|Houston Astros – No. 8|
|Center fielder / Third base coach|
|Born: April 3, 1958|
|September 13, 1982, for the California Angels|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 10, 1992, for the Detroit Tigers|
|Runs batted in||259|
|Career highlights and awards|
Gary George Pettis (born April 3, 1958) is an American former professional baseball center fielder and current coach. He is the third base coach with the Houston Astros. Prior to coaching, he played in Major League Baseball for 11 seasons, and won the Gold Glove Award five times.
Pettis was selected in the 6th round of the 1979 draft by the Angels, and played minor league baseball for the Salinas Spurs of the class "A" California League in 1980, then the Holyoke Millers of the double "A" Eastern League in 1981. In 1982, Pettis was promoted to the California Angels, where he played the first six seasons of his career.
After the 1987 season, Pettis went on to play two seasons with the Detroit Tigers, 1988 through the following season of 1989. After two years with Detroit, Pettis joined the Texas Rangers for two seasons, 1990–91. Pettis finished his career in the major leagues in 1992. The 1992 season saw Pettis play for two teams. After leaving the Texas Rangers, Pettis joined the San Diego Padres for the 1992 season but ended that season back in Detroit with the Tigers.
During his career, Pettis consistently hit for low averages and was known for striking out often, but he performed extremely well on defense, earning five Gold Glove Awards. He was noted for making many spectacular leaping or diving catches, depriving hitters of home runs or base hits, and was known in baseball circles as "The man who made center field look easy". Additionally, he was a prolific base runner and had five seasons where he stole over 40 bases. Pettis held the Angels' club record for stolen bases for nearly 20 years, until it was broken by Chone Figgins on July 15, 2007. Pettis was tagged as "Pac Man" Pettis by a local radio station listener call-in contest in 1986, referring to his unusual speed in the outfield and ability to chase down opponents' hits.
His nephew, Austin Pettis, is a former wide receiver for the St. Louis Rams and San Diego Chargers. Pettis has four children, Paige, Kyler, Shaye, and Dante. Dante plays wide receiver for the Chicago Bears and set the NCAA record for most career punt return touchdowns while at the University of Washington. Kyler is an actor who appeared on the NBC daytime drama Days of Our Lives. Brother Stacey Pettis was drafted #94 4th round 1981 by Pittsburgh Pirates. Played in the Pirates system (1981-1984) and Angels (1985-1986). Stacey has been scouting for the past 20 yrs. Seattle Mariners (2001-2016), St Louis Cardinals (2018–present).
- Clair, Michael; McTaggart, Brian (August 11, 2018). "The strange, yet true story of how Gary Pettis' brother wound up on his 1985 Topps baseball card". MLB.com. Retrieved April 21, 2021.
- Albano, Dan (December 6, 2006). "Pettis has knack for highlights". ocvarsity.com. Archived from the original on August 10, 2011. Retrieved April 21, 2021.
- Bonagura, Kyle (November 4, 2017). "Dante Pettis sets NCAA record with 9th career punt return TD". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on November 5, 2017. Retrieved April 22, 2021.
- Waldo, Garren (October 16, 2020). "Former DAYS Star Kyler Pettis Celebrates His Birthday". Soap Hub. Archived from the original on November 16, 2019. Retrieved April 22, 2021.