Scott Hatteberg

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Scott Hatteberg
First baseman / Catcher
Born: (1969-12-14) December 14, 1969 (age 45)
Salem, Oregon
Batted: Left Threw: Right
MLB debut
August 8, 1995 for the Boston Red Sox
Last MLB appearance
May 25, 2008 for the Cincinnati Reds
Career statistics
Batting average .273
Home runs 106
Runs batted in 527
Teams

Scott Allen Hatteberg (born December 14, 1969) is a former American Major League Baseball (MLB) first baseman and catcher. During his MLB career, spanning from 1995 through 2008, he played for the Boston Red Sox, Oakland Athletics, and Cincinnati Reds. Before turning professional, Hatteberg attended Washington State University, where he played college baseball for the Cougars.[1]

Early life[edit]

Hatteberg was born in Salem, Oregon. He played Little League in his native Salem, Oregon and Canby, Oregon, and Pony League and American Legion baseball in Yakima, Washington. Hatteberg graduated from Eisenhower High School in Yakima in 1988. He was MVP of the baseball and basketball teams and also lettered in football. He was team captain his senior year and hit .570 with seven home runs.

College career[edit]

He attended Washington State University from 1989 through 1991 for the Washington State Cougars baseball team in the Pacific-10 Conference. The Cougars won the Pac-10 North all three years. He was captain and MVP in 1991 and as a catcher he formed a battery with future major league pitcher Aaron Sele. Hatteberg played collegiate summer baseball in the Alaska Baseball League in 1989 and 1990. At Washington State, he was a member of the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity.[2]

International career[edit]

He was a member of the United States national baseball team at the 1990 Goodwill Games.[2] He hit a home run in a game against the Mexican national baseball team. He hit .292/.346/.417 for Team USA in the 1990 Baseball World Cup.

Professional career[edit]

Boston Red Sox[edit]

He was the third player selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 1991 June draft, a sandwich pick between the first and second rounds as compensation from Kansas City Royals for the signing of Type A free agent Mike Boddicker.[3]

Hatteberg debuted with the Red Sox in 1995. In parts of seven seasons from 1995 through 2001, he hit 34 home runs and batted .267. On August 6, 2001, against the Texas Rangers, he became the only player in MLB history to hit into a triple play and hit a grand slam in his next at-bat. The bat he used for that game is now in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

In Hatteberg's last season with the Red Sox, he ruptured a nerve in his elbow. After surgery, he was forced to relearn how to throw and hold a baseball, endangering his career as a catcher.[4] On December 19 he was traded to the Colorado Rockies in exchange for Pokey Reese. Two days later, Colorado declined to offer Hatteberg arbitration and he became a free agent.[5]

Oakland Athletics[edit]

The Oakland Athletics signed Hatteberg to play for Oakland under a one-year contract with a $950,000 base salary plus incentives, the day after he was released by the Rockies. Because he had difficulty throwing, he was asked to play first base.[4][5]

Hatteberg's conversion from catcher to first baseman by the Athletics is the subject of a chapter in the Michael Lewis book Moneyball. In that chapter, Oakland General Manager Billy Beane openly admitted how the team had pursued Hatteberg because of his high on-base percentage, which, Athletics' management had determined, was most often correlated with runs scored. According to Beane, it was one of the most affordable skills at that time for small-market clubs like the A's. Infield coach Ron Washington worked with Hatteberg to teach him the new position. A fictionalized version of Hatteberg (played by Chris Pratt) is a key character in the 2011 film Moneyball.

A career highlight for Hatteberg was as a member of the Oakland A's on September 4, 2002. With an historic 19-game winning streak on the line and the game against the Kansas City Royals tied at 11 after the A's had blown an 11-0 lead, he pinch-hit with one out and the bases empty and drove a 1-0 pitch well over the right center field wall off Jason Grimsley for a walk-off home run to give the A's a 12-11 win and an American League record 20-game winning streak (the overall record, without ties, is 21 games, held by the 1935 Chicago Cubs; the 1916 New York Giants had won 26 straight games with an interspersed tie for a record 27-game unbeaten streak). This moment is depicted in the Moneyball film.

As an everyday player Hatteberg helped the Athletics reach the playoffs twice, in 2002 and 2003. He hit 49 home runs and batted .269 from 2002 through 2005.

Cincinnati Reds[edit]

On February 12, 2006, the Cincinnati Reds signed Hatteberg to a one-year, $750,000 contract. He was originally expected to give them flexibility at first base, backing up Adam Dunn. When the Reds traded Wily Mo Peña to the Red Sox, Dunn moved back to the outfield and Hatteberg was to play at first base, improving the Reds' defense.[6]

On August 8, 2006, he recorded his 1,000th career hit against Jason Marquis of the St. Louis Cardinals at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. He went 3-for-5 in this game, increasing his batting average to .323.[7]

On May 27, 2008, he was designated for assignment by the Reds to make room on the roster for top prospect Jay Bruce.[8] During the first weeks of the 2008 season, he was relegated to pinch-hitting while rookie Joey Votto replaced him at first base.[8] Pinch-hitting was relatively new to Hatteberg, who admitted that it was a role he was not particularly comfortable in even though he had hit his historic September 4, 2002 20-game winning-streak clinching walk-off homer for Oakland as a pinch-hitter. On June 4, 2008, the Reds released him to make room for Jay Bruce.[9]

Since retiring[edit]

Hatteberg currently serves as a Special Assistant to Baseball Operations for the Oakland Athletics.[10] In the 2012 and 2013 seasons, Hatteberg substituted for Ray Fosse as the Oakland A's color commentator on TV broadcasts for a number of games.[11]

Personal life[edit]

He and his wife Elizabeth, nicknamed "Bitsy", have three children, Lauren, Sophia, and Ella.[12][13] He is a self-taught guitar player and avid fly fisherman.[14][15]

Sources[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Washington State University Baseball Players Who Made It to the Major Leagues". Baseball-Almanac.com. Archived from the original on 16 December 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "On The Move". Sickle Sheaf Magazine. Archived from the original on 25 June 2013. Retrieved 25 June 2013.  Alpha Gamma Rho seasonal magazine.
  3. ^ "1st Round of the 1991 MLB June Amateur Draft". Baseball-Reference.com. Archived from the original on 23 June 2013. Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "'Moneyball': Tracking Down How Statsx Win Games". NPR.com. Archived from the original on 25 June 2013. Retrieved 25 June 2013.  NPR Interview with Moneyball author, Michael Lewis.
  5. ^ a b "John Blachette: Right on the Money". TheSpokesmanReview.com. Archived from the original on 23 June 2013. Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  6. ^ Associated Press (2013-06-29). "BoSox send Arroyo and cash to Reds for Pena". ESPN.com. ESPN. Retrieved 29 June 2013. 
  7. ^ "Cincinnati 10, St. Louis 3". Post-Gazette.com. Archived from the original on 23 June 2013. Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  8. ^ a b "Reds designate Hatteberg for assignment". MLB.com. Archived from the original on 23 June 2013. Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  9. ^ "Scott Hatteberg". Rotoworld.com. Archived from the original on 23 June 2013. Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  10. ^ "A's Front Office". OaklandAthletics.com. MLB.com. Retrieved 25 June 2013. 
  11. ^ Slusser, Susan (7 June 2012). "Some A's telecasts to feature Scott Hatteberg". SFGate.com. Hearst Communications Inc. Retrieved 25 June 2013. 
  12. ^ Baldwin, Michael. "'Moneyball' Q&A With Scott Hatteberg". Patch.com. Archived from the original on 25 June 2013. Retrieved 25 June 2013. 
  13. ^ "Scott Hatteberg's Wife Elizabeth 'Bitsy' Hatteberg". PlayerWives.com. 25 September 2011. Retrieved 25 June 2013. 
  14. ^ Trucks, Rob (23 June 2004). "Pickin' Machine". EastBayExpress.com. Archived from the original on 25 June 2013. Retrieved 25 June 2013. 
  15. ^ Urban, Mychael (11 September 2002). "Batting Around with Scott Hatteberg". MLB.com. Archived from the original on 25 June 2013. Retrieved 25 June 2013. 

External links[edit]