Keith Lockhart (baseball)

Keith Lockhart (baseball)

Infobox MLB retired
name=Keith Lockhart
position=Second base
birthdate=birthdate and age|1964|11|10
debutdate=April 5
debutteam=San Diego Padres
finaldate=September 27
finalteam=San Diego Padres
stat1label=Batting average
stat2label=Home runs
stat3label=Runs batted in
*San Diego Padres (by|1994)
*Kansas City Royals (by|1995-by|1996)
*Atlanta Braves (by|1997-by|2002)
*San Diego Padres (by|2003)

Keith Virgil Lockhart (born November 10, 1964 in Whittier, California) is a retired second baseman and third baseman who played for 10 seasons in the major leagues from by|1994-by|2003.

Lockhart, a left-handed batter, played college baseball at Oral Roberts University and was originally drafted by Cincinnati Reds in the 11th round of the by|1986 Amateur Draft. He spent 8 full seasons in the minor league systems of three different organizations before earning a spot on the San Diego Padres' opening day roster in 1994. He played in 27 games with the Padres in his first year before leaving as a free agent and signing with the Kansas City Royals during the 1994 season.

Lockhart played for the Royals in both by|1995 and by|1996. In his first season, he batted a career best .321, earning him a role as a platoon player in 1996. Sharing time at second base with Bip Roberts and at third base with Joe Randa and Craig Paquette, Lockhart hit .273 and drove in 55 runs.

Shortly before the start of the by|1997 season, Lockhart and outfielder Michael Tucker were traded to the Atlanta Braves for outfielder Jermaine Dye, and Rule V selection Jamie Walker.

Lockhart stayed in Atlanta for 6 seasons, from 1997 to by|2002. He primarily served as a reserve second baseman and also served as a pinch hitter, contributing 59 pinch hits as a Brave. He served as a platoon player on two occasions with the Braves; in by|1998 (a year which saw the Braves win a team-record 106 games), Lockhart platooned with Tony Graffanino, while in 2002, he platooned with Mark DeRosa following an injury to Marcus Giles.

He came close to being the hero of the Braves' epic struggle with the New York Mets in Game 5 of the 1999 NLCS. Lockhart, who came into the game as a replacement after Bret Boone was pinch-run for, hit an RBI triple in the 15th inning to give the Braves a 3-2 lead. The lead was squandered in the bottom of the inning, however, after a bases loaded walk tied the game; Robin Ventura's famed Grand Slam Single would later win it for the Mets.

In 2003, he returned to San Diego for what would be his last major league season and served as the backup to Mark Loretta. He retired at season's end with a .261 career batting average, 44 career home runs, and 268 runs batted in.

Lockhart was the final out of the 1999 World Series. He flew out to left field.

References/External Links

* [ Keith Lockhart: Behind the Dugout]
* [ The Nicest Man in Baseball] - Oral Roberts University Alumni article

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