Since 1936, the first year of the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, only 17 managers have been elected to join baseball’s sacred club. In fact, since the turn of the millennium, only one manager received election, and that was Sparky Anderson way back in 2000.
Of course, that all changes this upcoming July when the Hall’s manager club grows to 20 members with the induction of Joe Torre, Bobby Cox and Tony LaRussa. Now, the debate over what other managers deserve consideration will undoubtedly heat up.
Naturally, the names of Jim Leyland, Dusty Baker, Davey Johnson and Lou Piniella will be discussed, and rightfully so, as all four currently sit in the top 30 all-time in wins while also having a plus-.500 winning percentage and multiple postseason and World Series appearances. They will tread the line as fan, pundits and voters will either say “yea” or “nay”.
Buck Showalter will probably be glad that you forgot about him.
Being forgotten about defines the managerial career of Showalter. As he closes in on 1200 managerial wins, Showalter has transformed four different franchises from losers to serious contenders within two full seasons of being at their helms.
He snapped the four-year losing streak of the Yankees, breaking the .500 barrier in 1993, starting a streak of winning seasons that is still intact today in the Bronx. He led the two-year old Arizona Diamondbacks to 100 wins and the 1999 NLDS after losing 97 the year before. And, most recently, in 2012, Showalter took the Baltimore Orioles, the joke of the American League, to the Playoffs for the first time since 1997.
These numbers may be all Showalter needs on his Hall of Fame application:
Team’s (NYY/TEX/BAL) record in the two years before Showalter: 415-556 (.427)
Team’s (NYY/ARI/TEX/BAL) record in Showalters’ first full season: 281-367 (.434)
Team’s (NYY/ARI/TEX/BAL) record in Showalter’s second full season: 370-278 (.571)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tim Anderson is a student at Towson University and a mainstay at Camden Yards. He was featured in the Baltimore Sun in 2011 for catching home runs in three consecutive games. Anderson has been featured twice on SportsCenter's Top Plays. He has contributed to The Hall of Very Good in the past and currently is a featured contributor over at Eutaw Street Report. You can follow Anderson on Twitter at @TimmyWade94.