The Arizona Diamondbacks hired Chip Hale as their new manager today, the new Arizona headman coming over from his job as bench coach for the Oakland A's. Hale has never managed in the big leagues, and will be tasked with righting the rattling ship in Arizona, as the Diamondbacks ended 2014 with the worst record in the league. But many are simply wondering: Who's Chip Hale?
Walter William Hale
Back in the day
Hale played at the University of Arizona in the 1980s, and still makes his home in Tucson. So, Hale gets bonus points for "clearly liking the desert!" Hale played on the Arizona team that won the College World Series in 1986, and he was named Pac-10 South Division co-player of the year in 1987 (the player he tied with? Torey Lovullo, current bench coach for Boston).
A few at-bats here, a few hits there. Hale was a sparsely-used second and third baseman over seven big league seasons, appearing for the Twins in 1989 and '90, then again from '93-'96. His final season as a player came in 1997, for the Dodgers, when he got a single in twelve at-bats. Hale was a lifetime .277 hitter in 575 at-bats. He hit seven career home runs, and posted a 1.7 WAR in 1993 for Minnesota. Somewhere, a steroid weeps at the chance it never got to make Hale an All-Star.
Hale spent three seasons managing what was then Arizona's Triple A club, the Tucson Sidewinders, from 2004-2006. In his final year running the club, Tucson won the Pacific Coast League Championship Series, and Hale was named PCL Manager of the Year.
The following season, 2007, Hale appeared on Bob Melvin's bench, when Melvin was Arizona's manager. Hale remained Melvin's bench coach until 2009, when he became bench coach of the New York Mets for two seasons. In 2011, Hale returned to Melvin's staff in Oakland, where he served through the 2014 season.
Notable appearance in old grainy bloopers
Why, yes! Hale hit the ball that made Rodney McCray do this in 1991.
Room for improvement in 2015
Lots of it.