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Mark Steven Kotsay (born December 2, 1975 in Whittier, Californiamarker) is a Major League Baseball outfielder and first baseman for the Chicago White Sox.

A native of Whittiermarker, Californiamarker, Kotsay was selected by the Florida Marlins the 9th pick of the Amateur Draft in out of Cal State Fullertonmarker. Kotsay spent the summer of 1994 playing for the Bourne Braves of the Cape Cod Baseball League. In , Kotsay won the Golden Spikes Award and was the Most Outstanding Player of the College World Series, as CS-Fullerton won its third Series championship. In addition to being an outfielder, Kotsay was a closer in college; he pitched the final five outs to clinch his team's CWS title.

Professional career

Florida Marlins and San Diego Padres

Kotsay appeared in 14 games for the Florida Marlins in before taking over as the team's center fielder in . He was moved to right field after Gary Sheffield was traded, a position better suited for the strong throwing arm which Kotsay regularly showed off. As a rookie, he led all National League outfielders with 20 assists, and led them again in his second year with the same number. In , he led all right fielders with 13 assists. At the plate, Kotsay was an average hitter during these years, hitting around .280 with occasional power and the occasional stolen base. Kotsay was traded in , barely a week before Opening Day, to the San Diego Padres as part of a deal for Matt Clement. Moved back to center field, Kotsay improved his hitting, but he recorded only four outfield assists. This can be largely attributed to the fact that few chose to run on Kotsay. Over the next two seasons, however, Kotsay was defensively back on form, leading all National League center fielders in that category. After his batting average slipped to .266 in , Kotsay was traded to the Oakland Athletics for Terrence Long and Ramón Hernández.

Oakland Athletics

Kotsay with the Athletics in 2006
With Oakland in , Kotsay found his stroke and batted a career best .314 hitting second in the A's lineup. Displaying his customary strong arm afield, he led American League center fielders with 11 assists.

On July 9, , the Athletics announced that Kotsay and the team had come to terms on a three-year, $29 million contract extension. The extension kept Kotsay under contract with the Athletics through the season and included a no-trade clause through the season. News of the contract extension ended speculation that Kotsay would be traded to a team in need of a starting center fielder, such as the New York Yankees.

On Mother's Day, May 14, 2006, Kotsay was one of more than 50 hitters who brandished a pink bat to benefit the Breast Cancer Foundation. He was one of a handful of players to hit a pink bat home run.

The 2006 season marked Kotsay's first-ever appearance in a postseason game, as the Oakland Athletics clinched the 2006 AL West Division title. On October 4, he hit his first postseason home run against Minnesota Twins pitcher Dennys Reyes for a two run inside-the-park home run which scored Jason Kendall that put the Oakland A's ahead 4 to 2, leading his team to win Game 2 of the ALDS.

Kotsay underwent back surgery during spring training , and missed the first two months of the 2007 campaign.

Atlanta Braves

Kotsay with the Braves in 2008.
On January 14, 2008, after passing a physical surgery, Kotsay was officially traded to the Atlanta Braves along with $5.3 million of his $7.3 million salary from the Athletics for Joey Devine and prospect Jamie Richmond.

On August 14, 2008, Kotsay became the first Atlanta Brave to hit for the cycle since Albert Hall did it in . He doubled to right in the 7th inning against Bob Howry of the Chicago Cubs. The double that completed the cycle was also Kotsay's 1,500th career hit. He would hit another single in the 9th inning to have his third career 5-hit game and first since 2005. However, despite the great effort, the Braves lost to the Cubs 11-7.

Boston Red Sox

On August 27, , Kotsay was traded to the Boston Red Sox for minor league outfielder Luis Sumoza.

Kotsay quickly became the Red Sox's preferred first baseman after third baseman Mike Lowell was lost for the season due to injury and Kevin Youkilis was moved to third. Supplanting Sean Casey, he was the regular first baseman throughout the playoffs. He finished the Sox regular season batting .226/.286/.345 in 84 at-bats, and he batted .250/.250/.325 in the playoffs. Despite the poor totals, he was frequently referred to throughout 2008 as someone who hit baseballs hard right at someone, a hard-luck hitter.

On January 15, 2009, Kotsay signed a one-year deal to return to the Red Sox. He underwent back surgery to remove a displaced disc in February 2009 but did not miss significant time.

On July 24, 2009, Kotsay was designated for assignment by the Red Sox to free up a roster spot for newly-acquired Adam LaRoche.

Chicago White Sox

On July 28, 2009, Kotsay was traded to Chicago White Sox for minor league outfielder Brian Anderson and cash considerations. His .292 average through 40 games with the White Sox through the remainder of the season has led to speculation that he will return to Chicago in 2010. Kotsay is already known to have become a favorite of White Sox management in his short time in Chicago, having displayed veteran leadership.

On November 5, 2009 Kotsay was re-signed by the White Sox for a one-year, $1.5 million deal.


Kotsay and his wife Jamie have two daughters, Grace and Sienna, and one newborn son, Trey.Mark Kotsay Attended Santa Fe High School, Santa Fe Springs, Ca


  1. Red Sox land Kotsay from Braves
  2. Boston 1B-OF Kotsay Has Back Surgery Yahoo Sports, February 4, 2009

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