Grady Little

William Grady Little (born March 30, 1950) is a former manager in Major League Baseball, currently working in the front office of the Pittsburgh Pirates. He managed the Boston Red Sox from 2002 to 2003 and the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2006 to 2007. He was inducted into the Kinston, North Carolina, Professional Baseball Hall of Fame in 2001, Charlotte Baseball Hall of Fame 1985 and was inducted into the Hagerstown Suns Hall of Fame on April 13, 2009.

In his second season with the Red Sox, Little guided the team to a record of 95–66 and an appearance in the 2003 American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees. Despite his accomplishments, Little is best remembered for his decision to leave starting pitcher Pedro Martínez in the eighth inning of Game 7 while the Red Sox held a three run lead, and faced blame for the team's subsequent loss when the Yankees were able to tie the score and win in extra innings.

Grady Little
Manager
Born: March 30, 1950 (age 69)
Abilene, Texas
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
March 31, 2002, for the Boston Red Sox
Last MLB appearance
September 30, 2007, for the Los Angeles Dodgers
MLB statistics
Games648
Win-Loss Record358-290
Winning %.552
Teams
As manager

As coach

Playing career

He graduated from Garinger High School in Charlotte, North Carolina, before he was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 12th round of the 1968 MLB Draft.

After spending the 1969 season in the Marine reserves, Grady played in 167 games as a catcher over five minor-league seasons in the Braves and New York Yankees organizations. He posted a career .207 batting average with two home runs and 37 runs batted in. He retired from playing in 1973.

Coaching career

From 1996 to 2001, Little served as a coach for the Padres, Red Sox, and Indians.[1]

High School

Grady Little is currently the Director of Baseball Operations and Head Coach of the Men's Varsity Baseball team at Hickory Grove Christian School in Charlotte, NC.[2]

Minor leagues

Little became a player–coach for the West Haven Yankees while still playing in 1971 and continued through his retirement as a player, remaining as a coach with West Haven until 1974.

During the 1975–79 seasons he stayed away from baseball and worked as a cotton farmer.

He managed in the minor leagues for 16 years, compiling a record of 1,054–903 (.539).

The minor league teams he managed:

While manager of the Durham Bulls, Little served as Baseball Trainer for the movie Bull Durham.[3]

Managing career

Boston Red Sox (2002–2003)

In March 2002, the Boston Red Sox hired Little as their manager. Little was enormously popular with his players as he enhanced the loose nature of the clubhouse and supported struggling players. His tenure was successful, as the Red Sox won a combined 188 games in his two seasons and nearly took the pennant in 2003.

However, the 2003 season (and Little's entire tenure with the Red Sox) is mostly remembered for his controversial decision during Game 7 of the 2003 American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees. The Red Sox led the game 5–2 in the 8th inning, and were five outs away from reaching the World Series. Little visited the mound after starting pitcher Pedro Martínez gave up three straight hits, and a run from Derek Jeter, but he decided against taking out the ace pitcher, who had thrown 118 pitches to that point. The Yankees tied the game the next at-bat when Jorge Posada hit a two-run double, and went on to win the game (and the pennant) in the 11th inning off of a home run by Aaron Boone.

Little was the target of great angst in the aftermath of the Red Sox' loss (which turned out to be the final manifestation of the so-called Curse of the Bambino). Critics pointed out that Martinez' ERA almost tripled when his pitch count exceeded 100, and the Red Sox had three well-rested relief pitchers (Alan Embree, Mike Timlin, and Scott Williamson) in the bullpen waiting to take over in the eighth inning with a three-run lead. In fact, the strong performance of the bullpen in relief of Martinez that day would seem to suggest that Little's decision was ultimately responsible for the Game 7 ALCS result. Supporters responded that Little's decision to trust Martinez was in keeping with his intuitive style that had brought the Red Sox that far in the first place. Nevertheless, the Red Sox front office decided a change was needed and declined to renew Little's contract.

In his post mortem of Little's ouster, sportswriter Rob Neyer argued that Little had ignored reams of data that showed Martinez was not the same pitcher after 105-110 pitches. As Neyer put it, Little "didn't make the decision he'd been told to make" by Red Sox management.[4]

He was replaced by Terry Francona, who would go on to manage the club from 2004 to 2011 and lead them to World Series titles in 2004 and 2007.

When Little's contract was not renewed by the Red Sox, the independent minor league Brockton Rox announced plans to give away Grady Little bobble arm dolls to the first 1,000 fans to attend the May 29, 2004 game. The doll's arm bounces to simulate a manager's call to the bullpen, displays the date October 16, 2003 (the date of Game 7 of the ALCS) and Little's win total from the 2002 and 2003 seasons. The plans were canceled when Little objected to his likeness being used. In an agreement with the Rox, Little permitted the dolls to be sold with the provision that the money raised from the sale would go "to the Professional Baseball Scouting Foundation, which provides relief to retired scouts in financial peril".[5][6][7] The initial selling price was $38.36 (two times $19.18, 1918 being the last time the Red Sox won the World Series) but later auctions of autographed versions sold for as high as $255.[8]

Los Angeles Dodgers (2006–2007)

Little spent 2004 and 2005 as a consultant, instructor, and scout with the Chicago Cubs. On December 8, 2005, after an organizational shakeup that resulted in the dismissal of both manager Jim Tracy and GM Paul DePodesta, the Los Angeles Dodgers turned to Little to be the team's 7th manager since its 1958 move to L.A. As manager of the Dodgers, Little was reunited with several players from the 2002–2003 Boston team, including pitcher Derek Lowe, third baseman Bill Mueller, and shortstop-turned-first baseman Nomar Garciaparra. Little and new GM Ned Colletti were widely credited for bringing a fresh outlook to a team that had been wracked by instability over the previous decade. The Dodgers won 88 games in 2006 and earned the NL wild-card spot in the playoffs during Little's first season; however, they were swept by the New York Mets in the NLDS. Plagued by injuries to several key players and fielding a lineup loaded with youngsters, the Dodgers failed to reach the playoffs in 2007.

Dodgers GM Ned Colletti initially confirmed that Little would return as manager of the ballclub in 2008. However, Little appeared hesitant to do so after Colletti partly blamed him and his staff for the Dodgers' disappointing 2007 season. Little failed to contact Colletti for over two weeks. This resulted in Colletti entering into a tentative agreement with Joe Girardi, and when it fell through, negotiations with Joe Torre. Citing personal reasons, Little subsequently resigned on October 30, 2007.[9]

Front-office career

Pittsburgh Pirates (2014–present)

On December 8, 2014, Little joined the Pittsburgh Pirates as a senior advisor to the team's front office.[10]

Managerial record

Team From To Regular season record Post–season record Ref.
W L Win % W L Win %
Boston Red Sox 2002 2003 188 136 .580 6 6 .500 [11]
Los Angeles Dodgers 2006 2007 170 154 .525 0 3 .000 [11]
Total 358 290 .552 6 9 .400

Family

Little with his wife, Debi, have a son, Eric, and three grandchildren (Braden, Luke, and Jace). His brother Bryan Little is a former major league infielder.

References

  1. ^ Maguire, Ken (March 12, 2002). "Red Sox hire Grady Little as manager". Sports » Baseball. The Augusta Chronicle (Online ed.). Augusta, Georgia. Associated Press. Fort Myers, Fla. Archived from the original on April 7, 2017. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
  2. ^ http://obsprepspot.blogspot.com/2012/04/former-la-dodgers-and-boston-red-sox.html)
  3. ^ https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0514568/
  4. ^ Neyer, Rob (2006). Rob Neyer's Big Book of Baseball Blunders. New York City: Fireside. ISBN 0-7432-8491-7.
  5. ^ Rod Beaton (July 12, 2004). "Bobbin'-arm doll immortalizes Little's non-call to bullpen". USA Today. Retrieved November 2, 2007.
  6. ^ Rod Beaton (July 10, 2004). "GRADY LITTLE OK'S SALE OF HIS BOBBLE-ARM DOLL; PROCEEDS TO CHARITY". Brockton Rox Press Release. Archived from the original on September 19, 2010. Retrieved November 2, 2007.
  7. ^ Gordon Edes (July 11, 2004). "These guys aren't half bad:Land of the dolls". Boston Globe. Retrieved November 2, 2007.
  8. ^ Gordon Edes (August 24, 2004). "AUTOGRAPHED GRADY LITTLE BOBBLE-ARM DOLLS TO BE AUCTIONED ON EBAY". Brockton Rox Press Release. Archived from the original on September 19, 2010. Retrieved November 2, 2007.
  9. ^ https://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=ti-brown103007&prov=yhoo&type=lgns
  10. ^ http://m.pirates.mlb.com/news/article/106206360/former-big-leaguer-jamey-carroll-hired-as-special-assistant
  11. ^ a b "Grady Little". Baseball Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved September 25, 2015.

External links

1984 Baltimore Orioles season

The 1984 Baltimore Orioles season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Orioles finishing 5th in the American League East with a record of 85 wins and 77 losses.

1988 Atlanta Braves season

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

1989 Atlanta Braves season

The 1989 Atlanta Braves season was the 119th in franchise history and their 24th in Atlanta.

2002 Boston Red Sox season

The 2002 Boston Red Sox season was the 102nd season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished second in the American League East with a record of 93 wins and 69 losses, 10½ games behind the New York Yankees. The Red Sox did not qualify for the postseason, as the AL wild card was the Anaheim Angels who had finished second in the American League West with a record of 99–63.

2003 American League Championship Series

The 2003 American League Championship Series (ALCS) was played between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees from October 8 to 16, 2003. The Yankees won the series four games to three to advance to the World Series, where they lost in six games to the National League champion Florida Marlins.

2003 Major League Baseball season

The 2003 Major League Baseball season ended when the Florida Marlins defeated the New York Yankees in a six-game World Series. The Detroit Tigers set the American League record for losses in a season, with 119, and the Marlins became the first team to win the championship twice as a wild card.

2006 Los Angeles Dodgers season

In 2006, the Los Angeles Dodgers looked to improve their record from 2005. The team switched General Managers from Paul DePodesta to Ned Colletti, and hired Grady Little as the new manager. The Dodgers were able to win 88 games. In the National League Western Division, the Dodgers won the wild card, but in the first round of the playoffs lost in three straight games against the Mets. This is also their first season to be broadcast on KCAL-TV (9).

Bryan Little (baseball)

Richard Bryan "Twig" Little (born October 8, 1959) is a former professional baseball player. He played all or part of five seasons in Major League Baseball, primarily as a second baseman. He currently works for the Chicago White Sox as an advance scout and special instructor, a position he has held since 2001.Bryan is the brother of former major league manager Grady Little.

Dave Jauss

David Patrick Jauss (born January 16, 1957) is an American professional baseball coach and scout who is currently on the Major League coaching staff of Pittsburgh Pirates' manager Clint Hurdle.

Greenville Braves

The Greenville Braves were an American minor league baseball franchise, based in Greenville, South Carolina, that served as the Class AA farm team of the Atlanta Braves between 1984 and 2004. The Braves played in Greenville Municipal Stadium for all 21 years of their existence.

The team had much success and many famous future Atlanta players such as Tom Glavine, Chipper Jones, Javy López, Jason Marquis, Eddie Pérez, Andruw Jones, and John Rocker played there. They won multiple Southern League championships, and the 1992 edition, managed by Grady Little and featuring Chipper Jones and López, won 100 out of 143 games (.699) during the regular season to take the pennant, then captured the SL playoff title. The 1992 Braves were recognized as one of the 100 greatest minor league teams of all time. After the 2004 season, the parent club in Atlanta transferred the G-Braves to Pearl, Mississippi, where the team is now known as the Mississippi Braves.

The Braves cited an outdated stadium that did not meet current standards and the City of Greenville's unwillingness to create a sufficient financial package to build a new stadium as the cause of the move. With the Greenville Braves out, the Greenville Bombers (formerly the Capital City Bombers), Class A South Atlantic League affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, moved into the old Braves stadium in 2005. In 2006, a brand new stadium located in Downtown Greenville, Fluor Field at the West End, opened and the Bombers changed their name to the Greenville Drive.

Joe Kerrigan

Joseph Thomas Kerrigan (born November 30, 1954 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is a former relief pitcher, manager and longtime pitching coach in Major League Baseball.

Kinston Professional Baseball Hall of Fame

The Kinston Professional Baseball Hall of Fame was established to honor those who have made a significant contribution to professional baseball in Kinston, North Carolina. Inductions usually occur during a "hot stove" banquet in late January or early February. There were four inductees in the initial class of 1983. There were no inductees in 1986 or 1987. Grady Little was elected in 2000 but could not be inducted until 2001 due to a snow storm.

Following each person's name is the year of induction in the Hall of Fame:

Jesse Barfield (1990)

Steve Blass (1997)

Bobby Bragan (1998)

Sean Casey (2009)

Pat Crawford (1983)

Cecil Fielder (1994)

Lou Gorman (1985)

Johnny Goryl (2002)

Mike Hargrove (1992)

Charlie Keller (1983)

Clyde King (1999)

Ray Kuhlman (1989)

Grady Little (2001)

Carl Long (2003)

Gordon Mackenzie (2005)

Leo Mazzone (1993)

John McLaren (1991)

Charles Nagy (2004)

Sam Narron (1988)

Chad Ogea (2008)

Pete Peterson (1984)

Jim Price (1995)

Jay Schroeder (1996)

Stan Spence (1983)

George Suggs (1983)

Eric Wedge (2007)

Rocket Wheeler (2006)

List of Kinston baseball people

The following are lists of people associated with professional baseball in Kinston, North Carolina. This includes players, coaches and managers as well as a list of members of Kinston Professional Baseball Hall of Fame.

The Kinston-based teams were:

Down East Wood Ducks (2017-pres)

Kinston (Eastern Carolina League) (1908)

Kinston Eagles (Virginia League) (1925–1927)

Kinston Eagles (Eastern Carolina League) (1928-1929)

Kinston Eagles (Coastal Plain League) (1937-1952)

Kinston Eagles (1956-1975)

Kinston Eagles (1962-1973)

Kinston Eagles (1978-1982)

Kinston Eagles (1986)

Kinston Indians (1987–2011)

Kinston Blue Jays (1982–1985)

Kinston Expos (1974)

Kinston Highwaymen (1922)

Kinston Robins (1921)

List of Los Angeles Dodgers managers

The Los Angeles Dodgers are a Major League Baseball team that plays in the National League Western Division. The Dodgers began play in 1884 as the Brooklyn Atlantics and have been known by seven nicknames since (including the Grays, Grooms, Superbas, and Robins), before adopting the Dodgers name for good in 1932. They played in Brooklyn, New York until their move to Los Angeles in 1958. During the teams existence, they have employed 32 different managers. The duties of the team manager include team strategy and leadership on and off the field.

Mariano Duncan

Mariano Duncan Nalasco (born March 13, 1963 in San Pedro de Macorís, Dominican Republic) is a retired second baseman and shortstop who played for several Major League Baseball teams during his 12-year career. He was the infield coach and 1st base coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers under Managers Grady Little and Joe Torre. Duncan currently serves as the hitting coach for the Kingsport Mets, the New York Mets' Rookie team.

Red Sox Rule

Red Sox Rule is a book written by Michael Holley that documents the 2007 Boston Red Sox season, a year in which they won the American League pennant and went on to win the World Series.

Salt River Rafters

The Salt River Rafters are a baseball team that plays in the East Division of the Arizona Fall League. They play their home games at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick near Scottsdale, Arizona.

William Little

William Little may refer to:

William Brian Little (1942–2000), founding partner of Forstmann Little & Company, a private equity firm

William Carruthers Little (1820–1881), Ontario farmer and political figure

William John Little (1810–1894), English surgeon who identified cerebral palsy in children

William Little (Australian poet) (1839–1916), Australian fiction writer and poet

William Little (Pittsburgh mayor) (1809–1887), politician in Pittsburgh

William Little (rugby league), rugby league footballer of the 1900s for England, and Halifax

William Little (rugby league, born 1911) (1911–2004), rugby league footballer of the 1930s for England, and Barrow

William Grady Little (born 1950), former manager of the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers

William Little (politician) (1840–1902), member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly, Australia

William McCarty Little, United States Navy officer

William Nelson Little, court martialed in 1915 on charges of negligence during his inspection of the submarine USS K-2

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