Melvin was born in Palo Alto, California. He was introduced to sports at an early age. His grandfather, Bud Levitas, was a real estate magnate who always had the best seats in the house at nearby Candlestick Park and other sporting venues, including the Warriors, watching Rick Barry play in the NBA. Bob always got to tag along and often was allowed to invite a friend or two.
And Bob also went to the Oakland Coliseum during the years "the Swingin A's" won three consecutive World Series. And he was some of the legendary Days on the Green rock concerts, seeing The Who and the Grateful Dead.
Growing up in the Bay Area, Melvin said, "Baseball, in my area during those days, was the most important sport. I grew up playing for Frank Bettencourt (the late Menlo-Atherton coach) and Tom Dunton, who were people of experience." Dunton recalled a hectic time in which Melvin played American Legion ball, declined to sign out of high school with Baltimore so he could attend the University of California and play in the 1980 College World Series, then returned to his Menlo Park Legion team that reached the World Series.
"We were playing baseball that was serious and always lit a competitive fire," Melvin recalled. Just as memorable was that Melvin hit seven home runs in five games at the California State American Legion Tournament in Yountville, a small town in Northern California's wine country. Sweet Potato Joe, a sponsor of the tournament, gave 50 pounds of its namesake vegetable and two liters of soda to a player who hit a home run. "They ended up delivering 350 pounds of sweet potatoes to my house a month later," Melvin said. "I ended up giving them to charity and the church."
Bob played all sports, especially football, basketball and baseball. ''Bobby was such a great athlete and such a smart kid, he could have done just about anything he wanted to do," said childhood friend John Morris, now a real estate titan and movie producer in Los Angeles. ''He could have been played college basketball; and was so good at golf, he could have turned pro someday."
- January 1981: Bob was the Tigers' first round pick in the secondary phase of the draft, out of the University of California.
- January 1989: Bob was traded to the Orioles for C Terry Kennedy.
- December 1991: The Royals dealt P Storm Davis to the Orioles to acquire Bob.
- December 14, 1992: Bob signed a two-year, $1.3 million contract with the Red Sox.
- 1994: The Red Sox waived Melvin just before the season.
- April 26, 1994: Bob signed a Triple-A contract with the Yankees.
- July 22, 1994: The Angels claimed Bob when the Yankees put him on waivers. The very next day, the Angels traded Melvin to the White Sox for P Jeff Schwarz.
- October 1994: The White Sox didn't offer Bob salary arbitration for the 1995 season, making him a free agent.
May 3, 1995: Melvin signed a minor league contract with the Yankees. Later that month, Bob left Columbus, telling team officials he was having difficulty throwing the ball. So Melvin retired after playing 10 seasons in the Majors, mostly as a backup, hitting .233 with 35 home runs.
- Bob and his wife, Kelly, have a daughter, Alexi, who graduated from the prestigious Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York.
He met his wife, Kelly, through a friend, when he was playing in the minors. "The minute I saw her, I knew she was the right one," Melvin said several years later.
They have one child, Alexi, born in 1989. Bob was there for the birth. "I almost passed out," he said. "It's the only time I ever felt a little wobbly."
Bob and Kelley's daughter, Alexi, is an aspiring actress. Before turning 16, she had won acclaim for her work in independent films such as Malediction and After the End of it All.
Alexi was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes in 2003, but life has been good with the Melvins, who are about as close as a family can get. When Bob had a rough road trip or a pitiful homestand with the Mariners, Kelley and Alexi would fly into Seattle from their East Valley home to spend time with Dad.
''There were times," Bob said, ''when I'd open the door and there they were sitting on the stairs waiting for me. Talk about being in as bad of a mood I could be in to being in as good of a mood I could be in. They're the best and I don't know what I would do without them." (Bob McManaman-Arizona Republic-12/24/04)
- Bob's favorite food is chicken. He also eats Power Bars. He likes dogs, the color blue, "Cheers" on TV, actor Michael Douglas, actress Melanie Griffith, Led Zeppelin, the San Francisco 49ers, and the movie "Wall Street."
- As a kid, the Dodgers were Melvin's favorite team.
- He likes playing golf in his spare time.
- For heroes, Bob says Ted Williams, Jimmy Page, and Ronald Reagan.
- He says if he could be anyone else for a day, it would be David Letterman. If he could meet anyone famous, it would have been Ronald Reagan.
- Bob is an excellent golfer.
- In June 2004, prior to Mariners visit to Pittsburgh for an interleague series, Bob noticed the flowing blond hair protruding from Craig Wilson's batting helmet. Outfielder Ruben Mateo happened to be near the batting cage at the same time. One comment led to another and before you knew it, Melvin and Mateo had agreed to dye their hair if the Mariners swept the three-game series. Get out the brooms!
So, Melvin went to the Four Seasons Hotel near Dallas to fulfill his part of the bargain and Mateo went to another local salon. There were little streaks of blond in Melvin's hair, while Mateo's was mostly red.
"If you had seen the production I went through, you would think it would be more dramatic than this," Melvin said. "It was an expensive deal, and I spent a lot more time in a beauty salon on my off day than I wanted to."
Melvin wears uniform number 3 because of Astros manager Phil Garner, who, as the Brewers' manager in the mid-1990s, gave Melvin his start to his post-playing career.
"I made a phone call to him, and he got me a job scouting," Melvin said. Later, Bob would become Garner's bench coach. "He's a man I admire a lot and have learned a lot from him."
Bob's cousin, Tom Melvin, has been a tight ends coach for the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs.
Melvin has the respect of his peers, of his players, and the media. What really underscores Melvin's strength in the dugout, however, is he has the respect of the A's front office, too. That's 4-for-4.
That's no easy task. Not in Oakland, where Melvin's three predecessors found it a challenge. Think about it. Art Howe was let go after the 2002 season despite three consecutive postseason appearances and 296 regular-season wins from 2000-2002.
Ken Macha was on the job for four years before he was let go after taking the A's to the ALCS in 2006. That was the second postseason appearance during his tenure, in which the A's won 368 regular-season games.
And Bob Geren, a childhood friend of general manager Billy Beane, was replaced after 63 games in 2011, having been unable to put together a winning season in his four-plus years on the job.
Enter Melvin. After getting a feel for things in the final 99 games of 2011, he took the A's to back-to-back AL West titles in 2012-13. He has them back on top of the division again in 2014 at a pace that would have them reach 100 wins in a season for the 11th time in the franchise's 114-year history.
Melvin gets it. "He represents the next generation of manager," said Beane. "You can't have a more perfect guy. He has that ability to be well-liked by the players, but also respected. That's a fine line.
"He's up to speed with the front office and embraces the information he is given. He is hungry for information to stay up on everything. But again, there's a fine line. He'll ask questions. He'll challenge ideas.
"And he can [give and take] with the media. From a general manager's standpoint, he always represents the organization well without being transparent. The manager talks to the media and fans on a daily basis. He is the face of the organization over the course of a season. It's important that a guy handle that." (Ringolsby - mlb.com - 7/21/14)
Melvin's third time as a manager has been charming.
He made his managerial debut in Seattle. He was hired in Arizona by GM Joe Garagiola Jr. in 2005, and he took the D-backs to a National League West title in 2007. After only 29 games in 2009, he was then dismissed by Josh Byrnes—who replaced Garagiola as GM in 2005. Farm director A.J. Hinch, who had never managed at any level in pro ball, was then handed the managerial reins.
Two years later, Melvin was hired in Oakland, and he's earned "straight A's" ever since. "He has a unique background," Beane said of Melvin, a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. "He played for a long time, and when he stopped playing, he worked on Wall Street before getting back into the game."
During his playing career, Melvin had a variety of personalities for a manager—Sparky Anderson in Detroit, Roger Craig in San Francisco, Frank Robinson and Johnny Oates in Baltimore, Hal McRae in Kansas City, Butch Hobson in Boston, Buck Showalter with the Yankees, and Gene Lamont with the White Sox.
Melvin has been able to build off the strengths of each while developing his own managerial style, which makes him a fit in Oakland, where others weren't.
"As an organization, we are always challenging each other," said Beane. "I want people to express themselves and voice their say. We talk about lineups and matchups, and players and changes. Those conversations happen all the time. Obviously, we have a strict philosophy, but there are no absolutes. It's one thing to have a template on how to run a game, but stuff happens."
And it's not an autocratic process. "He's able to negotiate at times," said Beane. "I provide an ally for him and remind [front-office personnel] that on the field the game is really fast, and adjustments have to be made on the run. He does a good job with that."
Besides, it's not like there is someone looking over Melvin's shoulder. "He gets a lot of autonomy," said Beane. "We're not a front office that is always in the clubhouse. We are not a front office that travels with the team. Bob and I talk every day, but never after a game. I've learned that over the years. I'll call the next morning, win or lose."
With Melvin, that has most often been after a win. (Ringolsby - mlb.com - 7/21/14)
- Bob is quiet, thoughtful and overstated.
Melvin grew up in Palo Alto, was a catcher for the Giants for 3 of his 10 Major League seasons, so he has seen the hometown experience as a player and as a manager with the Oakland A's.
He feels at home, and he feels fortunate to lead the team. Bob lives year-round on the Oakland/Berkeley border above College Avenue. His commute from home to the Coliseum takes all of 15 minutes. (April, 2017)
Melvin became an investor in The Wolf, a restaurant on Oakland's Piedmont Avenue. It fills the space formerly occupied by the longtime fine dining destination: Bay Wolf.
Bob says that fine dining has become one of his favorite hobbies away from the ballpark.
"(My experience as a foodie) started when I lived in New York City for six years. We're in SoHo, where you don't even have to get into a cab to go to a great restaurant," Bob said.
"The Wolf's owners, Rich and Rebekah wood, own Wood Tavern and Southie in Oakland. They have done an incredible job with both places. They live here as well, and they are just great. It's easy to want to be involved when people like them are running the show." (Pete Crooks - Athletics Magazine - April 2017)
May 28, 2021: With win No. 798 as the A's skipper, Bob tied Tony La Russa for the most managerial wins in Oakland history.
June 1, 2021: The late-inning comeback has been a signature trait of the A’s since Bob Melvin took over as manager in 2011. So it’s only fitting that the historic win to move him to the top of Oakland’s managerial rankings came in such a fashion.
The win was Melvin’s 799th as manager of the A’s, surpassing Tony La Russa for most managerial wins in Oakland history.
Oct 29, 2021: And just like that—seemingly out of nowhere—Bob Melvin is set to become the next manager of the San Diego Padres.
After their disappointing 2021 season, the Padres set out in search of a manager who could bring the best out of a talented roster. They believe they got their man. Here are four reasons Melvin could be a perfect fit in San Diego:
1. Gets the most out of his talent. Melvin reached the postseason in 6 of his 10 full seasons with the A’s, even with payroll limitations and constant roster turnover.
The Padres went 79-83 a season ago, with a roster that projected as much better than that and a payroll that towers over what Melvin worked with in Oakland.
Here's what A’s vice president Billy Beane had to say when the team exercised Melvin's contract option for 2021 (before they granted Melvin permission to interview with the Padres):
"Bob, arguably, has been the most successful manager we've had here, especially when you consider the challenges that he's had," Beane said. "He's had a roster that has turned over multiple times since he's been here. He has one of the lower payrolls to deal with. From a professional and personal relationship, this tenure speaks for itself."
Sure, Melvin managed some very good A's teams. But the array of talent in San Diego is on par with any group he had in Oakland—beginning with Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado and Jake Cronenworth, along with a star-laden pitching staff.
2. A needed steady hand. Consider how the past two managerial tenures ended in San Diego. The Padres were lingering on the fringes of contention at the All-Star break under Andy Green in 2019, before collapsing in the second half. With a more talented roster in 2021, they were comfortably in playoff position when some injuries hit and the front office did not provide reinforcements. A similar collapse ensued, and Jayce Tingler was ousted. It's a bit unfair on those two first-time managers to assign full blame for the poor performance of their players down the stretch. But it's also worth wondering whether a manager with experience weathering storms might've been able to weather those particular storms.
Melvin is nothing if not steady-handed. He's almost always found a way to right the ship. That's perhaps the result of the clubhouse environment he is renowned for cultivating. His former players rave about his ability to keep things even-keel without ever being an overbearing presence in the clubhouse.
3. A blend of old school and new school. "There's a reason the A's always end up in October," Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said on the final day of August. "And that starts with the stability with Bob Melvin. I mean, I love him. I've worked with him before. He's terrific, and a challenge to manage against. The team plays with a good chip on their shoulder, and they're winners. They know how to play the game. They don't make a ton of mistakes."
Hinch would know. He worked with Melvin in Arizona, then managed against him regularly in the American League West with Houston.
Perhaps Melvin's best attribute is his ability to adapt. He's changed his style when necessary, and it clearly resonates with his players. Melvin has old-school roots, yet is receptive to new-school ideas, having worked in an analytically driven organization like Oakland for the past 11 years. Perhaps most important, Melvin is an expert in getting buy-in from his players on that front.
4. He's just ... different. This one isn't so much about Melvin as the way things were in San Diego. The Padres were dreadful in August and September. Their season went off the rails with an 18-36 finish.
Still, this is a major change. Melvin stands in stark contrast to president of baseball operations and GM A.J. Preller's first two managerial hires. Melvin is a proven skipper.
And suddenly, with one hire, the stench of August and September is lessened significantly. Sure, there will be questions surrounding the Padres' roster construction and their pitching depth. They still need to fill out a coaching staff, too.
But the arrival of Melvin is nothing short of a coup for the Padres. (AJ Cassavell - MLB.com - Oct 29, 2021)
May 11, 2022: Padres manager Bob Melvin underwent successful prostate surgery and is expected to make a full recovery, the team announced. Melvin underwent the surgery at UC San Diego Health.
While he recovers, Melvin is expected to miss at least a portion of the Padres' forthcoming nine-game road trip.
The veteran manager spoke with media on Tuesday prior to the operation, expressing a desire to return potentially as soon as the Padres' series in San Francisco beginning on May 20. Melvin acknowledged, however, that the likelier outcome is that he will be back in the manager's chair for the start of the team’s next homestand on May 23.
Melvin began experiencing symptoms, and he missed the Padres' game that night against the Marlins. Bench coach Ryan Christenson took over in his absence and is expected to handle managerial duties for as long as Melvin is out. (AJ Cassavell - MLB.com - May 11, 2022)
- June 11-22: Melvin was on the Covid protocol list. Melvin said he's been asymptomatic for the past nine days, but he continued to test positive, delaying his return to the team. He had multiple flights booked to re-join the team on the road -- but he had to cancel all of them.
|Birth City:||Palo Alto, CA|
|Draft:||Tigers #1 (secondary) - Jan 1981 - Out of Univ. of Calif.|
PLAYING CAREER NOTES
- You couldn't expect lusty hitting from Bob like he did in 1992 (.314) every year. But he was a fine backup catcher who provided a little hitting and is a good guy to have on a team.
- He liked the ball high in the strike zone, went with the pitch and pulled it, but didn't produce many homers. He had trouble pulling the trigger on off-speed pitches from righty pitchers and was vulnerable to fastballs and sliders on his fists.
- His discipline and strike-zone knowledge improved over the years. When Bob first came on the Big League scene, he had one of the weakest swings in the game. But he worked out on a weight program, improved his upper body strength (especially before the 1991 season), and became a decent offensive threat. He now realizes he's not a power hitter and passes up the pitches he can't handle, staying within himself.
Bob was a good clutch hitter with men on base or in scoring position.
In 1993, Melvin almost joined John Kruk, Mickey Mantle, U.L. Washington, and Herm Winningham as the only players since 1920 to avoid getting hit by a pitch in their first 2,000 trips to the plate. On trip number 1,911, Bob was nailed by Oakland reliever Edwin Nunez. In what proved to be an omen, Melvin was drilled the day before in batting practice by Red Sox manager Butch Hobson. After being hit in the real game the next day, the dejected Melvin said, "I was hoping this streak would be like Lou Gehrig's and only end of my own volition."
- Melvin was a conservative runner. He had more speed than most catchers, but was still smart enough not to run into an out.
- His arm strength and release time both were above average. He did have a couple of mechanical flaws: a tendency to rise straight up from his crouch before he released the ball, rather than moving out at an angle to accept the pitch. It is a time-consuming extra step that can make the difference between a stolen base and an out. He also rotated his glove 180 degrees just prior to the pitcher's release. That habit can disturb the concentration of some pitchers.
But he was known for his good defense. In 1989, he allowed the fewest passed balls and wild pitches in the Majors because of his excellent ability to block balls in the dirt. Melvin called a good game, was always in the game and worked well with a pitching staff. He was an intelligent receiver.
Bob didn't mind being a backup catcher. "I know that most years I'm going to get between 250 and 300 at-bats," Melvin said, "and I've learned to deal with that. When you're only playing a couple of times a week, the highs and lows are much greater. I've learned to tell myself not to get down just because of one tough game."
Melvin has a commanding presence. He is someone who paid attention to the game when he wasn't playing, being a second-string catcher. He is intelligent, self-assured and a dynamic baseball man.
- He never played more than 93 games in a season, but like most future managers, he listened and gleaned and stole from the managers for whom he's played and from the players who were his teammates.
He learned, from Roger Craig in San Francisco, to watch the game like a manager. There are parts of Bob Brenly's down-home, country-style charm in Melvin, and a lot of the same baseball sense. But Melvin picked up qualities and quirks from other various former managers and friends, from Sparky Anderson in Detroit, to Craig in San Francisco, to Frank Robinson in Baltimore.
Frank Robinson taught him toughness in Baltimore.
"He was really good for me," Melvin said. "He was a guy that, from my standpoint, you were a little intimidated by. I think he knew that. At one point, he pressed me a little bit to actually go into his office and confront him about a situation. When I finally did go in there and confront him, I saw a big grin on his face. It was almost like he'd been trying to get me to do this, and now he finally got me to the point where I felt good enough to go in there and confront a manager. He was great for me.
"I will take a lot of Frank Robinson and use it as far as my managing style goes," Bob said. "He wasn't afraid to confront players, and he wasn't afraid to let them have their piece. There's some give and take in that area, and I expect to do some of that."
- Bob doesn't have a lot of rules and regulations. "I'm not a big rules guy," Melvin said. "Be on time. Play hard. And understand the team concept. That's about it."
- Melvin is famous for his superstitious ways, which have affected what he eats, how he drives to the ballpark and what pens he uses on the lineup card. In April 2004, his second season as manager, he said he was determined to break himself of some habits.
"I probably won't be as superstitious this year," he said. "I drove myself crazy with that stuff last year. Seeing as we won 93 games and still didn't make the playoffs, I won't do that as much. It's just something to occupy your mind."
Some scouts question whether Melvin is too laid-back, showing little emotion and rarely starting runners. But Mariners GM Bill Bavasi objected to that criticism, saying that many scouts don't understand the nature of managing.
Mariners pitching coach Bryan Price, who also served in that capacity in Seattle under Melvin, said his former boss is deeper and more complex than most people realize.
''This laid-back attitude they talk about with Bob, to me, is something more invented than anything else," Price said. ''A lot of that came because Bob followed Lou (Piniella) and the feeling was the organization wanted to find somebody who wouldn't be so cantankerous and problematic, especially around the trading deadline.
''Bob was more or less labeled early on that he was the anti-Lou with an opposite personality. But there's only one personality quite like Lou. In Bob's case, he's just different. But he's a great communicator, he's had strong relationships with his players, and he always had his finger on the pulse of the guys on the team. He made everybody feel like they were contributing, even when we were losing."
The Mariners went 93-69 in Melvin's first season with Seattle but missed the playoffs. In 2004, with an older club that didn't get any additional help or extra pop in the lineup, the Mariners tumbled to a 99-loss season. Melvin was fired, but Mariners officials were quick to put in a call to Diamondbacks GM Joe Garagiola Jr. recommending Melvin for Arizona's managerial opening at the time. (Bob McManaman-Arizona Republic-12/24/04)
Melvin is knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and well-organized. He is also highly competitive. Bob calls himself a Type-A personality, a man who sometimes ''can be a bit too controlling" and always wants everything in its place and to run smoothly, without surprise. He can also be too honest and up-front, however.
It is hard to blend veteran players with young guys just up from the minors, but Bob seems to do it better than about any manager in the game.
Melvin says he has taken something from all the managers he worked under. Johnny Oates and Buck Showalter always made sure players knew when they were playing as far ahead of time as possible. From Roger Craig, Melvin learned not only the value of keeping his spirits up, but the importance of communicating with every man on the roster.
"Roger communicated more than any other manager I've been around," Bob says. "It's easy to get through to the everyday players, but for the guys on the bench, you need to get them into games where they have an opportunity to do well.
"Being a catcher, especially with someone like Roger Craig, you were forced to watch a game like a manager," Melvin explained. "He made you think along with him."
Melvin's players say their manager's calm demeanor is a huge asset.
"I love the way he shows no emotion—negative or positive. He's so steady," Steven Vogt says. "There is none of the bipolar-ness that you can get from coaches in sports. He is going to do whatever he can to put you in a position to succeed. He is the model of consistency. That is something that a lot of young players need.
"He is a perfect fit for Oakland because he understands where every player is."
Vogt also connects to his manager from his perspective as a catcher.
"Playing for Bob has been great, especially as a catcher," Vogt says. "He's shown me the way to manage a game and to call a game. My overall attitude and the leadership that I bring to the game are trying to exude what I have seen from him on the field."
Melvin says it's not a tremendous surprise that Vogt connects with Melvin's managerial style, due to the catcher connection.
"Catchers are forced to watch the game the way managers do," Bob says. "Almost every pitch there is a communication between you and the manager—whether he wants you to throw over, whether he wants you to pitch out. There is that sign language throughout the entire game."
Ironically, Melvin says he never considered being a Major League manager until late in his playing career, when a legendary backstop planted the idea.
"It wasn't until I was in Baltimore in 1991, and I asked my manager, Johnny Oates, a question," Melvin recalls. "Oates told me, 'I'm going to tell you the same thing Walter Alston told me: 'You watch the game the right way; you're fairly cerebral in how you do it, and I think you may have a future in managing or coaching.' That was the first time it was put on me." (Pete Crooks - Athletics Magazine - April 2017)
July 7, 2017: Bob became the third manager to win 500 games in Oakland, joining Tony La Russa (798) and Art Howe (600), as the A's downed the Mariners, 7-4, at Safeco Field.
In 2018, Melvin won the AL Manager of the Year with the A's.
The A’s finished the regular season 97-65 to earn the second AL wild card despite losing nearly all their Opening Day starting pitchers to injuries. Melvin and his staff guided an ever-changing roster through continual obstacles.
“Bob is the most prepared person I’ve ever seen on a baseball field,” pitching coach Scott Emerson said. “He puts all the players in the best position to have success in every game. He knows what they are doing. He knows what they have done. He knows the game innings before it happens. He’s very good at reading the analytics and reading the best match-ups of what a player can do to help us win a ballgame. He has counter moves before the other manager makes his counter moves.”
Even with the season seemingly falling apart around him, Melvin never showed fear.
“You’re going to have stretches during the season when things don’t go your way,” all-star second baseman Jed Lowrie said. “I don’t think it was a matter of doing anything. He continued to focus on the things we needed to do to get better. He has a very calming presence. That allows the players to have a little leeway. If you play poorly one game, he’s not going to come in and blow up the clubhouse and tell everybody how bad they are. He has good timing on when to do something and when not to do it.”
Melvin said he usually airs out his teams about twice a year, but this year there was no reason to do so. They played hard and battled through the entire season as the young players continued to mature and improve.
The season ended with a Wild Card playoff loss to the Yankees, when Melvin tried to use relievers to pitch the game. Desperate times, desperate measures.
“He does a good job keeping a finger on the pulse of the clubhouse,” Lowrie said. “There’s still something to be said about a manager being able to have a feel for the clubhouse and let guys be themselves, while demanding a lot from them, especially in the age of analytics. He allows for that freedom. He allows guys to be themselves but has a high standard. He expects guys to be professional, but he allows them to have a personality. It isn’t as strict as other clubhouses I’ve been in.” (Casey Terfertiller - Baseball America - 12/21/2018)
What was most striking about Melvin’s 2018 season was that he ran the operation so differently than he did in his previous winning seasons with the A’s from 2012 to 2014. In those years, he relied on continuous platooning to build an offense where the whole was better than the individual parts. This year, he had more of a set lineup built around power.
“I’ve gotten that question over the years. What kind of manager are you? Do you like power hitting teams? Do you like to run? Do you like to force the issue?” Melvin said after the season had concluded. “It’s based on the personnel you have. So it is my job to adjust to the group that we have any particular year.”
And that may be the key to Melvin’s success. The players buy into his program.
“Bob is a great communicator with guys,” Emerson said. “I think the team bought into the idea that winning the game is the most important analytic. We don’t play for numbers. We don’t play for the analytics. We play to win the game.”
And that is what makes Melvin excel. He adapts to a situation, then convinces the players to embrace what is needed to succeed. It is not so much about analytics as it is about leadership, and Melvin is a leader for all situations. (Casey Tefertiller - Baseball America - 12/21/2018)
POST-PLAYING CAREER POSITIONS
1997 and 1998: Bob began his coaching career with the Brewers' organization as a minor league instructor.
- 1999: He joined the Brewers staff as Bench Coach, but was let go when Phil Garner was let go as manager.
2000: Melvin went to the Tigers, as Bench Coach when Phil Garner became Detroit's manager.
2001: Bob went to the Diamondbacks as Bench Coach under Bob Brenley. "The decision came down to family," Melvin said of leaving Detroit. He lives only 25 miles from Bank One Ballpark in Phoenix.
November 15, 2002: Bob was named manager of the Mariners, replacing Lou Piniella.
When the Mariners won their 50th game of the season June 26, 2003, manager Bob Melvin became the fastest to 50 among current MLB managers, getting there in 75 games. His former boss, Bob Brenly of the Diamondbacks, and Grady Little of the Red Sox each needed 81 games of the 2001 and 2002 seasons to notch his 50th win.
And Melvin became only the 18th skipper in MLB history to manage his team to at least 93 wins in his rookie season as a manager, as the Mariners went 93-79.
May 5, 2004: The Mariners picked up the $650,000 option for the 2005 season on Melvin's contract.
But on October 4, 2004, the day after the season ended, the Mariners fired Melvin. The Mariners ranked last in the American League in runs scored (857), RBI (658) and home runs (136). Injuries in the bullpen, most notably to Rafael Soriano, didn't help. For the season, the M's were 63-99, barely avoiding their first 100-loss season since 1983.
In the final analysis, Melvin got caught in a change of cycles for the Mariners. Longtime standouts (like John Olerud, Freddy Garcia, Ben Davis, and Mike Myers) were not productive, and after a decade of success, there was not much help from players developed within the farm system. Rather than accept the decline, Mariners officials chose to bring in veterans for the 2004 season.
November 5, 2004: The Diamondbacks named Melvin as manager. The Mariners paid the majority of Bob's $675,000 salary in 2005, and the Diamondbacks agreed to a $750,000 contract for Melvin in 2006.
In 2007, Melvin was the NL Manager of the Year. The award was voted on by Melvin's fellow NL managers.
"Obviously, because of the fact that it's voted on by the managers, it's an honor, but for me it ends up being a group award," said Melvin, who led the D-backs to a 90-72 record and the NL West title.
In 2007, the Baseball Writers of America concurred, naming Melvin the NL Manager of the Year. Melvin was chosen on 19 of the 30 first-place ballots and got 119 points. Philadelphia's Charlie Manuel (76), Colorado's Clint Hurdle (58) and the Cubs' Lou Piniella (25) followed.
December 17, 2007: Melvin and the Diamondbacks agreed on a contract extension through the 2010 season.
May 7, 2009: The Diamondbacks fired Doug as their manager, due to a deteriorating relationship between Melvin and GM Josh Byrnes, who had given Melvin a three-year extension after Melvin guided the team to the NLCS in 2007.
July 2, 2009: Melvin joined the Padres organization as a talent evaluator, focusing mostly on their minor league system.
February 12, 2010: Bob joined the Mets organization as a pro scout.
May 17, 2011: Melvin moved to the Diamondbacks' organization as a special baseball advisor.
June 9, 2011: The A's hired Melvin as interim manager for the rest of the 2011 season, replacing Bob Geren as Oakland skipper. The team was in a nine-game losing streak and was 27-36 for the season.
But on September 20, 2011, Bob officially shed the "interim" tag and signed a three-year contract with the A's through at least the 2014 season.
In 2012, Melvin was the AL Manager of the Year, winning 94 games. The A's went to Game 5 of the AL Division Series before losing to the Tigers.
January 14, 2013: Bob received a two-year contract extension by the A's, which takes him through the 2016 season.
September 29, 2017: Bob has agreed to stay with the club through 2019 on a one-year extension. Melvin's contract was set to expire after 2018, but his new deal keeps him in place alongside executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane and general manager David Forst for at least two more seasons. Beane and Forst's contracts also run through 2019.
In 2018, Melvin, who led the upstart A's on an improbable run to the postseason, was named AL Manager of the Year by The Sporting News.
In 2018, Melvin was named AL Manager of the Year, taking home the celebrated Baseball Writers' Association of America Award for the third time in his career.
Only seven other managers have claimed it as many times since its inception in 1983: Dusty Baker, Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa, Jim Leyland, Joe Maddon, Lou Piniella and Buck Showalter.
Oct 29, 2018: On the heels of a surprisingly successful season, the A's announced that they reached agreement on long-term extensions with manager Bob Melvin.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Melvin's deal will run through 2021 and is valued at $3.5 million per season, which would make him one of the top five best-paid managers.
June 15, 2021: The A's announced that the club option on Melvin's contract for 2022 has been exercised, keeping the skipper on board for what would be his 12th season with Oakland. The move comes just two days after Melvin became the 35th manager in MLB history to reach 1,300 wins.
"I don't think there was any doubt about the conclusion of this option," A's executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane said. "When we got a chance to sit down, this seemed like the right time. With a guy like Bob and as much as he's accomplished, it's always a day late, because his accomplishments far exceed everything else. Had we done it earlier, it still would have been later than it should have been."
- Oct. 28, 2021: The Padres hired Bob Melvin away from the A's as their new manager. He replaced Jayce Tingler, who was fired.
June 1994: Melvin was on the D.L. with a stiff neck.
2000: A severe inner-ear infection caused Melvin to miss several games. He didn't get over it completely until November.
May 6, 2003: Melvin was supposed to have bone spurs and chips removed from his elbow in arthroscopic surgery. Dr. Larry Pedegana, the Mariners' orthopedic specialist was to perform the procedure. But at the last moment, Melvin postponed the procedure until after the season.
"I got this overwhelming feeling that it wasn't the right thing to do at the time," Melvin said. "It's tough enough doing this job with two hands, let alone one. With all the writing I do and all that, I just decided to do it at a later date. What it means is the one thing I can't do is throw batting practice, which I like to do."
- February 2, 2004: Bob had the surgery to remove those bone chips from his elbow.