Spike Dee Owen (born April 19, 1961) is an American former shortstop in Major League Baseball who played for the Seattle Mariners (1983–86), Boston Red Sox (1986–88), Montreal Expos (1989–92), New York Yankees (1993) and California Angels (1994–95). He made his major league debut on June 25, 1983. In his 13 seasons in the majors, he hit for a .246 batting average with 46 home runs and 439 RBIs in 1544 games.
Owen with the Texas Rangers in 2016
|Born: April 19, 1961|
|June 25, 1983, for the Seattle Mariners|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 2, 1995, for the California Angels|
|Runs batted in||439|
A switch-hitter, he attended The University of Texas at Austin and was the All-Tournament Team shortstop in the 1982 College World Series. He was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the first round (the sixth overall pick) of the 1982 amateur draft.
On June 25, 1983 he went 1 for 4 against the Toronto Blue Jays in his major league debut with the Mariners. His first hit came off Jim Gott. On July 13, 1983, he hit his first big league home run against Boston Red Sox pitcher Doug Bird at Fenway Park.
In 1986, he was named team captain of the Mariners. On August 19, Owen and center fielder Dave Henderson were traded to the Boston Red Sox for Rey Quiñones, Mike Trujillo, Mike Brown and a player to be named later. In his third game with the Red Sox, he tied a major league record with six runs scored in a game. In the 1986 American League Championship Series, he hit .429 as the Red Sox, one scant strike away from elimination in Game 5, came back (starting with Henderson's go-ahead homer against closer Donnie Moore) and upended the California Angels 4 games to 3. In the 1986 World Series, he hit .300 in a Boston loss to the New York Mets 4 games to 3 after having the Mets down to their last strike twice in extra innings of Game 6.
In 1990, he set a National League record with 63 consecutive errorless games at shortstop. Despite hitting only .234, he showed some decent power with 24 doubles, 5 triples and 5 home runs among his 106 hits. Patience at the plate was the secret of his success with 70 walks (12 intentional), for a respectable .333 on-base percentage. Walks are important for an eighth-place hitter in the NL because there is no designated hitter, the usually weak-hitting pitcher bats ninth, and the top of the order starts the next inning if the pitcher makes the last out. Also, if the pitcher bats with less than two outs, he can make a productive out by bunting the runner(s) over.
Owen's most productive season was 1992, with career highs in average (.269), home runs (7), stolen bases (7) and slugging percentage (.381). In addition, he had a healthy .348 on-base percentage and hit well in the clutch at .319 in 91 at-bats with runners in scoring position. He also led the NL in fielding percentage twice. A hard-nosed competitor, he quickly established himself as a leader in the Montreal clubhouse and helped rookie Delino DeShields transition to second base.
After the 1992 season, Owen was supplanted as Montreal shortstop by the emergence of Wil Cordero and became a free agent. On December 4, 1992, he signed a three-year contract with the New York Yankees, aspiring to anchor their infield and provide team leadership. However, in 1993, he led a horde of AL middle infielders in one category—salary. Not surprisingly, the Yanks traded him after the 1993 season to the California Angels for a mere minor leaguer.
Owen was a coach of the Round Rock Express from 2002 to 2006 (as a Houston Astros affiliate) and again from 2011 to 2014 (as a Texas Rangers affiliate). He was the manager of the High Desert Mavericks, Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Texas Rangers in 2015, where he guided the team to a 78-62 record and a second-half South Division title in the California League.
After the 2015 season, Owen was named to manage the Hickory Crawdads, a Class A affiliate of the Texas Rangers, however he was called up to the Rangers in February 2016 to serve as interim third base coach while third base coach Tony Beasley underwent chemotherapy treatment for cancer.
Owen managed Hickory again in 2017. He managed the Down East Wood Ducks in 2018. The Rangers did not retain Owen after the 2018 season.
- Street, Jim (June 4, 2007). "Mailbag: What's lowdown on Lowe?". MLB.com. Archived from the original on June 17, 2011. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
- "Red Sox Get Spike Owen From Mariners". Los Angeles Times. August 18, 1986.
- "Rangers Announce Express Field Staff". MiLB.com. December 4, 2014. Retrieved June 17, 2019.
- Cox, Aaron (December 3, 2015). "'Dads 2016 Coaching Staff Announced". MiLB.com. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
- "Spike Owen is Rangers' interim 3B coach for Tony Beasley". ESPN.com. Associated Press. February 28, 2016.
- Cox, Aaron (February 29, 2016). "Mintz Replaces Owen as 'Dads Manager". MiLB.com. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
- Bailey, Brian (December 7, 2017). "Johnson promoted in Texas organization; Spike Owen to manage Woodies". WNCT-TV. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
- Honeycutt, Jordan (December 7, 2017). "Spike Owen to manage Wood Ducks in 2018". Kinston Free Press. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
- Wilson, Jeff (October 23, 2018). "Finally, some good news for Rangers and their injured top prospects". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
- Sullivan, T.R. (October 23, 2018). "Rangers' Shiraz Rehman excited about new role". MLB.com. Retrieved January 8, 2019.