Chris Chambliss

Carroll Christopher Chambliss (born December 26, 1948) is an American professional baseball player and coach. He played in Major League Baseball from 1971 to 1988 for the Cleveland Indians, New York Yankees and Atlanta Braves. He served as a coach for the Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals, New York Mets, Cincinnati Reds, and Seattle Mariners.

Chambliss won the American League Rookie of the Year Award with the Indians in 1971. He was an All-Star with the Yankees in 1976, the same year he hit the series-winning home run in the 1976 American League Championship Series. He was a member of the Yankees' 1977 and 1978 World Series championship teams, both against the Los Angeles Dodgers, and won the Gold Glove Award in 1978. Chambliss went on to win four more World Series championships as the hitting coach for the Yankees in 1996, 1998, 1999, and 2000.

Chris Chambliss
Chris Chambliss
Chambliss as a member of the Atlanta Braves in the 1980s.
First baseman
Born: December 26, 1948 (age 70)
Dayton, Ohio
Batted: Left Threw: Right
MLB debut
May 28, 1971, for the Cleveland Indians
Last MLB appearance
May 8, 1988, for the New York Yankees
MLB statistics
Batting average.279
Home runs185
Runs batted in972
As player

As coach

Career highlights and awards

Early life

Chambliss was born in Dayton, Ohio, on December 26, 1948. He was the third of four sons born to Carroll and Christene Chambliss. His father was a chaplain in the United States Navy, leading the family to relocate many times during Chris' childhood. They settled in Oceanside, California, where Chris attended high school.[1] Chris and his brothers all played baseball on the Oceanside High School baseball team.[2]

Playing career

Cleveland Indians

Chambliss enrolled at MiraCosta College, a junior college, where he played college baseball. Despite being selected in the Major League Baseball (MLB) Drafts of 1967 and 1968 by the Cincinnati Reds, he opted not to sign with the Reds on either occasion. He transferred to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he continued his college baseball career with the UCLA Bruins baseball team in 1969. That season, he led the Bruins with 15 home runs and 45 runs batted in. During the summer, he played collegiate summer baseball for the Anchorage Glacier Pilots of the Alaska Baseball League, which won the National Baseball Congress (NBC) championship. Chambliss had a .583 batting average in the NBC tournament and was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player.[1]

The Cleveland Indians selected Chambliss with the first overall pick in the January 1970 Major League Baseball Draft.[1] The Indians assigned him to the Wichita Aeros of the Class AAA American Association, their most advanced minor league baseball affiliate. With the Aeros, Chambliss batted .342, which led the league.[1]

With Ken Harrelson serving as the Indians' first baseman, the Indians had Chambliss play in the outfield for Wichita in 1971, in order to have both players in their lineup at the same time.[1] He debuted in the majors in 1971, and was named AL Rookie of the Year. Chambliss played first base and was known as a great clutch hitter throughout his career.

New York Yankees

Chambliss was traded to the New York Yankees from the Indians in April 1974, along with pitchers Cecil Upshaw and Dick Tidrow for Fritz Peterson, Fred Beene, Tom Buskey, and Steve Kline.[3]

Chris Chambliss was once quoted as saying, "If you're not having fun [in baseball], you miss the point of everything."[4]

Chambliss appeared in the 1976 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.[5]

In the deciding Game 5 of the 1976 American League Championship Series against the Kansas City Royals, Chambliss hit Mark Littell's first pitch in the bottom of the ninth inning to right field for a game-winning home run, giving the Yankees their first pennant since 1964.[6]

Chambliss was the hitting star of the 1976 ALCS, as he also hit a two-run homer in Game 3 to help the Yankees win that game 5–3. He hit an ALCS record .524 (11-for-21) with 2 home runs and eight RBIs. In the 1976 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds, Chambliss hit .313 (5-for-16) with one RBI.

Chambliss played three more seasons with the Yankees, helping lead the Yankees to the 1977 World Series title–their first since 1962–and winning a Gold Glove for his fielding prowess in 1978.

The "Chris Chambliss Rule"

Immediately after the walk-off home run, thousands of fans stormed the Yankee Stadium field to celebrate. Chambliss was mobbed on the basepaths and did not make an attempt to touch home plate. Instead, he ran straight toward the dugout and the safety of the Yankee clubhouse. Chambliss was then asked by Graig Nettles if he had touched home, and responded that he had not because too many people were in the way. Nettles then told him that home plate umpire Art Frantz was waiting for him to touch home so that the home run could be ruled official. He was then escorted back out onto the field to touch home, but the plate had been stolen, so he touched the area where the plate had been.

Said Chambliss:

"I just kind of reacted like I always did. I wasn't trying to hit a home run. Sometimes when you react to a high fastball it works out that way. Then, when I was running around the bases, fans were coming at me from everywhere, grabbing me, pounding me on the back. I was just trying to get around the bases and into the dugout---I ran at least one guy over---but I never made it to home plate. Later, after I got to the clubhouse, [Graig] Nettles said I should return to the field and touch home plate, just to make it official. But when we got back out there, home plate and all the other bases were gone, stripped from their moorings and confiscated by the delirious Yankee fans."[7]

Kansas City manager Whitey Herzog could have appealed the play, as Major League rules state that a player must touch all bases on any hit or when running the bases. However, the mayhem on the field made this task impossible, and given the magnitude of the game, Herzog would have never tried to have it restarted or protested due to a technicality. In any event, the umpires had already decided to let the run count given the circumstances of the situation.[8]

As a result of this incident, Major League Baseball changed the rules to allow the umpire to award any base runner or batter a run when he cannot reach the plate due to fans rushing the field.[9] This had the effect of codifying the decision made by the umpires in Game 5.

Later career

After the 1979 season, the Yankees traded Chambliss to the Toronto Blue Jays with Damaso Garcia and Paul Mirabella for Rick Cerone, Tom Underwood, and Ted Wilborn. The Yankees hoped that Cerone would replace Thurman Munson as their starting catcher.[10] Later that offseason, the Blue Jays traded Chambliss with Luis Gómez to the Atlanta Braves for prospects Barry Bonnell, Joey McLaughlin, and Pat Rockett.[11]

He then moved on to Atlanta from 1980 through 1986. He had one at-bat with the Yankees in 1988 and struck out. (According to Lou Piniella, this at-bat earned him about $20,000, since he had to be paid the minimum player salary for the season after he was activated for that at-bat.[12]) He retired with a career .279 batting average and 185 home runs.[13] After his playing days ended, Chambliss became a hitting instructor for several teams and was talked about as a possible managerial candidate.

Coaching and managerial career

In 1989, Chambliss became the manager for the Double-A London Tigers of the Eastern League, an affiliate of the Detroit Tigers. The London Tigers won the Eastern League title in 1990, playing out of Labatt Park. That same year Chambliss was named Minor League Manager of the Year by The Sporting News.

Chambliss was also a hitting coach with the Yankees, and has the distinction of being one of two men who wore a Yankees uniform (player or coach) during each of the Yankees' last six World Series Championship seasons prior to 2009 (1977, 1978, 1996, 1998, 1999, and 2000)—the other is former New York Mets manager Willie Randolph. Chambliss was also the hitting coach for the St. Louis Cardinals,[14] New York Mets[15] and Cincinnati Reds.[16]

For many years, Chambliss was a leading candidate to manage a major league team.[17] He was considered for manager of the Chicago White Sox in 1991[18], the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1996[19], the New York Mets in 1999, the Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks in 2000[20], and the Mets again in 2002[21].

Chambliss was the manager of the Triple A Charlotte Knights prior to joining the Seattle Mariners in November 2010 as hitting coach.[22] At the conclusion of the 2012 season, the Mariners announced that Chambliss would not be returning as their hitting coach in 2013.[23]


Chambliss' cousin is former NBA player Jo Jo White.[24]

His son Russell is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, and currently hitting coach with the Peoria Chiefs.[25]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e  . "Chris Chambliss". SABR. Retrieved 2014-04-07.
  2. ^ Maffei, John (May 20, 2011). "MLB: Chambliss back in the big leagues with Mariners" (PDF). North County Times. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 8, 2013. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
  3. ^,4675625&dq=chris+chambliss&hl=en
  4. ^ The Love of Baseball, Publications International, Ltd. ISBN 978-1-4127-1131-9
  5. ^,449639&dq=chris+chambliss+all-star&hl=en
  6. ^,2184467&dq=chris+chambliss&hl=en
  7. ^ Lou: Fifty Years of Kicking Dirt, Playing Hard, and Winning Big in the Sweet Spot of Baseball by Lou Piniella with Bill Madden (HarperCollins, 2017), p. 75
  8. ^ "Chambliss' walk-off homer - 10/14/1976".
  9. ^ Official Baseball Rules, Rule 4.09(b) comments, "An exception will be if fans rush onto the field and physically prevent the runner from touching home plate or the batter from touching first base. In such cases, the umpires shall award the runner the base because of the obstruction by the fans.
  10. ^,2453216&dq=chris+chambliss+wife&hl=en
  11. ^,1506845&dq=chris+chambliss&hl=en
  12. ^ Lou: Fifty Years of Kicking Dirt, Playing Hard, and Winning Big in the Sweet Spot of Baseball by Lou Piniella with Bill Madden (HarperCollins, 2017), p. 145
  13. ^
  14. ^ Knapp, Gwen (1995, October 29) A's Should Grab Chambliss While He Lasts. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2011-04-06, from
  15. ^ Chass, Murray (2002, June 14) Mets Name Chambliss Coach. The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-04-06, from
  16. ^ Associated Press (2006, September 16) Reds Hitting Coach Suspended One Game for Arguing. ESPN. Retrieved 2011-04-06, from
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ Stone, Larry (2010, November 4) Hitting Coach Chambliss is Only Member of Seattle Coaching Staff with No Ties to Manager Eric Wedge or the Mariners. The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2011-04-06, from
  23. ^ Associated Press (2012, October 4) Mariners fire Chris Chambliss ESPN. Retrieved 2012-10-04, from
  24. ^ Flanagan, Jeffrey (1994-09-29). "List grows to four Chambliss is candidate for the Royals' managerial job". The Kansas City Star. p. D1. Retrieved 2019-05-23. (subscription required)
  25. ^
  • London Tigers 1989, The Collector's Edition, Souvenir Program.
  • Tiger Special: Peanuts, popcorn, crackerjack, Baseball's Back, The London Free Press, Section F, April 7, 1989.
  • 1980 Baseball Register published by The Sporting News

External links

1967 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1967 Cincinnati Reds season consisted of the Reds finishing in fourth place in the National League with a record of 87–75, 14½ games behind the NL and World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals. The Reds were managed by Dave Bristol and played their home games at Crosley Field.

1967 Major League Baseball draft

The Major League Baseball draft (or "first-year player draft") recruits amateur baseball players into the American Major League Baseball league. The players selected in 1967 included many talented prospects who later had careers in the professional league. Some selections included Bobby Grich and Don Baylor (Baltimore), Vida Blue (Kansas City Athletics), Dusty Baker and Ralph Garr (Atlanta), Ken Singleton and Jon Matlack (Mets), and Ted Simmons and Jerry Reuss (St. Louis). In the January draft, Boston selected catcher Carlton Fisk and the New York Mets drafted Ken Singleton. The Cincinnati Reds selected Chris Chambliss in the 31st round only to have him enroll in junior college. The Mets chose Dan Pastorini in the 32nd round, but Pastorini chose football and played several seasons in the NFL. Atlanta also chose Archie Manning in the 43rd round.

1968 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1968 Cincinnati Reds season was a season in American baseball. It consisted of the Reds finishing in fourth in the National League, with a record of 83–79, 14 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals. The Reds were managed by Dave Bristol and played their home games at Crosley Field. The team had 5,767 at bats, a single season National League record.

1974 Cleveland Indians season

The 1974 Cleveland Indians season was the team's 74th season in Major League Baseball. It involved the Indians competing in the American League East, where they finished fourth with a record of 77–85.

1974 New York Yankees season

The 1974 New York Yankees season was the 72nd season for the team in New York and its 74th overall dating from its origins in Baltimore. The team finished with a record of 89–73, finishing 2 games behind the Baltimore Orioles. New York was managed by Bill Virdon. The Yankees played at Shea Stadium due to the ongoing renovation of Yankee Stadium.

1976 American League Championship Series

The 1976 American League Championship Series was won by the New York Yankees, who defeated the Kansas City Royals, 3–2.

1976 New York Yankees season

The 1976 New York Yankees season was the 74th season for the Yankees in New York, and the 76th season overall for the franchise. The team finished with a record of 97–62, finishing 10½ games ahead of the Baltimore Orioles to win their first American League East title.

In the ALCS, the Yankees defeated the Kansas City Royals in 5 games. Chris Chambliss's walk-off home run in Game 5 clinched the pennant for the Yankees.

In the World Series, they were defeated in a four-game sweep by the defending champion Cincinnati Reds, marking only the second time that the Yankees had ever been swept in a World Series in their history (following the 1963 Los Angeles Dodgers).

New York was managed by Billy Martin. The Yankees returned to the newly renovated Yankee Stadium.

1977 World Series

The 1977 World Series was the 74th edition of Major League Baseball's (MLB) championship series. The best-of-seven playoff was contested between the New York Yankees, champions of the American League (AL) and defending American League champions, and the Los Angeles Dodgers, champions of the National League (NL). The Yankees defeated the Dodgers, four games to two, to win the franchise's 21st World Series championship, their first since 1962, and the first under the ownership of George Steinbrenner. The Series was played between October 11 and 18, broadcast on ABC.

During this Series, Reggie Jackson earned his nickname "Mr. October" for his heroics. Billy Martin won what would be his only World Series title as a manager after guiding the Yankees to a second straight pennant.

1980 Atlanta Braves season

The 1980 Atlanta Braves season was the 15th season in Atlanta along with the 110th season as a franchise overall.

1988 New York Yankees season

The New York Yankees' 1988 season was the 86th season for the Yankees. The team finished with a record of 85-76, finishing in fifth place, 3.5 games behind the Boston Red Sox. New York was managed by Lou Piniella and Billy Martin, with the latter managing the team for the fifth and final time. The Yankees played at Yankee Stadium.

1994 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1994 followed the system in place since 1978.

The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players and

elected Steve Carlton.

The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions to consider older major league players as well as managers, umpires, executives, and figures from the Negro Leagues.

It selected two, Leo Durocher and Phil Rizzuto.

Art Reichle

Art Reichle was the head coach of the UCLA Bruins baseball in 1941 and from 1946 to 1974. He had a career record of 747–582–12. He was inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame in 1998. One of the players he coached at UCLA was Jackie Robinson. He died at the age of 86 on May 23, 2000.Led by Chris Chambliss, his 1969 team won the Pacific-8 Conference Championship and played in the College World Series, first appearance for the university.

He was a student-athlete at UCLA from 1934–36, playing football, rugby and baseball. He married his wife Ruth and they had three children, sons Arthur Jr. and Richard and daughter Denise Margarite.

Bill Bonham

William Gordon Bonham (born October 1, 1948) was a pitcher for the Chicago Cubs (1971–77) and Cincinnati Reds (1978–80). He played for the UCLA Bruins and was a member of the 1969 College World Series team with Chris Chambliss.He helped the Reds win the 1979 National League Western Division.

Bonham led the National League in losses (22) in 1974.

On July 31, 1974, Bonham tied a Major League record (shared by 49 pitchers) by striking out four batters in an inning (2nd).

He also led the National League in earned runs allowed (120) in 1975.

In 10 years he had a 75–83 win-loss record and had 300 games, 214 games started, 27 complete games, 4 shutouts, 33 games finished, 11 saves, 1,487 ⅓ innings pitched, 1,512 hits allowed, 743 runs allowed, 662 earned runs allowed, 98 home runs allowed, 636 walks allowed, 985 strikeouts, 35 hit batsmen, 68 wild pitches, 6,484 batters faced, 57 intentional walks, 19 balks and a 4.01 ERA.


Chambliss is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

John R. Chambliss (1833–1864), American soldier

John R. Chambliss, Sr. (1809–1875), American politician

Chris Chambliss (born 1948), American baseball player

Clyde Chambliss, Alabama politician

Saxby Chambliss (born 1948), American politician, Senior Senator from Georgia

Kirby Chambliss (born 1959), American flier

Robert Edward Chambliss (1904–1985), American Domestic Terrorist

William Chambliss (1933–2014), American criminologist and sociologist

Markus Chambliss (Born 2003) American rapper/singer, preferably known as iTzRatatoskR

Fred Beene

Freddy Ray Beene (born November 24, 1942) is an American former professional baseball player. Beene was a right-handed pitcher who played in the Major Leagues between 1968 to 1975. He was listed at 5 feet 9 inches (1.75 m) tall and 155 pounds (70 kg).

Beene played college baseball at Sam Houston State University. In performance in the small college World Series convinced Orioles scout Dee Phillips to sign him for $6,000 in 1964. Beene played with Baltimore's minor league system until 1968 and made his major league debut in September 18 of that year. He played in eight games over three seasons for the Orioles. In 1972, he was traded to the New York Yankees for a player to be named later, which turned out to be Dale Spier. Beene pitched very well for the Yankees, having earned run averages under 2.50. In 1974 Beene was traded by with Tom Buskey, Steve Kline, and Fritz Peterson to the Cleveland Indians for Chris Chambliss, Dick Tidrow, and Cecil Upshaw.

Beene appeared in 112 MLB games played, all but six as a relief pitcher. In 288 innings, he allowed 274 hits and 111 bases on balls, with 156 strikeouts. Primarily a middle reliever, Beene notched eight career saves, and compiled a career earned run average of 3.63.

After his playing career, Beene spent 20 seasons (1981–2000) as a scout for the Milwaukee Brewers. One of the players he talked the Brewers into drafting was Jim Morris in 1983, who would make his major league debut 16 years later.

Fred Kuhaulua

Fred Mahele Kuhaulua (born February 23, 1953 in Honolulu, Hawaii) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher. On August 1, 1972 the left-hander was signed by the California Angels as an amateur free agent. He played for the Angels (1977) and San Diego Padres (1981).

Kuhaulua made his major league debut in relief on August 2, 1977 against the New York Yankees at Anaheim Stadium. He pitched 2.1 innings and gave up five hits (including a Chris Chambliss home run) and three earned runs. Kuhaulua struck out Willie Randolph to end the 6th. He appeared in three games for the Angels that month and had an ERA of 15.63, earning himself a trip back to the Salt Lake City Gulls of the Pacific Coast League.

He was released by the Angels during spring training of 1978 and signed with the Chunichi Dragons of the Japanese Central League. After a season in Japan he was signed by the Padres on March 1, 1979.

He pitched in five games for San Diego in 1981, including four starts, and had an ERA of 2.45. His finest major league effort was in the last game of his career, on October 1, 1981 against Fernando Valenzuela and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Kuhaulua pitched the first eight innings of a 1-0 shutout that night at Dodger Stadium, and Eric Show saved it for him with a scoreless 9th.

Career totals for 8 games pitched include a 1-0 record, 5 games started, and 2 games finished. He allowed 19 earned runs in 35.2 innings pitched, giving him a lifetime ERA of 4.79.

Joey McLaughlin

Joey Richard McLaughlin (born July 11, 1956) is a retired professional baseball player who was a right-handed relief pitcher in Major League Baseball from 1977 to 1984. He played for the Atlanta Braves, Toronto Blue Jays, and Texas Rangers. McLaughlin was drafted by the Braves in the second round of the 1974 amateur draft.He played his first game with the Braves on June 11, 1977, against the Philadelphia Phillies. McLaughlin did not play for the Braves in 1978, then returned to the team for the 1979 season.

After the 1979 season, McLaughlin was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays along with Barry Bonnell and Pat Rockett in exchange for Chris Chambliss and Luis Gómez.Almost exclusively used as a reliever, McLaughlin became increasingly unpopular in Toronto in the 1983 season in which he recorded 9 saves, but also recorded 11 blown saves. He remained with the Blue Jays until May 13, 1984, when he was released by the team. McLaughlin was signed by the Texas Rangers ten days later on May 23, but was released by the Rangers after the season, ending his career.

McLaughlin's son, also named Joey, played in the minor leagues from 2004 to 2006 but never advanced to the majors.

Mark Littell

Mark Alan Littell (born January 17, 1953), is a professional baseball player who pitched in the Major Leagues from 1973 to 1982 for the Kansas City Royals and St. Louis Cardinals. Littell had a lifetime ERA of 3.32 and saved 56 games from 1976 to 1981. Bone spurs in his elbow cut his career short, and Littell retired midway through the 1982 season at the age of 29.

Primarily a relief pitcher, Littell served at the Royals' closer in 1976–1977, and is best remembered for giving up a walk-off home run to New York Yankees first baseman Chris Chambliss to end the 1976 American League Championship Series. It was only the second home run he allowed in more than 100 innings pitched that year.

Two years later, the Royals dealt Littell, along with catcher Buck Martinez, to the Cardinals in exchange for relief pitcher Al Hrabosky.

Pat Rockett

Patrick Edward Rockett (born January 9, 1955 in San Antonio, Texas) is a former baseball shortstop who played for the Atlanta Braves between 1976 and 1978. Rockett was drafted by the Braves as the tenth pick of the 1973 amateur draft. He played his first game with the Braves on September 17, 1976 against the Los Angeles Dodgers; it was one of only four major league games he played in that season.Rockett played parts of two more seasons with the Braves in 1977 and 1978. He spent the entire 1979 season with the Braves' Triple-A affiliate in Richmond before being traded in the 1979/80 off-season to the Toronto Blue Jays along with Barry Bonnell and Joey McLaughlin for Chris Chambliss and Luis Gómez.

Rockett never played a game with the Blue Jays, spending a year with their Triple-A affiliate in Syracuse before his career came to an end.Rockett played high school baseball at Robert E. Lee High School in San Antonio where he earned all-state honors. He was also an outstanding football player. He helped lead the Lee Volunteers to a 28-27 1971 UIL 4A State title over Wichita Falls High School. Tommy Kramer, who had a long NFL career, was his quarterback in high school. Another notable high school teammate was Richard Osborne who also earned all-state honors and later played pro football for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Jay Ward
New York Yankees hitting coach
Succeeded by
Champ Summers
Preceded by
first manager
London Tigers Manager
Succeeded by
Gene Roof
Preceded by
Buddy Bailey
Greenville Braves Manager
Succeeded by
Grady Little
Preceded by
Phil Niekro
Richmond Braves Manager
Succeeded by
Grady Little
Preceded by
Don Baylor
St. Louis Cardinals hitting coach
Succeeded by
George Hendrick
Preceded by
Rick Down
New York Yankees hitting coach
Succeeded by
Gary Denbo
Preceded by
Lynn Jones
Calgary Cannons Manager
Succeeded by
Dean Treanor
Preceded by
Dave Engle
New York Mets hitting coach
Succeeded by
Denny Walling
Preceded by
Ray Knight
Cincinnati Reds hitting coach
Succeeded by
Brook Jacoby
Preceded by
Marc Bombard
Charlotte Knights Manager
Succeeded by
Joe McEwing
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