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Bill Rigney

Bill Rigney

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William Joseph Rigney was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

An infielder is a baseball player stationed at one of four defensive "infield" positions on the baseball field.-Standard arrangement of positions:In a game of baseball, two teams of nine players take turns playing offensive and defensive roles...

 and manager
Manager (baseball)
In baseball, the field manager is an individual who is responsible for matters of team strategy on the field and team leadership. Managers are typically assisted by between one and six assistant coaches, whose responsibilities are specialized...

 in Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

. A native of Alameda, California
Alameda, California
Alameda is a city in Alameda County, California, United States. It is located on Alameda Island and Bay Farm Island, and is adjacent to Oakland in the San Francisco Bay. The Bay Farm Island portion of the city is adjacent to the Oakland International Airport. At the 2010 census, the city had a...

, he batted and threw right-handed.

A 26-season major league veteran, Rigney played for the New York Giants
San Francisco Giants
The San Francisco Giants are a Major League Baseball team based in San Francisco, California, playing in the National League West Division....

 from 1946 through 1953. His most productive season came in 1947, when he collected career-highs in home run
Home run
In baseball, a home run is scored when the ball is hit in such a way that the batter is able to reach home safely in one play without any errors being committed by the defensive team in the process...

s (17), RBI
Run batted in
Runs batted in or RBIs is a statistic used in baseball and softball to credit a batter when the outcome of his at-bat results in a run being scored, except in certain situations such as when an error is made on the play. The first team to track RBI was the Buffalo Bisons.Common nicknames for an RBI...

 (59), runs
Run (baseball)
In baseball, a run is scored when a player advances around first, second and third base and returns safely to home plate, touching the bases in that order, before three outs are recorded and all obligations to reach base safely on batted balls are met or assured...

 (84), hits
Hit (baseball)
In baseball statistics, a hit , also called a base hit, is credited to a batter when the batter safely reaches first base after hitting the ball into fair territory, without the benefit of an error or a fielder's choice....

 (142), doubles
Double (baseball)
In baseball, a double is the act of a batter striking the pitched ball and safely reaching second base without being called out by the umpire, without the benefit of a fielder's misplay or another runner being put out on a fielder's choice....

 (24) and games played
Games played
Games played is a statistic used in team sports to indicate the total number of games in which a player has participated ; the statistic is generally applied irrespective of whatever portion of the game is contested.-Baseball:In baseball, the statistic applies also to players who, prior to a game,...

 (130). An All-Star
Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The Major League Baseball All-Star Game, also known as the "Midsummer Classic", is an annual baseball game between players from the National League and the American League, currently selected by a combination of fans, players, coaches, and managers...

 in 1948, he was a .259 career hitter
Batting average
Batting average is a statistic in both cricket and baseball that measures the performance of cricket batsmen and baseball hitters. The two statistics are related in that baseball averages are directly descended from the concept of cricket averages.- Cricket :...

 with 41 home runs and 212 RBI in 654 games.

Following his playing career, Rigney served as the Giants manager from 1956–60, leading the club in its first season after moving from New York
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 to San Francisco
San Francisco, California
San Francisco , officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the financial, cultural, and transportation center of the San Francisco Bay Area, a region of 7.15 million people which includes San Jose and Oakland...

 in 1958. He then became the expansion Los Angeles Angels
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are a professional baseball team based in Anaheim, California, United States. The Angels are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League. The "Angels" name originates from the city in which the team started, Los Angeles...

' first manager in 1961, moved with them to Anaheim
Anaheim, California
Anaheim is a city in Orange County, California. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city population was about 365,463, making it the most populated city in Orange County, the 10th most-populated city in California, and ranked 54th in the United States...

, and remained until the 1969 season, winning the AL Manager of the Year Award
Manager of the Year Award
In Major League Baseball, the Manager of the Year Award is an honor given annually since 1983 to the best managers in the American League and the National League . The winner is voted on by 28 members of the Baseball Writers Association of America . Each places a vote for first, second, and third...

 in 1962.

With a disappointing 11-28 record and mired in a ten-game losing streak, Rigney was fired by the Angels on May 27, 1969, and succeeded by Lefty Phillips
Lefty Phillips
Harold Ross "Lefty" Phillips was an American coach, manager, scout and front office executive in Major League Baseball...

. Later in 1969, Rigney joined the San Francisco Giants' radio broadcast team to close out the season; coincidentally, both KSFO, the Giants flagship station, and the Angels were owned at that time by Gene Autry
Gene Autry
Orvon Grover Autry , better known as Gene Autry, was an American performer who gained fame as The Singing Cowboy on the radio, in movies and on television for more than three decades beginning in the 1930s...

 and Robert O. Reynolds.

Returning to the field the next year, Rigney led the Minnesota Twins
Minnesota Twins
The Minnesota Twins are a professional baseball team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They play in the Central Division of Major League Baseball's American League. The team is named after the Twin Cities area of Minneapolis and St. Paul. They played in Metropolitan Stadium from 1961 to 1981 and the...

 to the 1970
1970 in baseball
-Major Leagues:*World Series MVP: Brooks Robinson*All-Star Game, July 14 at Riverfront Stadium: National League, 5-4 ; Carl Yastrzemski, MVP-Other champions:*Caribbean World Series: Navegantes del Magallanes *College World Series: USC...

 AL West
American League
The American League of Professional Baseball Clubs, or simply the American League , is one of two leagues that make up Major League Baseball in the United States and Canada. It developed from the Western League, a minor league based in the Great Lakes states, which eventually aspired to major...

 championship before being replaced midway through the 1972 season.

After serving as a scout
Scout (sport)
In professional sports, scouts are trained talent evaluators who travel extensively for the purposes of watching athletes play their chosen sports and determining whether their set of skills and talents represent what is needed by the scout's organization...

 for the Padres
San Diego Padres
The San Diego Padres are a Major League Baseball team based in San Diego, California. They play in the National League Western Division. Founded in 1969, the Padres have won the National League Pennant twice, in 1984 and 1998, losing in the World Series both times...

 and Angels (1973–74), Rigney had a second managerial stint with the Giants in 1976
1976 in baseball
-Major League Baseball:*World Series: Cincinnati Reds over New York Yankees ; Johnny Bench, MVP*All-Star Game, July 13 at Veterans Stadium: National League, 7-1; George Foster, MVP-Other champions:*Caribbean World Series: Naranjeros de Hermosillo...


In an 18-season managerial career, Rigney posted a 1239-1321 record (.484) in 2561 games. After that, he served as a front-office consultant and a radio
Radio is the transmission of signals through free space by modulation of electromagnetic waves with frequencies below those of visible light. Electromagnetic radiation travels by means of oscillating electromagnetic fields that pass through the air and the vacuum of space...

 and TV
Television is a telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images that can be monochrome or colored, with accompanying sound...

Broadcasting is the distribution of audio and video content to a dispersed audience via any audio visual medium. Receiving parties may include the general public or a relatively large subset of thereof...

er for the Oakland Athletics
Oakland Athletics
The Oakland Athletics are a Major League Baseball team based in Oakland, California. The Athletics are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League. From to the present, the Athletics have played in the O.co Coliseum....

 in the 1980s.

Rigney died in Walnut Creek, California
Walnut Creek, California
Walnut Creek is an incorporated city located east of the city of Oakland. It lies in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. While not as large as neighboring Concord, Walnut Creek serves as the business and entertainment hub for the neighboring cities within central Contra Costa...

 at age of 83.


  • Rigney took the reins of the Giants in 1956, succeeding Leo Durocher
    Leo Durocher
    Leo Ernest Durocher , nicknamed Leo the Lip, was an American infielder and manager in Major League Baseball. Upon his retirement, he ranked fifth all-time among managers with 2,009 career victories, second only to John McGraw in National League history. Durocher still ranks tenth in career wins by...

    , for whom he had played from 1948 to 1953. "I learned a lot from Leo Durocher", he said. "I learned about the hit-and-run
    Hit and run (baseball)
    A hit and run is a high risk/high reward offensive strategy used in baseball.When the offense has a baserunner on first base , the runner on first breaks for second as the pitch is thrown...

    , about gambling and going against the percentages. You can't play it the same all the time."
    – Norman L. Macht, at Baseball Library http://www.baseballlibrary.com/baseballlibrary/ballplayers/R/Rigney_Bill.stm

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