David Skeels

From BR Bullpen

David Arthur Skeels

BR Minors page

Biographical Information[edit]

David Skeels was a catcher who played professionally in five minor league seasons. He is the younger brother of former professional ballplayers Andy Skeels and Mark Skeels. All three of them were catchers.

After his senior year at Thousand Oaks High School, David was selected in the 39th round of the 1991 amateur draft by the Chicago Cubs and scout Gil Kubski. He did not sign at that time - opting instead to accept a scholarship to the University of Arkansas. On April 1, 1994, Skeels caught the nine-inning no-hitter thrown by Todd Abbott, as the Razorbacks beat Vanderbilt University, 6-0. It was the only 9-inning no-hitter thrown in an SEC conference game between 1967 and 2016. As a senior at Arkansas in 1995, he batted .330 during Southeastern Conference play and led the nation with a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage. In the Summer of 1995, he played for the Mobile BaySharks (1 for 4) and Corpus Christi Barracudas (.293/.353/.374 in 36 G) of the independent Texas-Louisiana League. During his three games with Mobile, he was a teammate of his two older brothers, Andy and Mark, and the three of them started at the catcher position in three consecutive games.

After the 1995 campaign, he signed with the Seattle Mariners as a free agent. In 1996, he hit .286/.321/.364 as a catcher with the Everett AquaSox. In 1997, Skeels produced at a .278/.328/.328 clip for the Lancaster JetHawks, throwing out 31% of attempted base-stealers; he and Dusty Wathan split catching duties. In 1998, he moved on to the Oakland A's system, appearing for the Visalia Oaks (.225/.291/.311). That season, he also pitched 7 games in relief, with a 5.40 ERA. In 1999, he was assigned to the AA Midland Rockhounds (.273/.329/.394). He homered in his final minor league at bat, in a game against the Little Rock Travelers.

His only Major League experience came during spring training of 1999, when he caught in one game with the Oakland A's in the Cactus League - a team that included future Hall of Famer Tim Raines. After his playing career, David was hired by the Texas Rangers to serve as a hitting and catching instructor for the 1999 Pulaski Rangers. Prior to the 2000 season, he turned down a full-time coaching offer from the Texas Rangers to attend Baylor University Law School. He earned his law degree in 2003 and is now an intellectual property attorney. He remains active in youth baseball clinics and leagues and has served as a catching instructor at numerous college baseball camps, including at Stanford University and the University of Arkansas.

Skeels was on the roster of the New Zealand national team (managed by brother Andy) in the 2013 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers, where New Zealand advanced to the championship game against Taiwan. At 39 years and 5 months, he was, and remains, the oldest infielder to ever get a hit in World Baseball Classic play, when he caught and singled against the Johnny Damon-led Thailand squad.

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