Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Pete Coachman, Just A Dream - 522

Originally published Nov. 28, 2010
September 1989 was approaching, along with the list of September call-ups. Among those waiting for the call was Angels AAA infielder Pete Coachman.

Coachman was concluding his sixth season in the minors, without seeing the bigs.

"You sit in your room and think about it, you sit on the bench and you think about it, you stand at your position and you think about it," Coachman told The Los Angeles Times of the possibility of making the majors. "You're thinking more about who's going to get called up than the game."

"You try to figure what they're going to do," Coachman added later to The Times, "but you realize you never know and that it's always out of your control."

Coachman kept waiting that year, not getting the call. But, come August of the next year, the wait finally ended. He played in 16 major league games for the Angels in 1990, the extent of his major league career.

Coachman was drafted by the Angels in the 11th round of the 1984 draft out of South Alabama. At South Alabama, Coachman stole 52 bases, he also hit .426. He also got three hits in the conference championship game, and won MVP of the playoffs.

With the Angels system, Coachman started at short-season Salem, hitting .260. He split 1986 between single-A Palm Springs and AA Midland. With Palm Springs that year, Coachman hit three home runs in 68 games. Two of those home runs came in one June contest.

Coachman made AAA Edmonton in 1987. He also hit .309. The Times in its 1989 article on the expected September call-ups to note that a good year is no guarantee of making the majors.

Coachman hit .263 for Edmonton in 1988, then .285 in 1989. Back at Edmonton for 1990, Coachman got the call Aug. 17, he was going to Boston where the Angels were playing the Red Sox.

He arrived in town in time to see the Angels beat the Red Sox 1-0, watching it from the airport, The Times wrote. He got his first hit the next night, in the fifth inning of his first game. He actually got two hits on the game.

"After the hit, I settled down a whole lot," Coachman told The Times of his first hit. "Being here is just a dream."

Days later, Coachman helped the Angels to a 5-3 victory over the Tigers. Coachman knocked in a run in the second with a single.

"A couple of years in the minors I had pretty good years and I thought I'd get called up in September, but I didn't," Coachman told The Times after that game. "That made me put pressure on myself to do a little better. I was having a good season (hitting .291) this year when they called me up, and I wanted to do really well once I got here."

Coachman hit .311 on the 16 games, getting 14 hits in 45 at bats. By 1991, Coachman was in the Oakland system, back at AAA. He divided the next year between the Giants system and back with the Angels system, never getting called back up.

He played 39 games at independent Winnipeg in 1994, his last regular season time.

Coachman then went on to be a coach in college and in high school. In 2009, he was named head coach at Providence Christian School in Dothan, Ala.

"To play sound fundamental baseball, knowing situations before it happens," Coachman told The Dothan Eagle after he was hired of the team he wanted to see. "That is one thing that I will stress more than other things is knowing the game and situations before it happens."

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