Showalter grew up in a very small town in the upper reaches of the Florida Panhandle, Century, Florida. It is near Alabama. Buck's father was the principal at the high school he attended. So Buck never got away with anything.
Showalter's father, William, caught Buck's first Little League home run. Very often there were sandlot baseball games right out behind the Showalter house that ran from morning until dusk, until parents began pleading with their kids to come home for supper. Also, there were pickup basketball games at the house with black kids from the other side of town, not something many white families in Century or anywhere in the Deep South would consider back in the 1960s.
Buck's Dad was an All-American running back in college. Which brings up the best Christmas gift Buck says he has probably ever given anyone, or enjoyed giving anyone.
"My father was an All-American running back in college and I happened to get my hands on some real old and brittle 16 millimeter film of him. I turned it into a VCR tape and on Christmas morning, after everything was over, I had him sit down in front of the television and plugged it in. Here's a guy who was 70 years old and all of a sudden he's back in time, watching himself playing football and identifying all the cheerleaders as he watched the tape. It was a lot of fun for me just to see the fun he was having watching that tape," Buck said. (Robert Falkoff-MLB.com-12/24/05)
- His family remembers growing up and following Buck's baseball career. They remember the hours and hours on the road to watch Showalter play in spring training, in the Cape Cod League, at Chipola Junior College in Marianna, Florida, at Mississippi State or in the various backwaters of his seven-year minor league career. "Those would be our vacations," said his sister, Malinda Williford.
- They remember the time they were bringing Willie McGee, then a Yankees minor leaguer like Showalter, to the dentist because he messed up his partial plate. "And he just took it out and laid it on the dash of the car," Marina said. "Just put it up there like that's where it belonged."
They remember the cars full of Yankees minor leaguers, just breaking spring camp and on their way to their assignments, that would pull up to the house at ungodly hours, looking for some home cooking. Lina would oblige. There'd be a cooked ham, some slaw and baked beans. "And they always liked banana pudding," she said. More than anything, these Showalters always seem to remember where they are from, carrying the lessons of small-town life wherever they go, like a passport stamped with simple rules.
- Buck has always been very orderly and business-like. He never procrastinates. Recalling his first grade teacher, he recalls, "Whenever I would finish what the class was doing I'd put it aside and start working on something else. I wanted to get ahead and make the next day easier. It can become a vicious cycle sometimes."
- He speaks with a drawl.
- In the weeks after the discouraging 1991 season for the Yanks (they were 71-91), Buck never dreamed of being named manager. As a matter of fact, he was let go when Stump Merrill got the boot. Yankee GM Gene Michael said he wanted a manager with big league experience, which left Showalter out. (Showalter had zero at-bats at the Major League level.) But plans to pirate former Manager Lou Piniella from Cincinnati quickly disintegrated, and after the Mets plucked Jeff Torborg from the ChiSox, New York's management told Michael it preferred Showalter. That was pleasing to the players—Buck had already become a favorite in the cliquish Yankee clubhouse.
About the time Buck was named Yankee Manager, his father died.
William Showalter was a fine athlete in his own right, earning Little All-American honors right after World War II at tiny Milligan College, where he was inducted into the school's athletic Hall of Fame. He actually started his college football career at the University of Virginia before the war interceded.
In the war, William Showalter was in the middle of much of the most horrific fighting, including D-Day, North Africa, Italy, and the Battle of the Bulge.
He returned from the war, finished school and became an educator, rising to high school principal in Century.
Like his son, William Showalter came across to many as overly serious. But again like his son, those who knew him best say he had a wonderful sense of humor and an undying passion for sports and his family.
He was also a man of unwavering principle. Though a member of management, he supported his teachers in a job action. He was an early proponent of integration at a time in Florida, especially a part of Florida just four miles south of the Alabama border, when that stance was more dangerous than unpopular. "I watched him handle some of the phone calls we'd get at night, pretty much standing up for what he believed in," Showalter said.
William Showalter, who has a park named for him in Century, died of heart problems November 15, 1991—three weeks after his son was named manager of the Yankees. "And my son was born a few weeks later," Showalter said.
Showalter said his father always encouraged him to play sports but never pushed him. "My Dad was big on facing good competition," said Showalter, who was the starting point guard and quarterback at Century High School. "On Sundays, we'd go to church and then jump in the truck and go to an all-black baseball league, where I'd play center field for one of the teams."
He was the only white guy in the league, where players ranged from 18 to 40. "It was the first time I ever saw a screwball," he said. "It was the first time I ever saw a lefthander with a real good move to first. It was the first time I ever saw the game played at a great speed and a great level."
- In 1981, Buck roomed with Don Mattingly when both were playing for Nashville in the American Association.
- Buck suffered a freak beaning on July 4, 1985 in Oneonta, New York, where he was serving as manager. It seems Showalter was convinced to audition former minor league catcher Todd Ezold as a pitcher. Ezold took to the mound in the Oneonta bullpen and Buck stepped in as a lefthanded "hitter," but without a helmet. Ezold had a cannon for an arm and accidently hit Buck in the right temple. Showalter was in guarded condition at Cooperstown's Bassett Hospital for a few days.
- Buc met his wife, Angela Jane, in Nashville, Tennesee, where she was an usher and hawking game programs at the ballpark while working her way through school. The have two children: Allie St. Clair and William Nathaniel IV.
- Buck's first job was as a short-order breakfast cook for $4 an hour while playing baseball in the Cape Cod League. He says his worst job was driving a bulldozer for $5 an hour during an off-season one winter.
- Showalter says he'd be a school principal or athletic field groundskeeper if he weren't a Major League manager.
As a kid, Buck was a Yankees fan. Mickey Mantle was his favorite player.
- His favorite musicians: Carly Simon, Kim Carnes, and the Beatles.
- He says "To Kill A Mockingbird" is one of the best movies ever.
- His favorite pet was a basset hound named "Abby." Now, he has a basset hound named "Sader."
- Buck plays golf in the off-season to get away from it all.
Showalter says that John Oates was the best manager he played for in the minors.
- Showalter says his best friend in baseball is Russ "Monk" Meyer. And he says the funniest player he played with was Kenny Baker, a minor leaguer in the Yankee organization in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
- Buck is a big fan of the Univeristy of Alabama football team and also roots for the Boston Celtics.
- He is also a big fan of the Andy Griffith Show and has all 249 episodes on videotape. He even has a color photo of Andy and Ronny Howard (Opie) on the wall of his office at the Diamondbacks' spring training complex in Tucson.
- Showalter appeared on "Seinfeld" when he was the skipper of the Yankees. "That little guy (Jason Alexander) is funny," Buck said.
- His pet bloodhound received a titanium hip in a transplant operation in September 1998.
- Buck always wears a jacket. The reason: "I didn't get a jersey initially when I first got the Yankees (managerial job). So I wore a jacket. It's a lot more comfortable, for one thing. When I walk in the dugout without a jacket, players go, 'What's wrong?'"
During one of the big storms in the fall of 2002, Showalter and his son took a walk out to the end of a pier near their home in Gulf Breeze, Florida. The storm sent waves up on the pier at one point, washing their dog Sader into the drink.
"He went under once, and then under again," Showalter said. Showalter is not crazy about the water or swimming. "I was afraid my son was going to jump in after him, so I went in." he said. "I grabbed it—they're heavy little suckers—and lifted him over my head to get him out of the water. But my foot was caught in the mud, and I was afraid I was going to go under. I finally got him and me out of the water.
"How would that have been for a headline: 'New Rangers manager drowns saving dog?'"
Buck meticulously tends to roses that are planted outside his home in Gulf Breeze, Florida. It is across the street from Tiger Point Golf Course. He plays there often during the winter. And he replaces his divots, other people's divots, every divot but the Gulf of Mexico. "I'd love to be a groundskeeper," he'd tell his wife, Angela.
Showalter is a clinically diagnosed leader. He knows this because Jerry Coangelo, his former boss and owner of the Diamondbacks, once invited him to meet someone they both called "the brain doctor," whom the club uses to provide psychological profiles on its players and prospects. The doctor told Showalter upon examination, "You cannot not lead."
During Hurricane Ivan in September 2004, many personal items such as championship rings and baby pictures that were in a Florida storage facility were lost.
During 2007, Buck stayed home for the summer for the first time.
Then in 2008 and 2009 (and half of 2010), Showalter worked as a analyst for ESPN.
Away from the field, and in between thrice-monthly trips from Dallas to Bristol, Conn., to do studio work for ESPN, Showalter participated in a family life he never knew during baseball seasons. He grew roses and kept bird feeders stocked in his backyard. He convinced himself that if another managerial offer never came, he'd be "fine with that."
"I was in a great place in my life," he says. "I got to see my son's junior and senior years of high school baseball. I was the groundskeeper, basically. Had a blast. I got to [do] all the things I missed over the years. I wouldn't trade that for the world. I remember being in the backyard one day and saying, 'Man, look how red that cardinal is.' And my daughter said, 'Dad, it's always been that color.'" (Tom Verducci-Sports Illustrated-3/28/11)
September 12, 2015: Showalter and the Orioles received some special visitors prior to the game with the Royals, with both Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson and the Red Land Little League Team on hand at Camden Yards. Robinson visited in the clubhouse briefly along with his son and grandson.
"Always the highlight. It's like having the Pope visit," manager Buck Showalter said. "He's so humble. Every time he comes in there it's like he feels like he's putting you out by being in there and taking up your time. Most guys of his stature, they really respect what goes on in the locker room, but he does it to a fault. I wish he'd come every day. I'd love to just sit him down in the middle of the locker room and let him talk.
"He reminded me that we had won three in a row after his visit last year," Showalter said. "That was one of the best pictures we've got in our locker room, that time with him here. He seems to always have time for everybody. Quite a pull on him."
Robinson was among those who met with the Little League team from Lewisberry, Pa., which advanced to the World Series earlier in 2015. Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop gave them a bat and some batting gloves, with Manny Machado, Kevin Gausman, Mychal Givens and Mike Wright also on hand. Showalter told the Little Leaguers he was proud of them, as well as to have fun. The group also got tickets for the game. (B Ghiroli - MLB.com - September 13, 2015)
- June 23, 2017: Buck was not in Baltimore for the Orioles' series finale against the Indians, as he was with his family in Dallas for the birth of his first grandchild -- a boy weighing 9 pounds, 1 ounce.
|Birth City:||DeFuniak Springs, Florida|
|Draft:||Yankees #5 - 1977 - Out of Mississippi State Univ.|
PLAYING CAREER NOTES
- Buck was an outfielder/first baseman in the Yankee system from 1977-1983. Buck was a good hitter, but had no power. He batted and threw from the left side. In his seven-year minor league career, he compiled a .294 lifetime batting average. He rarely struck out, only once every 15.7 at-bats, but never quite attained Big League status. Buck advanced as far as two cups of coffee in Triple-A at Columbus (IL). But he was stuck behind Don Mattingly and others.
- He was a student of the game and a real gamer. He asked a lot of questions and observed what his manager was doing.
Braves OF Otis Nixon was a teammate of Showalter's at Nashville in 1981 and Columbus in 1982 and 1983. They lived in the same apartment complex for awhile.
"He was a very smart player," Nixon recalled. "He was hard-nosed and not afraid to tell anyone what he thought. He was always all about baseball. he wasn't someone to go out and party a lot. If he had been taller, I think he would have made it to the Majors. he could hit, just not for home runs. I can still see his swing right now. He was a hard line-drive hitter."
- The 2001 World Series marked the first time that both World Series managers, Joe Torre and Bob Brenly, had been preceded by the same man . . . and it was Buck Showalter.
- Showalter began forming his managerial ethos as a kid watching Alabama coach Bear Bryant. At 4:30 a.m. on Saturdays, he and his Dad, Bill, would drive from the Florida Panhandle to Tuscaloosa. Bill, a high school principal, would tell Buck to keep his eyes on the Bear, who rarely spoke to his Crimson Tide players along the sideline. "Son," his Dad said, "when you see guys doing a lot of coaching during the game? They haven't done their homework."
Showalter lives for the homework.
He has two rules for his players: be on time and play hard between the lines.
- Showalter is very organized. Buck has excellent leadership skills and is a fine motivator. He has intense attention to detail and dedication to his players Buck was Baseball America's Minor League Manager of the Year in 1989.
- As a third base and OF coach with the Yanks, Buck earned high praise for his knowledge of the game's finer points. Before the start of each road series, Buck would familiarize the OF'ers on the visiting park, covering the angles of walls, the warning track and even the wind. These items are then reinforced with fly balls during batting practice. Then, after reading the scouting reports and discussing pitching strategy with the manager, Buck would make sure the positioning was correct by the outfielders during the game.
- As third base coach, Showalter watched opposing fielders before each game, checking out the strength of their arm. He then studied both line-ups so that during the game he knew when to send a runner, when not to take a chance, etc. He also relayed the signs to the hitters. "The idea is to not make the signs too tricky," Buck said. "I have to make sure I get the right signs from the Manager and make sure the players understand the signs."
- As Yankee Manager, Buck said, "You just try to be yourself. That's the main thing. You still have to have the player's trust. Your relationship doesn't change with them a whole lot. It would be very hyprocritical of me to start acting in a different way."
- Showalter is a good communicator.
- "I've never been good at evaluating myself," Buck said. "One of my strengths is I don't have a set mode of managing. I adjust from day to day."
- When Buck lists the managers he learned the most from—among them the Ranger's John Oates, former Yankee skipper Stump Merrill—it's surprising when the rundown ends with Billy Martin. Showalter recalls dinner conversations with Billy that stretched into the night. "He'd have one or two drinks and he'd be real comfortable over a meal," Buck recalled. "Those were outstanding times to talk to him because he was so fluid and so intelligent."
- Buck has a low-key, undemonstrative, take-it-in-stride approach.
- He arrives at the park early and stays late—virtually every day. He frequently sleeps at the ballpark when a night game is followed by an afternoon start. Buck drives himself so hard that those who care for him are concerned for his health.
- He has amazing attention to detail.
- Buck remembers when his father, the late William Showalter II, was disatisfied when his son went three-for-four. The son had produced three hits, then allowed a perfect day to escape him with a groundout. The demanding father thought the son had become contented and didn't stay focused for the fourth at-bat. The former Pittsburgh Steelers fullback prospect gave his son an earful about it. Showalter recalled his father's angry words with reverence, for he learned to never let up.
- Showalter started the 1995 season as the first Yankee manager on four straight opening days since Ralph Houk in 1967-1973. In June 1995, Buck passed Billy Martin's masochistic record of 474 consecutive games as Yankee skipper under Steinbrenner.
Showalter lets his players police themselves, to a certain extent.
"My job is to manage people," Buck says. "When you get into a problem is when you get a player who doesn't care what anybody thinks. But if you get enough strong charactered people in the clubhouse, there's nothing stronger in sports and really in life in general than peer pressure."
- He might be a tad maniacal and meticulous in his preparation. But he is also honest and wholesome.
Showalter wants his players to pay attention to detail in their appearance and in their job. "I see some guys on other teams that won't even get out of the dugout for the National Anthem. I mean, how hard is it to get your big ass out of the dugout for three minutes to salute our flag? How tough is it to be to stretching on time? How tough is it to tuck your shirttail in? I don't think that's asking too much. There's a payback for all the great things they're allowed to do in their lives. And if you have a problem with that kind of responsibility, then you're in the take-take-take mode."
- Buck once said of his players, "These guys are all grown up, but they need direction. Pat Riley put it best: 'Leadership is defining reality.' And that's what it's all about. I don't mind being the asshole every now and then. I do that quite well."
- In 1999, with the D'Backs, Showalter loosened his policy on no facial hair. He had said the team would update and change that policy mid-way through the 1998 season, in fact. "We want to be careful of taking away the individuality of the players," Buck said. "Otherwise, we'll have a bunch of robots around here."
- With the Diamondbacks, Showalter was a different manager than he was in the Bronx. He was calmer and smoother. Infielder Andy Fox, who played for Buck in New York and Arizona, says, "Contrary to perception, Buck Showalter and Joe Torre really are a lot alike. Buck lets players police themselves. Play hard, be on time, be professional. That's all he asks, a lot like Joe Torre, really. That's all he asks, a lot like Joe Torre, really. Buck isn't the dictator ruling every little thing, like you here."
You know how an angry hitter flings his helmet and batting gloves on the ground at the feet of the first base coach? And the coach picks them up like a clubhouse boy would, carrying them back to the dugout? "We don't do that here," Buck Showalter said emphatically. "Our coaches are instructed not to pick up that stuff. Ever."
Buck learned early on that coaches need to be treated with some respect. In 1991, when Showalter was a Yankee coach, OF Mel Hall made the final out of an inning and fired his helmet toward first base coach Graig Nettles. A very good, very proud Yankee, and one of the best fielding third basemen of all time, Nettles chased down the helmet and returned with it to the dugout. When he got there, Nettles took a bat and proceeded to smash Hall's headgear to a hundred plastic shards.
"Hey Mel," Nettles said to Hall, "Here's your helmet."
Showalter wants players who really care about the team winning each game.
"You can always see sincerity in players in a spontaneous moment," Buck said. "At Yankee Stadium, if the ball was hit down the right field line, you had to get out of the dugout to see if it's leaving the park or whether it's fair or foul. In that spontaneous moment, in a tie game in the seventh inning and the ball is hit down the line, if a guy doesn't get up and crane his neck down there, he doesn't care. In that quick moment, a lot of them will catch themselves and get back in the dugout, because it's not cool to be that way. But I want it to be cool to have a passion and energy about the Rangers doing well. And we'll weed out those insincere players."
On the wall in the clubhouse near Buck's office at the Rangers' spring training headquarters in Surprise, Arizona, a quotation by Theodore Roosevelt hangs: "The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it."
May 28, 2016: Buck Showalter is a rare breed. He managed the Yankees for George Steinbrenner, quit after being told he had to fire his coaches, and was never lured back to the Bronx.
A fifth-round draft choice of the Yankees, he played, coached and managed for 19 years in the Yankees organization. His resignation came after he guided the Yankees to first place in the American League East at the time of the 1994 strike -- which wiped out the postseason -- and ended the team's 13-year postseason drought by claiming the AL Wild Card in '95.
In 1996, Showalter became the D-backs' first manager. He spent two years helping to put the franchise together before its first game was played in 1998. The D-backs made expansion history when they won 100 games and the NL West in their second campaign in 1999. He was let go after the following season, when the team went 85-77.
He eventually landed with the Rangers, where he spent four seasons (2003-06), before he took over as manager of the Orioles 106 games into the 2010 season.
Showalter discussed his journey in a Q&A.
MLB.com: Have you undergone a change at each stop along the way in your managerial career?
Showalter: We're always evolving. I learn something every day about players and the game. That's what's great about this game. There's not a day where something different doesn't happen. It's not always in a game, where I go, "I've never seen that before." There's this comedy sketch where a guy says, "I've been let go 34 times." Somebody says, "How do you feel about that?" The guy says, "I look at it this way, I got hired 34 times."
MLB.com: Can you think of a particular thing or two that sticks out?
Showalter: You have to [do] a lot of things in this job -- things you don't necessarily have responsibility for, but you are the visible face of the franchise, and you make franchise decisions. You don't take it as [personally] as you once did. I lost my naivety in Arizona. I left New York [of] my own accord.
MLB.com: What happened with the Yankees?
Showalter: It was all about firing coaches, and it broke my heart. I'd been in that organization 19 years. I didn't want to leave, but my dad would tell me when I was young, "There is going to come a time in your life where you are going to have to [take a stand]. It's going to be painful, but it will come back to you two-fold." New York was painful.
MLB.com: You weren't out of work long.
Showalter: "I interviewed with three teams. I stopped in Houston for a change of planes on my flight from Arizona back home to Pensacola. I called my wife, [and] she said George Steinbrenner was coming to the house. I had already [shaken] hands with [Arizona president/owner Jerry] Colangelo. I had turned the page."
MLB.com: So the door shut on you in New York, but opened for Joe Torre. I remember the tabloids in New York had headlines saying, "Average Joe."
Showalter: "That gave everybody an understanding of how good Joe was. If that hadn't happened, what would have happened with Joe? As it is, he took the Yankees to 12 postseasons in 12 years, six World Series and four [World Series] championships. He is in the Hall of Fame. Everything happens for a reason. He was the perfect guy for that situation. I don't know if I could have taken them where he took them."
MLB.com: Did you think the Rangers would be the last opportunity?
Showalter: I didn't even think about it. It wasn't, "Oh, I'm not going to get a shot at all." I just kicked back. I was the groundskeeper for my son's high school team his senior year. I told the coach, "I'm not going to coach. I'll drag your field. I'll cut your grass. I'll paint the foul poles, which my wife and I did. I'll help you with practices, but I'm not going to be the coach."
MLB.com: You also did some work for ESPN.
Showalter: That was a good experience for me. It verified a lot of things I thought from a media standpoint. It was never a battle. I always felt I had a good relationship with everybody. But I would sit there and they would say, "We are going to talk about why that guy did whatever." I'd go, "No, I'm not going to do that. I'm not in the dugout. I'm not in the clubhouse. I don't know what's happening. Maybe he lost his dog. I can tell you what his options were and why [he] chose one over the other." I think it frustrated them some. They wanted more.
MLB.com: And you were with ESPN when Arizona finally won that World Series. What was that like?
Showalter: You might find it hard to believe, but I felt it was pretty cool. But I also knew it was their time, not mine. I was on the stage in left field for Game 7. We got done with the post-game show and I walked back to my hotel. Nobody said a word. Nobody said anything. I just walked out the back of the stage. The city was going crazy. They just beat the Yankees in the World Series. I'm going to my room and going, "Wow." I was happy.
MLB.com: As a young Minor League manager with the Yankees, what was it like to be around Billy Martin during Spring Training?
Showalter: The Yankees would bring all the Minor League managers in and we'd walk around the complex behind him, like we were chickadees. He'd stop at every drill. People thought he was some cartoon character. But trust me, when he was at the ballpark -- regular season, Spring Training -- he was brilliant. He would stop at every drill and have each of the big league coaches explain why the drill was important. And I remember walking behind him one day and he turned and said, "Come on, Buck, let's go see what the game has in store for me today." We live in a society where they want to know about something before it happens. They tell you to predict who's going to win this or that. I'm OK with knowing about it when it happens. People will say, "What's going to happen with this or that?" I tell them, "You know what? Our curiosity is going to be satisfied because we're all going to play 162 games and we're going to seek our level."
MLB.com: Now you are in Baltimore, a franchise that had been known for turbulence, but things seem to be running smoothly, at least from a public view.
Showalter: It kind of fits. Baltimore is one of those baseball towns. You see that ballpark. And the fans come to see their team win. There's a sincerity about it. You know how they talk about St. Louis and Kansas City being baseball towns? That's Baltimore. (T Ringolsby - MLB.com - May 28, 2016)
POST-PLAYING CAREER POSITIONS
- 1984: Buck was a coach at Ft. Lauderdale (FSL-Yanks).
- 1984-1985: He started his managerial career at Oneonta (NYP-Yankees).
- 1987-1988: He was the manager at Ft. Lauderdale (FSL-Yanks).
- 1989: He was the manager at Albany (EL-Yanks).
- Four of the five clubs Buck managed in the Yank's farm system finished first. His overall minor league managerial record was 360-207.
- 1990-1991: He became a New York Yankee coach, his first Big League experience.
- 1992-1995: Buck was the Yankees manager. Showalter took over a deteriorated Yankee team in 1992 and had them in the playoffs by 1995.
- Of George Steinbrenner, Buck said in 1994, "I thank my lucky stars every day that I have an owner who is so in tune with winning. I think there are a lot of managers who wish they had an owner who wanted to win as much. He gives us what we need. But then he wants us to be accountable. I have no problem with that. He's a very demanding boss. He's very into winning. So am I."
In 1994, while leading the Yankees, Buck was named American League Manager of the Year.
- With the Yankees, Buck posted a 312-269 record in his four years.
- November 15, 1995: Buck was named manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks. He signed a seven-year contract.
Showalter took a team that lost 97 games in its first season of 1998. In 1999, they won the NL West with 100 wins.
But the Diamondbacks fired Buck the day after the 2000 campaign. He had a 250-236 record with Arizona.
- October 2002: Buck accepted the job as manager of the Texas Rangers.
- 2004: Showalter was paid $1.5 million by the Rangers.
Buck was named the 2004 American League Manager of the Year by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Showalter won for the second time. He was also the 1994 American League Manager of the Year while with the New York Yankees.
Showalter won the award after leading the Rangers to an 89-73 record, an 18-game improvement over their 71-91 record in 2003—Showalter's first year with the club. It was the Rangers' first winning season since 1999, and the first time in five years that they did not finish in last place. The Rangers were in contention for a division title right up until the last week of the season.
He is the second Rangers manager to win the award since the BBWAA started voting on it in 1983. Johnny Oates shared the award with Yankees manager Joe Torre in 1996.
- January 21, 2005: The Rangers signed Buck to a three-year extension, through the 2009 season, with a club option for the 2010 season.
October 4, 2006: The Rangers fired Showalter after the team went 80-82, the club's sixth losing record in seven years since last making the playoffs in 1999. Showalter was 319-329 with the Rangers, his third managerial job, and still had three seasons left on his contract. He was still owed about $5.1 million.
Buck's firing came the day after owner Tom Hicks had dinner at his home with Jon Daniels, his 29-year-old general manager, and Showalter for what he said he would be a "candid conversation" about what went wrong this season.
Hicks said before the meeting that he wasn't leaning either way and would rely on a recommendation from Daniels, the youngest GM ever in the majors when hired a year ago Wednesday.
Daniels accompanied the team on its final road trip last week, partly to talk to players and determine if discontentment with Showalter in the clubhouse was widespread.
November 10, 2006: Showalter joined the Indians as an adviser to General Manager Mark Shapiro. Among other things, part of Buck's duties was to help develop their new spring training site in Goodyear, Ariz. The Indians were scheduled to move to Arizona from Winter Haven, Fla., in the spring of 2009.
And Showalter also was an advisor for manager Eric Wedge.
2008: Buck returned to ESPN as an analyst.
July 29, 2010: Showalter became the Manager of the Baltimore Orioles. He actually took over the reigns on August 3.
Buck chose uniform #26, the number worn by the late Johnny Oates when he was skipper of the Orioles. Showalter has a deep respect for Oates. And before he put it on, he called his mentor's widow and asked permission to wear it. And Gloria quickly called back after receiving the phone message.
"I called and I said, 'Is this No.26 speaking?'" Gloria Oates said. "That's when he knew we were all on board. It's so touching. Johnny was a man who valued friendships so very much. He kept all his friendships intact. They had that mentor relationship and friendship, and they kept it even when they were competitors. It meant so much to both of them."
Showalter played for the first team that Oates managed, the 1982 Nashville Sounds, the Yankees' Double-A affiliate, and the following season, both moved up to Triple-A.
The friends turned competitors when Showalter was managing the Yankees (1992-1995) and Oates was guiding the Orioles (1991-1994). Then about a decade later, Showalter would follow in his mentor's footsteps as manager of the Texas Rangers, a job that Oates performed with much success from 1995 to 2001.
January 16, 2013: The Orioles extended Showalter's contract through the 2018 season.
- In 2014, Showalter was named the American League Manager of the Year by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, putting Baltimore's skipper in a special category following a spectacular season.
Showalter, who beat out finalists Mike Scioscia and Ned Yost, is the sixth manager to win the award three or more times and just the second -- joining Tony La Russa -- to do it with three different organizations. Showalter won with the Yankees in 1994 and the Rangers in 2004 and quipped he would definitely not be around in 2024 to see if the trend continues.
- October 17, 2012: Showalter underwent arthroscopic right knee surgery.