Mike Hampton

Michael William Hampton, Jr. (born September 9, 1972) is an American former professional baseball player. Hampton played in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a pitcher from 1993 through 2010. He pitched for the Seattle Mariners, Houston Astros, New York Mets, Colorado Rockies, Atlanta Braves and Arizona Diamondbacks. He was the bullpen coach for the Mariners before resigning on July 9, 2017.

Mike Hampton
Hampton with the Braves in 2008
Born: (1972-09-09) September 9, 1972
Brooksville, Florida, U.S.
Batted: Right
Threw: Left
MLB debut
April 17, 1993, for the Seattle Mariners
Last MLB appearance
October 3, 2010, for the Arizona Diamondbacks
MLB statistics
Win–loss record148–115
Earned run average4.06
Career highlights and awards

Hampton is a two-time MLB All-Star. He won five Silver Slugger Awards and a Gold Glove Award. He was the Most Valuable Player of the 2000 National League Championship Series, and he pitched in the 2000 World Series for the Mets.

Early life

Hampton was born in Brooksville, Florida when his father, Mike Hampton Sr., was 19 and his mother, Joan, was 16.[1] He was the oldest of three children. Hampton was raised in Homosassa, Florida, and attended Crystal River High School.[2]

In high school, Hampton was recruited to play college football as a defensive back at Notre Dame, Miami and Florida State.[1]


Seattle Mariners

Hampton was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the sixth round of the 1990 Major League Baseball draft. He made his Major League debut in 1993. After the season, he was traded to the Houston Astros with Mike Felder for Eric Anthony.[3]

Houston Astros

Hampton became a starter for Houston in 1995, and kept his ERA under 4.00 for every season he was with the Astros. In 1999, Hampton had his best year, finishing with a 224 record, best in the National League, and a 2.90 ERA. He picked up his first of five Silver Slugger Awards and narrowly finished second in National League Cy Young Award voting to Randy Johnson. That season, Hampton batted .311 (23 for 74).

New York Mets

Entering the final year of his contract, Hampton was dealt to the New York Mets.[4] He went 1510 with a 3.12 ERA and helped the Mets reach the postseason. With two wins and no earned runs in two starts, Hampton was named the MVP of the 2000 NLCS. Hampton received a loss in his only World Series appearance.

Colorado Rockies

The Colorado Rockies signed Hampton to an eight-year, $121 million contract on December 9, 2000. It was the largest contract in baseball history at the time.[5] Hampton once claimed that he had chosen to move to Colorado because of "the school system", a statement that is often derisively referenced by sportswriters.[6] The Rockies hoped Hampton, who had been one of the best pitchers in the league over the past few seasons, would be able to succeed in the tough pitching conditions of Coors Field.

Hampton went 1413 with a 5.41 ERA in 2001, often succumbing to control problems. The next season, 2002, Hampton went 715 with his ERA climbing to a league-high 6.15 and batters hitting .313 off of him. Hampton hit ten home runs and had a .300+ batting average over two seasons.

His best all-around offensive season came in 2001 with the Colorado Rockies, when he would hit .291 with seven home runs. The next year he hit three home runs and batted .344. From 1999 to 2003, Hampton would go on to win five consecutive Silver Slugger Awards.

Atlanta Braves

In November 2002, Hampton was traded to the Florida Marlins, then to the Atlanta Braves. Hampton won 14 games and got his ERA back down to 3.84 in 2003. He overcame a slow start in 2004 by winning 10 of his last 11 decisions and helping to propel the Braves to another division championship.

Hampton's 2005 season was limited heavily by injuries. He went 53 in twelve starts, but was lost for the rest of the season with an elbow injury on August 19, 2005. Hampton had Tommy John surgery on September 25, 2005 and missed the entire 2006 season rehabbing.

The Braves were hoping for Hampton to be ready to rejoin the rotation in time for the start of the 2007 season. The rehab was on schedule until Hampton tore his oblique muscle on March 7, 2007, which was to sideline him until at least May.[7] Soon after, the Braves signed Mark Redman to be a left-handed starting pitcher for them in case Hampton was not able to return to action soon. After Hampton threw a bullpen session on April 8, the Braves shut Hampton down due to recurring elbow pain and said that he would see Dr. David Altchek, who had performed his Tommy John surgery in 2005.[8] The next day, it was announced after having another left elbow procedure, that Hampton would miss the entire 2007 season.[9]

Hampton began a rehab assignment on November 22, 2007 for Navojoa of the Mexican Winter League. In the first inning, he attempted to make a play on a comebacker and left during warmups before the second inning, feeling discomfort in his hamstring. The rest of his rehab was left in doubt.[10]

However, Hampton reported to "Camp Roger" on time in late January. He threw off the mound for Bobby Cox and Roger McDowell, both of whom were impressed with Hampton's steady progress. Hampton arrived a day before pitchers and catchers were due to report at Lake Buena Vista. He ran sprints and played catch with teammates, and continued to pitch off the mound, and threw to live batters: Mark Kotsay, Tim Hudson, and Corky Miller.

On April 3, 2008, Hampton was scheduled to make his long-anticipated return to the Braves rotation in a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. While warming up, however, Hampton strained his left pectoral muscle, and was placed on the 15-day disabled list.

On July 26, 2008, Hampton made his first major league start since August 2005 against the Philadelphia Phillies. However, he was soon injured again, and finished the season with only 13 appearances. His final 2008 stats included a 3–4 record and a 4.85 ERA.

Return to Astros

Hampton pitching for the Astros in 2009.

On December 3, 2008, Hampton signed a 1-year contract worth $2 million with the Houston Astros.[11] Hampton could have earned another $2 million in performance based incentives.[12]

Hampton chose to wear uniform #11 in his return to Houston to honor his old friend, longtime Astro catcher Brad Ausmus.[13] His #10 that he wore during his first stint with Houston was being worn by Miguel Tejada. He pitched in the number four spot behind Brian Moehler.[14]

On September 15, 2009, Hampton underwent full rotator cuff surgery to repair a tear and was expected to miss the entire 2010 season.[15]

Arizona Diamondbacks

Despite initially being expected to miss the whole season, on August 21, 2010, Mike Hampton signed a minor league contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks.[16] He returned to the major leagues with the Diamondbacks, throwing 4+13 innings in ten appearances.

After the season, Hampton re-signed with Arizona to a minor league deal for 2011.[17] On March 26, 2011, Hampton announced his retirement from baseball.[18]

Hitting stats

In 423 games over 16 seasons, Hampton posted a .246 batting average (178-for-725) with 97 runs, 22 doubles, 5 triples, 16 home runs, 79 RBI, 47 walks and a .356 slugging percentage. In 11 postseason games, Hampton batted .250 (5-for-20) with 1 run and 1 RBI.

Coaching career

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim organization

In 2013, Hampton was named the pitching coach for the Arkansas Travelers, the AA affiliate for the Angels, joining manager Tim Bogar, who was his teammate for the Astros from 1997 to 1999.[19] Hampton was not retained as coach after the 2013 season.

Seattle Mariners

After 2 years off from coaching, he was hired to be the bullpen coach for the Mariners, the team he played for his rookie year. He joined former Astros teammates Scott Servais (1994–95) and the aforementioned Tim Bogar on the coaching staff.[20] He resigned on July 9, 2017.

Awards and accomplishments

  • 2-time All-Star (1999, 2001)
  • 2000 NLCS MVP
  • Led NL in winning percentage (.8462, 1999)
  • Became the first pitcher ever to win the Gold Glove Award and Silver Slugger Awards in the same season (2003). The Gold Glove also snapped then-Atlanta teammate Greg Maddux's streak of 13 consecutive Gold Gloves. Hampton was the only National League pitcher other than Maddux to win a Gold Glove during Maddux's career from 1989 and onward.
  • Hampton holds the record for most Silver Slugger awards for a pitcher, with five.

See also

  • Atlanta Braves award winners and league leaders
  • List of Houston Astros team records
  • Houston Astros award winners and league leaders
  • List of Major League Baseball all-time leaders in home runs by pitchers
  • New York Mets award winners and league leaders


  1. Curry, Jack (January 17, 2000). "BASEBALL; Hampton Driven to Succeed by Father". The New York Times. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  2. Hill, Thomas (February 13, 2000). "THE CITY THAT NEVER SLEEPS Mike Hampton now lives in New York, but the Mets ace is all Homosassa, Fla". New York Daily News. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  3. Finnigan, Bob (December 11, 1993). "Mariners Maneuver For More Muscle In Outfield -- Felder, Hampton Dealt To Astros For Powerful Outfielder Eric Anthony". Seattle Times. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  4. "Mets Acquire Hampton From Astros". Los Angeles Times. December 24, 1999. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  5. "Hampton Goes to Rockies With Record Contract". abcnews.go.com. December 9, 2000. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  6. Chass, Murray (March 5, 2001). "Rockies' Hampton, the Education Pitcher, is Sticking to his Story". Nytimes.com. New York City Metropolitan Area. Retrieved August 22, 2010.
  7. Hampton strains side muscle Archived March 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  8. "Hampton suffers setback". Sports.espn.go.com. April 9, 2007. Retrieved August 22, 2010.
  9. Bowman, Mark (April 9, 2007). "Hampton to have surgery, miss season: Braves left-hander to undergo another procedure on elbow". MLB.com. Retrieved August 22, 2010.
  10. Bowman, Mark (November 26, 2007). "Hampton Strains Hamstring In Mexico". MLB.com. Retrieved August 22, 2010.
  11. Footer, Alyson (December 3, 2008). "Astros welcome back Hampton". MLB.com. Retrieved August 22, 2010.
  12. Footer, Alyson (December 1, 2008). "Hampton returning to Astros". MLB.com. Archived from the original on February 25, 2012. Retrieved August 22, 2010.
  13. Footer, Alyson (December 3, 2008). "Astros welcome back Hampton". MLB.com.
  14. Footer, Alyson (December 3, 2008). "New number honors old friend". MLB.com. Retrieved August 22, 2010.
  15. "Hampton to miss next season". Sports.espn.go.com. September 16, 2009. Retrieved August 22, 2010.
  16. "Diamondbacks bring up veteran P Hampton". WLBZ. September 3, 2010. Archived from the original on April 26, 2016. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  17. Gilbert, Steve (December 9, 2010). "Towers takes major steps to improve D-backs". MLB.com. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  18. "Veteran lefty Mike Hampton decides to retire". mlb.com. March 26, 2011. Retrieved March 26, 2011.
  19. "Bogar New Travs Manager, Hampton Joins Staff | Arkansas Travelers News". Arkansas Travelers. Retrieved December 26, 2016.
  20. "Mariners finalize big league coaching staff, hiring Casey Candaele to coach first base and Mike Hampton as bullpen coach". The Seattle Times. November 23, 2015. Retrieved December 26, 2016.
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