Willie Randolph had a successful career in Major League Baseball.
Randolph played in the 70s and 80s and won 6 World Series titles as both a player and a coach with the New York Yankees.
A Brooklyn native by way of the borough’s Tilden High School, it was a dream come true when he had the opportunity to become manager of the New York Mets for four seasons. During that tenure Randolph guided the team to their first division title in 18 years. The Mets were also within one win away from a World Series appearance.
“I waited a long time to get the opportunity,” Randolph told me on today’s episode of Scoop B Radio.
“I was honored and blessed to get the opportunity to manage the Mets, the team I grew up rooting for. That’s another thing to convey to the kids: I grew up a Mets fan and then twenty years later I wound up the manager of the team. So again dreams do come true and it could happen to you.”
During his time as Mets manager, Randolph posted a 302-253 record. The first African-American to manage a baseball team in New York, Randolph was fired by the Mets in June 2008 after a rough start. After his firing Randolph would have stints as a coach with the Milwaukee Brewers and the Baltimore Orioles, he also wrote a book, The Yankee Way: Playing Coaching and My Life In Baseball, Randolph’s story of his life playing and coaching for the most storied professional sports franchise in the world, The New York Yankees.
All of that is great, but Randolph does miss managing an MLB team.
“So after I got fired from the Mets after doing the job I wrote, The Yankee Way: Playing, Coaching and My Life In Baseball,” Randolph told me.
“And being one pitch from the World Series, turning the organization around from a second tier team to winning the division in my second year and then almost getting to the World Series in my third year. So I’m successful. I feel like I’m proud of that because I feel like I am part of a legacy. Jackie Robinson was my hero he was the one that inspired me to be a baseball player. So for me just growing up and feeling that bond.”
Randolph says about his time with the Mets:
“So really why I got fired in a tough spot, we are hired to be fired and I understand that I was successful and I did a good job and I want to continue,” he told Scoop B Radio.
“Even though I got knocked off the perch or got knocked down I want to get back on that wheel and hopefully get another opportunity and show everyone what I am capable of doing. So you know it doesn’t consume me. I would love the opportunity, God willing, I am prepared and ready for it. But right now, it’s been a little bit frustrating that I haven’t had the opportunity yet. But I am going to stay positive and I am going to stay strong and like I said, stay prepared so if the phone does ring; I will be ready to take on the next challenge.”