May 23, 1970 |
|April 13, 1993, for the San Diego Padres|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 3, 2004, for the Boston Red Sox|
|Runs batted in||357|
Ricardo "Ricky" Gutiérrez (born May 23, 1970) is an American former shortstop in Major League Baseball who played from 1993 through 2004 for the San Diego Padres (1993-1994), Houston Astros (1995-1999), Chicago Cubs (2000-2001), Cleveland Indians (2003), New York Mets (2004) and Boston Red Sox (2004). He batted and threw right-handed. He was also the only Houston Astros player to get a base hit in Kerry Wood's 20-strikeout game.
- Background 1
- Boston Red Sox 2
- See also 3
- Sources 4
- References 5
Listed at 6'1", 195 pounds, Gutiérrez started his career at shortstop and became a valuable utility player later in his career. In the field, he had decent range and an above-average arm. He was a sharp line-drive hitter, and spent most of his career in the National League.
His most productive season came in 2001 with the Cubs, when he posted career-highs in batting average (.290), RBI (66), runs (76), hits (153) and games played (147). He finished the year leading the National League in sacrifice hits (17). He also had the fourth most sacrifice flies in the league (11), and was tenth in singles (117) and now he's a baseball coach for American Senior High School.
Gutiérrez holds the modern-day MLB record for seeing the most pitches (20) in a single at bat. On June 26, 1998 at Jacobs Field, Gutiérrez, then a member of the Astros, squared off against Cleveland Indians pitcher Bartolo Colón to open the top of the eighth inning. Colón's first two pitches were strikes, but over the next 17, Gutiérrez took three balls and hit 14 fouls. With the 20th pitch of the at bat, Gutiérrez struck out. This single match up accounted for 18% of the pitches that Colón threw in the game.
Boston Red Sox
On July 21, 2004, the Boston Red Sox acquired Gutiérrez from the Chicago Cubs for a player to be named later or cash considerations. Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein lauded Gutiérrez as "a veteran with a tremendous makeup ... he'll fit in well as a utility guy for us."
Gutiérrez exceeded Theo Epstein's expectations. He wore number 16, the same number as other Red Sox players such as Hank Johnson, Dave Sax, and Bob Zupcic. His greatest offensive performance came on August 28, 2004 versus the Detroit Tigers. Gutiérrez, who filled in at second base while Mark Bellhorn took over at third for Bill Mueller, went 3 for 4 with a two-run single with the bases loaded in the fifth inning. Teammate Alan Embree was in awe: "He's been sitting a long time, to come off the bench and contribute like he did tonight was incredible."
While with the Red Sox, Gutiérrez was a .275 hitter (11-for-40) with 3 RBI in 21 games, including 6 runs, 1 double, 1 stolen base, and a .310 on-base percentage. The Red Sox were 14-7 in games in which Gutiérrez appeared.
In an 11-season career, Gutiérrez was a .268 hitter (967-for-3632) with 38 home runs and 357 RBI in 1074 games, including 463 runs, 138 doubles, 25 triples, 49 stolen bases, and a .338 on-base percentage.
- The ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia – Gary Gillette, Peter Gammons, Pete Palmer. Publisher: Sterling Publishing, 2005. Format: Paperback, 1824pp. Language: English. ISBN 1-4027-4771-3
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference
- 2004 Gamelogs
- Retrosheet Boxscore: Cleveland Indians 4, Houston Astros 2
- Mental floss Bolg » 6 Epic At-Bats