Shawn Estes

Aaron Shawn Estes (born February 18, 1973) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher.

Shawn Estes
Estes with the Padres in 2008
Born: (1973-02-18) February 18, 1973
San Bernardino, California, U.S.
Batted: Right
Threw: Left
MLB debut
September 16, 1995, for the San Francisco Giants
Last MLB appearance
September 24, 2008, for the San Diego Padres
MLB statistics
Win–loss record101–93
Earned run average4.71
Career highlights and awards

High school

Estes attended Douglas High School in Minden, Nevada. As a senior in 1991, he was named Gatorade's Nevada State Baseball Player of the Year and finished with a 0.79 earned run average and 141 strikeouts in 61.2 innings pitched. At the plate, he hit .488 with eight home runs. He would go on to be enshrined in the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Hall of Fame in 2016.[1]

Estes initially committed to play college baseball at Stanford University but instead signed with the Seattle Mariners after being selected in the first round of the 1991 MLB Draft.[1]

Minor leagues

Estes began his professional career with the Bellingham Mariners in "A" ball in 1991. He then played with the Appleton Foxes, Arizona League Mariners and Wisconsin Timber Rattlers from 1992-1995. The Mariners traded Estes to the San Francisco Giants on May 21, 1995 for Salomón Torres.

The Giants moved Estes through their farm system rapidly during the 1995 season, sending him to the Burlington Bees, San Jose Giants and Shreveport Captains.

Major league career

San Francisco Giants

Estes made his Major League debut with the Giants on September 16, 1995, working 5.1 innings as a starter against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He allowed five earned runs and collected the loss. He was 0-3 in three starts for the Giants that September.

Estes returned to the minors to start the 1996 season with the Phoenix Firebirds, but was recalled to the Majors to start a game against the rival Los Angeles Dodgers on July 13. Estes worked seven shutout innings to record his first career victory.

Estes had his best season as a professional in 1997, when he went 19-5 with a 3.18 ERA for the Giants. He was selected to the NL All-Star team during this season. He also had four career home runs and 28 RBIs, including a grand slam in 2000.

On May 24, 2000, Estes became the first pitcher in Giants' franchise history to hit a grand slam since Monte Kennedy in 1949.[2]

New York Mets

The Giants traded Estes to the New York Mets on December 16, 2001 for Desi Relaford and Tsuyoshi Shinjo. The Mets signed him to a $6.2 million contract, avoiding arbitration.[3] On June 15, 2002, Estes found himself at the center of a controversy when he started against the New York Yankees against Roger Clemens. In 2000, Clemens had beaned Mets catcher Mike Piazza, followed by the incident in Game 2 of the 2000 World Series in which Clemens threw a broken bat at Piazza. With the fans standing in anticipation of the showdown, Estes' first pitch was a fastball that was about a foot behind Clemens. Estes would hit a two-run homer off Clemens in the fifth inning of the eventual 8-0 Mets win, setting off a loud roar from the sellout crowd of 54,347 and derisive chants of "Ro-ger! Ro-ger!"

Estes would ultimately start 23 games for the Mets, with a record of 4-9 and a 4.55 ERA, before he was traded again on August 15 to the Cincinnati Reds for Brady Clark, Raul González, Elvin Andújar and Pedro Feliciano.[4]

Cincinnati Reds

He pitched in six games for the Reds, finishing 1-3 with a 7.71 ERA.

Chicago Cubs

Estes signed a 1-year deal with the Cubs in 2003. He was moved to the bullpen towards September due to his struggles on the mound.[5] However, on September 24 with the Cubs holding a one-game lead over the Houston Astros, Estes pitched a complete-game shutout en route to an 8-0 Cubs win at Cincinnati.[6] Three days later, the Cubs wrapped up the division. He ultimately finished the season with a record of 8-11, 5.73 ERA in 28 starts.

Colorado Rockies

Estes signed a minor league deal with the Colorado Rockies in 2004.[7] He was named the Opening Day starter. He beat Randy Johnson on Opening Day 6-2, pitching 7 innings while allowing just 2 runs on 2 hits.[8]

He would enjoy his first winning season since the year 2000, finishing the season with a record of 15–8 in 34 starts, despite his 5.84 ERA being the highest among qualified starters.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Estes again signed a 1-year deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2005, following his stint the previous season with the Rockies. He was placed on the DL in July with a stress fracture in his left ankle.[9] His season was cut short and he finished the season with a record of (7-8, 4.80 in 21 starts).

Estes (left) with fellow Padres pitchers Kevin Cameron and Justin Germano, in 2008.

San Diego Padres

Estes signed a one-year deal with the San Diego Padres for the 2006 season[10] but made only one start before he was lost for the season due to Tommy John surgery.[11]

Estes began his 2007 comeback with minor league appearances in Single-A, though he was soon promoted to Triple-A Portland. After his first start in Portland, Estes reaggravated his injured pitching elbow. He was placed on the disabled list retroactive to August 6.

On May 8, 2008, Estes finally returned to the Majors after missing most of the previous two seasons with injuries.[11] He started eight games for the Padres in 2008, finishing 2-3 with a 4.74 ERA. The Padres chose not to re-sign him after the season.

Los Angeles Dodgers

On January 9, 2009, Estes signed a one-year minor league deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers with an invitation to spring training.[12] He was expected to compete for the fifth starter position but pitched poorly in spring training games and was released on March 22.[13] However, after thinking about his options, he decided to stay with the Dodgers and report to minor league camp to attempt to transition into a situational reliever[14] The Dodgers assigned Estes to the AAA Albuquerque Isotopes to open the season, where he was 3-4 with a 3.08 ERA in 13 starts before announcing his retirement because he did not want to pitch in AAA.

Washington Nationals

On February 6, 2010, Estes signed a minor league contract with the Washington Nationals. On March 11, 2010, the Nationals released him.[15] After his release from the Nationals, he retired from baseball.

Life after baseball

On July 31, 2010, Estes was honored with a plaque on the Giants Wall of Fame along with former teammate Rich Aurilia.[16] Estes and Aurilia serve as co-hosts of Giants pregame and postgame shows on NBC Sports Bay Area. He is also an occasional fill-in analyst on Giants road game broadcasts, working alongside Duane Kuiper. Estes previously did television color commentary for the Reno Aces of the Pacific Coast League.

Personal life

Estes is married to Nathalie Evashevski Estes. They have four children and live in Arizona.[17]


  1. Price, Dave (January 15, 2016). "Shawn Estes named to NIAA Hall of Fame". Record-Courier. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  2. Bush, David (May 25, 2000). "Giants Enjoy a Grand Night / Estes' shutout, slam spark rout". SFGate. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  3. "Mets sign Shawn Estes".
  4. "Reds trade for Shawn Estes".
  5. "Cubs to Try Cruz as Fifth Starter; Estes to Bullpen". 13 September 2003. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. "Chicago Cubs at Cincinnati Reds Box Score, September 24, 2003 -".
  7. services, Tribune news. "Estes gets minor deal with Rockies".
  8. "Estes bests Big Unit in opener | News". Archived from the original on 2010-12-10.
  9. "MLB Baseball News, Scores, Standings, Rumors, Fantasy Games". Yahoo Sports.
  10. "Padres agree to terms with Shawn Estes". January 10, 2006. Archived from the original on March 10, 2012. Retrieved December 26, 2009.
  11. "Padres place Kevin Cameron on the 15-day disabled list". May 8, 2008. Archived from the original on March 10, 2012. Retrieved December 26, 2009.
  12. Bollinger, Rhett (January 9, 2009). "Dodgers sign Estes to Minors deal". Retrieved December 26, 2009.
  13. Gurnick, Ken (March 22, 2009). "Dodgers cut left-hander Estes". Retrieved December 26, 2009.
  14. Gurnick, Ken (March 23, 2009). "Estes switching to lefty-relief role". Retrieved December 26, 2009.
  15. Zuckerman, Mark (11 March 2010). "Nats Insider: Guardado among first cuts".
  16. "Aurilia, Estes to join Giants Wall of Fame | News". Archived from the original on 2012-11-05.
  17. Krajewski, Jim. "Shawn Estes returns to roots and helps Nevada baseball". Reno Gazette Journal. Retrieved 2022-10-26.
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