|Second baseman / Third Baseman / Manager|
April 30, 1949 |
Jefferson City, Tennessee
|September 10, 1973, for the Oakland Athletics|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 2, 1988, for the San Francisco Giants|
|Runs batted in||738|
|Career highlights and awards|
Philip Mason Garner (born April 30, 1949) is a former Major League Baseball infielder with the Oakland Athletics, Pittsburgh Pirates, Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants from 1973 to 1988. He was manager of the Astros from July 14, 2004 to August 27, 2007, leading Houston to a World Series appearance in 2005.
Garner was originally drafted by the Montreal Expos in the eighth round of the 1970 Major League Baseball draft, but did not sign. Seven months later, he was the third overall pick by the Oakland A's in the secondary January 1971 draft. Originally a third baseman when he signed with the A's, he was converted to a second baseman as the A's had perennial All-Star Sal Bando at third.
Nicknamed "Scrap-Iron" due to his gritty style of play, Garner's best year as a player was 1979, when he was a member of the World Series champion Pirates, batting .417 in the 1979 National League Championship Series and .500 (12 for 24) in the World Series. His icon at the time was the scrappy, similarly-mustachioed cartoon hero Yosemite Sam.
In 1992, Garner replaced Tom Trebelhorn as manager of the Brewers. He quickly installed a running-focused style of play as every starter that year stole at least 10 bases. Standing out were 1992 AL Rookie of the Year Pat Listach who stole 54 bases, veteran Paul Molitor stealing 31, and outfielder Darryl Hamilton stealing 41. This gave the 1992 Brewers a 2nd place finish in the competitive AL East but Garner's teams in later seasons in Milwaukee would not finish at .500.
In 2000, Garner was hired to manage the Tigers, in their inaugural season at Comerica Park. The Tigers were in contention for the American League Wild Card berth for much of the season, but faded and finished 79-83. Garner didn't manage a winning season in his years in Detroit, and when his 2002 team began the season 0-6, he and general manager Randy Smith were fired.
The 2004 season was different for Garner. After the Astros had a slow start under then manager Jimy Williams, Garner was brought in mid-season to replace Williams and led the Astros to a National League Wild Card berth, eventually losing to St. Louis in the National League Championship Series in seven games. The team experienced another slow start in 2005 but made a run once again late in the season and came back to win another National League Wild Card. This time, Houston would beat the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Championship Series in six games and win the pennant only to be swept by the Chicago White Sox in the World Series.
Under his leadership in the last 12 games of the 2006 season, the Astros won 10 and lost 2 putting them a game and half behind the Division winners. Garner's contract was extended through the end of the 2008 season by the Astros. As manager of a pennant winning team the year before, Garner managed the 2006 National League All-Star Team in Pittsburgh on July 11 2006. Garner cites Chuck Tanner, his manager during his time with the Pirates, as one of his biggest coaching influences .
Garner is a strong advocate of having six relief pitchers on the roster as opposed to an extra hitter on the bench.
On August 27, 2007, Phil Garner was released from the position of Manager from the Astros, along with General Manager Tim Purpura. Cecil Cooper was named interim manager for the remainder of the season.
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In 2008, Phil Garner served as interim head coach for the UHV Jaguars baseball team of the University of Houston–Victoria. Garner temporarily replaced former Astros teammate Terry Puhl while he fulfilled his obligation as manager of the Canada National baseball team.
- On September 15, 1978, Garner became only one of a handful of Major League players to hit a grand slam in consecutive games.
- Garner, when playing for the Oakland Athletics, got the club's 10,000th hit.
Garner has been involved in some of the longest post-season games in the history of baseball.
- In the 1986 NLCS, the 16-inning loss to the New York Mets on October 15, 1986, Garner was the starting third baseman for the Astros, going 1-for-3, before being replaced by a pinch-hitter.
- The 2005 NLDS against the Atlanta Braves, he was the Astros' manager in the 18-inning victory over them on October 9, 2005.
- Two weeks later in the 2005 World Series, he managed the Astros for the longest World Series game in length of time (five hours and forty-one minutes). The Chicago White Sox won the game, 7-5 in the 14th inning (tied for longest by innings).
- The Official Site of The Houston Astros: News: Houston Astros News
- "Phil Garner". Baseball Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved September 25, 2015.
- "Former Astros manager Garner stepping in as coach at UH-Victoria". ESPN. 2008-02-27. Retrieved 2010-05-15.
- "Phil Garner hired as special adviser". ESPN. 2011-08-12. Retrieved 2012-03-10.
- "Phil Garner returning to A's as special adviser". 2012-02-10. Retrieved 2012-03-10.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Baseball-Reference.com - career managerial record