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Al Newman
Second Baseman, Shortstop
Born: June 30, 1960 (1960-06-30) (age 49)
Kansas City, Missouri
Batted: Switch Threw: Right 
MLB debut
June 14, 1985 for the Montreal Expos
Last MLB appearance
October 3, 1992 for the Texas Rangers
Career statistics
Batting average     .226
Hits     476
RBI     156
Home Run     1
Teams
Career highlights and awards
  • Two-time World Series winner with the Minnesota Twins: 1987, 1991

Albert Dwayne (Al) Newman (born June 30, 1960 in Kansas City, Missouri) is a former infielder in Major League Baseball who played for the Montreal Expos (1985-1986), Minnesota Twins (1987-1991) and Texas Rangers (1992). Newman was a switch-hitter and threw right-handed.[1]

Newman is known by those in his community for his friendly personality and long-time dedication to community improvement projects - primarily those focused on childhood athletics. He has two daughters, Kimberly (born 1987) and Taylor (1989).

Contents

San Diego State (1979-1982)

Newman attended San Diego State University where he played for the renowned coach Jim Dietz[2], majored in Accounting and also played football at the position of running back. In 1980, 1981, and 1982, he played in the National Baseball Congress Tournament in Wichita, KS. Newman left college with two All-Conference seasons.

Drafted in the third round of the 1979 Major League Baseball Draft by the California Angels, Newman turned down their offer and returned to college. Again in 1980, Newman was drafted and declined contract offers, this time by the Texas Rangers. In 1980, he would be drafted again, this time in the secondary phase draft which occurs in June. The New York Mets offers were not enough, so Newman chose to remain with his college team. A year later, on June 8, 1980, Newman was drafted 12th overall by the Montreal Expos, with whom he would sign his first Major League Baseball contract.[3]

Minor Leagues (1980-1985)

In the minor leagues, Newman was an All-Star second baseman during the 1982 season.

On December 7, 1983, still before his major league debut, Newman was traded in part of a large 3-team deal where the Expos would send Newman to the San Diego Padres and Scott Sanderson to the Chicago Cubs. Additionally, the Padres sent Gary Lucas to the Expos while the Cubs sent Carmelo Martinez, Craig Lefferts, and Fritzie Connally to the Padres. Just months later, on July 20, 1984, Newman was traded back to the Expos for Greg Harris.[3]

Major Leagues (1985-1992)

Primarily a second baseman, Newman also played shortstop, third base and left field at some point in his career. His first game was on June 14, 1985 where he was brought in as a pinch runner and accounted for a run.[4] From there, Al Newman was used sparingly by the Expos from 1985-86. On July 6, 1986, Newman hit his only Major League home run (ball was pitched by Zane Smith); coincidentally in the same game that Bob Horner of the Atlanta Braves hit four home runs in one game.

Newman saw more playing time after being traded to Minnesota before the 1987 season for minor league pitcher Mike Shade (who never made it to the major leagues). For the Twins, Newman proved a valuable utility and fast runner as a member of two World Championship teams in 1987 and 1991. Newman turned in a cumulative 2 hits, 1 triple, 1 RBI, and drew a walk over 8 appearances in the World Series. [5] Earlier in the 1987 season, Newman had an 0-31 hitless streak.[6] His most productive season came in 1989 with the Twins, when he posted career-highs in stolen bases (25), hits (113), doubles (18), runs batted in (38), runs (62) and batting average (.253). Just after the 1991 World Series, where Newman went 2-4 with a triple, he was granted free agency by the Twins.

After weighing his options, Newman signed with the Cincinnati Reds but was released before the season began.[3] Newman was signed just two days later by the Texas Rangers[3] where he would play his last major league season. In 246 at-bats in 1992, Newman amassed 54 hits, 25 runs, 9 stolen bases, and 34 walks. [7]

In an eight-season career, Newman was a .226 hitter with one home run and 156 RBI in 854 games.[8]

Newman was featured in a playing card set on the "3 of Clubs" card and listed as "IF" (for "Infielder").[9]

Newman has the third-most major league at-bats with only one home run since World War II.[10]

Coach, Scout, and Manager (1996-present)

Following his playing career, Newman managed the Twins AA team, the New Britain Rock Cats of the Eastern League for the 1996 and 1997 seasons. In 1996, his team finished last at 61-81, but showed improvement in 1997, posting a 70-72 record and finishing third to last. In the 1997 Arizona Fall League, Newman managed the Sun City Solar Sox finishing second in their division with a 22-23 record. The following year, he was the bench coach for the Salt City Buzz (Twins AAA affiliate) during their 1998 campaign. From there, Newman managed the Gulf Coast League Twins from 1999 to 2001. After a 33-32 record in 2000, Newman's coaching staff welcomed his former 1991 World Series teammate, Jarvis Brown.

In 2002, when Tom Kelly retired as manager of the Twins, Newman accepted the job of third base coach (formerly occupied by Ron Gardenhire, who became manager). Newman coached for the Minnesota Twins from 2002-05.

In April 2003, Kirby Puckett had fallen out of favor with the public after a Sports Illustrated article chronicled a personal life much different from the one known to most. Newman sympathized with his long-time friend, saying, "I'm scared to death for him. I'm scared because of his health and about his frame of mind. He's a baseball man and the game that gave him everything -- the game that got him out of the Chicago ghetto -- is gone from him now. The people who loved him don't love him anymore. He's on an island by himself and he's trying to figure out how to get home." [11]

During the 2003 season, Newman said of pitcher Jamie Moyer "He's like a fine wine, he gets better with age. No, actually, he just gets slower."[12]

On September 10, 2003, during warm-ups in Chicago during a tight pennant race, Newman took the batter's box during warm-ups to take some fun hits. Shortly after completion, Newman collapsed on the field and was immediately rushed to the hospital. After several tests, it was determined he had suffered a brain hemorrhage. His wife Deborah and Twins general manager Terry Ryan remained at the hospital with him throughout the stay where he remained unconscious until September 26, 2003. During that time, Gardenhire struggled to keep his team focused while all dealt with the health woes of Newman. Minnesota Twins center fielder Torii Hunter said of Newman during the ordeal, "For me, I think it hurt me more than anybody to see him go down like that, because this is the guy who pretty much taught me the game, and how to play the game hard." [13]

While Newman was away from the team, his jersey, number 62, was hung in the dugout for each game as a salute. [14]

On October 4, 2003, Newman threw out the first pitch at the Twins vs. Yankees ALDS Game 3.[15] Team manager Ron Gardenhire waved Newman's jersey to fans and was visibly emotional to have him back on the field with him after his long hospital stay.

By March 4, 2004, Newman had returned to the Twins in a coaching capacity where he served as third base coach during a Grapefruit League pre-season game versus the Cincinnati Reds. During Newman's first weeks in return to the Twins, he experienced issues with high blood pressure and was prescribed medication and relaxation. After leaving Minnesota, Newman became an advance scout with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2006.

On March 12, 2006 Newman, along with Kent Hrbek, Torii Hunter, Tom Kelly, Harmon Killebrew, former Twins general manager Andy MacPhail, Dave Winfield and Cal Ripken, Jr. spoke at Kirby Puckett's funeral. Newman and Puckett played together throughout Newman's career with the Twins and were good friends and known as pranksters around the clubhouse.[16][17]

Today, Newman lives in Burnsville, Minnesota[18] and assistant coaches at the nearby Dakota County Technical College (DCTC) for the Blue Knights. In addition to contributing at DCTC as a coach, Newman acts as special events coordinator for the AFLAC Kids Program.

Community Involvement

On January 22, 2008, Newman announced the creation of "Newmie Rewards LLC", a business created to aid in fund raising for athletic teams.[19]

On July 27, 2008, Newman began broadcasting "The Al Newman Show" on radio WWTC AM1280 "The Patriot" in Minneapolis, MN. The show is a weekly family-friendly show about sports.

References

External links

Preceded by
Ron Gardenhire
Minnesota Twins Third Base Coach
2002-2005
Succeeded by
Scott Ullger
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