Don Zimmer

Donald William Zimmer (January 17, 1931 – June 4, 2014) was an American infielder, manager, and coach in Major League Baseball (MLB). Zimmer was involved in professional baseball from 1949 until his death, a span of 65 years.[1]

Zimmer signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers as an amateur free agent in 1949. He played in the major leagues with the Dodgers (1954–59, 1963), Chicago Cubs (1960–61), New York Mets (1962), Cincinnati Reds (1962), and Washington Senators (1963–65). Shortly thereafter came a stint with the Toei Flyers of Nippon Professional Baseball in 1966.

In between, Zimmer saw action in all or parts of 18 minor league seasons spanning 1949–67. He also played winter baseball with the Elefantes de Cienfuegos[2] and the Tigres de Marianao[3] of the Cuban League during the 1952–53 season, as well as for the 1954–55 Puerto Rican League champion Cangrejeros de Santurce en route to the 1955 Caribbean Series. Zimmer led his team to the Series title, topping all hitters with a .400 batting average (8-for-20), three home runs and a .950 slugging percentage, while claiming Most Valuable Player honors.[4][5]

During a minor league game on July 7, 1953, Zimmer was struck in the head by a pitch thrown by pitcher Jim Kirk, and lost consciousness.[6] He suffered blood clots on his brain that required two operations.[7][8] He woke up two weeks later, thinking that it was the day after the game where the incident took place. This eventually led to Major League Baseball adopting batting helmets as a safety measure to be used by players when at-bat. Phil Rizzuto was the first player to use the batting helmets.[9]

Following his retirement as a player, Zimmer began his coaching career. He worked in Minor League Baseball, before coaching the Montreal Expos (1971), San Diego Padres (1972), Boston Red Sox (1974–76, 1992) New York Yankees (1983, 1986, 1996–2003), Cubs (1984–86), San Francisco Giants (1987), Colorado Rockies (1993–95), and Tampa Bay Devil Rays / Rays (2004–14). He served as manager for the Padres (1972–73), Red Sox (1976–80), Texas Rangers (1981–82), and Cubs (1988–91).

Don Zimmer
Don zimmer bowman 1955
Zimmer as he appeared in a
Bowman trading card, 1955
Infielder / Manager
Born: January 17, 1931
Cincinnati, Ohio
Died: June 4, 2014 (aged 83)
Dunedin, Florida
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
July 2, 1954, for the Brooklyn Dodgers
Last MLB appearance
October 2, 1965, for the Washington Senators
MLB statistics
Batting average.235
Home runs91
Runs batted in352
Managerial record885–858
Winning %.508
Teams
As player

As manager

As coach

Career highlights and awards

Playing career

Zimmer was nicknamed "Zim", "Gerbil", and sometimes "Popeye" because of his facial resemblance to the cartoon character,[10] In addition, he was dubbed "El Galleguito" (The small Gallegan) in Cuba as well as "El Soldadito" (The small soldier) in Mexico and Puerto Rico.[11]

Zimmer began his career in 1949 with the Cambridge Dodgers of the Class-D Eastern Shore League. He then played with the Hornell Dodgers of the Class-D PONY League in 1950, the Elmira Pioneers of the Single-A Eastern League in 1951, the Mobile Bears of the Double-A Southern League in 1952, and the St. Paul Saints of the Triple-A American Association in 1953 and 1954. He made his major league debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1954. Zimmer's big league career lasted 12 seasons, almost exclusively as a utility infielder. Notably, he played for the 1955 World Series champion Brooklyn Dodgers, and with the 1962 New York Mets, who lost a record 120 games.

Immediately following his rookie season, Zimmer played winter ball in Puerto Rico, emerging as a decidedly dark horse 1955 Caribbean Series MVP on the heavy-hitting 1954–1955 Cangrejeros de Santurce club managed by Herman Franks.[12] Nicknamed El Escuadrón del Pánico (lit. "The Panic Squad"), the team featured future Hall-of-Famers Willie Mays and Roberto Clemente, future All-Stars George Crowe and Sam Jones, local hero Luis Olmo, as well as Negro League stars Bob Thurman and Buster Clarkson.[13] It was later described by Zimmer as "probably the best winter league baseball club ever assembled."[5]

While with St. Paul in 1953, Zimmer nearly died after being hit in the temple with a pitch. He was not fully conscious for 13 days, during which holes were drilled in his skull to relieve the pressure of swelling. His vision was blurred, he could neither walk nor talk and his weight plunged from 170 to 124. He was told his career was finished at age 22; fortunately for Zimmer, the prognosis proved incorrect and he made it to the major leagues the following year.

Don Zimmer Los Angeles Dodgers 1959
Zimmer in 1959

Zimmer was beaned again in 1956 when a fastball thrown by Cincinnati Reds' pitcher Hal Jeffcoat broke his cheekbone,[14] but he persevered. Because of these beanings, it has been widely reported that he had a surgically implanted steel plate in his head.[15] This rumor is false, although the holes drilled in the surgeries following the 1953 beanball were later filled with four tantalum metal corkscrew-shaped "buttons."[16]

In the major leagues, Zimmer remained with the Los Angeles Dodgers after their move west in 1958. In 1960, the Dodgers traded Zimmer to the Chicago Cubs for Johnny Goryl, Ron Perranoski, Lee Handley and $25,000. After the 1961 season, the expansion New York Mets chose Zimmer from the Cubs as the fifth pick in the premium phase of the 1961 Major League Baseball expansion draft, costing the Mets $125,000. In May 1962, the Mets traded Zimmer to the Cincinnati Reds for Cliff Cook and Bob Miller. He returned briefly to the Dodgers in 1963, when the Reds traded him to the Dodgers for Scott Breeden. The Washington Senators purchased Zimmer from the Dodgers in June 1963. The Senators released Zimmer after the 1965 season, and he played for the Toei Flyers of Nippon Professional Baseball in 1966.

In 12 seasons, Zimmer played 1,095 games. He compiled 773 hits, 91 home runs, 352 RBI, 45 stolen bases and a .235 batting average. He played in the World Series with the Dodgers in 1955 and 1959, and was selected to the National League All-Star team in 1961. Although he had a low career batting average, Zimmer was regarded as a fine infielder, willing to fill in at third base, shortstop, and second base. He also caught 33 games in his final season with Washington in 1965.

Coaching and managing career

Minor leagues

Zimmer served as a player-manager for the Cincinnati Reds with the Double-A Knoxville Smokies and Triple-A Buffalo Bisons in 1967.[17] Zimmer ended his playing career after the 1967 season, and he managed the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians in 1968. In 1969, he left the Reds' organization for the expansion San Diego Padres, piloting the Class-A Key West Padres before moving up to the Triple-A Salt Lake City Bees in 1970.[17]

Major Leagues

Montreal Expos and San Diego Padres (1971–1973)

In 1971, he joined the Montreal Expos as third-base coach, working under former Dodger Gene Mauch.[18] He spent a year with Mauch, then returned to the Padres to take up a similar post for 1972. But after only 11 games, he was asked to replace Preston Gómez as San Diego's skipper on April 27. The promotion gave Zimmer, now 41, his first managerial job in the major leagues.[19]

Zimmer compiled a 54–88 record for the remainder of 1972, then posted a 60–102 mark in 1973, each season finishing last in the National League West Division. The Padres' attendance woes caused the team's founding majority owner, C. Arnholdt Smith, to sell the club amidst rumors it might move to Washington, D.C. When new owner Ray Kroc bought the team, Zimmer and most of his coaching staff were dismissed.

Boston Red Sox (1974–1980)

He then was hired as the third-base coach for the Boston Red Sox, serving for 2½ seasons. Working under skipper Darrell Johnson, Zimmer's tenure included a memorable event during Game 6 of the 1975 World Series. Boston had the bases loaded and none out in the home half of the ninth inning. The score was tied. A soft fly to left field was too shallow to score the winning run, but baserunner Denny Doyle thought Zimmer's shouts of "No! No! No!" were actually "Go! Go! Go!"[20] He ran for home, and was thrown out at the plate. That play, and Dwight Evans' brilliant catch off Joe Morgan in extra innings, set up Carlton Fisk's classic, game-winning home run.

The 1976 Red Sox never got on track under Johnson, and he was fired in July. Zimmer was named acting, then permanent, manager and he led them to a winning record, but a disappointing third-place finish in the AL East.[21] The Red Sox would win more than 90 games in each of Zimmer's three full seasons (1977–1979) as manager, only the second time they had pulled off this feat since World War I. His 1978 team won 99 games, still the fourth-best record in franchise history.

However, he is best remembered among Red Sox fans for the team's dramatic collapse during the 1978 season. After leading the Yankees by as many as fourteen games, the Red Sox stumbled in August. By early September that lead was reduced to four games.[22] That lead evaporated in a four-game series against the surging New York Yankees which is still known as "the Boston Massacre."

The Red Sox spent the last month of the season trading first place with the Yankees, forcing a one-game playoff on October 2. In that game, the Yankees took the lead permanently on a legendary home run by Bucky Dent over the Fenway Park Green Monster.

During this stretch, Zimmer made several questionable personnel moves. He never got along with left-handed starting pitcher Bill "Spaceman" Lee. The feeling was mutual; Lee nicknamed Zimmer "The Gerbil." Zimmer's outright hatred of Lee ran so deep that he gave the starting assignment in the last game of the "Massacre" to rookie Bobby Sprowl, who had only been called up from Triple-A Pawtucket a few days earlier. Reportedly, Carl Yastrzemski pleaded with Zimmer to start Lee, who, along with Luis Tiant, had dominated the Yankees during their careers. (Lee, for example, won 12 out of 17 decisions against the Yankees in 10 years with Boston.) Sprowl allowed four walks, one hit and one run in the first inning before being pulled and made only three more major-league starts.

Zimmer also penciled Fisk, the team's longtime starting catcher, into the lineup 154 times (out of a possible 162), a heavy workload for a catcher. Fisk complained of sore knees for much of this stretch and missed most of the next season with a sore arm. Finally, Zimmer kept third baseman Butch Hobson in the lineup, even though Hobson's elbow miseries (he had floating bone chips which he frequently rearranged before coming to the plate) made it impossible for him to hit for power or average, or throw accurately. Hobson made 18 errors during August and September 1978 (and a league-leading 43 errors for the season, resulting in an abysmal .899 fielding percentage). Finally, Zimmer called on Jack Brohamer to replace Hobson on September 23; with Brohamer at third, Boston won its last eight games of the regular season to force a tie with the Yankees, but the Red Sox lost the playoff game on home runs by Dent and Reggie Jackson.

1981–1995

Zimmer next managed the Texas Rangers. He spent less than two years in the job and his firing by owner Eddie Chiles was different. Zimmer was fired on a Monday but asked to remain on through Wednesday's game before being replaced by Darrell Johnson.[23] When asked for the reason he fired Zimmer, Chiles said it was "something personal" but refused to elaborate further.[24]

After Texas, Zimmer coached three stints with the Yankees (1983, 1986, 1996–2003), then coached for the San Francisco Giants in 1987.[18] He served as third base coach for the Chicago Cubs from 1984 to 1986. Zimmer took over as manager of the Cubs in 1988. In 1989, he managed the Cubs to a division title and was named Manager of the Year.[25] He was fired as Cubs manager during the 1991 season after a slow start. Later, he returned to Boston for one season as a coach (under manager Hobson) in 1992.[18] Overall, Zimmer won 906 Major League games as a manager.[18]

Zimmer was on the first coaching staff of the expansion Colorado Rockies in 1993, and coached until walking out, without telling manager Don Baylor, in the middle of a game in the 1995 season. He was unhappy that Baylor had become close to Art Howe, who was added to the Rockies coaching staff in 1995. [18]

New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays (1996–2014)

Don Zimmer 2009
Zimmer with the Rays in 2009

In 1996, he joined the Yankees as their bench coach for their run of four World Series titles. In 1999, Zimmer filled in for Manager Joe Torre while Torre was recuperating from treatment for prostate cancer.[26] Zimmer went 21–15 while guiding the Yankees during Torre's absence. (This record, however, is credited to Torre's managerial record.)

Zimmer was involved in a brawl with Pedro Martínez in the 2003 American League Championship Series, when he ran at Martinez and Martinez threw him to the ground.[27] Zimmer accepted responsibility for the altercation and was apologetic to his family and the Yankees organization but maintained that Martínez was "one of the most unprofessional players" he had ever known.[28] He was also once hit by a sharply hit foul ball batted by Yankee second baseman Chuck Knoblauch. The next game, Zimmer wore an army helmet with the word "ZIM" painted on the side and the Yankees logo stenciled on the front, which was given to him by Michael Patti, a Madison Avenue advertising executive. That event led to the installation of fences in front of the dugouts at Yankee Stadium, which eventually became commonplace at most major league ballparks.

TBRays retired66
Don Zimmer's number 66 was retired by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2015.

Zimmer was a senior advisor for the Tampa Bay Rays from 2004-2014. His role included assisting the team during spring training and during home games.[26] Every year, Zimmer incremented his uniform number by one to match the number of years he has worked in baseball. During the 2014 season he wore #66,.[29] (In 2014, longtime Tampa Bay third base coach Tom Foley wore Zimmer's name and number on the back of his own uniform in tribute.)[30] Zimmer often noted that every paycheck he'd ever gotten came from baseball, and that he never held a job in any other profession.

Zimmer wrote two books, Zim: A Baseball Life, and The Zen of Zim, that describe his life in baseball, as a player, manager, and coach.

From the 2008 season to his death, Zimmer was one of the last former Brooklyn Dodgers (besides pitchers Don Newcombe and Tommy Lasorda and announcer Vin Scully) still in baseball in some capacity. Zimmer also served as a member of the advisory board of the Baseball Assistance Team, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to helping former Major League, Minor League, and Negro League players through financial and medical difficulties.

On March 24, 2015 the Rays announced they were retiring number 66 in honor of Zimmer.[31][32]

Managerial record

Team From To Regular season record Post–season record
W L Win % W L Win %
San Diego Padres 1972 1973 114 190 .375 DNQ
Boston Red Sox 1976 1980 411 304 .575
Texas Rangers 1981 1982 95 106 .473
Chicago Cubs 1988 1991 265 258 .507 1 4 .200
Total 885 858 .508 1 4 .200
Reference:[33]

Personal life

Don Zimmer shaving
Zimmer shaving in a commercial for Gillette razors, c. 1958

Zimmer grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. His father owned a wholesale fruit and vegetable company. At home plate before a night game in Elmira on August 16, 1951, Zimmer married Soot (Carol Jean Bauerle), whom he had started dating in 10th grade.[1] Until his death in June 2014, they were still married and lived in Seminole, Florida.[26] They had lived in the Tampa Bay Area since the late 1950s.[26]

Zimmer's son Thomas is a scout with the San Francisco Giants. Zimmer also had a daughter, Donna, and four grandchildren.[34] A grandson, Beau, works as a reporter at WTSP 10, St. Petersburg, Florida.[35]

In December 2008, Zimmer suffered a stroke, causing loss of speech for a week.[36]

Zimmer died at the age of 83 on June 4, 2014, in Dunedin, Florida, from heart and kidney problems.[1][37][38]

Bibliography

  • Zimmer, Don; Madden, Bill (2001). Zim: A Baseball Life. Total Sports. ISBN 1-930844-19-0.
  • Zimmer, Don (2004). The Zen of Zim: Baseballs, Beanballs, and Bosses. Thomas Dunne Books. ISBN 0-312-33430-3.

References

  1. ^ a b c Goldstein, Richard. Don Zimmer, Who Spent 60 Eventful Years in Baseball, Dies at 83. The New York Times June 5, 2014.
  2. ^ 1952–53 Elefantes de Cienfuegos season
  3. ^ 1952–1953 Tigres de Marianao season
  4. ^ Nuñez, José Antero (1994). Serie del Caribe de la Habana a Puerto la Cruz. JAN Editor. ISBN 980-07-2389-7
  5. ^ a b Van Hyning, Thomas. (1995) "Teams for the Ages". Puerto Rico's Winter League: A History of Major League Baseball's Launching Pad. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company. pp. 208 and 216. Retrieved 2014-06-06.
  6. ^ "Zimmer Fractures Skull – St. Paul Star, Hit by Pitch, in 'Fair' Condition at Hospital". New York Times. July 9, 1953. p. 28. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  7. ^ "Operation Helps Zimmer". New York Times. July 16, 1953. p. 25. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  8. ^ "Zimmer to Leave Hospital". New York Times. August 1, 1953. p. 16. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  9. ^ Torres, Angel (August 22, 2007). "Don Zimmer de los Dodgers y el origen del casco protector" (in Spanish). Retrieved June 4, 2014.
  10. ^ "Popeye the Baseball Man". www.nytimes.com. May 6, 2001. Retrieved June 19, 2008.
  11. ^ LosAngeles.Dodgers.MLB.com – Don Zimmer de los Dodgers y el origen del casco protector (Spanish)
  12. ^ Serie del Caribe de la Habana a Puerto La Cruz
  13. ^ "Viva Baseball: Puerto Rico" Archived June 6, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. Baseball Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2014-06-06.
  14. ^ Drebinger, John (June 24, 1956). "3 In Ninth Decide – Single by Nelson Caps Brook Rally –Zimmer Cheekbone Broken". New York Times. p. S1. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  15. ^ "Don Zimmer: Baseball a lifestyle for lovable Zim". mlb.com. Retrieved December 2, 2008.
  16. ^ "Dome Plate". si.com. April 26, 1999. Retrieved March 28, 2009.
  17. ^ a b "Don Zimmer Minor League Statistics & History". baseball-reference.com. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved August 8, 2012.
  18. ^ a b c d e "Don Zimmer". retrosheet.org. Retrieved August 8, 2012.
  19. ^ Schoenfield, David. "Padres uniform history: The 1970s". espn.go.com. Retrieved August 8, 2012.
  20. ^ Shaughnessy, Dan. "Zimmer the ultimate common denominator". boston.com. Retrieved August 8, 2012.
  21. ^ "Don Zimmer Takes Over as Red Sox Manager Midway Through 1976, But Team Still Misses Postseason". nesn.com. New England Sports Network. Retrieved August 8, 2012.
  22. ^ Gammons, Peter (September 18, 1978). "The Boston Massacre". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved August 8, 2012.
  23. ^ "Zimmer Fired". The Calgary Herald. July 28, 1982. Retrieved August 8, 2012.
  24. ^ Stroop, Joe (July 29, 1982). "Zimmer's firing remains a puzzle". The Day. Retrieved August 8, 2012.
  25. ^ "MLB Manager of the Year Award Winners". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved August 8, 2012.
  26. ^ a b c d "Don Zimmer #64". tampabay.rays.mlb.com. Retrieved August 8, 2012.
  27. ^ "Tempers flare during ALCS Game 3". espn.go.com. Retrieved August 8, 2012.
  28. ^ Madden, Bill (October 13, 2003). "Aching Zim Rips Pedro But Regrets His Actions". New York Daily News. Retrieved April 29, 2015.
  29. ^ "Manager and Coaches | raysbaseball.com: Team". Tampabay.rays.mlb.com. Retrieved November 18, 2012.
  30. ^ [1]
  31. ^ Rays to retire Don Zimmer's uniform, USA Today, 24 Mar 2015
  32. ^ Rays to retire Don Zimmer's uniform No. 66 on opening day, Biz Journals, 24 Mar 2015
  33. ^ "Don Zimmer". Baseball Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved December 16, 2014.
  34. ^ "Longtime baseball fixture Don Zimmer dies at 83". ESPN.com. Associated Press. June 4, 2014. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
  35. ^ "Former Yankees Bench Coach Don Zimmer Dies". CBS New York. June 4, 2014. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  36. ^ Topkin, Marc (January 16, 2009). "Tampa Bay Rays' senior adviser Don Zimmer recovering from small stroke". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved November 18, 2012.
  37. ^ "Don Zimmer, iconic coach, manager, dies at 83". USA Today. June 4, 2014. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
  38. ^ Topkin, Marc (June 4, 2014). "Don Zimmer". Twitter. Retrieved June 4, 2014. Don Zimmer, #Rays senior advisor and baseball legend, has died at age 83, son Tom has told the @TB_Times

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Dick Williams
Montreal Expos third-base coach
1971
Succeeded by
Jim Bragan
Preceded by
Eddie Popowski
Dick Berardino
Boston Red Sox third-base coach
1974–1976
1992
Succeeded by
Eddie Popowski
Rick Burleson
Preceded by
Franchise established
Ron Hassey
Colorado Rockies third-base coach
1993
1995
Succeeded by
Ron Hassey
Jackie Moore
Preceded by
Glenn Sherlock
New York Yankees bench coach
1996–2003
Succeeded by
Willie Randolph
1954 Brooklyn Dodgers season

The 1954 Brooklyn Dodgers season was the first season for new manager Walter Alston, who replaced Chuck Dressen, who had been fired during a contract dispute. Alston led the team to a 92–62 record, finishing five games behind the league champion New York Giants.

In addition to Alston, the 1954 Dodgers had two other future Hall of Fame managers on their roster in pitcher Tommy Lasorda and outfielder Dick Williams. First baseman Gil Hodges and reserve infielder Don Zimmer would also go on to successful managerial careers.

1955 Caribbean Series

The seventh edition of the Caribbean Series (Serie del Caribe) was played in 1955. It was held from February 10 through February 15, featuring the champion baseball teams from Cuba, Alacranes de Almendares; Panama, Carta Vieja Yankees; Puerto Rico, Cangrejeros de Santurce, and Venezuela, Navegantes del Magallanes. The format consisted of 12 games, each team facing the other teams twice. The games were played at Estadio Universitario in Caracas, the capital city of Venezuela, which boosted capacity to 22,690 seats, while the ceremonial first pitch was thrown by Marcos Pérez Jiménez, by then the President of Venezuela.

1959 Los Angeles Dodgers season

The 1959 Los Angeles Dodgers finished in a first-place tie with the Milwaukee Braves, with each club going 86–68. The Dodgers won the pennant as they swept the Braves in a best-of-three playoff series. They went on to defeat the Chicago White Sox in the 1959 World Series in just their second season since leaving Brooklyn. The Dodgers led all 16 Major League Baseball clubs in home attendance, drawing 2,071,045 fans to Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

1960 Chicago Cubs season

The 1960 Chicago Cubs season was the 89th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 85th in the National League and the 45th at Wrigley Field. The Cubs finished seventh in the eight-team National League with a record of 60–94, 35 games behind the NL and World Series champion Pittsburgh Pirates. The Cubs drew 809,770 fans to Wrigley Field, also seventh in the circuit.The 1960 Cubs were managed by two men, Charlie Grimm and Lou Boudreau. Grimm, 61, began his third different tenure as the team's pilot at the outset of the season, but after only 17 games he swapped jobs on May 4 with Cubs' broadcaster Boudreau. On that day, the Cubs were 6–11 and in seventh place, six games behind Pittsburgh. Boudreau, 42, managed the Cubs for the season's final 137 contests, posting a 54–83 (.394) mark. The team avoided the cellar by only one game over the tailending Philadelphia Phillies.

1962 New York Mets season

The 1962 New York Mets season was the first regular season for the Mets, as the National League returned to New York City for the first time since 1957. They went 40–120 (.250) and finished tenth and last in the National League, ​60 1⁄2 games behind the NL Champion San Francisco Giants, who once called New York home. The Mets were the latest team to be 60+ games behind in a division before the 2018 Baltimore Orioles finished 61 games behind the World Series Champion Boston Red Sox. The Mets' 120 losses are the most by any MLB team in one season since the 1899 Cleveland Spiders (20–134, .130). Since then, the 2003 Detroit Tigers and 2018 Orioles have come the closest to matching this mark, at 43–119 (.265), and 47-115 (.290), respectively. The Mets' starting pitchers also recorded a new major league low of just 23 wins all season.The team lost its first game 11–4 to the St. Louis Cardinals on April 11, and went on to lose its first nine games. Having repaired their record to 12–19 on May 20 after sweeping a doubleheader against the Milwaukee Braves, the Mets lost their next 17 games. They also lost 11 straight from July 15 to July 26, and 13 straight from August 9 to August 21. Their longest winning streak of the season was three.The Mets were managed by Casey Stengel and played their home games at the Polo Grounds, which was their temporary home while Shea Stadium was being built in Queens. They remain infamous for their ineptitude and were one of the worst teams in Major League Baseball history. Their team batting average, team earned run average (ERA), and team fielding percentage were all the worst in the major leagues that season.Despite the team's terrible performance, fans came out in droves. Their season attendance of 922,530 was good enough for 6th in the National League that year.

The season was chronicled in Jimmy Breslin's humorous best-selling book Can't Anybody Here Play This Game? The title came from a remark made by manager Casey Stengel expressing his frustration over the team's poor play.

1963 Washington Senators season

The 1963 Washington Senators season involved the Senators finishing 10th in the American League with a record of 56 wins and 106 losses.

1972 San Diego Padres season

The 1972 San Diego Padres season was the fourth season in franchise history.

1976 Boston Red Sox season

The 1976 Boston Red Sox season was the 76th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished third in the American League East with a record of 83 wins and 79 losses, 15½ games behind the New York Yankees.

The Red Sox did not come close to repeating the previous year's success. An off-season contract dispute with Fred Lynn was a distraction. In early May, a brawl with the New York Yankees led to a shoulder injury for Bill Lee, one of their best pitchers and a 17-game winner in 1975; Lee would be out until mid-1977, and his loss was keenly felt. The Red Sox' beloved owner, Tom Yawkey, died of leukemia in July. Manager Darrell Johnson was fired shortly thereafter, and replaced by coach Don Zimmer. Overall, it was a disappointing season for a talented but underachieving team.

1980 Boston Red Sox season

The 1980 Boston Red Sox season was the 80th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished fifth in the American League East with a record of 83 wins and 77 losses, 19 games behind the New York Yankees. Manager Don Zimmer was fired with five games left, and Johnny Pesky finished the season as manager.

Bill Madden (sportswriter)

Bill Madden (born 1946) is an American sportswriter formerly with the New York Daily News. A member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, he has served on the Historical Overview Committee of the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005, 2007 and 2008, helping to select candidates for the final ballots presented to the Veterans Committee.

Madden grew up in Oradell, New Jersey, and graduated from Bergen Catholic High School.He was a sportswriter with UPI for nine years before he joined the Daily News in 1978, and covered the New York Yankees before becoming a columnist in 1989, and crossed picket lines while the Daily News writers were on strike in 1990. In 2015 Madden was dismissed as part of a massive series of staff layoffs by owner Mort Zuckerman. He has written the books Damned Yankees: A No-Holds-Barred Account of Life With "Boss" Steinbrenner (1991, with Moss Klein), Zim - A Baseball Life (2001, with Don Zimmer), Pride of October: What it Was to Be Young and a Yankee (2003), and Bill Madden: My 25 Years Covering Baseball's Heroes, Scoundrels, Triumphs and Tragedies 2004 Steinbrenner: The Last Lion of Baseball (2010), "1954 - The Year Willie Mays and the First Generation of Black Superstars Changed Baseball Forever" (2014), and "Lou - -Fifty Years of Kicking Dirt, Playing Hard and Winning in the Sweet Spot of Baseball" (with Lou Piniella (2017)

On Wednesday, September 16, 2015, Madden was laid off from the Daily News in a cost cutting effort that included other longtime columnists.

Defenders of the Game

Defenders of the Game is an original animated family adventure series that was developed by Onesum Agency in Montreal for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays during their 2007 season, as an in-game entertainment experience. The series portrayed several key Devil Ray players as super heroes, and featured the voices and likenesses of Carl Crawford, Scott Kazmir, Rocco Baldelli, Coach Joe Maddon, and Special Advisor Don Zimmer. In the fictional series, the superhero Defenders had to save the game of baseball from the machinations or the evil Umperor.

For the 2008 season, the renamed Tampa Bay Rays, ordered another season of entirely original animated episodes featuring the same characters as the previous season with the exception of Rocco Baldelli who was on the disabled list, as well as new players Carlos Peña, James Shields, and B. J. Upton. While the evil Umperor was mentioned during the second season, the Defenders battled new villains including the Dr. Stat and Ms. Vinta.

Denny Doyle

Robert Dennis "Denny" Doyle (born January 17, 1944) is a former Major League Baseball second baseman who played for the Philadelphia Phillies (1970–1973), California Angels (1974–1975) and Boston Red Sox (1975–1977). He batted left-handed and threw right-handed. He was considered a good-fielding second baseman but a weak hitter, finishing with a career batting average of .250 and 16 home runs. Doyle enjoyed his best season in 1975, when after being traded from the Angels to the Red Sox in June, he batted .310 in 89 games for the Red Sox, including a league-best 22 game hit streak. He was the starting second baseman for the Red Sox in the 1975 American League Championship Series and World Series.

Doyle has the distinction of having the only hit in three one-hitters in his career, getting the only hit, a lead-off single in the first inning, against Nolan Ryan of the New York Mets on April 18, 1970, and hitting a two-run home run in a game versus the Cincinnati Reds pitched by Gary Nolan on May 24, 1971. Then, on July 18, 1972, against the San Diego Padres, Doyle broke up Steve Arlin's bid for a no-hitter by singling with two out in the ninth inning. Padres manager Don Zimmer pulled in his third baseman to guard against the possible bunt. Doyle then placed a ball over the third baseman's head and Arlin's date with destiny was over. No pitcher has ever tossed a no-hitter in a Padre uniform; to date, this is the closest any has come to pitching one.

Doyle's major league career is perhaps best known for his role in the famous Game Six of the 1975 World Series versus the Cincinnati Reds, which featured Carlton Fisk's dramatic twelfth-inning home run that has become one of baseball's most iconic highlights. Doyle was involved in a ninth-inning play that baseball fans still discuss. The score was tied 6-6 and the bases were loaded with no outs and Doyle on third base when Fred Lynn lifted a fly ball to short left field. After Reds left fielder George Foster made the catch, Doyle tagged up and attempted to score the winning run. He was thrown out at home plate, which inadvertently helped set the stage for Fisk's subsequent game-winning home run. After the game, Red Sox third-base coach Don Zimmer told the press, "I was yelling 'no, no, no' and with the crowd noise, he (Doyle) thought I was saying 'go, go, go.'" In a World Series that included five future Hall of Fame players, Doyle was the only player on either team to hit safely in all seven games.

Eastern Shore League

The Eastern Shore Baseball League was a class D minor league baseball league that operated on the Delmarva Peninsula for parts of three different decades. The league's first season was in 1922 and the last was in 1949, although the years were not consecutive, and featured teams from Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia. The first incarnation lasted from 1922 to mid-1928 (disbanded in July), the second from 1937–41, and the third from 1946–49. Though the level of play was competitive and many future major leaguers gained experience in the ESBL, funding the league remained a constant problem for the rural franchises.

Future major leaguers who played in the ESBL include notables such as: Frank "Home Run" Baker, Mickey Cochrane, Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Vernon, and Don Zimmer.

The Eastern Shore Baseball Hall of Fame at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium in Salisbury, Maryland, pays homage to ESBL players and locals who made the major leagues. Perdue Stadium is the home of the class A Delmarva Shorebirds, an Orioles farm team.

Gene Kirby

Eugene "Gene" Kirby (died April 27, 2011, at St. Petersburg, Florida) was an American Major League Baseball announcer and front office executive. Kirby was one of the key play-by-play announcers for the Mutual Broadcasting System's Major League "Game of the Day" broadcasts during the late 1940s and 1950s, along with Dizzy Dean, Al Helfer, Art Gleeson and others. According to his obituary in Baseball America, Kirby worked with Dean for almost 20 years at Mutual, ABC and CBS.Kirby also spent part of his career in baseball administration, serving as traveling secretary of the Montréal Expos beginning with their founding in 1969, vice president, administration, of the Boston Red Sox (1975–1977), and director of broadcasting of the Expos and Philadelphia Phillies. While known largely for his work in baseball, Kirby also broadcast American college football and professional and college basketball.In retirement, he lived in Treasure Island, Florida, where he was a longtime friend of veteran baseball man Don Zimmer. Gene Kirby died at the age of 95 on April 27, 2011.

Jim Essian

James Sarkis Essian, Jr. (born January 2, 1951) is an American former professional baseball player, coach, and manager, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a catcher and occasional infielder for the Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics, Seattle Mariners, and Cleveland Indians.

Born in Detroit, Michigan, Essian was signed by the Philadelphia Phillies at age 18 but only amassed 24 at-bats over three seasons. In 1975, he was traded to the Braves for Dick Allen and Johnny Oates, then in May was sent to the White Sox to complete a trade the Braves made for Allen. In 1978, he was traded to the Athletics, where his playing time diminished. After brief stints in Cleveland and Seattle, Essian retired in 1985 after being cut in spring training by the A's.

Essian later became a coach for the Chicago Cubs, and in 1991 he became manager for the Cubs after Don Zimmer was fired; he finished that year with a won-loss record of 59-63. Essian was the first ever manager in baseball of Armenian heritage.

A Cubs blog, "Hire Jim Essian," was named in honor of the former Cubs manager and has an author patterned after him named "Skip", due to Essian's insistence that his former players refer to him as "Skip Johnson."

He is the current head coach of Greek National Baseball Team and in 2017 became the manager of the Utica Unicorns of the United Shore Professional Baseball League.

List of Boston Red Sox coaches

The following is a list of coaches, including role(s) and year(s) of service, for the Boston Red Sox American League franchise (1901–present), known during its early history as the Boston Americans (1901–1907).

List of Chicago Cubs managers

The Chicago Cubs are a Major League Baseball team that plays in the National League (NL) Central Division. Since their inception as the White Stockings in 1876, the Cubs have employed 60 managers. The duties of the team manager include team strategy and leadership on and off the field. The Cubs have had 13 general managers. The general manager controls player transactions, hiring and firing of the coaching staff, and negotiates with players and agents regarding contracts. The first person to officially hold the title of general manager for the Cubs was Charles Weber, who assumed the title in 1934. The franchise's first manager was Baseball Hall of Famer Albert Spalding, who helped the White Stockings become the first champions of the newly formed National League.After co-managing with Silver Flint during the 1879 Chicago White Stockings season, Hall of Famer Cap Anson began an 18-year managerial tenure in 1880, the longest in franchise history. Under Anson, the team won five more NL pennants — in 1880, 1881, 1882, 1885 and 1886—tying the 1885 World Series and losing the 1886 World Series in the process. Anson won 1,283 games as the White Stockings' manager, the most in franchise history. After taking over for Hall of Fame manager Frank Selee in 1905, Frank Chance — another Hall of Famer — managed the team through the 1912 season. During his tenure, the franchise won four more NL pennants in 1906, 1907, 1908, and 1910, winning its only two World Series titles in 1907 and 1908 until 2016 Chance's .664 career winning percentage is the highest of any Cubs manager. After Chance, from 1913 through 1960, the Cubs employed nineteen managers, nine of which were inducted into the Hall of Fame. During this period, the Cubs won six more NL pennants, including three under manager Charlie Grimm. Split between Grimm's two managerial stints in the 1930s and 1940s, plus a brief appearance as manager in 1960, Grimm accumulated 946 career wins, second-most in franchise history behind Anson.Owner P. K. Wrigley then began experimenting with the managerial position and in December 1960, announced that Cubs would not have only one manager for the coming season. Instead, the team implemented a new managerial system known as the "College of Coaches". The system was meant to blend ideas from several individuals instead of relying on one manager. During its first year, the team rotated four different managers into the role: Vedie Himsl, Harry Craft, El Tappe and Lou Klein. The next year, under the guidance of Tappe, Klein and Charlie Metro, the Cubs lost a franchise-record 103 games. Bob Kennedy managed the team for the next three seasons until Hall of Famer Leo Durocher assumed the managerial role for the 1966 season, effectively ending the five-year-long "College of Coaches" experiment. During his first season as manager, Durocher's Cubs tied the franchise's 103-game loss record set four years earlier by the "College"; however, he maintained a winning record for the rest of his seven-year tenure.In the last 37 seasons since Durocher, the Cubs have had 22 managers. Jim Frey and Don Zimmer led the team to the National League Championship Series (NLCS) in 1984 and 1989, respectively. In both of those seasons, the team's manager won a Manager of the Year Award. Jim Riggleman managed the team for five years from 1995 through 1999, earning the team's first and only wild card playoff spot in 1998. Dusty Baker's Cubs lost in the 2003 NLCS during the first year of a four-year managing tenure. Baker's successor, Lou Piniella, led the team to two consecutive National League Central Division titles during his first two years with the team and was awarded the 2008 Manager of the Year Award. On July 20, 2010, Piniella announced his intention to retire as manager of the Cubs following the end of the season. However, on August 22, 2010, Piniella announced he would resign after that day's game with the Atlanta Braves, citing family reasons. Third base coach Mike Quade would finish the rest of the season as manager. The Cubs' current general manager is Jed Hoyer, who replaced Jim Hendry.On November 7, 2013, the Cubs hired Rick Renteria as their new manager. He replaced Dale Sveum. He was fired on October 31, 2014 as the team prepared to hire Joe Maddon.

List of Texas Rangers managers

The Texas Rangers are an American baseball franchise based in Arlington, Texas. They are members of the American League West division. The Rangers franchise was formed in 1961, then called the Washington Senators, as a member of the American League. In its 58-year history, the Texas Rangers baseball franchise of Major League Baseball's American League has employed 27 managers. The duties of the team manager include team strategy and leadership on and off the field.Mickey Vernon became the first manager of the Texas Rangers in 1961, serving for just over two seasons. Ron Washington has managed more games and seasons than any other manager in Rangers history. Before 2010, the only Rangers manager to have led the team to the playoffs was Johnny Oates, who also won the 1996 Manager of the Year Award with the Rangers. Ted Williams is the only Rangers manager to have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame as a player; Whitey Herzog, who was inducted in the Hall in 2010, is only Rangers manager to earn induction as a manager.

In 1963, manager Mickey Vernon was fired and replaced by interim manager Eddie Yost. One game later, Yost was replaced by Gil Hodges. In 1973, Whitey Herzog was replaced by Del Wilber. One game later, Billy Martin took over the role of manager. In 1975, Frank Lucchesi took over for Martin in midseason, who in turn was replaced by Eddie Stanky. After six games, Connie Ryan could not finish the season, so Billy Hunter took over the role of manager, only to be fired with one game to go in the 1978 season and replaced by Pat Corrales. In 1982, Don Zimmer was fired as Rangers manager but continued to run the team for three more games before being replaced by Darrell Johnson. Rangers owner Eddie Chiles said the poor play of the Rangers had nothing to do with Zimmer's firing but was instead 'something personal'. In 1985, after Doug Rader led the Rangers to (exact number of seasons) losing seasons, he was replaced by Bobby Valentine, who in turn was replaced by Toby Harrah during midseason. In 2001, Johnny Oates's poor performance forced the Rangers to hire Jerry Narron as his replacement during midseason.

Buck Showalter was hired as manager of the Texas Rangers on October 11, 2002, following a last-place season under manager Jerry Narron. Showalter managed the Rangers through the 2006 season, before being fired as manager on October 4, 2006. In November 2006, Ron Washington was hired as manager of the Rangers. He managed the team from 2007 to 2014, longer than any other person in the franchise's history, when he announced his resignation on September 5, 2014. Tim Bogar managed the rest of the season on an interim basis. Jeff Banister was hired to lead the team from 2015 to September 21, 2018, when he was fired. Don Wakamatsu replaced him as interim manager. Chris Woodward was later hired as the new manager for 2019.

Tom Burgmeier

Thomas Henry Burgmeier (born August 2, 1943) is a former Major League Baseball relief pitcher who played for the California Angels, Kansas City Royals, Minnesota Twins, Boston Red Sox and Oakland A's from 1968 to 1984. He has also served as the pitching coach of the Omaha Royals.

Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Burgmeier grew up in St. Cloud, Minnesota.Burgmeier was selected to the American League All-Star team in 1980.On August 3, 1980, while playing for the Boston Red Sox, Burgmeier moved from the pitcher's mound to left field with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning. Skip Lockwood replaced Burgmeier on the mound and retired the final batter to save a 6-4 win over the Texas Rangers. Manager Don Zimmer elected to keep Tom in the game in case the batter got on base—in that case Burgmeier would have returned to the mound to face Mickey Rivers.

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