|First baseman / Manager|
|Born: October 26, 1949|
|April 7, 1974, for the Texas Rangers|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 6, 1985, for the Cleveland Indians|
|Runs batted in||686|
|Career highlights and awards|
Dudley Michael Hargrove (born October 26, 1949) is a former Major League Baseball first baseman and manager. He is currently employed as an advisor with the Cleveland Indians. Hargrove batted and threw left-handed. He played for the Texas Rangers (1974–78), San Diego Padres (1979), and Cleveland Indians (1979–85). After retiring, he went on to manage the Indians, Baltimore Orioles, and Seattle Mariners.
During his 12-year playing career, Hargrove batted .290 with 80 home runs and 686 runs batted in. He won both the AL Rookie of the Year and The Sporting News Rookie of the Year awards in 1974, after hitting a career-high .323 with the Rangers (he was the first Ranger ever to be so honored). Afterwards, he made the AL All-Star squad in 1975 and led the league first basemen in assists twice. He was most effective in getting on base, moving runners, and not giving up an easy out--unusual for a first baseman which is usually considered a power position.
Though he would later be honored as one of the Cleveland Indians' top 100 players in team history, one of Hargrove's early visits to Cleveland was less than memorable. As a rookie with the Rangers, Hargrove was one of the early targets of Cleveland fans during the infamous Ten Cent Beer Night incident on June 4, 1974.
He also attained the nickname "The Human Rain Delay" for his deliberate routine at the plate before each at-bat and before each pitch. He drove pitchers crazy by stepping out of the batter's box after each pitch and starting his routine, which consisted of (1) adjusting his helmet, (2) adjusting his batting glove, making sure it was tight on his hand and especially the thumb, (3) pulling each sleeve on his uniform up about an inch, and (4) wiping each hand on his uniform pants - and then sometimes repeating the whole process again - before finally settling back into the box. Towards the end of his career this trait was very well known and often commented upon by broadcasters. Adding further to his "Human Rain Delay" moniker was his extremely fine bat control, which allowed him to foul off countless pitches.
Hargrove holds a career major league managerial record of 1,188–1,173, including 721–591 with the Indians (1991-99). He led his team to five consecutive AL Central Division titles in 1995–99, and World Series appearances in 1995 and 1997. His dismissal as Indians manager by GM John Hart was controversial with many fans. On June 20, 1998 Hargrove who was wearing #21, switched to #30 to accommodate the Indians retiring #21 in honor of Bob Lemon.
He managed the Baltimore Orioles from 2000–03.
During an exhibition series between players from the US and Japan, Hargrove infamously stated that future MLB All Star and Gold Glove fielder Ichiro Suzuki, whom he would later manage, would be "no better than a fourth outfielder in MLB".
On October 20, 2004, Hargrove was hired to manage the Seattle Mariners and turn around the team after its worst season since 1983. He agreed to a three-year deal through the 2007 season.
Hargrove's record as Seattle manager is 192–209, including a 93 loss season record in 2005.
On July 1, 2007, Hargrove resigned his position as manager of the Mariners, saying in a prepared statement that his "passion has begun to fade" and it would not be "fair to myself or the team" to continue. The departure was unusual, since the Mariners had been playing quite well at the time. Hargrove became the first big league manager since at least 1900 to depart while on a winning streak of more than seven games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Sources indicated that differences between Hargrove and Mariners superstar Ichiro Suzuki were the actual reason for the departure. Despite officially having resigned, Hargrove was paid for the remainder of his contract, and Ichiro signed a contract extension only weeks after Hargrove left.
From 2007 to 2009, Hargrove managed the Liberal BeeJays, a semi-pro summer team in southwest Kansas, with whom he'd previously played for in 1972, while on the roster of Northwestern Oklahoma State University.
After taking the 2010 season off, Hargrove returned to Major League Baseball with the Indians in 2011 as a special advisor. His duties consist of assisting the coaching staff during spring training, and working in the front office during the regular season. He also worked a few games as a color analyst during select Indians TV games during the 2011 campaign.