Saturday, June 5, 2010
#304) CLINT HURDLE
Clint Hurdle first signed with the New York Mets as a free agent on April 7, 1983. He would play that season with the Triple-A Tidewater team until the major league rosters expanded at the end of the year. Clint made his New York Mets' debut on September 12, 1983. Coming into that game as a pinch-hitter facing the Phillies in Philadelphia. In total he would appear in 13 games, but only manage a .182 batting average during them.
The man who had been touted, "This Year's Phenom" on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine as a rookie in 1978 was back in the minor leagues for the 1984 season. Playing the year again with the Tidewater Tides where he seemed to have become insurance for the major league team. Hurdle was recalled again to New York for 43 games in 1985, but left the Mets when selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the Rule V Draft on December 10, 1985.
On February 9, 1987, the Mets resigned Clint as a free agent. He would once again become a member of the Tides, but appear in three more games for New York. His last game as a major leaguer came with a pinch-hit appearance for the Mets on June 26, 1987.
Hurdle remained with the Mets' organization after his playing career. Becoming the manager at Single-A St. Lucie in 1988. Then spending the next five seasons continuing to move up the minor-league system. Clint's final year in the organization was serving as the manager in Triple-A Norfolk where he had spent much time as a player.
An odd misunderstanding brought Hurdle back into the New York newspaper headlines in 1992. The Tides' manager was arrested for shoplifting $1.79 worth of Valentine's Day items from a grocery store in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. It was reported that he was more embarrassed than anything else and paid the fine.
Hurdle has enjoyed much success in coaching at the major-league level. Including a World Series run with the Colorado Rockies in 2007. The next summer he was the manager of the National League in the 79th Major League All-Star team. "It's chilling," Clint said at the time. "If somebody had told me back in '87 when I was a backup catcher with the Mets that I would be back at Yankee Stadium managing the National League all-star team, I probably would have begged to differ."
I created Clint Hurdle's card in the set from an autographed index card I purchased from Jack Smalling in January 2009. Jack's website is www.baseballaddresses.com