|Pittsburgh Pirates – No. 13|
|Outfielder / Manager|
July 30, 1957 |
Big Rapids, Michigan
|Batted: Left||Threw: Right|
|September 18, 1977 for the Kansas City Royals|
|Last MLB appearance|
|June 26, 1987 for the New York Mets|
(through September 27, 2013)
|Runs batted in||193|
|Career highlights and awards|
Clinton Merrick Hurdle (born July 30, 1957) is a former Major League Baseball outfielder whose 10-year career was spent with the Kansas City Royals, Cincinnati Reds, New York Mets, and St. Louis Cardinals. After retiring from playing baseball, Hurdle became a manager. His eight seasons with the Colorado Rockies included leading his 2007 club to the franchise's first National League pennant. On November 14, 2010, Hurdle was hired as the manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Clint Hurdle is named for his father, Clinton, who played collegiate baseball for Ferris State University. When Hurdle was four years old, the family moved from Michigan to Florida so his father could take a job at the Kennedy Space Center. Hurdle is a 1975 graduate of Merritt Island High School in Merritt Island, Florida.
Hurdle is married to third wife Karla and has three children; daughter Madison (who was born in 2002 and has Prader-Willi Syndrome), son Christian (who was born in 2004), and daughter Ashley (who was born in 1985 and is from a previous marriage). Hurdle is a recovering alcoholic and is afflicted with a permanently reddened complexion due to his struggles with alcohol during his playing days.
After being selected by the Kansas City Royals with the 9th pick of the first round in the 1975 amateur draft, Hurdle played for the Royals from 1977 to 1981, but never achieved the level of play suggested by his high draft position. Playing regularly only in 1978 and 1980, he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds in December 1981, and after spending 1982 with the Reds, went on waivers to join the New York Mets (1983, 1985) and St. Louis Cardinals (1986) before ending his career with the Mets in 1987. Hurdle had been featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1978 as that year's "phenom." Throughout his career, he also played first base, third base, catcher and designated hitter.
Hurdle also played in the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League during three different seasons. In his first season, 1977–78, he led the league in home runs (18) while batting .305 with 52 RBIs. He played again in 1979 and 1983. In all three times he led the league in walks while playing for the local team Tiburones de La Guaira
Hurdle began his managerial career the next year, 1988, when he was named Manager of the St. Lucie Mets, a Class "A" team. He also served as Manager for the AA Jackson Mets (1990), AA Williamsport Bills (1991), and the AAA Tidewater/Norfolk Tides (1992–1993).
In 1994 he joined the Colorado Rockies organization as the minor league hitting instructor, serving in that capacity until he was named the Rockies hitting coach in 1997. Hurdle was promoted to Manager in 2002 following the early-season firing of Buddy Bell. On April 2, 2006, he was given a two-year contract extension. In 2007, Hurdle managed Colorado to their second best finish in the team's 15-year history (only topped by the 2009 season) by winning 13 out of the last 14 games in order to force a tie-breaker game with the San Diego Padres to determine the winner of the National League Wild Card. Colorado defeated San Diego, reaching the playoffs for only the second time in Rockies history. Hurdle's Rockies then beat the Philadelphia Phillies in the Division Series, sweeping them in three games to force a match-up with their rival Arizona Diamondbacks in the NLCS. The Rockies continued their improbable streak by sweeping Arizona in four games to win the first pennant in team history and reach the 2007 World Series.
In the World Series, Colorado faced the Boston Red Sox. But the winning ways came to an end, and the Rockies were swept in four games. Injuries to several regulars caused the Rockies to fade in 2008, and after a poor start in 2009, Hurdle was fired on May 29. Although Hurdle was offered a "significant role" within the Rockies organization, he decided to join the MLB Network as a studio analyst for the remainder of 2009.
On November 4, 2009, he was hired as the hitting coach for the Texas Rangers. In 2010, Hurdle helped the Rangers to their first American League pennant in franchise history before losing to the San Francisco Giants in the 2010 World Series.
After interviewing with both the Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Mets for their vacant managerial positions, Hurdle was hired by the Pirates on November 14, 2010. Hurdle then agreed to a 3-year contract, keeping him with the team through the 2013 season.
At the 2011 All-Star break, Hurdle had led the Pirates to a 47–43 record, one game out of first place in the NL Central. It was the first time the Pirates had been over .500 going into the All-Star break since winning the 1992 National League East. At the 2012 All-Star break, Hurdle had led the Pirates to a 48–37 record, leading the NL Central division by 1 game over the Cincinnati Reds. However, both seasons ended with collapses that led to the Pirates 19th and 20th straight losing seasons. In late 2013, the Pirates led the National League Central, with the best record in the major leagues, again aiming to snap the franchise's long losing streak. On September 9, 2013 with a 1-0 win over the Texas Rangers Clint Hurdle's Pittsburgh Pirates attained win number 82. On September 23, 2013 with a 2-1 win over the Chicago Cubs and a win by the St. Louis Cardinals over the Washington Nationals, the Pittsburgh Pirates secured their first playoff berth since 1992 as well as their 90th win. Hurdle won the National League Sporting News Manager of the Year Award in 2013.
- List of Major League Baseball managers in 2006
- List of Major League Baseball managers in 2007
- List of Major League Baseball managers in 2008
- List of Major League Baseball managers in 2009
- List of Major League Baseball managers in 2011
- List of Major League Baseball managers in 2012
- List of Major League Baseball managers in 2013