Calling Shooty Babitt a “former A’s infielder” as he’s known and credited on the CSN broadcasts is kind of a stretch when it comes to Oakland Athletics lore.
In 1981, Mack Neal ‘Shooty’ Babitt made his MLB debut as part of the opening night line-up against the Twins in a 5-1 victory that saw the fresh-start A’s rack off 11 wins to start the season. A’s fans were high on the local rookie from Berkeley that began his career with a seven-game hitting streak, the second such longest streak in Oakland A’s history for the start of their debut. Any more highlights from Babitt’s career ends there. By September, in only 49 more games played – and that’s a strike shortened season where half of June and all of July was lost – Babitt had played his last game in Major League Ball even though the A’s were off to both the ALDS and ALCS.
Babitt, who would be caught stealing as many times as he was successful (5 of 10) for the run-happy A’s of Billy Ball and who killed rallies with grounded into double plays would have Athletics manager Billy Martin later comment, “If you ever see Shooty Babitt play second base for me again, I want you to Shooty me.”
Babitt now provides pre-game and post-game babble for the “Ath-a-letics” CSN broadcasts during the season.
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