Manager longevity

November 28, 2010 – I thought it would be interesting to see where the Twins managers stood in terms of games managed and to also take a look at the last fifty years in the American League to see how many managers the various teams have had since 1961.

The Twins have only had 12 managers in their entire history and only two since Tom Kelly took over from Ray Miller late in the 1986 season. Kelly is still far and away the longest tenured Twins manager and on the other end of the spectrum, Cookie Lavagetto only managed the Twins for 66 games in their inaugural season but it needs to be mentioned that he coached the Washington Senators from 1958-1960 before the team relocated to Minnesota. Kelly himself has managed almost 30% of the games the Twins have played and when you look at Kelly and Gardenhire together, these two men have managed 48.3% of all the Twins games since 1961.

Rank Manager Twins game managed
1 Tom Kelly 2,384
2 Ron Gardenhire 1,459
3 Sam Mele 953
4 Gene Mauch 772
5 Billy Gardner 621
6 Frank Quilici 567
7 Bill Rigney 392
8 Cal Ermer 274
9 Ray Miller 239
10 Billy Martin 162
11 John Goryl 72
12 Cookie Lavagetto 66

When you look at the rest of the AL Central Division between 1961 and 2010 the longest tenured managers were Tigers skipper Sparky Anderson with 2,473 games between 1980-1995, Indians skipper Mike Hargrove with 1,227 games between 1992-1999, current White Sox skipper Ozzie Guillen with 1,135 games between 2004-Present, and Royals skipper Dick Howser with 769 games between 1981-1986.

Looking at the entire American League for the last fifty years, the Twins rank first, meaning they have had the least amount of managers per years played and thus have the highest average numbers of years managed per manager. I am not sure that means anything when you see the New York Yankees sitting at the bottom of the list with 25 managers in 50 years but it is still fun to look at. I didn’t count some interim managers that managed just a handful of games for their teams when the regular managers were away for a variety of reasons. It just shows that managers are hired to be fired and it is rare when a manager gets to walk away from the game by his own choosing. 

Rank Team # of managers Average years per manager Comments
1 Minnesota Twins 12 4.17  
2 Tampa Rays 4 3.25 Joined league in 1998
3 Detroit Tigers 17 2.94  
4 Toronto Blue Jays 12 2.83 Joined league in 1977
5 Boston Red Sox 18 2.77  
5 Chicago White Sox 18 2.77  
5 Baltimore Orioles 18 2.77  
8 Los Angeles Angels 22 2.27  
9 Kansas City Royals 19 2.21 Joined league in 1969
10 Cleveland Indians 23 2.17  
11 Seattle Mariners 16 2.13 Joined league in 1977
12 Texas Rangers 19 2.05 Joined league in 1972
13 Oakland A’s 25 2.00  
13 New York Yankees 25 2.00  

 

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