Dante Bichette, one of the first stars for the then-expansion Colorado Rockies, has rejoined the team he spent most of his career with as hitting coach.
The Denver Post reports Rockies manager Walt Weiss recruited Bichette to come back to Denver. Bichette had been offered the post previously but was uncertain if it would be a good fit. When Weiss got the job as the Rockies’ manager he called Bichette personally and the deal got done.
“We felt Dante was a top-notch hitting guy,” Weiss said. “And once he showed renewed interest, we went after him full-bore.”
Bitchette was a career .299 hitter and a four time all-star with Colorado from 1993 to 1999. Bichette also played for the California Angels, Milwaukee Brewers, Cincinnati Reds and Boston Red Sox. He won the Silver Slugger award in 1995.
“It’s a passion of mine since I was 10 years old; I’m infatuated with hitting,” Bichette told MLB. “People ask me what I’ve been doing since I retired, and I tell them almost nothing has changed. I’ve been throwing batting practice and working with hitters. It’s something I love to do, and would love to have the chance to do it at the Major League level.”
Bichette’s eldest son, Dante Jr., was drafted by the Yankees in 2011. Dante Sr. has been working with his younger son, who is 14, to help him make his high school varsity team. In fact, that experience has been a catalyst for Bichette to become a coach.
“It’s actually fueled that fire to learn and teach,” Bichette said. “It’s one of those things where I wish I knew then what I know now. It’s a great feeling to work in the batting cage each day with people at an early age.”
Bichette’s last involvement with professional baseball came with the minor league Nashua Pride for whom he pitched and played first base in 2004. He retired from Major League Baseball in 2001.
Dante Bichette will turn 49 on Sunday. He is still well remembered as a fan favorite in Colorado.