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Mike Hessman Retires After 19 MiLB Seasons And 433 Home Runs


mike hessman
Photo Credit: Andy Morrison / The Blade

The Atlanta Braves chose Mike Hessman in the 15th round of the 1996 MLB June amateur draft out of Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, CA.

The California native started his professional career with the Gulf Coast League Braves batting just .216, with one home run and 15 RBI’s in 190 at bats. But it didn’t take more than one season for Hessman to make his mark on minor league baseball.

The next season he was moved up to Class-A Full Season Macon Braves and in 122 games, he batted .235, but launched 21 home runs, while driving in 74 runs.

While the Braves continued to move Hessman through the system, he continued to hit, enjoying his best season in 2002 after his first seven seasons in professional baseball, when he hit .262,  in Triple-A, with 28 doubles, 26 home runs, 77 RBI’s, and 127 hits in 134 games.

In 2003, Hessman made his major league debut with the Braves and in 19 games he was 6 for 21 with two home runs.

It became evident that Hessman would not get the opportunity to land a spot with the big club, as he had only one other stint with the Braves in 2004, batting just .130 (9 for 69), with two home runs.

In 2005 he was picked up by the Detroit Tigers and played for their Triple-A affiliate for three seasons, amassing 83 home runs and 224 RBI’s before being called up to the Tigers for 17 games in 2007. He would bat .235 (12 for 51), with four home runs and 12 RBI’s.

He remained with the Tigers organization before moving on to the New York Mets in 2010. Hessman batted .274 with the Mets Triple-A affiliate and on July 27th, he made his debut with New York. In 32 games, he hit .127 (7 for 55).

Hessman was a stud in the minors, but he couldn’t showcase the same skills in the majors. In 2011, he played in Japan, but not seeing much success, he then returned to the states and joined the Houston Astros and Cincinnati Reds farm teams for the 2012-2013 seasons.

Andrew Weber/USA TODAY Sports
Photo Credit: Andrew Weber/USA TODAY Sports

For the 2014-2015 seasons, he returned to the Toledo Mud Hens, the Tigers Triple-A affiliate and picked up where he left off. On August 4, 2015, he hit his 433rd dinger, setting the minor league all-time home run record.

Now 19 years after he started his professional baseball career, Mike Hessman has decided to hang up his cleats and call it a career. Next stop: Coaching.

David is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Legends On Deck®, as well as a Co-Host on Legends On Deck Podcast. David was a Senior Editor for, and Contributor for that spanned from 2010 to 2014. David made his MLB Debut as a writer in June 2014, while covering the NY Mets at Citi Field, for David also coaches baseball for ages 13-15, a Babe Ruth League team in his local community. David's passion is coaching the game he loves to the future Legends of Tomorrow as well as making available a website that people can have fun sharing and reading. David is also passionate about his career as a Mortgage Loan Officer which allows him to help many families reach their dreams of owning a home. Connect with David via his Social Media pages as he loves to chat all about baseball.

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