Houston Wildcatters Staff & Coaches

Backe_Brandon

Brandon Backe

Head Coach

REGION: South

DIVISION: 10U – Major

CONTACT: brandonb@houstonwildcatters.com

FAVORITE BASEBALL PLAYER GROWING UP: Jeff Bagwell

Brandon Backe is a former pitcher in the Major Leagues (MLB). He played for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Houston Astros during his career and appeared in the 2005 World Series as a member of the Astros. Originally a position player, Backe was drafted as a second baseman and played in the outfield in the minor leagues before converting to pitching. Backe starred for Ball High School in Galveston, TX where he was a two-time team MVP and earned all-district honors. He was selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 36th round of the 1996 MLB Draft, but chose to stay close to home and played his collegiate baseball at Galveston College, where he earned third-team All-America honors in 1998.

Primarily an infielder, he pitched only 26 total innings for the Whitecaps. Backe was selected by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the 18th round of the 1998 MLB Draft. During his first three seasons in the minor leagues, he played every infield and outfield position. The two innings that he pitched for the rookie league Princeton Devil Rays in 1998 were the only time he spent on the mound during that time. Despite his steady glove and versatility, it was clear that a light-hitting utility player had a very small chance of making the major leagues.

In 2001, he changed positions to pitcher and found immediate success. He rose through the ranks of the pitching-depleted Tampa Bay system climbing from Single-A to the major leagues in just a season and a half. In December 2003, his hometown team, the Houston Astros, acquired Backe from the Devil Rays for Geoff Blum. Backe gained national attention with an eight-inning, one-hit performance against the St. Louis Cardinals in the National Championship Series. Backe started the 2005 season in the Astros starting rotation, going 10–8 with a 4.76 ERA in his first full season as a starter.

Backe performed well in the Astros second-consecutive postseason appearance, including a five-hit, seven-strikeout performance in Game 4 of the 2005 World Series. His career ended after suffering a devastating injury to his pitching shoulder in 2009. Since his retirement, Backe has coached hundreds of kids of all ages to share his knowledge and experiences.