Monday, March 14, 2016

Dave Bristol (#556)

As I mentioned on my sidebar a while ago, this 1970 blog is going to focus on cards of the 4 expansion teams for the foreseeable future. 

Today we have Pilots’/Brewers’ manager Dave Bristol, complete with gold piping on his cap and a ship’s wheel on his uniform. Bristol never actually managed the Pilots. Joe Schultz was the manager for their lone 1969 season. Nor was Bristol a Pilots’ coach, having been the Reds’ manager in 1969. So, a rare “kudos” to Topps for getting this photo!

Bristol never played in the major leagues, but was a 2nd baseman in the Reds’ organization from 1951 to 1961. He was also a minor-league manager for them from 1957 to 1965. The overlap indicates that he was a player-manager for several years.

Midway through the 1966 season, Dave (then only age 33) took over the Reds’ managerial job from rookie manager Don Heffner. He continued at the helm through the 1969 season, finishing 4th, 4th, and 3rd in his 3 full seasons. (The Reds replaced him with Sparky Anderson for the 1970 season.) Dave’s time with the Reds were his only winning seasons.

Bristol took over the mess that was the Seattle Pilots in early 1970. The team went to spring training as the Pilots, and broke camp as the Milwaukee Brewers, thanks to a Milwaukee used-car salesman named Bud Selig. Dave managed the team for 1970, 1971, and 30 games into the 1972 season until he was shown the door.

He later managed the Braves (1976-77) and Giants (1979-80). During the 1977 season, Braves’ owner Ted Turner replaced Bristol with himself (?!?) until the commissioner ruled that a team manager could not also own a team, so Bristol returned to finish out the season.

Dave was also a 3rd base coach for the Reds (‘66, ’89, ’93), Expos (’73-’75), Giants (’78-’79), and Phillies (’82-’85, ’88).