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A baseball manager in a suit? Sounds strange, doesn't it?

One of the oddities of Major League Baseball is that team managers wear uniforms, whereas in other sports the bench bosses dress in street clothes – and in the case of basketball and hockey, usually in well-tailored suits or sports jackets. If baseball appears out of step, it's because so many players doubled as managers in the early years. They needed to be in uniform in case they put themselves in the lineup. (Only two managers still remembered for wearing street clothes during games: Connie Mack of the Philadelphia A's from 1901 to 1950 and Burt Shotton of the Brooklyn Dodgers in the late 1940s.) Over the years, the use of player-managers fell off as the game became more specialized and was complicated by contractual issues. The last player-manager was Cincinnati's Pete Rose, who did double duty for the Reds from 1984 to1986. The names of big-league player-managers since the 1950s, with their teams and years at the helm:

  • Lou Boudreau, Cleveland Indians 1950 Boston Red Sox 1952
  • Tommy Holmes, Boston Braves 1951
  • Fred Hutchinson, Detroit Tigers 1952-53
  • Solly Hemus, St. Louis Cardinals 1959
  • Hank Bauer, Kansas City A's 1961
  • Frank Robinson, Cleveland Indians 1975-76
  • Don Kessinger, Chicago White Sox 1979
  • Joe Torre, NY Mets 1977
  • Pete Rose, Cincinnati Reds 1984-86
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