Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Kurt Abbott, Never Imagined - 3

Originally published March 22, 2015
Kurt Abbott made his major league debut in September 1993 and he soon made his presence known.

In his second major league at bat, while facing Jack Morris of the Blue Jays, Abbott hit a two-run home run.

"I never imagined my first hit would be a homer," Abbott told The Associated Press afterward. "Especially off Jack Morris. It's something I'll always remember."

From that first hit, Abbott ended up getting a few more. By the time Abbott's major league career was done, he'd seen time in nine major league seasons. He also ended with a total 523 major league hits, 62 of those were home runs.

Abbott's professional career began in 1989, taken by the Athletics in the 15th round of the draft out of St. Petersburg College in Florida.

Abbott played his first season between short-season Southern Oregon and the rookie Arizona League. He moved to single-A Madison in 1990, then hit AA Huntsville in 1992.

Abbott played all of 1993 at AAA Tacoma. Then, in September, he made Oakland. He got into 20 games for the Athletics and hit .246. He also hit two other home runs.

Abbott arrived with the Marlins for 1994, sent there in a trade. He got into more than 100 games that year and each of the next two. He hit .255 with 17 home runs in 1995.

In August 1995, Abbott managed to hit two home runs within in four days - two inside-the-park home runs.

In September 1997, Abbott helped salvage a double-header split with his team in the playoff race. He tripled, knocking in two in the win.

"That's a big win for us," Abbott told The AP afterward. "Losing both games would have been tough to swallow."

Abbott's Marlins went on to win the World Series, though he didn't start a game in the set. He did get a World Series start three years later with the Mets. In the meantime, Abbott returned to the Athletics and played for the Rockies.

He arrived with the Mets in 2000, getting into 79 games and hitting .217. He split his time between shortstop and second base. In Game 5 of the World Series, Abbott got the unexpected start at short. He went 1 for 3 in the series-ender.

"I don't think one person out here thought Kurt Abbott would start a game in the World Series at shortstop," Abbott told reporters before that game, according to The St. Petersburg Times. "I'd bet my a-- on that."

Abbott got into one more major league season, getting six games with the Braves in 2001. His last professional game came in 2003, at AAA Memphis.

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