Baseball’s Winter Meetings began this morning, and one of the first announcements came from the Hall of Fame, which will induct three managers this summer: Tony LaRussa, Joe Torre, and Bobby Cox.
Tacoma can lay claim to one* of the three: Bobby Cox played for the Tacoma Cubs at the start of the 1966 season.
Cox was a third baseman as a player, and he spent the entire 1965 season in the PCL with the Cubs affiliate in Salt Lake City. Affiliations changed after the 1965 season, with Tacoma losing the Giants and signing on with the Cubs – and Tacoma inherited their Triple-A third baseman, Cox.
Cox played in ten games for Tacoma at the start of the 1966 season – struggling mightily, going 4-for-34 at the plate. On April 28 he was traded to the Atlanta Braves for outfielder Billy Cowan (who would play for Tacoma and also five major league teams). The Braves assigned Cox to their Double-A team in Austin.
Cox would kick around the minors for a few more seasons, and also get a year-and-a-half in the big leagues before going into managing. He managed four years for Triple-A Syracuse before the Braves would once again come calling – this time to start his Hall of Fame managerial career.
At this point in a blog post like this, I would insert a photo of Bobby Cox in his Tacoma Cubs uniform. However, I am sad to say that we don’t have that photo in our archive. If you have any leads on where to find one, please shoot me a message.
We’ll have lots of links this week as the meetings are on.
- Bob Dutton has a winter meetings preview article in The News Tribune.
- Ryan Divish is in Orlando and his daily meetings blog is right here – he’ll keep updating it as news warrants.
- The Times has an article explaining how the Mariners are able to afford Cano.
- Larry Stone concludes that the Mariners rebuilding-with-youth plan is over.
- ESPN’s Jim Caple wrote about the big Friday for Seattle sports.
- Buster Olney’s column on Saturday includes a key phrase: the Mariners needed to sign Robinson Cano to “restore hope.”
- Art Thiel weighed in on the story of the weekend.
- MILB.com put together a Mariners minor league all-star team. Several Rainiers made the cut.
- Former Rainiers outfielder Eric Thames is on his way to play in Korea. There is real financial opportunity in Korea for Triple-A stars – the league had a recent huge increase in popularity.
Current plan is to be back with a fresh post on Wednesday, but if any big news breaks from Orlando I’ll chime in on Tuesday.
* I believe Tony LaRussa appeared at Cheney Stadium managing Oakland in exhibition games in the late-1980′s/early 1990s, and he certainly played here with visiting Vancouver in 1968.