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Jim Hickey #48

Photo of Jim Hickey tb
Full Name:
Jim Hickey
Uniform #:
48

COACHING CAREER

Begins his eighth season with the Rays, the longest-tenured pitching coach in club history… named to the post on Nov 18, 2006…the Rays had six pitching coaches in their first nine years: Rick Williams (1998-2000), Bill Fischer (2000-01), Jackie Brown (2002), Chris Bosio (2003), Chuck Hernandez (2004-05) and Mike Butcher (2006). Only three current AL pitching coaches have been at their post as long: MIN Rick Anderson (2002), CWS Don Cooper (2002) and LAA Mike Butcher (2007). In a recent, informal poll of GMs, players, writers, scouts, and other coaches conducted by the Boston Globe, Hickey was ranked as the top major league pitching coach. Began his career as a major league pitching coach with Houston in July 2004 and in his nine and a half seasons since, he has been to the postseason six times. As a major league pitching coach, has coached three league ERA champions: Roger Clemens (NL, 2005), Roy Oswalt (NL, 2006) and AL 2012 Cy Young winner David Price (AL, 2012). Over his seven seasons as pitching coach (2007-13), the Rays lead the AL in strikeouts (8,487) and feature the lowest opponents' batting average (.249). Rays pitchers have posted an AL-best 3.74 ERA over the past six seasons, lowest by an AL club over a six-year span since the 1987-92 Oakland A's (3.72) and Toronto Blue Jays (3.73). Rays have allowed the fewest runs (3,911) by an AL team over a span of six full seasons since 1975-80, when both the Orioles (3,659) and Yankees (3,730) were better. The Rays have set virtually every team pitching record under Hickey, including a club-record 15 shutouts in 2012 and 17 in 2013. The Rays became the first AL team to post back-to-back seasons of 15-plus shutouts since the 1989-90 Oakland A's…they have recorded an AL-high 57 shutouts over the past four seasons, the most over a four-year span by an AL team since the 1977-80 Yankees. In 2012, the Rays led the majors in ERA (3.19), opponents' batting average (.228) and set an AL record with 1,383 strikeouts (broken by the 2013 Tigers)…the Rays and the 1999 Red Sox are the only teams to lead the AL in all three categories in the last 30 years…their ERA remains the lowest by an AL staff since 1990… the 2012 Rays are one of only six AL teams in the DH era (since 1973) to lead the majors in ERA…their 2.60 mark after the All-Star break was the 8th lowest in AL history. Opponents batted .228 in 2012 and .234 in 2011, the two lowest marks by an AL staff in the DH era…the Rays have had the lowest opponents' batting average in the AL in each of the last four seasons, the first team to do that since the 1982-85 Detroit Tigers…the Rays 1.17 WHIP was also the lowest by an AL team in the DH era. In 2008, Rays pitchers improved from last in the majors in ERA (5.53) to 3rd (3.82). Joined the Rays from Houston, where he spent the previous 16 seasons in the organization as a pitching coach, the last two and a half seasons on the major league staff…in each of his two full seasons as major league pitching coach, Houston finished second in the NL in ERA (3.51 in 2005 and 4.08 in 2006)…his 2005 staff, which advanced to the World Series, had three pitchers among the top seven in ERA and yielded the fewest runs and walks in the NL… in 2006 they finished 2nd and 3rd in those categories, and tied the Mets for the most shutouts with 12. Promoted to the ML staff on an interim basis at the 2004 All-Star break when Phil Garner was named interim manager…that Houston club advanced to the National League Championship Series…he was named full-time pitching coach in November 2004. Joined the Astros from Triple-A New Orleans, where he was in his seventh season as the Zephyrs pitching coach…in 2002 and 2003, his New Orleans staffs led the Pacific Coast League in ERA…in 2004, the staff went through 16 different starters and posted a 3.41 ERA… in 2001 the Zephyrs finished with the 2nd-best ERA in the PCL en route to the PCL championship… his 1998 staff recorded 10 shutouts as New Orleans claimed their first-ever Triple-A World Series. In 2002, served on the coaching staff for the Triple-A All-Star Game and was selected as a coach for the MLB All-Star Futures Game in Milwaukee…that same season was named the Astros Player Development Man of the Year. 

 

PLAYING CAREER

Was a 13th-round selection of the White Sox in the 1983 June Draft and played eight seasons in the minor leagues with the White Sox, Dodgers and Astros...posted his best season in 1984, finishing 13-5 with 20 saves and a 1.81 ERA for Midwest League champion Appleton...concluded his playing career in 1989 with Double-A Columbus (Ga., Astros).

PERSONAL

In February 2010, was inducted to the Athletics Hall of Fame at his alma mater, University of Texas Pan American where he was a firstteam All-American selection in 1983 after finishing the season 16-2 with a 1.66 ERA...struck out 109 batters in 130.1 innings while only surrendering 19 walks...that season helped the Broncos to a school-record 64 wins and a berth in the NCAA tournament. Hickey and his wife, Jennifer, reside in St. Cloud, Fla., with their two sons, Austin and Cameron, and daughter, Addison.

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