Thursday, May 15, 2014

Bernie Tatis, Utility Man - 447

Originally published May 20, 2010, revised May 2014
Bernie Tatis changed organizations for 1988 and he looked forward to what he could do, according to The Beaver County Times.

Tatis believe what he could do was make the majors.

"I think I can help a major league team as a utilityman," Tatis told The Times. "I can play left field, center field, right field, shortstop and second base."

In more than a decade in the minors, Tatis never made the majors.

Tatis played his first professional game at the age of 19, in Medicine Hat, Alberta, in 1981, making a slow rise through the Toronto system.

Tatis played at single-A Florence and Kinston through 1984. That year in Florence, Tatis stole 83 bases. He made AA Knoxville in 1985, where he stayed through 1987, having a couple triples in one game May 31 his final year.

Signed by the Pirates for 1988, Pittsburgh took a close look at Tatis, according to the Beaver Country Times. He had more at bats early on than any other Pirate. But Tatis was sent back down, spending the year at AAA Buffalo.

By spring 1989, Tatis was loose, loose enough to pull the shaving cream prank on a young Moises Alou, according to The Pittsburgh Press. With Alou fast asleep, Tatis filled a towel with shaving cream, placed it next to Alou's head and waited for him to roll over. He did.

Tatis also, before spring training was out, was assigned to Mexico City.

Back stateside for 1990, Tatis signed with Texas, playing half the year with Oklahoma City, the other half with Cleveland's team at AA Akron. A handful of games for 1991 with the Indians system and Tatis' time in affiliated ball was over, never making the majors.

But Tatis' baseball career went on. According to Baseball Reference's Bullpen, Tatis played in Mexico and Taiwan through 1997, making 17 years in professional baseball. More recently, Tatis has remained in the Mexican League, turning to managing.

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