Hampton with the Braves in 2008
|Seattle Mariners – No. 46|
|Pitcher / Bullpen coach|
September 9, 1972 |
|April 17, 1993, for the Seattle Mariners|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 3, 2010, for the Arizona Diamondbacks|
|Earned run average||4.06|
|Career highlights and awards|
Michael "Mike" William Hampton (born September 9, 1972) is an American former professional baseball player and current coach. Hampton played in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a pitcher from 1993 through 2010. He pitched for the Seattle Mariners, Houston Astros, New York Mets, Colorado Rockies, Atlanta Braves and Arizona Diamondbacks. He is currently the bullpen coach for the Mariners.
Hampton is a two-time MLB All-Star. He won five Silver Slugger Awards and a Gold Glove Award. He was the Most Valuable Player of the 2000 National League Championship Series, and he pitched in the 2000 World Series for the Mets.
Hampton was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the sixth round of the 1990 Major League Baseball draft. He first broke into the major leagues in 1993, but had a disappointing start. After the season, he found himself traded to the Houston Astros with Mike Felder for Eric Anthony.
Hampton became a starter for Houston in 1995, and kept his ERA under 4.00 for every season he was with the Astros. In 1999, Hampton had his best year. He broke through with a 22–4 record, best in the National League, and a 2.90 ERA. He picked up his first of five Silver Slugger Awards and narrowly finished second in National League Cy Young Award voting to Randy Johnson.
Entering the final year of his contract, Hampton was dealt to the New York Mets in the wake of his big season. He went 15–10 with a 3.12 ERA and helped the Mets greatly in the postseason. With two wins and no earned runs in two starts, Hampton was named the MVP of the 2000 NLCS. Hampton received a loss in his only World Series appearance.
During this time, Hampton also established a reputation as a good-hitting pitcher, as he batted .311 (23 for 74) in 1999. His best all-around offensive season came in 2001 with the Colorado Rockies, when he would hit .291 with seven home runs. The next year he hit three home runs and batted .344. From 1999–2003, Hampton would go on to win five consecutive Silver Slugger Awards.
The Colorado Rockies signed Hampton to an expensive, long-term contract on December 9, 2000. It was the largest contract in sports history at the time. The contract is currently the 60th largest in the history of sports. (Hampton once claimed that he had chosen to move to Colorado because of "the school system", a statement that is often derisively referenced by sportswriters.) The Rockies hoped Hampton, who had been one of the best pitchers in the league over the past few seasons, would be able to succeed in the tough pitching conditions of Coors Field.
Hampton went a disappointing 14–13 with a 5.12 ERA in 2001, his pitching clearly affected by Coors Field. Like his predecessor Darryl Kile, Hampton succumbed to control problems. The next season was even more of a disaster for the highly paid Hampton, as he went 7–15 with his ERA climbing to 6.15. The only positive from Hampton's Colorado years was his hitting (ten home runs and .300+ batting average over two seasons).
In November 2002, Hampton was traded to the Florida Marlins, then to the Atlanta Braves. Hampton won 14 games and got his ERA back down to 3.84 in 2003. He overcame a slow start in 2004 by winning 10 of his last 11 decisions and helping to propel the Braves to another division championship.
Hampton did not contribute nearly as much in 2005 as he was limited heavily by injuries. He went 5–3 in twelve starts, but was lost for the rest of the season with an elbow injury on August 19, 2005. Hampton had Tommy John surgery on September 25, 2005 and missed the entire 2006 season rehabbing.
The Braves were hoping for Hampton to be ready to rejoin the rotation in time for the start of the 2007 season. The rehab was on schedule until Hampton tore his oblique muscle on March 7, 2007, which was to sideline him until at least May. Soon after, the Braves signed Mark Redman to be a left-handed starting pitcher for them in case Hampton was not able to return to action soon. After Hampton threw a bullpen session on April 8, the Braves shut Hampton down due to recurring elbow pain and said that he would see Dr. David Altchek, who had performed his Tommy John surgery in 2005. The next day, it was announced after having another left elbow procedure, that Hampton would miss the entire 2007 season.
Hampton began a rehab assignment on November 22, 2007 for Navojoa of the Mexican Winter League. In the first inning, he attempted to make a play on a comebacker and left during warmups before the second inning, feeling discomfort in his hamstring. The rest of his rehab was left in doubt.
However, Hampton reported to "Camp Roger" on time in late January. He threw off the mound for Bobby Cox and Roger McDowell, both of whom were impressed with Hampton's steady progress. Hampton arrived a day before pitchers and catchers were due to report at Lake Buena Vista. He ran sprints and played catch with teammates, and continued to pitch off the mound, and threw to live batters: Mark Kotsay, Tim Hudson, and Corky Miller.
On April 3, 2008, Hampton was scheduled to make his long-anticipated return to the Braves rotation in a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. While warming up, however, Hampton strained his left pectoral muscle, and was placed on the 15-day disabled list.
On July 26, 2008, Hampton made his first major league start since August 2005 against the Philadelphia Phillies. However, he was soon injured again, and finished the season with only 13 appearances. His final 2008 stats included a 3-4 record and a 4.85 ERA.
Return to Houston
Hampton chose to wear uniform #11 in his return to Houston to honor his old friend, longtime Astro catcher Brad Ausmus. His #10 that he wore during his first stint with Houston was being worn by Miguel Tejada. His physical was clean, and experts believe he was once again healthy. He pitched in the number 4 pitcher slot behind Brian Moehler.
On September 15, 2009, Hampton underwent full rotator cuff surgery to repair a tear and was expected to miss the entire 2010 season.
Despite initially being expected to miss the whole season, on August 21, 2010, Mike Hampton signed a minor league contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He returned to the major leagues with the Diamondbacks, throwing 4 1⁄3 innings in ten appearances.
Awards and accomplishments
- 2-time All-Star (1999, 2001)
- 2000 NLCS MVP
- Led NL in winning percentage (.8462, 1999)
- Became the first pitcher ever to win the Gold Glove Award and Silver Slugger Awards in the same season (2003). The Gold Glove also snapped then-Atlanta teammate Greg Maddux's streak of 13 consecutive Gold Gloves. Hampton was the only National League pitcher other than Maddux to win a Gold Glove during Maddux's career from 1989 and onward.
- Hampton holds the record for most Silver Slugger awards for a pitcher, with five.
On November 9, 2012, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim hired Hampton to be the pitching coach of the Arkansas Travelers, their Class AA affiliate in the Texas League. On November 23, 2015, he was hired by the Seattle Mariners' as a bullpen coach.
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- "Mets Acquire Hampton From Astros". Los Angeles Times. December 24, 1999. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
- Chass, Murray (March 5, 2001). "Rockies' Hampton, the Education Pitcher, is Sticking to his Story". New York City Metropolitan Area: Nytimes.com. Retrieved August 22, 2010.
- Hampton strains side muscle Archived March 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Hampton suffers setback". Sports.espn.go.com. April 9, 2007. Retrieved August 22, 2010.
- Bowman, Mark (April 9, 2007). "Hampton to have surgery, miss season: Braves left-hander to undergo another procedure on elbow". MLB.com. Retrieved August 22, 2010.
- Bowman, Mark (November 26, 2007). "Hampton Strains Hamstring In Mexico". MLB.com. Retrieved August 22, 2010.
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- Footer, Alyson (December 3, 2008). "Astros welcome back Hampton". MLB.com.
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- "Hampton to miss next season". Sports.espn.go.com. September 16, 2009. Retrieved August 22, 2010.
- "Diamondbacks bring up veteran P Hampton". WLBZ. September 3, 2010. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
- Gilbert, Steve (December 9, 2010). "Towers takes major steps to improve D-backs". MLB.com. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
- "Veteran lefty Mike Hampton decides to retire". mlb.com. March 26, 2011. Retrieved March 26, 2011.
- DiGiovanna, Mike (November 9, 2012). "Angels hire Mike Hampton, Tim Bogar for minor league roles". Los Angeles Times.
- Gonzalez, Alden (February 27, 2013). "Hampton jumping back into baseball as pitching coach". MLB.com. Retrieved April 12, 2013.
- Divish, Ryan (November 23, 2015). "Mariners finalize big league coaching staff, hiring Casey Candaele to coach first base and Mike Hampton as bullpen coach". Seattle Times. Retrieved April 12, 2016.