Originally published April 16, 2011
Eddie Taubensee debuted with the Indians early in the 1991 season, but he didn't get regular playing time until September. When he got that regular playing time, though, he performed, The Associated Press wrote.
That was after going 0 for 23 to start his major league career.
"When I first got here, all I wanted to do was get that first hit," Taubensee told The AP. "That was a big monkey off my back, because I felt like I hadn't contributed to the team. Now I feel great."
Taubensee got a total of 16 hits for the Indians that year in 26 games. He went on to a career in which he would get his share of base hits, 784 to be exact, over 11 major league seasons.
Taubensee's professional career began in 1986, selected by the Reds in the sixth round of the draft out of Maitland High School in Florida. He played his first two seasons in rookie ball, the second at short-season Billings.
He briefly made AA Chattanooga in 1988 and, going into 1989, the catcher had designs on hitting AAA.
''The Reds wanted me to improve my consistency in throwing and blocking the ball,'' Taubensee told The Orlando Sentinel in November 1988. ''I believe I had a good instructional league. I played every day. I believe I improved as they wanted me to.''
But it was single-A Cedar Rapids and back to AA Chattanooga. He played all of 1990 back at single-A Cedar Rapids. The next year, though, it was AAA Colorado Springs with the Indians, by way of the Rule 5 draft and the Oakland Athletics.
After playing those 26 games with Cleveland in 1991, the Indians flipped Taubensee to the Astros for Kenny Lofton. With the Astros, Taubensee played two seasons, hitting .222 his first year and .250 his second.
In early August 1992, though, Taubensee helped beat the Reds, the team that did little with him when he was in their system, knocking them out of first. He hit a two-run home run.
"With a guy on first, I was just trying to hit it in the gap and score him somehow," Taubensee told The AP. "I was able to stay back on it just enough to get the bat on the ball."
By April 1994, though, Taubensee was back with the Reds, traded there in a three-player deal. And it would be the Reds who Taubensee would spend the majority of his career.
He hit .294 in 61 games for the Reds in 1994 and .284 in 1995. In 1996, he got off to a hot start, flirting with .400 through April. To The Sentinel, Taubensee credited winter workouts.
"I knew I could hit up here,'' Taubensee told The Sentinel in 1996. "Now I go to the plate with confidence, feeling like I'm gonna hit the ball hard each time.''
Taubensee ended up hitting .291 on the season, not .400. But it was still his best season to date. By 1999, though, he hit over .300, hitting .311 on the season.
His year in 2000, though, started off in slump. He was hitting .239 by late July, before a run of 10 for 14.
"I know I can still hit," Taubensee told The AP. "I've hit in the past. It's just one of those things you really have to fight through and keep working hard."
Taubensee, however, wouldn't hit for much longer. By 2001, he was back with the team that brought him up, the Indians. He got into 52 games for them that year, but, by 2002, back problems ultimately forced him into retirement.
Read the July 2015 interview: Eddie Taubensee, On Everything
- Orlando Sentinel, Nov. 16, 1988: Taubensee Will Join Reds In Spring Training
- Toledo Blade, Associated Press, Sept. 30, 1991: Taubensee just happy to be in Tribe lineup
- Middlesboro Daily News, Associated Press, Aug. 3, 1992: Reds fall from first again
- Orlando Sentinel, May 2, 1996: Taubensee Keeps Hitting While Reds Are Missing
- Harlan Daily Enterprise, Associated Press, July 31, 2000: Taubensee breaks slump to power Reds