Robert Frank Knoop [kuh-NOPP] (born October 18, 1938 in Sioux City, Iowa) is a former Major League Baseball second baseman and right-handed batter who played for the California Angels (1964–69), Chicago White Sox (1969–70) and Kansas City Royals (1971–72).
Nicknamed "Nureyev" by sportswriters for his exciting and acrobatic fielding plays, Knoop played a deep second base, with exceptional range and a strong arm. He turned the double play well along with shortstop Jim Fregosi, to give the Angels outstanding keystone defense. In 1967, the pair both won the gold glove award at their respective position. As a hitter, he had his best season in 1966 with career-highs of 17 home runs, 72 RBI, 54 runs and 11 triples.
After attending Montebello High School in Montebello, California, Knoop was signed by the Milwaukee Braves in 1956. The Angels obtained him via the Rule 5 draft, by the rules of which he was required to remain on the 1964 major-league roster. He in fact played in every game that season and remained the Angels' regular second baseman for the next five and a half years. Knoop was sent to the White Sox in mid-1969 and then was traded to the Royals in 1971. With Kansas City, he played mostly as a backup for Cookie Rojas.
In his career Knoop batted .236, with 56 home runs, 331 RBIs, 337 runs, 129 doubles, 29 triples, and 16 stolen bases in 1153 games.
After retiring, Knoop was a coach for 21 seasons in the American League with the White Sox (1977–78), Angels (1979–96) and Toronto Blue Jays (2000). In 1994 Knoop served as manager of the Angels for two games, posting a 1-1 record. Currently, Knoop works as an infield assistant coach at Seton Catholic High School in Arizona and is listed as infield coach by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
- ^ the ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia. Fourth Edition. Streling Publishing. 2007. p. 1676. ISBN 1-4027-4771-3.
- ^ MLB.com
By Dean Hanley
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