Saturday, July 23, 2016

#449 Bob Lemon

Took over as manager in the middle of the second year of the expansion Royals...Did a great job in third year squad with a low key, laid back style....shrewd trades and strong farm system vaulted the team to second place in AL West with a 85-76 record in 1971.... 1972:  KC was mediocre at 76-78  and Lemon turned over reigns to Jack McKeon....Somewhat a minority a manager who was a star pitcher....HOFer too, with 207 career wins....Won 20 games or more in seven out of seven out of nine seasons...arm troubles spelled a quick exit from playing....turned to coaching and managing in minor leagues....After KC, returned to managing in 1974 for AAA time, for laid back helped because team gave up 1030 runs...Not Lemon’s fault, playing in a football stadium with a 250 feet left field was the cause...joined 1976 Yankees as pitching coach.... getting in on ground floor of the fabled Bronx Zoo....Took a detour with the 1977 White Sox steering them to 90 wins....almost identical to KC, team couldn’t repeat the bar set before in 1978, was let go....Enter Tony L from two cards earlier...Collected unemployment for only month....Ever the prodigal son to dysfunctional family returns to Yankees as Manager....Needless to say thing get weird....although team was above .500, when Billy Martin was fired, the Yankees surged under Lemon and take Boston in a playoff in game...Yankees end up winning the World Series on the bat of Reggie, and unexpected sources; infielder Bucky Dent and late season reserve Brian Doyle....Triumph me with tragedy when son dies in off season...while he stays with the Yanks, it was recommend he take time off....eventually works as a NYY scout...he is re-established as manager taking over from Gene Michaels for the tail end of 1981 split season....Yankees make it back to WS but lose....Bob started the 1982 season, but then replaced by the man he last replaced, Gene Michaels....passed in 2000.

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