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Adrian Garrett

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Henry Adrian Garrett Jr.
(Smokey)

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[edit] Biographical Information

The older brother of Wayne Garrett, Jimmy Garrett and father of Jason Garrett, Adrian 'Smokey' Garrett played in Japan for the Hiroshima Carp from 1977 to 1979, hitting 102 home runs in just three years while helping the Carp to victory in the 1979 Nippon Series. In addition to his 3 years in Japan, Adrian spent time in the Major Leagues with the Atlanta Braves, Chicago Cubs, Oakland A's and California Angels. Beginning in 1961 and continuing through 1979, Adrian's professional career as a player spanned 19 years. Overall, his career as a player, manager, coordinator and coach has spanned 50+ years (1961-2013).

[edit] 1961 - 1972: Opportunities few and far between

Originally signed by the Milwaukee Braves as a free agent in 1961, prior to 1973 Adrian's time in the Majors consisted of brief trials with the Braves in 1966, the Cubs in 1970 and the Athletics in 1971 & 1972. The end result of these brief trials consisted of appearances in 35 Major League games, 38 at bats, 3 hits, 1 home run and 6 total bases. Meanwhile, in the minors, Adrian had accumulated a total of 1,128 hits, 225 home runs, 779 rbi's and 2,081 total bases from 1961 through 1972. He also garnered 4 league Home Run titles and was named to 4 All-Star teams during this time.

[edit] 1973 - 1975: Time in the Windy City

In 1973, after being invited to spring training as a non-roster invitee of the Cubs, Adrian won a spot on the opening day roster as a pinch-hitter, outfielder and emergency catcher. He appeared in 36 games for Whitey Lockman and the Cubs in 1973; 24 as a pinch-hitter (where he hit .286 and slugged 1 of the Cubs 2 pinch-hit homers), 6 as a catcher and 6 in the outfield. Adrian started out slowly in 1973, but ended the season on a roll. For the last 3 months of the season, Adrian batted .333 for the Cubs. In 1974, once again Adrian made the Cubs opening day roster. He appeared in 10 games for the Cubs and had no hits in 8 at bats. After being sent down to Triple-A Wichita Adrian proceeded to lead the American Association in homers with 26 round trippers in a mere 92 games and drove in 83 runs with only 89 hits.

Adrian began the 1975 season with the Chicago Cubs organization. It was in San Diego on Sunday, May 18 when he had a memorable game against Dave Winfield and the San Diego Padres. Adrian was playing first base and batting fifth in the lineup that day. The game was scoreless when Adrian came up to bat in the 6th inning. Rick Monday had walked and moved to second base when Champ Summers reached first on an error by Padres starting pitcher Dan Spillner. With two on and one out, Adrian came to the plate and promptly slammed a 3-run homer, driving in all of the Cubs runs in their 3 to 0 victory that afternoon.

[edit] 1975 - 1976: The Angels of Anaheim

On July 31, 1975, Adrian's contract was purchased by the California Angels. In California, Adrian was reunited with his old skipper from the Oakland A's, Hall of Famer Dick Williams. Williams immediately put Adrian into the lineup and the results were spectacular. Over his first seven games with the Angels, he batted .391, had an on base percentage of .440, a slugging percentage of .739, hit two home runs and drove in eight runs. For the entire month of August, 1975, his stats were solid once again. Appearing in 20 games, he batted .269 with 18 hits, two doubles, four home runs, twelve rbi's, 33 total bases, an on base percentage of .338, and a .493 slugging percentage.

1975 proved to be Adrian's best chance to play regularly in the big leagues. Playing in a total of 37 games for the Halos, Adrian hit a respectable .262 with 6 home runs and had a slugging percentage of .477. If he would have had enough at bats, he would have led the Angels in the following categories: Slugging Percentage (.477), On Base + Slugging (OPS) (.821), Home Run Frequency (17.8) and OPS+ (138). Projected over a full season, Garrett's statistics could have looked something like this: 28 home runs, 84 runs driven in, 52 extra base hits, 239 Total Bases, 66 Bases on Ball and 131 Strikeouts. All of these projected statistics, with the exception of Bases on Ball, would have led the Angels in 1975. The Bases on Ball total would have tied him for the team lead with Jerry Remy.

On September 6 in Anaheim, the Angels hosted George Brett and the Kansas City Royals for a double header. Game 2 saw Adrian batting clean up and being penciled in as the Designated Hitter. The Angels went down to defeat this particular afternoon 6 to 3, but not before Adrian did his best to lead the team to victory. His totals for game two: two for three at the plate, (including a double and a home run), a sacrifice fly, six total bases and he drove in all three of the Angels runs.

Another one of Adrian's highlights during the 1975 season occurred on September 22 at Anaheim Stadium against the Chicago White Sox. The match up started with Frank Tanana taking the mound for the Angels, and Jim Kaat starting for the White Sox. Smokey entered the scoreless game in the bottom of the 16th inning as a pinch hitter for Paul Dade. Facing 9-time All-Star reliever and Hall of Famer Goose Gossage, Garrett worked the count to 2 and 1 before hitting a 3 run walk off homer to win the game and drive in all of the runs for the Angels. According to research by ESPN and MLB Network, it was also just the fourth game-ending home run in a scoreless game in the 15th inning or later in the history of baseball. Adrian joined Willie Mays (Giants, July 2, 1963), Earl Averill (Indians, Aug. 24, 1935) and Old Hoss Radbourn (Grays, Aug. 17, 1882) in the select quartet. This select group expanded by one on Aug. 7, 2009, becoming a quintet, when Alex Rodriguez homered off of Boston's Junichi Tazawa, driving in the only runs of the night and lifting New York to victory in the bottom of the 15th inning.

For the entire 1975 season, combining his time at Triple-A, the National League and the American League, Adrian hit a total of 19 home runs in a mere 340 at bats, a frequency of 1 home run every 17.9 at bats. His combined batting average was .288 and his slugging percentage was .538. His Isolated Power rating of .203 underlined his ability to hit for extra bases and drive in runs. Adrian drove in 24 runs (in the Major Leagues) with only 30 hits in 1975. After his brief, yet productive, stint with the Angels in 1975, he was called "the Angels' most explosive hitter" in the Angels 1976 media guide.

The 1976 Angels upgraded their offensive fire power by acquiring veterans Bobby Bonds and Bill Melton. This resulted in fewer opportunities for Adrian. In 1976, he appeared in 29 games for the Angels, spending time as a Pinch Hitter, at First Base, Designated Hitter and at Catcher. Catching for the Angels gave Adrian the opportunity to work with some outstanding pitchers including Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, Jim Brewer and Frank Tanana.

[edit] 1977 - 1979: Breaking Records and a Championship in the Land of the Rising Sun

After leaving the Major Leagues, Adrian played 3 seasons in Japan for the Hiroshima Carp (1977 through 1979). During his stay in Japan, once again his statistics were solid: 102 Home Runs, 247 rbi's, .260 batting average, .536 slugging percentage, .355 on base percentage, an OPS of .881, an Isolated Power rating of .276 and a round tripper every 12.8 at bats. One of Adrian's teammates in Japan was former New York Yankee Jim Lyttle. In 1978, Adrian began the season on fire. In the month of April, he hit 15 home runs to tie the league record. He was then voted to the All Star game where he hit 3 home runs (the first player to ever do so) and was voted the games Most Valuable Player. Adrian finished the 1978 season with 40 home runs, only the 5th foreigner in the history of the league to hit 40 or more dingers in one season. In 1978, the Hiroshima Toyo Carp (led by Adrian, Jim Lyttle, Koji Yamamoto and Sachio Kinugasa), became the first Japanese team in history to hit 200 home runs in 1 season. These four players , who slugged over 1,600 home runs during their professional careers, formed the nucleus of the famous Akaheru Lineup, (literally meaning "Red Helmet" Lineup). In 1979, Adrian, Jim and the Carp defeated Charlie Manuel and the Kintetsu Buffaloes to win the 1979 Nippon Series.

[edit] 1982 to Present: Managing and Coaching

After retiring as a player, Adrian began a new career as a minor league manager. In his first post as manager of the Midwest League Appleton Foxes in 1982, the team won the Midwest League championship. Next it was on to the AA Glens Falls White Sox in 1983, and the Triple-A Denver Zephyrs in 1984. In 1985, Garrett served as Minor League Hitting Instructor for the Chicago White Sox organization. While with the White Sox organization, Adrian helped to develop the talents of Daryl Boston, Joel Skinner, Ron Karkovice, Russ Morman and Tim Hulett just to name a few future Major Leaguers. In 1987, he served as a coach for the Triple-A Omaha Royals, mentoring first-time manager and future Royals skipper John Wathan. Garrett joined the Kansas City Royals coaching staff in 1988 as their third base coach. He served as the team's hitting coach in 1991 and 1992. He also worked for the Florida Marlins as hitting coach at Triple-A Edmonton (1993-1994) and Triple-A Charlotte (1995-1998), under managers Sal Rende, Carlos Tosca and Fredi Gonzalez. Next he served as the Hitting Coordinator for the Marlins from 1999-2001. Cliff Floyd and Preston Wilson are just a couple of players that Garrett helped in their development during his time as Hitting Coordinator for the Marlins. In 2011, Adrian completed his ninth season in the Cincinnati Reds organization, all as the Hitting Coach for the Triple-A Louisville Bats. Players who have benefited from Garrett's tutelage include: Jay Bruce, Chris Dickerson, Jerry Hairston, Chris Heisey, Jeff Keppinger, Corey Patterson, Drew Stubbs and Joey Votto (who was named the International League Rookie of the Year for 2007 and hit a home run for his first major league hit on September 5th, 2007). Adrian returned to Louisville in 2011 for his ninth consecutive and final year as Hitting Coach for the Triple-A Bats. In 2012 & 2013, Adrian served as a part time spring training, instructional league and regular season instructor for the Reds organization. He will reprise this role once again for the 2014 season.

Originally from Brooksville, FL, Adrian spent the majority of his childhood in Sarasota, FL where his brother Wayne and several other family members still reside. He and his wife Linda now reside in the Austin, TX metro area during the off season.

[edit] Home Run Titles & More

[edit] Career Highlights

  • 1961: Adrian graduates from Sarasota High School in Sarasota, FL. He is the very first 'Sailor' alumni to make the major leagues.
  • 1961: Signed by Milwaukee Braves scout Zack Taylor as an amateur free agent for $35,000 after hitting .452 as a Senior.
  • 1961: Begins his professional career with the Palatka Redlegs of the Class D Florida State League. Adrian is the only player on the team that will advance to the Major Leagues.
  • 1962: Led the Cedar Rapids Braves of the ML in Games, HR's, Runs, BB's & SO's. Again, Adrian is the only player on the team that will advance to the Major Leagues.
  • 1962: Led Midwest League outfielders in assists and errors with 18 in each category while finishing 2nd in Put Outs with 202.
  • 1963: Hit .317 for the Class A Boise Braves of the Pioneer League before getting promoted to the Class AA Austin Senators of the Texas League.
  • 1964: Led the Austin Senators of the Texas League in Doubles, Triples, SO's, Slugging %, OPS & Total Bases.
  • 1964: In the field, Adrian led the Senator outfielders in Games, Put Outs and Errors.
  • 1965: Led the Atlanta Crackers of the International League in Runs, HR's, SO's Total Bases.
  • 1965: Hit 3 home runs in one game for the Crackers vs the Toledo Mud Hens, accounting for all Atlanta runs in a 3-2 10-inning win.
  • 1965: Named to the IL All-Star team as a member of the Atlanta Crackers, the Triple A affiliate of the Milwaukee Braves.
  • 1965: Led Atlanta outfielders in Assists with 10 while finishing 2nd in Put Outs (217) to teammate Bill Robinson (228).
  • 1966: Makes the Opening Day Roster of the Atlanta Braves, the teams first year in Atlanta.
  • 1966: April 26th, Adrian replaces teammate Hank Aaron in right field in the 8th inning of a game against the San Francisco Giants.
  • 1967: Named to the Texas League All-Star Team as a member of the Austin Braves.
  • 1967: Led the Austin Braves in Runs, HR's, RBI's, BB's, while finishing 2nd to teammate Cito Gaston in Games, PA's, AB's, Hits, Doubles, SB's, Srike Out's and Total Bases.
  • 1968: Split the year between the Richmond Braves and the Evansville White Sox where he tied for 3rd on the team in HR's in only 42 games.
  • 1969: Leads the Shreveport Braves of the Texas League in HR's, RBI's and almost every other offensive category.
  • 1970: Led the San Antonio Missions of the Texas League in At Bats, Hits, Doubles, HR's, Slugging % and Total Bases.
  • 1970: Named to the Texas League All-Star Team as a member of the San Antonio Missions.
  • 1971: As a member of the Tacoma Cubs, hits for the cycle against Salt Lake City on June 18th, 1971. The Cubs lose the game 7 to 6.
  • 1971: Led the Pacific Coast League in home runs with 43. Homered in every PCL stadium during the 1971 season.
  • 1971: Named to the Topps Triple-A All-Star Team, the PCL All-Star Team and Topps Player of the Month for June as a member of the Tacoma Cubs.
  • 1971: Led the Tacoma Cubs in Runs, HR's, RBI's, BB's, Slugging %, OPS and Total Bases. In the field, Adrian led Tacoma outfielders in Put Outs (196).
  • 1971: Set Tacoma single season records for Home Runs: (43), Home Runs at home (Cheney Stadium): (19), and Total Bases: (292).
  • 1971: Hit's first Major League home run (for the Oakland A's) off of Bill Parsons on September 19th, 1971.
  • 1972: Tied for the lead in HR's during the 1972 Caribbean Series while playing for Aguilas Cibaenas.
  • 1972: Split time between the Oakland A's and the Triple-A Iowa Oaks, where he ties for 2nd on the team in HR's playing in only 62 games. Led Iowa in Slugging % and OPS.
  • 1972: Appeared in 14 games for the Oakland A's, the eventual World Series Champions who defeated the Cincinnati Reds.
  • 1973: Led the Dominican Winter League in HR's (9) and RBI's (42) while playing for Estrellas Orientales.
  • 1973: Hit .286 as a pinch hitter for Whitey Lockman and the Chicago Cubs, hitting 1 of the Cubs 2 pinch hit homers. Garrett also saw time at catcher and in the outfield.
  • 1973: First hit of the year was a 2 run homer off of San Francisco Giants Jim Willoughby in a losing cause.
  • 1973: On June 23rd, against brother Wayne and the Mets, Adrian homers off of Tom Seaver, helping the Cubs to a 4-3 victory.
  • 1974: Voted the Sultan of Swat by the Triple-A Wichita Aeros.
  • 1974: Led the American Association in HR's with 26 in only 92 games; Drove in 83 runs in those 92 games; Led the team in Slugging % and OPS.
  • 1975: 2nd on the Wichita Aeros of the American Association in Home Runs in spite of only playing in 52 games.
  • 1975: Tied for the lead in HR's during the 1975 Caribbean Series while playing for Tigres de Aragua.
  • 1975: Playing in only 37 games, hits the 2nd most HR's on the California Angels while leading the team in Home Run Frequency (1 every 17.8 at bats).
  • 1975: Led the Angels in the following categories: Runs Created per Game (6.6), Slugging % (.477), OPS (.821), OPS+ (139), Total Avg. (.861) and ISO (.215)
  • 1975: Final ML Home Run is a 3 run walk off homer in the bottom of the 16th inning off of Hall of Famer Rich Gossage and the Chicago White Sox. This was just the fourth game-ending home run in a scoreless game in the 15th inning or later in Major League history. Others to do this since 1900 include Earl Averill, Willie Mays and Alex Rodriguez.
  • 1976: Called the California Angels 'most explosive hitter' in the teams spring media guide.
  • 1976: Split the year between California Angels and the Triple A Hawaii Islanders where he led the team in Slugging %, OPS, ISO and Home Run Frequency (1 every 14 at bats).
  • 1976: Hawaii Islanders win the PCL championship in a five-game playoff against Salt Lake.
  • 1977: Set the Venezuelan League consecutive-game hitting streak by hitting in 28 straight games for the Caracas Lions. Batting Average during the streak was .355 (39 hits in 110 AB's).
  • 1977: Begins a 3 year stay with the Hiroshima Carp of the Japanese Central League.
  • 1978: Sets a Japanese record that still stands by hitting 5 home runs in the season's first four games. Others to tie the record include Greg Wells & Terrmel Sledge.
  • 1978: Named Central League Player of the Month for April after driving in 28 runs and hitting .345 during April.
  • 1978: Hit 15 HR's in the month of April (tying the Japanese record held by Sadaharu Oh).
  • 1978: Began the year on fire, hitting 30 HR's before the All-Star game. Finished the season with 40 HR's; 5th foreigner to hit 40 or more HR's in one season.
  • 1978: Named to the Central League All-Star team.
  • 1978: Voted MVP in Japanese All-Star game after hitting 3 home runs (First player to hit 3 home runs in an all star game).
  • 1978: The Carp (led by Adrian, Jim Lyttle, Koji Yamamoto and Sachio Kinugasa), become the first Japanese team to hit 200 home runs in 1 season.
  • 1978: Interviewed and profiled by Dick Schaap on the NBC Nightly News.
  • 1979: The Carp win the Central League and defeat Charlie Manuel and the Kintetsu Buffaloes to win the 1979 Nippon Series.
  • 1982: Managed the Appleton Foxes to their first of 3 consecutive Midwest League championships with a record of 81-59 in his 1st year as a manager.
  • 1983: Managed the AA Glens Falls White Sox of the Eastern League.
  • 1984: Managed the Triple-A Denver Zephyrs of the American Association after replacing Vern Law who was fired on July 3rd.
  • 1985: Minor League Hitting Instructor for the Chicago White Sox.
  • 1987: Hitting Coach for the Omaha Royals of the American Association.
  • 1988-1991: Third Base Coach for the Kansas City Royals
  • 1992: Third Base Coach & Hitting Coach for Kansas City
  • 1993: Inducted into the Tacoma Baseball Hall of Fame.
  • 1993-1994: Hitting Coach for the Edmonton Trappers of the Pacific Coast League, the Triple-A affiliate of the Florida Marlins.
  • 1995-1998: Hitting Coach for the Charlotte Knights of the International League, the Triple-A affiliate of the Florida Marlins.
  • 1997: Received a World Series Ring as a member of the Florida Marlins spring training coaching staff.
  • 1999-2001: Hitting Coordinator for the Florida Marlins.
  • 2002: Profiled by Al Pepper in a book entitled Mendoza's Heroes.
  • 2003: The Triple-A Louisville Bats, with Adrian as Hitting Coach, win the Western Division of the International League, their first of 4 Division Crown's in 8 years.
  • 2005: The Bats lead the International League in doubles.
  • 2006: The Bats lead the International League in batting average and hits.
  • 2008: The Bats win the Western Division of the International League and set a record for the best record in team history, 88-56 (a .611 winning pct).
  • 2008: Inducted into the Appleton (WI) Baseball Hall of Fame.
  • 2009: The Bats repeat as Western Division champions with a league best record of 84-58. The 2008-09 seasons were the first back-to back 80-win seasons in franchise history
  • 2010: In July, the Bats win at a .786 pace for a franchise-record 22 wins for the month. They also win a franchise-record 14 straight home games in July-August.
  • 2010: After being 13 games out of 1st place in early July, the Bats rally to win their third consecutive International League West Division crown by 1/2 game over Columbus.
  • 2010: Louisville Sluggers: The Bats lead the International League in Home Runs, Slugging % and Total Bases.
  • 2011: Adrian is back in Louisville for his ninth consecutive season as Hitting Coach on Manager Rick Sweet's staff that also includes Pitching Coach Ted Power.
  • 2011: Louisville finishes the month of April with 16 victories, tying the franchise record for wins in the month of April.

[edit] Family Ties

[edit] Little Known Facts

[edit] Quotes about Adrian

  • "I liked him and thought he was a fine ball player. He can hit well and shows some authority at the plate...." - Former Yankees & Mets Mgr Casey Stengel, when asked to comment on Adrian.
  • "I was pleased with the job he did. He showed he could handle himself behind the plate." Whitey Lockman, former Chicago Cubs Mgr, commenting on Adrian's ML debut behind the plate in 1973. He made the Cubs opening day roster with no prior catching experience at any level, giving the Cubs a left handed bat off of the bench.
  • "We were looking for some punch, and he's provided it." Dick Williams, after the Angels acquired Adrian in 1975
  • "Throw Smokey Garrett in there...." - Former Cincinnati Red Austin Kearns when asked if he had an instructor who he felt made a difference in his career.
  • "...they have to have one of the best coaching staffs down there in the game with Rick Sweet, Teddy Power and Smokey Garrett.....they have fun and win almost every day." Jared Burton, Cincinnati Reds Pitcher commenting on the coaching staff in Lousville.
  • "....do what Jerry (Hairston) did last year and work with Garrett, who I respect a lot." Dusty Baker, Reds Manager, after Jerry Hairston worked on his hitting with Adrian at Louisville and returned to Cincinnati to hit .326 in 80 games with the Reds in 2008, (73 pts above his career batting average of .253).
  • "......(Chris) Dickerson has been surging lately. He credited Louisville hitting coach Adrian "Smokey" Garrett."
  • "The greatest possible scenario for Juan Francisco and for Reds' fans is to see the kid get a full seasons worth of tutelage under Louisville manager, Rick Sweet, and hitting coach, Smokey Garrett—two of the best in the business." Bleacher Report
  • "It (2010 N.L. Central crown) belongs to Dusty Baker, who used his bullpen masterfully, but also to Rick Sweet, Ted Power, Smokey Garrett, and all the other minor league managers and coaches who helped develop this team." [1]
  • "...he gives you everything he's got. He's a bear-down player, a threat every time up..." - Sherm Lollar, former big league catcher and Adrian's manager at Iowa
  • "...we were really pleased with the job he did for us....and because he can catch, we don't have to carry three catchers." - former California Angels General Manager, Harry Dalton
  • "He's the kind of player every manager wants on his team." - Jim Marshall, former Chicago Cubs Manager
  • "He's the best. If you had to say who you'd like your sons to grow up to be like, it'd be Adrian Garrett." - John Boles, former Marlins Manager

[edit] Quotes from Adrian

  • "I always thought I could help some club if given the opportunity." - Adrian, after getting his best opportunity to play regularly in the Majors for the 1975 California Angels.
  • "Ask a guy like Billy Williams anything and he'll be glad to help you." - Adrian, talking about his teammate on the Chicago Cubs.
  • "He finally has a regular job. He deserves it." - Adrian's comment on brother Wayne Garrett being the regular 3rd baseman for the New York Mets in 1973.
  • "The thing about Yonder is, he loves to hit.....Just can't wait." Adrian commenting on Yonder Alonso who came up through Louisville on his way to the Majors.
  • "A .300 hitter has a 70% failure rate, so you don't want to beat them down further." - Adrian, sharing part of his philosophy as a hitting coach.
  • "We made a little adjustment. Now he's getting behind the ball and driving it." Adrian commenting on working with Drew Stubbs who went from batting .176 in April to being called up by the Reds to make his Major League debut in August 2009.
  • "Jay has probably the best natural ability I've ever seen." Adrian commenting on Reds star Jay Bruce who hit .332 with 21 Home Runs in 104 games at Triple A in 2007 & 2008.
  • "I really haven't worked with him on much of anything, because if it's not broke, don't fix it." Adrian sharing part of his coaching philosophy regarding Reds outfielder Drew Stubbs, who made his major league debut in 2009.
  • "One day, Pete Reiser (Cubs coach) asked me to catch batting practice. ...a couple days later they asked me to catch Rick Reuschel in a (spring training) Double A game....I wished I would have met him (Reiser) 10 years ago." - Adrian telling how his major league catching career began with the Cubs during spring training of 1973

[edit] Sources

Sources include The Sporting News, Al Pepper's Mendoza's Heroes, At the Yard.com, Japanbaseballdaily.com, The Baseball Cube, Retrosheet.org, Dominican Baseball, The Minor League Register ed. by W. Lloyd Johnson, Baseball Guides, Paper of Record, Minor League Baseball Website, New York Times, 1973 & 1974 Chicago Cubs Media Guides and 1976 California Angels Media Guide, Tacoma Rainiers, The Post-Crescent, Marion Online, SABR Career statistics for Adrian Garrett, Cincinnati Reds, New York Yankees, MILB.com, Redleg Nation, Vanderbilt University Television News Archive, Venezuelan League statistics

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