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For the Canadian rock singer/songwriter, see Andre Ethier (musician).
Andre Ethier (/ˈiːθiər/; born April 10, 1982) is an American professional baseball outfielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball (MLB).
Drafted in the fourth round (62nd pick overall) of the 2003 MLB Draft, Ethier has played in the major leagues since 2006. Career highlights include All-Star selections in 2010 and 2011, a Silver Slugger Award in 2009, and a Gold Glove Award in 2011. Primarily a right fielder throughout his career, Ethier has also filled in at left field and center field for the Dodgers.
Andre Ethier was born on April 10, 1982 in Phoenix, Arizona. He is one of seven children born to Byron Ethier and Priscilla Ethier. There are a total of four brothers including Ethier - Adam, Devon and Steven, and three sisters - Catherine, Belinda and Shaye. His father Byron comes from a mixed background of French Canadian and Cherokee cultures and his mother Priscilla is Mexican American.
His father, Byron Ethier, was also a baseball player and was coached under legend Gary Ward at Yavapai JC; he went as far as winning a JC national title while playing there. One of the three brothers, Devon, also played baseball at Gateway Community College and was drafted by the Dodgers in the 32nd round of the 2010 MLB Draft.
Marriage and personal life:
While attending Arizona State University (ASU), Andre met Maggie Germaine, who is a former ASU gymnast. She made school history while at ASU with a total of nine perfect 10.0 scores. The couple ended up marrying in 2006 and had two sons together, Dreson and Retton. On October 17 and 18 of 2014, for their past successes at ASU, Andre and his wife were honored as the first husband-wife inductees in the Arizona State Sports Hall of Fame.
The family lives in West Hollywood. They follow the Catholic faith and attend Mass very regularly. He is a big fan of Korean food and enjoys spending time off the field with his wife and children.
Road to major league baseball Career:
Junior college career:
Ethier transferred to Chandler-Gilbert Community College after playing with Arizona State University in the fall of 2000. The coaching staff at ASU told him that they thought he did not have Division I talent, and that he would do better to play junior college ball. At CGCC, Ethier recorded 94 hits as one of the top junior college players in Arizona, batting .468 with 32 doubles. He was named team MVP. During the summer of 2001, he played with the Keene Swamp Bats in the New England Collegiate Baseball League. In 2010, Ethier was inducted into the NECBL Hall of Fame.
Ethier re-enrolled at ASU in the fall of 2001 and played there until the end of his junior year in 2003 with an ASU career batting average of .371, 113 runs, 27 doubles, 7 triples, 14 home runs and 118 runs batted in. His collegiate career ended in the midst of a 23-game hitting streak. He was a two-time Pacific-10 Conference All-Star in 2002-03.
During the summer of 2002, Ethier played with the Rochester Honkers of the Northwoods League, one of the country's premier summer collegiate baseball leagues. Ethier tied for the team lead in home runs (4), batted .264, led the team with 34 RBIs and won a Northwoods League Silver Glove for his defensive play in right field.
While at ASU he was teammate and good friends with Dustin Pedroia and Ian Kinsler.
MLB draft and minor leagues:
Ethier was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 37th round of the 2001 amateur draft. Opting to attend ASU instead, he was drafted in the second round of the 2003 amateur draft, again by the Oakland Athletics. He signed with the Athletics on July 1, 2003.
Oakland assigned him to the Single-A Vancouver Canadians and later to the Kane County Cougars for the 2003 season. His minor-league career continued in 2004 with the Modesto Athletics, where he hit .313, and in 2005 with the Midland RockHounds Double-A team, where he hit .319 with 18 homers and was selected as the Texas League Most Valuable Player, Oakland Athletics Minor League Player of the Year, Texas League All-Star Outfielder and Texas League All-Star Game MVP. He also played four games in 2005 with the Sacramento Rivercats Triple-A team. 1
On December 13, 2005, Ethier was traded by the Oakland Athletics to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Milton Bradley and Antonio Perez.
Major league career:
Ethier hit a double and drew a walk in his Major League Baseball debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 2, 2006, against the Arizona Diamondbacks in his home state of Arizona and hit his first home run the next night against Dewon Brazelton of the San Diego Padres.
On May 19, 2006, Ethier had a breakout game, going 5 for 5 with four runs scored as he raised his batting average from .222 to .317. He remained hot throughout the summer and was named National League Player of the Week for the week ending July 9, 2006. Ethier batted very well for much of the season with his average peaking at .354 before a late slump dropped it to .308 at season's end. An early front-runner for the National League Rookie of the Year Award, he finished fifth in voting. He used the song Alive by P.O.D. as his batting song his rookie year.
Ethier entered the 2007 Season expecting to split time with Matt Kemp, and Luis Gonzalez in the outfield, but Ethier got a lot of playing time early due to an injury to Kemp. Although he began the season fairly slow, hitting with a .250 average in April, over the course of the first, three months to the season he managed to gradually raise his hitting average. Overall, Ethier enjoyed a solid sophomore campaign, playing in 153 games while batting .284, with 13 home runs, and 64 RBIs.
Ethier beat out Juan Pierre to become the Dodgers starting left fielder for the start of the 2008 season. When the Dodgers acquired outfielder Manny Ramirez, he moved to his more natural position of right field, with Kemp playing center field. In the regular season, Ethier played in 141 games, had 525 at-bats, scored 90 runs, had 160 hits, hit an average .305 batting avg. with 20 Homers and 77 RBIs.
In 2009, Ethier hit .272 with a career-best 31 home runs and 106 RBI. For this performance, Ethier won a Silver Slugger Award and finished 6th in National League MVP voting. Ethier was a key contributor for the Dodgers that season, with six walk off hits (including four walk off home runs), the most by any player in the Major Leagues since 1974. His four walk-off home runs tied the Major League record for most in a season. On June 26, 2009, Ethier hit three home runs in a game against the Seattle Mariners, driving in a career-high six runs. Thanks to his late-game heroics, Ethier earned the nickname "Captain Clutch".
Ethier got off to a strong start to the 2010 season, leading the National League in home runs, RBI and batting average, but he broke his pinky finger on his right hand during batting practice on May 15, and was placed on the 15-day disabled list three days later. On July 4, Ethier was selected to start on the National League All Star team with more than 2.7 million votes. He slumped down the stretch, finishing with a .292 batting average, 23 home runs and 82 RBI in 139 games.
Ethier set a new MLB record for April with a 23-game hitting streak on April 26 against the Florida Marlins, breaking the old record set by Joe Torre. On April 30 Ethier extended this same streak to 27 games, moving past two former Dodgers to stand alone in second place in the franchise's history of hitting streaks and tie the Dodgers record for the most hits in April. The streak eventually reached 30 games, second most in Dodger franchise history, before it ended on May 7 against the New York Mets. Ethier was a Final Vote candidate for the 2011 Major League Baseball All-Star Game but finished second to Shane Victorino of the Philadelphia Phillies. However, Victorino was injured and unable to participate so Ethier was selected to replace him on the All-Star roster.
Ethier became the subject of some controversy in the second half of the season. Los Angeles Times columnist TJ Simers wrote an article that quoted Ethier as saying his production was down in 2011 because of a knee injury that he had been battling all season, and implying that the Dodgers were forcing him to play despite his injury. Manager Don Mattingly called himself "blindsided" by the story and responded that he would never make a player play hurt. After a meeting with Mattingly and GM Ned Colletti, Ethier backed off on his comments and said it was his choice to play hurt.
After the September 7 game, Ethier decided to shut down for the season in order to consult doctors on the problems with his knee, with the hope of getting healthy in time for spring training. Ethier appeared in 135 games with the Dodgers in 2011, hitting .291 with 11 home runs and 62 RBI.
Despite his injury, Andre Ethier won his first Gold Glove Award on November 1, 2011. Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp also won Gold Gloves, giving the Dodgers three Gold Glove receivers in one year for the first time in franchise history.
On June 12, Ethier signed a five-year contract extension with the Dodgers. The deal was for $85 million through 2017 with a $17.5 million vesting option for 2018.
On August 25, Ethier got his tenth straight base hit, breaking the L.A. Dodger record set by Ron Cey in 1977 and tying the franchise record set by Ed Konetchy in 1919. On September 4 against the San Diego Padres, Ethier collected his 1,000th career hit on a solo homer in the 2nd inning.
He played in 149 games in 2012, hitting .284 with 20 homers and 89 RBI.
After being a corner outfielder for his entire career, Ethier was moved to center field for the first time in the Majors in 2013 because of injuries to Matt Kemp. On September 2, Ethier became the first player in Dodger history to record seven seasons with 30 or more doubles. His season though took a quick step back after getting injured. Since September 13, Ethier was wearing a walking boot for a sore foot that caused him to miss several games at the end of the season and limited him in the playoffs. For the entire season though he managed to play a total of 142 games and hit .272 with 12 homers, 33 doubles and 52 RBI.
In late May, Ethier was once again moved to center field, becoming the starting center fielder for the Dodgers due to Kemp's defensive struggles. However, with Puig moving to center and Kemp's resurgence in right field Ethier became a reserve for most of the second half of the season.
General Manager Ned Colletti said that he believed that Ethier could become a needed late-inning power bat. His teammates praised him throughout the season for accepting his role and not creating problems, despite his rich contract. The LA Times mentioned that Ethier was able to remain completely professional over the entire situation, unlike some past Dodger players who would publicly complain about getting less time on the field and possibly losing their positions. Ethier continued to show up for the pre-game autographs and photos, continuing to remain normal and popular among his fans.
Ethier played only 130 games, the fewest in his career since his rookie season, hitting .249 with 4 home runs and 42 RBIs, mostly in pinch-hit scenarios. He had the worst season of his career in every offensive category other than triples.
Due to early-season injuries to outfielders Yasiel Puig and Carl Crawford, Ethier established himself as a near-everyday player in the first half of the season. On August 2nd, he hit two go-ahead home runs against the Angels, including a walk-off home run in the 10th inning, to earn the Dodgers their first three-game sweep over their city rivals since 2006. It was the 7th walk-off home run, and 14th walk-off hit, of Ethier's career, which placed him 2nd all-time in franchise history behind only the 16 by Dusty Baker. He played in 142 games and hit .294 (his highest number since 2008) with 14 home runs and 53 RBI.