Ten things I didn’t know about managers in the postseason

Well, it’s the postseason (obviously). That can mean only one thing: time to come out with postseason-related columns. Let’s have a postseason one about managers. This is, after all, a subject near to my heart given that I wrote a book on managers (Evaluating Baseball’s Managers from McFarland. Get a copy and find out why Diamond Appraised author Craig Wright said “Evaluating Baseball’s Managers is a wonderful work of analytical and historical research, and an incredibly worthy addition to any library dedicated to the understanding of professional baseball.”)

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Portrait of a pennant winner: Ron Washington of Texas

The point here isn’t to go over various bad moves or strategic blunders that field generals have made over the Octobers. Frankly, that’s a subject that’s been done to death.

Let’s take a different approach. Let’s look at overall successes, failures, highs and lows of managers in the postseason. For a jumping off point, you’ll get a list of career postseason win-loss records for every manager in baseball history. That info ain’t listed at Baseball Reference, or anywhere else that I can find, and it sure would be nice to see.

1. Complete W/L postseason records for all managers

The heart of the column is the list you’re about to see (assuming you haven’t scrolled down to sneak a peek already: the complete win-loss record for all managers in MLB history, even those who skippered in the 19th century postseason contests than no one cares about. Ties aren’t included, but who cares?

The managers are listed in alphabetical order by last name so it’s easier to look up an individual if you want to. Most columns are obvious, but the last one, Fibonacci Win Points, is a stat invented by Bill James designed to combine the quantity of a hearty win total with the quality of a superior winning percentage. It’s wins times winning percentage plus games over .500 (or minus games under, depending on the circumstance).

Without further ado, here is today’s main event:

Manager	         W	 L	  Pct	  FWP
Felipe Alou	 1	 3	0.250	 -1.8
Walter Alston	23	21	0.523	 14.0
Joe Altobelli	 7	 2	0.778	 10.4
Sparky Anderson	34	21	0.618	 34.0
Cap Anson	 5	 7	0.417	  0.1
Del Baker	 3	 4	0.429	  0.3
Dusty Baker	17	22	0.436	  2.4
Frank Bancroft	 3	 0	1.000	  6.0
Ed Barrow	 4	 2	0.667	  4.7
Hank Bauer	 4	 0	1.000	  8.0
Don Baylor	 1	 3	0.250	 -1.8
Yogi Berra	 9	10	0.474	  3.3
Bruce Bochy	15	19	0.441	  2.6
Lou Boudreau	 4	 2	0.667	  4.7
Bob Brenley	11	 9	0.550	  8.1
Donie Bush	 0	 4	0.000	 -4.0
Bill Carrigan	 8	 2	0.800	 12.4
Frank Chance	11	 9	0.550	  8.1
Jack Chapman	 3	 3	0.500	  1.5
Fred Clarke	 7	 8	0.467	  2.3
Mickey Cochrane	 7	 6	0.538	  4.8
Jimmy Collins	 5	 3	0.625	  5.1
CharlieComiskey	16	21	0.432	  1.9
Bobby Cox	67	69	0.493	 31.0
Roger Craig	 7	 9	0.438	  1.1
Joe Cronin	 4	 8	0.333	 -2.7
Alvin Dark	10	 9	0.526	  6.3
Larry Dierker	 2	12	0.143	 -9.7
Charlie Dressen	 5	 8	0.385	 -1.1
Leo Durocher	 7	 8	0.467	  2.3
Eddie Dyer	 4	 3	0.571	  3.3
Jim Fanning	 5	 5	0.500	  2.5
Charlie Fox	 1	 3	0.250	 -1.8
Terry Francona	28	17	0.622	 28.4
Jim Fregosi	 7	 9	0.438	  1.1
Jim Frey	 7	 7	0.500	  3.5
Frankie Frisch	 4	 3	0.571	  3.3
Ron Gardenhire	 6	21	0.222	-13.7
Phil Garner	13	13	0.500	  6.5
Cito Gaston	18	16	0.529	 11.5
Joe Girardi	16	 8	0.667	 18.7
Kid Gleason	 3	 5	0.375	 -0.9
Dallas Green	 9	 7	0.563	  7.1
Charlie Grimm	 5	12	0.294	 -5.5
Ozzie Guillen	12	 4	0.750	 17.0
Fred Haney	 7	 7	0.500	  3.5
Mike Hargrove	27	25	0.519	 16.0
Bucky Harris	11	10	0.524	  6.8
Lum Harris	 0	 3	0.000	 -3.0
Gabby Hartnett	 0	 4	0.000	 -4.0
Whitey Herzog	26	25	0.510	 14.3
Gil Hodges	 7	 1	0.875	 12.1
Rogers Hornsby	 4	 3	0.571	  3.3
Ralph Houk	 8	 8	0.500	  4.0
Art Howe	 6	 9	0.400	 -0.6
Dick Howser	 8	15	0.348	 -4.2
Miller Huggins	18	15	0.545	 12.8
Clint Hurdle	 7	 4	0.636	  7.5
Fred Hutchinson	 1	 4	0.200	 -2.8
Hughie Jennings	 4	12	0.250	 -7.0
Darrell Johnson	 6	 4	0.600	  5.6
Davey Johnson	23	23	0.500	 11.5
Fielder Jones	 4	 2	0.667	  4.7
Johnny Keane	 4	 3	0.571	  3.3
Tom Kelly	16	 8	0.667	 18.7
Kevin Kennedy	 0	 3	0.000	 -3.0
Harvey Kuenn	 6	 6	0.500	  3.0
Gene Lamont	 2	 4	0.333	 -1.3
Hal Lanier	 2	 4	0.333	 -1.3
Tony LaRusa	59	51	0.536	 39.6
Tommy Lasorda	31	30	0.508	 16.8
Bob Lemon	15	 9	0.625	 15.4
Jim Leyland	27	22	0.551	 19.9
Grady Little	 6	 9	0.400	 -0.6
Al Lopez	 2	 8	0.200	 -5.6
Ken Macha	 5	 7	0.417	  0.1
Connie Mack	24	19	0.558	 18.4
Joe Maddon	10	11	0.476	  3.8
Charlie Manuel	27	19	0.587	 23.8
Jerry Maunel	 0	 3	0.000	 -3.0
Billy Martin	15	19	0.441	  2.6
Gene Mauch	 5	 7	0.417	  0.1
Joe McCarthy	30	13	0.698	 37.9
John McGraw	26	28	0.481	 10.5
Bill McGunnigle	 6	 9	0.400	 -0.6
Bill McKechnie	 8	14	0.364	 -3.0
Jack McKeon	11	 6	0.647	 12.1
John McNamara	 7	10	0.412	 -0.1
Sam Mele	 3	 4	0.429	  0.3
Bob Melvin	 3	 4	0.429	  0.3
Fred Mitchell	 2	 4	0.333	 -1.3
Pat Moran	 6	 7	0.462	  1.8
Joe Morgan	 0	 8	0.000	 -8.0
Danny Murtaugh	12	16	0.429	  1.1
Jim Mutrie	12	10	0.545	  8.5
Johnny Oates	 1	 9	0.100	 -7.9
Steve O'Neill	 4	 3	0.571	  3.3
Paul Owens	 4	 5	0.444	  0.8
Danny Ozark	 2	 9	0.182	 -6.6
Lou Piniella	23	27	0.460	  6.6
Willie Randolph	 6	 4	0.600	  5.6
Jim Riggleman	 0	 3	0.000	 -3.0
Bill Rigney	 0	 3	0.000	 -3.0
Wilbrt Robinson	 3	 9	0.250	 -5.3
Buck Rodgers	 2	 3	0.400	 -0.2
Pants Rowland	 4	 2	0.667	  4.7
Bill Russell	 0	 3	0.000	 -3.0
Eddie Sawyer	 0	 4	0.000	 -4.0
R. Schoendienst	 7	 7	0.500	  3.5
Mike Scioscia	21	24	0.467	  6.8
Frank Selee	 5	 0	1.000	 10.0
Luke Sewell	 2	 4	0.333	 -1.3
Burt Shotton	 4	 8	0.333	 -2.7
Buck Showalter	 3	 6	0.333	 -2.0
Mayo Smith	 4	 3	0.571	  3.3
BillySouthworth	11	11	0.500	  5.5
Tris Speaker	 5	 2	0.714	  6.6
Jake Stahl	 4	 3	0.571	  3.3
GeorgeStallings	 4	 0	1.000	  8.0
Casey Stengel	37	26	0.587	 32.7
Gabby Street	 6	 7	0.462	  1.8
Dale Sveum	 1	 3	0.250	 -1.8
Chuck Tanner	 7	 3	0.700	  8.9
Patsy Tebeau	 0	 5	0.000	 -5.0
Bill Terry	 7	 9	0.438	  1.1
Joe Torre	84	58	0.592	 75.7
Jim Tracy	 2	 6	0.250	 -4.0
Bobby Valentine	13	13	0.500	  6.5
Bill Virdon	 6	 9	0.400	 -0.6
Ron Washington	 7	 4	0.636	  7.5
Bill Watkins	10	 5	0.667	 11.7
Earl Weaver	27	19	0.587	 23.8
Eric Wedge	 6	 5	0.545	  4.3
Dick Williams	21	23	0.477	  8.0
Jimy Williams	 5	 9	0.357	 -2.2
Don Zimmer	 1	 4	0.200	 -2.8

That’s 136 managers combining to go 1,346-1,346.

If you like the list, cut and paste it into an Excel file for yourself and update at the conclusion of each postseason series from here on out. (Though you’ll have to redo the percentages and FWP each year as well.) That way, you can always have this info handy.

Twenty-one managers account for a majority of the wins, with Joe Torre, Bobby Cox, and Tony LaRussa predictably leading the way. They’re also the tops of the loss leaderboard, albeit with a slightly different order (Cox, Torre, and LaRussa).

In FWP, Torre and LaRussa are still 1-2, but Cox falls down to sixth, beyond Joe McCarthy, Sparky Anderson and Casey Stengel. The worst FWP scores belong to Ron Gardenhire and Larry Dierker.

The worst FWP for a Hall of Famer is Al Lopez, closely followed by Wilbert Robinson. Bill McKechnie has a negative FWP despite two world titles in four World Series efforts. His pair of world titles came in contests that went the full seven games while he was swept in each of his losses.

Only four skippers won all their postseason contests. Two are 19th century skippers: George Bancroft and Harry Selee. The others are 1966 Orioles skipper Hank Bauer and 1914 Miracle Braves manager George Stallings. The best winning percentage in the divisional play era belongs to another miracle manager: Gil Hodges of the 1969 Mets (7-1 that postseason). Ozzie Guillen has the best percentage for anyone who ever lost a series. Eleven managers lost all their postseason games, but a special place of honor goes to former Red Sox skipper Joe Morgan, who went 0-8 in his two postseason trips.

Ron Gardenhire has the most losses for someone with single-digit wins. Evening out Minnesota’s luck, Tom Kelly (Gardy’s predecessor), has the most wins for someone with single-digit losses. That makes sense, given that Tom Kelly won all four of his postseason series, which is a record.

2. Longest postseason managerial winning streak

Based on the above research, I uncovered the longest managerial winning streaks in postseason history: 12 games, which two managers achieved. As you might guess, the Yankees are responsible for one of those streaks. As you might not guess, the Yankees are not responsible for the other one.

Joe Torre was the Yankee skipper. After losing two of the first three games in the 1998 ALCS to the Indians, they vanquished the Tribe three straight times and then swept the Padres in the Series. Next year, they swept the Rangers in the ALDS and won the first two games of the ALCS against Boston.

Before Torre, there was Sparky Anderson. After Carlton Fisk‘s famous walk-off homer in Game Six of the 1975 World Series, Anderson’s Big Red Machine won Game Seven. Next year, they roared through the postseason 7-0, trampling the Phillies and Yankees in the process.

Nearly a decade later, in 1984, the now-Detroit-employed Anderson led the squad to an ALCS sweep of Kansas City and won the first game of the World Series before the Padres defeated him in Game Two.

This isn’t quite the same thing, but it’s worth noting that Earl Weaver won 10 consecutive ALCS games from 1969 to 1973. Too bad his World Series record wasn’t as successful.

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One of the most successful postseason managers of all time.

3. Longest postseason managerial losing streak

Flipping the last point around, the worst losing streak is 11. As many out there in reader-land likely know, Ron Gardenhire has achieved this, as he’s lost his last 11 straight October games. However, it’s been done before

Dick Howser was the first manager to drop 11 straight postseason games—and they were the first 11 he ever managed. His 103-win Yanks were swept in the 1980 ALDS by the Royals, earning his dismissal.

As it turns out, he got hired by the Royals for 1981. They made it to October in that year’s convoluted eight-team postseason only to be swept in the first round by the A’s. Three years later Sparky Anderson’s Tigers swept Kansas City. In 1985, the Blue Jays took the first two games in the (first-ever best-of-seven) ALCS, but Kansas City recovered, winning the ALCS and then the World Series to become champions.

So I guess there’s hope for Gardenhire still.

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Ron Gardenhire: the Dick Howser of the 21st century?

4. Most wins without a World Series title: Mike Hargrove

I suppose this one isn’t too surprising: Mike Hargrove, with a postseason record of 27-25, has the most victories without ever claiming the championship. It had to be someone from the wild card era. He’s actually tied for ninth-most postseason wins ever, with Jim Leyland and Earl Weaver, but the ultimate prize eluded him. Runners-up are Dusty Baker at 17, and then Bobby Valentine and Phil Garner tied at 13.

5. Bill Virdon: more Art Howe than even Art Howe

Hargrove didn’t win the World Series, but at least he got into one. Who has the most wins without even getting to win? Well, it’s a six-way tie at six wins. Eric Wedge, Grady Little, and Willie Randolph all did it in one season each: winning their LDS but losing in a seven-game LCS. Ron Gardenhire has six wins alongside his 21 (!) losses.

Art Howe is the fifth guy. His three postseason trips ended with 3-2 losses in the LDS round; his teams lost all six games that would’ve let them advance. Most notably, in 2001 his A’s won the first two only to lose the next three.

As bad as Art Howe was, Bill Virdon did worse, going 0-7 in win-and-advance contests. As an added bonus, all three of Virdon’s postseason series were intensely disheartening.

In 1972, his Pirates won two of the first three games over the Reds in the NLCS. After losing Game Four, they appeared to be cruising in Game Five, leading 3-2 entering the bottom of the ninth. Not only did they cough up the lead, but the pennant-winning run scored on a walk-off wild pitch. As painful as that was, that was Virdon’s easiest postseason experience.

He returned eight years later, now with the Astros. That 1980 NLCS pitting them against the Phillies is still arguably the best LCS of them all. It’s certainly the greatest best-of-five Games One. Houston won two of the first three, but couldn’t close it out. Incredibly, each of the last four games in that series went into extra innings.

Howe came back the next year and faced the Dodgers. The Astros won the first two games but wilted in the next three, finishing Howe at 0-7 in win-and-in games. Random note: both wins in 1981 came in extra innings, which means in 1980-81 he managed six straight postseason games that went into overtime.

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Retired from managing but still in baseball, 21st century Virdon.

6. Most wins in World Series without winning a World Series

It’s a similar question to the last one, and with a similar answer: six wins is the most any manager had in his career in the World Series without ever winning one. However, this time only one skipper can make this claim. It’s Yogi Berra. Both the 1964 Yankees and 1973 Mets lost Fall Classics that went the distance. If it’s any consolation, he does have the record for most World Series rings as a player, with 10.

7. Longest wait until finally making it

Another approach: which manager had the longest MLB career as skipper before making his postseason debut as field general?

The answer isn’t terribly surprising: it’s Gene Mauch. In 1982, his 23rd consecutive year working in the dugout for various teams, his Angels won the AL West. They won the first two games of the LCS, before losing the next three to the Brewers. Mauch lost his job, making 1983 his first season in which he didn’t manage somewhere since 1960. He nearly made it to the postseason with the 1964 Phillies, but they famously flopped at the end.

Mauch’s runner-up is Bill Rigney, whose only postseason appearance came with the 1970 Twins. That was his 15th season as skipper (which includes 13 full seasons). In terms of games, here are the longest waits for anyone before they finally made it. (Games aren’t perfect because of 154 vs. 162 game schedules, but seasons are even worse because guys get hired/fired in midseason):

Manager	            G
Gene Mauch	3,456
Bill Rigney	2,169
Bobby Valentine	1,704
Don Zimmer	1,545
Casey Stengel	1,488
Chuck Tanner	1,465
Miller Huggins	1,348

This isn’t quite the same thing, but Joe Torre managed 2,063 regular season games before winning his first postseason contest. (His 1982 Braves were swept in the NLCS.) Could be worse: Bill Rigney never won a postseason game, despite lasting over 2,500 regular season ones. It could be worse for all of them: Jimmy Dykes managed 2,962 games and never saw the postseason.

8. Longest career after last managerial postseason appearance

Let’s flip around the last point and see who had the longest careers after their last postseason.

Again there’s an obvious answer: Connie Mack, who lasted 19 years after the 1931 A’s pennant. Surprisingly, he’s nearly beaten out by Ralph Houk, who skippered 18 full seasons after his last postseason. Houk’s appearance here is mind-blowing. He started his career by winning pennants in each of his first three seasons—claiming world titles in each of the first two as well. That’s the best start any manager has ever had. But he never went back.

9. Longest gap between postseason managerial appearances

Let’s finish off the theme: mangers with the longest stretch between postseason appearances.

Again, the answer makes a lot of sense when you look it up: it’s Bucky Harris. As a boy wonder, he led the Senators to back-to-back pennants in 1924-25. Then he slowly devolved into a journeyman manager. His luck turned in 1947 when the Yankees tabbed him as manager, allowing him to return to the postseason after a 22-year absence. Now, that’s calendar years, not years managed, but Harris worked almost that entire time. (Besides, for some reason it just makes more sense personally to use calendar years for this one.)

Next-longest stretch? Connie Mack, at 15 years between his 1914 pennant winners and 1929 world champs. Narrowly trailing Mack is a pair of skippers from the divisional era tied at 14 years: Joe Torre (1982 and 1996) and Jim Fregosi (1979 and 1993). Torre worked more games than Fregosi in the gap period: 1,192 to 1,099. Then again, from a purely games point of view, the real third-place finisher is Joe Cronin, who managed 1,849 games between his 1933 and 1946 pennant winners.

10. World Series records for all managers

Listing complete postseason records is nice, but ultimately the World Series stands alone. As a result, here are the win-loss records for managers in that grandest of stages (again, including 19th century skippers):

Manager	         W	 L	  Pct	 FWP
Walter Alston	20	20	0.500	10.0
Joe Altobelli	 4	 1	0.800	 6.2
Sparky Anderson	16	12	0.571	13.1
Cap Anson	 5	 7	0.417	 0.1
Del Baker	 3	 4	0.429	 0.3
Dusty Baker	 3	 4	0.429	 0.3
Frank Bancroft	 3	 0	1.000	 6.0
Ed Barrow	 4	 2	0.667	 4.7
Hank Bauer	 4	 0	1.000	 8.0
Yogi Berra	 6	 8	0.429	 0.6
Bruce Bochy	 0	 4	0.000	-4.0
Lou Boudreau	 4	 2	0.667	 4.7
Bob Brenly	 4	 3	0.571	 3.3
Donie Bush	 0	 4	0.000	-4.0
Bill Carrigan	 8	 2	0.800	12.4
Frank Chance	11	 9	0.550	 8.1
Jack Chapman	 3	 3	0.500	 1.5
Fred Clarke	 7	 8	0.467	 2.3
Mickey Cochrane	 7	 6	0.538	 4.8
Jimmy Collins	 5	 3	0.625	 5.1
CharlieComiskey	16	21	0.432	 1.9
Bobby Cox	11	18	0.379	-2.8
Roger Craig	 0	 4	0.000	-4.0
Joe Cronin	 4	 8	0.333	-2.7
Alvin Dark	 7	 5	0.583	 6.1
Charlie Dressen	 5	 8	0.385	-1.1
Leo Durocher	 7	 8	0.467	 2.3
Eddie Dyer	 4	 3	0.571	 3.3
Terry Francona	 8	 0	1.000	16.0
Jim Fregosi	 2	 4	0.333	-1.3
Jim Frey	 2	 4	0.333	-1.3
Frankie Frisch	 4	 3	0.571	 3.3
Phil Garner	 0	 4	0.000	-4.0
Cito Gaston	 8	 4	0.667	 9.3
Joe Girardi	 4	 2	0.667	 4.7
Kid Gleason	 3	 5	0.375	-0.9
Dallas Green	 4	 2	0.667	 4.7
Charlie Grimm	 5	12	0.294	-5.5
Ozzie Guillen	 4	 0	1.000	 8.0
Fred Haney	 7	 7	0.500	 3.5
Mike Hargrove	 5	 8	0.385	-1.1
Bucky Harris	11	10	0.524	 6.8
Gabby Hartnett	 0	 4	0.000	-4.0
Whitey Herzog	10	11	0.476	 3.8
Gil Hodges	 4	 1	0.800	 6.2
Rogers Hornsby	 4	 3	0.571	 3.3
Ralph Houk	 8	 8	0.500	 4.0
Dick Howser	 4	 3	0.571	 3.3
Miller Huggins	18	15	0.545	12.8
Clint Hurdle	 0	 4	0.000	-4.0
Fred Hutchinson	 1	 4	0.200	-2.8
Hughie Jennings	 4	12	0.250	-7.0
Darrell Johnson	 3	 4	0.429	 0.3
Davey Johnson	 4	 3	0.571	 3.3
Fielder Jones	 4	 2	0.667	 4.7
Johnny Keane	 4	 3	0.571	 3.3
Tom Kelly	 8	 6	0.571	 6.6
Harvey Kuenn	 3	 4	0.429	 0.3
Tony LaRussa	 9	13	0.409	-0.3
Tommy Lasorda	12	11	0.522	 7.3
Bob Lemon	 6	 6	0.500	 3.0
Jim Leyland	 5	 7	0.417	 0.1
Al Lopez	 2	 8	0.200	-5.6
Connie Mack	24	19	0.558	18.4
Joe Maddon	 1	 4	0.200	-2.8
Charlie Manuel	 6	 5	0.545	 4.3
Billy Martin	 4	 6	0.400	-0.4
Joe McCarthy	30	13	0.698	37.9
John McGraw	26	28	0.481	10.5
Bill McGunnigle	 6	 9	0.400	-0.6
Bill McKechnie	 8	14	0.364	-3.1
Jack McKeon	 4	 2	0.667	 4.7
John McNamara	 3	 4	0.429	 0.3
Sam Mele	 3	 4	0.429	 0.3
Fred Mitchell	 2	 4	0.333	-1.3
Pat Moran	 6	 7	0.462	 1.8
Danny Murtaugh	 8	 6	0.571	 6.6
Jim Mutrie	12	10	0.545	 8.5
Steve O'Neill	 4	 3	0.571	 3.3
Paul Owens	 1	 4	0.200	-2.8
Lou Piniella	 4	 0	1.000	 8.0
Wilbrt Robinson	 3	 9	0.250	-5.3
Pants Rowland	 4	 2	0.667	 4.7
Eddie Sawyer	 0	 4	0.000	-4.0
R. Schoendienst	 7	 7	0.500	 3.5
Mike Scioscia	 4	 3	0.571	 3.3
Frank Selee	 5	 0	1.000	10.0
Luke Sewell	 2	 4	0.333	-1.3
Burt Shotton	 4	 8	0.333	-2.7
Mayo Smith	 4	 3	0.571	 3.3
BillySouthworth	11	11	0.500	 5.5
Tris Speaker	 5	 2	0.714	 6.6
Jake Stahl	 4	 3	0.571	 3.3
Geoge Stallings	 4	 0	1.000	 8.0
Casey Stengel	37	26	0.587	32.7
Gabby Street	 6	 7	0.462	 1.8
Chuck Tanner	 4	 3	0.571	 3.3
Patsy Tebeau	 0	 5	0.000	-5.0
Bill Terry	 7	 9	0.438	 1.1
Joe Torre	21	11	0.656	23.8
Bobby Valentine	 1	 4	0.200	-2.8
Bill Watkins	10	 5	0.667	11.7
Earl Weaver	12	12	0.500	 6.0
Dick Williams	12	14	0.462	 3.5

Feel free to clip and save into your own files.

Casey Stengel leads in wins. John McGraw has the most losses. The top three FWP men are all Yankee skippers: Joe McCarthy, Casey Stengel, and Joe Torre. Then Connie Mack breaks up the streak.

Most wins for a non-Cooperstown 20th century manager? Well, ignoring Torre and others not eligible, it’s Frank Chance with 11 wins. Well, he’s in as a player anyway. Among those not in at all, it’s Bill Carrigan, Tom Kelly, Ralph Houk, and Danny Murtaugh tied with eight. Cito Gaston also has eight and isn’t likely to make it in.

The worst World Series FWP belongs to Hughie Jennings, who is followed by Al Lopez and Charlie Grimm.

The longest World Series winning streak, predictably, belongs to a Yankee skipper. It’s Joe Torre, whose 1996-2000 team won 14 straight Fall Classic contests. The runner-up is another Yankee: Joe McCarthy with 10 from 1937 to 1941. Tied for third place is a trio of managers with eight straight World Series wins. This time, only one is a Yankee: Miller Huggins (1927-8 Yanks), John McGraw (1921-3 Giants—all which came over the Yanks—though you have to ignore a tie in the middle of it). Terry Francona (2004-07) has the longest stretch not involving the Yankees at all.

Actually, Francona is one of only five managers to win his first World Series by sweeping the opposition. None of the others—George Stallings, Hank Bauer, Lou Piniella, and Ozzie Guillen—ever returned. Francona did, and he swept the opposition a second time.

Hall of Fame manager Bill McKechnie has the longest World Series losing streak: nine games, achieved from 1928 to 1940. Behind him are a pair tied with eight: Miller Huggins, who lost all those games to John McGraw in the early 1920s, so again you have to ignore a tie, and Bobby Cox, who lost the last eight Fall Classic games he commanded.

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You’d be all smiles too if you were 8-0 in the World Series.

References & Resources
Baseball Reference gave the managerial data.

Miserlou a poster at Baseball Think Factory came up with the trivia question about how Tom Kelly has the most postseason series won without ever losing one.

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Comments

  1. Eric said...

    How do you get 13-13 for Bobby V?

    He had five series with the Mets:
    1999 – Def AZ 3-1
    1999 – Lost Atl 2-4
    2000 – Def SF 3-1
    2000 – Def StL 4-1
    2000 – Lost NYY 1-4
    13-11

  2. dave silverwood said...

    wow what a great article you really put it on paper,nicely.The seems to be a reflexion of the total mind set of all the great teams,otherwise some of these stats would be wrong.

  3. Chris J. said...

    Eric,

    Good question.  Answer: I screwed up.  I somehow typed in that he went 3-3 in the 2000 NLDS.  I fixed it now, but it means there must be another error somewhere on the leaderboard, because the one above equals .500 exactly – including the error.

    Drat.

    Dave – thanks for the compliment.

  4. The Dude Abides said...

    I believe Gene Mauch continued to manage the Angels after 1982’s loss to the Brewers. I’m pretty sure it was Mauch who overmanaged the infamous series with the Red Sox in 1986, where the Angels had a 3-1 series lead and led 5-2 going into the top of the 9th with their ace Mike Witt still pitching. Witt gave up a one-out, two-run HR to Don Baylor, but got Dwight Evans to pop out to make it two outs. Then Mauch brilliantly decided to remove his ace against Rich Gedman, who to be fair was 4-4 in the game against Witt. LHP Gary Lucas came in and hit lefty Gedman with the first pitch, then Donnie Moore came in and gave up that 0-2 homer to Dave Henderson. Moore killed himself several years later.

  5. Bill Reynolds said...

    Much as I love him, Weaver was 26-20 in postseason, not 27-19.

    69: 4-4
    70: 7-1
    71: 6-4
    73: 2-3
    74: 1-3
    79: 6-5

  6. Chris J. said...

    Dude,

    Gene Mauch left the Angels after 1982 and came back in 1985.  That’s why he was there in 1986. 

    Bill – nice catch.

  7. Eric said...

    Well, if you had Bobby at 3-3 in the 00 nlds, that means you probably have 2 extra wins for Dusty Baker, no?  (the Giants mgr in the 00 DS against the Mets)

  8. Chris J. said...

    Eric,

    No.  I have a separate line for each manager’s series in my excel file.  So each series has two entries – a typo w/ Valentine (or Weaver apparently) doesn’t ensure a typo with Baker.  In fact, I checked and I have Baker’s line from the NLDS 2000 correct.

  9. dave silverwood said...

    would not it be wonderful if a Gene Mauch team could have met a Ron Gardenhire team in the world series. Two of the greatest managers for stragey in a tussle of the minds.

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