Tuesday, March 9, 2010

1976 Topps #377 - Mike Hegan

  • Mike Hegan is the son former Cleveland Indian catcher Jim Hegan. He was signed by the New York Yankees in 1961. Jim had several good seasons in the minors but couldn't stick with the Yankees since Joe Pepitone and Mickey Mantle (at the end of his career) were ahead of him at first base. Mike also spent a lot of time doing stints in the military during the mid-1960s which caused disruptions in his playing career.

  • Hegan played in five games for the Yankees in 1964 and was 0 for 5, but he was on the Yankees' World Series roster. Jim scored a run in game 1 after being inserted as a pinch runner. In 1966 Mike played in 13 games and batted .205. Hegan played in 68 games for the Yankees in 1967 and batted only .136. In 1968 Hegan played for AAA Syracuse. Mike was sold to the Seattle Pilots (who woudn't begin play until 1969) in June under the condition that he finish the '68 season in Syracuse.

  • Mike got a chance to play in Seattle and made the AL All Star team, but couldn't play due to a hamstring injury. Mike missed 67 games in 1969, mostly because of injuries. He played in 95 games and batted .292 with 8 HR and 37 RBI. The Pilots became the  Milwaukee Brewers in 1970. Mike batted .244 with 11 HR and 52 RBI in 148 games for the Brewers in 1970.

  • Hegan started the 1971 season with the Brewers (.221, 4 HR, 11 RBI) and was purchased by the Oakland A's on June 14. Mike batted .236 in 55 at bats for the A's and was 0 for 1 in the 1971 ALCS. Hegan was a backup 1B and occasionally played in the outfield. He had a good glove at first base and played in 178 consecutive games at first base without an error (the streak would extend until 1973). In 1972 Mike batted .329 in 79 at bats for the A's. He was 0 for 1 with a BB in the 1972 ALCS and was 1 for 5 in the 1972 World Series.

  • Mike didn't get much playing time while with the A's. He was batting .183 in 71 at bats in 1973 when he was traded to the Yankees as part of a "conditional deal" on August 18. He finished the 1973 season with the Yankees and batted .275 with 6 HR in 35 starts at first base.

  • During the 1974 season the Yankees acquired Chris Chambliss, which made Mike expendable. He played in 18 games at 1B for the Yankees and was batting .226 when he requested a trade to either Milwaukee, Detroit, or Boston. Jim was sold to the Brewers on May 13. The Brewers had George Scott as their starting 1B, so Mike backed up at 1B and played some OF and DH. Hegan batted .237 with 7 HR and 32 RBI for the Brewers in '74.

  • In 1975 Hegan batted .251 with 5 HR and 22 RBI in  203 AB. Mike hit for the cycle on September 3, 1976. During that season he batted .248 with 5 HR and 31 RBI in 218 AB. In 1977 Hegan wasn't happy about his role on the team and also wasn't happy with manager Alex Grammas. He batted .170 in 53 AB and was released on July 15.

  • Hegan jumped into the broadcasting booth when he finished his playing career. He already had a little bit of experience in the booth -- in 1973 A's manager Dick Williams sent Mike up to the booth to call three innings because the regular Oakland broadcaster had taken ill. Mike broadcasted for the Brewers for 11 seasons (1977-1987).  Mike also owned Grand Slam USA (a chain of indoor batting cages) in Milwaukee for 15 years. In 1989 Hegan moved on to the Cleveland Indians and has been broadcasting for them ever since.

  • Liked to face: Pat Dobson (.526 in 19 AB); Wally Bunker (.412 in 17 AB); Dick Drago (.341 in 41 AB)
  • Hated to face: Tom Burgmeier (.000 in 12 AB); Sonny Siebert (.080 in 25 AB); Bert Blyleven (.098 in 41 AB)

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