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March 27, 2007 > Randy Ready, baseball player

Randy Ready, baseball player

By Steve Michel

Randy Max Ready was born January 8, 1960. He grew up in Fremont where he established himself, first, as a star little leaguer; then at shortstop for John F. Kennedy High School. Ready was named first team All-Mission Valley Athletic League his senior year at Kennedy. Along with acquiring some fundamentally solid baseball skills, Ready also managed to pick-up the nickname, "Spike."

Over the next two years, Ready played ball for Cal State Hayward (now known as California State University East Bay and Mesa College in Southern California.). In 1980, he entered major league baseball's amateur draft. Selected in the sixth round (pick number 155, overall) by the Milwaukee Brewers, he signed with the Brewers and made his major league debut September 4, 1983.

Although fielding was his strong suit, the rookie first impressed fans with his bat, hitting a 3-run homer in the opening game of the 1984 season. The Brewers used him as a utility infielder and this became his stock-in-trade for the next 13 years. He was traded midway through the 1986 season to the San Diego Padres where he played three full seasons.

The Padres traded him to the Philadelphia Phillies with whom he played for another three seasons. He went with the Oakland Athletics for a year; the Montreal Expos for a year; then back to the Phillies for two more seasons before retiring in 1995 after 13 years in the majors.

The Fremont native's big league career was interrupted in 1986 by his wife's serious illness and subsequent death. But he returned in 1987 with his most productive offensive season. That year, Ready appeared in 124 games, hitting .309 with 54 RBIs and 69 runs scored; he belted 12 home runs, six triples, 26 doubles. '87 and '88 were his most active as he played a total of 238 games for the Padres.

Considered a valuable role player with a versatile glove and a strong pinch-hitter, Ready was always a patient, contact hitter with an unorthodox style. He was known throughout his major league career as a steady fielder with sure hands, a quick release and a very strong arm. Among other batting highlights, Spike recorded an unusual, five-hit game against the New York Yankees in 1984. He finished his career with a .259 average.

After retiring, Ready returned to the Padres organization as a minor league coach. His dedication to the game and years of fundamentally sound play served him well in the coaching ranks. He left the Padres in 2002 and 2003 to manage the Oneonta Tigers, in upstate New York. They are a class A, minor league affiliate of the Detroit Tigers.

Then in 2004, the utility infielder took over as skipper of the class A, Ft. Wayne Wizards of the Midwest League. The Wizards were acquired by the San Diego Padres in 1999 from the Minnesota Twins. Ready was back with the Pads.

After the 2006 season, the Padres bought the AA San Antonio Missions from the Seattle Mariners. It was Fremont's Randy "Spike" Ready whom the Padres tapped as their first ever manager of the Missions. The former little league All Star might be on his way to the "bigs" again as a coach or a manager. Who knows, maybe he'll be calling the shots for the Padres one of these days.

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