Mickey Hatcher

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Mickey Hatcher
Mickey Hatcher 2011.jpg
Hatcher in 2011.
Outfielder / First Baseman / Third Baseman
Born: (1955-03-15) March 15, 1955 (age 59)
Cleveland, Ohio
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
August 3, 1979 for the Los Angeles Dodgers
Last MLB appearance
October 3, 1990 for the Los Angeles Dodgers
Career statistics
Batting Average .280
Hits 946
RBI 375
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Michael Vaughn Hatcher (born March 15, 1955) is a former Major League Baseball player and coach. Most notably, he was Kirk Gibson's replacement for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1988 World Series, batting .368 (7/19) with two home runs and five RBI.

Early life[edit]

Hatcher was born in Cleveland, Ohio and is a graduate of Mesa High School in Mesa, Arizona.[1]

Playing career[edit]

After playing high school baseball for Mesa High School, Hatcher attended the University of Oklahoma, where he played both football and baseball. He was drafted twice (in 1974 in the 12th round by the Houston Astros and in 1976 in the 2nd round by the New York Mets) before signing with the Dodgers in 1977 (after being selected in the 5th round of the June draft).[2] After signing, Hatcher was assigned as an outfielder to the Clinton Dodgers in the Class A Midwest League.[3] The following season, Hatcher spent time playing for both San Antonio in the Class AA Texas League and AAA Albuquerque. Both stops would see him split time between the outfield and thirdbase - pre-saging his major league career in which he would see time not only at all three outfield positions, but also first and thirdbase. After hitting .371 with 10 home runs, 93 RBI, and 88 runs for Albuquerque, Hatcher made his major league debut on August 3, 1979 subbing in for Ron Cey at 3B.[4] Hatcher was credited with an RBI after taking a bases-loaded walk in the 7th inning. Hatcher would hit .269 in 33 games for the Dodgers in 1979. Hatcher would start the 1980 season knocking around AAA pitching (hitting .359 in 43 games) before again being called up to the parent club. Hatcher would only hit .226 for the Dodgers and despite averaging well over .350 in the minors, his major league stats to date were 2 HR, 10 RBI, 13 runs, and a .249 batting average in 179 plate appearances. On March 30, 1981, the Dodgers traded Hatcher and two minor leaguers to the Minnesota Twins for veteran outfielder Ken Landreaux

He played with the Twins from 1981 to 1986, hitting .284 in 672 games and then returned to the Dodgers as a free agent on April 10, 1987.

He is admired for his fun-loving approach to playing baseball, particularly on the World Champion 1988 Dodger team, and was featured in various presentations to the tune of the "Mickey Mouse Club" song. He would sprint to first base after drawing walks, like Pete Rose, and garnered a lot of media attention in the 1988 World Series by hitting a first-inning home run in Game 1 and sprinting full-speed around the bases instead of jogging. This prompted NBC broadcaster Joe Garagiola to say "He's the cover of The Saturday Evening Post!" and "He's running like he's afraid they're going to take it off the board!" Hatcher had only hit one home run in that 1988 season, but hit two in the World Series.

Hatcher was famously portrayed on 1986 Fleer and 1991 Upper Deck baseball cards with his "giant glove".[5]

He remained with the Dodgers through 1991, spending his last season back in AAA, before retiring.

Coaching career[edit]

Following his playing days, Hatcher was a coach for the Texas Rangers in 1993 and 1994, the manager of the Rookie League Great Falls Dodgers in 1996 and 1997 and began 1998 as the manager of the Single-A San Bernardino Stampede before becoming the hitting coach for the Dodgers in mid-season. In 2000, he became the hitting coach for the Los Angeles Angels, under manager Mike Scioscia, Hatcher's teammate from the 1988 World Championship team. He was fired by the Angels on May 15, 2012, after the team started the season 16-21, but was hired in June by the Dodgers as a special assistant to the General Manager.[6] Hatcher's position was not renewed in 2013.[7]

References[edit]

External links[edit]