17 December 2010

mickey hatcher, double dipper

mickey hatcher began his big league career with the dodgers in 1979.  in a game i listened to on the radio, hatcher (pictured here on his 1980 topps rookie card)
replaced ron cey at third base in a laugher against the giants.  he came to bat in the bottom of the 7th inning in cey's cleanup spot with the bases loaded.  i recall jerry doggett commenting on the fact that hatcher had the rare opportunity to hit a grand slam in his first major league at bat.  alas, he did not, but he did draw a walk to 'drive in' burt hooton.  he made his first big league start the next day, and had a walk and two singles before making an out.  reaching base the first four times at bat in the big leagues was not a bad way to start a career.  also interesting from that game, all three of the guys featured on the 1980 card appeared in the game, with patterson picking up the victory in relief of beckwith.

hatcher played for the dodgers through the 1980 season, hitting 1 home run with 5 rbi in each of his two campaigns in la.  with rudy law in tommy lasorda's doghouse and the dodgers in need of a center fielder, hatcher was sent to minnesota just before the start of the 1981 season in exchange for ken landreaux.

as a twin, hatcher began to play more regularly and had some good seasons as a result.  in 1983, he hit .317 in 106 games with a career high 9 homers.  the following year, he hit .302 in 152 games with a career high 69 rbi.  here's his 1984 fleer card
love those baby blues!  after 6 pretty solid seasons in minnesota, the twinkies released hatcher right before the start of the 1987 season.  a few days later, the dodgers signed him to a contract.  still, hatcher seemed to be cursed with poor timing - he was traded away from the dodgers prior to the 1981 season, and they won the world series.  then, he was released by the twins before the 1987 season, and they went on to win the world series.  but, as we know now, it all worked out for mickey as he finally got a ring with the dodgers in 1988.

in all, the dodgers missed out on 26 home runs, 260 rbi and 671 hits that hatcher accumulated during his time with the twins, but i would argue that they got the biggest hits of his career.  he hit .277 in 368 games in the four seasons he spent back in la before retiring after the 1990 season (here's his 1990 upper deck card, by the way).
he may well have been the mvp of the 1988 world series had orel hershiser not been so dominant.  his 7 hits, 2 home runs, and 5 rbi led the team, and his 1.137 ops was tops among the dodger regulars in the series (only hershiser and kirk gibson posted a higher ops). 

[this is the sixth installment in the double dippers posts.  here are the previous posts - brett butler, omar daaleric young, nick willhite, and chris gwynn.]

here's to you mickey hatcher, you double dipping stuntman!


Johngy said...

Dare I ask...are there any triple dippers?

gcrl said...

juan castro is the only player i can think of.

if you count coaches, you could add ron perranoski and joe ferguson to that list.

night owl said...

There's the very real danger of Guillermo Mota being a triple dipper.