Pro Perspective: Jeff Tackett
- Baltimore Orioles, 1991 - 1994
From Fresno to the Big Leagues
Jeff Tackett was born on December 1, 1965 in Fresno, California. After a stand out High School career, Jeff was drafted in 1984 in the second round by the Baltimore Orioles.
He went on to spend seven seasons in the minor leagues before getting called up to the big leagues in 1991.
His first MLB game came on September 11, 1991 at home against the New York Yankees. He started the game behind the plate for the O's, catching none other than future Hall of Fame pitcher Mike Mussina.
In Tackett's first big league at bat, he drew a walk against NYY pitcher Wade Taylor. Baltimore went on to win the game 4 to 2.
Jeff would go on to spend time with the Orioles during the 1992, 1993 and 1994 seasons.
In that time, he appeared in 135 big league games, collecting 71 hits and 7 home runs. He maintained a .992 fielding percentage as a catcher and threw out 39 would be base runners. He finished his career with a bWAR of 0.6.
Interesting fact... Jeff Tackett is one of the few players in baseball history to hit a home run in his final big league at bat!
Q&A with Jeff Tackett
Jeff Tackett is a former big league catcher with four seasons of MLB playing time under his belt. He played with all stars like Cal Ripken Jr, Mike Mussina and Harold Baines.
I wanted to get his perspective on the questions I regularly ask to pro catchers like him. So I wrote him a letter a while back and he graciously took time to write me back, sign my card, and answer my questions.
Check out his responses below:
Question 1: What is your favorite memory from playing in the major leagues?
Answer: 1st game to play against the Yankees. Also hitting a home run in Anaheim with all my friends and family!
Question 2: What do you think is the most important skill that a catcher should have?
Answer: Receiving and pitch calling. Got to be able to do both to gain the pitcher's trust.
Question 3: If you could give one piece of advice to young catchers hoping to play at the next level, what would it be?
Answer: Lesson - ask questions. Always be prepared! Hustle.
There is lots of actionable advice in this one! Jeff urges us to learn to receive well, to call pitches, to develop productive relationships with your pitching staff, and to ask a lot of questions. Do your homework - be knowledgeable.
And throughout it all - hustle! Focused intellectual and physical effort is required to excel behind the dish.
Thanks for Reading
We have several additional Pro Perspectives ready to share, and we will continue to get them posted in the coming months ahead. Keep on the lookout for them!
In the meantime, feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions.