Chandler Gilbert athlete in Hall of Fame SanTan Sun News

Chandler Gilbert athlete in Hall of Fame

Chandler Gilbert athlete in Hall of Fame
Sports and Recreation
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SANTAN SUN NEWS STAFF

An athlete that Chandler Gilbert Community College calls one of its best players in its history has been selected for the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame.

Andre Ethier, an outfielder who played for the Coyotes from 2000-2001, will be inducted at a later date.

Ethier was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the second round of the 2003 Major League Baseball Draft out of Arizona State University where he transferred after his CGCC career.

At Chandler Gilbert, he batted .468 and had 94 hits, including 32 doubles. He was named the team’s Most Valuable Player in 2001.

Ethier always had a special place in his heart for CGCC, college officials said.

“During his playing days with the Dodgers, Andrew would workout with our players often,” said Chandler Gilbert head baseball coach Russ Luce.

“He’s spoken to our players at least 10 times and has made financial contributions to the program as well.”

“We are so proud to call Andre Ethier a Coyote,” said CGCC President Dr. Greg Peterson. “Andre’s election to the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame is a testament to not only his skill on the diamond, but also his care for the community. His desire to help current CGCC baseball players with their skills and as a mentor has been invaluable.”

The Arizona Sports Hall of Fame’s motto is to  honor athletes “who have recognition and distinction in sports and have “brought fame and honor to the State of Arizona through outstanding sporting accomplishments or contributions.”

Nominees must be native Arizonans and immediately recognizable as Arizonan.

“He’s very active with our players and in giving back,” Luce added. “He would help them not only on the field but provided mentorship.”

“He would work with the outfielders on mechanics of the position and with hitters, talking about and showing his approach at the plate,” Luce said. “He also showed them how he changed his approach through the game too. He provided mentorship and it was a big deal to our players because he accomplished what they want to (by going to MLB).”

Ethier, who was traded by the A’s to the Dodgers in 2005, played his entire Major League career in Los Angeles.

In his major league debut, he hit a double and walked against the Diamondbacks in Phoenix. The next night, he hit his first career home run against the San Diego Padres.

During his time with the Dodgers, Ethier batted .308 in his rookie season of 2006 and averaged .285 over the course of his career with more than 1300 career hits.

He was an All-Star (2010, 2011), a National League Silver Slugger (2009) and a Rawlings Gold Glove winner (2011).

He retired in 2018 after leg and back injuries limited his playing time in 2016 and 2017.

Game 7 of the 2017 World Series was the last game he played in. That series, won by the Houston Astros, is considered tainted by some around baseball because of the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal.

During his MLB playing career, Ethier put together a 30-game hitting streak in 2011.

Chandler Gilbert’s baseball program boasts an impressive roster of major and minor league players.

Since the CGCC baseball program began in 2001, 43 former Coyotes have made it to professional baseball including Ethier, Colorado Rockies’ Eric Young Jr., Fukuoka Softbank Hawks (Japan Pacific League) Dennis Sarfate and former Oakland A’s and Toronto Blue Jays reliever Carlos Ramirez.

Established in 2001 by Jeff Mason and Doyle Wilson, the athletics team is proud to offer an opportunity for players to develop their athletic and academic skills as a foundation for next steps into university, minor and Major League Baseball career opportunities.

“The strength of the program is the commitment from the coaching staff, led by Head Coach Russell Luce, to develop and build up future leaders and academically strong players,” the college said in a release.

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