Chris Chambliss

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Carroll Christopher Chambliss

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Biographical Information[edit]

"If you're not having fun in baseball, you miss the point of everything." - Chris Chambliss

Solid-fielding first baseman Chris Chambliss played seventeen seasons in the big leagues and is best remembered for his postseason heroics with the New York Yankees.

Chambliss was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the 31st round of the 1967 amateur draft but did not sign. He was drafted again by the Reds in the January 1968 amateur draft­, but he instead opted for college. He played for UCLA in the 1969 College World Series before being chosen by the Cleveland Indians with the first overall pick in the January 1970 amateur draft. He made his pro debut that summer with the Wichita Aeros and led the American Association with a .342 average. He was in the majors the following May, in 1971, and hit .275 with 9 home runs for the Indians that year to win the 1971 American League Rookie of the Year Award.

After about three seasons with Cleveland, Chambliss was traded to the Yankees. He hit .304 for New York in 1975 and then hit .293 with 17 home runs the following season, 1976, finishing fifth in 1976 American League MVP voting while the Yankees won their first-ever division title. He went 11-for-21 in the 1976 ALCS and hit a Series-clinching walk-off home run off Mark Littell of the Kansas City Royals in Game 5. The image of Chambliss trying to make his way around the bases at Yankee Stadium while fans are storming the field has become iconic. He continued to put up consistent numbers for the Yankees as the club won the World Series in each of the next two seasons, 1977 and 1978.

Following the 1979 season, Chambliss was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays, and a month later, he was dealt to the Atlanta Braves. He hit 20 home runs for the team in both 1982 and 1983. After being out of the Major Leagues in 1987, he was the New York Yankees hitting coach in 1988 as well as playing one game with the club that year.

Chambliss later was a minor league manager for several years before a stint as the St. Louis Cardinals hitting coach from 1993 to 1995. He was a member of the Yankees staff again from 1996 to 2000 and was the New York Mets hitting coach for part of the 2002 season. From 2004 to 2006, Chambliss was the Cincinnati Reds hitting coach. He was a coach for the Richmond Braves in 2008. He became the manager for the Charlotte Knights in 2009, then returned to the majors as hitting coach of the Seattle Mariners in 2011.

Chambliss' son Russ Chambliss was a minor league player and coach. His cousin, Jo Jo White, was a guard in the NBA.

Year-By-Year Minor League Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs
1989 London Tigers Eastern League 63-76 6th Detroit Tigers
1990 London Tigers Eastern League 76-63 2nd Detroit Tigers League Champs
1991 Greenville Braves Southern League 88-56 1st Atlanta Braves Lost in 1st round
1992 Richmond Braves International League 73-71 3rd Atlanta Braves Lost in 1st round
2001 Calgary Cannons Pacific Coast League 72-71 7th Florida Marlins
2009 Charlotte Knights International League 67-76 11th Chicago White Sox
2010 Charlotte Knights International League 67-77 10th (t) Chicago White Sox

Notable Achievements[edit]

AL Rookie of the Year
1970 1971 1972
Thurman Munson Chris Chambliss Carlton Fisk

Further Reading[edit]

  • Chris Chambliss (as told to George Vass): "The Game I'll Never Forget", Baseball Digest, December 1980, pp. 37-39. [1]

Related Sites[edit]