Last week we took a look into a clutch Minnesota hitter in Brian Harper. Harper was a player that achieved success in the limited amount of time he started in the big leagues. Randy Bush, or you probably know him as Bush Commander Randy, was another clutch performer for the Twins.
Randy Bush was a second round pick (37th overall) of the 1979 amateur baseball draft. He broke into the big leagues three years later, just in time to ruin Jim Clancy’s chance at a perfect game. Pinch hitting in the ninth inning Bush singled off Clancy and broke up his perfect game no hitter. Pinch hitting would be Bush’s specialty. In 1986 Bush tied an AL record with back to back pinch hit homeruns and in 1991 he led the AL with 13 pinch hits. This would be a trend that Minnesotans would get use to. Bush stepping in off the bench and delivering.
Although Bush played 12 major league seasons, he was full time player for only six. Of those six seasons he reached double figures in homeruns five times despite never having more then 400 at bats. His power was respected by others teams and was never more evident then it was in 1988 when he recorded 14 intentional walks.
Fielding never came easy for Randy Bush and it really limited his playing time in the big leagues. He was a full time outfielder for 4 seasons but was a liability in the field. He was not particularly fast and did not have a great arm. Even Tom Brunansky beat out Bush as the full time right fielder for the Twins from 1982 to 1987. That is saying a lot because Brunansky himself was a not a particularly strong outfielder. Desperately trying to get Bush more at bats lead to him filling at first base when Hrbek needed a rest. However, the majority of Bush’s career games were played as a DH.
After the 1993 season Bush decided to hang up his mitt. He played his entire career with the Minnesota Twins and apart of two World Series Championship teams. He was the first player ever to hit a ball of the roof of the Metrodome (it was caught for an out in fall territory). He also tied the club record for RBI’s in a single game with 8. Where is Randy Bush now?
Today Randy Bush, 45, is enjoying the life of a retired baseball player/coach. This summer marked the fifth and final season for Randy as the head coach of the University of New Orleans. His resignation was a move that shocked the entire program. In his first season as head coach Bush led UNO to their first Sun Belt Conference title since 1988 and their first NCAA tournament appearance since 1996. He was a great role model for the young men in the program as their welfare, both academically and athletically, was always his first priority. Now he is enjoying retirement with his wife Cathy and will continue to host the occasional hitting clinic. However, something tells me we haven’t heard the last of Bush Commander Randy.