Kenneth Paul Huckaby (born January 27, 1971) is an American former professional baseball catcher, and currently a minor league coach. Huckaby attended Manteca High School, and played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Toronto Blue Jays, Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles, and Boston Red Sox over his 6-year career.
Huckaby in 2007
|Born: January 27, 1971|
San Leandro, California
|October 6, 2001, for the Arizona Diamondbacks|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 27, 2006, for the Boston Red Sox|
|Runs batted in||31|
A competent defensive replacement with a strong throwing arm, his most productive season came in 2002 with Toronto, when he posted career-highs in batting average (.245), home runs (3), RBI (22) and games (88).
Huckaby was involved in a collision with shortstop Derek Jeter in the 2003 season opener against the New York Yankees. With Jeter on first base and Jason Giambi at bat, Toronto used an extreme shift that left third base uncovered. Giambi hit a soft grounder to the pitcher, Roy Halladay, who threw to first baseman Carlos Delgado for an out. Jeter, seeing Toronto out of position, rounded second and ran to third. Huckaby ran up the line to cover third and fielded Delgado's throw. Jeter dove headfirst into the bag, while Huckaby attempted to catch the baseball and block Jeter from reaching third. In doing so, Huckaby fell onto Jeter; his shin guard driving into Jeter's shoulder.
In the 2006 spring training, Huckaby had an opportunity of being the backup catcher for the Red Sox. Then, he injured his left knee during the first exhibition game and lost the job to Josh Bard, who was later sent to San Diego for Doug Mirabelli. On August 1, Huckaby was added to the 25-man roster to serve as Mirabelli's backup while Boston's regular catcher Jason Varitek recuperated from an ailing left knee. Before the call, he appeared in 68 games for Triple-A Pawtucket, hitting .207 with two home runs and 16 RBI. Huckaby's backup role was once again brought into question with Boston's acquisition of Javy López on August 3. That night, Huckaby went 1 for 3 with an RBI. However, the very next day, August 4, Huckaby was designated for assignment. He later cleared waivers and returned to Pawtucket.
Prior to the 2007 season, Huckaby was invited to attend spring training with the Los Angeles Dodgers and was assigned to Triple-A at the end of spring, where he spent the entire season playing for the Las Vegas 51s.
After spending the 2013 season as the hitting coach with the Bluefield Blue Jays, Toronto's Rookie League Affiliate, Huckaby served as the hitting coach in 2014 for Class-A Lansing Lugnuts. In 2015, he got his first managing job taking over from John Tamargo Jr. as the Lugnuts manager. After taking the Lugnuts to the Eastern Division Championship Series he moved up to Class A-Advanced to manage the Dunedin Blue Jays for the 2016 season.
In 2017 he was elevated to the role of Catching Coordinator within the entire Toronto Blue Jays organization
- Jeter suffers dislocated left shoulder in collision, ESPN
- Tamargo Returns as Lugnuts Manager, MILB
- "Ken Huckaby to manage Lugnuts". Retrieved 2016-09-23.
- "Lugnuts announce 2016 coaching staff | MiLB.com News | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball". MiLB.com. Retrieved 2016-09-24.
- "Blue Jays announce Minor League appointments". Toronto Blue Jays. Retrieved 2017-06-08.