Rich Coggins

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Richard Allen Coggins

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Biographical Information[edit]

Rich Coggins started his big league career hot, finishing 6th in American League Rookie of the Year voting in 1973 while batting .319/.363/.468 in 389 at bats for the Baltimore Orioles. His teammate, fellow outfielder Al Bumbry, won the award, and the two were nicknamed "Heckle and Jeckle" after the pair of wise-cracking cartoon magpies. After a down year in 1974, when he hit .243 with 4 homers and 32 RBIs, he was packaged with Dave McNally to the Montreal Expos in the deal that brought Ken Singleton's big bat to Maryland and 20-game winner Mike Torrez as a bonus. The trade is widely considered as the worst in Expos history as Coggins would only play 103 more games in the big leagues, seeing action with three teams between 1975 and 1976.

He was stricken by a nerve disease in spring training in 1975, hit decently in 13 games for the Expos in May/June, hitting .270 and slugging .405, but the medical condition flared up again and the Expos, already reeling from McNally's decision to suddenly retire, sold Coggins to the New York Yankees on June 20th, as if they wanted to make all evidence of the previous off-season's disastrous trade disappear. He hit just .224 in 51 games for the Yankees the rest of the way. After starting the 1976 with the Yankees and hardly seeing any action, he was packaged to the Chicago White Sox with P Ken Brett in return for OF Carlos May on May 18th. Things went from bad to worse with the White Sox, as he hit .156 in 32 games, and by mid-July he was traded again, this time to the Philadelphia Phillies for C/OF Wayne Nordhagen. He had already played his last major league game by that point, though, and finished his pro career by hitting .252 in 36 games for the AAA Oklahoma City 89ers in the last months of 1976.

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