Monday 10.11.2010 | 11:23 AM EDT
Art nerd, rocker, slacker, Don Juan, music geek, shutterbug… I’ve been called many things. Rabid sports fan is not one of them. But baseball is one of only two sports close to my heart (tennis eeking out first place in the list).
As a New Yorker, I’ve never developed filial warmth for either the Mets (junkyard dogs) or the Yankees (wealthy over-achievers, though they do have the best uniforms). But as a former southerner growing up in Atlanta, I’ve rooted for the Braves from their dismal years in the early 80′s through the insanely exciting early-mid 90′s. And though my love for the team was temporarily dampened by redneck John Rocker’s shocking, ignorant and racist remarks about my adopted home city of New York, I remain a fan to this day (despite the totally tired and obnoxious crowd cheer known as the Tomahawk Chop. Dudes, enough already, really).
Today, with the Braves heartbreaking loss to the San Francisco Giants in the National League Division Series, baseball fans everywhere bid a sad farewell to one of the most modest, dynamic and successful managers in Major Leagues history. His tearful post-game exit interview tonight brought back 30 years of Braves baseball memories (Bob Horner hitting 4 back-to-back home runs in one game; Sid Bream slowly chugging to home plate for a thrilling 9th-inning come from behind win of the 1992 NLCS). Not to mention one mischievous night in the early 80′s when me and my high school entourage spent a debaucherous teenage evening in Mr. Cox’s home in Atlanta, sneaking swigs from his liquor cabinet (at the time, one of our tribe briefly dated his daughter Keisha). Thankfully, he was on the road, or surely we would have been ejected with extreme prejudice.
So long, Bobby, and thanks for all the fish…
Selected highlights and stats:
- Manager of the Year four times (1985, 1991, 2004, and 2005)
- One of only four managers to have won the award in both the American and National League
- Named Manager of the Year eight times (1985, 1991, 1993, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005)
- Fourth-winningest manager in major league history, with a record of 2,195 wins and 1,698 losses
- Led the Braves to a division title every season from 1991 to 2005
- Won a World Series Championship in 1995.
- In 2001, he took sole possession of first place for most wins as a manager in Braves history
- Fourteenth among the all-time winningest managers.
- One of only four managers in Major League history with over 2500 career wins
- Despite a calm demeanor, as of the end of last season has been ejected 158 times, currently holding the all-time record for most ejections
- The only person among all players and managers to be ejected from two World Series games