Mickey Hatcher - The Original Red Dog
by, 05-16-2012 at 09:20 PM (839 Views)
For those of you too young to remember the Mick when he played for the Twins, let me take a few minutes to enlighten you:
Mickey Hatcher was loved in Minnesota. Not so much because he was a great player (though he was decent enough to be a semi-regular starter), but because he was slightly crazy. Everybody loved him. There are a few stories about him I would like to share.
On May 4, 1984, Dave Kingman hit a towering fly ball that went up through one of the drainage holes holes in the ceiling. The ball never came back down. After a few minutes discussion, the umpires decided to give Kingman a double. This is relatively known. What is not quite as known is that the following day, the grounds crew went up into the roof to fetch the ball out. Well, Mick wanted to be a part of this, so they announced that the worker was going to drop the ball and Mick was going to catch it "so it would be an out yesterday". Local news came to cover it and everything. Well the worker couldn't get to the ball, but they did drop a substitute ball. Good ole' Mick, waiting patiently underneath the hole missed the ball. It hit him on the way down, never got a glove on it. Classic.
I had the fortune of being at the last game of the season in 1986. It was a home game, and the Twins were coming off a horrible year. Anyways, Viola pitched a shutout and thew Twins went out on a winning note. After the game, many of the Twins players came back on the field and threw used batting gloves, hats, and other items into the stands (I still rock my Kent Hrbek batting glove). Not Mickey Hatcher. Mick actually climbs up into the stands and sits with a large group of fans out by the left field foul pole. He's giving away his hat, jersey, shoes. Everybody's going nuts around him.
Hatcher left the Twins after 1986 and went to the Dodgers. Though he missed 1987 here, he got his ring with the 88' Los Angeles team. That is where he hooked up with Mike Scioscia. Scioscia became manager of the Angels, Mickey became his hitting coach. Until today that is. The Angels let him go, needing a scapegoat for their currently bad offense and Albert Pujols' slow start.
You can read stories today about how much the fans of Los Angeles like Hatcher because he is still a big kid at heart and still loves the game. He and Mike Redmond are very similar in that vein. If the Twins do decide to bring in a new hitting coach, Mickey Hatcher would be an ideal fit.
Here's to hoping we see him back in the game soon.