Born: May 25, 1966
Town: Long Branch
William Joseph Haselman was born May 25, 1966 in Long Branch. In 1971, the Haslemans moved west to the town of Saratoga in Central California, near the city of San Jose. Bill’s father, Albert, was a huge baseball fan and he tutored his son in the finer points of the game.
Bill was able to play baseball year-round and he was already an accomplished player by the time he enrolled at Saratoga High. The school was best known as the alma mater of Stephen Spielberg, and its football squad was a regional power. Bill and another future big leaguer, pitcher Lee Hancock, helped put the baseball team on the map. But Bill was best known for his skills as a quarterback.
Bill was recruited as a multisport athlete by a handful of colleges, but ended up at UCLA without a scholarship, hoping to earn one as a walk-on. He red-shirted as a freshman in 1984-–85 both on the football and baseball team. The following year he served as the backup quarterback to Troy Aikman in 1985 and was the Bruins right fielder in 1986. He finally got the baseball scholarship he wanted in 1987, and was moved to catcher. He was drafted in the first round that spring by the Texas Rangers.
Bill played a few games with Rangers in 1990 and with the Seattle mariners in 1992. Seattle had claimed him off waivers earlier in the season. He became the M’s #2 catcher behind Dave Valle in 1993 and Dan Wilson in 1994. Bill became a free agent and signed with the Red Sox, playing with the team from 1995 to 1997. He caught Roger Clemens’s 20-strikeout game in 1996. That turned out to be Bill’s most productive season. He started 60 games behind the plate and hit .274 with 8 homers and 34 RBIs.
Bill played three of the next four seasons with the Rangers, logging one season with Detroit in 1999, and finished his career with the Red Sox in 2003. In 13 seasons he played in 589 games and hit .259 with 47 homers and 210 RBIs. Although Bill was never a starter for the teams he played for, in any given year he was good enough to have started for a handful of teams.
Bill went right into coaching, staying in Boston as part of Terry Francona’s staff in 2004. He won his first World Series ring that fall. In 2006, he turned down a minor-league managing job and moved to Seattle to spend more time with his family. He did some sports radio work and tutored local ballplayers until 2009, when he joined the University of Washington coaching staff, going to work for Lindsey Meggs, who preceded Bill both at Saratoga High and UCLA.
Bill took his first managing job in 2010 with the Rangers’ Class-A team in Bakersfield. In 2012, he took a job managing the Inland Empire 66ers, a farm team of the Angles. In 2014, Bill was hired by the Dodgers to manage their Class-A club, the Great Lakes Loons.