Zinter thrilled to wear a big league uniform again
Alan Zinter played in more than 1,800 Minor League games, but only 67 Major League games, so he doesn’t taking putting on a big league uniform lightly. He was 34 years old when he made his Major League debut in 2002 when he played in 39 games for the Astros, and he had a cup of coffee with the D-backs a couple of years later.
He’s the definition of a baseball grinder, a man who’s worked hard and paid his dues just to get a taste of life in the big leagues. And he hasn’t stopped since his playing days ended. Zinter, 46, spent the last three seasons as Cleveland’s Minor League hitting coordinator (2012-14) after serving as a hitting coach in Arizona’s minor league system from 2008-11.
The goal was to get back to the big leagues. The Astros hired him on Tuesday to be their assistant hitting coach, giving Zinter a second life as a Major Leaguer.
“This is my second career,” he said. “I love the game of baseball. To be fortunate enough to play for such a long time and only have a little bit over a year, two different years at the end of my career [in the Majors], left me hungrier for more. I wanted to stay in the game and I wanted to be a hitting coach and I just wanted to make an impact and help the kids.
“My goal is to work with the best in the world and be a Major League hitting coach. This is obviously a really close step towards that in the big league. Luckily, now they have assistant coaches that are part of the staff. I’m very fortunate. This is awesome. This feels like when I just got called up in 2002 with the Astros. It ranks right up there with everything.”