Heath was the A's starting catcher in the early 1980s, but the veteran right-hander was a part-time player and valuable reserve for most of his career. He played every position but pitcher in the majors.
A shortstop when signed by the Yankees in 1973, Heath did not begin catching until 1976. Two years later, at the age of 23, he caught one inning in Game Five of the World Series after the Yankees had called him up in the latter half of the season. Heath was traded to the Rangers in the deal that made Dave Righetti a Yankee in November 1978, and was still in the minors when the Rangers traded him to Oakland.
Heath became Oakland's starting catcher in the strike-shortened 1981 season, and caught over 100 games in both 1984 and 1985, hitting exactly .250 with 13 homers each year. After 65 games with the Cardinals in 1986, Heath returned to the AL with the Tigers, where he shared the catching chores with Matt Nokes. He joined the Braves in 1991 as a backup to Greg Olson, but retired after spending the second half of the season on the DL. (SCL/JGR)
Contribute your recollections of Mike Heath by clicking here.