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Sean Casey

Casey, signing autographs, with the Red Sox in 2008
First baseman
Born: July 2, 1974 (1974-07-02) (age 35)
Willingboro Township, New Jersey
Batted: Left Threw: Right 
MLB debut
September 12, 1997 for the Cleveland Indians
Last MLB appearance
September 28, 2008 for the Boston Red Sox
Career statistics
Batting average     .302
Home runs     130
Runs batted in     735
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Sean Thomas Casey (born July 2, 1974, in Willingboro Township, New Jersey[1]), nicknamed "the Mayor," is a former Major League Baseball first baseman for the Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds, Pittsburgh Pirates, Detroit Tigers, and Boston Red Sox. He is currently a broadcaster for Major League Baseball.

Contents

Baseball career

Casey attended Upper St. Clair High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and graduated from the University of Richmond, where he was a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. His .461 batting average in 1995 led all Division I players.[2] He was drafted in 1995 in the 2nd round by the Cleveland Indians and was traded to the Cincinnati Reds before the 1998 season. Casey had his best year in 1999 hitting .332 with 25 HRs and 99 RBIs and 103 runs scored in 151 games. In 1999, he won the Hutch Award.

During his tenure in Cincinnati, and later in Pittsburgh and Detroit, Sean Casey was regarded as approachable and friendly, and his nickname, "the Mayor," comes from his reputation for chatting casually with every runner who makes it to first base, and from his very public charity work. It was frequently expanded to "the Mayor of Riverfront" when the Reds played at Riverfront Stadium. On May 16, 2007, Casey was voted in 2007 as "the friendliest player in baseball" by fellow players in a Sports Illustrated poll.[3] He garnered 46% of the vote with the second place player Jim Thome getting only 7%. Casey is also regarded as among the slowest-running players in the game, grounding into 27 double plays in the 2005 season. This tied him with A.J. Pierzynski for the record of most Grounding in Double Plays by a National League Left Hander in a season.[4]

Casey with the Cincinnati Reds in 2004.

Sean Casey was signed to the Reds through the 2006 season. However, he was traded December 6, 2005 to his hometown Pittsburgh Pirates for left-handed pitcher Dave Williams. During an injury plagued 2006 season, Casey hit .296 with three home runs and 29 RBI in 59 games for the Pirates. On July 31, 2006, Casey was traded to the Detroit Tigers for minor league pitcher Brian Rogers. During the 2006 American League Championship Series against the Oakland Athletics he partially tore his left calf muscle in Game 1[5]. After coming back from his torn calf in Game 2 of the World Series, he became the hottest hitter for the Tigers, belting 2 home runs and batting .432 in five games. His .432 batting average was one of the best in Tigers postseason history. [6]

Casey has made the sports news for his charitable work almost as often as his fieldwork. He has been active in Big Brothers and Make-A-Wish Foundation, as well as the "Casey's Crew" program, where he provided free high-priced tickets to disadvantaged youth.[7] Casey credits his Christian upbringing, in Pittsburgh's affluent Upper St. Clair suburb, for his generosity.[8]

Casey is, in fact, a lifelong Catholic and is featured in the film series Champions of Faith which shows how faith shapes Major Leaguers.[9] He is actively involved with the Catholic Athletes for Christ.[10]

Casey with the Detroit Tigers in 2007.

After being told by Dave Dombrowski and Jim Leyland that he would not be re-signed, Casey still praised Mike Ilitch, Dombrowski, and Jim Leyland for giving him the opportunity to come play for Detroit. Casey said "They let me know. I've had a great time with this team, the greatest year and a half of my career. It was great. But I understand the situation."[11]

On February 5, 2008, the Boston Red Sox officially announced they had signed Casey to a one-year deal.[12] On April 9, 2008, Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell injured his thumb and was then placed on the DL, first baseman Kevin Youkilis was moved to third, and Casey stepped in as the starting first baseman[13] and exploded by making some good defensive plays and hitting .318 with five RBIs in his first seven games. He was on the disabled list from 26 April through 12 May, and returned as a significant part-time player, finishing the regular season with a .773 OPS on 199 at-bats in 69 games.

Casey was suspended by the MLB for three games after his actions in the Crisp-Shields brawl.[14]

Casey had a reputation for being one of the most garrulous first baseman in the majors, often engaging opposing players in conversation when they reached first base. Apocryphal stories say that he would be offended if a player took off for second base during a conversation.

Casey announced his retirement on January 25, 2009 at the age of 34, having played 12 seasons of Major League Baseball. He currently serves as a baseball analyst for MLB Network.[15] On July 3, 2009 he sat in for Red Sox color commentator Jerry Remy, calling the first game for his old team.

Awards and accomplishments

With Conan O'Brien, Casey is a founder of Labels Are For JarsTM,[22] an innovative anti-hunger organization based in Lawrence Massachusetts.

In a May 16, 2007 Sports Illustrated Player's Poll,[23] Casey won the distinction of being considered the "friendliest player in baseball", after winning 46% of the votes. 464 MLB players participated in the survey. Hal McCoy, a Cincinnati Reds beat writer for 35 years, has said, "There's no debate, and there never will be a debate. Sean Casey is the nicest guy in professional baseball. Ever."

On August 26, 2008, Sean Casey was inducted into the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame (18 W. 33rd St. in New York City).

On January 29, 2009, Casey was inducted into the Kinston Professional Baseball Hall of Fame.

References

  1. ^ Stringer, Matt. "Philadelphia: The cradle of baseball", The Temple News, November 20, 2003. Accessed December 3, 2007. "For example, Sean Casey, a lifetime .300 hitter, plays first base for the Cincinnati Reds and hails from Willingboro, NJ."
  2. ^ "University of Richmond Athletic Hall Of Fame". University of Richmond. http://richmondspiders.cstv.com/hallfame/rich-hallfame.html#seancase. Retrieved 2008-04-09.  
  3. ^ "SI Players Poll: Friendliest/Unfriendliest MLB Player?". Sports Illustrated. 2007-05-16. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/baseball/mlb/05/16/0521poll/index.html. Retrieved 2008-04-09.  
  4. ^ "Grounding into Double Plays Records". Baseball Almanac. http://www.baseball-almanac.com/recbooks/rb_gidp.shtml. Retrieved 2008-04-09.  
  5. ^ "Casey expected to miss rest of ALCS". http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20061011&content_id=1708998&vkey=ps2006news&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb. Retrieved 2008-04-11.  
  6. ^ Jeff Peek (2006-11-17). "Tigers re-sign 1B Casey". http://static.record-eagle.com/2006/nov/17casey.htm. Retrieved 2008-04-11.  
  7. ^ Castrovince, Anthony (2005-04-15). "Notes: Defense taking center stage". MLB.com. http://www.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20050415&content_id=1016648&vkey=news_cin&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin. Retrieved 2008-04-09.  
  8. ^ Casey as good off the field as he is on it
  9. ^ "Champions of Faith: Baseball Edition (2007) (V)". http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1017429/. Retrieved 2008-04-09.  
  10. ^ Dowd, David E. (2007-10). "The Importance of A Good Playbook". 4marks Magazine. http://www.4marks.com/articles/details.html?article_id=1444. Retrieved 2008-04-09.  
  11. ^ "Casey bids farewell to Tigers". http://mlbplayers.mlb.com/content/printer_friendly/mlbpa/y2007/m10/d03/c2247004.jsp. Retrieved 2008-04-10.  
  12. ^ The Official Site of Major League Baseball: News: Major League Baseball News
  13. ^ "Red Sox's Lowell leaves game with thumb injury". Sporting News. http://www.sportingnews.com/yourturn/viewtopic.php?t=397799. Retrieved 2008-04-14.  
  14. ^ Farley, Glen. "Three Sox, five Rays suspended for brawl". http://www.patriotledger.com/sports/x2058734026/Three-Sox-five-Rays-suspended-for-brawl. Retrieved 2008-06-07.  
  15. ^ Casey retires
  16. ^ "Past Recipients of the Hutch Award". http://www.fhcrc.org/about/ne/events/hutch_award/past_recipients.html2008-. Retrieved 2008-04-09.  
  17. ^ "National nominees for the 2005 Roberto Clemente Award announced". MLB.com. 2005-09-07. http://newyork.mets.mlb.com/news/press_releases/press_release.jsp?ymd=20050907&content_id=1200581&vkey=pr_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb. Retrieved 2008-04-09.  
  18. ^ "2004 Nominee Cincinnati Reds". Rotary Club of Denver. http://www.branchrickeyaward.org/nom04_reds_casey.html. Retrieved 2008-04-09.  
  19. ^ "2005 Nominee Cincinnati Reds". Rotary Club of Denver. http://www.branchrickeyaward.org/nom05_reds.html. Retrieved 2008-04-09.  
  20. ^ "Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Jim Thome named Sporting News' MLB "No.1 Good Guy"". MLB.com. 2005-06-27. http://philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com/content/printer_friendly/phi/y2005/m06/d27/c1106058.jsp. Retrieved 2008-04-09.  
  21. ^ "Department Of Athletics Announces 2003 Hall Of Fame Class". University of Richmond. http://richmondspiders.cstv.com/genrel/110602aaa.html. Retrieved 2008-04-09.  
  22. ^ Edes, Gordon (2005-06-13). "Casey at the bat". The Boston Globe. http://www.boston.com/sports/articles/2005/06/13/casey_at_the_bat/. Retrieved 2008-04-09.  
  23. ^ SI.com - MLB - SI Players Poll: Friendliest/Unfriendliest MLB Player? - Wednesday May 16, 2007 10:02AM

External links

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