Hurdle's got game
Who: Clint Hurdle
Position: Pittsburgh Pirates manager
Influential because: His leadership helped get the Bucs to the postseason after experiencing their first winning season in 20 years and snapping the longest losing streak in the history of North American professional sports. To the delight of long-suffering Pirates fans, Hurdle finally accomplished what his six immediate predecessors — John Russell, Jim Tracy, Pete Mackanin, Lloyd McClendon, Gene Lamont and Jim Leyland — could not over the past two decades.
Influential background: Hurdle had a 10-year playing career as an outfielder with the Kansas City Royals, Cincinnati Reds, New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals. He spent eight seasons as manager of the Colorado Rockies, leading the team to a World Series appearance in 2007.
Influential disappointment: The Boston Red Sox swept Hurdle's Rockies in four games in the World Series.
Influential athleticism: Hurdle was a standout quarterback at his Florida high school and signed a letter of intent to play football at the University of Miami. But he instead signed a contract with the Royals after the team selected him in the 1976 Major League Baseball draft's first round.
Influential family: Hurdle has a wife, Karla; two daughters, Ashley and Madison, and a son, Christian.
Influential mouthpiece: Hurdle is the national spokesman for Prader-Willi, an organization that raises awareness of Prader-Willi Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder from which his daughter Madison suffers. Those afflicted with Prader-Willi frequently have poor muscle tone, short stature and insatiable hunger.
Influential vice: The bubble gum Hurdle compulsively chews during games can't be good for his teeth.
Influential and inspirational: Every day, Hurdle emails life-affirming thoughts and quotes to more than 1,000 people all over the world. Most of the people have asked to subscribe to the daily messages.
Influential immediate future: Hopefully it involves leading the Pirates past the Cardinals in the National League Division Series and into the N.L. Championship Series.
— compiled by Trib Total Media staff
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