Jim Snyder (second baseman)
|Born: August 15, 1932|
Dearborn, Michigan, United States
|September 15, 1961, for the Minnesota Twins|
|Last MLB appearance|
|August 2, 1964, for the Minnesota Twins|
|Runs batted in||10|
|Managerial record||45–60 (.429)|
James Robert Snyder (born August 15, 1932) is a retired American professional baseball player, coach and manager, best known for his 105-game stint as pilot of the 1988 Seattle Mariners, from June 6 through the end of the season. The former second baseman, born in Dearborn, Michigan, threw and batted right-handed, stood 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 m) tall and weighed 185 pounds (84 kg) during his 12-year playing career, which included 41 games played at the Major League level over three terms with the Minnesota Twins (1961–62; 1964).
Snyder attended Eastern Michigan University, earning bachelor's and master's degrees. His minor league career as a second baseman began in 1953, and after lengthy service with the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians, he was acquired by the Twins in September 1961. As a 29-year-old rookie, Snyder went hitless in five at bats that month, then notched only one safety in ten at bats during an early-season 1962 trial with Minnesota. He didn't return to the Majors until June 1964, when the Twins gave him a 26-game audition. Altogether, he batted only .140 in 86 MLB at bats, with 12 hits and one home run, hit July 15, 1964, off Don Rudolph of the Washington Senators.
In 1966, he began his managerial career in the farm system of the Cincinnati Reds, where over 11 years he rose from Short Season–Class A to the Triple-A level as skipper of the 1976 Indianapolis Indians. Snyder then spent five seasons as a manager in the Philadelphia Phillies' organization, including two years at Triple-A with the Oklahoma City 89ers. In 1982, he was among several Phillies' instructors and scouts who accompanied Dallas Green to the Chicago Cubs' system, where Snyder was field coordinator of instruction from 1982–86 and a Major League coach in 1987.
During that offseason, Snyder joined the Mariners' 1988 staff as first-base coach for veteran manager Dick Williams. With the Mariners at 23–33 on June 6, and Williams under fire for lack of communication with his players, Snyder was promoted to acting manager. Weathering a 1–12 patch from June 8–21, Seattle played marginally better (.429 vs. .411) in its four months under Snyder, but the Mariners finished last in the American League West and at the end of the season, he was replaced by Jim Lefebvre.
Snyder then spent his first term as coordinator of instruction for the Chicago White Sox in 1989–90, returning to the big leagues as a coach for San Diego Padres' manager Greg Riddoch in 1991–92. After working as a minor-league coach in the Atlanta Braves' system in 1993, Snyder rejoined the White Sox as director of instruction in 1994, serving for a dozen years in that role.
- Minnesota Twins 6, Washington Senators 0, retrosheet.org. Date accessed: 11 December 2015.
- "Mariners Fire Williams, Name First-Base Coach to Interim Role," The Los Angeles Times, June 7, 1988