Monday, April 27, 2009

1989 Topps Major League Debut #60: Chris Hoiles

PHOTO: I'm not crazy about photos that don't allow the reader to identify anything about the player. In other words, this is the type of photo usually given to a pitcher, and it would be fine if Hoiles were a pitcher. But as a catcher, I'd rather see a photo of him wearing some sort of catching gear or at least swinging a bat so we know he's a position player.

STAT: Hoiles was part of the first team ever (the 1996 Orioles) to have 7 players hit at least 20 homers. It's since been done twice. The Orioles were a good team that year until little Jeffrey Maier came along.

CAREER: 4/10

Hoiles was a good offensive player, posting the 4th-highest OPS+ for a catcher from 1992 to 1998 (minimum 1000 PAs.) I'm not sure why his career ended so abruptly after the 1998 season, when he was still a good offensive player.

It's also surprising to me that Hoiles was never an All-Star.


  1. Ah, "Tractor Mechanic". Great clubhouse nickname. Chris is one of my favorites, and IIRC, his hips were in pretty bad shape the last few years of his career. That's probably what led to his retirement. He's currently managing the independent York Revolution, with Tippy Martinez as pitching coach. The O's originally picked up Chris when they traded an end-of-the-line Fred Lynn. Not a bad deal by Roland Hemond.

  2. Great anagram of Chris Hoiles for a catcher:

    Cherish Soil

  3. To me, the catcher's mitt gives it away.

  4. Hoiles only gets a 4 out of 10? He was our catcher for about a decade, played on some pretty good teams in the 90s, once hit two grand slams in one game and has the most HR of any Oriole catcher.

  5. His career was too short, and he played too few games. Only 8 full seasons in this big leagues, and even then he topped 100 games only 4 times. Good player, yes, but not above a 4 due to his longevity/injury issues.