Major League Managers with 27 World Series Titles connected to Puerto Rico’s Winter League (Part XII)

Nineteen Major League managers who once played or managed in the Puerto Rico Winter League (PRWL) or barnstormed in Puerto Rico, led their big league teams to a combined 27 World Series crowns,  from José Méndez, who led the 1924 Kansas City Monarchs to the first Negro World Series (aka 1924 Colored World Series) title, to Bruce Bochy, who managed the San Francisco Giants to 2010, 2012, and 2014 titles, plus the 2023 Texas Rangers to their first World Series title. Part XI covered Alex Cora (2018 Red Sox), Dave Martínez (2019 Nationals), and Dave Roberts (2020 Dodgers), who once played in the PRWL. Cora and Roberts were 1999-2000 Caguas teammates. Part XII concludes with Dusty Baker (2022 Houston Astros), and Bochy, four-time World Series (WS)-winning manager. Baker (2,183) and Bochy (2,093) ranked seventh and tenth, respectively, in all-time regular season-managing wins by big-league skippers. Table I highlights the Top 33 skippers by most regular season wins.

Table I: Most Major League Managing Wins, Pennants, and World Series Won

ManagerW-LPCTYears/Pennants/WS WonPost-Season
Connie Mack3731-3948.48653 years, 9/524-19, .558
Tony La Russa2884-2449.53635 years, 6/371-61, .538
John McGraw2763-1948.58633 years, 10/326-28, .481
Bobby Cox2504-2001.55629 years, 5/167-69, .493
Joe Torre2306-1997.53829 years, 6/484-58, .592
Sparky Anderson#2194-1834.54526 years, 5/334-21, .618
Dusty Baker#2183-1862.54026 years, 3/157-51, .528
Bucky Harris^2158-2219.49329 years, 3/211-10, .524
Joe McCarthy2125-1333.61524 years, 9/730-13, .698
Bruce Bochy#2093-2101.49926 years, 5/457-37, .606
Walter Alston2040-1613.55823 years, 7/423-21, .523
Leo Durocher>2008-1709.54024 years, 3/17-8, .467
Terry Francona#1950-1672.53823 years, 3/244-34, .564
Casey Stengel1905-1842.50825 years, 10/737-26, .587
Gene Mauch<1902-2037.48326 years5-7, .417
Bill McKechnie1896-1723.52425 years, 4/28-14, .364
Lou Piniella1815-1713.51723 years, 1/123-27, .460
Jim Leyland1769-1728.50622 years, 3/144-40, .524
Buck Showalter1727-1665.50922 years10-16, .385
Mike Scioscia1650-1428.53619 years, 1/121-27, .438
Ralph Houk#1619-1531.51420 years, 3/28-8, .500
Fred Clarke1602-1181.57619 years, 4/17-8, .467
Tom Lasorda#1599-1439.52620 years, 4/231-30, .508
Dick Williams1571-1451.52021 years, 4/221-23, .477
Bob Melvin1517-1425.51620 years16-23, .410
Clark Griffith1491-1367.52220 years 
Earl Weaver#1480-1060.58317 years, 4/126-20, .565
Miller Huggins1413-1134.55517 years, 6/318-15, .545
Al López1410-1004.58417 years, 2/02-8, .200
Jimmy Dykes1406-1541.47721 years 
Wilbert Robinson1399-1398.50019 years, 2/03-9, .250
Joe Maddon1382-1216.53219 years, 2/132-35, .478
Davey Johnson#1372-1061.56217 years, 1/18-4, .667

#Managed or played in PRWL. Managed five 1947 spring training games in Puerto Rico.

> Managed 1948 pre-season game in Puerto Rico. <Played for 1952-53 Caguas Criollos.

Source: Baseball Reference.

Dusty Baker: Atlanta Braves to Santurce Crabbers

Johnnie B. (Dusty) Baker Jr. was born in Riverside, California, on June 15, 1949. His SABR bio by Thomas J. Brown chronicled his life and career through 2022.  He was drafted by Atlanta in 1967 and made it to the majors at age 19. Orlando Cepeda was his Atlanta 1969-1972 teammate, and the key reason Baker played center field for the 1971-72 Santurce Crabbers, after 98 AB in parts of 1968-1971, with Atlanta. Santurce, in 1971-72, was managed by Rubén Gómez, Cepeda’s long-time Crabbers teammate plus a 1958 San Francisco Giants teammate. Cepeda encouraged Stateside teammates to play winter ball, including Dick Hughes (1966-67) and Baker (1971-72).

Third-place Santurce (34-33) lost their semi-final series to Ponce, four games to one. Ponce’s Daryl Patterson remembered defeating Santurce twice in the playoffs, in relief and starter. “I didn’t have problems with [Don] Baylor and Baker,” said Patterson. “[Pat] Corrales knew exactly how to pitch to them…move in and out and would make you throw the ball there.”

Baylor had a .273 BA, four homers, and 20 RBIs. He tied Ponce’s Bernie Carbo for fourth place in runs scored (35), behind San Juan’s Richard Zisk (39), Santurce’s Don Baylor (37), and San Juan’s Jimmy Rosario (36). Baylor’s .324 BA was a league-best. Santurce’s Rogelio “Roger” Moret was the loop’s top pitcher—14-1, 89 strikeouts in 129.1 innings, and a 1.81 ERA. Caguas’s John Strohmayer deprived Moret of the pitching Triple Crown with a 1.71 ERA. “Moret, Baylor, and Baker were key to our success,” recalled Rubén Gómez. “Baylor and Baker were imports who took it seriously all season. Moret and I bonded—we both grew up in the municipality of Guayama…”

From 1972-1975 Baker patrolled center field for Atlanta. He had a team-best .321 BA in 1972 for skippers Lum Harris and Eddie Mathews. Baker’s .321/.383/.504 slash line, and .888 OPS compared favorably to teammate Hank Aaron’s .265/.390/.514, and .904 OPS. Most of Atlanta’s 1972 line-up had played, were playing, or would play winter ball: catcher Earl Williams (Caguas), first baseman Aaron (Caguas, 1953-54), second baseman Félix Millán (Caguas), third baseman Darrell Evans (Bayamón, 1974-75), left-fielder Ralph Garr—3x batting champ with Estrellas Orientales, LIDOM, 1969-70 to 1971-72. Mike Lum (Águilas Cibaeñas and Licey, 1967-68) and Rico Carty—who played for LIDOM teams, 1959-60 to 1979-80—were others. Atlanta starter Phil Niekro pitched for Arecibo (1961-62) and Mayagüez (1963-64), plus the 1966-67 Estrellas Orientales.

Dusty Baker: La Guaira Sharks to Los Angeles Dodgers

Baker’s second winter ball experience was with the 1974-75 La Guaira Sharks in Venezuela, a competitive Winter League. His .223 BA, 23 runs, seven doubles, two triples, five homers, and 30 RBIs were sub-par but the competition was terrific—champion Aragua Tigers had Phil Garner, David Concepción, and many other stars. Runner-up Magallanes Navigators featured Dave “The Cobra” Parker, who led the loop in triples (6), homers (8), and RBIs (50). Don Baylor was Magallanes’s left-fielder! Coincidentally, Ronald Acuña is currently playing for the 2023-24 La Guaira Sharks.

Baker was traded to the Dodgers after the 1975 NL season. With Los Angeles, he posted a .281 BA with 144 homers and 586 RBIs in eight seasons. Post-season, he had a .282 BA, five homers, and 21 RBIs, in 40 games. He and teammate Glenn Burke—the first openly gay big leaguer—were “High Five” pioneers after Baker hit his 30th homer in the 1977 finale, on October 2. Burke ran onto the field to congratulate his teammate; and raised his hand over his head as Baker jogged home from third. Baker instinctively slapped it—genesis of the “High Five.” Baker was MVP, in the 1977 NLCS versus the Phillies, with a .357/.438/.857 slash line, and 1.295 OPS. He won a 1981 Gold Glove and had a .320 BA. From 1984-1986 he played for San Francisco and Oakland. His big-league career reflected a .278 BA, 242 homers, and 1,013 RBIs. He was a 2x NL All-Star and 2x Silver Slugger winner.

During one off-season, in the early 1980s, Baker flew to Puerto Rico to participate in baseball clinics with Orlando Cepeda, his friend.

A Top-Notch Big League Manager

After four years as San Francisco’s batting coach, 1989-1992, he managed the Giants for a full decade, 1993-2002. His 103 wins in 1993 placed him in a select group of big-league rookie skippers with over 100 wins. Baker finally earned a World Series title as manager of the 2022 Houston Astros (106-56). On July 11, 2023, he managed the AL Team versus the NL Team in the Major League All-Star Game. The NL won it, 3-2, at Seattle’s T-Mobile Park. Ken Griffey Jr. and Edgar Martínez threw out ceremonial first pitches. Table II summarizes his managing record. Baker never managed a minor-league club.

Table II: Dusty Baker’s Managing Record

Totals 26 years2183-1862.540
1997NLDSvs. FL0-3.000
2000NLDSvs. NYM1-3.250
2002NLDSvs. ATL3-2.600
2002NLCSvs. SLC4-1.800
2002WSvs. ANA3-4.429
2003NLDSvs. ATL3-2.600
2003NLCSvs. FL3-4.429
2010NLDSvs. PHI0-3.000
2012NLDSvs. SFG2-3.400
2013NLWCSvs. PIT0-1.000
2016NLDSvs. LAD2-3.400
2017NLDSvs. CHC2-3.400
2020ALWCSvs. MIN2-01.000
2020ALDSvs. OAK3-1.750
2020ALCSvs. TBR3-4.429
2021ALDSvs. CWS3-1.750
2021ALCSvs. BOS4-2.667
2021WSvs. ATL2-4.333
2022ALDSvs. SEA3-01.000
2022ALCSvs. NYY4-01.000
2022WSvs. PHI4-2.667
2023ALDSvs. MIN3-1.750
2023ALCSvs. TEX3-4.429
TotalsPost-Season 57-51.528

Source: Baseball Reference.

Bruce Bochy: From France to 3x Minor League Champion

Bochy was born in Bussac-Foret, France, on April 16, 1955. His father, Sergeant Major Gus Bochy, was stationed there in the U.S. Army. They moved to the Panamá Canal Zone, South Carolina, Virginia, and Melbourne, Florida. Bochy attended Brevard Community College, now Eastern Florida State College, for two years. Houston drafted him,  24th overall, on June 3, 1975, Supplemental Draft.  Bochy, a catcher, had a 10-year big-league playing career with Houston (1978-1980), New York Mets (1981-1982), and San Diego Padres (1983-1987) with a career BA of .239 and 26 homers. Bochy caught Game Four, 1980 NLCS when the Phillies’ Pete Rose ran over him to score the go-ahead run in the tenth. He was behind the plate when Rose got hit number 4,192 versus Eric Show, on September 11, 1985.

Bochy’s four winter seasons included 1980-81 with PRWL Bayamón Cowboys; 1981-82 Lara Cardinals in Venezuela; 1982-83 and 1983-84 La Guaira Sharks. With Bayamón, he had 25 hits in 82 AB, .305 BA, one homer and 14 RBIs. Teammate Dickie Thon, league batting champ (.329), recalled that Houston sent prospects to Bayamón, including Dave Bergman,  Denny Walling, and pitcher Dave Smith. Art Howe managed 1980-81 Bayamón to first place (39-21) but the Cowboys were eliminated by Caguas, four games to one, in the semi-finals. Bochy hit .203 for 1981-82 Lara, followed by a .234 BA in 1982-83 and .271 BA in 1983-84 for La Guaira Sharks. Bochy’s memories included drinking Cerveza Polar, a beer with a white bear on its label.

Jack McKeon, San Diego’s GM in the 1980s and Padres skipper, from 1988-1990, hired Bochy, in 1989, to manage in San Diego’s farm system. Bochy’s minor-league success included:

  • 41-34 record, 1989 Class A Spokane Indians. They won the league playoff versus Southern Oregon, two games to one.
  • 64-78 mark, 1990 Class A Riverside Red Wave.
  • 73-63 record, 1991 Class A High Desert Mavericks, winners of the semi-finals (three games to none, versus Bakersfield) and finals (three games to two over Stockton).
  • 70-66 record, 1992 Class AA Wichita Wranglers, Texas League Champions with victories over El Paso (two games to one), and Shreveport (four games to none).

Over 2,000 Major League Managing Wins for Bochy

Bochy is best known as one of six managers who won at least four World Series events, three with San Francisco, and one with Texas. His NL All-Star Game managing record is 1-2. His Texas Rangers nipped Houston, four games to three, in the 2023 ALCS. Table III chronicles his 26-year MLB managing record.

Table III: Bruce Bochy’s Managing Record

Totals  2093-2101.499
1996NLDSvs. SLC0-3.000
1998NLDSvs. HOU3-1.750
1998NLCSvs. ATL4-2.667
1998WSvs. NYY0-4.000
2005NLDSvs. SLC0-3.000
2006NLDSvs. SLC1-3.250
2010NLDSvs. ATL3-1.750
2010NLCSvs. PHI4-2.667
2010WSvs. TEX4-1.800
2012NLDSvs. CIN3-2.750
2012NLCSvs. SLC4-3.667
2012WSvs. DET4-01.000
2014NLWCvs. PIT1-01.000
2014NLDSvs. WSH3-1.750
2014NLCSvs. SLC4-1.800
2014WSvs. KCR4-3.571
2016NLWCvs. NYM1-0.000
2016NLDSvs. CHC1-3.250
2023ALWCSvs. TBR2-01.000
2023ALDSvs. BAL3-0.600
2023ALCSvs. TEX4-3.333
2023WSvs. ARI4-1.800
 Post-Season 57-37.606
Source: Baseball Reference.                     


Bochy was hired to manage Team France, on December 9, 2019, for the pre-2021 World Baseball Classic (WBC) qualifiers. France’s first game versus Germany, in 2020, and all others, were canceled due to COVID-19. The March 2023 WBC took place when Bochy managed the Texas Rangers spring training games in Arizona.                 

Bochy, in a promotional poster, as manager of France’s National Baseball Team.

Photo credit:

With gratitude to Orlando Cepeda, Rubén Gómez, Daryl Patterson, Luis Rodríguez Mayoral, and Dickie Thon. Jorge Colón Delgado did the editing and photo placements.

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