Buck Showalter: The 23rd Manager In Mets History (2022)

William Nathaniel Showalter III was born May 23rd, 1956, in DeFuniak Springs, Florida. The five foot nine, left hand hitter also throws left-handed. 

His father William was an All-American full back at Milligan College in 1940 & considered a career with the Pittsburgh Steelers but became a teach instead.

After going to Century Florida high school where his father taught for 23 years, he first attended Chipola College then transferred to Mississippi State University, where he played for the Mississippi State Bulldogs. There he would set a school record with a .459 batting average. 

Showalter would also play in the
Cape Cod League winning the batting title with the 1976 Hyannis Mets. He was eventually inducted in the Cape Cod League Hall of Fame. As a player he was a first baseman & outfielder.

He was drafted by the AL New York team in the fifth round of the 1977 draft. He would spend seven years in their organization without getting a big league call up. In seven minor league seasons he batted .294 with 17 HRs 110 doubles 336 RBIs & a .369 on base %.

Trivia: In his younger days his nickname was Nat. But while in the minor leagues, he earned the nickname of "Buck" for his tendency to walk around the club house buck naked.

He retired as a player in 1983 & quickly became a coach. By 1985 he was managing in the NT-Penn League & took his Oneonta team to two straight first place finishes & a league championship. He moved up to the Florida State League winning a championship there in his first season.

Big League Manager: In 1990 he became a coach with the AL New York team & was promoted to the team's manager in 1992. In four seasons there he posted a 313-268 record, winning the 1994 AL Manager of the Year Award in the strike shortened season. 

TV Trivia: That year he appeared on the TV show- Seinfeld with player Danny Tartabull.

He took the club to their first post season in 14 years winning the 1995 wild card spot but lost to
the Seattle Mariners in the ALDS.

The next season he left New York, although he was offered a two-year deal, the team's owner demanded he fire hitting coach Rick Down. Buck refused & moved on to the expansion Arizona Diamondbacks. 

Arizona Career: For Buck, he arrived in Arizona two years before the club played their first game, as he helped develop the roster. 

In the clubs first season he managed them to a 65-97 record. But some big off season moves helped the Diamondbacks improve to win 100 games in 1999. They were the fastest expansion team to make the playoffs, in just their second season. They would lose the NLDS to the New York Mets.

He was dismissed after the 2000 season, as Arizona went 85-77. They just as in New York, would win the World Series the year after he was gone.

Broadcasting Career: Buck took to ESPN & became an analyst there for two years in his first go around in that position.

Texas Career: Showalter went to the Texas Rangers & managed there for four seasons, but never finished higher than third place. He was manager when the team traded away Alex Rodriguez. 

He won the 2004 Manager of the Year Award as his Rangers played much better than expected. In those four years in Texas he was 319-329, getting fired after the 2006 season.

In the next four years he was a senior advisor to the Cleveland Indians & back on ESPN as an
analyst.

Baltimore Career: In 2010 he was hired as manager of the Baltimore Orioles. He chose to wear the uniform #26 as a tribute to his old friend Johnny Oates who had died of a brain tumor in 2004. 

He arrived in Baltimore with the team having the worst record in baseball. They won in his debut & won 34 of 57 games for Buck that season. In 2012 his Orioles won 93 games, ending a streak of 14 straight losing seasons in Baltimore & took them to their first post season since 1997. 

The O's won the wild card game & got as far as the ALDS, losing in five games. Two years later he won AL East, the first Orioles divisional title in 17 years & took the Orioles all the way to the 2014 ALCS, losing to the Kansas City Royals. He won his third Manager of the Year Award that season.

In 2015 the team finished .500 & in
2016 they finished in second place going 89-73, making the post season for the third time in five years. But they lost the wild card game to the Toronto Blue Jays. After two last place finishes & a miserable 2018 where the O's lost 115 games, he & GM Dan Duquette were let go.

Trivia: Buck is second behind Gene Mauch with most wins as a manager who never got to a world series.

Mets Career: In 2021 Buck Showalter Buck Showalter was hired as the 23rd manager in Mets history. He took the helm after two horrible terms from Luis Rojas & Mickey Callaway. He wears uniform #11, the same number he has always worn as manager except in Baltimore, where he wore 26 as a tribute to Johnny Oates.

 Showalter brought instant credibility & respect to the organization. Known as an outstanding baseball man, with experience & knowledge way beyond most in the game. 

His intense stare & concentration absorbs everything going on, as well as things that didn't even happen yet, His reputation predicts he already though of a situation that has never even happened.

With some new additions to the Mets team, he brought the Mets to one of their best starts in franchise history, finishing up April in first place with a 15-7 record.

One of his main concerns early on was his Mets team getting hit by pitches at an alarming rate.
His usual perch with a menacing stare at the top of the Mets dugout has become a familiar scene. He has also met with MLB about the problem.

Family: Buck & wis wife Angela have been married since 1983. They met in Nashville when Buck was playing with the Nashville Sounds. They have two children Allie & William. The couple were living in Dallas prior to him signing on with the Mets.

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