Thursday, December 24, 2009

Where Are They Now? Danny Heep

On December 10, 1982 the NY Mets acquired Danny Heep from the Houston Astros for soon to be Cy Young Award winner Mike Scott. Heep was a player on two World Championship teams: the 1986 NY Mets and the 1988 LA Dodgers. For the Mets, Heep was used as a role player. He occasionally played 1B and RF. He made a living as a left handed pinch hitter. In 1983 he led the Majors in pinch hit HR's with 4.

Heep was signed by the LA Dodgers as a free agent on June 12, 1987. A year later, he was a World Champion again. Ironically, the Dodgers upset the Mets in the LCS, and went on the beat the heavily favored Oakland A's.

Mike Silva - NY Baseball Digest has a great interview with Danny Heep. Heep explains that he learned a lot about pinch hitting by listening and talking with pinch hitter extraordinaire, Rusty Staub . He was amazed on how Staub could dissect a pitcher to determine what pitch was coming. He also spoke glowingly of how Staub went from a quality everyday player to a state of the art pinch hitter.

Heep also discusses his membership in the
Scum Bunch , as chronicled in Jeff Pearlman's 2005 book of the '86 Mets - The Bad Guys Won . Heep seems real low key, but his portrayal in the book is quite different.

For the last 11 years, Danny Heep Has Been Head Coach At The University of Incarnate Word -- San Antonio, Texas . Heep, 52, has done a great job with the school's baseball program. In 11 years, Heep's coaching record is 366-223 for a .621 winning percentage. The Cardinals have had eight straight years of 30 wins

or more. In 10 of his 11 years they have won at least 30 games.
Heep's batting skills as a ball player has translated into his coaching.

His teams lowest cumulative batting average is .316. The highest is .348. Not bad.
I always liked Danny Heep as a player. He was a good OF on a great team. He was very reliable when he started, and just as reliable coming off the bench.

Listen to Mike Silva's interview with Heep. It runs about 20+ minutes, and is well worth the listen.

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