Dante Bichette

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Dante Bichette
Right fielder / Left fielder
Born: (1963-11-18) November 18, 1963 (age 51)
West Palm Beach, Florida
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 5, 1988 for the California Angels
Last MLB appearance
October 6, 2001 for the Boston Red Sox
Career statistics
Batting average .299
Home runs 274
Runs batted in 1,141
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Alphonse Dante Bichette, Sr. (/ˈdɑːnt bɨˈʃɛt/; born November 18, 1963) is a former professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball as an outfielder for the California Angels (1988–1990), Milwaukee Brewers (1991–1992), Colorado Rockies (1993–1999), Cincinnati Reds (2000), and Boston Red Sox (2000–2001). He was also the hitting coach for the Rockies in 2013.

Bichette was a four-time All-Star as a member of the Rockies. He also won the Silver Slugger Award in 1995.

Career[edit]

Bichette attended Jupiter High School in Jupiter, Florida, and Palm Beach Community College. The California Angels drafted Bichette in the 17th round of the 1984 Major League Baseball Draft.

Bichette made his MLB debut with the Angels in 1988, but was a streaky hitter and was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in 1991. After putting up only average numbers with Milwaukee, he was traded to the new expansion team, the Colorado Rockies. On April 7, 1993 he hit the first home-run in Rockies history, a solo shot off of New York Mets pitcher Bret Saberhagen. Bichette was part of the "Blake Street Bombers" which also included sluggers Larry Walker, Andrés Galarraga, and Vinny Castilla. During his time in Colorado, his at-bat music was Sledgehammer by Peter Gabriel.

He finished the Rockies' first season with 21 home runs and a .310 batting average, his personal best for both at the time. Bichette also hit his first home run at the newly constructed Coors Field, a fourteenth-inning smash against the Mets that secured an opening day victory for the Rockies in 1995. Bichette had his best season in 1995, coming very close to the Triple Crown with a .340 batting average, 40 home runs and 128 RBIs and barely lost the MVP voting to the Cincinnati Reds' Barry Larkin.

Bichette began having knee problems in 1996, but was still successful as a hitter, with a .316 average, 31 home runs and 141 RBIs, plus 31 stolen bases. The 1996 season was only the second time ever that two players on the same team hit at least 30 home runs and collected 30 stolen bases, as Ellis Burks accomplished the same feat. Over the next three seasons, Bichette hit 26, 22 and 34 home runs for the Rockies. He remains in the top ten in many offensive categories for the Rockies.[1] But by the end of the 1999 season, his production was beginning to drop and the Rockies dealt Bichette to the Cincinnati Reds. However, his fielding was suffering tremendously and Bichette was eventually traded to the Boston Red Sox[2] for a season and a half and then the Los Angeles Dodgers. Bichette retired before ever playing a game with the Dodgers on March 22, 2002.

In August 2004, Bichette rejoined professional baseball as a pitcher and first baseman for the Atlantic League's Nashua Pride. Bichette won the Atlantic League's Player of the Month award for August (his first full month back). He completed the month with a .361 average and 13 homers. On August 28, he batted 4-for-5 with two home runs and eight RBIs.

On November 13, 2012, Bichette was hired to be the Colorado Rockies hitting coach, replacing Carney Lansford.[3] He announced on September 24, 2013 that he would not return for the 2014 season.[4]

Personal[edit]

In August 2005, Bichette's son Dante Bichette, Jr. participated in the Little League World Series with his Maitland, Florida team. The Maitland team featured a second son of a former major-leaguer is Tanner Stanley who currently plays for University of Richmond, son of Mike Stanley. In 2011, Bichette, Jr., was drafted 51st overall in Comp Round A by the New York Yankees, who are managed by Bichette, Sr.'s close friend Joe Girardi.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Jeff Conine
Mike Piazza
Jeff Bagwell
National League Player of the Month
July 1995
September 1995
June 1996
Succeeded by
Mike Piazza
Barry Bonds
Sammy Sosa
Preceded by
Jeff Bagwell
National League Slugging Percentage Champion
1995
Succeeded by
Ellis Burks