Melvin with the Oakland Athletics
|Oakland Athletics – No. 6|
|Catcher / Manager|
October 28, 1961 |
Palo Alto, California
|May 25, 1985, for the Detroit Tigers|
|Last MLB appearance|
|August 6, 1994, for the Chicago White Sox|
(through July 11, 2016)
|Runs batted in||212|
|Career highlights and awards|
During a 10-year playing career from 1985 through 1994, Melvin was a catcher for the Detroit Tigers, San Francisco Giants, Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Royals, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, and Chicago White Sox. In his managing career he has worked for the Seattle Mariners (2003–04), Arizona Diamondbacks (2005–09), and Oakland Athletics (2011–present). Melvin was named the National League Manager of the Year in 2007 and the American League Manager of the Year in 2012.
Born in Palo Alto, California, Melvin played baseball at Menlo-Atherton High School in Atherton, south of San Francisco. After graduation in 1979, he enrolled at the University of California in Berkeley and played catcher for the Golden Bears. As a freshman, he helped lead Cal to a 44–23–1 (.654) record and a third-place finish at the College World Series in 1980. Melvin finished his freshman season batting .269 with two doubles and 12 RBI in 29 games.
Following his sophomore season at California, Melvin was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the secondary phase of the 1981 draft and played eleven seasons, mostly as a starting catcher, for the Detroit Tigers, San Francisco Giants, Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Royals, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox. He finished his career with a batting average of .233 and 35 home runs. As a Giant, he served as the backup for fellow catcher Bob Brenly, who, like him, went on to manage the Diamondbacks.
He managed the Seattle Mariners in 2003 and 2004, following the ten-year run of Lou Piniella. The M's won 93 games, but missed the playoffs, finishing three games behind Oakland in the division and two behind Boston for the one wild card spot.
The following season was less successful, as the Mariners lost 99 games and Melvin's contract was not extended. He finished with a 156–168 record as Mariners manager. He returned to the Diamondbacks for whom he previously had been bench coach before being hired by the Mariners.
Melvin was the second manager the Diamondbacks hired for 2005, after they fired Wally Backman before he managed a single game due to revelations of past arrests and serious financial troubles. Melvin led Arizona to a National League West title in 2007 with a record of 90–72. The Diamondbacks entered the playoffs as the No. 1 seed in the National League. They swept the Chicago Cubs in the NLDS, but then were swept themselves in the NLCS by the Colorado Rockies. Even so, Melvin was named National League Sporting News Manager of the Year and MLB Manager of the Year for 2007. His nickname was "The Mad Scientist" because of his mental approach to the game.
Firing and job interviews
Melvin was fired as manager and replaced by A.J. Hinch, another former catcher, after the May 8, 2009 game. Melvin finished with a 337–340 regular season record and a 3–4 post–season record as Diamondbacks manager. Following the 2009 season, Melvin was a candidate to be the next manager of the Houston Astros. However, the position was filled by Brad Mills. He was interviewed by the Milwaukee Brewers for their managerial opening in October 2010, and was believed to be a finalist along with Bobby Valentine, Joey Cora and Ron Roenicke. The position eventually went to Angel bench coach, Roenicke. He was then interviewed by the New York Mets for their managerial opening before the 2011 season, but the position eventually was awarded to former Astros and Angels manager, Terry Collins.
In 2011, he was named interim manager of the Oakland Athletics on June 9, then on September 21, was promoted to manager of the A's, and agreed to a three-year contract extension after guiding the team to a 47–52 record (74–88 overall). Melvin went on the Chris Townsend Show in the Bay Area after the first game of the 2012 season in Tokyo, and promised the fans that the A's would work hard every game. He managed the A's to the franchise's best-ever record in July at 19–5. On October 1, the A's clinched their first playoff appearance since 2006, and two days later clinched the Western Division of the American League. The A's lost the 2012 ALDS (West Division) to the Detroit Tigers, three games to two. Melvin was honored as the 2012 American League Manager of the Year.
During the 2013 season, Melvin's second full season at the helm, the A's continued what began the previous year, posting winning records for every month of the season and securing a second consecutive AL West Division Championship. Employing numerous platoons, Athletics' outfielder Josh Reddick referred to Melvin as the "king of platoons".
- As of July 11, 2016
|Team||From||To||Regular season record||Post–season record|
|W||L||Win %||W||L||Win %|
Melvin is Jewish, the son of a Jewish mother and a Catholic father. He resides in Berkeley and in Greenwich Village in New York City, with his wife, Kelley. He has one daughter, Alexi (born December 21, 1988), who is an actress, writer, and filmmaker. Melvin and his family are very active with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Alexi having been diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at age 14.
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- Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and the American Culture. Meckler. 1990. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
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- Martin Abramowitz (March 30, 2007). "The boys of summer and seder: Baseball, Passover share openers". Jweekly. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
- Gwen Knapp (June 22, 2011). "Bob Melvin visits his winter home in Manhattan". SFGate. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
- "Bob Melvin visits his winter home in Manhattan". SFGate. June 22, 2011. Retrieved September 19, 2014.
- "Manager and Coaches". Oakland Athletics. Retrieved September 19, 2014.
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- "A's serve root beer floats for good cause". Oakland Athletics. Retrieved September 19, 2014.