Willie Upshaw

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Willie Clay Upshaw

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Biographical Information[edit]

Willie Upshaw played ten seasons in the major leagues primarily as a first baseman, hitting 123 home runs. Unusual for a home run hitting first baseman, he was also in the top ten in triples a couple of times in his career, hitting 45 triples in his ten-year career. He also stole 88 bases, with a peak in 1986 when he stole 23 in 28 attempts.

A fifth round pick by the New York Yankees in the 1975 amateur draft, his minor league career was relatively unimpressive, as he only once hit over .275 and he never slugged as high as .450. He began to blossom at the age of 25 with the Toronto Blue Jays when he hit 21 home runs in 1982.

His best year in the majors was in 1983 when he hit .306 and had 27 home runs and 7 triples.

He played in Japan after his USA major league career.

He was a member of the Texas Rangers coaching staff in 1993 and 1994 and batting coach for the Toronto Blue Jays from 1996 through 1997. He managed the Bridgeport Bluefish from 1998-2000. Upshaw was a coach for the Norwich Navigators in 2003. He coached for the German national team in the 2017 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers.

As of 2001, Upshaw held the major league records for the most home runs and RBI by a player whose name started with the letter "U". He has since been passed in both categories by a number of players, including Chase Utley, Justin Upton, Melvin Upton and Juan Uribe.

Two of his cousins, Marvin Upshaw and Hall-of-Famer Gene Upshaw, played in the NFL.

Blue Jays Hitting Coaches
Previous Current Next
Larry Hisle Willie Upshaw Gary Matthews
1996 to 1997

Year-By-Year Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
1998 Bridgeport Bluefish Atlantic League 64-36 1st Independent Leagues Lost League Finals
1999 Bridgeport Bluefish Atlantic League 78-42 1st Independent Leagues League Champs
2000 Bridgeport Bluefish Atlantic League 78-61 3rd Independent Leagues
2009 Bridgeport Bluefish Atlantic League 32-38 6th Independent Leagues replaced Tommy John (33-27) on July 8
2010 Bridgeport Bluefish Atlantic League 83-57 1st Independent Leagues Lost League Finals
2011 Bridgeport Bluefish Atlantic League 68-59 4th Independent Leagues
2012 Bridgeport Bluefish Atlantic League 67-72 4th Independent Leagues
2013 Bridgeport Bluefish Atlantic League 54-85 7th Independent Leagues
2014 Bridgeport Bluefish Atlantic League 46-93 8th Independent Leagues interim by Pete Rose on June 16

Related Sites[edit]