Kimera Bartee
Kimera Bartee in 2017 (35018622541) (cropped).jpg
Bartee with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2017
Outfielder / Coach
Born: (1972-07-21)July 21, 1972
Omaha, Nebraska
Died: December 20, 2021(2021-12-20) (aged 49)
Omaha, Nebraska
Batted: Switch
Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 3, 1996, for the Detroit Tigers
Last MLB appearance
August 3, 2001, for the Colorado Rockies
MLB statistics
Batting average.216
Home runs4
Runs batted in33
Teams
As player

As coach

Kimera Anotchi Bartee (July 21, 1972 – December 20, 2021) was an American professional baseball outfielder and coach. Bartee played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Detroit Tigers, Cincinnati Reds, and Colorado Rockies from 1996 to 2001. He coached in the minor leagues and returned to MLB as a coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2017. He later coached for the Philadelphia Phillies, before rejoining the Tigers as first base coach in 2021.

Early life

Bartee was born in Omaha, Nebraska, and is an alumnus of Omaha Central High School.[1] The first graduate of Omaha Central to play major league baseball, he was inducted into the Omaha Public Schools Athletic Hall of Fame in 2018.[1]

College career

Bartee attended Creighton University, where he played college baseball for the Creighton Bluejays. He appeared with Creighton in the 1991 College World Series.[2][3] In 1992, he played collegiate summer baseball with the Hyannis Mets of the Cape Cod Baseball League.[4]

Professional playing career

The Baltimore Orioles selected Bartee in the 14th round of the 1993 MLB Draft.[5] The Orioles traded Bartee to the Minnesota Twins on September 19, 1995, as the player to be named later in a trade for pitcher Scott Erickson.[6] At the 1995 MLB Winter Meetings, he was a drafted back by the Orioles during the Rule 5 draft.[7] Waived by the Orioles the following March, Bartee made his major league debut with the Detroit Tigers on April 3, 1996.[8] Over the following few seasons, he played for the Tigers as well as the Toledo Mud Hens at triple-A. In 1997, he was named by Baseball America the fastest baserunner and best defensive outfielder in the International League.[9][10] He was traded in 1999 from Detroit to the Cincinnati Reds,[8] where he spent most of 2000 with the triple-A Louisville RiverBats.[11]

Bartee joined the Los Angeles Angels as a free agent the following season,[8] when a bulging disk in his lower back landed him in Class-A Rancho Cucamonga for a rehabilitation assignment.[12] On July 13, 2001, he was traded by the Angels to the Colorado Rockies for future All-Star Chone Figgins. Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd described the move as the worst transaction he made in his 12-year term in that position.[13] Bartee went hitless in 15 at bats with the Rockies before his final Major League game on August 3, 2001.[8]

In 2003 and 2004, Bartee played outfield for the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, earning All-Star honors and later an Atlantic League championship with the Ducks in 2004.[10]

Coaching career

After retiring as a player, Bartee returned to baseball as a coach, at least in part because the job provided health insurance.[14] Bartee became a coach for the Delmarva Shorebirds[15] and also served as roving instructor for the Pittsburgh Pirates before landing the managerial job for the State College Spikes.[9]

Bartee served as the first base coach and outfielder instructor for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 2017 through 2019.[16] In 2020, he served as the roving baserunning and bunting coordinator for the Philadelphia Phillies.[17] Before the 2021 season, the Tigers hired Bartee as their roving outfield and baserunning coordinator. On July 16, 2021, Bartee was named first base coach for the Tigers.[18] The Tigers retained him as their first base coach for the 2022 season.[19]

Personal life and death

Bartee had three children, Andrew, Amari and Taeja.[20]

On December 20, 2021, Bartee died after collapsing while visiting his father in Omaha.[21] In the ensuing autopsy, the medical examiner found a large tumor in his brain.[1] He was 49 years old.[1][21]

References

  1. ^ a b c d McKewon, Sam (December 21, 2021). "Former Creighton baseball player Kimera Bartee dies at age 49". Omaha World-Herald. Retrieved December 22, 2021.
  2. ^ "Creighton Baseball Mourns the Passing of Former Bluejay Kimera Bartee". Creighton University Athletics. December 21, 2021. Retrieved December 22, 2021.
  3. ^ "1991 College World Series". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved December 22, 2021.
  4. ^ "Major League Baseball Players From the Cape Cod League" (PDF). capecodbaseball.org. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  5. ^ Olney, Buster (December 5, 1995). "Molitor is headed home to Twins". The Baltimore Sun. p. 4D. Retrieved December 22, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  6. ^ "TRANSACTIONS". The New York Times. September 20, 1995. Retrieved December 22, 2021.
  7. ^ Rand, Michael (June 29, 2012). "Stu's Hunt Down: The bounty from the Twins trade of Scott Erickson". StarTribune.com. Retrieved December 21, 2021.
  8. ^ a b c d "Kimera Bartee Stats". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved December 22, 2021.
  9. ^ a b "2011 Spikes skipper Bartee joins Pirates staff | Spikes". Milb.com. October 31, 2016. Retrieved December 21, 2021.
  10. ^ a b "Long Island Ducks Press Release – Kimera Bartee Joins Pirates Coaching Staff". www.liducks.com. Long Island Ducks. October 31, 2016. Retrieved December 22, 2021.
  11. ^ Digiovanna, Mike (December 12, 2000). "Angels Fill Roster Holes With Rapp and Bartee". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 22, 2021.
  12. ^ Digiovanna, Mike (May 12, 2001). "Schoeneweis Is Feeling Better". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 22, 2021.
  13. ^ Harding, Thomas (February 1, 2016). "Groundhog Day grin for ex-Rockies GM". MLB.com. Major League Baseball. Retrieved December 22, 2021.
  14. ^ Kaipust, Rich (November 7, 2017). "Ex-Omaha Central, CU baseball player Kimera Bartee never intended to coach; now he's with the Pittsburgh Pirates". Omaha World-Herald. Retrieved December 21, 2021.
  15. ^ "Delmarva Shorebirds". Archived from the original on November 12, 2006.
  16. ^ "Pirates announce changes to 2017 coaching staff". MLB.com. October 29, 2016.
  17. ^ "Interesting names on Phillies' minor-league coaching staffs". nbcsports.com. February 7, 2020. Retrieved July 16, 2021.
  18. ^ Woodbery, Evan (July 16, 2021). "Former Tigers' outfielder named new first base coach". MLive.com. Retrieved July 16, 2021.
  19. ^ "Detroit Tigers finalize MLB coaching staff for 2022 season". Freep.com. November 27, 2021. Retrieved December 21, 2021.
  20. ^ Crouse, Jake (December 21, 2021). "Pirates mourn passing of Kimera Bartee". MLB.com. Major League Baseball. Retrieved December 23, 2021.
  21. ^ a b Petzold, Evan. "Detroit Tigers first base coach Kimera Bartee dies at 49: 'His spirit will never be forgotten'". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved December 21, 2021.