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Todd Zeile
Third baseman
Born: September 9, 1965 (1965-09-09) (age 44)
Van Nuys, California
Batted: Right Threw: Right 
MLB debut
August 18, 1989 for the St. Louis Cardinals
Last MLB appearance
October 3, 2004 for the New York Mets
Career statistics
Batting average     .265
Home runs     253
Runs batted in     1,110
Teams

Todd Edward Zeile (born September 9, 1965 in Van Nuys, California) is a former third baseman and first baseman in Major League Baseball who played from 1989 to 2004. After graduating from UCLA, where he played as a catcher, Zeile played for 11 Major League teams during his career: the St. Louis Cardinals (1989-1995), Chicago Cubs (1995), Philadelphia Phillies (1996), Baltimore Orioles (1996), Los Angeles Dodgers (1997-1998), Florida Marlins (1998), Texas Rangers (1998-1999), New York Mets (2000-2001, 2004), Colorado Rockies (2002), New York Yankees (2003) and Montreal Expos (2003).

Contents

Early career

Zeile broke into the majors in 1989 as a catcher and the Cardinals' most anticipated prospect of the year. Cardinals manager Joe Torre wanted to make room for catcher Tom Pagnozzi and believed Zeile would be a more productive hitter and would have a longer career if he moved from behind the plate, so Zeile moved, with some reluctance, initially to first base and then to third base in 1990.

Middle career

Zeile spent most of the 1990s as a third baseman. He was traded from the Los Angeles Dodgers to the Florida Marlins along with Mike Piazza in 1998 for five players. He then signed a contract with the New York Mets rejoining Piazza and he finished his career moving to first base for the Mets in 2000, who wanted him to replace John Olerud.

In 1999, Zeile was part of a historic Rangers team. Along with Gregg Zaun and Jeff Zimmerman, he was one of three players on the team whose last names began with "Z". Not since the 1916 Chicago Cubs had this occurred (Heinie Zimmerman, Dutch Zwilling, and Rollie Zeider).

He led all NL third basemen in errors in 2002, with 21, when he had the lowest fielding percentage in the league (.942).

End of career

After a season with Colorado in 2002, Zeile signed with the Yankees in 2003. He was released mid-August and was signed by Montreal 3 days later. Having decided 2004 to be his last season, Zeile signed once again with the New York Mets. He also voiced displeasure with the Yankees, saying that he has "no desire to play again for that organization," and that "I think some of the things that happen over there are different than any other organization in baseball. I have a pretty good track record to judge that."[1]

Zeile retired following the 2004 season. Having planned his retirement in advance (and with the Mets well out of the playoff race), Mets manager Art Howe let Zeile once again start as a catcher, his original position, on September 18, 2004. It was Zeile's first appearance there in 14 years. It was the second-longest span ever between appearances at the position. Gabby Street caught a game in 1931 after last having caught in 1912. Zeile's span is now the third longest, since Craig Biggio started the final game of his career at catcher after a 16 year span.

Zeile got one final start as a catcher two weeks later on October 3, 2004 in the season's final game. In the 6th inning, in his final at-bat as a Major Leaguer, Zeile hit a 3-run home run into left field off Montreal Expos pitcher Claudio Vargas. In his final play as a Major Leaguer, Ryan Church popped up to him, as a catcher, in foul territory.

Both games Zeile caught in his final season were started by Tom Glavine.

He also pitched an inning with the Mets when they didn't have any pitchers left. [2]

Trivia

Zeile hit at least one home run for each of the 11 teams he played for over the course of his career, distinguishing him as the one player in major league history to have hit a home run for over 10 teams. He is also one of 41 players ever to hit a home run in his final at-bat, which he did on October 3, 2004 as a New York Met.

Led all MLB players in errors for the decade of the 1990s.

Zeile's final home run also made him the last person ever to hit a home run off a Montreal Expos pitcher. Following that game, which was the last of the season, the Expos moved to Washington, D.C. and became the Washington Nationals.

Zeile is married to Olympic champion, Julianne McNamara, the first American gymnast to earn a perfect 10.0 at the Olympics. They have four children.

He attended William S. Hart High School in Newhall, California, where he was an outstanding student and athlete.

Todd is a descendant of John Adams, the second President of the United States.

Since retiring from Major League Baseball, Zeile has pursued another passion, starting Green Diamond Entertainment - a film production company in California.

According to IMDB Todd has acted in several TV shows and movies. in a movie that came out in 2005 called Dirty Deeds Playing a guy named Mullet/Duncan Rimes. He also appeared in two episodes of the Sitcom The King of Queens. He has also appeared in "Liquid". currently one of his movies "I Am" is in post production stage and due to be out in 2010.[3]

Todd owns a Citation X jet.

Zeile has the most home runs in Major League history for players whose last name begin with the letter Z.[4]

Hall of Fame candidacy

Zeile became eligible for the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2010. 75% of the vote was necessary for induction, and 5% was necessary to stay on the ballot. He received zero votes, and will no longer be on the BBWAA ballot.

Achievements

  • 2004 career hits (244th in history)
  • 253 home runs (tied for 168th)
  • 1110 career RBI
  • 11 straight seasons of 10 or more home runs
  • 4 post-season home runs

See also

References

External links

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