Chuck Tanner

Charles William Tanner (July 4, 1928 – February 11, 2011) was an American professional baseball player and manager. He played as a left fielder in Major League Baseball. He was known for his unwavering confidence and infectious optimism.[1][2] He managed the Pittsburgh Pirates to a World Series championship in 1979. He last served as a senior adviser to Pirates general manager Neal Huntington.

Chuck Tanner
Chuck Tanner 1971
Outfielder / Manager
Born: July 4, 1928
New Castle, Pennsylvania
Died: February 11, 2011 (aged 82)
New Castle, Pennsylvania
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
April 12, 1955, for the Milwaukee Braves
Last MLB appearance
May 8, 1962, for the Los Angeles Angels
MLB statistics
Batting average.261
Home runs21
Runs batted in105
Managerial record1,352–1,381
Teams
As Player

As Manager

Career highlights and awards

Playing career

A left-handed batter and thrower, Tanner signed his first professional baseball contract with the Boston Braves. He played for eight seasons (1955–1962) for four teams: the Milwaukee Braves, Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians and Los Angeles Angels. In 396 games played, Tanner batted .261 with 21 home runs. While with the Braves, Tanner hit a home run off the first pitch in his first career at-bat on April 12, 1955.[3] He is the only Braves player to hit a home run in his first at-bat in Milwaukee.

Managerial career

Tanner is best known as a manager, having managed four teams from 1970 to 1988. His overall managerial record was 1,352–1,381 in 17 full seasons and parts of two others.[4]

Minor leagues

Tanner would spend his entire Minor League managing career in the Angels' system. In 1963, Tanner began his managerial career with the single-A Quad Cities Angels in the Midwest League. Tanner would spend the next seven season climbing the Angels' organizational ladder and in 1970 he led the AAA Hawaii Islanders to 98 wins in 146 games and a Pacific Coast League pennant. In late September, he received his first major league managing assignment guiding the Chicago White Sox for the final 16 games of the season after the firing of manager Don Gutteridge and interim manager Bill Adair.

Chicago White Sox

With the White Sox, Tanner managed such star players as Wilbur Wood, Carlos May, Bill Melton, and the temperamental Dick Allen. His most successful season with the Sox came in 1972, when he managed them to a close second-place finish behind the eventual World Series champion Oakland Athletics in the American League (AL) Western Division. The pitching staff was led by 24-game winner Wood, whom Tanner had converted from a reliever to a starter. Tanner was voted that year's The Sporting News Manager of the Year Award.[2] He also converted Rich "Goose" Gossage from a starting pitcher to a reliever, a role that would lead Gossage to the Hall of Fame.[2] He finished his White Sox career with a record of 401 wins and 414 losses.[4] Tanner was replaced by Paul Richards on December 17, 1975. Bill Veeck, who had repurchased the White Sox, invited Tanner to remain in the organization in a different capacity, but the offer was declined. Tanner still had to be paid $60,000 in each of three remaining years of his White Sox contract.[5]

Oakland Athletics

One day later on December 18, 1975, Tanner was hired to succeed Alvin Dark as manager of the Oakland Athletics.[5] With speedy players such as Bert Campaneris, Bill North, Claudell Washington, and Don Baylor, Tanner made the A's into a running team, stealing an AL league-record 341 bases.[2] Eight players had 20 or more steals, including 51 by pinch runners Matt Alexander (who only came to the plate 30 times) and Larry Lintz (who had one at-bat all season).[1] However, the days of the juggernaut A's of Reggie Jackson and Catfish Hunter had passed with the coming of free agency and Tanner's switch to small-ball couldn't prop up a crumbling dynasty as the team finished second in the AL West, ​2 12 games behind the Kansas City Royals. He finished his Athletics career with a record of 87 wins and 74 losses.[4]

A's owner Charlie Finley had hoped to secure a manager at a cut rate for at least three years, but ended up in a dispute with Veeck and the American League (AL) over how much each team owed Tanner. AL president Lee MacPhail ruled that the White Sox had to pay most of the $60,000 owed to Tanner for the 1976 season but was released from any contractual obligation for 1977 and 1978.[6]

Pittsburgh Pirates

Tanner returned to his Western Pennsylvania roots when he was traded by the A's to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Manny Sanguillén and $100,000 on November 5, 1976. He succeeded the recently retired Danny Murtaugh as Pirates manager.[6] This was the second instance in major-league history where a manager has been part of a baseball trade (Joe Gordon and Jimmie Dykes were traded for each other in the 1960s; Lou Piniella of the Seattle Mariners was traded to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays almost 30 years later). However, Sanguillén would be traded back to the Pirates in 1978.

He reached the pinnacle of his managerial career in 1979 as the skipper of the Pirates' 1979 World Series champion team. The team included future Hall of Famers, first baseman Willie Stargell and pitcher Bert Blyleven, along with curmudgeonly stars like third baseman Bill Madlock and outfielder Dave Parker. Tanner guided the team together, and the players selected the Sister Sledge hit "We Are Family" as their theme song. The Pirates were able to win the World Series after falling behind three games to one to the Baltimore Orioles. Hall of Fame manager Sparky Anderson wrote of the Pirates, "They do everything with abandon, because that's the way Chuck Tanner wants it. He's an aggressive manager, a manager who doesn’t go by the book. That's why Pittsburgh is such an exciting team."[2] 1979 would be Tanner's only divisional winner as a manager.

Tanner's next few teams would not match his 1979 World Series winner as the 1985 Pittsburgh Drug Trials showed that serious drug problems beset the team—arguably the worst of any major league team. The most famous Pirate affected by his usage was Parker, whose cocaine habit punched a hole in his offensive production in the middle of his career—possibly costing him a chance at Cooperstown. Reliever Rod Scurry had it much worse; his cocaine habit ultimately forced him out of baseball in 1988 and cost him his life in 1992. Following five years of mediocre seasons in which the Pirates neither lost nor won no more than 84 games, but only finished as high as second place in the division once, Tanner was fired following a 104-loss season in 1985.[4] He finished his Pirates career with a record of 711 wins and 685 losses.[4]

Atlanta Braves

Tanner was hired by the Atlanta Braves prior to the 1986 season, but his teams would continue to muddle along near the bottom of their division—finishing last and second to last in the NL West in his two full seasons. Following a 12–27 start to the 1988 season, Tanner was fired by the Braves and replaced by Russ Nixon. He finished his Braves career with a record of 153 wins and 208 losses.[4]

Managerial record

Team From To Regular season record Post–season record
W L Win % W L Win %
Chicago White Sox 1970 1975 401 414 .492
Oakland Athletics 1976 1976 87 74 .540
Pittsburgh Pirates 1977 1985 711 685 .509 7 3 .700
Atlanta Braves 1986 1988 153 208 .424
Total 1352 1381 .495 7 3 .700
Reference:[4]

Front office career

After spending five seasons as a special assistant to the general manager of the Cleveland Indians, Tanner was named a senior advisor to new Pittsburgh Pirates GM Neal Huntington in the autumn of 2007.

Other honors

In 2006, he was invited to be a coach in the 2006 All Star game by NL manager Phil Garner, who had played for both the A's and the Pirates during Tanner's tenure as manager. Prior to the start of the game, Tanner threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

In 2007, the Rotary Club of Pittsburgh began the Chuck Tanner Baseball Manager of the Year Award. For the first three years, the award was given to a manager in Major League Baseball. In 2010, a second award was presented to the "Chuck Tanner Collegiate Baseball Manager of the Year"; the original award was renamed the "Chuck Tanner Major League Baseball Manager of the Year Award".

Personal life

He was the father of former major league player and coach Bruce Tanner. Tanner later opened a restaurant in his hometown of New Castle, Pennsylvania, which has since been sold but remains under the name, "Chuck Tanner's Restaurant".[1] Tanner died at age 82 on February 11, 2011, in New Castle after a long illness.[7]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Cook, Ron (May 28, 2011). "Tanner has a lot of life left". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  2. ^ a b c d e Weber, Bruce (February 12, 2011). "Chuck Tanner, Who Managed Pirates to '79 Title, Dies". The New York Times. p. D8.
  3. ^ https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/MLN/MLN195504120.shtml
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Chuck Tanner". Baseball Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved September 28, 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Tanner selected Oakland skipper". Spartanburg Herald. Associated Press. 19 December 1975. p. C2. Retrieved 3 June 2010.
  6. ^ a b Brown, Craig. "Retracing Chuck Tanner's path to Pirates," ESPN.com, Sunday, February 13, 2011. Retrieved August 29, 2018
  7. ^ "Chuck Tanner dies at 82". ESPN.com. Associated Press. February 11, 2011.

External links

1957 Chicago Cubs season

The 1957 Chicago Cubs season was the 86th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 82nd in the National League and the 42nd at Wrigley Field. The Cubs tied with the Pittsburgh Pirates for seventh in the National League with a record of 62–92.

1959 Boston Red Sox season

The 1959 Boston Red Sox season was the 59th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished fifth in the American League (AL) with a record of 75 wins and 79 losses, nineteen games behind the AL champion Chicago White Sox.

1959 Chicago Cubs season

The 1959 Chicago Cubs season was the 88th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 84th in the National League and the 44th at Wrigley Field. The Cubs tied the Cincinnati Reds for fifth in the National League with a record of 74–80, thirteen games behind the NL and World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

1959 Cleveland Indians season

The 1959 Cleveland Indians season was the 59th in franchise history. The Indians finished in second place in the American League with a record of 89 wins and 65 losses, five games behind the AL Champion Chicago White Sox.

1972 Chicago White Sox season

The 1972 Chicago White Sox season was the White Sox's 73rd season overall, and 72nd in the American League. They finished with a record 87–67, good enough for second place in the American League West, 5½ games behind the first-place Oakland Athletics.

1979 National League Championship Series

The 1979 National League Championship Series was played between the National League West champion Cincinnati Reds and the National League East champion Pittsburgh Pirates.

It was the fourth time in the 1970s that the Pirates and Reds had faced off for the pennant; Cincinnati had won all three previous meetings in 1970, 1972 and 1975.

The Pirates won the series in a three-game sweep in what would be the last postseason appearance for both franchises until 1990.

1987 Atlanta Braves season

The 1987 Atlanta Braves season was the 117th in franchise history and their 22nd in Atlanta.

1988 Atlanta Braves season

The 1988 Atlanta Braves season was the 118th in franchise history and their 23rd in Atlanta.

Al Monchak

Alex "Al" Monchak (March 5, 1917 – September 12, 2015) was a shortstop who played briefly for the Philadelphia Phillies during the 1940 season. Listed at 6 feet 0 inches (1.83 m), 180 pounds (82 kg), he batted and threw right-handed. He was primarily known as the first-base coach for all the Major League Baseball (MLB) teams managed by Chuck Tanner from 1971 to 1988, including the 1979 World Series Champion Pittsburgh Pirates.

Bruce Tanner

Bruce Matthew Tanner (born December 9, 1961) is an American former professional baseball player, coach and current scout. He played as a pitcher in Major League Baseball. As of 2016, he was listed as a Major League scout by the Detroit Tigers, working out of his home city of New Castle. Tanner attended Florida State University; he stood 6 feet 3 inches (1.91 m) tall and weighed 220 pounds (100 kg) during his active career.

He is the son of the late Chuck Tanner, who played all or parts of eight seasons in Major League Baseball (1955–62) and managed in the Majors for 19 seasons (1970–88) for the Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics, Pittsburgh Pirates and Atlanta Braves. During Bruce Tanner's one season in the Majors — 1985 with White Sox — his father was in his final season as skipper of the Pirates.

Chuck Tanner Baseball Manager of the Year Award

The Chuck Tanner Baseball Manager of the Year Award is the original name for two awards that are given by the Rotary Club of Pittsburgh, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is named for Chuck Tanner, former manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates, and was first awarded on November 17, 2007 at the city's Rivers Club. For the first three years, the award was given to a manager in Major League Baseball. In 2010, a second award was presented to the "Chuck Tanner Collegiate Baseball Manager of the Year"; the original award was renamed the "Chuck Tanner Major League Baseball Manager of the Year Award".

During the selection process, a major factor for the committee is each candidate's career achievement.Proceeds from the annual awards dinner in November are used by the Club to support its humanitarian service initiatives and Rotary Foundation programs.

Don Osborn

Donald Edwin Osborn (June 23, 1908 – March 23, 1979) was an American pitcher and manager in minor league baseball and a scout, farm system official and pitching coach at the Major League level. Born in Sandpoint, Idaho, Osborn threw and batted right-handed, stood 6 feet (1.8 m) tall and weighed 185 pounds (84 kg).

Osborne's professional playing career began in 1929, and while he never reached the Major Leagues as a pitcher, he enjoyed great success in the Pacific Coast League (1936–38; 1943–47) and the Western International League (1938–42). He won 22 games for the 1936 Seattle Indians, and in 1942 led the WIL in victories (22), winning percentage (.815) and earned run average (1.63) as the playing manager of the league champion Vancouver Capilanos. It was Osborn's first year as a manager. He would lead teams in the farm systems of the Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies through 1957 before joining the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1958 as a roving troubleshooter and managerial consultant in their minor league system.

In 1963, Osborn was named pitching coach of the Pirates, and he would serve three terms in that post—1963–64; 1970–72; and 1974–76. During most of that time, he worked under manager Danny Murtaugh, and he was a member of the 1971 World Series champion Pirates club. At age 70, Osborn was appointed pitching coach of the Bucs for a fourth time after the 1978 season—this time by skipper Chuck Tanner—but ill health forced his resignation a few weeks after his appointment. He died in Torrance, California, during spring training in March 1979.

As a minor league pitcher, Osborn won 199 games, losing 119 for a stellar .626 winning percentage. According to The Sporting News' Official Baseball Register, Osborne was nicknamed "The Wizard of Oz" for his pitching mastery. His record as a minor-league manager was 929–751 (.553) with four championships.

Hawaii Islanders

The Hawaii Islanders were a minor league baseball team based in Honolulu, Hawaii, that played in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League for 27 seasons, from 1961 through 1987.

Originally an affiliate of the Kansas City Athletics, the Islanders played their home games at Honolulu Stadium, Aloha Stadium, and Les Murakami Stadium. After being one of the most successful minor league teams, the Islanders faltered and ultimately moved to the mainland as the Colorado Springs Sky Sox in 1988.

Jerry Reuss

Jerry Reuss (born June 19, 1949)—pronounced "royce"—is a former left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball, best known for his years with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who had a 22-year career from 1969 to 1990.

Reuss played for eight teams in his major league career; along with the Dodgers (1979–87), he played for the St. Louis Cardinals (1969–71), Houston Astros (1972–73), and Pittsburgh Pirates (1974–78). At the end of his career (1987–90), he played for the Cincinnati Reds, California Angels, Chicago White Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, and the Pirates again (Reuss is one of only two Pirates to have played for Danny Murtaugh, Chuck Tanner, and Jim Leyland, the other being John Candelaria). In 1988 he became the second pitcher in history, joining Milt Pappas, to win 200 career games without ever winning 20 in a single season. Reuss is one of only 29 players in major league history to play in four different decades.

List of Pittsburgh Pirates managers

The Pittsburgh Pirates are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They play in the National League Central division. The team began play in 1882 as the Alleghenies (alternatively spelled "Alleghenys") in the American Association. The franchise moved to the National League after owner William Nimick became upset over a contract dispute, thus beginning the modern day franchise. The team currently plays home games at PNC Park which they moved into in 2001. Prior to PNC Park, the Pirates played games at Three Rivers Stadium and Forbes Field, among other stadiums.There have been 46 managers for the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise. The Pirates' first manager upon joining the National League was Horace Phillips, who had coached the team before their move to the National League. In 1900, Fred Clarke began his tenure with the franchise. Clarke's 1422 victories and 969 losses lead all managers of the Pirates in their respective categories, Clarke also had the longest tenure as manager in his 16 years in the position. Clarke managed the franchise to its first World Series victory, a feat that would also be accomplished by Bill McKechnie, Danny Murtaugh, and Chuck Tanner. Thirteen Pirates managers have been player-managers—those who take on simultaneous roles as a player and manager. McKechnie, Connie Mack, and Ned Hanlon were inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum as managers. Five Pirates managers were inducted into the Hall of Fame for their performance as players. Billy Meyer's number 1, Pie Traynor's number 20, Honus Wagner's number 33, and Murtaugh's number 40 have been retired by the franchise. Hired before the 2011 season, the Pirates' current manager is Clint Hurdle.

Los Angeles Dodgers award winners and league leaders

This is a list of award winners and league leaders for the Los Angeles Dodgers professional baseball franchise, including its years in Brooklyn (1883–1957).

Minnesota Twins award winners and league leaders

This is a list of award winners and league leaders for the Minnesota Twins professional baseball team.

Rich Morales

Richard Angelo Morales (born September 20, 1943 at San Francisco, California) is an American former professional baseball player, coach and manager. An infielder, he appeared in Major League Baseball between 1967–1974 for the Chicago White Sox and San Diego Padres. Morales stood 5 feet 11 inches (1.80 m) tall and weighed 170 pounds (77 kg). He threw and batted right-handed.

In the Majors, Morales played 480 games, starting 294. Of all non-pitchers since 1930 with 1000+ at bats, Morales had a better batting average (.195) than only two, Ray Oyler and Mike Ryan, and a slugging average (.242) better than only Luis Gómez.

After his playing career, Morales was an MLB coach for the Atlanta Braves (1987, on the staff of his former White Sox pilot, Chuck Tanner) and a minor league manager for eight seasons, from 1979 until 1982 and from 1988 until 1991. He worked in the farm systems of the Oakland Athletics, Chicago Cubs, and Seattle Mariners. As of 2012, he was an area scout for the Baltimore Orioles based in Pacifica, California.

Tampa Bay Rays award winners and league leaders

This is a list of award winners and league leaders for the Tampa Bay Rays professional baseball team.

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