Rick Honeycutt was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee and grew up in north Georgia. He attended Lakeview High School where he played football, baseball, and basketball. In his junior and senior years, he led the baseball team to State Championship titles.
Honeycutt was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles after his senior year, but instead decided to attend the University of Tennessee on a baseball scholarship. Honeycutt began his UT career in 1973.
In his senior year, Honeycutt dominated on the mound, going 8-2 with a 2.88 ERA. He was named All-American and finished his four years at UT with an impressive .377 batting average, which still ranks him as one of the top five hitters in UT baseball history. He was twice named to the All-SEC team and the All-Academic team.
Honeycutt was drafted as both a pitcher and a first baseman by the Pittsburgh Pirates in June of 1976. In his first game as a professional, he was the starting pitcher, he batted clean-up and he hit a home run in his first at-bat. He enjoyed 21 years in the Majors, from his first appearance in 1977 at Yankee Stadium to his last appearance in 1997.
Along the way, his journey took him to the Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Oakland Athletics, and St. Louis Cardinals. During his Major League career, Honeycutt was a starting pitcher for the first ten years, making the All-Star team in 1980 and 1983. He had his best year as a starter in 1983, winning 16 games and winning the American League ERA title with 2.42.
His next ten years were spent as a relief pitcher where he became one of the toughest left-handed specialists in the game. He pitched in three consecutive World Series with the Oakland Athletics in 1988, 1989, and 1990, winning a ring in 1989. Still pitching into his 40’s, Honeycutt had two of his best seasons in 1995 and1996 as a St. Louis Cardinal.
His career ended in 1997 after surgery on his left elbow at the age of 43. His 797 appearances rank him 33rd all-time in Major League history and 8th all-time of lefties. He ended his career with 268 starts, 529 relief appearances, and 2160 total innings pitched. He is currently employed by the Los Angeles Dodgers as Major League Pitching Coach. He also owns Honeycutt Sports based in Chattanooga and oversees his own youth foundation.