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Mike Hessman

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2003 Studio #108 Mike Hessman

Michael Steven Hessman

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Mike Hessman was the International League MVP in 2007, hitting over 30 homers and driving in over 95. He was the league's All-Star third baseman. He has tremendous power with a tendency to seldom walk and to strike out way too much.

Hessman struggled in the 2008 Olympics, going 2 for 22 as the worst hitter for Team USA, which won Bronze. He split time with Matthew Brown at third base. Both of his hits came in a one-run loss to eventual Gold Medal winner South Korea; one was a solo homer off closer Ki-joo Han.

He hit his first major league triple under unusual circumstances. Playing for the New York Mets on August 13, 2010, he hit a ball to deep left field at Citi Field against Cole Hamels of the Philadelphia Phillies. The umpires initially ruled it a home run, but after LF Raul Ibanez and manager Charlie Manuel complained, the umpires went to a video review, and after six minutes of looking at video replays, declared that the ball had not cleared the fence and placed Hessman on third base.

Hessman signed with the Orix Buffaloes for 2011. He debuted on Opening Day, April 12th. Pinch-hitting for Shunta Goto, he was retired by Tsuyoshi Wada in a 2-2, 12-inning tie. In his only season in Japan, he played 48 games for Orix, hitting .192/.261/.377 with 6 homers and 14 RBI. He returned to the United States in 2012, joining the Oklahoma City RedHawks of the Houston Astros organization.

On May 20, 2014, he became the 8th player to have hit 400 homers in the U.S. minors when he connected off Scott Diamond of the Rochester Red Wings while playing for the Toledo Mud Hens of the Detroit Tigers organization. It was his 12th season in AAA, and his 6th playing for Toledo, which had previously been his team from 2005 to 2009. The top four minor league leaders had all spent the bulk of their careers in Mexico, making Mike only the 4th player to reach the 400-homer mark solely in U.S.-based leagues.

On June 30, 2014, he hit his 259th home run in the AAA International League, becoming that league's all-time leader, breaking Ollie Carnegie's 69-year-old record. Hessman hit 13 more to raise that record to 272 by that season's end.

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