Sean Doolittle

This article is about the baseball player. For the author, see Sean Doolittle (author).
Sean Doolittle

Doolittle pitching for the Oakland Athletics in 2016
Oakland Athletics – No. 62
Born: (1986-09-27) September 27, 1986
Rapid City, South Dakota
Bats: Left Throws: Left
MLB debut
June 5, 2012, for the Oakland Athletics
MLB statistics
(through 2016 season)
Win–loss record 12–13
Earned run average 3.07
Strikeouts 269
Saves 33
Career highlights and awards
Sean Doolittle
Medal record
Men’s baseball
Representing  United States
World University Championship
2006 Havana Team

Sean Robert Doolittle (born September 26, 1986) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Oakland Athletics of Major League Baseball (MLB). He was an MLB All-Star in 2014.

Early life

Doolittle grew up in Tabernacle Township, New Jersey, where he played Babe Ruth Baseball, and excelled as a pitcher.

He attended Shawnee High School, in Medford, New Jersey where he was a stand-out pitcher and broke the state record for most strikeouts in a game. A great hitter, Sean led Shawnee to a state championship. Doolittle played for the University of Virginia as both a starting pitcher and first baseman. He formerly held the record for wins in a career for a Virginia pitcher — 22 — which has since been passed by Danny Hultzen.[1] In 2005 and 2006, Doolittle was named to the USA National (Collegiate) Baseball Team.[2][3][4]

Minor-league career

Doolittle during his tenure with the Kane County Cougars, single-A affiliates of the Athletics, in 2007

The Oakland Athletics selected Doolittle in the first round, with the 41st overall selection, in the 2007 Major League Baseball Draft, as a first baseman/outfielder. He made his professional debut on June 18, 2007 and was expected to make his major league debut in 2009. His brother, Ryan Doolittle is also a part of the Athletics' farm system.[5]

His teammates during his college days were Ryan Zimmerman and Michael Schwimer.[4]

Despite being injured for most of the 2009 season, Doolittle was ranked tenth in Oakland's farm system according to Baseball America.[6] Doolittle missed the entire 2010 season while rehabbing from 2 knee surgeries. In the 2011 offseason, he was placed on Oakland's 40-man roster to be protected from the Rule 5 draft. After missing more than two years, Doolittle converted back to pitching,[7] making his professional pitching debut in the instructional league in Arizona in 2011.

Major-league career

After just 26 professional innings, 25 of those at three minor league stops in 2012, Doolittle was called up to the majors on June 5, 2012 against the Texas Rangers pitching 1 and a third inning while striking out three with all fastballs and none going below 94 mph. He quickly became a key bullpen piece as the top lefty specialist earning his first career save on July 21 against the New York Yankees. He served as a set-up man for A's closer Grant Balfour the rest of the way as Oakland went on to win the AL West on the final day of the season.

Doolittle signed a five-year, $10.5 million[8] extension with the Athletics on April 18, 2014.[9]

Doolittle and righty Luke Gregerson entered the regular season as late-inning setup pitchers for new closer Jim Johnson. However, after an abysmal April, Johnson was removed from the exclusive closing role. Doolittle, Gregerson and Johnson spent the next 3 weeks pitching under closer by committee. Doolittle was ultimately named A's closer on May 20. Doolittle was one of six A's players named to the 2014 American League All-Star Team; he faced three batters late in the game - striking out two.

Doolittle began the 2015 season on the disabled list due to a shoulder injury.[10]

Sean Doolittle Gnome Day was April 30, 2016. The first 15,000 fans received a Doolittle Gnome which plays a brief Metallica sound, Sean's entry music. [11]


Doolittle is active off the field with a number of charities, and was recognized for his work in 2016 by being nominated for the Roberto Clemente Award.[12] Doolittle supports Operation Finally Home, a nonprofit dedicated to providing housing for U.S. military veterans and their families.[13] In June 2015, when the Oakland Athletics Pride Night received backlash from some fans for the team's support of LGBT rights, Doolittle and girlfriend Eireann Dolan bought hundreds of game tickets, which they donated to local LGBT groups, and raised an additional $40,000 in donations.[13]

In November 2015, Doolittle and Dolan hosted a Thanksgiving dinner in Chicago for 17 Syrian refugee families.[14] In October 2016, he was one of several professional athletes to denounce Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's comments about non-consentual groping of women as not being "locker room talk".[15]

Of his charity work, Doolittle told the New York Times: "When I was a kid, I remember my parents would say, ‘Baseball is what you do, but that’s not who you are’ — like that might be my job, but that’s not the end-all, be-all. I feel like I might even be able to use it to help other people or open some doors or explore more opportunities."[13]



  1. Winston, Lisa (March 27, 2009). "Batting Around with Sean Doolittle: Former pitcher backs up A's decision to have him focus on hitting". Retrieved May 28, 2009.
  2. "USA Baseball National Team Moves to 10–0 with Two Wins". USA July 15, 2006. Retrieved May 28, 2009.
  3. "Five SEC Players Make USA Baseball National Team". July 2, 2005. Retrieved April 19, 2014.
  4. 1 2 Kimmey, Will (August 8, 2005). "Summer Stock: Doolittle Does A Lot". Baseball America. Retrieved May 28, 2009.
  5. Caple, Jim (April 6, 2016). "Is A's reliever Sean Doolittle the most interesting man in baseball?". Retrieved April 6, 2016.
  6. Shonerd, Jim (January 19, 2010). "Top 10 Prospects: Oakland Athletics". Baseball America. Retrieved April 19, 2014.
  7. Lockard, Melissa (October 17, 2011). "A's Doolittle Thrilled With Change In Path". Retrieved April 19, 2014. (subscription required (help)).
  8. Blum, Ronald (April 21, 2014). "Doolittle's 5-year contract with A's worth $10.5M". Associated Press. Retrieved April 22, 2014.
  9. "A's lefty reliever Doolittle gets 5-year deal". Associated Press. April 18, 2014. Retrieved April 19, 2014.
  10. Kawahara, Matt (May 16, 2015). "A's unable to capitalize on closer Tyler Clippard's success". The Sacramento Bee. Retrieved May 30, 2015.
  12. "Sean Doolittle nominated for Clemente Award". Major League Baseball. Retrieved 2016-10-16.
  13. 1 2 3 Kepner, Tyler (2016-03-12). "Off the Mound, Sean Doolittle Brings Relief to the Ostracized". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-10-16.
  14. "A's Pitcher, Girlfriend Host Syrian Refugees for Thanksgiving". NBC Bay Area. Retrieved 2016-10-16.
  15. "Sean Doolittle among athletes saying they don't talk like Trump in locker room". SFGate. Retrieved 2016-10-16.
  16. "AFL announces Top Prospects Team". December 4, 2008. Retrieved April 19, 2014.
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