Gary Pettis
Pettis with the Houston Astros
Houston Astros – No. 8
Center fielder / Third base coach
Born: (1958-04-03) April 3, 1958 (age 65)
Oakland, California, U.S.
Batted: Switch
Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 13, 1982, for the California Angels
Last MLB appearance
September 10, 1992, for the Detroit Tigers
MLB statistics
Batting average.236
Home runs21
Runs batted in259
Stolen bases354
As player

As coach

Career highlights and awards

Gary George Pettis (born April 3, 1958) is an American former professional baseball center fielder in Major League Baseball (MLB) and current third base coach for the Houston Astros. Pettis won five Gold Glove Awards and finished in the top ten in stolen bases in the American League seven times.


Pettis was selected in the 6th round of the 1979 draft by the California Angels after attending Castlemont High School in Oakland, California, and played minor league baseball for the Salinas Spurs of the class "A" California League in 1980, then the Holyoke Millers of the double "A" Eastern League in 1981. In 1982, Pettis was promoted to the California Angels, where he played the first six seasons of his career.

After the 1987 season, Pettis went on to play two seasons with the Detroit Tigers, 1988 through the following season of 1989. After two years with Detroit, Pettis joined the Texas Rangers for two seasons, 1990–91. Pettis finished his career in the major leagues in 1992. The 1992 season saw Pettis play for two teams. After leaving the Texas Rangers, Pettis joined the San Diego Padres for the 1992 season but ended that season back in Detroit with the Tigers.

Pettis with the Texas Rangers in 2014

During his career, Pettis consistently hit for low averages and was known for striking out often, but he performed extremely well on defense, earning five Gold Glove Awards. He was noted for making many spectacular leaping or diving catches, depriving hitters of home runs or base hits, and was known in baseball circles as "The man who made center field look easy". Additionally, he was a prolific base runner and had five seasons where he stole over 40 bases. Pettis held the Angels' club record for stolen bases for nearly 20 years, until it was broken by Chone Figgins on July 15, 2007. Pettis was tagged as "Pac Man" Pettis by a local radio station listener call-in contest in 1986, referring to his unusual speed in the outfield and ability to chase down opponents' hits.

On his 1985 Topps baseball card, the person posing in the picture is not Pettis; it is in fact a picture of his younger brother.[1]

In 2022, the Astros won 106 games, the second-highest total in franchise history. They advanced to the World Series and defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in six games to give Pettis his second World Series title as an Astro.[2]

Personal life

His nephew, Austin Pettis, is a former wide receiver for the St. Louis Rams and San Diego Chargers.[3] Pettis has four children, Paige, Kyler, Shaye, and Dante. Dante plays wide receiver for the Chicago Bears and set the NCAA record for most career punt return touchdowns while at the University of Washington.[4] Kyler is an actor who appeared on the NBC daytime drama Days of Our Lives.[5] Brother Stacey Pettis was drafted #94 4th round 1981 by Pittsburgh Pirates. Played in the Pirates system (1981-1984) and Angels (1985-1986). Stacey has been scouting for the past 20 yrs. Seattle Mariners (2001-2016), St Louis Cardinals (2018–present).

See also


  1. ^ Clair, Michael; McTaggart, Brian (August 11, 2018). "The strange, yet true story of how Gary Pettis' brother wound up on his 1985 Topps baseball card". Retrieved April 21, 2021.
  2. ^ Rome, Chandler (November 5, 2022). "Undisputed: 'It proves we're the best team in baseball ... They have nothing to say now.'". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved November 6, 2022.
  3. ^ Albano, Dan (December 6, 2006). "Pettis has knack for highlights". Archived from the original on August 10, 2011. Retrieved April 21, 2021.
  4. ^ Bonagura, Kyle (November 4, 2017). "Dante Pettis sets NCAA record with 9th career punt return TD". Archived from the original on November 5, 2017. Retrieved April 22, 2021.
  5. ^ Waldo, Garren (October 16, 2020). "Former DAYS Star Kyler Pettis Celebrates His Birthday". Soap Hub. Archived from the original on November 16, 2019. Retrieved April 22, 2021.
Sporting positions Preceded byPat Listach Houston Astros third base coach 2015—present Succeeded byIncumbent