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Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Brad Ausmus played 18 majors seasons, then turned manager

Brad Ausmus 1990 Prince William Cannons card

With one partial major league season under his belt, Brad Ausmus looked for more going into 1994.

He knew he had to be consistent and stay focused to make his stay last, he told his hometown Meriden Record-Journal

"I feel I was on schedule to reach the major leagues, and was pretty comfortable with my movement in the minor leagues ... but you can't get lackadaisical with your work ethic, and you have to maintain your skills," Ausmus told The Record Journal.

Ausmus ended up maintaining his skills for a long time. By the time he was done, he'd seen time in 18 major league seasons, had become an All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner.

He then took his work ethic to a continuation of his career as a major league manager, first for the Tigers and then for the Angels.

Ausmus' career in baseball began in 1987, taken by the Yankees in the 48th round of the draft out of Cheshire Academy High School in Connecticut.

Ausmus started with the Yankees in 1988, in the rookie Gulf Coast League and at short-season Oneonta. He made high-A Prince William in 1990, AA Albany-Colonie in 1991 and AAA Columbus in 1992.

He went to the Rockies in the expansion draft, then to the Padres in a July 1993 trade. He debuted in San Diego that July 28. He saw 49 games and hit .256.

Ausmus stayed with San Diego into 1996, when he moved to the Tigers mid-year. He played with the Astros in 1997 and 1998, then returned with the Tigers in 1999.

In July 1999, as he made his first and only All-Star appearance, The Hartford Courant caught up with Ausmus. He'd hit .277, with seven home runs by the break, there was also his defense.

"You think of All-Stars as the big lumberjacks who put up tremendous offensive numbers," Ausmus told The Courant. "I play a more defensive game. . . . But anyone who is a baseball scholar understands the importance of the little things, moving a runner over, blocking a ball in the dirt."

Ausmus moved to the Astros for 2001 and won his first Gold Glove. He won another in 2002 and again in 2006. He stayed with the Astros through 2008 and spent his final two abbreviated seasons with the Dodgers.

Ausmus ended with 1,971 big league games played, 80 home runs, 102 stolen bases and a career .251 average.

By 2014, he was back in the majors, as a manager with the Tigers. He stayed for four seasons and then managed with the Angels. He stayed with the Angels for a single campaign. For 2022, he joined the Athletics as a bench coach.

As he took the helm of the Angels for 2019, Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski, who originally hired Ausmus in Detroit, told The Orange County Register why he'd hired Ausmus.

"I've always been impressed with him," Dombrowski told The Register. "He's a very good baseball man, very knowledgeable, well-respected, good leadership qualities. He communicates well, although he's not too boisterous. He's more of a quiet leader, but he can take charge if he needs to."

Brad Ausmus 1990 Prince William Cannons card

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,088
Made the Majors:1,356-33.2%-X
Never Made Majors:2,732-66.8%
5+ Seasons in the Majors:552-X
10+ Seasons in the Minors:334

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