Long time MLB manager John McNamara passed away yesterday at his home in TN. He was 88. He coached and managed several teams from 1969-1996.
He was the Red Sox’ manager in the 1986 Bill Buckner World Series, and was the AL Manager of the Year that year. I knew him best as the Cincinnati Reds manager after Sparky Anderson left. He led the Reds to the NL West Division title in 1979. He should have had another in 1981. (For those who don’t remember, there was a strike in the middle of the season. The commissioner decided to turn the playoffs into a gimmick with “first half” and “second half” division champs who then had a playoff for the official division title. The Reds had the best overall record in baseball but were in second both “halves“ and thus did not go to the playoffs, had to watch lesser Giants and Dodgers teams instead…and the Dodgers go on to win the WS. The Dodgers were good; it was the year of “Fernandomania,” but the Reds were better and got royally hosed.)
As a teenager, I went to Reds spring training games in Tampa every year. Mr McNamara was very kind and patient with us young fans. Deepest condolences to his family and friends.