Hessman with the New York Mets in 2010
|First baseman / Third baseman|
March 5, 1978 |
Fountain Valley, California
|August 22, 2003, for the Atlanta Braves|
(through 2010 season)
|Runs batted in||33|
|Olympic medal record|
|Competitor for United States|
Michael Steven Hessman (born March 5, 1978) is an American professional baseball corner infielder who is currently a free agent. He is the active leader in career minor league home runs with 417 through the end of the 2014 season, and holds the all-time record for International League home runs, when he hit his 259th on June 30, 2014, breaking Ollie Carnegie's record set in 1945. In 2015, he broke Buzz Arlett's record set in 1937 for the most career minor league home runs, hitting his 433rd homer on August 3.
Hessman spent eight years in the Braves organization before making his major league debut on August 22, 2003. He had his first double off of Indians pitcher Mike Baker of Howland, Ohio. His first major league hit was a pinch-hit home run on August 26, 2003, off New York Mets pitcher Mike Stanton.
He signed a minor league contract with the Detroit Tigers on January 7, 2005. He played for the Tigers' Triple-A affiliate, the Toledo Mud Hens for the whole season. He hit 28 home runs, and helped the Mud Hens win the Governors' Cup, the trophy awarded to the International League champion.
In 2006, Hessman would again spend the whole season with the Mud Hens, hitting 24 home runs, one every 14.38 at-bats, but only batting .165 for the season, as the Mud Hens won the second of their back-to-back International League championships.
In 2007, Hessman began the year for the Mud Hens again, and on June 1 hit his 68th home run as a Mud Hen, becoming Toledo's all time home run leader, passing Erve Beck. Hessman had his contract purchased by the Tigers on July 23, marking the first time he had been on a Major League roster since 2004. He had already hit 27 home runs for the Mud Hens, one every 13.19 at-bats. He had led the International League in home runs at the time of his call-up.
Hessman led the International League in both home runs (31) and RBIs (110), and on August 28, 2007, was named the 2007 International League's Most Valuable Player, the first Mud Hen to receive the award since 1996.
Hessman was a member of the Tigers organization again in 2008, and spent the beginning of the season in Toledo. On July 16, 2008, Hessman was named to the United States national baseball team for the 2008 Summer Olympics. Hessman still ended up hitting 34 home runs for the Hens despite missing a month for the Olympics. Hessman was called up by Detroit on September 2, and played in 12 games for the Tigers, hitting .296 with 5 home runs. On September 4, 2009, Hessman played all nine positions while with the Toledo Mud Hens. He started at catcher and ended as the pitcher, blowing a save and picking up a loss. In October 2009, Hessman became a free agent.
On July 26, 2010, he was called up to replace Rod Barajas, who strained his right oblique. He spent the remainder of the season with the Mets, but played in only 32 games.
In late November 2012 the Reds signed Hessman to a minor league deal. He was assigned to the Louisville Bats by the Reds, on April 1, 2013. On December 2, 2013, the Detroit Tigers signed Hessman to a minor league deal. On June 30, 2014, while playing for the Toledo Mud Hens, Hessman hit his 259th International League home run, setting the career record for that league.
On August 3, 2015, while playing for the Mud Hens, Hessman hit his 433rd career home run off of Dustin McGowan of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, setting a new minor league baseball record for the most home runs in a career, surpassing the seventy-eight-year-old record set by Buzz Arlett of the Oakland Oaks in 1937. Hessman is one of only four players in history to hit over 400 home runs in the minor leagues. He elected free agency on November 6, 2015.
- "Mike Hessman Minor League Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
- Snyder, Matt (July 1, 2014). "Mike Hessman sets International League home run record". CBS Sports. Retrieved July 1, 2014.
- Gartland, Dan (August 3, 2015). "Mike Hessman breaks minor-league record with 433rd career home run". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
- 1996 Draft Results - 15th Round
- August 26, 2003 New York Mets at Atlanta Braves Box Score and Play by Play - Baseball-Reference.com
- International League: News: Article
- "Future Tigers, Indians Olympians; Hens won't have Hessman, Neal". Toledo Blade. July 17, 2008. Retrieved July 17, 2008.
- Rubin, Adam. Breaking news: Mets sign player, New York Daily News. Published December 8, 2009. Retrieved December 8, 2009.
- Berra, Lindsay (August 3, 2015). "Hessman becomes Minors' HR king". MLB.com. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
- "International League Transactions". milb.com. p. November 2015. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or Baseball-Reference, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Mud Hens page
- Minor league baseball page