Mike Hessman

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Mike Hessman
Mike Hessman on October 3, 2010.jpg
Hessman with the New York Mets in 2010
Detroit Tigers
Third baseman
Born: (1978-03-05) March 5, 1978 (age 36)
Fountain Valley, California
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
August 22, 2003 for the Atlanta Braves
Career statistics
(through 2010)
Batting average .188
Home runs 14
Runs batted in 33
Teams
Olympic medal record
Competitor for  United States
Men's baseball
Bronze 2008 Beijing Team

Michael Steven Hessman (born March 5, 1978) is an American professional baseball first baseman with the Detroit Tigers organization. He is the active leader in career minor league home runs with 404 through June 30, 2014,[1] and holds the all-time record for International League home runs, when he hit his 259th on June 30, 2014, breaking Ollie Carnegie's record set in 1945.[2]

Career[edit]

Hessman was originally drafted out of Mater Dei High School in the 15th round (452nd overall) by the Atlanta Braves in the 1996 Major League Baseball Draft.[3]

Hessman spent eight years in the Braves organization before making his major league debut on August 22, 2003. He had his first double off of Indians pitcher Mike Baker of Howland, Ohio. His first major league hit was a pinch-hit home run on August 26, 2003, off New York Mets pitcher Mike Stanton.[4]

He signed a minor league contract with the Detroit Tigers on January 7, 2005. He played for the Tigers' Triple-A team, the Toledo Mud Hens for the whole season. He hit 28 home runs, and helped the Mud Hens win the Governors' Cup, the trophy awarded to the International League champion.

In 2006, Hessman would again spend the whole season with the Mud Hens, hitting 24 home runs, one every 14.38 at-bats, but only batting .165 for the season, as the Mud Hens won the second of their back-to-back International League championships.

In 2007, Hessman began the year for the Mud Hens again, and on June 1 hit his 68th home run as a Mud Hen, becoming Toledo's all time home run leader, passing Erve Beck. Hessman had his contract purchased by the Tigers on July 23, marking the first time he had been on a Major League roster since 2004. He had already hit 27 home runs for the Mud Hens, one every 13.19 at-bats. He had led the International League in home runs at the time of his call-up.[citation needed]

Hessman led the International League in both home runs (31) and RBIs (110), and on August 28, 2007, was named the 2007 International League's Most Valuable Player, the first Mud Hen to receive the award since 1996.[5]

Hessman was a member of the Tigers organization again in 2008, and spent the beginning of the season in Toledo. On July 16, 2008, Hessman was named to the United States national baseball team for the 2008 Summer Olympics.[6] Hessman still ended up hitting 34 home runs for the Hens despite missing a month for the Olympics. Hessman was called up by Detroit on September 2, and played in 12 games for the Tigers, hitting .296 with 5 home runs. On September 4, 2009, Hessman played all nine positions while with the Toledo Mud Hens. He started at catcher and ended as the pitcher, blowing a save and picking up a loss. In October 2009, Hessman became a free agent.

On December 8, 2009, Hessman signed a minor league deal with the New York Mets.[7] The Mets assigned Hessman to the AAA Buffalo Bisons.

On July 26, 2010, he was called up to replace Rod Barajas, who strained his right oblique. He spent the remainder of the season with the Mets, but played in only 32 games.

On November 10, 2010, Hessman and Omir Santos refused their minor league assignment and then became free agents.[8] Hessman would later sign with the Orix Buffaloes for the 2011 season.

In late November 2012 the Reds signed Hessman to a minor league deal. He was assigned to the Louisville Bats by the Reds, on April 1, 2013. On December 2, 2013, the Detroit Tigers signed Hessman to a minor league deal. On June 30, 2014, playing for the Toledo Mud Hens, Hessman hit his 259th International League home run, setting the career record for that league.[9]

References[edit]

External links[edit]