Ed Wade is the former General Manager of the Houston Astros and the Philadelphia Phillies. After graduating from Temple University in 1977, Wade started his baseball career as an intern in the Phillies public relations department. In October 1977, he was named public relations assistant for the Astros and was promoted to public relations director in 1979. In May 1981, he left Houston to become the public relations director for the Pittsburgh Pirates, remained with that club for five seasons. In 1986, Wade returned to Houston to work as an associate for Tal Smith Enterprises, a firm which has provided consulting services to 26 of the 30 Major League Baseball clubs, with the most recognized functions being in preparation of arbitration cases, the financial appraisal of a franchise, contract negotiations and other baseball-related matters. Wade worked for the company until May 5, 1989, when he rejoined the Phillies as assistant to the general manager. In 1995, he was promoted to assistant general manager.
At the Major League Expansion Draft in November 1997, Wade played a major role in the acquisition of future All Star outfielder Bobby Abreu. Wade was named as the Phillies interim General Manager in December 1997 and was promoted to the position of Vice President and General Manager in the spring of 1998. During Wade’s tenure with the Phillies, the team went through a major rebuild, including drafting and signing Brett Myers, Pat Burrell, future National League MVP Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, 2008 World Series MVP Cole Hamels and Ryan Madson. L. MVP shortstop Jimmy Rollins to the major leagues; the team made an impactful international move when it signed Venezuelan catcher Carlos Ruiz. Wade selected outfielder Shane Victorino from the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2004 Rule V Draft; as revenues improved with the move from Veterans Stadium to Citizens Bank Park in 2003, Wade signed future Hall of Fame first baseman Jim Thome and added other veterans such as David Bell, Billy Wagner, Kevin Millwood, Jon Lieber, Eric Milton and Kenny Lofton.
Prior to the 2004 season, Wade hired manager Charlie Manuel, who led the Phillies to a World Series Championship in 2008, their first world championship in 28 years. After missing the 2005 playoffs by a one-game margin, Wade was dismissed and replaced by future Hall of Fame executive Pat Gillick. In Wade’s eight seasons as VP/GM, the Phillies compiled a record of 643-652. However, in his final five seasons, the team went 426-383, the sixth-best record in the National League in that span. Three years after being fired, the core players drafted and developed during Wade’s tenure brought Philadelphia its first World Series championship in 28 years. Gillick, Wade’s successor, referred to the 2008 champs as “Ed Wade’s team” during the post-victory celebration. Following two seasons of pro scouting for the San Diego Padres, Wade was named the General Manager of the Houston Astros on September 20, 2007. In his four years as the Astros GM, Wade again went through another rebuild, along with the sale of the team following the 2011 season by longtime owner Drayton McLane to Jim Crane.
The sale of the team was approved by Major League owners on November 26, 2011 and Wade was dismissed two days later. Early in the 2011 season, Wade promoted future A. L. MVP second baseman José Altuve directly from Class AA Corpus Christi to the Major Leagues. Among the numerous Major League players drafted by the Astros on Wade’s watch were future 2017 Cy Young Award-winning pitcher Dallas Keuchel and future 2017 World Series MVP outfielder George Springer. Altuve and Springer were three key players in the franchise’s first World Series Championship in 2017; as of 2015, there were 37 players performing in the Major Leagues who were in the Astros’ organization at the time of Wade’s dismissal in 2011. Wade returned to the Phillies in December 2011 as professional scout, he remained with the team until the end of the 2017 season
Brett Dolan is an American radio sportscaster, the voice of Touchdown Radio's game of the week. He served as the play-by-play announcer for the Houston Astros. Before joining the Astros, he served as the play-by-play announcer for the Triple A Tucson Sidewinders of the Pacific Coast League from 2000-2005, Iowa Cubs from 1998-99, the Beloit Snappers of the Midwest League from 1994-1997, he was chosen to fill in as a broadcaster for the Montreal Expos in 2003 and 2004 and during the 2004 and 2005 seasons he was the voice of the Arizona Fall League on MLB Radio. In 2004, he represented the Pacific Coast League in calling the Triple-A All-Star Game, he was Arizona Sportscaster of the Year in 2002 and 2003. In November 2005 he worked the Olympic baseball qualifying tournament in Phoenix. A native of Casey, Iowa, he graduated from the University of Iowa in 1992. Dolan and his wife Betsy make their home in Sugar Land, Texas with their son and daughter, Kate. Dolan worked as a sportscaster/news director at WTOQ/WKPL in Platteville, Wisconsin, in late 1992-early 1993, doing play-by-play of local high school sports as well as covering various government meetings including topics such as sewage removal and parking traffic citations
The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, known as the National League, is the older of two leagues constituting Major League Baseball in the United States and Canada, the world's oldest current professional team sports league. Founded on February 2, 1876, to replace the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players of 1871–1875, the NL is sometimes called the Senior Circuit, in contrast to MLB's other league, the American League, founded 25 years later. Both leagues have 15 teams. After two years of conflict in a "baseball war" of 1901–1902, the two leagues of 8 team franchises each, agreed in a "peace pact" to recognize each other as "major leagues", draft rules regarding player contracts, prohibiting "raiding", regulating relationships with minor leagues and lower level clubs, with each establishing a team in the nation's largest metropolis of New York City, the league champions of 1903 arranged to compete against each other in the new professional baseball championship tournament with the inaugural "World Series" that Fall of 1903, succeeding earlier similar national series in previous decades since the 1880s.
After the 1904 champions failed to reach a similar agreement, the two leagues formalized the new World Series tournament beginning in 1905 as an arrangement between the leagues themselves. National League teams have won 48 of the 114 World Series championships contested from 1903 to 2018. Due to its length, the National League's full name is used. Up until about the 1970's, the term National League was considered an informal term to be used for any North American major sports league that included those two words in its name the National Football League and National Hockey League. By the 21st century, that practice had fallen out of favor in North America, with the terms National League and NL reserved for the baseball league and similarly-named leagues in other sports being referred to by their full names or initials. By 1875, the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players, founded four years earlier, was suffering from a lack of strong authority over clubs, unsupervised scheduling, unstable membership of cities, dominance by one team, an low entry fee that gave clubs no incentive to abide by league rules when it was inconvenient to them.
William A. Hulbert, a Chicago businessman and an officer of the Chicago White Stockings of 1870–1889, approached several NA clubs with the plans for a professional league for the sport of base ball with a stronger central authority and exclusive territories in larger cities only. Additionally, Hulbert had a problem: five of his star players were threatened with expulsion from the NAPBBP because Hulbert had signed them to his club using what were considered questionable means. Hulbert had a great vested interest in creating his own league, after recruiting St. Louis four western clubs met in Louisville, Kentucky, in January 1876. With Hulbert speaking for the four in New York City on February 2, 1876, the National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs was established with eight charter members, as follows: Chicago White Stockings from the NA Philadelphia Athletics from the NA Boston Red Stockings, the dominant team in the NA Hartford Dark Blues from the NA Mutual of New York from the NA St. Louis Brown Stockings from the NA Cincinnati Red Stockings, a new franchise Louisville Grays, a new franchise The National League's formation meant the end of the old National Association after only five seasons, as its remaining clubs shut down or reverted to amateur or minor league status.
The only strong club from 1875 excluded in 1876 was a second one in Philadelphia called the White Stockings or Phillies. The first game in National League history was played on April 22, 1876, at Philadelphia's Jefferson Street Grounds, at 25th & Jefferson Streets, between the Philadelphia Athletics and the Boston baseball club. Boston won the game 6–5; the new league's authority was soon tested after the first season. The Athletic and Mutual clubs fell behind in the standings and refused to make western road trips late in the season, preferring to play games against local non-league competition to recoup some of their financial losses rather than travel extensively incurring more costs. Hulbert reacted to the clubs' defiance by expelling them, an act which not only shocked baseball followers and the sports world, but made it clear to clubs that league schedule commitments, a cornerstone of competition integrity, were not to be ignored; the National League operated with only six clubs during 1877 and 1878.
Over the next several years, various teams left the struggling league. By 1880, six of the eight charter members had folded; the two remaining original NL franchises and Chicago, remain still in operation today as the Atlanta Braves and the Chicago Cubs. When all eight participants for 1881 returned for 1882—the first off-season without turnover in membership—the "circuit" consist
Jeffrey Robert Bagwell is an American former professional first baseman and coach who spent his entire 15-year Major League Baseball playing career with the Houston Astros. A Boston Red Sox fourth-round selection from the University of Hartford as a third baseman in the 1989 amateur draft, he was traded to the Astros in 1990; the National League Rookie of the Year in 1991, Bagwell won the NL Most Valuable Player in 1994, was a four-time MLB All-Star, three-time Silver Slugger winner and a Gold Glove recipient. Forming a core part of Astros lineups with Craig Biggio and Lance Berkman given the epithet "Killer B's", Houston finished in first or second place in the National League Central division in 11 of 12 seasons from 1994 to 2005, they qualified for the playoffs six times, culminating in Bagwell's lone World Series appearance in 2005. He was elected to the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 2005, to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2017. Bagwell was part of the trade that sent relief pitcher Larry Andersen to the Red Sox, now regarded as one of the most lopsided trades in sports history.
Andersen pitched just 22 innings for Boston while Bagwell hit 449 home runs for the Astros, the most in club history, among setting numerous other franchise career and single-season records. He excelled at every major aspect of the game, including hitting, on-base ability, running and throwing. One of the most consistent players of his generation, in each of his first 11 seasons, he produced no fewer than 4.7 wins above replacement per Baseball-Reference.com. His 1994 season was his finest; as the fourth unanimous NL MVP in history, he set the record for fewest plate appearances to reach both 100 runs scored and 100 runs batted in, produced a.750 slugging percentage − the highest in the NL since 1925 − while batting a career-high.368. In 1999, he finished second in the MVP voting; the only player in MLB history to have six consecutive seasons with 30 home runs, 100 RBI, 100 runs scored, 100 walks. Bagwell is just the fifth to achieve 300 home runs, 1,000 RBI, 1,000 runs scored in his first 10 seasons.
He is one of 12 players in history to hit 400 home runs and record an on-base percentage of.400, the only first baseman with at least 400 home runs and 200 stolen bases. Overall, Bagwell batted over.300 six times, had a career OBP of.408 and a slugging percentage of.540. He is the only first baseman to achieve the 30–30 club more than once, his 79.6 career WAR per Baseball-Reference.com ranks sixth all-time among first basemen. Since his playing career ended, Bagwell has served in sporadic instructor assignments with the Astros, including as hitting coach in 2010. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, as the only son of Janice and Robert Bagwell, Jeff Bagwell and his family moved to Killingworth, when he was one year old. Much of Bagwell's family is from the Greater Boston area, including both his parents, are avid fans of the Boston Red Sox, his favorite player, Carl Yastrzemski, was a longtime left fielder for the Red Sox. Robert, from Watertown, pitched college baseball at Northwestern University and as a semi-professional.
Janice, a police officer, grew up in Newton and played softball in local Boston leagues until her 20s. Bagwell's parents divorced when he was 11. Precocious and demonstrating much athletic ability early in life, he played a wide variety of sports as a youth. Recalled Janice, Jeff "could throw a ball; when he was six months old, we’d throw a ball to him and he would throw it back."Bagwell graduated from Xavier High School, a private all-male Catholic school located in Middletown, Connecticut. A versatile athlete, he excelled at soccer, setting the school goal-scoring mark, played shortstop, lettered in basketball. In early 1989, Bagwell was honored by Xavier for his generosity, he excelled in American Legion Baseball under coach Fred Tremalgia for Post 75 in Middletown and went on to be named the 2003 American Legion Baseball Graduate of the Year. Former major league pitcher Bill Denehy, coach of the Hawks college baseball team for the University of Hartford in Connecticut, offered Bagwell a scholarship in spite of baseball not being his primary sport.
Bagwell accepted Denehy switched him to third base. Over three seasons playing for Hartford, he batted.413 in 400 at bats, a school record, for a time, a New England collegiate record. He was the school's career home run and run batted in leader when he was drafted, a two-time Eastern College Athletic Conference player of the year; the Red Sox selected Jeff Bagwell in the fourth round of the 1989 Major League Baseball draft. Throughout his career, Barry Axelrod served as his agent. For his first professional assignment, the Red Sox appointed Bagwell to the Winter Haven Red Sox of the Florida State League in 1989, where he batted.310 with two home runs. In 1990, while playing for the AA New Britain Red Sox, Bagwell won the Eastern League Most Valuable Player Award. In 136 games with New Britain, he batted.333 with 160 hits, four home runs, 61 runs batted in, 34 doubles, seven triples, 73 bases on balls, 57 strikeouts.422 on-base percentage.457 slugging percentage and.880 on-base plus slugging percentage.
He finished first in the league in hits and doubles, second in batting, OBP and OPS, fourth in BB, fifth in SLG, ninth in runs scored and tenth in RBI. Late in the 1990 season, the Red Sox, who were in search of relief pitching to improve their chances of making the playoffs, contacted the Houston Astros about Larry Andersen. Stan Benjamin, who scouted the Ne
First base, or 1B, is the first of four stations on a baseball diamond which must be touched in succession by a baserunner to score a run for that player's team. A first baseman is the player on the team playing defense who fields the area nearest first base, is responsible for the majority of plays made at that base. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the first baseman is assigned the number 3. Called first sacker or cornerman, the first baseman is ideally a tall player who throws left-handed and possesses good flexibility and quick reflexes. Flexibility is needed because the first baseman receives throws from the other infielders, the catcher and the pitcher after they have fielded ground balls. In order for the runner to be called out, the first baseman must be able to stretch towards the throw and catch it before the runner reaches first base. First base is referred to as "the other hot corner"—the "hot corner" being third base—and therefore, like the third baseman, he must have quick reflexes to field the hardest hit balls down the foul line by left-handed pull hitters and right-handed hitters hitting to the opposite field.
They are power hitters who have a substantial number of home runs and extra base hits while maintaining a.270 plus batting average. Good defensive first basemen, according to baseball writer and historian Bill James, are capable of playing off first base so that they can field ground balls hit to the fair side of first base; the first baseman relies upon the pitcher to cover first base to receive the ball to complete the out. Indications of a good defensive first baseman include a large number of assists and a low number of throwing errors by other infielders; the nature of play at first base requires first basemen to stay close to the bag to hold runners or to reach the bag before the batter. First basemen are not expected to have the range required of a third baseman, second baseman or an outfielder; as a result, first base is not perceived to be as physically demanding as other positions. However, it can be a hard position to play. Though many play at first base their entire career, it is common for veteran players to be moved to first base to extend their careers or to accommodate other acquired players.
Facing a possible trade or a considerable reduction in playing time, a player will opt to move to first base instead. Catchers and corner outfielders are moved to first base due to deteriorating health or if their fielding abilities at their original position are detrimental to the team. Unlike the pitcher and catcher, who must start every play in a designated area the first baseman and the other fielders can vary their positioning in response to what they anticipate will be the actions of the batter and runner once play begins; when first base is not occupied by a baserunner, the first baseman stands behind first base and off the foul line. The distance he plays from the base and foul line is dependent on the current hitter and any runners on base; the exact position may depend on the first baseman's experience and fielding ability. For a known right-handed pull hitter, the first baseman might position himself further towards the second baseman's normal fielding position. For a known left-handed pull hitter, the first baseman will position himself closer to the foul line to stop a ball hit down the line.
To protect against a bunt on the first base side of the infield, the first baseman will position himself in front of the base and move towards the hitter as the pitch is thrown. As soon as the pitcher commits to throwing towards home plate, the first baseman will charge towards the hitter to field the bunt. During these plays, it is the responsibility of the second baseman to cover first base. With a base runner present at first base, the first baseman stands with his right foot touching the base to prepare for a pickoff attempt. Once the pitcher commits to throwing towards home plate, the first baseman comes off the bag in front of the runner and gets in a fielding position. If the bases are loaded, or if the runner on first base is not a base stealing threat, the first baseman will position himself behind the runner and appropriate for the current batter; when waiting for a throw from another player, the first baseman stands with his off-glove foot touching the base stretches toward the throw.
This stretch decreases the amount of time it takes the throw to get to first and encourages the umpire to call close plays in favor of the fielding team. Veteran first basemen are known to pull off the bag early on close plays to convince the umpire that the ball reached his glove before the runner reached first base; the first baseman has the responsibility of cutting off throws from any of the three outfield positions on their way to home plate. Though situational, the first baseman only receives throws from the center or right fielder; the first baseman is at the end of a double play, though he can be at the beginning and end of a double play. Unusual double plays involving the first baseman include the 3–6–3, 3–4–3, 3–2–3, or a 3–6–1 double play. In a 3–6–3 or 3–4–3 double play, the first baseman fields the ball, throws to second, where the shortstop or second baseman catches the ball to make the first out and throws back to the first baseman who reaches first base in time to tag first base before the batter reaches first base.
For a 3–2–3 double play, the bases must be loaded for the force-out at home plate or the catcher must tag the runner coming from
Richard José Hidalgo is a former professional outfielder. He played with the Houston Astros, New York Mets, the Texas Rangers of Major League Baseball, he threw right-handed. Hidalgo was a powerful hitter, with good instincts in a strong throwing arm, he was supposed to be an all around player in all areas, but a congenital knee defect changed those plans. After hitting.306 and.303 in his first two seasons, Hidalgo had a disappointing 1999 campaign with a.227 average, although he showed some power with 15 home runs in 383 at-bats. He required season-ending kneecap surgery. Hidalgo blossomed in 2000, when he hit.314 with 122 RBIs. That season Hidalgo set the Astros' extra-base hit streak record, matched in 2017 by Alex Bregman, at 10 games. In September of 2000 Hidalgo set a Astros' of.476 average record, surpassed by Jose Altuve in 2018. But his numbers slowed in 2001 and 2002. In 2003, he returned to good form both in the field, he posted numbers of.309, 28, 88, collected three homers in a game, led the majors outfielders in assists with 22, while committing only four errors.
Hidalgo split the 2004 season between the Astros and the Mets, hitting.239 with 25 homers and 82 RBIs. A highlight of the 2004 season was a Met record of home runs in 5 consecutive games, 3 of them in interleague games against the New York Yankees. In 2006, he signed a minor league contract with the Baltimore Orioles, but left the team before the season started, when his wife became ill. Hidalgo requested to be released from his contract, allowing to him to go to Japan where he would have a starting role. In the 2006 off-season, the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs showed interest in signing Hidalgo. In January 2007, the Astros signed him again, this time to a minor league contract; this second tenure was short-lived, as Hidalgo was released by the Astros on March 25, 2007, after refusing a minor league assignment. Hidalgo was 560 RBIs in 987 games. On April 10, 2007, Hidalgo joined the Long Island Ducks. Before spring training, however, he announced his retirement from professional baseball. On July 8, 2008, Hidalgo signed with the Ducks again but left the team during the last week of August.
On November 22, 2002, Hidalgo was shot in the left forearm during a carjacking in Venezuela. In early 2008, Hidalgo's attempt to create a so-called "field of dreams" on his Florida property was voted down by residents of his neighborhood. Hidalgo has three sons. List of Major League Baseball players from Venezuela Career statistics and player information from ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference, or Retrosheet, or Pelota Binaria
Talbot Merton Smith is an American former professional baseball executive who has served in high baseball operations positions—including general manager and club president—as well as the founder of a firm that advises Major League Baseball teams on salary arbitration cases. A veteran of 54 years in baseball, he most served as president of baseball operations for the Houston Astros from November 22, 1994, through November 27, 2011—completing his 35th season with the Astros over three separate terms, he is the father of baseball executive Randy Smith. Tal Smith was born in Massachusetts. After attending Culver Military Academy and Duke University, serving in the United States Air Force, a brief time as a sportswriter, he began his baseball career in the front office of the Cincinnati Reds as a protégé of Gabe Paul, their general manager from 1951–1960, he moved with Paul to Houston when the Astros were founded at the close of the 1960 baseball campaign. While Paul stayed only a few months in Texas before resigning to return to Ohio as front-office boss of the Cleveland Indians, Smith remained with Houston as the team's farm system director assistant to the president.
He was promoted to player personnel after the 1965 season. When Paul surfaced as a member of George Steinbrenner's syndicate, which purchased the New York Yankees early in 1973, he hired Smith away from the Astros as executive vice president and head of the Yankees' baseball operations department. Smith spent 2½ seasons as a key part of the management team that built the Yankees back into a league power, but when the chance came to become the general manager of the Astros on August 7, 1975, Smith accepted it. Houston was in last place in the National League West Division when Smith assumed the reins, but under his leadership, the team rebuilt itself into contenders, winning its first division title in 1980. Along the way, Smith was named team president in 1976 and played a key role in resolving the club's ownership problem when he helped to convince Dr. John McMullen, a limited partner in Steinbrenner's ownership group, to sell his Yankees' shares and become the owner of the Astros. However, in a move that shocked baseball, McMullen fired Smith only days after the team's successful 1980 season.
McMullen's motive was never explained. In fact, some of the Astros limited partners threatened a lawsuit and brought about a re-organization with the result that two other directors ended up on equal footing with McMullen. Rather than seeking another front-office job, Smith formed his own consulting firm named Tal Smith Enterprises to advise MLB clubs on how best to handle salary arbitration cases with their players, his firm became successful over the next 15 years. In November 1994, Smith returned to the Astros as president of baseball operations. On August 27, 2007, Smith was named acting GM after the firing of Tim Purpura, he re-assumed his previous position upon the appointment of Ed Wade as full-time GM on September 21, 2007. Both Wade and Smith were dismissed by the team's new owner, Houston businessman Jim Crane, when he assumed control of the Astros late in November 2011. According to news reports at the time, Smith still heads Tal Smith Enterprises. Smith was a vital aide to McLane in the design of Minute Maid Park.
The ballpark's field dimensions and unique angles were designed with Smith's assistance. Until the 2017 season, center field included a 30-degree hill named "Tal's Hill" as a tribute to his creativity and contribution to the Minute Maid Park project. Smith had a similar role in the construction of the Astros' first stadium, the Astrodome, in 1963 when he was assistant to the president of the Houston Sports Association; the Astrodome changed the city of Houston. When the natural grass failed to thrive under the Astrodome's roof, Smith was responsible for finding an alternative playing surface; this led to the installation of Astroturf, a synthetic turf that became used in stadiums throughout the country. Baseball America Executive Database