Mickey Hatcher was a fixture on the Dodgers’ 1988 World Series championship team and became a fan favorite through two stints with the club from 1979-1980 and 1987-1990. While he didn’t have much power or tools outside of his contact skills to speak of, what he did have was heart, hustle, and spunk.
Catching Up with Mickey Hatcher
In a recent column, Bill Ladson of MLB.com caught up with Dodgers’ 1988 World Series hero Mickey Hatcher.
— Kenny Hatcher (@kennyhatcher) October 17, 2019
Hatcher quite possibly could have won the World Series MVP in 1988 if Orel Hershiser had not shown out they way he did. Hatcher’s heroics while filling in for the injured Kirk Gibson were extraordinary. Despite hitting just one home run for the Dodgers in the regular season, Hatcher went 7-for-16 with two home runs in the World Series, as Ladson notes.
Mickey Hatcher won over fans with his heart and hustle every time he stepped between the lines. Hatcher told Ladson in a phone interview that that was the way he was raised to play and that he made a conscious effort each time he stepped on the field to give his all:
“I enjoyed the game. I enjoyed my teammates, my coaches [and] especially the fans. I had a lot of idols in the game that made me enjoy the game even better. I grew up a Mickey Mantle fan. Pete Rose was a guy I looked up to. He played hard [on the field]. My dad always told me, ‘No matter what happens on the field, make sure you leave it out on the field.’ It got me 12 years in the Major Leagues.”
Hatcher will always be a beloved character in Dodgers’ lore.
King of Theatrics
Now 64 years old, Hatcher recounted the show he attempted to put on on the field and the fire and desire in he which he played with:
“I always had a lot of energy. That’s just how I was. I was excited to have an opportunity to be out on that field, playing. I was excited to be in the Major Leagues. I was excited to have the opportunity to meet people like Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale. Baseball was just exciting for me. It wasn’t about me. Just being in the environment and having a chance to compete at a high level — that’s what I enjoyed.”
Rick Dempsey, a fellow member of ‘The Stuntmen’ discussed the passion that characterized Hatcher as a teammate and winner:
“[Hatcher] was one of those guys who was passionate about winning. He knew he didn’t have all the talent to be a regular player, but this guy could play. He was a great contact hitter. He knew the game. He was kind of like a fun-loving inspirational kind of teammate. He worked hard at it. He was one of those guys that could go up there and get a big hit in any situation. He just had no fear.”
If only every professional athlete had that mentality!
Mickey Hatcher was an integral piece to the puzzle in 1988 and delivered their second World Series of the 80s. He will forever be remembered for that heart, hustle, and spunk.