Monday Oct 23

The Playing Days- A Look At The Pro Careers of Skippers Past and Present

Joe Torre- Aside of his hall-of-fame managerial career, Torre has the distinct honor of being the only player to start 500 games at catcher, first base, and third base. Torre started his career alongside his brother Frank, Hank Aaron, and Eddie Matthews on the Milwaukee Braves, where he would go on to win a catching gold glove and prompt Jack Kerouac to call him "the best catcher since Roy Campanella." After being traded to St. Louis for Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda, Torre would move to third base where in 1971 he would he hit .363 and drive in 137 runs en route to a NL MVP award. Torre wrapped up his career as a player-manager for the Mets. In his seventeen-year playing career, he would play in nine All-Star games. AVG: .297, HR: 252, RBI: 1,185.

Joe Girardi- Girardi caught 15 seasons in the majors, winning three World Series with the Yankees and appearing in an All-Star game in 2000. AVG: .267, Hits: 1,100, RBI: 422.

Mike Scioscia- The now skipper of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim spent his playing career under Tommy Lasorda's Los Angeles Dodgers, where he thrived as a catcher. Scioscia was lauded for his defense, in particular, his unrivaled talent for plate-blocking. Scioscia made two All-Star appearances and took home two World Series rings with the boys in blue. AVG: .259, HR: 68, RBI: 446.

Ozzie Guillen- Emerging from Venezuela, Guillen took the Major Leagues by storm, winning the 1985 AL Rookie of the Year Award as a shortstop. He was an All-Star in 1988, 1990, 1991, and won the Gold Glove Award in 1990. Guillén ranks among the White Sox all-time leaders in games played, hits, and at-bats. AVG: .264, Hits: 1764, RBI: 619.

Dusty Baker- Then, like today, Dusty Baker was never kind to pitchers. (See Mark Prior, Kerry Wood) Dusty compiled quite a resume in his sixteen-year playing career, including 2 All-Star selections, one World Series ring ('81 with the Dodgers), one Gold Glove, 2 Silver Slugger Awards, and the 1977 NLCS MVP honors. AVG: .278, HR: 242, RBI: 1,013.

Bud Black- In fifteen major league seasons, Black put together a very respectable pitching resume, winning over 120 games and capturing a World Series title in 1985. W:121, ERA: 3.84, SO: 1,039.

Terry Francona- After being named Most Outstanding Player in Arizona's 1980 College World Series Championship, Tito went on to have a largely unremarkable 10-year pro career, playing first base and outfield for five different ball clubs. AVG: .274, Hits: 474, RBI: 143.

Charlie Manuel- Though he appeared in five major league seasons in the early seventies, Charlie did not achieve a starting role until he began playing for the Yakult Swallows in Japan. Dubbed "Aka-Oni" (The Red Devil) by fans and teammates, Manuel became a star, enjoying seasons hitting 48, 42, 37, and 39 home runs. At a game against the Lotte Orions, he was hit in the face by a pitch, crushing his jaw. Told he needed at least two months to recover, Manuel returned after being sidelined for only 14 games, wearing a football helmet. The team went on to win the pennant. NPB statistics: AVG: .303, HR: 189, RBI: 491.

Ron Washington- Washington bounced around the majors for over a decade as a middle infielder. AVG: .261, Hits: 414, RBI 146.

Brad Mills- Before he was the newest skipper of the 'stros, Mills was just about the most unremarkable infielder for the now defunct Expos. In his 106 career games, just about the only thing Mills did of note was become Nolan Ryan's 3,509th career strikeout victim, moving the Express past Walter Johnson for first all-time. AVG: .256, HR:1, RBI: 12.

Bruce Bochy- In his decade of MLB service, Bochy caught for the Astros, Mets and Padres. AVG: .239, HR: 26, RBI: 93.

Tony La Russa- After suffering a shoulder injury while playing softball with friends, La Russa spent most of his career as a backup infielder for the A's, Braves, and Cubs. AVG: .199, Hits: 35, RBI: 7.

Bob Geren- After spending a decade in the minors, Geren finally made the big dance as a catcher for the New York Yankees. He sucked for a five years of his major league career. AVG: .233, Hits: 178, HR: 22.

Jim Tracy- Tracy played outfield for a couple of seasons with the Cubs before signing with Japan's Taiyo Whales. AVG: .249, HR: 3, Hits: 46.

Ron Gardenhire- The Twins' skipper battled through an injury-plagued five seasons as an infielder for the Mets before finally hanging up the cleats in 1985. AVG: .232, HR: 4, Hits: 165.

Jerry Manuel- From 1975-1982, Manuel bounced around the majors in a back-up infielder role, accumulating only 127 career at-bats over the seven year span. AVG: .150, HR: 3, RBI: 13

Lou Pinella- (18 seasons at left field) AB: 5867, AVG: .291, HR: 102, RBI: 766, 1972 All-Star and 1969 Rookie of the Year
Don Mattingly- (14 seasons at first and outfield)- Avg: .307, HR: 222, RBI: 1099, 6-time All-Star, 9-time Gold Glove winner, and the 1985 MVP.
Kirk Gibson- (17 seasons at outfield) AB: 5798, AVG: .268, HR: 255, RBI: 870, SB: 284, 1988 MVP
Don Zimmer- (12 seasons at third, short and second) AVG: .235, HR: 91, RBI: 352
Tommy Lasorda- (3 seasons pitching) IP: 58.1, ERA: 6.48, Record: 0-4
Sparky Anderson- (1 season at second) AB: 477, AVG: .218, R: 42
Bobby Valentine- (10 seasons at shortstop, outfield, and second) AB: 1698, BA: .260, HR: 12
Whitey Herzog- (8 seasons at outfield and first) AB: 1614, AVG: .257, HR: 20, RBI: 172
Larry Bowa- (16 seasons at shortstop) (AB: 8418, AVG: 260, SB: 318, 5-time All-Star and 2-time Gold Glove winner
Clint Hurdle- (10 seasons at right field, first, and catcher) AB: 1391, AVG: .259, HR: 32
Cito Gaston- (11 seasons at outfield) AB: 3120, AVG: .256, HR: 91, 1970 All-Star
Ned Yost- (6 seasons at catcher) AVG: .212, HR: 16, RBI: 64
Bob Melvin- (10 seasons at catcher) AB: 1955, AVG: .233, RBI: 212
Eric Wedge- (4 seasons at DH) AB: 86, H: 20, HR: 5
Mike Hargrove- (12 seasons at left field and first) AB: 5564, AVG: .290, RBI: 686, 1974 Rookie of the Year
Phil Garner- (16 seasons at second and third) AB: 6136, AVG: .260, SB: 225, 3-time All-Star
Ken Macha- (6 seasons at third) AB: 380, AVG: .258, HR: 1
Davey Johnson- (13 seasons at second and first) AB: 4797, AVG: .261, HR: 136, RBI: 609, 4-time All-Star

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Comments  

 
+1 # 2010-10-25 18:06
Nice stuff. Easy to forget some of these guys also played the game. Also interesting that most were bad or just average major leaguers. Not many All-Stars or Hall of Famers make good managers, though there are a few exceptions.
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