Hidalgo playing for the Rangers in 2005.
June 28, 1975 |
|September 1, 1997, for the Houston Astros|
|Last MLB appearance|
|August 4, 2005, for the Texas Rangers|
|Runs batted in||560|
Richard José Hidalgo [ee-DAHL-go] (born June 28, 1975) is a former Major League Baseball outfielder. He played with the Houston Astros (1997–2004), New York Mets (2004), and the Texas Rangers (2005). He batted and threw right-handed.
Hidalgo was a powerful hitter, with good instincts in the outfield and a strong throwing arm. He was supposed to be an all around player in all areas, but a congenital knee defect changed those plans. After hitting .306 and .303 in his first two seasons, Hidalgo had a disappointing 1999 campaign with a .227 average, although he showed some power with 15 home runs in 383 at-bats. He required season-ending kneecap surgery.
Hidalgo blossomed in 2000, when he hit .314 with 44 home runs and 122 RBI, but his numbers slowed in 2001 (.275, 19, 80) and 2002 (.235, 15, 48). In 2003, he returned to good form both at the plate and in the field. He posted numbers of .309, 28, 88, collected three homers in a game, and led the majors outfielders in assists with 22, while committing only four errors. Hidalgo split the 2004 season between the Astros and the Mets, hitting .239 with 25 homers and 82 RBI. A highlight of the 2004 season was a Met record of home runs in 5 consecutive games, 3 of them in interleague games against the New York Yankees. In 2006, he signed a minor league contract with the Baltimore Orioles, but left the team before the season started, when his wife became ill. Hidalgo requested to be released from his contract, allowing to him to go to Japan where he would have a starting role. In the 2006 off-season, the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs reportedly showed interest in signing Hidalgo. In January 2007, the Astros signed him again, this time to a minor league contract. This second tenure was short-lived, as Hidalgo was released by the Astros on March 25, 2007, after refusing a minor league assignment.
Hidalgo was a Major League .269 lifetime hitter with 171 home runs and 560 RBI in 987 games.
On April 10, 2007, Hidalgo joined the Long Island Ducks. Before spring training however, he announced his retirement from professional baseball. On July 8, 2008, Hidalgo signed with the Ducks again but left the team during the last week of August.
In early 2008, Hidalgo's attempt to create a so-called "field of dreams" on his Florida property was voted down by residents of his neighborhood. Hidalgo has 3 sons who live with his wife in Florida. He currently plays for a Venezuelan independent league.
- "Astros GM Purpura 'optimistic ' about Hidalgo deal". Chron.com. The Houston Chronicle/Hearst Newspapers. Retrieved 31 December 2014.
- Footer, Alyson; Moloney, Jim. "Astros sign veteran outfielder Hidalgo". MLB.com. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
- Footer, Alyson. "Astros release outfielder Hidalgo". MLB.com. Retrieved 31 December 2014.
- "Richard Hidalgo". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 31 December 2014.
- "Sports Now". L.A. Times. Retrieved 31 December 2014.
- Associated Press (November 22, 2002). "Astros' Hidalgo shot during carjacking". CBC Sports. Retrieved August 18, 2009.
- "Neighbors Try To Stop Former Pro Baseball Star's 'Field Of Dreams'". Wftv.com. Cox Media Group. Retrieved 31 December 2014.
|National League Player of the Month