Rick Eckstein

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Rick H. Eckstein

Biographical Information[edit]

Coach Rick Eckstein is the brother of David Eckstein and a major league coach.

Eckstein played college ball at Seminole Community College and the University of Florida before an injury ended his career. He then began a long and varied career coaching baseball. He started as a volunteer assistant coach at the University of Florida for the 1997-1998 seasons. During the 1998/1999 offseason Eckstein worked as an assistant coach for the Oviedo High School Lions. In 1999, he was a bullpen catcher and batting practice pitcher for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The following year, he was a member of the Seminole Community College staff briefly before joining the Minnesota Twins as bullpen catcher and batting practice pitcher (a role he held through 2001). With the Twins he also worked as their minor league strength & conditioning coordinator. He was a University of Georgia hitting coach in 2002 and 2003.

Eckstein was a member of the Harrisburg Senators coaching staff for the final month of 2004, replacing Rob Ducey (who was playing for Team Canada in the 2004 Olympics). He was a hitting coach for the Vermont Expos in 2005, New Orleans Zephyrs in 2006, Memphis Redbirds in 2007, and the Columbus Clippers in 2008. After the 2008 season, he served as the Peoria Saguaros hitting coach in the Arizona Fall League. He also coached Team USA in the 2005 Baseball World Cup and 2008 Olympics.

Eckstein joined the Washington Nationals in September 2008. He became the team's hitting coach the following year, serving in that capacity from 2009 to 2013. He was fired on July 22, 2013, because of the team's poor performance at the dish. The firing was the decision of GM Mike Rizzo and was taken without consulting with manager Davey Johnson, who still had confidence in Eckstein. He was replaced by Rick Schu. In 2014, he joined the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim as "Player Information Coach" but didn't stay long. On August 25th, Eckstein returned to the college ranks as an assistant coach for the University of Kentucky Wildcats where he stayed through June, 2016. He then joined the Minnesota Twins organization as their minor league hitting coordinator. He maintained that position in 2017-2018. He rejoined the major league coaching ranks in 2019 as hitting coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates, but was fired at the end of August, 2021.

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