PCL baseball: HS to UA to majors, Hassey hit title trifecta

2013-08-10T00:00:00Z PCL baseball: HS to UA to majors, Hassey hit title trifectaZack Rosenblatt Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
August 10, 2013 12:00 am  • 

The EGOT is the showbiz holy grail.

Only 11 people have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony, including Mel Brooks.

Ron Hassey might just be baseball's version of Brooks - or, at least, Tucson's.

Hassey, the New Orleans Zephyrs manager and former UA catcher, is a baseball legend here for three reasons.

1. He won a state championship with Tucson High.

2. He won a NCAA title with the Wildcats.

3. He won a World Series with the Oakland Athletics.

Fun fact: He also won a city championship with Mansfield Junior High in 1967.

"Those are the things you try to accomplish as a player," Hassey said before his Triple-A Zephyrs lost 7-6 to the Tucson Padres in a Pacific Coast League game at Kino Stadium on Thursday night.

"To be able to win as a pro, as an amateur and in college, the whole bit, makes you feel like you've accomplished something in your life. I've been in the game for 37 years, and there's been a lot of ups and downs."

Hassey's major-league ups included three World Series appearances, a career .323 post-season batting average in 16 games (all with the A's), and his feat as the only one in big-league history to catch two perfect games - with Len Barker in 1981 and Dennis Martinez in 1991.

In reality, he was never a star, more of a well-traveled role player. He played for six teams in 13 seasons (in order: Indians, Cubs, Yankees, White Sox, Athletics, Expos), had a career .266 batting average, 71 home runs and 438 RBIs.

But, it's easy to note the best part of Hassey's career - that aforementioned trifecta.

"I'm very fortunate and lucky to have been able to play on good teams," Hassey said. "It's not just me. It's a team effort."

Here's a look at those three signature moments:

High school state championship

Where: Tucson High

When: 1972

The manager: Ray Adkins

The number: 25-0. The Badgers record in their championship season

He said it: "When you win a title like that, you kinda remember it and you remember the players who played on that team. It was a good team, it was really special. Ray Adkins made it fun to play baseball, and I think when you play any type of sport you gotta have fun while you do it. You remember those times."

NCAA Championship

Where: University of Arizona

When: 1976

The manager: Jerry Kindall

The number: 1. This marked the first of three World Series titles for Kindall.

He said it: "The College World Series was the best moment of my career, because when I first came to the U of A that was Kindall's first year, his first recruiting class. It took four years to win a World Series, and to be able to do that in a short period of time was very special. It's not easy to win."

World Series winner

When: 1989

The manager: Tony La Russa

The Number: 0. At-bats in the 1989 World Series for Hassey. He had six at-bats in the ALCS that year.

He said it: "Yeah, that was special. You hit a goal when the season starts and then you accomplish it."

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