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Brian David Harper
Brian David Harper

Name: Brian David Harper
Bats Right, Throws Right
Height 6' 2", Weight 195 lb.
Post Season: World Series Cardinals in 1985; World Champion Twins in 1991


Biography:

Brian David Harper was born October 16, 1959 in Los Angeles, California. Brian loved baseball as a child, and knew he wanted to be a professional player at the age of five. He attended San Pedro High School in California where he lettered in varsity football and baseball. In his senior year he batted .490 and was named first team all Marine League, first team all South Bay, first team all Los Angeles City and first team all state as a catcher. Brian received a baseball scholarship to Pepperdine University, but was selected in the fourth round of the June 1977 draft by his favorite ballclub, the California Angles.

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After wandering through six organizations in eleven years (he was 7-for-26 as a pinch-hitter for the NL-champion 1985 Cardinals), Brian Harper finally found a home in 1988 at catcher for the Twins. He hit .295 in 166 at-bats, his most playing time to that point at the major league level. He continued his streak by hitting .325 to remain the Twins' starting catcher in 1989.

Brian was the primary catcher for the Twins team that won the memorable 1991 World Series in seven games over the Atlanta Braves. In particular, he caught the game 7 masterpiece of Jack Morris, who threw 10 innings of shutout baseball against the Braves in one of the most intense ballgames ever played. In the bottom of the 8th inning, Brain Harper teamed up with first baseman Kent Hrbek to execute an incredible 3-2-3 double play that prevented the Braves' Lonnie Smith from scoring while also nabbing Sid Bream at first. The game was won in the bottom of the 10th inning when Gene Larkin cracked a bases-loaded single to center field, scoring Dan Gladden. Although sometimes criticized for his defense (especially his throwing arm) Brian’s rock-solid presence behind the plate was highlighted in that World Series win in 1991. "It hasn't been since schoolboy football, when he was a quarterback who got sacked 'a lot', that Harper's been run over so often and so violently," wrote Tim Wendel of Baseball Weekly

After the World Series win, Brian Harper re-signed with the Twins for another two years. He remained the Twins' first option behind the plate through 1993, hitting for a good average but little home-run power.

He joined the Milwaukee Brewers for the strike-shortened 1994 season, and then wrapped up his career in Oakland the next year. He was hindered by a calf injury after moving to the Brewers in 1994, and in late June was struck by a Ken Ryan pitch, fracturing his wrist and ending his season. He caught on briefly with the A's the next spring, but retired in May after starting the year 0-for-7.

Since his retirement in 1995, Brian has coached high school baseball in Scottsdale, AZ and is currently the manager of the Mesa Angles Rookie team. In over 3,300 career at bats, Brian struck out only 183 times. Brian was always one of the toughest batters to strike out in the major leagues. Brian finished with a career batting average of .295.

Brian Harper played a total of 18 years of professional baseball, from 1977 to 1995; including 12 years in the major leagues with seven different teams. Brian batted over .300, four out of six years with the Minnesota Twins, from 1988 to 1993. Brian led the team in hitting during the World Series with a .391 average and made his mark as a Minnesota Twin “great.”

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