Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Phillies Missing Links of the 2000s - #14 A.J. Hinch

Andrew Jay Hinch

Before beginning his managerial career with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2009, the last Major League action A.J. Hinch saw as a player was in four games with the Phillies at the end of the 2004 season.  As manager, he'd go on to lead the Houston Astros to the 2017 World Championship.

The Phillies signed Hinch as a minor league free agent in January 2004, and he'd spend most of the season splitting catching duties (with Michel Hernandez) with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons.  In need of a third catcher for the final month of the 2004 season, the Phillies purchased Hinch's contract and also recalled a young prospect named Ryan Howard as their only September call-ups.  Howard would stick around with the Phillies through the 2016 season, winning a World Series title along the way, but Hinch would retire as an active player following the 2005 season in which he toiled once again for the Red Barons.

Hinch is the first subject within this Missing Links project to first appear on a Chachi card.  Hinch was recalled in September 2005 when rosters expanded, but didn't appear in a single game that month for the Phillies.  His call-up earned him a card in the inaugural Chachi set.

Bats:  Right  Throws:  Right  Height:  6'1"  Weight:  195
Born:  May 15, 1974, Waverly, IA
Drafted:  Drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 3rd round of the amateur player draft, June 22, 1996.
Major League Teams:  Oakland Athletics 1998-2000; Kansas City Royals 2001-2002; Detroit Tigers 2003; Phillies 2004
Professional Affiliations:  Oakland Athletics 1997-2000; Kansas City Royals 2001-2002; Detroit Tigers 2003; Phillies 2004-2005

Phillies Career
4 games as catcher - 1 for 11 (.182) with 4 strikeouts
Acquired:  January 15, 2004 - Signed as a minor league free agent, formerly with the Detroit Tigers.
Debut:  September 15, 2004 - Entered the game in the bottom of the first, replacing catcher Todd Pratt who left the game after colliding with Jim Thome on a pop-up.  Thome also had to leave the game and was replaced by Howard.  Hinch collected his only Phillies hit, a double off the Reds John Riedling in the 8th.
Final Game:  September 24, 2004 - In Montreal, entered in the bottom of the 7th as part of a double switch, replacing Mike Lieberthal.  He went 0 for 1 with a fly-out.
Departed:  October 29, 2004 - Granted free agency and signed as a free agent with the Florida Marlins, December 14, 2004.

1993 Topps Traded #12T
2004 Upper Deck #107
2005 Choice Scranton/
Wilkes-Barre Red Barons #16
2005 Chachi #48
2016 Topps Heritage #265
3 Hinch Baseball Card in My Collection
2004 Upper Deck #107
2004 Choice Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons #17
2005 Choice Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons #16

Complete Chachi Checklist
2005 Chachi #48

Other Baseball Cards
First Mainstream Card:  1993 Topps Traded #12T
First Topps Base Card:  1993 Topps Traded #12T
Last Mainstream Card:  2016 Topps Heritage #265
Other Notable Cards:  1998 Bowman #216, 1999 Topps #132, 2000 Fleer Tradition #421, 2001 Topps #469, 2002 Upper Deck #180, 2003 Upper Deck #102

Sources:  Baseball Reference and The Trading Card Database

Phillies Missing Links of the 2000s
1 Kirk Bullinger
2 Chris Pritchett
3 Bryan Ward
4 Mark Holzemer
5 Turner Ward
6 P.J. Forbes
7 Matt Walbeck
8 Kelly Stinnett
9 Valerio de los Santos
10 Josh Hancock
11 Brian Powell
12 Paul Abbott
13 Todd Jones
14 A.J. Hinch

This is a continuing series looking at those players who spent time with the Phillies but possess no baseball card proof of their time in Philadelphia.  In some cases, the First and Last Mainstream cards listed above have been subjectively chosen if multiple cards were released in that year.

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