Gary Gaetti (born August 19, 1958 in Centralia, Illinois), nicknamed "G-Man" ("Rat" during his earlier days), is an American former third baseman in Major League Baseball for the Minnesota Twins (1981-90), California Angels (1991-93), Kansas City Royals (1993-95), St. Louis Cardinals (1996-98), Chicago Cubs (1998-99) and Boston Red Sox (2000). He won a World Series championship with Minnesota in 1987 and was the MVP of that year's American League Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers. In 1988, Gaetti became a born-again Christian, completely changing his image, which up until that time was the image of a hard-drinking baseball player interested primarily in the game, booze and cheap women.
Gaetti won four Gold Glove Awards for fielding excellence from 1986 through 1989, and was selected an All-Star in 1987 and 1989. A power-hitting third baseman who had his best season in 1986 when he batted .287 with 34 home runs and 108 runs batted in, Gaetti left the small-market Twins for the Angels as a free agent following the 1990 season. His production dropped significantly with the Angels, who released him in June 1993. He signed with the Royals, who had lost their projected regular third baseman, Keith Miller, to injury, and had been playing struggling rookie Phil Hiatt at third. Handed the third base job, Gaetti turned his career around. In 1995, at the age of 36, he put together one of his best seasons, hitting .261/35/96, setting a career high in home runs and missing the Royals team record for most home runs in a season by one.
Following the 1995 season, Gaetti signed as a free agent with the Cardinals, where he enjoyed two more productive seasons before being released again in August 1998 after the Cardinals' acquisition of Fernando Tatis. Gaetti signed with the Cubs, where he enjoyed a good two months during the Cubs' pennant drive, hitting .320/8/27 and helping the Cubs win the National League wild card. The following season, the Cubs became disillusioned with its aging infield, which featured Gaetti at third, Jeff Blauser at short, Mickey Morandini at second, and Mark Grace at first. Gaetti played only semi-regularly and was released at the end of the season. He wound up his career the following season in Boston, appearing in five games in April 2000 at the age of 41.
Gaetti became the interim hitting coach for the Houston Astros on July 14, 2004 when the Astros dismissed manager Jimy Williams, hitting coach Harry Spilman, and pitching coach Burt Hooton. Gaetti was previously the hitting coach for the AAA level New Orleans Zephyrs.
In 2006, his first year of eligibility, Gaetti received less than 5f the vote (he received 4 votes; the threshold was 26) from the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame, thus becoming ineligible to appear on future BBWAA ballots. However, he may eventually be considered for induction into the Hall by the Veterans Committee once 20 years have passed from his date of retirement (therefore, in the year 2021), in accordance with current Hall of Fame rules (enacted in 2001).