- 2B, DH, SS
- X Factor, Just Enough
- January 20, 1975
- 5' 7"
- 175 lbs
- Major League Debut:
- 4-03-2001 with ANA
- Allstar Selections:
- 2006 BR, 2006 WsMVP
At 5'6" and 170 pounds, babyfaced David Eckstein never looked the part of a ballplayer. But he squeezed every bit of talent from his small frame and became an All-Star shortstop. A throwback to the era when shortstops were light-hitting sparkplugs, Eckstein batted leadoff for the 2002 World Champion Angels, scoring 107 runs, while leading the league in sacrifice hits and being hit by pitches. He signed a lucrative free agent contract with the Cardinals after the 2004 season. David Eckstein is beloved by fans for his passion for the game, positive attitude, hustle, and scrappy play.
Eckstein played baseball all four years at Seminole High School in Sanford, Florida. He was a two-time All-State athletic selection, and a prominent member of a state championship team.
He was also a member of the National Honor Society and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Eckstein was voted "Most Helpful" in the Class of 1993.
Eckstein was commemorated on the 2006–2007 Seminole High baseball squad's T-shirt with the recognition at the bottom of the shirt as follows: "22.DE.WS.MVP.06." Eckstein's number with the St. Louis Cardinals was 22, DE are his initials, and he was the 2006 World Series MVP.
Undrafted out of Seminole High School, Eckstein was a walk-on second baseman at the University of Florida. At the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, Eckstein was a walk-on player to the Florida Gators baseball team in the fall of 1994; he later earned an athletic scholarship. A standout in the Southeastern Conference (SEC), he was a first-team All-SEC selection in 1995 and 1996, a first-team All-American in 1996, a three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll selection (1995–1997), and the first two-time Academic All-American in Gators history. Eckstein was a member of the 1996 Gators squad that finished third in the College World Series. He was inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame as a "Gator Great" in 2007.
Eckstein also played for the Harrisonburg Turks of the Valley Baseball League in Harrisonburg, Virginia.He was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 19th round of the 1997 amateur draft. He rose through the ranks of the Red Sox organization, regularly hitting over .300, but was considered by the club to have limited talent. He reached the AAA Pawtucket Red Sox in 2000 and hit just .246 there. The Sox put him on waivers on August 16th, and he was claimed by the Anaheim Angels. He immediately bounced back, hitting .345 in 15 games with the Edmonton Trappers, all at second base.
Los Angeles Angels
Eckstein made his big league debut in 2001 as the Angels starting shortstop on Opening Day, due to an injury to Benji Gil and the emergence of Adam Kennedy at second base. He finished fourth in that season's Rookie of the Year voting, and the next season, Eckstein finished 11th in American League Most Valuable Player voting, as he batted .293 with 107 runs scored, six triples, eight homers, 63 RBI, and 21 stolen bases.
He helped the Angels win the World Series. Eckstein led the American League in HBP and sacrifice hits in 2001 and 2002. Eckstein collected nine hits and scored six runs in the Halos' 2002 World Series victory... Eckstein was 4-for-5 with three doubles and two RBI in Game Four of the 2006 World Series. His eighth-inning double provided the winning run... He was named MVP of the 2006 World Series, after the Cardinals defeated the Tigers in five games.
St. Louis Cardinals
When the Angels signed shortstop Orlando Cabrera after the 2004 season, Eckstein became expendable and was let go. Within a few days, he signed with the St. Louis Cardinals. In 2005 he was voted the starting shortstop for the National League All-Star team, and he was an All-Star again the following year. He led the Cardinals with 7 triples in 2005. Two times in a 17-day stretch that season, Eckstein won a game with a "walk-off bunt". He hit .364 in the 2006 World Series and was 4-for-5 with three doubles and two RBI in Game Four of the 2006 World Series. His eighth-inning double provided the winning run and was named that year's World Series MVP. He joined Bucky Dent, Alan Trammell, and Derek Jeter as only shortstops to win the award.
Toronto Blue Jays
On November 5, 2007, Eckstein became a free agent along with Kip Wells, Troy Percival, and Miguel Cairo. On December 13, 2007, he signed a one-year, $4.5 million contract with the Toronto Blue Jays.
On August 31, 2008, Eckstein was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks for minor league pitcher Chad Beck.
San Diego Padres
On January 15, 2009 he signed a discounted one-year contract with the San Diego Padres on the condition that he would play primarily second base. On August 22, 2009 the San Diego Padres extended Eckstein's contract through the 2010 season.
Eckstein did not join a team for the 2011 season. In June, it was reported that he received offers from the Padres and other teams, but has opted to not play baseball. He is working for his wife, actress Ashley Drane.
Eckstein is married to actress Ashley Drane. Three of his siblings and his father suffer from kidney ailments and have had transplants. Eckstein's brother Rick Eckstein was the hitting coach for the New Orleans Zephyrs in 2006 and will have the same role with the Memphis Redbirds in 2007; Rick also coached for Team USA in the 2005 Baseball World Cup.
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