season, 1977–78, he led the league in home runs (18) while batting .305 with 52 RBIs. He played again in 1979 and 1983. In all three times he led the league in walks while playing for the local team Tiburones de La Guaira[5][6]

Managerial career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Hurdle with the Rockies.

Hurdle began his managerial career the next year, 1988, when he was named Manager of the St. Lucie Mets, a Class "A" team. He also served as Manager for the AA Jackson Mets (1990), AA Williamsport Bills (1991), and the AAA Tidewater/Norfolk Tides (1992–1993).

Colorado Rockies[edit]

In 1994 he joined the Colorado Rockies organization as the minor league hitting instructor, serving in that capacity until he was named the Rockies hitting coach in 1997. Hurdle was promoted to Manager in 2002 following the early-season firing of Buddy Bell. On April 2, 2006, he was given a two-year contract extension.[7] In 2007, Hurdle managed Colorado to their second best finish in the team's 15-year history (only topped by the 2009 season) by winning 13 out of the last 14 games in order to force a tie-breaker game with the San Diego Padres to determine the winner of the National League Wild Card. Colorado defeated San Diego, reaching the playoffs for only the second time in Rockies history. Hurdle's Rockies then beat the Philadelphia Phillies in the Division Series, sweeping them in three games to force a match-up with their rival Arizona Diamondbacks in the NLCS. The Rockies continued their improbable streak by sweeping Arizona in four games to win the first pennant in team history and reach the 2007 World Series.[8]

In the World Series, Colorado faced the Boston Red Sox. But the winning ways came to an end, and the Rockies were swept in four games. Injuries to several regulars caused the Rockies to fade in 2008, and after a poor start in 2009, Hurdle was fired on May 29. Although Hurdle was offered a "significant role" within the Rockies organization, he decided to join the MLB Network as a studio analyst for the remainder of 2009.[9] He finished with a record of 534–625 win–loss record.[10]

Texas Rangers and Pittsburgh Pirates[edit]

On November 4, 2009, he was hired as the hitting coach for the Texas Rangers.[11] In 2010, Hurdle helped the Rangers to their first American League pennant in franchise history before losing to the San Francisco Giants in the 2010 World Series.

After interviewing with both the Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Mets for their vacant managerial positions, Hurdle was hired by the Pirates on November 14, 2010.[12] Hurdle then agreed to a 3-year contract, keeping him with the team through the 2013 season.[13]

At the 2011 All-Star break, Hurdle had led the Pirates to a 47–43 record, one game out of first place in the NL Central. It was the first time the Pirates had been over .500 going into the All-Star break since winning the 1992 National League East. At the 2012 All-Star break, Hurdle had led the Pirates to a 48–37 record, leading the NL Central division by 1 game over the Cincinnati Reds. However, both seasons ended with collapses that led to the Pirates 19th and 20th straight losing seasons. In late 2013, the Pirates led the National League Central, with the best record in the major leagues, again aiming to snap the franchise's long losing streak. On September 9, 2013 with a 1-0 win over the Texas Rangers Clint Hurdle's Pittsburgh Pirates attained win number 82. On September 23, 2013 with a 2-1 win over the Chicago Cubs and a win by the St. Louis Cardinals over the Washington Nationals, the Pittsburgh Pirates secured their first playoff berth since 1992 as well as their 90th win. Hurdle won the National League Sporting News Manager of the Year Award in 2013.

Managerial record[edit]

As of December 17, 2014
Team From To Regular season record Post–season record
W L Win % W L Win %
Colorado Rockies 2002 2009 534 625 .461 7 4 .636
Pittsburgh Pirates 2011 Present 333 315 .514 3 4 .429
Total 867 940 .480 10 8 .556
Reference: [10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Arangue, Jorge (2007-10-23). "From rocky past to Rockies success". Retrieved 2007-10-24. 
  2. ^ http://www.baseball-reference.com/managers/hurdlcl01.shtml
  3. ^ Michaelis, Vicki (2007-09-12). "Clint Hurdle balances family concerns with baseball". USA Today. Retrieved 2007-10-20. 
  4. ^ Svrluga, Barry (2007-10-23). "Hurdle Manages to Find Way Through Difficulties". Washington Post. Retrieved 2012-07-17. 
  5. ^ "SI Flashback: This Year's Phenom". CNN. October 23, 2007. Retrieved April 30, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Francona y Hurdle son producto del Caribe". 
  7. ^ Harding, Thomas (2007-04-07). "O'Dowd, Hurdle extended for two years". USA Today. Retrieved 2007-04-19. 
  8. ^ http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Clint_Hurdle
  9. ^ The Ride Home with Dave and Lois, 850KOA radio, 5/29/09
  10. ^ a b "Clint Hurdle". Baseball Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved December 17, 2014. 
  11. ^ http://texas.rangers.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20091105&content_id=7627214&vkey=news_tex&fext=.jsp&c_id=tex
  12. ^ http://rangersblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2010/11/clint-hurdle-will-interview-fo.html
  13. ^ http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20101114&content_id=16098136&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
first manager
St. Lucie Mets Manager
1988-1989
Succeeded by
Tim Blackwell
Preceded by
Steve Swisher
Jackson Mets Manager
1990
Succeeded by
last manager
Preceded by
first manager
Williamsport Bills Manager
1991
Succeeded by
last manager
Preceded by
Steve Swisher
Tidewater Tides Manager
1992-1993
Succeeded by
Bobby Valentine
Preceded by
Ken Griffey Sr.
Colorado Rockies Hitting Coach
1997-2002
Succeeded by
Alan Cockrell
Preceded by
Rudy Jaramillo
Texas Rangers Hitting Coach
2010
Succeeded by
Thad Bosley