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Ian Kinsler

(1982 - )

Ian Kinsler was born on June 22, 1982, in Tucson, Arizona. His father is Jewish, but his mother is not. Kinsler admits he is not a religious Jew but concedes that his Jewish heritage is “something I’m very, very proud of.”

He graduated in 2000 from Canyon del Oro High School in the Tucson suburb of Oro Valley, Arizona. Kinsler helped lead the baseball team to state titles in 1997 and 2000. In 2019, he was inducted into the Pima County Sports Hall of Fame.

Though drafted out of high school in 2000 by his hometown Arizona Diamondbacks, opted to attend college. He jumped around the college scene, playing freshman year at Central Arizona College before transferring to Arizona State and finally to the University of Missouri before his junior season. In 2002, Kinsler was named to the All-Big 12 Conference second team and he played for the Missouri Tigers during the 2002 Fall World Series, leading all hitters with a .619 average.

In the 2003 amateur draft, Kinsler finally accepted being drafted (the Diamondbacks had tried drafting him again in 2001) and the Texas Rangers chose him in the seventeenth round with the 496th overall selection.

Kinsler won the Rangers’ starting second base job in spring training in 2006. In his major league debut, he recorded his first career hit in his first at bat. Kinsler finished 2006 with a .286 batting average, 14 home runs, 55 RBIs, and a team-leading 11 stolen bases in 423 at bats.

In 2007, Kinsler hit 20 home runs (leading all AL second basemen) and was 23-for-25 in stolen base attempts (a 92% success rate). He was one of only six batters in the AL to have at least 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases. He did it despite suffering a stress fracture which forced him to miss 26 games.

In February 2008, Kinsler signed a five-year contract worth $22 million. He lived up to his billing by making the All-Star team as a reserved voted in by his peers. In August, he was injured and missed the last 37 games of the season. He hit .319 with 18 home runs and 71 RBIs.

In 2009, Kinsler became the 34th player to hit at least 30 home runs and steal 30 bases in a single season. His batting averaged dipped to .253, but he ended the year with 31 homers and 86 RBIs.

Kinsler had another 30-30 year in 2010 finishing 2nd in the American League in runs scored (121), 5th in home runs (32; a career high) and walks (89), and 9th in stolen bases (30) and extra base hits.

He was rewarded the following year with a five-year, $75 million contract extension, which made Kinsler the highest-paid second baseman in baseball. Kinsler was an All Star again in 2012, but finished the year with only 19 home runs, 72 RBIs and a .256 average.

In 2013, Kinsler was the third-toughest batter to strike out in the American League, but his power output declined to 13 home runs. He sill drove in 72 runs and improved his average to .277.

During the 2013 offseason, the Rangers traded Kinsler to the Detroit Tigers and had a big year, making his fourth All-Star team as a replacement for an injured Victor Martinez. For the season he led the American League in at bats (684; an all-time Tigers record), was 4th in hits (188) and doubles (40), 5th in runs scored (100). He was the 10th-toughest batter in the American League to strike out and was one of seven AL players to hit at least 15 home runs and steal at least 15 bases.

For the 2015 season, he hit .296, his best batting average since posting a career-high .319 mark in 2008, while collecting 11 home runs and 73 RBIs. For the season he led the major leagues in multi-hit games (61) and was 4th in the American League in hits (185), 6th in at bats (624), and 10th in runs scored (94). He was also 2nd in the AL in putouts (289), assists (425), and double plays (109) among all second basemen.

In July 2016, Kinsler became the third active Major League player, and the 40th overall, with 200 home runs, 1,000 runs scored, 1,600 hits, and 200 stolen bases. For the season he was 4th in the American League in runs (117) and 10th in hits (178), batting .288 with 83 RBIs. He also was awarded the Gold Glove Award for his defensive prowess.

In 2017, Kinsler spent time on the disable list and played only 139 games, hitting 22 home runs, but hitting a career-low .236. The Tigers subsequently traded him to the Los Angeles Angels.

In 91 games in 2018, Kinsler batted .239 with 13 home runs, 49 runs, 32 RBIs, and 9 stolen bases and then was traded to the Boston Red Sox. In 37 games with the Red Sox, Kinsler batted .242 with 1 home run, 16 RBIs, and 7 stolen bases. Kinsler won his first World Series ring in the 2018 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Following the season, he won his second Gold Glove award.

Before the 2019 season, Kinsler signed an $8 million, two-year contract with the San Diego Padres. Kinsler’s season ended early, however, when he suffered a herniated disc in his neck. He ended the year batting only .217 with 9 home runs and 22 RBIs. On August 12, Kinsler pitched for the first time in his major league career in the ninth inning during a blowout against the Tampa Bay Rays, pitching a scoreless inning. In the bottom half of the inning, he hit a home run. It would be his final game ever played in the major leagues. He ended the season with 1,999 career hits, 257 home runs, 909 RBIs, and 243 stolen bases.

Kinsler subsequently took a job in the Padres front office.

Kinsler married Tess Brady, his high school sweetheart, on November 18, 2006. They have two children.

Year Team
G
PA
AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
SB
CS
BB
SO
BA
OBP
SLG
OPS
2006 TEX
120
474
423
65
121
27
1
14
55
11
4
40
64
0.286
0.347
0.454
0.801
2007 TEX
130
566
483
96
127
22
2
20
61
23
2
62
83
0.263
0.355
0.441
0.796
2008 TEX
121
583
518
102
165
41
4
18
71
26
2
45
67
0.319
0.375
0.517
0.892
2009 TEX
144
640
566
101
143
32
4
31
86
31
5
59
77
0.253
0.327
0.488
0.814
2010 TEX
103
460
391
73
112
20
1
9
45
15
5
56
57
0.286
0.382
0.412
0.794
2011 TEX
155
723
620
121
158
34
4
32
77
30
4
89
71
0.255
0.355
0.477
0.832
2012 TEX
157
731
655
105
168
42
5
19
72
21
9
60
90
0.256
0.326
0.423
0.749
2013 TEX
136
614
545
85
151
31
2
13
72
15
11
51
59
0.277
0.344
0.413
0.757
2014 DET
161
726
684
100
188
40
4
17
92
15
4
29
79
0.275
0.307
0.42
0.727
2015 DET
154
675
624
94
185
35
7
11
73
10
6
43
80
0.296
0.342
0.428
0.77
2016 DET
153
679
618
117
178
29
4
28
83
14
6
45
115
0.288
0.348
0.484
0.831
2017 DET
139
613
551
90
130
25
3
22
52
14
5
55
86
0.236
0.313
0.412
0.725
2018 TOT
128
534
487
66
117
26
0
14
48
16
7
40
64
0.24
0.301
0.38
0.681
2018 LAA
91
391
355
49
85
20
0
13
32
9
4
30
40
0.239
0.304
0.406
0.71
2018 BOS
37
143
132
17
32
6
0
1
16
7
3
10
24
0.242
0.294
0.311
0.604
2019 SDP
87
281
258
28
56
12
0
9
22
2
4
19
54
0.217
0.278
0.368
0.646
14 Yrs
1888
8299
7423
1243
1999
416
41
257
909
243
74
693
1046
0.269
0.337
0.44
0.777

Sources: Sports Illustrated;
Wikipedia
Baseball Reference
Moment Magazine (Sept/Oct 2011).

Photo: Keith Allison licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.