Here is Athletics’ rookie manager John McNamara, sporting the white cap that the coaching staff always wore.
This was McNamara’s first full season as a major-league manager, and the Athletics’ 3rd manager in the three years since they moved to Oakland in 1968!
John never played major-league ball, but was a minor-league catcher for the Cardinals, Giants, and Phillies from 1951 to 1957, save for missing 1953-54 while in military service.
In 1958 he joined the Athletics’ organization, and was a player-manager from 1959 to 1966 (although he played very little after 1963). He also pitched in 14 games between 1960 and 1963.
McNamara was a major-league coach for the A's in '68 and '69, then took over the reins for the last 13 games on the ’69 season after Hank Bauer was fired.
He only lasted one full season in Oakland. After an 89-73 record, he was replaced by Dick Williams, who led the team to three straight post-season appearances, including World Championships in ’72 and ’73. (In 1974, Al Dark returned to the A’s (having managed them in ’66 and ’67) and added a third consecutive World Championship that season.)
John also managed the Padres (1974-77), Reds (1979-82), Angels (1983-84), Red Sox (1985-88), Indians (1990-91), and back with the Angels as an interim manager for 28 games in August 1996.
His teams made the post-season twice: The Reds won the NL West in 1979, and the Red Sox won the AL pennant in 1986.
RIP - Joe Pepitone
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