Dave Magadan: Former late 1980's Mets First Baseman (1986-1992)

David Joseph Magadan was born September 30, 1962, in Tampa, Florida. Magadan was originally drafted by the Boston Red Sox in 1980 but chose to stay in school instead.

He was the MVP of the American Legion World Series, and then attended the University of Alabama where he won the Golden Spikes Award in 1983.

He helped the Crimson Tide get to the College World Series where he faced Calvin Schiraldi & Roger Clemens. He was selected College Player of the Year by Baseball America and got signed by the New York Mets, as a second-round pick in 1983.

Magadan was pure natural hitter, batting well over .300 at all minor league levels, getting a cup of coffee to the big leagues in September of 1986. 

Mets Career:  Dave Magadan came up as a third baseman & first baseman making his Mets debut on September 7, 1986, pinch hitting for Kevin Elster. 

He got his first start on September 17th, the night the Mets clinched the 1986 NL East title, as Keith Hernandez was nursing an injury. In the 3rd inning, with two men on Magadan singled to bring in the Mets first run. In the 5th, Magadan singled again with two one, bringing in the Mets third run. He went 3-4 with two RBIs that night, as everything seemed to go well for the Mets in those days. He went 8-18 batting .444 that September but was not eligible for post season play.

1987: On April 20th, Magadan hit a pinch-hit HR in his second game played. On April 30th he hit another HR in an 11-3 Mets win over the Expos.

By the end of May he was batting .323 & continued to hit. In June 21st, Magadan drove in three runs in a 8-3 Mets win.
He hit well through the summer, including a five-hit day on July 24th in the night cap of a double header. On August 9th, he had a four-hit day at Shea Stadium in a 6-3 loss to the Chicago Cubs. On September 25th he hit a bases loaded clearing double in a 10-2 Mets win over the Pirates at Shea.

Overall, Magadan got into 85 games, hitting .318, with 3 HRs 13 doubles 22 walks 24 RBIs & a .385 on base percentage. He showed good patience at the plate and didn’t strike out much, just 22 times in 192 at bats. Manager Davey Johnson tried to get him in the lineup as often as he could although it was tough with Keith Hernandez at first & Howard Johnson at third base. Davey Johnson even had Howard Johnson play at short stop in thirty games to get Magadan in the lineup.

1988 NL Eastern Champion Season:  Magadan would have a bad start hitting getting into twenty games & batting just .209 by early June. 

In June he got into the lineup more & excelled, as he hit safely in 30 of his next 35 games and was batting at .314 near the All-Star break. In a July 22nd double header Magadan played both games collecting three hits with five RBIs. In the first game he had a two-run single off Paul Assenmacher & an RBI on a grounder. He singled off Assenmacher again in the second game driving in another of his two runs. That week he drove in runs in four straight games.

Magadan dropped off to a bit to finish with a .277 batting average in 314 at bats, he hit one HR with 15 doubles & 35 RBIs. He played in 71 games at first base behind Keith Hernandez posting a .988 fielding % & 48 games at third base making four errors in 83 chances. 

1988 Post Season-NLCS: In the NLCS loss to the Dodgers, he went 0-3 as a pinch hitter appearing in three games.

1989: Magadan got into 127 games the nest season, as injury & age began to catch up to Keith Hernandez. 

On May 13th his 11th inning RBI single off San Diego’s Greg Harris was a game winner walk off for a Mets win.

Walk Off Hits & HR: On May 13th, he came into the game as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the 11th inning with the bases loaded. Magadan singled off Greg Harris to bring in Kevin McReynolds with the game winning run. Three weeks later on June 2nd, he hit a walk off HR off Randy Kramer in the bottom of the 11th inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates. 

In the month he drove in 15 runs. On August 1st, he drove in three runs with a double in an 11-0 Sid Fernandez shut out over the Cardinals. He would have one more three RBI game on September 29th in the second game of the double header.

On the 1989 season Magadan batted .286, with 22 doubles, 4 HRs 49 walks a .367 on base % & 41 RBIs, while posting a .991 fielding percentage playing a solid first base.

1990:  The Mets did not offer a contract to Keith Hernandez & signed Mike Marshall with intentions of the two fighting it out for the position. Magadan became the Mets everyday first baseman by June, as he was hitting .300 & Mike Marshall was hitting just .225 getting dealt to Boston that July.

On June 5th, he tied up the game with a 6th inning single off Drew Hall. The Expos went ahead the Mets tied it & went on to a 6-5 win in extra innings. 

Six RBI Day: On June 12th he had a huge day at Wrigley Field gathering up four hits with six RBIs. In his first at bat in the 1st inning, he homered off Mike Bielecki, a two-run shot. In the 2nd he added a sac fly & in the 3rd he tripled off Kevin Blankenship bringing in another run. In the 8th he collected his fourth hit & his sixth RBI of the day in the Mets 19-8 win. 

He got three more hits the next day in a wild 15-10 Mets win. In the next three game series at Pittsburgh, he had eight hits with another four-hit day on June 15th driving in a run in the 7-5 Mets win. He closed out the month hitting safely in 15 of 16 games with nine multiple hit games raising his average to .361 by July 1st. He collected 35 hits in the month & batted .402.

In July he had five three hit games & ten multi-hit games. On July 5th he homered in a 9-8 Mets win at Atlanta. On August 16th, Magadan drove in two runs in Ron Darlings 4-2 win over Tim Belcher & the Dodgers.

The Mets Win the Damn Thing:
On July 25th he hit a two run HR off Jeff Parrett & drove in another run with a base hit in the Mets five run 6th inning. This was the famous game where the Mets had a 9-0 lead. It was 10-3 in the 9th when the Phillies came within a run & Mets broadcaster Bob Murphy lost his call saying the Mets win the damn thing".

On July 27th, he had three hits with four RBIs in the Mets 10-1 win over the Cardinals. Through the month he had another 34 hits batting .333 & was fighting for the batting title as the season rolled on. He slipped a bit in August & had a fine September batting .320 with 32 hits & 22 RBIs.

Magadan continued hitting well through the rest of the year finishing up at .328 (3rd in the
league) posted the leagues 2nd best on base percentage (.417). He drew 77 walks (8th in the league) & had 10 sacrifice flies (5th in the league). He hit 28 doubles, with 6 HRs, & 72 RBIs.

Overall, he played in a career high 144 games in the 1990 season with 10 sac flies (5th in the NL). At first base he led all first baseman with a .998 fielding percentage, making only two errors in 903 chances with 113 games at that position.

The Mets finished in second place (91-71) four games behind the Pittsburgh Pirates. 

He was never able to put up the same kind of numbers again, dropping to a.258 average the next year, although he still posted a strong .378 on base percentage. He was the Mets main first baseman that season although the team finished a disappointing 5th as the organization went into another dark era.

1992 would be his last season as a Met; he brought his average back up to .283 with a .390 on base percentage, although he was limited to playing only 99 games. The Mets had acquired Hall of Famer Eddie Murray for first base, & Magadan was moved over to third base full time.

Magadan had been playing a small number of games at that position for the past few seasons. He posted a .941 fielding percentage making 11 errors in 187 chances. 

The Mets didn’t sign him that off season & granted him free agency, as Howard Johnson came back to third base after playing in centerfield the previous year. Magadan signed on with the expansion Florida Marlins as a free agent for 1993.

Mets Career Stats: Magadan is fourth all time in Mets career on base % (.391). He played seven years in 701 career Mets games (26th most all time) he had 610 hits (27th all time) 110 doubles (23rd all time) 11 triples 21 HRs 254 RBIs with 275 runs scored & a .292 average.

Post Mets Career: There he batted .286 with 4 HRs 12 doubles & 44 RBIs in 66 games before being traded to the Seattle Mariners that June. He was traded back to Florida batting .275 in 74 games played behind Jerry Browne who hit .295. 

Astro Career: Magadan then signed a one-year deal as a free agent with the Houston Astros in 1995 where he hit .313 with 24 doubles 2 HRs 51 RBIs 71 walks & a career high .428 on base %. 

After a year in Chicago with the Cubs (78 games batting .254), he went to the Oakland Athletics for two seasons.

A's Career: In 1997 with the A's he hit over .303 with a .414 on base % in 128 games. The next season he missed a lot of action playing in only 35 games but batted .321. 

Padres Career: In 1999 he was a member of the NL Western Champion San Diego Padres, as a backup player, batting .274 with 2 HRs 12 doubles & 30 RBIs. He did not play in the post season. Magadan stayed in San Diego for three seasons finishing out his career there in 2001.

Career Stats: In his 16-year playing career (1582 games) he had 1197 hits, batting .288, with 218 doubles 13 triples 42 HRs & 495 RBIs posting a .390 on base percentage putting him at #101 all time.

 At first base he posted a .994 fielding % making 28 errors in 4344 chances. At third base he posted a .951 fielding % with 71 errors in 1449 chances turning 84 double plays. 

Retirement- Coaching Career: After his playing days, he first became the San Diego Padres hitting coach (2003-2006). He then became the Boston Red Sox hitting coach (2007-through the present 2011) winning a World Series there in 2007, as his team batted .333 in the Series.

In his first season as their batting coach the team improved in batting average (.269 to .279) slugging percentage (.435 to .444) and on base percentage (.351 to .362), leading the American League with 689 walks.

In 2008 they led the league in walks & on base % coming in second with a .280 batting average. In 2009 he was suspended for one game after arguing balls & strikes with umpire Bob Davidson, that season the Sox fell to 4th with a .270 batting average, coming in second in doubles, walks, slugging & on base %.

In 2010 they were 5th with a .268 batting average, but second in HRs, runs scored & slugging.  In 2011 the Red Sox finished second in hitting with a .280 batting average. They were first in hits, runs, doubles, slugging & on base % in the AL. The Red Sox collapse at the end of the season got Manager Terry Francona fired as the team did not make the post season.

In 2012 Magadan became hitting coach under new manager Bobby Valentine. The Red Sox finished fifth, their worst placing since 1993. 

In 2013 John Farrell took over as manager & all new coaches were brought in as well. Magadan moved on to the Texas Rangers, becoming the hitting coach under Manager Ron Washington.

By early September the Rangers were in first place but lost out in the West once again to the Oakland A's & did not make the playoffs.  The club batted .262 (fourth best in the AL). They were fourth in hits, sixth in HRs & 7th in runs scored as well on base %.

The 2014 Rangers fell off in the bottom of the AL West standings. Their hitting for average ranked in the top five but they dropped off in hits, HRs & Runs scored. 

In 2015 the Rangers were ranking 7th in hits, HRs, triples, walks & on base %.
After Texas he became hitting coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks (2016-2018). After the d-backs batted a team total .235 one of the league's worst averages, he & the team parted ways.

In 2019 he became hitting coach for the Colorado Rockies.

Family: Magadan is the cousin and godson of former MLB player & manager Lou Piniella. 

Dave has been married twice. He has two sons from his first marriage & a daughter with his wife Monique.


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