August 3, 1962 |
Fort Gaines, Georgia
|July 17, 1987, for the San Francisco Giants|
|Last MLB appearance|
|May 15, 1995, for the Pittsburgh Pirates|
|Runs batted in||156|
Mack Daniel Sasser (born August 3, 1962) is a former professional baseball catcher, who played from 1987 to 1995 for the New York Mets, the San Francisco Giants, the Pittsburgh Pirates, and Seattle Mariners.
Sasser is known for the difficulty he regularly encountered in "double clutching" balls to the pitcher that had been thrown to him, although he performed competently as a catcher otherwise. He appeared in 534 games in his career, getting 317 hits with sixteen home runs, 156 RBI and a career .267 batting average.
Born in Fort Gaines, Georgia, Sasser played college baseball at Wallace Community College - Dothan and was drafted in the fifth round of the 1984 Major League Baseball Draft by the San Francisco Giants. He debuted in the Major Leagues with the Giants on July 17, 1987, appearing in two games before being traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates with cash for pitcher Don Robinson, where he played 12 games during the remainder of the 1987 season.
On March 26, 1988, Sasser was traded to the New York Mets with pitcher Tim Drummond for former Mets prospect first baseman, Randy Milligan and a minor league player. With the Mets he was used as a backup for future Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter for two seasons before playing 100 games in the 1990 season. That year he had 83 hits and a .307 batting average. After a serious collision with Jim Presley of the Atlanta Braves at home plate, Sasser began to hesitate and repeat his motion when returning the ball to the pitcher, a normally routine activity (he did not have this problem when throwing to second base on an attempted stolen base). In 1991, he played 96 games for a .272 batting average and in 1992 he went back to a backup role where he played in 92 games for only 141 at-bats and a .241 batting average.
Sasser was granted free agent status after the 1992 season when he signed a two year contract with the Seattle Mariners. He appeared in 83 games as a backup in the 1993 season where he hit for only a .218 batting average. Seattle demoted him to third-string backup catcher after that season, and he appeared in only three games with them in the 1994 season, going hitless in three games before getting released. Sasser then signed a contract with the San Diego Padres on May 20, 1994 but was released a month later without ever playing a game with them. Sasser re-signed with the Pirates for the 1995 season but played in only fourteen games, getting four hits in 26 at-bats before being released in mid-May and retiring for good.
After his playing career he became a baseball coach at Wallace Community College in Dothan, Alabama. After experiencing difficulty throwing batting practice to his players, he was finally able to overcome the problem with help from psychotherapist, David Grand, PhD.