1976 Sauk Rapids-Rice graduate and St. Cloud State all-time great Bob Hegman played half an inning at second base for the eventual 1985 World Series Champion Kansas City Royals. He did not touch the ball, and did not get an at-bat (reminiscent of longtime Chisolm, MN doctor “Moonlight” Graham, of Field of Dreams fame).
Hegman improved steadily at the plate during his four years at St. Cloud State, hitting .203 in 1977, .288 in 1978, .372 in 1979, and .381 in 1980. He was 24-for-24 in stolen base attempts over his final three seasons at St. Cloud.
Hegman’s Huskie career overlapped with future major leaguers Jim Eisenreich and Dana Kiecker.
Eisenreich and Kiecker are the only pair of Huskies to ever face each other in the majors, with Eisenreich (Royals) going 4-for-8 with a walk and two doubles versus Kiecker (Red Sox) between 1990 and 1991.
Hegman was also a four-year starting point guard on the Huskies basketball team. (I’ve heard Kiecker, incidentally, dominated intramural basketball at SCSU, and is currently a very well-regarded high school basketball referee.)
Hegman was selected by the Royals in the 15th round of the 1980 draft, and reported to their Gulf Coast League team in Florida. He returned to St. Cloud in the offseason and graduated with a degree in Business Management in 1981.
He got into his only major league game on August 8, 1985 at age 27, entering as a defensive replacement in the top of the ninth of a 10-3 win over Chicago. He did not get the ball hit to him, and did not get an at-bat. I asked Mr. Hegman via email about the circumstances of his brief stint in the majors. He—specifically his glove—was called up when 1978 first-round draft pick Buddy Biancalana was hampered by an injury, and sent back to Omaha the moment Biancalana was healthy.
The Royals went on to win the 1985 World Series. (No, Hegman did not receive a ring.)
Hegman was teammates with 1979 Atwater High School graduate Mike Kingery down at triple-A Omaha in 1985 and ’86.
Kingery played parts of 10 seasons in the majors with six different teams. He hit .349 during the strike-shortened ’94 season with the Colorado Rockies, whose general manager was Lamberton, MN native and former Twins pitcher Bob Gebhard.
In total, Hegman played seven seasons of professional baseball. He joined the Royals front office as an assistant to the Scouting and Player Development Directors in September 1986. In 1992 he was named Director of Minor League Operations, a position he held for ten years. He became an Advance Scout for the Twins in 2003 before moving into the position of Professional Scout (evaluating pro players) from 2008 until a few years ago.
Hegman has made his home in the Kansas City area since 1986.
Hegman was the second of three major leaguers to graduate from Sauk Rapids-Rice High School. Nine-year major leaguer (and 1956 NL All-Star) Rip Repulski graduated in 1946. Former Rays and Angels catcher, and current Orioles minor leaguer Anthony Bemboom graduated in 2008.
The Twins Almanac is a collaborative effort. Here are some questions I have that maybe someone in the audience can help out with:
• Hegman was born in Springfield, MN on February 26, 1958. Does anybody know when his family moved to Sauk Rapids?
• Any stories, stats, or fun facts about his high school and college careers are always welcome.
• What exact years was he a Twins scout? Anybody know the circumstances of his no longer being a Twins scout? I remember there was a bit of a shakeup a few years ago.