Sean Casey (baseball)

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Sean Casey
Sean Casey with the Red Sox.jpg
Casey with the Red Sox in 2008
First baseman
Born: (1974-07-02) July 2, 1974 (age 44)
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
MLB statistics
Batting average .302
Home runs 130
Runs batted in 735
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Sean Thomas Casey (born July 2, 1974),[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. Casey was selected to the Major League Baseball All-Star Game three times during his career.[2][3] He is currently a broadcaster and commentator for the MLB Network.[4]

Early life

Born in Willingboro, New Jersey, as the son of Joan and Jim Casey, Sean Casey and his family moved to Upper St. Clair when his was a child. Casey attended Upper St. Clair High School[5] near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and graduated from the University of Richmond, where he was a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.

As a freshman at the University of Richmond in 1993, Casey had a .386 batting average, a .447 on-base percentage (OBP), and a .526 SLG, with two home runs. He was named a freshman All-American[6] and second team All-Colonial Athletic Association (CAA).[7]

As a sophomore in 1994, Casey batted .371 with a .656 SLG, 13 home runs, and 57 RBIs. He was named first team All-CAA.[7] Following his sophomore season at Richmond, Casey played collegiate summer baseball for the Brewster Whitecaps of the Cape Cod Baseball League, where he batted .338 with one home run and 30 RBIs.[8]

In the 1995 season as a junior, Casey hit .461 (batting average) to led all Division I players.[9] Casey was again named first team All-CAA and won the CAA Player of the Year[7] He was also named a Second Team All-American and ECAC Player of the Year while becoming the first player to ever win the CAA Triple Crown.[10]

Baseball career

Cleveland Indians

After the Cleveland Indians selected first baseman David Miller with their first round selection, the Indians chose Casey with their second pick.[11]

Casey began his professional career with the Watertown Indians of the Class A-Short Season New York–Penn League, where he batted .329 with two home runs. He was promoted to the Kinston Indians of the Class A-Advanced Carolina League to being the 1996 season. He hit .331 with twelve home runs for Kinston.

Casey started 1997 with the Akron Aeros of the Class AA Eastern League. On June 18, the Indians promoted Casey to the Buffalo Bisons of the Class AAA American Association after batting .386 with 19 doubles, 10 homeruns and 66 RBIs in 62 games with Akron. In 20 games with Buffalo, Casey hit 5 homeruns and 18 RBIs. On September 12, Casey was promoted to the Cleveland Indians as a September call-up. He appeared in 6 games for the Indians, going 2-for-10 with 2 walks and an RBI. Casey won the Lou Boudreau Award as the Cleveland Indians' top position player, at the conclusion of the 1997 season.[12]

Baseball America named him the #20 prospect before the 1998 season.[13]

Cincinnati Reds

1998 season

Casey with the Cincinnati Reds in 2004

On March 30, 1998, Casey and was traded to the Cincinnati Reds for Dave Burba.[14] On April 3, 1998, Casey was hit in the eye with a ball thrown by teammate Damian Jackson during batting practice, resulting in a fractured orbit, and subsequent surgery.[15] Casey's surgery took two surgeons, operating for four hours to fix his fracture.[16] Just three weeks after the surgery, Casey began his rehab assignment with the Indianapolis Indians, and just a week after joining the Indians, he was recalled to the Reds.[16] Casey struggled during his first stint with the Reds, his average dipped to .133, and he was sent back to Indianapolis.[17] On June 18, Casey was recalled to the Reds.[18]

1999 season

On May 19, 1999, the Reds defeated the Colorado Rockies in a 24−12 final, tied for the fourth-highest run-scoring output in MLB history. Casey hit two of the Reds' six home runs, and reached base seven times with four hits and three walks. He also scored five runs and drove in six.[19] He was selected to the All-Star Game for the first time in 1999. Casey produced a breakout offensive season in 1999, batting .332 with 25 home runs, 99 runs batted in (RBI), 42 doubles, and 103 runs scored in 151 games. He was fourth in the National League in batting and doubles, and sixth in singles. In 1999, he won the Hutch Award.[20]

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.[21] He garnered 46% of the vote with the second place vote being split between Jim Thome and Mike Sweeney with only 7% each. 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.[22]

Pittsburgh Pirates

On December 8, 2005, Casey was traded to his hometown Pittsburgh Pirates for left-handed pitcher Dave Williams.[23] On April 14, 2006, Casey left a game against the Chicago Cubs after suffering two fractures of the transverse process in his lower left back. He was placed on the disabled list on April 15.[24] After a rehab assignment with the Altoona Curve,[25] Casey returned to the Pirates lineup. During an injury plagued 59 game tenure for the Pirates, Casey hit .296 with three home runs and 29 RBIs.

Detroit Tigers

Casey with the Detroit Tigers in 2007

On July 31, 2006, Casey was traded to the Detroit Tigers for minor league pitcher Brian Rogers.[26] During the 2006 American League Championship Series against the Oakland Athletics he partially tore his left calf muscle in Game 1.[27] After coming back from his torn calf in Game 2 of the World Series, he became the hottest hitter for the Tigers, belting two home runs and batting .432 in five games. His .432 batting average was one of the best in Tigers postseason history.[28]

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.[29] Casey credits his Christian upbringing in Pittsburgh's affluent Upper St. Clair suburb for his generosity.[30]

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."[31]

Boston Red Sox

On February 5, 2008, the Boston Red Sox announced they had signed Casey to a one-year deal.[32] 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[33] and exploded by making some good defensive plays and hitting .318 with five RBIs in his first seven games despite missing games in Japan due to a stiff neck he received during the 18-hour flight.[34] He was on the disabled list from April 26 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 Coco CrispJames Shields brawl.[35]

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.[36] On July 3, 2009, he sat in for Red Sox color commentator Jerry Remy, calling the first game for his old team.

On January 14, 2011, the Reds announced that Casey would do color commentary for 15 telecasts on Fox Sports Ohio during the 2011 season.[37]

On June 23, 2012, Casey was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum.

Awards and accomplishments

With Conan O'Brien, Casey is a founder of Labels Are For Jars,[40] an innovative anti-hunger organization based in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

In a May 16, 2007, Sports Illustrated Player's Poll,[41] 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.

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

Casey was inducted to the Cincinnati Reds Baseball Hall of Fame (along with Dan Driessen and John Reilly) on June 23, 2012.

In 2014, Casey was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame. [42]

References

  1. ^ Stringer, Matt (November 20, 2003). "Philadelphia: The cradle of baseball". The Temple News. Archived from the original on December 24, 2007. Retrieved December 3, 2007. For example, Sean Casey, a lifetime .300 hitter, plays first base for the Cincinnati Reds and hails from Willingboro, NJ. 
  2. ^ "Biography". seancasey.co. Archived from the original on August 8, 2014. Retrieved July 24, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Sean Casey". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 24, 2014. 
  4. ^ "On-air personalities". Major League Baseball. Retrieved July 24, 2014. 
  5. ^ Joe Bendel (March 23, 2018). "Sean Casey proves nice guys don't always finish last". www.post-gazette.com. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved August 13, 2018. 
  6. ^ "Spider Baseball Record Book" (PDF). www.amazonaws.com. University of Richmond. Retrieved August 13, 2018. 
  7. ^ a b c "2018 Baseball in Review" (PDF). www.caasports.com. Colonial Athletic Association. Retrieved August 16, 2018. 
  8. ^ "Former Cape Leaguers Signed By Boston Red Sox". Capecodbaseball.org. Retrieved August 16, 2018. 
  9. ^ "University of Richmond Athletic Hall Of Fame". University of Richmond. Retrieved April 9, 2008. 
  10. ^ "Former Spider Casey Inducted To Reds Hall Of Fame". www.richmondspiders.com. University of Richmond. June 24, 2012. Retrieved August 16, 2018. 
  11. ^ "1995 Baseball Draft". www.baseball-almanac.com. Baseball-Almanac, Inc. Retrieved August 16, 2018. 
  12. ^ "Indians Announce 2011 Minor League Pitcher/Player Of The Year". www.mlb.com. Major League Baseball. November 30, 2011. Retrieved August 16, 2018. 
  13. ^ "Your Ultimate Prospect Fix". www.sportsonearth.com. MLB Advanced Media, L.P. January 28, 2014. Retrieved August 16, 2018. 
  14. ^ "Indians Get Burba From Reds". www.articles.chicagotribune.com. Chicago Tribune. March 31, 1998. Retrieved August 13, 2018. 
  15. ^ "Charlton's Baseball Chronology". www.baseballlibrary.com. Archived from the original on August 1, 2013. Retrieved March 7, 2013. 
  16. ^ a b Chuck Finder (July 18, 1999). "Sean Casey: All hits, all the time". www.old.post-gazette.com. PG Publishing. Retrieved August 13, 2018. 
  17. ^ Stephen Cannella (May 3, 1999). "The Say-Hello Kid Hot-hitting and ultrafriendly Reds first baseman Sean Casey is on a roll". www.si.com. Time Inc. Retrieved August 16, 2018. 
  18. ^ Keith Law (June 24, 1998). "Transaction Analysis: June 19-21". www.baseballprospectus.com. Baseball Prospectus LLC. Retrieved August 13, 2018. 
  19. ^ Gould, Andrew (March 17, 2017). "The top 15 highest scoring MLB games in history". Bleacher Report. Retrieved June 24, 2017. 
  20. ^ "Hutch Award® Recipients". www.fredhutch.org. Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Retrieved August 16, 2018. 
  21. ^ "SI Players Poll: Friendliest/Unfriendliest MLB Player?". Sports Illustrated. May 16, 2007. Retrieved April 9, 2008. 
  22. ^ "Grounding into Double Plays Records". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved April 9, 2008. 
  23. ^ "Reds trade Casey to Pirates for left-hander Williams". www.espn.com. ESPN Internet Venture. December 8, 2005. Retrieved August 16, 2018. 
  24. ^ "Sean Casey to Begin Injury Rehab Assignment with Curve Friday". www.oursportscentral.com. OurSports Central. May 26, 2006. Retrieved August 16, 2018. 
  25. ^ "Casey begins rehab with Altoona on Friday". www.milb.com. Minor League Baseball. May 26, 2006. Retrieved August 16, 2018. 
  26. ^ "Tigers get Pirates 1B Casey, send Shelton to minors". www.espn.com. ESPN Internet Ventures. August 1, 2006. Retrieved August 16, 2018. 
  27. ^ "Casey expected to miss rest of ALCS". Retrieved April 11, 2008. 
  28. ^ Peek, Jeff (November 17, 2006). "Tigers re-sign 1B Casey". Archived from the original on July 21, 2012. Retrieved April 11, 2008. 
  29. ^ Castrovince, Anthony (April 15, 2005). "Notes: Defense taking center stage". MLB.com. Retrieved April 9, 2008. [permanent dead link]
  30. ^ Meyer, Paul (December 8, 2005). "Casey as good off the field as he is on it". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  31. ^ "Casey bids farewell to Tigers". Retrieved April 10, 2008. 
  32. ^ Browne, Ian (February 5, 2008). "Chance to win with Red Sox lures Casey". Major League Baseball. Retrieved July 24, 2014. 
  33. ^ "Red Sox's Lowell leaves game with thumb injury". Sporting News. Archived from the original on April 16, 2008. Retrieved April 14, 2008. 
  34. ^ "Stiff neck from plane ride will keep Casey out of Red Sox's games in Tokyo". www.espn.com. ESPN Internet Ventures. March 25, 2008. Retrieved August 16, 2018. 
  35. ^ Farley, Glen. "Three Sox, five Rays suspended for brawl". Retrieved June 7, 2008. 
  36. ^ "Casey retires". Archived from the original on January 31, 2009. 
  37. ^ "FOX Sports Ohio announces 2011 Reds broadcast team". Archived from the original on January 18, 2011. 
  38. ^ "Past Recipients of the Hutch Award". Archived from the original on April 14, 2013. Retrieved April 9, 2008. 
  39. ^ "Department Of Athletics Announces 2003 Hall Of Fame Class". University of Richmond. Retrieved April 9, 2008. 
  40. ^ Edes, Gordon (June 13, 2005). "Casey at the bat". The Boston Globe. Retrieved April 9, 2008. 
  41. ^ "SI Players Poll". CNN. May 16, 2007. Retrieved May 23, 2010. 
  42. ^ "Reds Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2012 \date=11/28/2011". Retrieved July 24, 2014. 

External links

  • Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube
  • Official website
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Russell Branyan
Indians Minor League Player of the Year
(the Lou Boudreau Award)

1997
Succeeded by
Alex Ramírez
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