Bob Melvin

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Bob Melvin
Bob Melvin by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Melvin in 2017
Oakland Athletics – No. 6
Catcher / Manager
Born: (1961-10-28) October 28, 1961 (age 57)
Palo Alto, California
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
May 25, 1985, for the Detroit Tigers
Last MLB appearance
August 6, 1994, for the Chicago White Sox
MLB statistics
Batting average.233
Home runs35
Runs batted in212
Managerial record1,126–1,105
Winning %.505
Teams
As player

As manager

As coach

Career highlights and awards

Robert Paul Melvin (born October 28, 1961) is an American professional baseball former catcher and coach, and current manager. He is currently the manager of the Oakland Athletics of Major League Baseball, and has been named Manager of the Year three times, most recently in 2018.

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 Melvin has led 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 both 2012 (becoming the 6th manager in history to win the award in both leagues) and in 2018 (becoming the 8th manager ever to win the award three or more times in a career). Through 2018, his 634 Oakland wins were third-most in team history (behind Connie Mack and Tony La Russa), and he had an aggregate career record of 1,127-1,107 (.504) in 15 seasons as a Major League manager.[1]

Early years[edit]

Melvin was born in Palo Alto, California, to Judy and Paul Melvin, and grew up in Menlo Park, California.[2] He is Jewish,[3][4][5][6][7][8] the son of a Jewish mother and a Catholic father.[3][4][8] Through 2018, he was one of seven Jewish managers in MLB history.[9] The others were Gabe Kapler, Brad Ausmus, Jeff Newman, Norm Sherry, Lou Boudreau, and Lipman Pike.[9] Melvin's grandfather, R.B. "Bud" Levitas, was the original ballboy in the 1920s for the Acme Packers (precursor to the Green Bay Packers).[2]

He resides in Berkeley, California, and in Greenwich Village in New York City, with his wife, Kelley, whom Melvin met in 1982 when he was 21 years of age.[10][11][2] They have one daughter, Alexi (born December 21, 1988), who is an actress, writer, and filmmaker.[12][13][14] Melvin and his family very actively involved with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Alexi having been diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at age 14.[12][15]

High school and college[edit]

After attending Laurel and Encinal elementary schools in Menlo Park, Melvin played baseball (at catcher), basketball (at forward), and golf at Menlo-Atherton High School in Atherton, south of San Francisco, graduating in 1979.[16][17] He batted .474 with 11 home runs for the baseball team, including .529 his senior year when he was named to the San Jose Mercury News’ All-Central Coast Section baseball team.[18][17] He was the first student inducted into the school's Hall of Fame.[2]

Melvin then 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.[16] Melvin finished his freshman season batting .269 with two doubles and 12 RBIs in 67 at bats over 29 games.[18]

Following his freshmen year at California, Melvin transferred to Cañada College in Redwood City, California.[19] He played fall ball for the baseball team.

Playing career[edit]

Bobby Melvin was then selected in the 1st round (2nd pick) by the Detroit Tigers in the secondary phase of the 1981 draft. He debuted in the major leagues on May 25, 1985, at the age of 23.[20] He played 11 seasons, mostly as a back-up catcher, for the Tigers, San Francisco Giants, Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Royals, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, and Chicago White Sox. As a Tiger, he backed up Lance Parrish, and as a Giant, he served as the backup for fellow catcher Bob Brenly, who, like him, went on to manage the Diamondbacks.[18] During his winters in San Francisco, he interned at Bear Stearns.[21][22]

In 1987, he caught stealing 42.9% of attempted base-stealers, second-best in the National League.[20] In 1991, Melvin turned five double plays at catcher, fifth-most in the American League, despite playing in only 79 games.[20] Melvin finished his career with a batting average of .233, and 35 home runs.[20]

Coaching and scouting career[edit]

Melvin worked for Milwaukee as a scout in 1996, roving instructor in 1997, and assistant to General Manager Sal Bando in 1998.[1] He began his coaching career as Manager Phil Garner's bench coach from 1999-2000, first with the Brewers in 1999 Wearing #12 (during which time he also managed the Maryvale team in the Arizona Fall League), and then in 2000 with the Tigers Wearing #15.[1] He was inducted into the AFL Hall of Fame in 2013.[1] Melvin then was Bob Brenly's bench coach with the Diamondbacks from 2001-02 Wearing #3, when the team won two NL West titles, as well as the World Series in 2001.[1]

Managerial career[edit]

Seattle Mariners (2003–04)[edit]

Melvin managed the Seattle Mariners in 2003 and 2004 Wearing #3, following the ten-year run of Lou Piniella. The M's won 93 games with a .574 win-loss percentage in 2003, as the 93 wins tied Melvin for the 15th-most by any rookie manager in Major League history.[1] However, the team 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 in 2004, and Melvin's contract was not extended. He finished with a 156–168 career record (.481) as Mariners manager.[23] He returned to the Diamondbacks for whom he previously had been bench coach before being hired by the Mariners.

Arizona Diamondbacks (2005–09); 2007 NL Manager of the Year[edit]

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 his past arrests and serious financial troubles.[24] Melvin led the team on a 26-game improvement from a franchise-worst 51-111 mark in 2004, as the team finished 2005 with a record of 77-85.[1]

Melvin led Arizona to a National League West title in 2007 with a record of 90–72, and a .556 win-loss percentage.[19] 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.

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.[25]

On August 14, 2008, with his 304th win Melvin became the winningest manager in Arizona history, passing Bob Brenly.[1] Melvin wore #3 as Manager with the Diamondbacks, the same number he wore with them when he was bench coach from 2001-2002.

Firing, scout, and job interviews[edit]

Melvin was fired as manager and replaced by A.J. Hinch, another former catcher, after the May 8, 2009, game.[26] Melvin finished with a 337–340 regular season record as Diamondbacks manager, and a 3–4 post–season record.[23]

Following the 2009 season, Melvin was a candidate to be the next manager of the Houston Astros.[27] However, the position was filled by Brad Mills.[28] 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.[29] The position eventually went to Roenicke, then the Angels' bench coach. 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 2010, Melvin was a scout for the New York Mets, and in May 2011 he worked for the Diamondbacks as a special baseball advisor to President & CEO Derrick Hall.[1]

Oakland Athletics (2011–present); 2012 & 2018 AL Manager of the Year[edit]

Melvin with the Oakland Athletics

On June 9, 2011, Melvin was named interim manager of the Oakland Athletics following Bob Geren's dismissal, Melvin has worn #6 since becoming manager.[30] On September 21, he was given the managerial position on a permanent basis, with a three-year contract extension, and became the 30th manager in franchise history, and the 18th in Oakland history.[1][31] The Athletics fashioned a 47–52 record under Melvin's watch, and a 74–88 overall finish to 2011.

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. For the regular season, the team was 94-68, a .580 win-loss percentage.[19] The A's lost the 2012 ALDS to the Detroit Tigers, three games to two.

Melvin was honored as the 2012 American League Manager of the Year.[1] He became the 14th manager in history to win the award at least twice in a career, and the sixth manager to win the award in both leagues.[1]

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. Athletics' outfielder Josh Reddick referred to Melvin as the "King of Platoons" due to his extensive use of platoons.[32][33] In the 2013 regular season, the team was 96-66 with a .593 win-loss percentage.[19]

In 2014, Melvin's Athletics entered the All-Star Break with the best record in the majors. While the team faded down the stretch, it still managed to clinch an AL Wild Card berth on the final day of the season.

On July 29, 2017, he became the 64th MLB manager to win 1,000 games in his career.[1] On September 28, 2017, the A's and Melvin agreed to extend his contract through the 2019 season.[34] On October 29, 2018, the A's awarded Melvin a long-term contract extension, through 2021 with a club option for 2022.[35]

On November 13, 2018, Melvin won his third Manager of the Year award, becoming just the 8th manager in MLB history win the award three times.[36] He won the award after leading the baseball team with the lowest Opening Day payroll to a 97-65 record and its first post-season in four years.[36] As of 2018, his 634 wins with the A's were third-most in team history, behind only Connie Mack and Tony La Russa, and his 1,127 wins ranked 54th in MLB history.[37]

Managerial record[edit]

As of games played on October 3, 2018
Team From To Regular season record Post–season record
G W L Win % G W L Win %
Seattle Mariners 2003 2004 324 156 168 .481
Arizona Diamondbacks 2005 2009 677 337 340 .498 7 3 4 .429
Oakland Athletics 2011 present 1233 634 599 .514 12 4 8 .333
Total 2234 1127 1107 .504 19 7 12 .368
Ref.:[23]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Coach Bio," MLB.com.
  2. ^ a b c d "Bob Melvin's confidence has deep roots," The San Francisco Chronicle.
  3. ^ a b Peter S. Horvitz (2001). The Big Book of Jewish Baseball. SP Books. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
  4. ^ a b Mark Pattison, David Raglin (2002). Detroit Tigers Lists and More: Runs, Hits, and Eras. Wayne State University Press. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
  5. ^ Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and the American Culture. Meckler. 1990. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
  6. ^ Hillel Kuttler (November 9, 2013). "For Brad Ausmus, Road to Detroit Tigers Job Ran Through Israel". The Forward. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
  7. ^ "Yankees face stiff competition for free agents this year". New York Daily News. November 9, 2013. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
  8. ^ a b Martin Abramowitz (March 30, 2007). "The boys of summer and seder: Baseball, Passover share openers". Jweekly. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
  9. ^ a b Ryan Lawrence (October 31, 2017). "Who is Gabe Kapler? A Dozen Fun Facts about the new Phillies manager," PhillyVoice.
  10. ^ "Melvin hopes to lead D-Backs back to glory," The Spokesman-Review.
  11. ^ Gwen Knapp (June 22, 2011). "Bob Melvin visits his winter home in Manhattan". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
  12. ^ a b "Bob Melvin visits his winter home in Manhattan". The San Francisco Chronicle. June 22, 2011. Retrieved September 19, 2014.
  13. ^ "Manager and Coaches". Oakland Athletics. Retrieved September 19, 2014.
  14. ^ "Former Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin begins duties as scout for New York Mets". New York Daily News. Retrieved September 19, 2014.
  15. ^ "A's serve root beer floats for good cause". Oakland Athletics. Retrieved September 19, 2014.
  16. ^ a b "Bob Melvin's friends reflect on his achievement after he's named manager of Seattle Mariners", The Almanac, January 1, 2003.
  17. ^ a b "Melvin not forgotten by people that knew him years ago," The Mercury News.
  18. ^ a b c "Melvin has been around the block, and then some," seattlepi.com.
  19. ^ a b c d "Bob Melvin Managerial Record," Baseball-Reference.com.
  20. ^ a b c d "Bob Melvin Stats," Baseball-Reference.
  21. ^ [1]
  22. ^ [2]
  23. ^ a b c "Bob Melvin". Baseball Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved December 20, 2014.
  24. ^ "D'backs backtrack on Backman, hire Melvin". Sports Illustrated. November 6, 2004. Retrieved July 29, 2012.
  25. ^ "The "Closer by Committee" Needs a Nickname," Athletics Nation.
  26. ^ "Bob Melvin to be replaced as Diamondbacks manager". KTAR. Retrieved July 29, 2012.
  27. ^ McTaggart, Brian. "Melvin, Acta interview with Astros". MLB.com. Retrieved August 21, 2012.
  28. ^ McTaggart, Brian. "Mills named Astros manager". MLB.com. Retrieved August 21, 2012.
  29. ^ "Bobby Valentine the "front runner" for the Brewers' job | HardballTalk". NBC Sports. October 31, 2010. Retrieved July 29, 2012.
  30. ^ Saracevic, Al (June 9, 2011). "Oakland A's fire Bob Geren, replaces him with Bob Melvin". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved July 29, 2012.
  31. ^ "Athletics give Bob Melvin contract". ESPN. September 21, 2011. Retrieved November 3, 2017.
  32. ^ "Platooning and position-sharing here to stay," MLB.com.
  33. ^ Anthony Castrovince. "'King of platoons' Bob Melvin back at it in Oakland". mlb.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  34. ^ "A's extend Bob Melvin one year through 2019". NBC Sports Bay Area. Retrieved November 3, 2017.
  35. ^ [3]
  36. ^ a b "Bob Melvin of Oakland Athletics named AL Manager of the Year," ESPN.
  37. ^ "Billy Beane Wants Bob Melvin to Manage A's Rest of His Coaching Career," NBC Bay Area.

External links[edit]