Melton Andrew Hawkins (born January 21, 1960) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher. A right-handed starter, Hawkins spent most of his career with the San Diego Padres, and also played for the New York Yankees and briefly for the Oakland Athletics.
|Born: January 21, 1960|
|July 17, 1982, for the San Diego Padres|
|Last MLB appearance|
|August 4, 1991, for the Oakland Athletics|
|Earned run average||4.22|
San Diego PadresEdit
He is known for being the first (and thus far, the only) San Diego Padres pitcher to win a World Series game. Hawkins earned a victory pitching in relief in Game 2 of the 1984 World Series, which the Padres lost to Detroit in five games. His best season was 1985, when he threw a career-high 2282⁄3 innings, compiled an 18–8 record, (winning his first 11 starts) and finished with a 3.15 ERA. Hawkins is the first pitcher to win his first ten starts since the advent of divisional play in Major League Baseball which started in 1969. His 18 no decisions in 1986 were the most among MLB starting pitchers for that season.
New York YankeesEdit
After six seasons in San Diego, Hawkins became a free agent after the 1988 season and signed a three-year contract with the New York Yankees in December 1988. Hawkins was the Yankees' most consistent starter in 1989, compiling a 15–15 record, a 4.80 ERA and an American League-leading 111 earned runs surrendered in 2081⁄3 innings pitched.
But in the following year, Hawkins struggled for a very poor Yankees team. On May 8, with just one win and an ERA of 8.56, Hawkins was offered his outright release, which he accepted, although an injury that night to pitcher Mike Witt changed his mind. Hawkins pitched much better in his next three starts, although he still had only a 1–4 record three months into the season.
On July 1, 1990, Hawkins started against the Chicago White Sox at Comiskey Park. He dominated the White Sox into the eighth inning, retiring the first two batters before Sammy Sosa reached on a fielding error by Yankees third baseman Mike Blowers. After Hawkins loaded the bases by walking the next two batters, Robin Ventura lofted a fly ball to left field. Rookie Jim Leyritz, fighting a blustery wind, had the ball glance off his glove for an error, allowing all three baserunners to score. The next batter, Ivan Calderón, hit a high fly ball to right field, which Jesse Barfield lost in the sun, dropping it for another error, allowing Ventura to score. The Yankees could not score in the ninth, giving Hawkins the loss despite not allowing a hit.
Major League Baseball does not consider this effort an official no-hitter, listing Hawkins as having only completed eight innings pitched. On September 4, 1991 the Committee for Statistical Accuracy, appointed by commissioner Fay Vincent, changed the definition of a no-hitter to require that a pitcher must throw at least nine full innings and a complete game for the no-hitter to be official. Since Hawkins played for the visiting team, the White Sox never batted in the ninth inning, meaning Hawkins lost credit for a no-hitter. The game was also notable for being a double no-hitter into the sixth inning (and a double perfect game into the fifth), as White Sox starter Greg Hibbard also pitched very well.
In his next appearance on July 6, he faced the Minnesota Twins at Yankee Stadium in the opening game of a doubleheader. Hawkins pitched a shutout into the twelfth inning but wound up losing 2–0. Since then, no other starting pitcher has pitched in an MLB game into the twelfth inning or later.
In his following appearance on July 12 in the Bronx, the Yankees lost a six-inning no-hitter to Mélido Pérez and the White Sox. Likewise, that game is not considered an official no-hitter, as the game was shortened to seven innings due to rain; Hawkins was still on the mound when the game was delayed, and then called off. Hawkins's worst month of his career was capped off with his worst start of the season, at home on July 17 against the Kansas City Royals. Hawkins labored through 41⁄3 innings and surrendered eight runs on the strength of four homeruns, including three by Bo Jackson, and took the loss in a 10-7 Kansas City victory. Hawkins finished 1990 with a 5–12 record and a 5.37 ERA in 1572⁄3 innings pitched.
Hawkins started off the 1991 season poorly as well, appearing in four games and going 0–2 before being taken out of the rotation, giving up 14 earned runs in 121⁄3 innings. The Yankees released Hawkins on May 9, two days after he lasted only 21⁄3 innings and surrendered four earned runs and five hits (including two homeruns) to the California Angels on May 7 in Anaheim. He signed with the Oakland Athletics more than a week later; he compiled a 4–4 record with a 4.79 ERA in 77 innings before the Athletics released him in mid-August. In what would be his final major league appearance on August 4 against the Twins in Oakland Hawkins faced only one batter, striking out Scott Leius swinging.
In his three seasons in the American League, Hawkins also struggled mightily while pitching in Fenway Park. In three career starts there against the Boston Red Sox, Hawkins managed a total of just one inning, giving up 18 earned runs.
Hawkins was the bullpen coach of the Texas Rangers, having served as the interim pitching coach following the firing of previous pitching coach Mark Connor during the 2008 season. Before being promoted as the interim coach, Hawkins was the pitching coach for the Oklahoma RedHawks. At the end of the 2015 season Hawkins left the Rangers. In 2016 Hawkins was hired on as the pitching coach for the Kansas City Royals AAA team, the Omaha Storm Chasers.
- "Pitching Game Finder: For 1986, Recorded no decision, as Starter, sorted by greatest number of games in a single season matching the selected criteria". Baseball Reference. Retrieved July 14, 2018.
- "Rangers hire Mike Maddox and Assign Hawkins as Bullpen Coach". November 3, 2008. Retrieved November 3, 2008.[permanent dead link]