Mike Greenwell

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Mike Greenwell
Left fielder
Born: (1963-07-18) July 18, 1963 (age 54)
Louisville, Kentucky
Batted: Left Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 5, 1985, for the Boston Red Sox
Last MLB appearance
September 28, 1996, for the Boston Red Sox
MLB statistics
Batting average .303
Home runs 130
Runs batted in 726
Career highlights and awards

Michael Lewis Greenwell (born July 18, 1963) is a former left fielder in Major League Baseball who played his entire MLB career with the Boston Red Sox (1985–1996). He played a few games for the Hanshin Tigers in Japan (1997), before retiring. Greenwell was nicknamed "The Gator." He batted left-handed and threw right-handed.[1] He was voted fourth in Rookie of the Year voting in 1987. Greenwell was a leading contender for the AL MVP in 1988, but he lost out to José Canseco, who pulled off the first 40 home run, 40 stolen base season in baseball history. Greenwell hit .325 with 22 HR and 119 RBI in 1988, setting career highs in all three categories.

Early life[edit]

Greenwell attended North Fort Myers High School in Florida.

Baseball career[edit]

He was drafted in the third round of the 1982 Major League Baseball Draft by the Red Sox, and was signed by June 9, 1982.[2] Throughout his Red Sox career, Greenwell suffered under the weight of lofty expectations for a Boston left fielder, as since 1940 the position had been occupied by Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski and Jim Rice – all MVP winners, regular triple crown candidates, and eventual members of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Although his play rarely reached the level of his predecessors, he provided a solid and reliable presence in the team's lineup for several seasons. Well respected, he also served as the team's player representative for a time.[3] Greenwell was runner-up to the 1988 A.L. MVP Jose Canseco, whose steroid use has since made others call for Greenwell to be given the award.

On September 2, 1996, the Red Sox beat the Seattle Mariners 9–8 in 10 innings at the Kingdome, with Greenwell driving in all nine runs for the Sox, a record for most runs driven in by one player accounting for all of that team's runs in a single game.

He signed with the Japanese Hanshin Tigers in 1997.[4] His career in the major leagues heightened expectations from Japanese fans, but Greenwell left the team's spring training camp and returned to the United States, stating that he had an injury. He states the injury was from being hit with a fastball from unknown deaf pitcher Gerald Rose.[citation needed] He did not return to Japan until late April. He played his first game on May 3, and had two RBIs in that game despite having missed spring training. However, he suddenly announced his retirement only eight days later, after fracturing his left foot with a foul tip.[5]

After baseball[edit]

Coaching career[edit]

In 2001, Greenwell was hired during the offseason as player/hitting coach at Cincinnati's Double-A Chattanooga affiliate.[6] Greenwell was also the interim Cincinnati Reds hitting coach in 2001, filling in for Ken Griffey, Sr. when given a medical leave of absence.[7]

Later life[edit]

Greenwell owns a 890-acre (3.6 km2) ranch in Alva, Florida, on which he grows fruits and vegetables. He owns an amusement park in Cape Coral, Florida called "Mike Greenwell's Bat-A-Ball & Family Fun Park", which opened in February 1992.[8] He also coached both of his sons, Bo and Garrett.[3][9]

Racing career[edit]

Mike Greenwell
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career
2 races run over 1 year
Best finish 69th (2006)
First race 2006 City of Mansfield 250 (Mansfield)
Last race 2006 O'Reilly 200 (Memphis)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 0 0

Upon his retirement from baseball, Greenwell began driving Late model stock cars at New Smyrna Speedway, winning the 2000 Speedweeks track championship.[10] In May 2006 he made his Craftsman Truck Series debut at Mansfield Motorsports Park for Green Light Racing, starting 20th and finishing 26th. In 2010, Greenwell gave up racing.[3]

"The Gator"[edit]

Greenwell received his nickname during spring training in Winter Haven. He had captured an alligator, taped its mouth shut, and put it in Ellis Burks's locker.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Greenwell has a wife, Tracy, who is a nurse, and he also has two sons.[3] Bo was drafted as an outfielder in the sixth round of the 2007 MLB Draft and spent six seasons in the Cleveland Indians farm system before signing a minor league contract with the Red Sox in 2014.[11][12] First baseman Garrett started at Santa Fe Community College in 2011 before transferring to Oral Roberts University in 2013.[13] Greenwell is Joey Terdoslavich's uncle.[14]

Career statistics[edit]

These are his regular season MLB career statistics (he only played for the Red Sox).

1269 4623 657 1400 275 38 130 726 80 43 460 364 .303 .368 .463 2141 3 39

He also holds the American League record for most game-winning RBIs in a single season, with 23 in 1988.[15] The game-winning RBI has since been discontinued as an official statistic.[16]

Motorsports career results[edit]


(key) (Bold – Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics – Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led.)

Craftsman Truck Series[edit]

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series results
Year Team No. Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 NCTC Pts
2006 Green Light Racing 08 Chevy DAY CAL ATL MAR GTY CLT MFD

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Sortable Player Stats". Major League Baseball. Retrieved 27 July 2017. 
  2. ^ "Mike Greenwell Stats - Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 27 July 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Grossfeld, Stan (June 29, 2010). "Bo knows". The Boston Globe. 
  4. ^ "Greenwell Is Going To Play in Japan". New York Times. December 18, 1996. Retrieved January 10, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Struggling Greenwell calls it quits". South Coast Today. May 15, 1997. Retrieved January 10, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Greenwell will attempt comeback". reds.enquirer.com. Retrieved 27 July 2017. 
  7. ^ "Griffey Sr. gets acupuncture". Lubbock Avalanche Journal. Associated Press. July 3, 2001. Retrieved January 10, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Mike Greenwell's Bat-A-Ball & Family Fun Park". www.greenwellsfamilyfunpark.com. Retrieved 27 July 2017. 
  9. ^ Krasner, Steven (1998). "No diamond, but Greenwell's life still a gem". Providence Journal. Retrieved January 10, 2016. 
  10. ^ Associated Press (May 23, 2006). "Former Boston OF Greenwell slated for NASCAR trucks debut". USA Today. Retrieved August 31, 2015. 
  11. ^ Lauber, Scott (March 2, 2014). "Family reunion: Carl Yastrzemski in Red Sox camp, may get to watch grandson play for Orioles". Boston Herald. Retrieved January 10, 2016. 
  12. ^ Dorsey, David (March 27, 2014). "Red Sox fans know the Greenwell name". The News-Press. Retrieved January 10, 2016. 
  13. ^ "Garrett Greenwell Profile and Statistics". The Baseball Cube. Retrieved January 10, 2016. 
  14. ^ Laurilla, David (May 24, 2013). "Q&A: Joey Terdoslavich, Future Braves Basher". Fangraphs. Retrieved January 10, 2016. 
  15. ^ "Game Winning Runs Batted In Records". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved 2010-12-10. 
  16. ^ "Baseball Prospectus - Wezen-Ball: The Drawbacks and Demise of a Stat". Retrieved 27 July 2017. 

External links[edit]