Clint Hurdle was the phenom’s phenom. A first-round Draft choice of the Royals out of high school in 1975, Hurdle passed up college opportunities in baseball and football that ranged from Harvard to Miami. By the age of 20, Hurdle had already graced the cover of Sports Illustrated.
For all the hype, however, Hurdle took a few detours along the way in his playing career. He spent all or parts of 10 seasons in the big leagues with the Royals (1977-81), Reds (’82), Mets (’83, ’85, ’87) and Cardinals (’86), but appeared in more than 78 games only twice.
However, Hurdle has made his mark as a big league manager — first with the Rockies, whom he guided to their only World Series appearance in 2007; and currently with the Pirates, whom he took over after 18 consecutive losing seasons in the spring of ’11. After two additional seasons of disappointment, he led Pittsburgh to the postseason three consecutive years from 2013-15.
Now, the Pirates are regrouping — and last September, despite back-to-back losing campaigns, Hurdle was given a four-year extension to remain the Bucs’ manager.
Hurdle discussed his career in this week’s Q&A:
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