Bobby Cox Throughout his career, Bobby Cox never got the fame that every coach wants. He did his job and never complained about it. With all the criticism that he has gotten over the years he still puts together a well organized and in the most part well behaved team in baseball. Starting off as a player himself, he will always be remembered as one of the best managers of all time. He was born on May 21 in 1941 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Attended a high school and junior college in California. His professional career started out in the Dodgers farm system for seven years. In 1966, he was acquired by the Atlanta Braves. He spent 1967 at the Richmond farm team but then traded to the New York Yankees in 1968 gaining the third base position. In his first year of play, he made the Topp’s Rookie All-Start team. In the next year, he lost his position to Bob Murcer in 1969.
Cox then ended his career at the age of 30 due to bad knees and began to coach. Cox was appointed the managing job of the Yankees Class A team in Fort Lauderdale in 1971. Within all of his 6 seasons, not one of his teams finished lower than fourth. He continued with the Yankees system until 1978. He ended up with winning the Eastern League pennant and championship with the club in West Haven in ’72 and with the Syracuse club won the International League’s Governor’s Cup in ’76.
His last year with the Yankees he was the first base coach before going to manage the Braves. In Atlanta Cox stayed for 3 years, 1978 to 1981. He built the Braves up to be replaced before he could take them to the 1982 National League West title. His next endeavor was to bring a team up basically from the ground. In 1982, Cox was given four years to manage at Toronto. He was given the task of building a winner out of the returning last place team.
His first season, he coached them to gain their best record since the Blue Jays birth. It was only a mere 78 wins to 84 losses but it was still a big accomplishment. The next two following seasons, Toronto still improved their record to a winning one with 89 wins to 73 losses which gave them seventh place. With one more win would have given the team a 1985 World Series first. From Toronto, Cox returned to Atlanta.
In October of 1985, he was the General Manager with lots of different responsibilities. This time around he was to supervise a farm team giving us some of our superstars today. Also, accumulating the right to manage the field starting in June of ’90. John Schuerholz was then given the General Manager spot in October of ’90. Since then Bobby Cox has been the field manager for the best team of the nineties.
The Braves went from worst to first and have even brought Brave fans a desired World Championship. Throughout his ten-year stay with the famed Atlanta team he’s won eight straight Division titles with the exception of 1994 because of the baseball strike. They’ve also been in 5 World Series but only came out with one win. In 1992 he lost in the World Series to none other than the Toronto Blue Jays. His post-season record of 43 to 36 and a .544 winning percentage.
That gives Bobby Cox the most wins in the post season by a manager. He has more wins than such great managers as Casey Stengel and Tommy Lasorda. Yet still, he has only been recognized once as a tremendous manager. He won National League Manger of The Year in 1991. So far in Atlanta, Cox has racked up a record of 957 wins and 797 losses equaling out to a .543 winning percentage.
On June 17 in 1997 he gained his 900th National League victory. The Braves have won more games than any other team in the major leagues in the past decade, which makes Cox the winningest Braves manager of all time. All the wins do not make Bobby Cox a successful coach. Building teams up from the floor accounts for some of the recognition but there’s more. Cox runs a good, clean ball club.
He has certain rules that are old fashion and some are being updated. Cox doesn’t allow players to wear earrings or have any facial hair. When he got Brian Jordan in 1999 he compromised with him, allowing the goatee but Jordan had to take out the earring for games. No arguments were made by either even when half the team started coming in with more and more facial hair. All his players respect him and all of his fellow managers respect him also.
For his players he only asks two things from them all the time, to give 100 percent and to be on time. Back in 1998 was one of the few times where he showed frustration towards one of his players. Andruw Jones was reprimanded for not obeying one of Cox’s rules. When Jones did not hustle to catch a soft hit line drive and allowing the batter to get a hit Cox took him out of the game. He called Jones in to sit on the bench for the rest of the game. The reasoning that he gave for his action was: I didn’t act that way when I was 21, nor did Hank Aaron or Willie MaysMistakes are nothing.
But it’s a mistake not to try. Jones is a very young player. He came into the major leagues when he was only 18. He expects the players to love the game as much as he does and if they really do they would give it their all after every ball hit. In my eyes, that’s positive coaching.
Not only is Bobby Cox coaching the Braves but also he’s setting an example for every young child interested in the sport. Showing the kids that no matter what level you are at, your coach expects all of your effort all of the time. Making errors is going to happen in this game. The difference is that if you make an effort but still make a mistake that you are showing the coach that you want to be out on the field. Giving up on any ball shows that there might be some doubt as to whether you really want to play or not.
Even though what Cox did was a big embarrassment to Andruw Jones he was teaching a much more deserved lesson than humility. Since the Braves kept on winning in the nineties, people didn’t give Bobby Cox very much credit for his coaching ability. The public just thought that all Cox was doing was writing the names on the lineup card every day until last year. Another thing that Cox was criticized for was his temper towards umpires at times. The 1999 season alone he was thrown out 10 times.
In the beginning of the season, 5 players succumbed to injury. Players missed the whole season such as clean up hitter Andres Galarraga, closing pitcher Kerry Lightenberg and previous All Star catcher Javy Lopez. Without these players made the season harder for the Braves. But Bobby Cox never worried for a second. Well, at least not to the public and to his players.
That’s just his style of coaching. The team keeps a very unemotional attitude. Cox just made the adjustments for his team and put the pressure on the players he knew could step up to the challenge. He had second-string catcher Eddie Perez stepped up and took most of the catching responsibilities. Cox also had to rely on more pitchers that were hardly used in the bullpen. The pitching coach, Leo Mazzone, solved most of that problem.
MVP of the National League, Chipper Jones, took on most of the clutch hitting. Nobody ever expected the injury-infested team ever to make it to the World Series. Other teams had newly acquired players and were more of the favorites. But the Braves ended up with the most wins, 103, in the major leagues. Another National League Championship but yet another loss in the World Series. For the coach never to show his players that he has any worries is excellent coaching. Even when times are looking pretty grim the coach has to look unscathed.
If the coach believes than the players will gain more confidence and play like they had a team full of superstars. Even though each year the Braves acquire more All-Star players puts a harder stress on the coach keeping the team together. As Chipper Jones said The more talent you have, the more egos you have. Cox has very good relationships with his players but when they are on the field he has all of their respect. Bobby Cox obviously knows what he is doing. He has led his teams to success.
Not all the time is it winning the Series but beating the odds and doing it with dignity. Cox is a very humble man and doesn’t feel that he deserves all the credit sometime. That’s why he does not promote himself for Manager of the Year like the rest of the managers will do. Cox himself says, Honestly, I’m just doing my job, I let everything else fall where it may. Sports and Games.