Bruce Hurst

Bruce Vee Hurst (born March 24, 1958) is a former Major League Baseball left-handed starting pitcher. He is best remembered for his performance for the Boston Red Sox in the 1986 postseason, named 1986 World Series MVP prior to the New York Mets' miraculous comeback in Game 6 of the World Series.

Bruce Hurst
Pitcher
Born: March 24, 1958 (age 61)
St. George, Utah
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
April 12, 1980, for the Boston Red Sox
Last MLB appearance
June 18, 1994, for the Texas Rangers
MLB statistics
Win–loss record145–113
Earned run average3.92
Strikeouts1,689
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Boston Red Sox

Hurst was selected by the Red Sox with the 22nd overall pick in the 1976 Major League Baseball draft out of Dixie High School in St. George, Utah. After going 17-6 with a 2.88 earned run average for the Winter Haven & Bristol Red Sox in 1979, Hurst was put on Boston's opening day roster for 1980. He made his major league debut in relief in the second game of the season, giving up five earned runs in an inning of work in an 18-1 blowout at the hands of the Milwaukee Brewers.[1] He made six more appearances, all starts, before being optioned back to Pawtucket with a 10.57 ERA. He returned to the majors in August, ending the season with a 2-2 record and 9.10 ERA at the major league level.

Hurst went 12-7 with a 2.87 ERA for Pawtucket in 1981, and had actually retired from the game briefly before receiving a September call-up to Boston.[2] In five major league starts, Hurst went 2-0 with a 4.30 ERA.

Hurst had gone 42-46 with a 4.59 ERA with the Red Sox before his breakthrough 1986 season. Hurst posted a 2.99 ERA with 13 victories despite spending six midsummer weeks on the disabled list with a pulled groin. The Red Sox won the American League East by 5.5 games over the New York Yankees to head to the 1986 American League Championship Series against the California Angels. He went 1-0 with a 2.40 ERA in two starts in the ALCS won by the Sox in seven games.

1986 World Series

Hurst pitched brilliantly in the World Series, holding the New York Mets to just four hits in the Game 1 pitchers' duel with Ron Darling won 1-0 by the Red Sox.[3] In Game 5, Hurst pitched a complete game victory to give Boston a 3-2 lead in the Series.[4]

With Boston winning 5-3 in the tenth inning of Game 6, the Mets were down to their last out with no one on base. A Red Sox World Series victory seemed all but a certainty as the Shea Stadium scoreboard was set to display "Congratulations Boston Red Sox, 1986 World Champions". Hurst had been selected as the World Series Most Valuable Player until the Mets rallied to win the game with three runs, forcing a decisive Game 7.[5]

Oil Can Boyd was originally slated to be the Game 7 starter for Boston, but when the game was delayed a day by rain, manager John McNamara bumped him in favor of Hurst. Hurst gave up just one hit through five innings of work, however, the Mets came back with three runs in the sixth to tie the game. Hurst got a no-decision as he handed the ball over to the bullpen. The Mets won the World Championship, and Ray Knight received MVP honors.

Believers of "The Curse of the Bambino" have pointed out the letters 'BRUCE HURST' can be re-arranged as 'B RUTH CURSE'.[6]

Return to the postseason

Hurst had a 9-6 record and 3.81 ERA when his manager added him to the 1987 American League All-Star team, however, he did not appear in the game.[7] He ended the season at a not-so-brilliant 15-13 as the Red Sox finished the season 20 games behind the first place Detroit Tigers.

Hurst was 9-4 with a 4.60 ERA midway through the 1988 season when the Red Sox replaced McNamara at manager with Joe Morgan. The Sox were in fifth place, nine games back of the first place Tigers at the time of the managerial change. The team went 46-31 from that point forward to finish one game ahead of Detroit in the AL East.

Hurst went 9-2 with a 2.54 ERA under his new manager to end the season at 18-6. He pitched a complete game in Games 1 of the 1988 American League Championship Series against the Oakland Athletics, but was outmatched by Oakland's ace, Dave Stewart.[8] With Boston down three games to none, the two faced off again in Game 4 with Stewart and the A's again emerging victorious to complete the sweep.[9]

San Diego Padres

Hurst chose to leave the only organization he'd ever known as a free agent following the 1988 season, and signed a three-year contract with the San Diego Padres worth $5.25 million.[10] On April 10, 1989, he pitched a one-hitter against the Atlanta Braves for his first National League win and also collected his first MLB hit as a batter.[11] He went 15-11 with a career-best 2.69 ERA that season.

On May 18, 1992, Hurst pitched a one-hit shutout over Dwight Gooden and the Mets. The only hit was a single by Chico Walker.[12] At the end of the season, he began to feel pain in his left shoulder and underwent surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff and labrum. The rehabilitation was an arduous process, and Hurst ended making just two starts for the Padres in 1993 before being traded to the Colorado Rockies on July 26 with Greg Harris for Brad Ausmus, Doug Bochtler and Andy Ashby.[13] He pitched just three games for Colorado.

Hurst signed with the Texas Rangers for the 1994 season. He was 2-1 with a 7.11 ERA in eight starts through June, but with the repercussions of the surgery still lingering, he decided to retire mid season.

Career stats

W L PCT ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H ER R HR BB K WP HBP Fld%
145 113 .562 3.92 379 359 83 23 0 2417.1 2463 1052 1143 258 740 1689 56 28 .968

Consistently good but never overpowering hitters, Hurst was a specialist at changing speeds. His fastball was hard enough to get in on right-handed hitters, and he mixed it with an excellent curve and a slider as well. He also had a decent forkball at times. Thanks to his great control, Hurst was able to work corners well and had a profuse knowledge of each hitter. In seven post-season games he had a 3-2 record with 37 strikeouts and a 2.29 ERA.

Post-playing activities

Bruce Hurst was inducted to the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame in November 2004. In 2005, he and Jim Lefebvre coached China to a bronze medal at the 23rd Asian Baseball Championship, which was the first time ever that China had defeated one of the "Big Three" Asian teams (Japan, South Korea, Chinese Taipei). In 2006, Hurst and Lefebvre also led the Chinese team in the inaugural World Baseball Classic, where they were eliminated in the first round of competition in the Asian bracket, which also featured eventual tournament champion Japan, as well as Korea and Chinese Taipei. In the Asian Baseball Championship in 2012 and World Baseball Classic in 2013, alongside manager John McLaren, Hurst also coached Team China.

Hurst returned to the Boston Red Sox during spring training in 2008 as a pitching instructor.[14] On February 26, 2008, Hurst was named as Special Assistant for Player Development with the Red Sox.[15]

References

  1. ^ "Milwaukee Brewers 18, Boston Red Sox 1". Baseball-Reference.com. April 12, 1980.
  2. ^ "Hurst Looks Ready for Majors This Time as Sizzling Bosox Continue to Streak". The Telegraph-Herald. May 5, 1982.
  3. ^ "1986 World Series, Game One". Baseball-Reference.com. October 18, 1986.
  4. ^ "1986 World Series, Game Five". Baseball-Reference.com. October 23, 1986.
  5. ^ "1986 World Series, Game Six". Baseball-Reference.com. October 25, 1986.
  6. ^ Shaughnessy, Dan (2005). Reversing the Curse. New York: Houghton Mifflin. p. 11. ISBN 0-618-51748-0.
  7. ^ "1987 All-Star Game". Baseball-Reference.com. July 14, 1987.
  8. ^ "1988 American League Championship Series, Game One". Baseball-Reference.com. October 5, 1988.
  9. ^ "1988 American League Championship Series, Game Four". Baseball-Reference.com. October 9, 1988.
  10. ^ "Padres Sign Hurst for 3 Years". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. December 9, 1988.
  11. ^ "San Diego Padres 5, Atlanta Braves 2". Baseball-Reference.com. April 10, 1989.
  12. ^ "San Diego Padres 3, New York Mets 0". Baseball-Reference.com. May 18, 1992.
  13. ^ "San Diego Trades Hurst, Harris to Rockies". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. July 27, 1993.
  14. ^ Edes, Gordon (February 16, 2008). "Nonroster invitees are a varied group". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2008-02-26.
  15. ^ Bradford, Rob (February 26, 2008). "Hurst set to pitch in: Joins team as special instructor". Boston Herald. Retrieved 2008-02-26.

External links

1984 Boston Red Sox season

The 1984 Boston Red Sox season was the 84th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished fourth in the American League East with a record of 86 wins and 76 losses, 18 games behind the Detroit Tigers.

1986 American League Championship Series

The 1986 American League Championship Series was a back-and-forth battle between the Boston Red Sox and the California Angels for the right to advance to the 1986 World Series to face the winner of the 1986 National League Championship Series. The Red Sox came in with a 95–66 record and the AL East division title, while the Angels went 92–70 during the regular season to win the AL West.

1986 Boston Red Sox season

The 1986 Boston Red Sox season was the 86th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished first in the American League East with a record of 95 wins and 66 losses. After defeating the California Angels in the ALCS, the Red Sox lost the World Series to the New York Mets in seven games.

1986 World Series

The 1986 World Series was the 83rd edition of Major League Baseball's championship series, and the conclusion of the 1986 Major League Baseball season. A best-of-seven playoff, it pitted the National League (NL) champion New York Mets against the American League (AL) champion Boston Red Sox. The Mets won the Series in the seventh game, after overcoming a deficit of two runs with two outs and no one on base in the bottom of the 10th inning of Game 6. This was a game in which the Red Sox were twice one strike away from victory, and known for the famous error by Boston's first baseman Bill Buckner after their lead had already been blown. Game 6 has been cited in the legend of the "Curse of the Bambino" to explain the major comeback. It was also the first World Series to use the designated hitter only in games played at the American League representative's stadium, a policy which has continued since (prior to this, since 1976, the DH would be used in all parks in the World Series for even-numbered years, but in odd-numbered years, the DH rule would not be in effect).

1987 Boston Red Sox season

The 1987 Boston Red Sox season was the 87th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished fifth in the American League East with a record of 78 wins and 84 losses, 20 games behind the Detroit Tigers.

1988 American League Championship Series

The 1988 American League Championship Series was a best-of-seven series that pitted the East Division champion Boston Red Sox against the West Division champion Oakland Athletics. It was the second meeting between the two in ALCS play. The Athletics swept the Series four games to none and would go on to lose to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1988 World Series.

1988 Boston Red Sox season

The 1988 Boston Red Sox season was the 88th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished first in the American League East with a record of 89 wins and 73 losses, but were then swept by the Oakland Athletics in the ALCS.

1989 San Diego Padres season

The 1989 San Diego Padres season was the 21st season in franchise history.

1990 San Diego Padres season

The 1990 San Diego Padres season was the 22nd season in franchise history. The team finished with a 75–87 record. They scored 673 runs and allowed 673 runs for a run differential of zero.

1993 San Diego Padres season

The 1993 San Diego Padres season was the 25th season in franchise history.

2014 BYU Cougars baseball team

The 2014 BYU Cougars baseball team represented Brigham Young University in the 2014 NCAA Division I baseball season. Mike Littlewood acted in his 2nd season as head coach of the Cougars. The Cougars came off a season where they exceeded expectations. After being picked to finish sixth, the Cougars finished in a 3-way tie for second and eliminated regular season champion Gonzaga in the WCC tournament. The Cougars would finish 32–21.For 2014 the Cougars were picked to finish sixth in the WCC 2014 Pre-season rankings. The Cougars played most of their home games at Larry H. Miller Field. However Bruce Hurst Field hosted one BYU home one series in late February, early March, and Brent Brown Ballpark hosted one BYU game. This was the second consecutive year the Cougars used Bruce Hurst Field for one series due weather concerns. The Cougars ended the season 22–31, 12–15 in conference play, and finished 7th in the WCC Standings.

Bob Didier

Robert Daniel Didier (born February 16, 1949) is an American former catcher in Major League Baseball who played for three different teams from 1969 through 1974. Listed at 6 feet (1.8 m), 190 pounds (86 kg), he was a switch-hitter who threw right-handed.

Didier was a talented catcher whose promising career was cut short by a litany of injuries. He entered the majors in 1969 with the Atlanta Braves, playing for them four years before joining the Detroit Tigers (1973) and Boston Red Sox (1974). In his rookie season, Didier appeared in a career-high 114 games, helping his team win the National League West Division title. At the end of the season, he finished fourth in the Rookie of the Year vote (behind Ted Sizemore, Coco Laboy and Al Oliver and over Larry Hisle) and also was named to the 1969 Topps All-Star Rookie Roster. After that, he suffered arm and back problems and played only in 133 games over the next five seasons. While in Atlanta, he became the preferred catcher of knuckleballer Phil Niekro.

The son of Mel Didier, a longtime scout and player development executive in the major leagues, Bob Didier was born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. In a six-season career, he was a .229 hitter (172-for-751) with 32 RBI and 32 runs without home runs. As a catcher, he collected 1276 outs, 119 assists, and committed only nine errors in 1404 chances, for a solid .994 fielding percentage.

Following his playing retirement, Didier managed in the minor leagues for the Tigers, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs organizations. In the majors, he has coached for the Oakland Athletics (1984–86) and Seattle Mariners (1989–90), and also has worked as a catching coordinator in the Arizona Diamondbacks system.

In 2007 Didier was part of the coaching staff at Major League Baseball's Academy in Tirrenia, Italy. The academy, for 55 elite players from 17 countries in Europe and Africa, was held from August 9 through August 30. The players were chosen by major league scouts at tryouts in Europe during the month of April. Didier joined Chinese Olympic team manager Jim Lefebvre as well former major leaguers Barry Larkin, Bruce Hurst, Lee Smith and John Cangelosi. He managed the Yakima Bears from 2008 to 2010.

Bruce Hurst Field

Bruce Hurst Field is a stadium in St. George, Utah. It is primarily used for baseball, hosting the Dixie State University baseball team. It was formerly the home field of the St. George Roadrunners of the Golden league. It holds 2,500 people and was opened in 1994. As of 2013, Bruce Hurst Field also serves as the home field for at least one BYU Cougars home series, usually during the month of February or March. It is named after Bruce Hurst, a former major league baseball player who was born in St. George.

Burns Arena

Burns Arena is a multi-purpose arena in St. George, Utah. It is the home of the Dixie State University Trailblazers basketball teams. The capacity of the arena is 5,000 people. It is located near Bruce Hurst Field and Hansen Stadium. There are 4,779 permanent seats at Burns Arena in 14 sections.

It is also the site of the Buck-A-Thon and the World Senior Games. Many concerts, high school tournaments, and boxing matches also take place in this facility.The arena is located on 400 South and 700 East in St. George.

Edward F. Kenney Sr.

Edward F. Kenney Sr. (1921–2006) was an American professional baseball executive.

A native of Massachusetts, Kenney was born in Medford and raised in Winchester where he captained the high school baseball team. He later spent three years as the starting shortstop for the Boston College, where he graduated in 1943 and enlisted in the United States Army. At the conclusion of World War II, he was signed by Hugh Duffy, a Boston Red Sox scout and former manager, who converted him to a pitcher. Kenney joined the Boston organization as a prospect in 1946, but his pitching career was curtailed prematurely by arm problems. During the Red Sox drive to the American League pennant that season, he worked in the club's ticket office.In 1948, Kenney joined the Red Sox Minor League department. One year later became assistant farm director to Johnny Murphy and later to Neil Mahoney. That department was divided into two sections in 1968, and Kenney became director of minor league operations until 1978, when was promoted to vice president. From 1989 until his 1991 retirement, Kenney served as vice president of baseball development.In his 43-year tenure with the Red Sox organization, Kenney contributed to develop a significant number of outstanding players such as Wade Boggs, Roger Clemens, Dwight Evans, Carlton Fisk, Bruce Hurst, Fred Lynn and Jim Rice.

His father, Thomas Kenney, worked as an assistant for Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey for several years beginning in 1934, while his son, Edward Kenney, Jr., worked in baseball operations for both the Red Sox and Orioles.Kenney died on October 25, 2006 in Braintree, Massachusetts at the age of 85, due to complications related to diabetes.

In 2008, Kenney was selected for induction into the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame.

Greg W. Harris

Gregory Wade Harris (born December 1, 1963), is a former professional baseball player who pitched in the Major Leagues from 1988 through 1995.

Greg Harris was drafted by the San Diego Padres out of Elon University in the 10th round of the 1985 amateur draft. Harris threw a no-hitter while playing for the Wichita Pilots, the AA affiliate of the Padres in 1987, and was named the organization's Minor League Pitcher of the Year. Primarily a relief pitcher in his early days with the Padres, he transitioned back into the starting rotation in 1991. His go-to pitch was a big, sweeping curveball, the best in the National League at the time. His career 2.95 ERA with the Padres is still one of the best ERAs in team history, only surpassed by Trevor Hoffman.

Harris and fellow pitcher Bruce Hurst were shipped off to the Colorado Rockies during the Padres 1993 fire sale, and later finished his career in Minnesota.

Harris' post-career San Diego superior court cases detailed scams and conspiracies that led to financial mismanagement and botched surgeries on his pitching arm and shoulder. The first case, against his surgeon, ended in 1999 with a $6 million verdict in Harris' favor. The second case ended in 2005 with a jury verdict awarding Harris $10 million in damages.During his career, Harris was often known as Greg W. Harris to differentiate him from fellow pitcher Greg A. Harris, whose career (1981–1995) entirely overlapped his.

Henderson RoadRunners

The Henderson RoadRunners were an independent professional baseball team based out of Henderson, Nevada. They are members of the Western Division in the North American League and were scheduled to begin play in 2011 at Lied Field at Morse Stadium on the campus of the College of Southern Nevada in Henderson. But they would forgo their inaugural season as Lied Field will not be ready in time for the start of the season. The franchise folded in 2012 after failing to attract attention and secure new ownership. They would've been the second professional franchise to play in the Las Vegas area. The first is the Las Vegas 51s of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League.

St. George Pioneerzz

The St. George Pioneerzz were a minor league baseball team located in St. George, Utah. The team played in the independent Western Baseball League, and was not affiliated with any Major League Baseball team. Their home stadium was Bruce Hurst Field.

The Pioneerzz were founded in 1999 as the Zion Pioneerzz and won the 2000 Western Baseball League championship. They were renamed the St. George Pioneerzz for the 2001 season, after which they ceased operations. The team had lost $2 million during its three years of operation.

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