Joe Girardi, manager of the New York Yankees since 2008, began his major league baseball career as a catcher in 1989 with the Chicago Cubs. He played for the Cubs for four seasons before moving to the Colorado Rockies in 1993. Three years later, Girardi was traded to the New York Yankees, serving as their regular catcher through four seasons, including through three World Series (1996, 1998, 1999). Girardi went back to the Chicago Cubs in 2000 and played with them until 2003, when he switched to the St. Louis Cardinals for what turned out to be his last season as a player.
Baseball Managers for 2013
Joe Maddon has had a long career in baseball but almost all of that time has been in the minor leagues. He was a catcher for minor league teams and afterwards served in various positions with the LA Angels organization. He served as interim manager of the Angels in 1996 and 1999. The team's win-loss records under Maddon's leadership were 8-14 in 1996 and 19-10 in 1999.
Terry Francona, the Cleveland Indians new manager, grew up in a baseball family, with a father who played major league baseball for the first 11 years of Terry's life. He followed in his father's footsteps and played baseball in high school and college. He was drafted in 1980 by the Montreal Expos and a year later was playing in the major leagues.
Buck Showalter, manager of the Baltimore Orioles since 2010, did the seemingly impossible last year, leading the Orioles to a Wild Card win in the American League. Prior to last season, the Orioles had been one of the worst teams in the American League, finishing in last place of the AL East division from 2008 through 2011. For the 10 years before that, the Orioles had finished with a win percentage under .500. Last year, they ended up in second place in the AL East with a win percentage of .574 (93 wins, 69 losses).
John Farrell, this year's new manager of the Boston Red Sox, started his major league baseball career as a pitcher in 1987. He played for three teams (Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Angels, Detroit Tigers) with fair results. His statistics as a player include a 36-46 record, .439 win percentage, 4.56 ERA, and 355 strikeouts to 250 walks in 116 games with 698.2 innings pitched.
Jim Leyland, manager of the Detroit Tigers, is, at age 68, one of the oldest managers in major league baseball today. He also has one of the longest tenures as a manager, with 21 years of experience managing four teams (Pittsburgh Pirates, Florida Marlins, Colorado Rockies, Detroit Tigers).
John Gibbons, the 2013 manager of the Toronto Blue Jays, had a very short and limited career as a baseball catcher, playing in only 18 games for the New York Mets in 1984 and 1986. He did not return to major league baseball until 2002 when he was hired to be the first base coach for the Blue Jays. Two years later, he started his first stint as manager of the Toronto team. He lasted in that role until he was fired in June, 2008.
Like many other major league managers, Ned Yost, manager of the Kansas City Royals, began his major league career as a catcher. He had a short, not particularly good player career, playing from 1980 through 1983 with the Milwaukee Brewers and then a year with the Texas Rangers, finishing his career after the 1985 season with the Montreal Expos. In those six years, Yost had a batting average of just .212.
Ron Gardenhire, manager of the Minnesota Twins since 2002, has one of the longest tenures of active managers in major league baseball. He started his major league career as a player with the New York Mets in 1981. Although he played for the Mets for five years, he was often sidelined by injuries.
If Robin Ventura's first year as a major league manager is an indicator of his future success, his career as a manager may prove to be as successful as his career as a major league baseball player. Last year, he managed the Chicago White Sox to a second place finish in the AL Central division, just a few games behind the leading Detroit Tigers, with an 85-77 record and a .525 win percentage.
Mike Scioscia, long-time manager of the Los Angeles Angels, had a successful and long career as a major league catcher from 1980 through 1992. He played the entire time for the Los Angeles Dodgers, although he was with the San Diego Padres in 1993 and the Texas Rangers in 1994. However, he was sidelined by injuries both of those years and he never played for either team.
Fredi Gonzalez, the Atlanta Braves manager, started his baseball career in 1982 as a catcher with the NY Yankees' minor leagues. He played in the minors for six years before moving on to an assistant coach position at a university. After two years coaching, Gonzalez got his first managerial position in the minor leagues. His first major league position didn't come until 1999, when the Florida Marlins hired him as their third base coach. From there he moved to the Atlanta Braves, working in both their minor leagues and with the Braves. He stayed with the Braves from 2002 through 2005.
Bo Porter, the Houston Astros new manager, at the age of 40, is the youngest manager in the major leagues. Although he managed in the minor leagues in 2006, this is Porter's first year as a major league manager.
Bud Black, manager of the San Diego Padres since 2007, started his baseball career as a pitcher. He first pitched in college and in 1981 began his major league career with the Seattle Mariners. In 15 years in the majors, Black moved around quite a bit, playing for five different teams. His longest time was seven years with the Kansas City Royals from 1982-1988. Black pitched in 398 games for the Mariners, Royals, Cleveland Indians, Toronto Blue Jays, and the San Francisco Giants and ended his playing career in 1994 with a 121-116 win-loss record, .511 win percentage, and a 3.84 ERA.
Dale Sveum, manager of the Chicago Cubs for the last year, was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in 1982. Four years later, he started a 12 year major league career as a player. He played for the Brewers for five years, missing the 1989 season due to injuries. From 1992 through 1999, Sveum played for 6 teams, playing only for the Pittsburgh Pirates for more than one year. After 12 years, Sveum had played in 862 games and had 597 hits, 125 of which were doubles, and he batted .236.
Don Mattingly, manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, had a 14 year stellar career as a first baseman with the New York Yankees from 1982 through 1995. He was already a star player in high school and the Yankees drafted him while he was still a teenager. Mattingly started in the minor leagues for the Yankees, batting .349 in 1979, .358 in 1980 and .316 in 1981. In 1982, he played most of the season in the minors, coming up to the Yankees in September, playing just 7 games for them that season.
Eric Wedge, who started his career with great promise as a catcher, has had a more successful career as a manager than he ever had as a player. Wedge was an outstanding, award-winning baseball player in college but he never fulfilled that promise as a major leaguer, playing most of his post-college career in the minors.
Mike Matheny, manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, at age 42 is the third youngest manager in the major leagues today. Prior to managing, Matheny had a successful career as a major league catcher from 1994 through 2006. He began his baseball career in college and was drafted in 1991 by the Milwaukee Brewers. He spent three years in the minor leagues before becoming the Brewers' starting catcher in 1994.
Ron Roenicke, manager of the Milwaukee Brewers since 2011, was drafted by five teams before he finally agreed to join the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1977. The Dodgers kept him in the minors until 1981 and after he played for them for less than three years, they released him. From 1983 through 1988, Roenicke played for five teams, playing in over 100 games in only three of those eight seasons. In 8 years in the majors, Roenicke played in 527 games and had 256 hits and a batting average of .238.
Ron Washington, manager of the Texas Rangers since 2007, was first signed as a player in 1970 by the Kansas City Royals. However, he never played in the majors with them, spending his first 10 years in professional baseball primarily in the minor leagues. In 1977, he played for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 10 games, but the rest of his time until 1981 was with minor league teams for the Royals, the Dodgers and the New York Mets.
Terry Collins, manager of the New York Mets, never played baseball in the major leagues. After playing baseball in college, in 1971, he was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates and sent to the minor leagues, where he played for 10 years for both the Pirates and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Walt Weiss has his first managerial position this year as the new manager of the Colorado Rockies. Although Weiss was first drafted as a player in 1982 by the Baltimore Orioles, he decided to pursue a college education instead. Three years later, he was drafted by the Oakland Athletics and he made his major league debut with them in September, 1987. After an AL Rookie of the Year first full year in 1988, Weiss continued as the Athletics shortstop until he was traded to the Seattle Mariners following the 1992 season.
Mike Redmond, the new manager of the newly named Miami Marlins, is, at age of 41, the second youngest manager in the major leagues. Prior to being named manager of the Marlins, Redmond managed for two years in the minor leagues and he had a 13 year career as a major league catcher.
Bob Melvin, manager of the Oakland Athletics since 2011, was awarded last year's American League Manager of the Year honors for his role in leading the Athletics to a surprising first place finish in the American League West division. Prior to taking on the job of manager of the Athletics, Melvin had served as manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Seattle Mariners.
Bruce Bochy, manager of the San Francisco Giants since 2007, started his major league baseball career as a catcher. After playing baseball in high school and college, Bochy was drafted by the Houston Astros in 1975. He played for the Astros from 1978 through 1980. He followed that with a year with the New York Mets (1982) and five years with the San Diego Padres (1983-1987). Bochy ended his playing career with a .239 batting average.
Charlie Manuel, manager of the Philadelphia Phillies since 2005, is, at age 69, the second oldest manager in major league baseball today. Although he played baseball in high school and then was drafted by the Minnesota Twins, Manuel played in very few games in the major leagues. He played in the majors for just six years, first with the Twins from 1969 through 1972 and then in only 19 games for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1974 and 1975. He never played in more than 83 games in any season and he ended his career with just a .198 batting average.
Kirk Gibson, Manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks, had a long and successful career as a player before becoming a manager. He was as an all-American football player in college before playing baseball. In one year of college baseball, in just 48 games, Gibson has a .390 batting average, 16 home runs, and 52 RBIs. That record resulted in his being drafted by the Detroit Tigers.
Dusty Baker, manager of the Cincinnati Reds, is another manager who had a successful career as a player first. Baker was an outfielder for 19 years with four teams (Atlanta Braves, 1968-1975; Los Angeles Dodgers, 1976-1983; San Francisco Giants, 1984; Oakland Athletics, 1985-1986). He was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 1967 while he was still in high school and he started playing with them the following year.
Davey Johnson, manager of the Washington Nationals, is, at age 70, the oldest manager in major league baseball today. He started in major league baseball as a player who had a stellar career, winning three gold gloves over a 13 year career. After playing college baseball for a year, Johnson was signed in 1962 by the Baltimore Orioles. He started his professional career in the minor leagues, staying there from 1962 to 1965. In 1965, he made his major league debut, playing in 20 games for the Orioles. As a second baseman, Johnson played for four teams: Baltimore Orioles, 1965-1972; Atlanta Braves, 1973-1975; Philadelphia Phillies, 1977-1978; Chicago Cubs, 1978.
Clint Hurdle, manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates since 2011, started his major league career as a player. He was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1975 and played with them from 1977 through 1981. He moved to the Cincinnati Reds in 1982 but stayed only one year with them. Hurdle played with the New York Mets for three seasons (1983, 1985, 1987), with a stint with the St. Louis Cardinals (1986) in between his Mets years. Hurdle played in over 60 games in only two seasons (1978, 1980) and he ended his career of 10 years having played in only 515 games with a batting average of .259. He fared better in the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League when he played there from 1977 to 1979 and again in 1983.