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Johnny Oates

Johnny Oates

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Johnny Lane Oates was an American professional baseball player, coach
Coach (baseball)
In baseball, a number of coaches assist in the smooth functioning of a team. They are assistants to the manager, or head coach, who determines the lineup and decides how to substitute players during the game...

, 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...

. He played 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...

 as a catcher
Catcher
Catcher is a position for a baseball or softball player. When a batter takes his turn to hit, the catcher crouches behind home plate, in front of the umpire, and receives the ball from the pitcher. This is a catcher's primary duty, but he is also called upon to master many other skills in order to...

 for the Baltimore Orioles
Baltimore Orioles
The Baltimore Orioles are a professional baseball team based in Baltimore, Maryland in the United States. They are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's American League. One of the American League's eight charter franchises in 1901, it spent its first year as a major league...

, Atlanta Braves
Atlanta Braves
The Atlanta Braves are a professional baseball club based in Atlanta, Georgia. The Braves are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's National League. The Braves have played in Turner Field since 1997....

, Philadelphia Phillies
Philadelphia Phillies
The Philadelphia Phillies are a Major League Baseball team. They are the oldest continuous, one-name, one-city franchise in all of professional American sports, dating to 1883. The Phillies are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's National League...

, Los Angeles Dodgers
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers are a professional baseball team based in Los Angeles, California. The Dodgers are members of Major League Baseball's National League West Division. Established in 1883, the team originated in Brooklyn, New York, where it was known by a number of nicknames before becoming...

 and New York Yankees
New York Yankees
The New York Yankees are a professional baseball team based in the The Bronx, New York. They compete in Major League Baseball in the American League's East Division...

 from 1970 to 1981. During his playing career, Oates was a light-hitting
Batting (baseball)
In baseball, batting is the act of facing the opposing pitcher and trying to produce offense for one's team. A batter or hitter is a person whose turn it is to face the pitcher...

 player who was valued for his defensive skills and, played most of his career as a reserve player. It was as a major league manager that Oates experienced his greatest success, leading the Texas Rangers
Texas Rangers (baseball)
The Texas Rangers are a professional baseball team in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, based in Arlington, Texas. The Rangers are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League, and are the reigning A.L. Western Division and A.L. Champions. Since , the Rangers have...

 to three American League Western Division
American League West
The American League West is one of three divisions in Major League Baseball's American League. The division currently has four teams, but it has had as many as seven teams before the 1994 realignment. Although its teams currently only reside along the west coast and in Texas, historically the...

 titles.

Baseball playing career


Born in Sylva, North Carolina
Sylva, North Carolina
Sylva is an incorporated town located in central Jackson County, in the Great Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina, United States of America. As of the 2010 census, the town had a total population of 2,588. It is the county seat, having taken over from nearby Webster in 1913.-Geography:Sylva...

, Oates graduated from Prince George High School
Prince George High School
Prince George High School is the only public high school in Prince George County, Virginia. The school has just over a thousand students. Prince George High School offers grades 10-12 rather than the traditional 9-12 high school.-Notable alumni:...

 in Prince George
Prince George County, Virginia
As of the census of 2000, there were 33,047 people, 10,159 households, and 8,096 families residing in the county. The population density was 124 people per square mile . There were 10,726 housing units at an average density of 40 per square mile...

, Virginia, before going on to Virginia Tech
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, popularly known as Virginia Tech , is a public land-grant university with the main campus in Blacksburg, Virginia with other research and educational centers throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia, United States, and internationally.Founded in...

 in Blacksburg
Blacksburg, Virginia
Blacksburg is an incorporated town located in Montgomery County, Virginia, United States, with a population of 42,620 at the 2010 census. Blacksburg, Christiansburg, and Radford are the three principal jurisdictions of the Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford Metropolitan Statistical Area which...

. He was selected by the Baltimore Orioles as their first round pick in the 1967 Major League Baseball Secondary Draft
1967 Major League Baseball Draft
-First round selections:The following are the first round picks in the 1967 Major League Baseball draft.- Background :The June draft was filled with talented prospects who would go on to pro careers...

.

He began his baseball career with the Bluefield Orioles
Bluefield Orioles
The Bluefield Blue Jays are a minor league baseball team of the Rookie Appalachian League representing the twin cities of Bluefield, West Virginia, and Bluefield, Virginia. Beginning in 2011, Bluefield will be affiliated with the Toronto Blue Jays. The team plays their home games at Bowen Field, a...

 and then the Miami Marlins
Fort Myers Miracle
The Fort Myers Miracle is the Class A Advanced minor league baseball affiliate of the Minnesota Twins Major League Baseball club, currently managed by Jake Mauer. Home games are played at the Lee County Sports Complex in Hammond Stadium, which has a capacity of 7,500, and opened in...

 in 1967 at the age of 21. After two seasons with Miami, Oates moved up to the Dallas-Fort Worth Spurs
Dallas-Fort Worth Spurs
The Dallas-Fort Worth Spurs were an American minor league baseball team in the Texas League from 1965 to 1971. The team played in Turnpike Stadium in Arlington, Texas....

 in 1969 where he hit for a .288 batting average
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 :...

 in 66 games. He continued his climb up the minor league
Minor league baseball
Minor league baseball is a hierarchy of professional baseball leagues in the Americas that compete at levels below Major League Baseball and provide opportunities for player development. All of the minor leagues are operated as independent businesses...

 ladder in 1970, playing for the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings
Rochester Red Wings
The Rochester Red Wings are a minor league baseball team based in Rochester, New York. The team plays in the International League and is the Triple-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins major-league club. The Red Wings play in Frontier Field, located in downtown Rochester.The Red Wings were an...

 before making his major league debut with the Baltimore Orioles on September 17, 1970
1970 Baltimore Orioles season
The Baltimore Orioles season involved the Orioles finishing first in the American League East with a record of 108 wins and 54 losses, 15 games ahead of the runner-up New York Yankees. The Orioles swept the Minnesota Twins for the second straight year in the American League Championship Series...

. Oates was not on the post-season roster for The Orioles that won the 1970 World Series
1970 World Series
-Game 1:Saturday, October 10, 1970 at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, OhioThe Jackson 5 performed "The Star-Spangled Banner" prior to the game, which almost became an embarrassment when the group realized shortly before their performance that they weren't familiar with the lyrics...

. Oates returned to the minor leagues in 1971, playing another season with Rochester where he posted a .277 batting average along with a respectable .364 on base percentage
On base percentage
In baseball statistics, on-base percentage is a measure of how often a batter reaches base for any reason other than a fielding error, fielder's choice, dropped/uncaught third strike, fielder's obstruction, or catcher's interference In baseball statistics, on-base percentage (OBP) (sometimes...

.

Oates was brought back up to the Orioles for the 1972
1972 Baltimore Orioles season
The Baltimore Orioles season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Orioles finishing third in the American League East with a record of 80 wins and 74 losses.- Offseason :...

 season, where he caught the majority of the Orioles games. His defensive skills became apparent as he led American League catchers with a .995 fielding percentage
Fielding percentage
In baseball statistics, fielding percentage, also known as fielding average, is a measure that reflects the percentage of times a defensive player properly handles a batted or thrown ball...

. On November 30, 1972, he was traded along with Pat Dobson
Pat Dobson
Patrick Edward Dobson, Jr. was an American right-handed starting pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for the Detroit Tigers , San Diego Padres , Baltimore Orioles , Atlanta Braves , New York Yankees and Cleveland Indians...

, Roric Harrison
Roric Harrison
Roric Edward Harrison is a former Major League Baseball pitcher. He holds the distinction of being the last American League pitcher to hit a home run in an American League game before the introduction of the Designated Hitter.-Early years:Harrison signed with the Houston Astros out of Westchester...

 and Davey Johnson
Davey Johnson
David Allen "Davey" Johnson is an American Major League Baseball player and current manager of the Washington Nationals. He was the starting second baseman for the Baltimore Orioles when they won four American League pennants and two World Series championships between 1965 and 1972...

 to the Atlanta Braves for Taylor Duncan
Taylor Duncan
Taylor McDowell "Dunc" Duncan was an American baseball infielder. Duncan, who was a college teammate of Leon Lee in Sacramento, was selected by the Atlanta Braves as the 10th overall pick of the 1971 Major League Baseball Draft...

 and Earl Williams. Oates spent two seasons with the Braves, platooning
Platoon system
The platoon system in baseball is a method of designating two players to a single defensive position—usually one right-handed and one left-handed. Typically the right-handed half of the platoon is played on days when the opposing pitcher is left-handed and the left-handed player is played otherwise...

 alongside Paul Casanova
Paul Casanova
Paulino Ortiz Casanova is a former catcher in Major League Baseball who played from 1965 to 1974 for the Washington Senators and Atlanta Braves.-Minor league career:...

 and then Vic Correll
Vic Correll
Victor Crosby Correll was a Major League Baseball player from 1972 to 1980 for the Boston Red Sox, Atlanta Braves, and Cincinnati Reds. Correll spent most of his major league career as a backup catcher, although he was the Braves' primary catcher in .-Sources:...

, before being traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in May 1975
1975 Philadelphia Phillies season
The Philadelphia Phillies season was the 93rd in the history of the franchise. The Phillies finished in second place in the National League East with a record of 86-76, 6½ games behind the NL East champion Pittsburgh Pirates.- Offseason :...

.

Oates had been designated to platoon alongside catcher Bob Boone
Bob Boone
Robert Raymond Boone is a former catcher and manager in Major League Baseball who was a four-time All-Star. Born in San Diego, California, Bob Boone is the son of a major league player, the late third baseman Ray Boone, and the father of two major leaguers: former second baseman Bret Boone and...

 in the 1976
1976 Philadelphia Phillies season
The Philadelphia Phillies season was the 94th season in the history of the franchise. The Phillies won their first National League East title, as they compiled a record of 101-61, nine games ahead of the second-place Pittsburgh Pirates....

 season however, in the season-opening game against the Pittsburgh Pirates
1976 Pittsburgh Pirates season
The Pittsburgh Pirates season was the 90th in the National League, and the 95th in franchise history. The Pirates compiled a 92-70 record during the season, as they finished in second place in the NL East, nine games behind their cross-state rivals, the Philadelphia Phillies. As a result, their...

, he cracked his collar bone in a collision at home plate
Home Plate
Home Plate is the fifth album by Bonnie Raitt, released in 1975 .-Track listing:#"What Do You Want the Boy to Do?" – 3:19#"Good Enough" – 2:56#"Run Like a Thief" – 3:02...

 with Dave Parker
Dave Parker
David Gene "The Cobra" Parker is an American former player in Major League Baseball. He was the 1978 National League MVP and a two-time batting champion. Parker was the first professional athlete to earn an average of one million dollars per year, having signed a 5-year, $5 million dollar contract...

 and missed almost half the season. "That play changed my career", he said afterwards. He returned to help the Phillies win the 1976
1976 Philadelphia Phillies season
The Philadelphia Phillies season was the 94th season in the history of the franchise. The Phillies won their first National League East title, as they compiled a record of 101-61, nine games ahead of the second-place Pittsburgh Pirates....

 National League Eastern Division pennant. Oates had one plate appearance as a pinch hitter
Pinch hitter
In baseball, a pinch hitter is a substitute batter. Batters can be substituted at any time while the ball is dead ; the manager may use any player that has not yet entered the game as a substitute...

 in the 1976 National League Championship Series
1976 National League Championship Series
-Game 1:Saturday, October 9, 1976 at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaReds starter Don Gullett held the Phils to two hits in eight strong innings and helped his own cause with an RBI single in the sixth and a two-run double in the eighth...

 as the Phillies lost to the eventual world champion Cincinnati Reds
1976 Cincinnati Reds season
The Cincinnati Reds season was a season in American baseball. The Reds won their second consecutive National League West title with a record of 102-60, 10 games ahead of the runner-up Los Angeles Dodgers...

. After the season, he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers on December 20, 1976.

With the Dodgers, Oates worked as a second-string catcher behind Steve Yeager
Steve Yeager
Stephen Wayne "Steve" Yeager is an American right-handed former major league baseball catcher. Yeager spent 14 of the 15 seasons of his Major League Baseball career, from through , with the Los Angeles Dodgers. His last year, , he played for the Seattle Mariners...

 and, would once again reach the post-season as, the Dodgers clinched the 1977
1977 Los Angeles Dodgers season
The Los Angeles Dodgers season saw Tommy Lasorda take over the reins as Manager from longtime skipper Walter Alston. The Dodgers coasted to a 10-game victory in the National League West and beat the Philadelphia Phillies in four games in the NLCS, only to lose to the New York Yankees in the World...

 National League Western Division
National League West
The National League Western Division, or NL West, is one of the three divisions of Major League Baseball's National League. It was created in 1969 when the previously undivided National League expanded its membership to twelve teams, positioning half of them in an Eastern division and the other...

 title. The Dodgers went on to defeat the Philadelphia Phillies
1977 Philadelphia Phillies season
The 1977 Philadelphia Phillies season was the 95th season in the history of the franchise. The Phillies won their second consecutive National League East division title with a record of 101-61, five games over the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Phillies lost the NLCS to the Los Angeles Dodgers, three...

 in the 1977 National League Championship Series
1977 National League Championship Series
-Game 1:Tuesday, October 4, 1977 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CaliforniaThe Phillies took the opening game of the series, winning their first postseason game since Game 1 of the 1915 World Series...

 before eventually losing to the New York Yankees
1977 New York Yankees season
The 1977 New York Yankees season was the 75th season for the Yankees in New York and the 77th season overall for the franchise. It culminated in the 21st World Series championship in franchise history, and its first under the ownership of George Steinbrenner...

 in the 1977 World Series
1977 World Series
-Game 1:Tuesday, October 11, 1977 at Yankee Stadium in Bronx, New YorkThe Dodgers drew first blood off Don Gullett in the first when Davey Lopes walked and scored on a Bill Russell triple. Ron Cey made it 2–0 on a sacrifice fly...

. In 1978
1978 Los Angeles Dodgers season
The 1978 season ended with the Los Angeles Dodgers winning their second straight National League pennant and losing to the New York Yankees in the World Series again...

, Oates appeared in only 40 games as the Dodgers repeated as Western Division champions and, once again defeated the Philadelphia Phillies
1978 Philadelphia Phillies season
The 1978 Philadelphia Phillies season was the 96th season in the history of the franchise. The Phillies won their third straight National League East title with a record of 90-72, a game and a half over the Pittsburgh Pirates, as the Phillies defeated the Pirates in Pittsburgh on the next to last...

 in the 1978 National League Championship Series
1978 National League Championship Series
-Game 1:Wednesday, October 4, 1978 at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaBecause of having to start an NL East-clinching game a few days earlier, Phillies ace Steve Carlton wasn't available for the start of the series, leaving the task to Larry Christenson...

. The 1978 World Series
1978 World Series
-Game 1:Tuesday, October 10, 1978 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CaliforniaWith Yankee ace Ron Guidry unavailable at least until Game 3, the Dodgers pounded twenty-game winner Ed Figueroa. Figueroa left after two innings, allowing home runs to Dusty Baker and Davey Lopes. Lopes would add a...

 was also a repeat of the previous year as, the Dodgers once again lost to the Yankees
1977 New York Yankees season
The 1977 New York Yankees season was the 75th season for the Yankees in New York and the 77th season overall for the franchise. It culminated in the 21st World Series championship in franchise history, and its first under the ownership of George Steinbrenner...

 in a six-game series. Oates' playing time decreased further in 1979
1979 Los Angeles Dodgers season
The 1979 Los Angeles Dodgers finished the season in third place in the Western Division of the National League. Near the end of the season, owner Walter O'Malley died and the ownership of the team went to his son Peter.- Offseason :...

 as he appeared in only 26 games before being released at the end of the season. He became a free agent
Free agent
In professional sports, a free agent is a player whose contract with a team has expired and who is thus eligible to sign with another club or franchise....

 and signed a contract to play for the New York Yankees on April 4, 1980
1980 New York Yankees season
The 1980 New York Yankees season was the 78th season for the franchise in New York, and its 80th season overall. The team finished with a record of 103-59, finishing in first place in the American League East, 3 games ahead of the Baltimore Orioles. The Kansas City Royals swept the Yanks in the...

. Oates served as a back up to Rick Cerone
Rick Cerone
Richard Aldo Cerone from Seton Hall University is a former Major League Baseball player from 1975 to 1992 for the Cleveland Indians, Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves, Milwaukee Brewers, Boston Red Sox, New York Mets, and Montreal Expos...

 during the 1980 season before playing in his final game on May 24, 1981
1981 New York Yankees season
The New York Yankees' 1981 season was the 79th season for the Yankees. In the ALCS, the Yankees swept the Oakland Athletics for their only pennant of the 1980s. However, they lost in the World Series in 6 games to the Los Angeles Dodgers. New York was managed by Gene Michael and Bob Lemon...

.

Career statistics


In an 11 year career, Oates played in 593 games
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,...

, accumulating 410 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....

 in 1,820 at bats for a .250 career batting average
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 :...

 along with 14 home runs, 126 runs batted in and a .309 on base percentage
On base percentage
In baseball statistics, on-base percentage is a measure of how often a batter reaches base for any reason other than a fielding error, fielder's choice, dropped/uncaught third strike, fielder's obstruction, or catcher's interference In baseball statistics, on-base percentage (OBP) (sometimes...

. A good defensive player, he ended his career with a .987 fielding percentage
Fielding percentage
In baseball statistics, fielding percentage, also known as fielding average, is a measure that reflects the percentage of times a defensive player properly handles a batted or thrown ball...

.

Managing


Oates began managing in baseball in 1982 when he guided the New York Yankees
New York Yankees
The New York Yankees are a professional baseball team based in the The Bronx, New York. They compete in Major League Baseball in the American League's East Division...

' Double-A Nashville Sounds
Nashville Sounds
The Nashville Sounds are a minor league baseball team of the Pacific Coast League , and the Triple-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. They are located in Nashville, Tennessee, and are named for the city's association with the music industry...

 to win the Southern League
Southern League (baseball)
The Southern League is a minor league baseball league which operates in the Southern United States. It is classified a Double-A league. The original league was formed in , and shut down in . A new league, the Southern Association, was formed in , consisting of twelve teams...

 title. From 1984
1984 Chicago Cubs season
The Chicago Cubs' 1984 season was the 109th season for the Cubs. The team finished with a record of 96-65 in first place of the National League Eastern Division. Chicago was managed by Jim Frey and the general manager was Dallas Green...

 to 1987
1987 Chicago Cubs season
The Chicago Cubs season was a season in American baseball. The team finished last in the six-team National League East with a record of 76-85, 18½ games behind the division and pennant-winning St. Louis Cardinals.- Spring training :...

, he worked as a coach for the Chicago Cubs
Chicago Cubs
The Chicago Cubs are a professional baseball team located in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the Central Division of Major League Baseball's National League. They are one of two Major League clubs based in Chicago . The Cubs are also one of the two remaining charter members of the National...

 and was credited with developing Jody Davis into a Gold Glove Award
Gold Glove Award
The Rawlings Gold Glove Award, usually referred to as the Gold Glove, is the award given annually to the Major League Baseball players judged to have exhibited superior individual fielding performances at each fielding position in both the National League and the American League , as voted by the...

 winning catcher. He rejoined the Orioles organization at their Rochester AAA affiliate
Rochester Red Wings
The Rochester Red Wings are a minor league baseball team based in Rochester, New York. The team plays in the International League and is the Triple-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins major-league club. The Red Wings play in Frontier Field, located in downtown Rochester.The Red Wings were an...

 in 1988. The following year, he was promoted to the majors where he worked as first base coach under Frank Robinson
Frank Robinson
Frank Robinson , is a former Major League Baseball outfielder and manager. He played from 1956–1976, most notably for the Cincinnati Reds and the Baltimore Orioles. He is the only player to win league MVP honors in both the National and American Leagues...

, and in 1991
1991 Baltimore Orioles season
The Baltimore Orioles season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Orioles finishing 6th in the American League East with a record of 67 wins and 95 losses. Cal Ripken. Jr. would be the first shortstop in the history of the American League to win two MVP awards in a career. This was...

, after Robinson started 13–24, Oates was promoted to the manager of the Orioles. In his first full season with the team, Oates led the Orioles to an 89–73 record and then to an 85–77 record in 1993
1993 Baltimore Orioles season
The Baltimore Orioles season was the 93rd baseball season in Orioles history. It involved the Orioles finishing 3rd in the American League East with a record of 85 wins and 77 losses.-Offseason:...

, which helped him to win The Sporting News Manager of the Year Award
The Sporting News Manager of the Year Award
The Sporting News Manager of the Year Award was established in 1936 by The Sporting News and was given annually to one manager in Major League Baseball...

. However, following the strike-shortened 1994 season, Oates was dismissed by new owner Peter Angelos
Peter Angelos
Peter G. Angelos , is an American trial lawyer.Angelos is also the majority owner of the Baltimore Orioles, a baseball team in the American League East Division.-Career:...

.

Despite being let go by the Orioles, Oates was quickly hired by the Texas Rangers
Texas Rangers (baseball)
The Texas Rangers are a professional baseball team in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, based in Arlington, Texas. The Rangers are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League, and are the reigning A.L. Western Division and A.L. Champions. Since , the Rangers have...

, who had just fired their previous manager, Kevin Kennedy
Kevin Kennedy (baseball)
Kevin Curtis Kennedy is a former manager in American Major League Baseball and a former television host for Fox Sports' baseball coverage. He was given the nickname "The Skipper" by Fox Sports due to his prior managerial career...

. Oates proceeded to lead the Rangers to their first playoff appearance in team history during the 1996
1996 Texas Rangers season
The Texas Rangers 1996 season involved the Rangers finishing 1st in the American League west with a record of 90 wins and 72 losses. It would be the first post-season appearance for the Rangers in franchise history....

 season. Despite the team's poor ERA
Earned run average
In baseball statistics, earned run average is the mean of earned runs given up by a pitcher per nine innings pitched. It is determined by dividing the number of earned runs allowed by the number of innings pitched and multiplying by nine...

 (the team averaged 4.65 collectively), the Rangers' batting lineup was incredibly potent, featuring Iván Rodríguez
Iván Rodríguez
Iván Rodríguez Torres , nicknamed "Pudge" and "I-Rod", is a Major League Baseball catcher...

, Will Clark
Will Clark
William Nuschler Clark, Jr. is a former first baseman in Major League Baseball best known for his years with the San Francisco Giants from to .Will was known by the nickname of "Will the Thrill"...

, Mark McLemore
Mark McLemore
Mark Tremell McLemore is a former second baseman and utility player in Major League Baseball....

, Dean Palmer
Dean Palmer
Dean William Palmer is a former third baseman in Major League Baseball who had a 14-year career from 1989 to 2003...

, Rusty Greer
Rusty Greer
Thurman Clyde "Rusty" Greer III is a former Major League Baseball outfielder for the Texas Rangers...

, Juan González, and Mickey Tettleton
Mickey Tettleton
Mickey Lee Tettleton , is a former American professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball for the Oakland Athletics, Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers, and Texas Rangers...

; the team finished 90–72. Oates won the 1996 American League
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...

 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...

 that year, sharing honors with the Yankees' Joe Torre
Joe Torre
Joseph Paul Torre is a former American professional baseball player and manager who currently serves as Major League Baseball’s Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations. A nine-time All-Star, he played in Major League Baseball as a catcher, first baseman and a third baseman for the...

.

Oates continued to lead the Rangers for several more seasons, leading them to American League West
American League West
The American League West is one of three divisions in Major League Baseball's American League. The division currently has four teams, but it has had as many as seven teams before the 1994 realignment. Although its teams currently only reside along the west coast and in Texas, historically the...

 titles in 1998
1998 Texas Rangers season
The Texas Rangers season involved the Rangers finishing 1st in the American League west with a record of 88 wins and 74 losses. It would be the team's second post-season appearance, but the team would be swept 3-0 by the New York Yankees.-Offseason:...

 and 1999
1999 Texas Rangers season
The Texas Rangers 1999 season involved the Rangers finishing 1st in the American League west with a record of 95 wins and 67 losses. The 95-67 mark would be the best in franchise history until 2011....

. However, following a fourth-place finish in 2000
2000 Texas Rangers season
The Texas Rangers 2000 season involved the Rangers finishing 4th in the American League west with a record of 71 wins and 91 losses.-Preseason:...

 and beginning the 2001
2001 Texas Rangers season
The Texas Rangers 2001 season involved the Rangers finishing 4th in the American League west with a record of 73 wins and 89 losses.-Offseason:...

 season with an 11–17 record, Oates resigned as manager and third base coach Jerry Narron
Jerry Narron
Jerry Austin Narron is a former Major League Baseball catcher and manager. He currently serves as the bench coach of the Milwaukee Brewers. During an 8-year playing career, he played from 1979–1987 for three different teams...

 replaced him. Many fans, however, blamed Rangers management for the team's woes, saying that team management placed unreasonable expectations on Oates, especially after spending $252 million on free agent
Free agent
In professional sports, a free agent is a player whose contract with a team has expired and who is thus eligible to sign with another club or franchise....

 shortstop
Shortstop
Shortstop, abbreviated SS, is the baseball fielding position between second and third base. Shortstop is often regarded as the most dynamic defensive position in baseball, because there are more right-handed hitters in baseball than left-handed hitters, and most hitters have a tendency to pull the...

 Alex Rodriguez
Alex Rodriguez
Alexander Emmanuel "Alex" Rodriguez is an American professional baseball third baseman with the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball. Known popularly by his nickname A-Rod, he previously played shortstop for the Seattle Mariners and the Texas Rangers.Rodriguez is considered one of the best...

.

Honors


Oates was considering returning to managing when he was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor
Brain tumor
A brain tumor is an intracranial solid neoplasm, a tumor within the brain or the central spinal canal.Brain tumors include all tumors inside the cranium or in the central spinal canal...

, glioblastoma multiforme
Glioblastoma multiforme
Glioblastoma multiforme is the most common and most aggressive malignant primary brain tumor in humans, involving glial cells and accounting for 52% of all functional tissue brain tumor cases and 20% of all intracranial tumors. Despite being the most prevalent form of primary brain tumor, GBMs...

. Doctors gave Oates only about a year to live, but he survived for over three years—enough time to attend his daughter's wedding, his grandchild's birth, and his induction into the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame at The Ballpark in Arlington. During the ceremony at The Ballpark, he was given a standing ovation as Oates, weakened by the cancer and its treatment, required the help of his wife Gloria and a cane to walk. During his address to the crowd, he said he hoped it would be his friend, then-Rangers manager Buck Showalter
Buck Showalter
William Nathaniel "Buck" Showalter III is an American Major League Baseball manager for the Baltimore Orioles. He has previously served in a similar capacity with the New York Yankees , Arizona Diamondbacks , and Texas Rangers...

, who would finally lead the team to a World Series
World Series
The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball, played between the American League and National League champions since 1903. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff and awarded the Commissioner's Trophy...

 victory. This never happened as Showalter was fired after the 2006
2006 Texas Rangers season
The 'Texas Rangers' finished the 2006 season in 3rd place of the West Division of the American League. They had two players feature in the 2006 All-Star Game: Michael Young who in his 3rd appearance was named the All Star Game's Most Valuable Player; and Gary Matthews, Jr...

 season. Oates was inducted into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame in 1983 and, in 2003, he was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame
Virginia Sports Hall of Fame
The Virginia Sports Hall of Fame and Museum is a sports hall of fame located in Portsmouth, Virginia. Founded in 1972, it moved to its current location in 2005...

.

Oates succumbed to the tumor at age 58 at Virginia Commonwealth University
Virginia Commonwealth University
Virginia Commonwealth University is a public university located in Richmond, Virginia. It comprises two campuses in the Downtown Richmond area, the product of a merger between the Richmond Professional Institute and the Medical College of Virginia in 1968...

 Medical Center in Richmond
Richmond, Virginia
Richmond is the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia, in the United States. It is an independent city and not part of any county. Richmond is the center of the Richmond Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Greater Richmond area...

 on Christmas Eve 2004.

His uniform number 26 was retired by the Rangers on August 5, 2005. It is only the second number retired by the Rangers, following the 34 of Nolan Ryan
Nolan Ryan
Lynn Nolan Ryan, Jr. , nicknamed "The Ryan Express", is a former Major League Baseball pitcher. He is currently principal owner, president and CEO of the Texas Rangers....

. During the 2005 season, a commemorative patch was worn on all Ranger uniforms and a sign was hung on the outfield wall in his honor. Prior to Game 3 of the 2010 American League Division Series
2010 American League Division Series
The 2010 American League Division Series were two best-of-five game series to determine the participating teams in the 2010 American League Championship Series. The three divisional winners and a fourth "Wild Card" team played in two series from October 6 to October 12...

 against the Tampa Bay Rays
2010 Tampa Bay Rays season
The Tampa Bay Rays' 2010 season was their 13th season of baseball. They improved on their 84–78 record from 2009 by finishing the regular season 96–66, and qualifying for the postseason for the second time in history by winning their second AL East division championship in three...

, his eight-year-old grandson, Johnny Oates II, threw out the ceremonial first pitch
Ceremonial first pitch
The ceremonial first ball is a longstanding ritual of American baseball in which a guest of honor throws a ball to mark the end of pregame festivities and the start of the game. Originally, the guest threw a ball from his/her place in the grandstand to the pitcher or catcher of the home team...

.

In 2010, Showalter would honor his friend Oates by choosing the number 26 as he took over management of the Baltimore Orioles. Oates was posthumously inducted into the Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame on August 7, 2010.

Managerial records

Team |Regular Season BAL
1991 Baltimore Orioles season
The Baltimore Orioles season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Orioles finishing 6th in the American League East with a record of 67 wins and 95 losses. Cal Ripken. Jr. would be the first shortstop in the history of the American League to win two MVP awards in a career. This was...

1991 54 71 .432 6th in AL East 
BAL
1992 Baltimore Orioles season
The Baltimore Orioles season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Orioles finishing third in the American League East with a record of 89 wins and 73 losses....

1992 89 73 .549 3rd in AL East 
BAL
1993 Baltimore Orioles season
The Baltimore Orioles season was the 93rd baseball season in Orioles history. It involved the Orioles finishing 3rd in the American League East with a record of 85 wins and 77 losses.-Offseason:...

1993 85 77 .525 3rd in AL East 
BAL 1994 63 49 .563 2nd in AL East  no Postseason due to the 1994 Major League Baseball strike
TEX
1995 Texas Rangers season
The Texas Rangers 1995 season involved the Rangers finishing third in the American League west with a record of 74 wins and 70 losses.-Offseason:...

1995 74 70 .514 3rd in AL West 
TEX
1996 Texas Rangers season
The Texas Rangers 1996 season involved the Rangers finishing 1st in the American League west with a record of 90 wins and 72 losses. It would be the first post-season appearance for the Rangers in franchise history....

1996 90 72 .556 1st in AL West  1 3 .250 Lost ALDS to New York
TEX
1997 Texas Rangers season
The Texas Rangers 1997 season involved the Rangers finishing 3rd in the American League west with a record of 77 wins and 85 losses. Despite not making the playoffs the club would set an all-time attendance record of over 2.945 million fans, which would be the franchise's best until 2011.On a...

1997 77 85 .475 3rd in AL West 
TEX
1998 Texas Rangers season
The Texas Rangers season involved the Rangers finishing 1st in the American League west with a record of 88 wins and 74 losses. It would be the team's second post-season appearance, but the team would be swept 3-0 by the New York Yankees.-Offseason:...

1998 88 74 .543 1st in AL West 0 3 .000 Lost ALDS to New York
TEX
1999 Texas Rangers season
The Texas Rangers 1999 season involved the Rangers finishing 1st in the American League west with a record of 95 wins and 67 losses. The 95-67 mark would be the best in franchise history until 2011....

1999 95 67 .586 1st in AL West 0 3 .000 Lost ALDS
1999 American League Division Series
-Cleveland Indians vs. Boston Red Sox:-Game 1, October 5:Yankee Stadium in Bronx, New YorkThe Yankees once again swept the Rangers and held them to one run through three games. In Game 1, Aaron Sele went against Orlando Hernández...

 to New York
1999 New York Yankees season
The New York Yankees' 1999 season was the 97th season for the Bronx based professional baseball team. The team finished with a record of 98-64 finishing 4 games ahead of the Boston Red Sox. New York was managed by Joe Torre. The Yankees played at Yankee Stadium...

TEX
2000 Texas Rangers season
The Texas Rangers 2000 season involved the Rangers finishing 4th in the American League west with a record of 71 wins and 91 losses.-Preseason:...

2000 71 91 .438 4th in AL West 
TEX
2001 Texas Rangers season
The Texas Rangers 2001 season involved the Rangers finishing 4th in the American League west with a record of 73 wins and 89 losses.-Offseason:...

2001 11 17 .393 4th in AL West 
Total 797 746 .517 1 9 .100

External links