July 30, 1944 |
|Batted: Right||Threw: Right|
|July 31, 1967 for the Houston Astros|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 2, 1977 for the Toronto Blue Jays|
|Runs batted in||722|
|Career highlights and awards|
Douglas Lee Rader (born July 30, 1944 in Chicago, Illinois), nicknamed "The Red Rooster", is a former third baseman in Major League Baseball who was known primarily for his defensive ability, winning five straight Gold Glove Awards from 1970 to 1974.
Rader's career lasted from 1967 to 1977. He played for the Houston Astros, San Diego Padres, and Toronto Blue Jays. He later managed the Texas Rangers, Chicago White Sox, and California Angels between 1983 and 1991.
Also nicknamed "Rojo", Rader earned his nickname "The Red Rooster" from the thick head of red hair which always protruded from under his cap. Rader attended Glenbrook North High School in Northbrook, Illinois, and Illinois Wesleyan University.
Playing career 
Houston Astros (1967-1975) 
Rader signed with the Houston Astros as an amateur free agent in 1965, and made his Major League Baseball debut with the club on July 31, 1967. In his first game against the New York Mets, Rader earned his first career hit, a single against Ron Taylor, as the Astros won the game 3-2. On August 19, Rader hit his first career home run against Dick Hughes of the St. Louis Cardinals. He played a majority of his games at first base, and finished the season with a .333 batting average with 4 HR and 26 RBI in 47 games.
During the 1968 season, the Astros moved Rader over to play third base, and in 98 games, Rader hit .267 with 6 HR and 43 RBI as he established himself as the everyday third baseman during the second half of the season.
In 1969, Rader played in 155 games with Houston, hitting .246 with 11 HR and 83 RBI. He had a breakout season in 1970, as Rader appeared in 156 games, hitting .252, and was second on the Astros with 25 HR and third on the club with 87 RBI. Rader earned his first career Gold Glove Award as being the best defensive third baseman in the National League.
Rader struggled offensively during the 1971 season, as he hit .244 with 12 HR and 56 RBI in 135 games, however, he earned his second consecutive Gold Glove Award at third base. In 1972, Rader's batting average continued to slip, as he hit .237, however, his power numbers came back, as he hit 22 HR and 90 RBI in 152 games to be among the Astros team leaders, and he won his third straight Gold Glove Award.
Rader had another solid season in 1973, hitting .254 with 21 HR and 89 RBI in 154 games with Houston, and once again was awarded the Gold Glove Award for third base, for the fourth straight season. He continued his solid play throughout the 1974 season, as Rader hit .257, his highest batting average since 1968, while hitting 17 HR and 78 RBI, and earned his fifth consecutive Gold Glove Award.
In 1975, Rader's offensive numbers slipped, as he hit only .223 with 12 HR and 48 RBI in 129 games, and for the first time since 1969, he failed to win the Gold Glove Award, as Ken Reitz of the St. Louis Cardinals won the award. On December 11, Rader was traded to the San Diego Padres for Larry Hardy and Joe McIntosh.
San Diego Padres (1976-1977) 
Rader became the everyday third baseman for the San Diego Padres during the 1976 season, and in 139 games, he hit .257 with 9 HR and 55 RBI. His nine home runs were the lowest total of his career since the 1968 season. In 1977, Rader began the season with San Diego, and in 52 games, he hit .271 with 5 HR and 27 RBI. On June 8, Rader's contract was purchased by the Toronto Blue Jays.
Toronto Blue Jays (1977) 
Rader finished the 1977 season with the Toronto Blue Jays, where he split his time playing third base and as the designated hitter. In 96 games with Toronto, Rader hit .240 with 13 HR and 40 RBI. On March 18, 1978, the Blue Jays released Rader, who would then retire from the game.
Major League Career (1967-1977) 
Rader played in 1465 games during his career, in which he collected 1302 hits, and had a batting average of .251 with 155 HR and 722 RBI. Rader won five straight Gold Glove Awards for his defensive play at third base from 1970-1974.
Managing career 
Hawaii Islanders (1980-1982) 
In 1980, Rader became the manager of the Hawaii Islanders of the Pacific Coast League, which was the San Diego Padres AAA affiliate. During 1980, Rader led the club to a 76-65 record as the Islanders finished in second place in the North Division. In 1981, Hawaii had a 72-65 record, and once again finished in second place. The Islanders moved to the South Division in 1982, however, the club finished in third place with a 73-71 record.
Texas Rangers (1983-1985) 
Rader became the manager for the Texas Rangers in 1983, taking over for Darrell Johnson. In his first season with the Rangers, the club finished 77-85, which was a 13 game improvement from the previous season, as Texas finished in third place in the AL West.
The Rangers slipped back into last place in 1984, as the club struggled to a 69-92 record. In 1985, the Rangers began the season 9-23, as Rader was fired and replaced with Bobby Valentine.
Chicago White Sox (1986) 
In 1986, the Chicago White Sox began the season with Tony LaRussa as their manager, however, after a 26-38 start, the White Sox fired LaRussa and named Rader, who was the bench coach, as the interim manager. In his two games managing the White Sox, the club had a 1-1 record. The White Sox then named Jim Fregosi as their permanent manager.
California Angels (1989-1991) 
Rader became the California Angels manager for the 1989 season, after the Angels had a disappointing 1988 season, in which the club struggled to a 75-87 record, and fired manager Cookie Rojas late in the season. In his first season with the Angels, Rader led the team to a 16 game improvement, as California finished the season with a 91-71 record, good for third place in the AL West. Rader finished fourth in the AL Manager of the Year Award, which was won by Frank Robinson of the Baltimore Orioles.
In 1990, the Angels slipped under the .500 level, as the club finished 80-82 to finish fourth in the AL West. The Angels continued to hover around the .500 mark during the 1991 season, however, after a 61-63 start, the team fired Rader and replaced him with Buck Rodgers.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference
- Gammons, Peter. "He's An Angel Now," Sports Illustrated, August 7, 1989.
|Texas Rangers Manager
Tony La Russa
|Chicago White Sox Manager
|California Angels Manager