Ron Hassey

Ronald William Hassey (born February 27, 1953) is an American former professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a catcher for the Cleveland Indians (1978–1984), Chicago Cubs (1984), New York Yankees (1985–1986),[1] Chicago White Sox (1986–1987), Oakland Athletics (1988–1990), and Montreal Expos (1991). Hassey is notable for being the only catcher in MLB history to have caught more than one perfect game (the first with Len Barker in 1981[2] and his second with Dennis Martínez in 1991[3]). Hassey joined Gus Triandos as the only catchers in MLB history to have caught a no-hitter in both leagues.[4]

Ron Hassey
Born: (1953-02-27) February 27, 1953
Tucson, Arizona, U.S.
Batted: Left
Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 23, 1978, for the Cleveland Indians
Last MLB appearance
September 3, 1991, for the Montreal Expos
MLB statistics
Batting average.266
Home runs71
Runs batted in438
Career highlights and awards
Men's baseball
Representing  United States
Pan American Games
1975 Mexico City Team

Early life

Hassey is the son of Joseph Bill Hassey, a former baseball player in the New York Yankees’ minor-league system. He was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, and attended Tucson High Magnet School where, in 1972, his team went undefeated and won the state championship. Ron was often referred to as the Pride of Tucson. He went to the University of Arizona, where he was coached by Jerry Kindall. In Hassey's senior year (1976) the Wildcats won their first of three NCAA Championship's under Kindall. Hassey's father also played for Tucson High Magnet School and the University of Arizona.

Playing career (1976–91)

Minor leagues

Hassey was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 18th round of the 1976 amateur draft. He played for the San Jose Bees, the Williamsport Tomahawks, the Toledo Mud Hens, and the Portland Beavers.

MLB regular season

He made his MLB debut on April 23, 1978, and played his final game on September 3, 1991. He played in 1,192 regular season games, finishing with a .266 batting average, 71 home runs, and 438 runs batted in. He had the highest average among all catchers in the 1980 baseball season with a .318 batting average. On May 15, 1981, Hassey caught starting pitcher Len Barker's perfect game against the Toronto Blue Jays. On June 13, 1984, Hassey was involved in a high-profile trade, when the Cleveland Indians traded him along with Rick Sutcliffe and George Frazier to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for Joe Carter, Mel Hall and Don Schulze.[5] While with the Oakland Athletics he was known for almost exclusively catching all of starting pitcher Bob Welch's games, most notably during the 1990 season in which Welch won 27 games and earned the Cy Young Award trophy.[6] On July 28, 1991, he caught Dennis Martínez's perfect game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He had been catching Martínez exclusively that season with the Expos.

MLB postseason

Hassey played for the Athletics in three World Series. He was a member of the A's team that lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1988 World Series, and he was catching Dennis Eckersley during the legendary Kirk Gibson's 1988 World Series home run.[7] He was also a member of the A's team that defeated the San Francisco Giants in the 1989 World Series (though he did not play in the series), and lost to the Cincinnati Reds in the 1990 World Series. In five postseason series, Hassey tallied an impressive career postseason .323 batting average.

Post-playing career (1992–present)

Hassey was a coach for the expansion Colorado Rockies from 1993 to 1995, and for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1996. He then served as a scout for the Arizona Diamondbacks from 1997 to 2003. He managed the Carolina Mudcats in 2004, and in 2005–06 served as a bench coach for the Seattle Mariners under manager Mike Hargrove. Hargrove and Hassey played together for the Cleveland Indians from 1979 to 1984. He spent the 2011 season managing the Miami Marlins' Class A Affiliate, the Jupiter Hammerheads. He spent the 2012–2013 season managing, Miami Marlins' Triple-A Affiliate, the New Orleans Zephyrs. The last game for the New Orleans Zephyrs, Hassey announced he was going to retire from baseball.

See also


  1. "Hassey heads back to Yanks". The Gazette. Associated Press. 14 February 1986. pp. D–2. Retrieved 30 May 2010.
  2. "Len Barker Perfect Game Box Score". Baseball-Almanac. Retrieved April 27, 2012.
  3. "Dennis Martinez Perfect Game Box Score". Baseball-Almanac. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
  4. "Gus Triandos Looks Back on his Catching Career", Baseball Digest, June 1997, Vol. 56, No. 6, ISSN 0005-609X
  5. "Ron Hassey Trades and Transactions". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved July 17, 2012.
  6. Jim Donaghy (October 17, 1990). "A Year Later, Welch Gets Turn". Associated Press.
  7. "'That was a cool feeling': An oral history of Kirk Gibson's iconic 1988 home run". Retrieved 23 October 2013.
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