September 2, 1954 |
Niagara Falls, New York
|Batted: Left||Threw: Right|
|May 23, 1975 for the Cleveland Indians|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 4, 1987 for the Milwaukee Brewers|
|Runs batted in||458|
|Career highlights and awards|
Richard Eugene Manning (born September 2, 1954 in Niagara Falls, New York) is a baseball color commentator and former center fielder in Major League Baseball who played for the Cleveland Indians (1975-1983) and Milwaukee Brewers (1983–1987). The Indians selected him out of high school with the second overall pick in the 1972 Major League Baseball Draft.
Major League Career 
Manning made his major league debut with the Indians during the 1975 season. In 1977, Manning had surgery for a broken back suffered sliding into second base at the now-demolished Kingdome in Seattle.
Manning played a major role in Cleveland's trade of Hall of Fame pitcher Dennis Eckersley. Eckersley was traded with Fred Kendall on March 30, 1978 to the Boston Red Sox for Rick Wise, Mike Paxton, Bo Díaz, and Ted Cox. In the book The Curse of Rocky Colavito, author Terry Pluto noted that the trade was necessitated by an awkward situation, namely that Eckersley's wife had left him for Manning.
Manning had stayed with the Eckersleys while recovering from back surgery the previous year, and in that time became romantically involved with Denise Eckersley, Dennis' wife.
Manning himself was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers during the 1983 season. As a member of the Brewers, he hit a 10th-inning single on August 26, 1987 to defeat the Indians 1-0. However, the home crowd booed because the hit brought Paul Molitor's 39-game hitting streak to an end while Molitor stood in the on-deck circle.
Manning had the support of a motley crew of fans who stationed themselves at the top of the left field bleachers at Cleveland Municipal Stadium and called themselves "Rick's Rejects".
In one of the most memorable images in Cleveland sports history, on May 15, 1981, Manning caught the final out, securing Len Barker's perfect game. A bobblehead doll depicting Manning's catch was made and given out to fans during a 2006 game celebrating the 25th anniversary of the perfect game.
Broadcasting career 
Since 1990, he has served as a color commentator for Indians telecasts. Manning has the longest tenure of any television announcer in team history.
Currently, Manning can be seen doing Tribe games on WKYC channel 3 in Cleveland (NBC) and SportsTime Ohio (alongside Matt Underwood). He currently resides in Chesterland, Ohio during the season, and Goodyear, Arizona (the spring training city for the Indians) in the offseason.
He also occasionally provides color commentary on regional broadcasts for Major League Baseball on FOX, mainly when FOX shows an Indians game.
See also 
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference