Former manager John McNamara dies at 88

July 30th, 2020

Longtime Major League manager John McNamara died Tuesday at age 88, the Red Sox announced on Thursday.

McNamara managed six different teams over 19 seasons as a big league skipper. Most famously, he was the manager of the 1986 Red Sox, who won the American League pennant before falling to the Mets in one of the most memorable World Series ever played. McNamara was named the AL Manager of the Year for the '86 season.

McNamara had his greatest success in Boston and Cincinnati. He led the Reds to the National League West title and a postseason appearance in 1979, at the tail end of the Big Red Machine years, after taking over for Sparky Anderson.

McNamara's managerial career spanned four different decades, beginning with the A's in 1969, the franchise's second season in Oakland. After replacing Hank Bauer in September 1969, McNamara led the A's to an 89-73, second-place finish in the AL West in '70. Though it was his only full season managing the club, McNamara's success helped pave the way for the powerhouse Oakland teams that won three straight World Series from 1972-74.

In his career as a manager, McNamara went 1,160-1,233, a .485 winning percentage, with the pair of postseason appearances with the Reds and Red Sox.

All told, he managed the A's for two seasons from 1969-70, the Padres for four seasons from 1974-77, the Reds for four seasons from 1979-82, the Angels for two seasons from 1983-84, the Red Sox for four seasons from 1985-88, the Indians for two seasons from 1990-91 and the Angels again for a part of one last season in 1996.

Born on June 4, 1932, in Sacramento, Calif., McNamara signed with the Cardinals as a catcher in 1951. He played parts of 14 seasons in the Minor Leagues, starting in the St. Louis organization and ending up with the Kansas City A's by the 1960s before becoming a manager.