Hurdle records 1,000th managerial win

'Proud' Pirates skipper celebrates milestone with parents, teammates

June 25th, 2016

PITTSBURGH -- Clint Hurdle was getting ready for a family picture Thursday afternoon at PNC Park, part of the club's annual Family Day festivities, when a surprise walked in the room.

Hurdle hadn't thought about inviting his parents until that morning, right as he was walking out the door. But his wife, Karla, quickly got them on a last-minute flight from Orlando, Fla., to Pittsburgh. The Hurdles arrived in time to celebrate Family Day and, a day later, a milestone achievement for their son.

The Pirates' 8-6 win over the Dodgers on Friday night was the 1,000th of Hurdle's managerial career. His father, Clint Sr., was there for win No. 1 with the Rockies in 2002. He was there Friday night for No. 1,000, too.

"The one thing that I am happy with is my dad's here. He's been with me through thick and thin, this whole crazy ride as a player and as a coach and as a manager," Hurdle said. "The thing for me is he's proud of me, but I'm more proud of him being the father that he's been through this whole crazy thing."

The Pirates recognized the accomplishment in the clubhouse afterward, and Hurdle had time to reflect on becoming the 61st Major League manager to ever reach that mark. He's the sixth active manager with 1,000 wins, joining Bruce Bochy, Dusty Baker, Mike Scioscia, Buck Showalter and Terry Francona.

"It's pretty special. It's a lot of wins," shortstop Jordy Mercer said. "He needed to be recognized, and we did it. It's a pretty cool thing he's got."

Asked about the milestone before the game, Hurdle thought of Dan O'Dowd and Keli McGregor, who took a chance on him in Colorado. He recognized the Pirates leadership group, which gave him a second chance in Pittsburgh.

"I'm just humbled," Hurdle said. "There's a lot of losses there, too. There's a lot of experience. There's a lot of learning. There's been a lifetime of learning."

Hurdle owns a 1,000-1,043 career record, and it's probably felt at times like the majority of those 1,043 came over the last three weeks. The Pirates have endured perhaps their most challenging stretch since Hurdle helped change the franchise's expectations with a run to the postseason in 2013.

To borrow two of his turns of phrase: He's been a thermostat, setting the temperature for the Pirates, not a thermometer. He's been a crockpot, in it for the long haul, not a microwave.

Through the 20 losses in 26 games, the fall below .500 and the questions that come along with both, Hurdle has remained relentlessly positive.

"Tonight was another reason why I'm proud of these men. We're battling. We're doing some hard right now," Hurdle said. "We're all working together. I thanked them for their effort and told them I'm proud to be their manager."