Arizona Baseball

Arizona Wildcats with second-most ex-players coaching/managing NFL, MLB or NBA teams

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MOST EX-PLAYERS LEADING NFL, MLB AND NBA TEAMS

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Chip Hale, now the Arizona Diamondbacks manager, is the UA's equivalent of Cal Ripken Jr.

Chip Hale, now the Arizona Diamondbacks manager, is the UA’s equivalent of Cal Ripken Jr.

With the hiring of former Arizona Wildcats All-American Chip Hale as Arizona Diamondbacks manager, the university has the second-most former players leading Major League Baseball, NBA and NFL teams.

Arizona trails only California, which boasts Jason Kidd (Milwaukee) in the NBA, Bryan Price (Cincinnati) and Bob Melvin (Oakland) in MLB and Ron Rivera (Carolina) in the NFL.

Hale joins Arizona greats Steve Kerr (Golden State in the NBA) and Terry Francona (Cleveland Indians manager) as former Arizona players at the highest rank in NBA, MLB and NFL.

Hale, a San Jose, Calif., native who resides in Tucson, holds the Arizona hits record with 337. He also holds the distinction of playing all 255 games of his career from 1984-87, which is also the record for most consecutive games played.

“It is an amazing record that Chip never missed a game,” Arizona Hall of Fame coach Jerry Kindall told Corky Simpson of the Tucson Citizen in 2003, when Hale was named manager of the Tucson Sidewinders. “Not for sickness or anything else, and certainly not for academic reasons.”

Hale, who was Oakland’s bench coach, has the impressive backing of Arizona chief baseball officer, Tony La Russa, the retired Hall of Fame manager. La Russa fired general manager Kevin Towers in September and replaced by him with former 20-game winner Dave Stewart, whom he managed at Oakland. De Jon Watson was hired from the Los Angeles Dodgers as senior vice president/baseball operations.

Kirk Gibson was fired with three games left in a season in which the Diamondbacks finished a big league-worst 64-98.

Hale emerged from an initial list of nine candidates. He spent parts of seven seasons with Minnesota and the Dodgers during a 12-year playing career.

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CHIP HALE’S RECORDS AT ARIZONA
Games Played
Career: 255, Chip Hale, 1984-87 (All starts)
Career (Pac-12): 120, Chip Hale, 1984-87
Consecutive: 255, Chip Hale, 1984-87
At-bats
Career (Pac-12): 466, Chip Hale, 1984-87
Runs
Career (Pac-12): 117, Chip Hale, 1984-87
Hits
Season (Pac-12): 52, Terry Francona, 1979; Chip Hale, 1987;
Robbie Moen, 1993
Career: 337, Chip Hale, 1984-87
Career (Pac-12): 164, Chip Hale, 1984-87
Base on balls
Career: 162, Chip Hale, 1984-87
Sacrifice flies
Season: 10, Chip Hale, 1986; Alan Zinter, 1989
Freshman (Pac-12): 4, Chip Hale, 1984; Billy Owens, 1990
Career: 21, Chip Hale, 1984-87
Career (Pac-12): 9, Chip Hale, 1984-87; John Tejcek, 1990-93;
Jeff Gjerde, 1994-97
Total bases
Season (Pac-12): 90, Chip Hale, 1987
Career: 507, Chip Hale, 1984-87
Career (Pac-12): 240, Chip Hale, 1984-87

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Kindall told Simpson in the 2003 interview that he once envisioned Hale as a college coach, perhaps at Arizona.

“I coveted Chip for college coaching,” Kindall said. “With his ability, his enthusiasm, his philosophy and leadership, he would have been a great college coach.”

Hale’s hiring as Diamondbacks manager comes three days after former Arizona teammate Kevin Long was fired as the New York Yankees’ hitting coach after starting there in 2007.

The Red Sox are reportedly looking at Long to fill their hitting coach spot. Might Hale look to Long to join his staff? The introductory press conference is at 2 p.m. today.

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TOTAL LIST OF SCHOOLS WITH ALUMS COACHING/MANAGING NFL, NBA OR MLB TEAMS
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.

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