The Chicago Cubs are reportedly set to name current San Diego Padres bench coach Rick Renteria their new manager and that has led to a real oddity in baseball history. Apparently the 1980 Major League Baseball draft was the place to go to find future managers.
While mostly known as the draft that introduced Darryl Strawberry to the world, the 1980 edition may now be known as the draft of the manager.
With Renteria landing in Chicago and Lloyd McClendon being tapped as the Seattle Mariners manager, the 1980 draft produced four current big league managers. The other two are Terry Francona of the Cleveland Indians and John Gibbons of the Toronto Blue Jays. Current Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell was selected by the Oakland A’s in the ninth round of that draft, but did not sign.
McClendon was taken in the eighth round by the New York Mets, while former Cincinnati manager Dave Miley was also taken in the 1980 draft by the Reds in the second round.
Additionally Dave Magadan -who would go on the be the hitting coach for the Padres, Red Sox and Texas Rangers – was taken in the 12th round by Boston but also elected not to sign.
That’s a pretty crazy list of guys who were selected that went on to be managers and a high-level coach, but the connections get even crazier.
Renteria, Francona, Gibbons and Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane were, in a mind-boggling twist, selected in a five-pick span.
Renteria went 20th overall to the Pittsburgh Pirates, Francona went 22nd to the Montreal Expos, Beane was famously selected by the New York Mets with the 23rd pick and Gibbons was taken at 24, also by the Mets. That’s pretty crazy if you ask us.
For those wondering, Jim Acker went 21st to the Atlanta Braves and has no managerial or executive experience as far as we can tell.