Meet 2013 Chiefs Hitting Coach Erik Pappas
The Chiefs 2013 hitting coach will be former catcher Erik Pappas who is new to the Cardinals organization.The 46-year-old native of Chicago joined the Cardinals organization this offseason having coached at the Little League and at coaching clinics in the Chicago area.
Pro Career Part I (MiLB)
- Played at Mt Carmel High School in Chicago and was drafted by the California Angels with the sixth overall selection of the First Round in the 1984 June draft.
- The Chiefs were affiliated with the Angels in 1984 but Pappas was assigned to Short-Season Salem in the Northwest League.
- In 1985 he played in the Midwest League for the Quad City Angels as a teammate of Dante Bichette hitting .240 with two home runs.
- Climbed to Double-A Midland with the Angels where he hit .276 in 1988
- Chosen by the Chicago Cubs in the December 1988 Minor League Rule V draft.
- Played in Double-A Charlotte for manager Jim Essian in 1989 and had a break out season batting .299 with 16 HR & 31 doubles.
- Played for Essian again in Triple-A Iowa in 1990 and 1991 hitting 16 home runs in 1990 and seven more in 1991.
Pro Career Part II (MLB)
- Made his Major League debut for the Cubs on April 19, 1991 as a defensive replacement in Pittsburgh.
- Collected his first MLB hit and RBI two days later as a starter while catching former Chief Mike Harkey in Pittsburgh.
- Overall in 1991 he played in seven MLB games with three hits and two RBI.
- Released by the Cubs in November 1991 and signed with the Kansas City Royals a month later.
- Began the 1992 season with Triple-A Omaha before being traded to the Chicago White Sox on July 9 and finishing the season in Triple-A Vancouver with a .276 average.
Pro Career Part III (Cardinals and beyond)
- Signed a free agent deal with the St. Louis Cardinals on January 5, 1993
- Split the next two seasons between St. Louis and Triple-A Louisville.
- In 1993 he hit a MLB career-high .276 with one home run, 12 doubles and 28 RBI while playing in 82 games for Joe Torre.
- Collected a 16-game hit streak from May 14 to June 5, still the second longest hit streak by a Cardinals catcher since 1957.
- Hit his first MLB home run on June 14, 1993 against Pittsburgh off Denny Neagle.
- In the strike-shortened 1994 season he played in 15 MLB games with a double and five RBI while batting .199 in 64 Triple-A games.
- Signed with the Florida Marlins for the 1995 season and played in Triple-A Charlotte.
- Finished his career with the Texas Rangers in Triple-A Oklahoma City.
- In 104 MLB career games, Pappas hit .242 with one homer, 13 doubles and 35 RBI.
- Appeared in 1166 MiLB games batting .248 with 85 home runs, 201 doubles and 495 RBI.
Post Playing Career + Olympics
- Returned to Chicago where he began a company called Baseball Alley to teach the sport to kids in Chicago’s Morgan Park.
- Worked at the Cangelosi Baseball Clinic in Chicago.
- Worked as a stock trader in Chicago
- Eight years after retiring was asked to play for the Greece National Team in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece.
- His grandfather was born in Greece and in seven games Greece won just once, but Pappas homered in the final game, a 6-1 loss to Canada.
- Excelled at Mt. Carmel High School in Chicago which is also the alma mater of MLB’s last 30-game winner Denny McClain.
- The Caravan have a rich athletic tradition which also includes former NFL Stars Donovan McNabb and Simeon Rice, basketball star Antione Walker, hockey Hall of Famer Chris Chelios, and current Oregon State basketball coach Craig Robinson who is also brother-in-law to President Obama.
- When Pappas was drafted in 1984, Shawn Abner was the first overall selection. Former Bradley University standout Mike Dunne was taken by the Cardinals right after the Angels selected Pappas and Oakland took Mark McGwire with the 10th overall pick.
- Other first rounders in 1984 included: Billy Swift, Cory Snyder, Jay Bell, Terry Mulholland, Oddibe McDowell and Norm Charlton.
- In his career, Pappas caught the likes of Greg Maddux, Lee Smith, Rick Sutcliffe, Bob Tewksbury, Joe Magrane, Mike Harkey, Shawn Boskie, Miguel Batista and former Chiefs coaches Bryan Eversgerd and Gary Buckles.