Todd Hundley
Catcher
Born: (1969-05-27) May 27, 1969 (age 52)
Martinsville, Virginia
Batted: Switch Threw: Right
MLB debut
May 18, 1990, for the New York Mets
Last MLB appearance
September 27, 2003, for the Los Angeles Dodgers
MLB statistics
Batting average.234
Home runs202
Runs batted in599
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Todd Randolph Hundley (born May 27, 1969) is a former Major League Baseball catcher and outfielder. He was a two-time All-Star who played for 14 season with the New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Chicago Cubs.

Early life

Hundley grew up in Illinois where his father, Randy, was a catcher for the Chicago Cubs. Hundley attended William Fremd High School in Palatine, Illinois, where he played on the school baseball and hockey teams. As a switch-hitting junior, he led his team in runs batted in and had a batting average of .357.[1]

Professional career

The Mets selected Hundley in the second round of the 1987 MLB draft with the 39th overall pick.[2]

Hundley made his major league debut with the New York Mets on May 18, 1990 when he was 20 years old. He came up with great fanfare but did not hit very well in his first few years in the Major Leagues.[3] Hundley described himself as overmatched early in his career.[4]

After a few years and a few injuries, his hitting increasingly improved to match his defense. He began to break out in the strike-shortened 1994 season and that breakout continued into the following seasons.[5] In 1996, Hundley hit 41 home runs, setting the Mets single-season home run record (previously set by Darryl Strawberry in 1988) and the single-season record for catchers (previously set by Roy Campanella in 1953).[6][7][8] Carlos Beltrán subsequently tied the team record in 2006 and Pete Alonso broke it in 2019.[9] Javy López broke the positional record in 2003.[10] Hundley was named to the National League All-Star team for the first time in 1996 and then again 1997. He also received votes for the Most Valuable Player Award in 1996.[3]

The Mets' acquisition of perennial All-Star Mike Piazza in May 1998 combined with a career-threatening elbow injury brought his tenure with the Mets to a close. With Piazza on the roster, the Mets moved Hundley to left field where he had little success.[11] He was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers on December 1, 1998 in a three-team trade that brought Armando Benítez and Roger Cedeño to the Mets while also sending fellow catcher Charles Johnson to the Baltimore Orioles.[12]

Rob Neyer later summarized the trajectory of Hundley's tenure with the Mets as "overmatched, dangerous, hurt, Piazza, gone."[13]

While playing for the Dodgers in 2000, Hundley became the first visiting player to hit a home run into McCovey Cove at what was then Pacific Bell Park (now Oracle Park).[14]

After two seasons in Los Angeles, Hundley signed with the Chicago Cubs for four years and $23.5 million in December 2000.[15] Hundley spent two seasons in Chicago where he was both unproductive on the field and unpopular with fans.[16][17][18]

Only two years into his contract, he was traded back to Los Angeles with Chad Hermansen for Eric Karros and Mark Grudzielanek before the 2003 season. His final season came in 2003. Despite not playing in 2004, he was paid $7 million.[3]

In 2007, the Mitchell Report revealed that Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski sold Deca-Durabolin to Hundley prior to his 1996 record-breaking season.[19]

Personal life

On January 6, 1990, Todd married his high school sweetheart Tiffany Saarinen. As of September 1998, Hundley and his wife, have four children, Heather, Justin, Emma and Josh.[20] By August 2005, he and Tiffany were divorced.[21]

In August 2005, Hundley was arrested and charged in Lake County, Illinois with driving under the influence and endangering the life and health of children after being pulled over in his Hummer H2 with his two daughters in the backseat and failing field sobriety tests. Hundley attributed his condition to the prescription painkiller Vicodin.[22]

Hundley married Jodi A. Contreras Shupe on March 2, 2006 in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.[23]

In May 2012, Hundley sold his six-bedroom Glenview, Illinois home for $1.4 million, $200,000 less than his 2004 purchase price.[24]

See also

References

  1. ^ Sullivan, Paul (July 25, 1988). "They Should Catch Scouts' Eyes". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  2. ^ "2nd Round of the 1987 MLB June Amateur Draft". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  3. ^ a b c "Todd Hundley Stats". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  4. ^ Edes, Gordon (March 8, 1992). "Hand-Me-Down Now a Prize Catch". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  5. ^ Tablak, Gem (29 August 2019). "#ThrowbackThursday Mets Edition: Todd Hundley". Mets Junkies. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  6. ^ Roberts, Selena (17 September 1996). "Hundley Recognizes His Place in History". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  7. ^ Sherman, Joel (2006). Birth of a Dynasty: Behind the Pinstripes with the 1996 Yankees. Rodale. p. 145. ISBN 978-1-59486-244-1. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  8. ^ Lichtenstein, Michael (2014). Ya Gotta Believe!: The 40th Anniversary New York Mets Fan Book. St. Martin's Publishing Group. p. 125. ISBN 978-1-4668-7510-4. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  9. ^ Allentuck, Danielle (27 August 2019). "Pete Alonso Sets Mets' Single-Season Home Run Record". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  10. ^ Evearitt, Tim (September 28, 2003). "Javy Lopez Breaks Home Run Record For Catchers". The Chattanoogan. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  11. ^ Sullivan, Paul (July 25, 1998). "Hundley Tries to Handle It". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  12. ^ Olney, Buster (2 December 1998). "BASEBALL; Mets Get Benitez and Near Ventura Deal". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  13. ^ Neyer, Rob (2003). Rob Neyer's Big Book of Baseball Lineups: A Complete Guide to the Best, Worst, and Most Memorable Players to Ever Grace the Major Leagues. Simon and Schuster. p. 151. ISBN 978-0-7432-4174-8. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  14. ^ O'Brien, David (August 22, 2000). "Floyd May Be Ready by Friday". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  15. ^ "PLUS: BASEBALL; Cubs Sign Hundley To Four-Year Deal". The New York Times. Associated Press. 14 December 2000. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  16. ^ Ellis, George (2014). The Cubs Fan's Guide to Happiness. Triumph Books. p. 145–46. ISBN 978-1-62368-876-9. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  17. ^ Mitchell, Fred (2013). Chicago Cubs: Where Have You Gone? Ernie Banks, Andy Pafko, Ferguson Jenkins, and Other Cubs Greats. Skyhorse Publishing Inc. p. 55. ISBN 978-1-61321-201-1. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  18. ^ Goldsborough, Bob (February 25, 2011). "Todd Hundley lists Glenview home". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  19. ^ Pennington, Bill (16 December 2007). "Steroid Report Depicts a 2-Player Domino Effect". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  20. ^ Olney, Buster (6 September 1997). "Family Helps Hundley Fight Through Bad Days". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  21. ^ Haugh, David (August 16, 2005). "Hundley's short trip ends in DUI charge". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  22. ^ Haugh, David (August 16, 2005). "Hundley's short trip ends in DUI charge". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  23. ^ "Jodi A. Contreras marries Todd R. Hundley". Daily Democrat. 27 August 2006. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  24. ^ Goldsborough, Bob (May 11, 2012). "Retired Cub Hundley sells Glenview home". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 10 July 2020.