Andre Ethier, one of the best athletes to play for Chandler-Gilbert Community College, has been elected to the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame.
Ethier will be inducted along with the rest of the class on April 23, 2021.
Ethier, one of the best pure hitters in baseball, played his entire professional career with the Los Angeles Dodgers before retiring in 2018.
And while he went on to stardom in Los Angeles, Ethier stayed true to his roots. “During his playing days, Andre would work out with our players often,” said Russ Luce, Coyotes head baseball coach. “He’s very active with our players and in giving back. He would help them on the field and with chasing their dreams.”
Luce said Ethier would give of his time and money, making financial contributions to support the program.
“When he was still with the Dodgers, he would workout at Chandler-Gilbert because he lived near the campus,” Luce said. “He lives further away now in Phoenix, but before that he would have players to his house on a regular basis. He would work with the outfielders on mechanics of the position and with hitters, talking about and showing his approach at the plate. 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).”
The Arizona Sports Hall of Fame honors 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” according to the Hall. Nominees must be native Arizonans and immediately recognizable as Arizonan.
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 CGCC, Ethier batted .468 and had 94 hits, including 32 doubles. He was named the team’s Most Valuable Player in 2001.
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 his hometown Arizona 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 1,300 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.
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.