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Mike Hargrove

First baseman / Manager
Born: October 26, 1949 (1949-10-26) (age 60)
Perryton, Texas
Batted: Left Threw: Left 
MLB debut
April 7, 1974 for the Texas Rangers
Last MLB appearance
October 6, 1985 for the Cleveland Indians
Career statistics
Batting average     .290
Hits     1,614
Runs batted in     686
Teams

As player

As manager

Career highlights and awards

Dudley Michael Hargrove (born October 26, 1949, in Perryton, Texas) is a former Major League Baseball player and manager.

A first baseman who batted and threw left-handed, Hargrove played with the Texas Rangers (1974–78), San Diego Padres (1979), and Cleveland Indians (1979–85). After retiring, he managed the Indians, Baltimore Orioles, and Seattle Mariners. He now manages the Liberal BeeJays, a semi-professional baseball team in Liberal, Kansas for which he played while in college.

Contents

Playing career

During his playing days, Hargrove was a career .290 hitter with 80 home runs and 686 RBI in 1666 games. He won both the AL Rookie of the Year and The Sporting News Rookie of the Year awards in 1974, after hitting a career-high .323 with the Rangers (he is the only Ranger ever to be so honored). Afterwards, he made the AL All-Star squad in 1975 and led the league first basemen in assists twice. He was most effective in getting on base, moving runners, and not giving up an easy out -- unusual for a first baseman which is usually considered a power position.

Though he would later be honored as one of the Cleveland Indians' top 100 players in team history, one of Hargrove's early visits to Cleveland was less than memorable. As a rookie with the Rangers, Hargrove was one of the early targets of Cleveland fans during the infamous Ten Cent Beer Night incident on June 4, 1974.

He also attained the nickname "The Human Rain Delay" for his deliberate routine at the plate before each at-bat and before each pitch. He drove pitchers crazy by stepping out of the batter's box after each pitch and starting his routine, which consisted of (1) adjusting his helmet, (2) adjusting his batting glove, making sure it was tight on his hand and especially the thumb, (3) pulling each sleeve on his uniform up about an inch, and (4) wiping each hand on his uniform pants before finally settling in the box. Towards the end of his career this trait was very well known and often commented upon by broadcasters.

Through June 16, 2009, Hargrove was tied for second of all Rangers players ever in career leadoff home runs, one behind the 9 by Ian Kinsler.[1]

Managing career

Hargrove holds a career major league managerial record of 1,187–1,173, including 721–591 with the Indians (1991-99). He led his team to five consecutive AL Central Division titles in 1995–99, and World Series appearances in 1995 and 1997. His dismissal as Indians manager by GM John Hart was controversial with many fans. Later, he managed Baltimore from 2000–03.

During an exhibition series between players from the US and Japan, Hargrove infamously stated that future MLB All Star and Gold Glove fielder Ichiro Suzuki, who he would later manage, would be "no better than a fourth outfielder in MLB".

On October 20, 2004, Hargrove was hired to manage the Seattle Mariners and turn around the team after its worst season since 1983. He agreed to a three-year deal through the 2007 season.

Hargrove's record as Seattle manager is 192–209, including a 93 loss season record in 2005.

On July 1, 2007, Hargrove resigned his position as manager of the Mariners, saying in a prepared statement that his "passion has begun to fade" and it would not be "fair to myself or the team" to continue. The departure was unusual, since the Mariners had been playing quite well at the time. Hargrove became the first big league manager since at least 1900 to depart while on a winning streak of more than seven games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.[1] Bench coach John McLaren was named as Hargrove's replacement, effective July 1. Hargrove managed his final Major League game on that same day, a 2-1 ninth inning comeback victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. On September 14, 2007, it was announced that Hargrove would manage the Liberal BeeJays, a semi-pro summer team in southwest Kansas. Hargrove played for the BeeJays in 1972, while on the roster of Northwestern Oklahoma State University. In September 2008 it was announced that Mike Hargrove would return for a second season as the manager for the semi-pro BeeJays. Hargrove has been an immediate success coaching college players, restoring the struggling BeeJay program to respectability, guiding it to a fourth-place NBC finish in 2008 and a third-place finish in 2009 with a team that won 18 of its last 22 games. His combined record in Liberal is 65-41.

Managerial record

Team Year Regular Season Postseason
Won Lost Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
CLE 1991 32 53 .376 7th in AL East - - - -
CLE 1992 76 86 .469 5th in AL East - - - -
CLE 1993 76 86 .469 6th in AL East - - - -
CLE 1994 66 47 .584 2nd in AL Central no MLB postseason
CLE 1995 100 44 .694 1st in AL Central 9 6 .600 Lost WS to ATL
CLE 1996 99 62 .615 1st in AL Central 1 3 .250 Lost LDS to BAL
CLE 1997 86 75 .534 1st in AL Central 10 8 .556 Lost WS to FLA
CLE 1998 89 73 .549 1st in AL Central 5 5 .500 Lost LCS to NYY
CLE 1999 97 65 .599 1st in AL Central 2 3 .400 Lost LDS to BOS
BAL 2000 74 88 .457 4th in AL East
BAL 2001 63 98 .391 4th in AL East
BAL 2002 67 95 .414 4th in AL East
BAL 2003 71 91 .438 4th in AL East
SEA 2005 69 93 .426 4th in AL West
SEA 2006 78 84 .481 4th in AL West
SEA 2007 45 33 .571 2nd in AL West†
CLE Total 721 591 .550 - 27 25 .519 -
BAL Total 275 372 .425 - 0 0 .000 -
SEA Total 192 210 .478 - 0 0 .000 -
Total 1188 1173 .503 27 25 .519
  • †At time of July 1 resignation

Trivia

  • Between high school, college and his major league debut, all five of the teams for which he played (Perryton High, Northwestern Oklahoma State University, Class A, Class AA, and Texas) all shared the same nickname, the Rangers.
  • He was inducted in the Kinston Professional Baseball Hall of Fame in 1992.
  • On July 22, 1999, in a game against the Toronto Blue Jays, Hargrove handed in a lineup card which listed Manny Ramírez as the designated hitter and Alex Ramirez as the right fielder. But Manny came out to play right field in the first inning, which got the attention of Toronto manager Jim Fregosi. When Fregosi pointed it out to the umpires, the Indians lost their DH. Consequently, Alex Ramirez was involuntarily removed from the game without having had an at-bat, and pitcher Charles Nagy was forced not only to bat, but to bat 7th in the lineup. The Indians subsequently lost the game 4 to 3. [2]

See also

References

External links

Awards
Preceded by
Al Bumbry
American League Rookie of the Year
1974
Succeeded by
Fred Lynn
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Steve Swisher
Colorado Springs Sky Sox Manager
1989
Succeeded by
Bob Molinaro
Preceded by
John McNamara
Cleveland Indians Manager
1991-1999
Succeeded by
Charlie Manuel
Preceded by
Ray Miller
Baltimore Orioles Manager
2000-2003
Succeeded by
Lee Mazzilli
Preceded by
Bob Melvin
Seattle Mariners Manager
2005-2007
Succeeded by
John McLaren
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