Are all catchers interesting?
Do they all end up in coaching, or does it just seem that way?
Mark Bailey certainly fits that category,a s he's been around Housotn for a long time without getting nearly the kind of recognition other coaches and former players do. Bailey was part of the 1986 tea and he was bullpen coach for both the 2004 and the 2005 teams.
He was the minor league coach for the 1998 Kissimmee Cobras, helmed by none other than Manny Acta and featuring Julio Lugo, Chris Truby, Chris Holt and Jeriome Robertson. Then, he moved up to Double-A Round Rock, where he was the hitting coach to the likes of Morgan Ensberg, Keith Ginter, Jason Lane and Eric Bruntlett from 2000 through 2001.
At that point, he replaced Tony Pena as big league bullpen coach after Pena got the managerial job in Kansas City. He held down the bullpen through 2009, which (as I've said before) featured some of the most dominant bullpens the Astros have ever seen. I'm not saying he had anything to do with them, but he was tangentially connected.
From there, he became the hitting coach in Corpus Christi for 2010, coaching J.D. Martinez and J.B. Shuck (along with others) before moving to Tri-CIty for the past two seasons, where he's seen the likes of Andrew Aplin, Drew Muren, Matt Duffy, Brandon Meredith, Tyler Heineman and Preston Tucker.
But, talking only about Bailey's coaching misses what he did as a player. He had 96 career RBIs with Houston in five seasons. As a sixth round pick out of Missouri State (then Southwest Missouri), Bailey made pretty quick progress through the minors, debuting in 1984 and hitting pretty well in his first two seasons.
I say pretty well...he hit for good power but no average. With the exception of the 1985 season, when he put up a very respectable .265/.389/.398 line (that could be Jason Castro's future), Bailey just couldn't hit for average.
Sadly, '85 was his last season with over 200 plate appearances, as he barely scratched 100 after 1986. He played five years with Houston and two more with San Fran before moving into the private sector.
I'm not sure if Bailey is interesting on his own, but he certainly has led an intriguing baseball life. I wonder what's in store for him next.