September 15, 1920 |
East St. Louis, Illinois
David Garcia (born September 15, 1920 in East St. Louis, Illinois) is an American retired coach, scout and manager in Major League Baseball who spent over 65 years in the game. He served as manager of the California Angels (1977–78) and Cleveland Indians (1979–82). Including three games as acting manager of the 1975 Indians, during his first coaching tenure there, he compiled a career record of 310 wins and 311 defeats (.499).
Garcia was a minor league infielder for almost 20 seasons — much of that time in the farm system of the New York Giants — and never made it to the Major Leagues. He began managing at age 27 in 1948 with the Giants' Knoxville Smokies farm team of the Class B Tri-State League. He managed in the minor leagues and scouted for the club (the San Francisco Giants after 1958) through 1968, before joining the San Diego Padres as a minor league manager in 1969, their maiden National League season.
The following season, in his 50th year, Garcia finally reached the Majors as San Diego's third-base coach. He coached with the Padres (1970–73), Indians (1975–76; 1979) and Angels (1977) and in 1977 he was named manager of the Angels when Norm Sherry was fired on July 11. While the Angels continued to stumble in '77, the Halos stood at 25–20 when Garcia was released in favor of Jim Fregosi on June 1, 1978.
Garcia got another chance to manage with the Cleveland Indians when Jeff Torborg was fired on July 22, 1979. Cleveland played at a 38–28 clip under Garcia for the remainder of the season, and compiled a mark of 52–51 during the strike-shortened 1981 campaign, but they never finished higher than fifth in the American League East. After a sixth-place finish in 1982, Garcia was fired. But he remained in the game into his mid 80s, as a coach for the Milwaukee Brewers (1983–84), a special assignment scout for the Brewers and Kansas City Royals, and — from 2000–02 — a coach with the Colorado Rockies. Garcia was named to Rockies' staff when he was 79 years of age by then-skipper Buddy Bell.
As a minor league manager in the Giants, Padres and Angels organizations, Garcia won 890 games and lost 785 (.531) and won three championships.
Garcia's son David was the Yankees first-round pick -- the 11th player taken over all -- in the secondary phase of the January 1978 draft. He spent two years in the Yankee systems. Garcia also had two grandsons play professional baseball. Drew Garcia was a 21st round draft choice of the Chicago White Sox in 2008, and reached the Triple-A level. In 2010, the St. Louis Cardinals selected his grandson, Greg Garcia in the seventh round of Major League Baseball draft. He made his MLB debut for the Cardinals in April, 2014.