James Arthur Presley (born October 23, 1961) is a former Major League Baseball infielder with an eight-year career from 1984 to 1991. He played for the Seattle Mariners of the American League and the Atlanta Braves and San Diego Padres of the National League. He was primarily a third baseman but also saw some time playing first base. His nickname was "Hound Dog".
|Born: October 23, 1961|
|June 24, 1984, for the Seattle Mariners|
|Last MLB appearance|
|June 7, 1991, for the San Diego Padres|
|Runs batted in||495|
|Career highlights and awards|
As a youth, he played baseball through the Dixie Youth association, first at Pensacola Brent then later Pensacola Myrtle Grove. He graduated from Escambia High School in 1978.
While playing for Seattle in 1986, Presley became only the second batter in Major League history to hit two walk-off grand slams in the same season, joining Cy Williams, who had done so in 1926. Also in 1986, Presley was named to the American League All-Star team after hitting .265 with 27 home runs and a career high 107 RBIs. Injuries began to derail his career a couple of years later, and by 1992 he had segued from playing to coaching.
On December 21, 2005 he was signed to be the hitting coach for the Florida Marlins. He was fired along with manager Fredi González and bench coach Carlos Tosca on June 23, 2010. He was replaced on an interim basis by John Mallee, who was the Marlins minor league hitting coordinator.
On October 8, 2010 Presley was inducted into the Escambia High School Sports Hall of Fame during halftime of an EHS football game along with former Dallas Cowboys Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith and a few other EHS alumni.
Presley joined the Baltimore Orioles as their hitting coach for the 2011 season.
The Seattle Mariners drafted Presely in the 4th round of the June MLB draft in 1979. That same draft that saw Seattle draft pitcher Bud Black, pitcher Tom Henke and outfielder Jack Thompson, who'd spur the Mariners to sign with the Cincinnati Bengals of the NFL.. Presley made his pro debut at the age of 17 for Seattle's Single A team, the Bellingham Mariners. Drafted as a shortstop, Presely would convert to third base in his minor league career. This improved his odds, as while Presley was having his struggles in the minors with his bat, Seattle in 1982 drafted Spike Owen in the first round of the 1982 draft, and fast tracked him to the majors. While Presley showed power, hitting more than 20 homers many times, his batting average suffered. In 1984, as a member of the Triple A Salt Lake City Gulls, Presely had one of his best seasons as a pro, batting .317 with 13 home runs. This earned him a summertime call up to the majors, essentially to take over third base, which was being held down by veteran Larry Milbourne. Seattle had looked at Darnell Coles for the position, but he could never stay healthy long enough. Along with shortstop Spike Owen, power hitting first baseman Alvin Davis, Seattle had the makings of strong infield.
In 1985, the Mariners finished in last place, but Presley provided power with 28 home runs and a .275 batting average. In 1986, Presley was voted by the fans to the All-Star team, but he did not see any action sitting behind Wade Boggs and Brook Jacoby. In that same season, Presley made baseball history by becoming just the second player to hit two walk off grand slams in the same season. Until then, the only player to have done so was Cy Williams.In 1987, both his power numbers (24 home runs_ and batting average (.247) dipped. However, he did lead the American League in assist In 1990, Seattle traded Presley to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for career minor league infielder Ken Pennington and pitcher Gary Eave. Presley was only in Atlanta for one season and signed with the San Diego Padres as a free agent in 1991. He only appeared in 20 games for San Diego and then was on the move again, signing with the Texas Rangers. Presley never played at the major league level for Texas, instead played for their Triple-A farm club, the Oklahoma City 89ers.
While playing for Seattle, Presley set the team record for most home runs hit by a third baseman which has since been broken by Kyle Seager. Presely's play during his time in Seattle that to get his bat in the minors, the Mariners converted third baseman Edgar Martinez into a designated hitter. Martinez would go on to enjoy a hall of fame career.
Managing and Coaching career
Presley got his first chance to be a manager in 2004 when he was named to manage the Missoula Osprey of the Pioneer League. He only managed the team for two seasons, compiling a 61-88 record. Presely has served as a hitting coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks from 1998-2000, Florida Marlins from 2006-2010, The Baltimore Orioles from 2011-2014 and the Texas Rangers from 2016-2017. In 2018, the Chinatrust Brothers of the CPBL named Presley as their hitting coach.
- Harrison, Ian (30 July 2017). "Pearce slams again, Jays score 7 in 9th, beat Angels 11-10". ledger-enquirer. Archived from the original on 31 July 2017. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
- "Marlins Fire Manager Fredi Gonzalez". The Sports Network. 2010-06-23. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors) Warning: Template:Baseballstats cube= parameter should be updated to a numeric value.