With the World Series starting tonight, one thing is for certain: A former major league catcher will manage his team to a championship when the series is over.
Kansas City’s Ned Yost and San Francisco’s Bruce Bochy were both catchers during their playing days in the majors. Yost played six years in the majors (1980-85), four of those seasons with the Brewers. Bochy had a 10-year MLB career (1978-87) playing six seasons with the Padres.
This will be the second World Series since 2001 where the opposing managers were former MLB catchers. In 2001 Bob Brenly (Arizona) and Joe Torre (N.Y. Yankees) faced off in the series won by the Diamondbacks in seven games.
In the 15 World Series this century (including this year), 11 of the 30 managers in the Fall Classic were former catchers. Bochy and Torre each had three appearances in the World Series from 2000-2014; Mike Scioscia, Brenly, Joe Girardi, Mike Matheny and Yost are the other former MLB catchers who managed in the World Series since 2000. Since a former catcher will win the title this year, that will be seven times in the last 15 years for former catchers to manage a World Series champ since 2000.
From 1901-2013, there have been 66 different managers that won a World Series. Of those 66, seven never played in the majors. Of the other 59, there have been 13 catchers, most of any position player. Following is a breakdown of the former MLB player positions that have won a World Series. (Noted in parenthesis are the number of World Series titles won by each position.)
* Several of the World Series managers played multiple positions during their MLB careers. For the sake of this posting, the position noted is the position where they had the most games played.
Catchers: 13 different managers (won 23 titles)
Second Basemen: 10 different managers (won 18 titles)
First Basemen: 8 different managers (won 14 titles)
Left Fielders: 6 different managers (won 7 titles)
Third Basemen: 5 different managers (won 8 titles)
Pitchers: 5 different managers (won 6 titles)
Shortstops: 5 different managers (won 5 titles)
Right Fielders: 4 different managers (won 11 titles)
Center Fielders: 3 different managers (won 4 titles)
Managers with no MLB playing experience: 7 different managers (won 13 titles)