He was a blend of power and contact, proving to be a tough out for pitchers.
In the height of the steroid era, he put up numbers that still stood out.
Because of this, he became a cornerstone for the Rockies franchise that began playing in 1993.
On August 3, 1993, Gayle Gardner became the first woman to do televised play-by-play of a baseball game, sharing innings with Duane Kiper. When she said Dante Bichette needed a homer in a big spot, he delivered. 💪 pic.twitter.com/UjGdJ0AqUF
— MLB Vault (@MLBVault) February 3, 2021
Here is a look at the career of Bichette, and what happened to him after he retired.
Bichette was far from a slam-dunk prospect.
He was drafted by the California Angels in the 17th round of the 1984 MLB Draft out of Palm Beach Community College.
From there, he worked his way through the minors posting solid numbers at every level.
This culminated in making his MLB debut in 1988.
In his first taste of the majors, Bichette hit .261 in 46 at-bats with no home runs.
The next season, he bounced between levels as he struggled to get consistent success with the Angels.
Finally, he began to break through in 1990, hitting .255 with 15 home runs in 109 games.
However, Bichette would be traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in the offseason for aging start Dave Parker.
— Zinn Beck (@ZBDigitalibrary) March 15, 2017
His struggles continued as he posted lackluster numbers in 1991 and 1992.
This would put Bichette at a low before he took the next step to assume his position as a top hitter.
Bichette Thrives With Rockies
The Brewers decided to part ways with Bichette after the 1992 season, sending him to Colorado in a trade.
This would ultimately come back to haunt the Brewers.
In 1993, Bichette pieced each aspect of his game together, registering a stellar .310 average with a career high of 21 home runs.
This would just be the start of his career peak.
In the strike-shortened 1994 season, he slugged 27 home runs in just 116 games.
He followed this up with the best season of his career in 1995.
25 Years Ago Today: Colorado #Rockies star Dante Bichette hits a 14th inning, walk-off HR vs. the New York #Mets to win the first ever game at Coors Field! (April 26, 1995) #MLB #Baseball #History pic.twitter.com/P7RNHwhmga
— Baseball by BSmile (@BSmile) April 26, 2020
In 139 games, Bichette led the National League in home runs (40) and RBI (128) while hitting .340.
He quickly established himself as a scary hitter in the middle of the Rockies order, forming a strong duo with Larry Walker.
While 1995 was his best year, Bichette continued registering outstanding years.
From 1996-2000, he hit at least 22 home runs each season and had more than 100 RBI in all but one year.
2001 would end up being his final MLB season, as he elected to retire after another solid year in Boston.
He lacked longevity, but Bichette certainly had one of the strongest peaks of his generation.
This puts him far from Cooperstown, but does not take away his reputation as one of the best hitters in the late 1990s.
Since retiring in 2001, Bichette has remained around the game.
He attempted to make a comeback in 2004 when he joined an independent professional team out of Nashua, New Hampshire.
In his first full month with the team, he won player of the month honors after hitting .361 with 13 home runs.
However, the comeback would not manifest into anything beyond this.
He then went on to become a coach where he also found success.
After the 2012 season, he was named the Rockies hitting coach.
This job lasted just a season, as he elected to not return in 2014.
He returned to coaching at the big league level in 2020, as it was announced that he was added to the Toronto Blue Jays coaching staff.
Dante Bichette doesn't do pushups.
He pushes the earth down 😤 pic.twitter.com/NuJpfU9Wig
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) July 25, 2020
He remains with the team in the 2021 season, with an expanded role as a special assistant.
His teachings around how to hit have garnered attention from fans on social media.
Dante Bichette was a great MLB player
Member of the 30-30 Club
4x MLB All Star
Dante is currently a Coach in the Blue Jays Organization
Here’s a look to how he teaches hitting
If you want to be a great hitter, this is something you should watch
— Coach Bo (@TheCoachBo) December 16, 2020
The Bichette Family Ties
His position with the Blue Jays served as a family reunion.
The Bichette name has not vanished from the sport, as his two sons are both in professional baseball.
His oldest, Dante Bichette Jr., was drafted by the New York Yankees with the 51st-overall selection of the 2011 draft.
However, he has struggled to get through the minor leagues.
— CJ Fogler #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) May 27, 2018
It is a different story for Bichette’s youngest son.
Bo Bichette shot through the Toronto Blue Jays organization and quickly became a top prospect.
The young shortstop made his MLB debut in 2019 and developed himself into one of the league’s best.
Bo joins a collection of fellow sons of former Major Leaguers on the Blue Jays.
The three form the core foundation of a youthful Blue Jays franchise that is looking to become competitive in the AL East.
A Bo Bichette triple sends 2 runs home in the 9th and this game is TIED! 🤩
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) June 3, 2021
For Bo, having a former big leaguer as a father proved to be critical in his development.
He even decided to skip his freshman year of high school in 2013 to work with his dad and the Rockies.
This likely helped to speed up his development, which may have led to him becoming the player he is today.
Now, Bo looks to continue the legacy that his father set years before.
While he was not a transcendent part of the sport, there was a time where Bichette was one of the game’s most feared hitters.
He will always have a special place in the hearts of Rockies fans and a distinct impact on the game.