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|Full name||Bobby Brooks Winkles|
March 11, 1930 |
Tuckerman, Arkansas, United States
|Alma mater||Illinois Wesleyan University|
|Updated on December 2, 2013.|
Bobby Brooks Winkles (born March 11, 1930 in Tuckerman, Arkansas) is a former baseball coach at Arizona State University and manager in Major League Baseball. Winkles is a graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University, where he became a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. A right-handed-hitting and -throwing infielder, he played minor league baseball in the Chicago White Sox organization between 1951 and 1958, hitting .270 with 890 hits in 858 games played before retiring to become Arizona State's head baseball coach at age 29.
Success at Arizona State
From 1959–1971 Winkles was Arizona State's first varsity baseball coach, where he laid the foundation for the legacy of Sun Devil baseball. His overall record while head coach at ASU was 524–173, a winning percentage of .751. In his 11 years, Winkles coached ASU to its first three national titles (1965, 1967 and 1969). He also coached several great players while he was at the helm of the Sun Devils, including Rick Monday, Sal Bando, Reggie Jackson, Sterling Slaughter, and Larry Gura.
Winkles was named the 1965 and 1969 NCAA Coach of the Year and The Sporting News Coach of the Year in 1965, 1967 and 1969. Winkles was inducted into the ABCA Collegiate Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997. His No. 1 jersey was honored at Packard Stadium and the field was named in his honor.
Big league career
In 1972, he jumped from the Arizona State campus to the major leagues as a coach for the California Angels of the American League. In 1973, Winkles became the Angels' manager, succeeding Del Rice. His 1973 club won 79, lost 83 and finished fourth in the American League West Division. But in 1974, the Angels lost 44 of their first 75 games and Winkles was fired on June 26; his permanent successor was Dick Williams.
On July 8, two weeks after the Angels fired him, Winkles became third base coach for the Oakland Athletics and was a member of their 1974 World Series championship team as well as their 1975 AL West champions under skipper Alvin Dark. After Dark's firing, Winkles then spent 1976 through June 25, 1977 as a coach for the cross-bay San Francisco Giants.
On June 26, Winkles returned to the Athletics to manage Oakland for parts of the 1977 and 1978 seasons, as he replaced (in 1977) and then was succeeded by (in 1978) the same manager: Jack McKeon. The A's were then a struggling outfit in the final throes of the Charlie Finley era. But Winkles' 1978 team roared to a shocking 19–5 start by May 5, and was still 24–15 after sweeping a doubleheader against the White Sox on May 21 when Winkles resigned with his club in first place in the AL West. Winkles was reported to have resigned because of Finley's micro-management style. His final managerial record: 170 wins, 213 defeats (.444).
A brief coaching stint with the White Sox immediately followed his 1978 firing as the A's manager. Then, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Winkles spent several years leading the player development department of (and serving as a broadcaster for) the Montreal Expos, when the Expos had one of the most productive farm systems in the game. In 2006, he was inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame.
- "Winkles is named manager of Angels". Spartanburg Herald. 12 October 1972. p. D2. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
- "A's Winkles Steps Down". The Associated Press. The New York Times. 24 May 1978. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
- Launius, Roger D.; Green, G. Michael (2010). Charlie Finley: The Outrageous Story of Baseball's Super Showman. New York: Walker Publishing Co. p. 284. ISBN 978-0-8027-1745-0.