Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Player Profile: Dante Bichette

I have 93 cards of Dante Bichette. This one is from 1995 Pacific Prisms.

Playing career: Outfielder Dante Bichette was a mediocre ballplayer for the first five seasons of his career in California and Milwaukee, and the last two years in Cincinnati and Boston. However, in between he spent seven years as a hitting beast in the thin air of Colorado, where he was a four-time All-Star and twice led the NL in hits. In 1995 he just missed the Triple Crown, hitting .340 while leading the league with 40 HR and 128 RBI.  In that year’s NLDS loss to the Braves, his only playoff appearance, he hit .588 (10-17) with 1 HR and 3 RBI.

Where he is now: Owns Baseball at the Warehouse, an instructional facility in Orlando.

My memories: I remember thinking that his high offensive numbers in Colorado were due to the altitude. That’s probably mostly true, but doesn’t fully explain why his batting averages, not just power, were so much better there. He was probably better than many critics gave him credit for being.

Interesting facts: He is the father of Yankees prospect Dante Bichette Jr. Dante Sr. and current Yankees manager Joe Girardi were such good friends as Rockies teammates that Girardi named his son Dante.

Google Autocomplete results: He is third when you type Dante B, between Dante Bichette Jr, the Yankees prospect, and Dante Bayern, referring to a single-named soccer player on the Bayern Munich team. There do not appear to be any other prominent Dante Bichettes.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Dante Bichette Jr.

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