David Mark Eckstein, (born January 20, 1975 in Sanford, Florida), nicknamed "Just Enough", is a Major League Baseball shortstop for the Toronto Blue Jays. He is noted for his size, as he is a small (for professional sports) 5' 7", but weighs 175 pounds. Eckstein's name is pronounced (ECK-styne) and means "cornerstone" in German. His "entrance music" is Ludacris's "Number One Spot" (appropriate since Eckstein usually bats as the leadoff hitter) and Crystal Method's "Busy Child".

High school careerEdit

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. David was voted "Most Helpful", in the Class of 1993.

Eckstein also is commemorated on the 2006-07 Seminole High baseball squad's T-shirt with the recognition at the bottom of the shirt as follows: "22.DE.WS.MVP.06". 22 was Eckstein's number with the Cardinals, DE are his initials, and he was the 2006 World Series MVP.

College careerEdit

At the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, Eckstein was a walk-on player to the Gators baseball team in season of 1994, later earning a scholarship. A standout in the Southeastern Conference, he was a two-time All-SEC (1995-1996) first team sports in 1996 and a three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll selection (1995-1997). Eckstein was the first two-time corporation Academic All-American in Gator history. He was also a member of the 1996 baseball team that finished third in the country.

MLB careerEdit

Eckstein was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 19th round of the 1997 amateur draft, and selected off waivers by the Anaheim Angels on August 16, 2000. He was a member of the 2002 World Series champion Anaheim Angels (now the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim), as well as the 2006 Champions, the St. Louis Cardinals, where he was selected 2006 World Series MVP. However, in several post-Series interviews, Eckstein said that he cannot use his prize, a Chevrolet Corvette Z06, because he does not know how to drive a manual transmission. He gave the car to his brother Rick. During his 2002 championship year, he led the major leagues with three grand slams, including grand slams in back-to-back games against the Toronto Blue Jays, one of which was a walk-off grand slam leading the Angels to complete the sweep over Toronto, at a time when the Angels were 7-14. After the sweep of the Jays, the Angeles went on to win 20 of their next 23 games.[1] The walk-off Grand Slam is seen as a turning point in the 2002 season for the Angels, propelling them to a World Series title.

At the end of the 2004 season, Eckstein was part of a "shortstop merry-go-round," in which three free agent shortstops swapped teams: Edgar Rentería went from the Cardinals to the Red Sox, Orlando Cabrera went from the Red Sox to the Angels, and Eckstein went from the Angels to the Cardinals.

In seven seasons, he has amassed 1,079 hits while batting .286. He was voted to the National League All-Star team in 2005, along with teammates Chris Carpenter, Albert Pujols, Jason Isringhausen and Jim Edmonds. He was a late addition to the 2006 All-Star team. In 3,772 regular season at-bats, Eckstein has struck out only 305 times, with a total of 22 in 2007.

File:David Eckstein.jpg
Eckstein was a fan favorite in St. Louis, who considered him to be a "pesky" hitter[2] (he chokes up on the bat about 2 inches[3]). He is often pointed out for his resemblance (as a hitter) to former New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Lenny Dykstra. [citation needed]

One of Eckstein's more surprising feats, given his low home run numbers (30), is the fact that he hit grand slams in back-to-back games. On Mother's Day, May 14, 2006, Eckstein was one of more than 50 hitters who brandished a pink bat to benefit the Breast Cancer Foundation.

As a member of the 2006 World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals, Eckstein was named the World Series MVP. Following a 1-11 start in the first 2 games of the World Series, Eckstein went 8 for 22 with 4 RBI and scored 3 runs in the series, including going 4-for-5 with three doubles in game 4.

Among collectors of baseball trading cards, Eckstein is known for his 2004 Topps baseball trading card. The card mistakenly features a picture of Adam Kennedy, not Eckstein, on the front, although all other aspects of the card are correct.[citation needed]

On November 5, 2007, David Eckstein became a free agent along with Kip Wells, Troy Percival, and Miguel Cairo.

On December 13, 2007, he signed a 1-year, $4.5 million contract with the Toronto Blue Jays.[1]

Personal lifeEdit

David married actress Ashley Drane on November 26, 2005, at his family church in Sanford, Florida, followed by a reception at Walt Disney World. He is also a big fan of professional wrestling, having made public appearances with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling during the 2006 World Series and on February 11, 2007, he co-managed (along with New York Yankees outfielder Johnny Damon) TNA wrestler Lance Hoyt for his match with current White Sox conditioning coach Dale Torborg, managed by Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski at TNA's Against All Odds pay-per-view.

In December 2006, David released the second edition of his inspirational children's autobiography, "Have Heart" ISBN 0-97-915040-X.

Career highlightsEdit

  • 2006 Holiday Inn Look Again Player of the Year
  • 2-time World Series Champion (2002 Anaheim Angels, 2006 St. Louis Cardinals)
  • 2006 World Series MVP
  • 2-time All-Star (2005, 2006)
  • Babe Ruth Award winner (2006)
  • Inaugural winner of the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association's Heart & Hustle Award in 2005.

References Edit

  1. 2002 Anaheim Angels Schedule, Box Scores and Splits -
  2. Baseball: Spotlight; National League Scouting Report, The New York Times, 10 October, 2006
  3. "Baseball: Dynamo powers Cardinals' victory", International Herald Tribune, 27 October, 2006

External linksEdit

Preceded by:
Jermaine Dye
Babe Ruth Award
Succeeded by:
Award Discontinued
Preceded by:
Jermaine Dye
World Series MVP
Succeeded by:
Mike Lowell

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