Pittsburgh Pirates Hire David Eckstein As Special Assistant
By Marty Leap
The Pittsburgh Pirates made an addition to their front office on Saturday afternoon
Earlier in the offseason the Pittsburgh Pirates hired Rick Eckstein as the team’s new hitting coach. When this hire was made, many people speculated that his brother, David, may join him as assistant hitting coach. While this was not the case, Jacob Cruz got that job instead, David has still joined the Pirates.
Saturday afternoon the team announced that they hired David Eckstein as a special assistant in their baseball operations department. The 43-year-old Eckstein spent 10-years playing the Major Leagues. He officially retired from baseball, as a player, on January 22, 2012.
During his 10-year MLB career Eckstein was known as one of the best defensive shortstops in baseball. He also owned a lifetime .280/.345/.355 slash line and a 20.9 WAR. He finished fourth in American League Rookie of the Year voting with the Anaheim Angels in 2001, and was a National League All-Star with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2005 and 2006.
In addition to playing for the Angels and Cardinals, Eckstein also played for the Toronto Blue Jays, Arizona Diamondbacks, and San Diego Padres. His last MLB season came with the Padres in 2010.
Eckstein’s greatest achievement came as a member of the Cardinals in 2006. On top of being the starting shortstop for the 2006 World Series Champion Red Birds, Eckstein was also named World Series MVP. In the final three games of the series Eckstein went 8-for-22 with 4 RBI. This included going 4-for-5 with a trio of doubles in game four of the 2006 Fall Classic that saw the heavy underdog Cardinals defeat the AL Champion Detroit Tigers four game to one.
Neal Huntington had the following to say about the addition of Eckstein in a press release:
“David Eckstein brings intelligence, intensity and a unique drive and energy to the Pirates organization. David’s strengths will be an asset for our Major League team and player development system as a teacher and mentor. We are elated to add a quality person with an extensive playing background to our organization.”
After his playing career ended Eckstein served as a guest assistant for the Angels in Spring Training in 2012 – 2015. After helping out former manager Tony La Russa and the Diamondbacks in 2016, he returned to the Angels for 2017.
Welcome to Pittsburgh, David! And do not be afraid to bring some of that black magic and voodoo that has made the Cardinals so successful for so many years.