This Day in Twins History – February 20, 2001


William (Bill) Joseph Rigney, The Minnesota Twins fifth manager, passed away at the age of 83 in Walnut Creek, California on February 20, 2001.

After Bill Martin was fired as the Twins manager after only one season (1969), Bill Rigney managed the Twins from 1970-1972 and had a 208-184 won/lost record. The Twins finished in first place in Rigney’s first season as the Twins skipper in 1970 but they lost 3-0 to the Baltimore Orioles in the ALCS. This was the only title that Rigney won as a manager in his 18 year managing career. Rigney was fired 70 games in to the 1972 season and was replaced by Frank Quilici. Rigney also managed the New York Giants in 1956-1957, the San Francisco Giants in 1958-1960, the Los Angeles Angels from 1961-1964, the California Angels from 1965-1969 and finally he finished his MLB managing career with one more year at the helm of the San Francisco Giants in 1976. Rigney was the American League Manager of the year in 1962.

Bill Rigney, known as the Cricket or Specs, played in the big leagues for 8 seasons from 1946-1953 as a 2B, 3B, and shortstop for the New York Giants and was an All-Star in 1948 and played in the 1951 World Series when the Giants lost to the New York Yankees. Rigney had a little pop in his bat too as his 24 doubles and 17 home runs in 1947 indicate.

After his playing and managing career were over, Bill Rigney was a broadcaster for the San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics. He also scouted and was briefly in the front office for the Angels, Padres, and the A’s. Bill Rigney served his country in the US Coast Guard during World War II.

Make sure you check our Today in Twins History page daily to see what interesting things happened each and every day over the long and glorious history of the Minnesota Twins.

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