Billy Hatcher bigraphy, stories - American baseball player and coach

Billy Hatcher : biography

October 4, 1960 -

William Augustus Hatcher (born October 4, 1960) is a former left and center fielder in Major League Baseball player for the Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros, Pittsburgh Pirates, Cincinnati Reds, Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies and Texas Rangers, and former first base coach for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Hatcher is currently first base coach for the Reds.

Personal

Hatcher's son, Derek, was Florida's 2004 Class A Player of the Year in football at Berkley Prep in Tampa, Florida and then played safety for the University of Richmond football team. His wife's name is Karen and he also has a daughter, Chelsea, who plays soccer at the University of Tennessee. She was selected to the All-SEC first team in 2010. http://www.utladyvols.com/sports/w-soccer/spec-rel/110210aaa.html

Coaching career

In 2011, Billy Hatcher entered his sixth season as a Major League coach with the Reds organization. He works as first-base, outfield, and baserunning coach. Prior to joining the Reds, he spent ten seasons in the Tampa Bay Rays organization, first as a roving minor-league instructor (1996), then as a minor-league coach for 1997 Florida State League champion St. Petersburg. Hatcher spent the next eight seasons as a member of the Rays' Major League coaching staff (1998–2005) as the first-base coach (1998–99, 2003–05), bench coach (2001–02), and third-base coach (2000). He holds the distinction of being the only coach to work for the Rays in each of the club's first eight years of existence.

Professional playing career

Hatcher was drafted by the Cubs in the sixth round of the January 1981 MLB draft. He rose quickly through the Cubs' minor league system, playing exactly one season at each minor league level before receiving a late-season call-up to the major league club in 1984. He split time between AAA and the Cubs during the 1985 season before being traded to the Astros along with Steve Engel for Jerry Mumphrey.

Hatcher would be the Astros' starting left fielder for the next 3½ seasons and is remembered by Astros fans for hitting one of the most dramatic post-season home runs ever in the 14th inning of Game 6 of the Astros' 1986 National League Championship Series vs the New York Mets' Jesse Orosco, temporarily saving the Astros from elimination.

Hatcher had his best statistical season in 1987, when he opened the season with a 16-game hitting streak and led the Astros in hitting (.296) and had career highs in stolen bases (53, 3rd in the National League), home runs (11) and RBI (63). His most dubious achievement came that season as well, as he received a 10-game suspension for bat corking.Baseball Digest, May 2008, by Marky Billson http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FCI/is_3_67/ai_n25147858 Hatcher later explained that he had borrowed the bat from relief pitcher Dave Smith. Hatcher broke several of his own, uncorked bats in games leading up to the incident, and he continues to maintain his innocence.

Near the end of the 1989 season, the struggling Astros traded Hatcher to the Pirates for Glenn Wilson. He played just 27 games for Pittsburgh before being traded to the Reds for Jeff Richardson and Mike Roesler. Hatcher had a memorable season in 1990 for the Reds when he stole 30 bases during their closely contested 1990 pennant run. On August 21, 1990, he tied the major league record against the Cubs with four doubles in one game. He ended up leading National League outfielders in fielding percentage (.997) on the season.

The best hitting performance of Hatcher's career was timely, coming during the 1990 World Series against the Oakland Athletics. During the 1990 post-season he hit .519 overall (14-for-27), including a World Series record .750 in the four-game World Series sweep over the heavily-favored A's. This mark broke a 62-year-old World Series record that was previously held by Babe Ruth (.625 in 1928). Hatcher also set records for most consecutive hits in a series (7) and most doubles in a four-game series (4). Despite his torrid hitting, Hatcher was not named the Series Most Valuable Player, that going to Reds pitcher José Rijo, who had a nearly perfect series of his own. Hatcher finished his career with a remarkable .404 postseason batting average in 14 games.

Hatcher was traded to the Red Sox for Tom Bolton in the middle of the 1992 season and, on August 3 of that season while with the Red Sox, stole home against the Toronto Blue Jays' Juan Guzmán. He was the Red Sox' starter in center field for the 1993 season before finishing his career as a reserve for the Phillies and Rangers before retiring following the 1995 season.

Overall, Hatcher played 12 seasons in the Major Leagues. He finished his career with a .264 career batting average in 1,233 games.

Pre-MLB career

In 1979, Billy graduated from Williams High School in Williams, Arizona, where he had pitched an eleven-inning no-hitter as a junior. Hatcher then played for Yavapai Community College in Prescott, Arizona, where he was a junior college All-America selection.

Living octopus

Living octopus

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