Monday, December 10, 2012

Billy Martin (#547)

Billy Martin. (Where do I begin?)

Martin played independent minor-league ball from 1946-1949, before being acquired by the Yankees prior to the 1950 season.

After splitting 1950 between New York and triple-A, he became a full-season major-leaguer in 1951. Billy was the Yankees' regular 2nd baseman from May 14, 1952 until June 2, 1957, except for missing all of 1954 and most of 1955 while in military service.

Martin was traded to the Athletics in mid-June 1957, and bounced around to Detroit, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, and Minnesota until retiring after the 1961 season.

After retirement, Billy scouted for the Twins for a few seasons, then became the team's 3rd base coach for several years, until he was named as the Twins' manager for the 1969 season. He was fired after the season, due to an in-season fight with one of his players.

Martin managed the Tigers from 1971-73, and the Rangers from 1973-75.

Shortly after being fired by the Rangers, he began his first of FIVE managerial stints with the Yankees: 1975-78, 79, 83, 85, 88. In-between, he managed the Athletics from 1980-82. Billy won the AL pennant in 1976 and the World Series in 1977 while with the Yankees.

Martin was killed in a car accident (on his property) on Christmas Day 1989, at age 61.