Bob Melvin
Melvin in 2017
San Francisco Giants – No. 6
Catcher / Manager
Born: (1961-10-28) October 28, 1961 (age 62)
Palo Alto, California, U.S.
Batted: Right
Threw: Right
MLB debut
May 25, 1985, for the Detroit Tigers
Last MLB appearance
August 6, 1994, for the Chicago White Sox
MLB statistics
Batting average.233
Home runs35
Runs batted in212
Managerial record1,553–1,466
Winning %.514
As player

As manager

As coach

Career highlights and awards

Robert Paul Melvin (born October 28, 1961) is an American professional baseball manager and former catcher who is the current manager of the San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball (MLB). Melvin has been named Manager of the Year three times.

Selected in the first round, second overall, by the Detroit Tigers in the secondary phase of the 1981 draft, Melvin was a catcher for the Detroit Tigers, San Francisco Giants, Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Royals, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, and Chicago White Sox during a 10-year playing career from 1985 through 1994.

In his 20-year managing career Melvin has led the Seattle Mariners (2003–04), Arizona Diamondbacks (2005–09),Oakland Athletics (2011–21), and San Diego Padres (2022–23). Melvin was named the National League Manager of the Year in 2007, and the American League Manager of the Year in both 2012 (becoming the sixth manager in history to win the award in both leagues) and in 2018 (becoming the eighth manager ever to win the award at least three times).

Entering the 2020 MLB season, Melvin was the longest-tenured manager in MLB with the same team. Through 2023, his 853 Oakland wins were second-most in team history (behind Connie Mack). He had an aggregate career record of 1,517–1,425 (.516) in 20 seasons as a Major League manager, and had led his clubs to eight postseason appearances and four division titles.[1][2]

Early years

Melvin was born in Palo Alto, California, to Paul and Judy (Levitas) Melvin, and grew up in Menlo Park, California.[3][4][5] The son of a Jewish mother (who raised him after his parents divorced in 1972) and a Catholic father,[3][6][7][8] he was raised in the Christian faith and identifies as Christian.[6][7][9][10][11] He would later recall celebrating Passover with his mother's family.[8][12]

Through 2021, he was one of seven Jewish managers in MLB history.[13][14] The others were Gabe Kapler, Brad Ausmus, Jeff Newman, Norm Sherry, Lefty Phillips, and Lipman Pike.[14] Melvin's maternal grandfather, R.B. "Bud" Levitas, was the original ballboy in the 1920s for the Acme Packers (precursor to the Green Bay Packers), and later married Melvin's maternal grandmother, Leah Levitas, who died in 2007.[4][15]

He resides in Berkeley, California, and in Greenwich Village in New York City, with his wife Kelley, whom he met in 1982 when he was 21 years of age.[16][17][4] They have one daughter, Alexi (born in 1988), who is an actress, writer, and filmmaker.[18][19][20] Melvin and his family are actively involved with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation; Alexi was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at age 14.[18][21]

High school and college

After attending Laurel and Encinal elementary schools in Menlo Park, Melvin played baseball (at catcher), basketball (at forward), and golf at Menlo-Atherton High School in Atherton, south of San Francisco, graduating in 1979.[22][23] He batted .474 with 11 home runs for the baseball team, including .529 his senior year when he was named to the San Jose Mercury News' All-Central Coast Section baseball team.[24][23] He was the first student inducted into the school's Hall of Fame.[4]

Melvin then enrolled at the University of California in Berkeley, and played catcher for the Golden Bears. As a freshman, he helped lead Cal to a 44–23–1 (.654) record and a third-place finish at the College World Series in 1980.[22] Melvin finished his freshman season batting .269 with two doubles and 12 RBIs in 67 at bats over 29 games.[24]

Following his freshman year at California, Melvin transferred to Cañada College in Redwood City, California.[25] He played fall ball for the baseball team.

Playing career

Melvin with the Nashville Sounds in 1985

Melvin was selected in the 1st round (2nd pick) by the Detroit Tigers in the secondary phase of the 1981 draft. He debuted in the major leagues on May 25, 1985, at the age of 23.[26] He played 11 seasons, mostly as a back-up catcher, for the Tigers, San Francisco Giants, Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Royals, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, and Chicago White Sox. As a Tiger, he backed up Lance Parrish, and as a Giant, he served as the backup for fellow catcher Bob Brenly, who, like him, went on to manage the Diamondbacks.[24] During his winters in San Francisco, he interned at Bear Stearns.[27][28]

In 1987, he caught stealing 42.9% of attempted base-stealers, second-best in the National League.[26] In 1991, Melvin turned five double plays at catcher, fifth-most in the American League, despite playing in only 79 games.[26] Melvin finished his career with a batting average of .233, and 35 home runs.[26]

Coaching and scouting career

Melvin worked for Milwaukee as a scout in 1996, roving instructor in 1997, and assistant to General Manager Sal Bando in 1998.[1] He began his coaching career as Manager Phil Garner's bench coach from 1999 to 2000, first with the Brewers in 1999 wearing #12 (during which time he also managed the Maryvale team in the Arizona Fall League), and then in 2000 with the Tigers, wearing #15.[1] He was inducted into the AFL Hall of Fame in 2013.[1] Melvin then served the Arizona Diamondbacks as bench coach on the staff of manager Bob Brenly, from 2001 to 2002, a period in which the team won two NL West titles, as well as the 2001 World Series.[1]

Managerial career

Seattle Mariners (2003–04)

Melvin managed the Seattle Mariners in 2003 and 2004 wearing #3, following a ten-year run of Lou Piniella. The Mariners won 93 games with a .574 win–loss percentage in 2003, as the 93 wins tied Melvin for the 15th-most by any rookie manager in Major League history.[1] However, the team missed the playoffs, finishing three games behind the Oakland Athletics in the division, and two behind the Boston Red Sox for the one wild card spot.[29]

The following season was less successful, as the Mariners lost 99 games in 2004, and Melvin's contract was not extended. He finished with a 156–168 career record (.481) as Mariners manager.[30] He returned to the Diamondbacks for whom he previously had been bench coach before being hired by the Mariners.

Arizona Diamondbacks (2005–09)

Melvin was the second manager the Diamondbacks hired for 2005, after they fired Wally Backman before he managed a single game due to revelations of his past arrests and serious financial troubles.[31] Melvin led the team on a 26-game improvement from a franchise-worst 51–111 mark in 2004, as the team finished 2005 with a record of 77–85.[1]

Melvin led Arizona to a National League West title in 2007 with a record of 90–72, and a .556 win–loss percentage.[25] The Diamondbacks entered the playoffs as the No. 1 seed in the National League. They swept the Chicago Cubs in the NLDS, but then were swept themselves in the NLCS by the Colorado Rockies.

Melvin was named National League Sporting News Manager of the Year and MLB Manager of the Year for 2007. His nickname was "The Mad Scientist", because of his mental approach to the game.[32]

On August 14, 2008, with his 304th win Melvin became the winningest manager in Arizona history, passing Bob Brenly.[1]

Firing, scout, and job interviews

Melvin was fired as manager and replaced by A. J. Hinch, another former catcher, after the May 8, 2009, game.[33] Melvin finished with a 337–340 regular season record as Diamondbacks manager, and a 3–4 post–season record.[30]

Following the 2009 season, Melvin was a candidate to be the next manager of the Houston Astros.[34] However, the position was filled by Brad Mills.[35] He was interviewed by the Milwaukee Brewers for their managerial opening in October 2010, and was believed to be a finalist along with Bobby Valentine, Joey Cora, and Ron Roenicke.[36] The position eventually went to Roenicke, then the Angels' bench coach.[37]

In 2010, Melvin was a scout for the New York Mets, and in May 2011 he worked for the Diamondbacks as a special baseball advisor to President and CEO Derrick Hall.[1]

Oakland Athletics (2011–21)

Melvin with the Oakland Athletics

On June 9, 2011, Melvin was named interim manager of the Oakland Athletics following Bob Geren's dismissal. Melvin wore #6 after becoming manager.[38] On September 21, he was given the managerial position on a permanent basis, with a three-year contract extension, and became the 30th manager in franchise history, and the 18th in Oakland history.[1][39] The Athletics fashioned a 47–52 record under Melvin's watch, and a 74–88 overall finish to 2011. In 2011, he had the lowest rate of his pitchers issuing intentional walks per game of all AL managers, at 0.2%.[40]

Melvin went on the Chris Townsend Show in the Bay Area after the first game of the 2012 season in Tokyo, and promised the fans that the Athletics would work hard every game. He managed the Athletics to the franchise's best-ever record in July at 19–5. On October 1, the Athletics clinched their first playoff appearance since 2006, and two days later clinched the American League West. For the regular season, the team was 94–68, a .580 win–loss percentage.[25] In 2012, he used the fewest pinch runners per game of all AL managers, at 0.10.[41] The Athletics lost the 2012 ALDS to the Detroit Tigers, three games to two.[42] Melvin was honored as the 2012 American League Manager of the Year.[1] He became the 14th manager in history to win the award at least twice in a career, and the sixth manager to win the award in both leagues.[1]

During the 2013 season, Melvin's second full season at the helm, the Athletics continued what began the previous year, posting winning records for every month of the season and securing a second consecutive American League West Division Championship. Athletics' outfielder Josh Reddick referred to Melvin as the "King of Platoons" due to his extensive use of platoons.[43][44] In the 2013 regular season, the team was 96–66 with a .593 win–loss percentage.[25]

In 2014, Melvin's Athletics entered the All-Star Break with the best record in the majors. While the team faded down the stretch, it still managed to clinch an AL Wild Card berth on the final day of the season.[citation needed] In 2015 he only had his players place 11 sacrifice bunts, the lowest number in the AL.[45]

On July 29, 2017, he became the 64th MLB manager to win 1,000 games in his career.[1] On September 28, 2017, the Athletics and Melvin agreed to extend his contract through the 2019 season.[46] In 2017, he used the most pinch hitters per game of any AL manager (0.79), and the fewest pinch runners per game (0.12).[47]

On October 29, 2018, the Athletics awarded Melvin a long-term contract extension, through 2021 with a club option for 2022.[48] On November 13, 2018, Melvin won his third Manager of the Year award, becoming just the 8th manager in MLB history win the award three times.[49] He won the award after leading the baseball team with the lowest Opening Day payroll to a 97–65 record and its first post-season in four years.[49]

In 2019, he used the fewest pinch runners per game of all AL managers, at 0.07.[50] On June 1, 2021; with a 12–6 win over the Seattle Mariners, Melvin tallied his 798th win as Athletics manager. This vaulted him past Tony La Russa to become the second-winningest manager in Athletics history, and the winningest in the West Coast portion of franchise history. In 2021 he led all AL managers with an average of 0.99 pinch hitters per game.[51]

By the end of his Athletics tenure, his 853 wins were second-most in team history, behind only Hall of Fame manager Connie Mack. His 1,346 wins ranked 34th in MLB history.[52] Among active Major League managers, only Dusty Baker, and Terry Francona had more wins.[2] He had led his teams to seven postseason appearances and four division titles. ESPN reported: "With the A's, Melvin developed a reputation as a players' manager as well as a keen strategist, and in a division in which his team often carried the lowest payroll, he found consistent success."[53]

San Diego Padres (2021–23)

On November 1, 2021, Melvin became the 22nd manager of the San Diego Padres. He signed a three-year contract.[54]

In his first season as manager, Melvin led the Padres to the postseason, the Padres first playoff berth in a full season since 2006.[55] In the Wild Card Series, against the New York Mets, the Padres defeated the Mets 2-1 to advance.[56] Under Melvin, the Padres defeated the 111-win Los Angeles Dodgers three-games-to-one in the 2022 National League Division Series, [57] but lost the league championship series to the Philadelphia Phillies 4 games to 1. That season, he had the team issue the lowest rate of intentional walks in the league (in 0.1% of plate appearances).[58]

In 2023, Melvin led the Padres to a record of 82-80.[59] They finished third in the NL West, one spot ahead of the 79-83 Giants.[60] His 1,517 regular season wins ranked 25th all-time and were third-most among active managers behind Bruce Bochy (2,093) and Buck Showalter (1,727).[61] One of 15 managers with eight postseason appearances in MLB history, Melvin is the only one to have never won a league pennant.[62]

San Francisco Giants (2024–present)

On October 25, 2023, the San Francisco Giants announced that Melvin had been hired as the club's manager, the 39th manager in franchise history.[60] He signed a three-year contract.[63]

Managerial record

Team Year Regular season Postseason
Games Won Lost Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
SEA 2003 162 93 69 .574 2nd in AL West
SEA 2004 162 63 99 .389 4th in AL West
SEA total 324 156 168 .481
ARI 2005 162 77 85 .475 2nd in NL West
ARI 2006 162 76 86 .469 4th in NL West
ARI 2007 162 90 72 .556 1st in NL West 3 4 .429 Lost NLCS (COL)
ARI 2008 162 82 80 .506 2nd in NL West
ARI 2009 29 12 17 .414 Fired
ARI total 677 337 340 .498 3 4 .429
OAK 2011 99 47 52 .475 3rd in AL West
OAK 2012 162 94 68 .580 1st in AL West 2 3 .400 Lost ALDS (DET)
OAK 2013 162 96 66 .593 1st in AL West 2 3 .400 Lost ALDS (DET)
OAK 2014 162 88 74 .543 2nd in AL West 0 1 .000 Lost ALWC (KC)
OAK 2015 162 68 94 .420 5th in AL West
OAK 2016 162 69 93 .426 5th in AL West
OAK 2017 162 75 87 .463 5th in AL West
OAK 2018 162 97 65 .599 2nd in AL West 0 1 .000 Lost ALWC (NYY)
OAK 2019 162 97 65 .599 2nd in AL West 0 1 .000 Lost ALWC (TB)
OAK 2020 60 36 24 .600 1st in AL West 3 4 .429 Lost ALDS (HOU)
OAK 2021 162 86 76 .531 3rd in AL West
OAK total 1,617 853 764 .528 7 13 .350
SD 2022 162 89 73 .549 2nd in NL West 6 6 .500 Lost NLCS (PHI)
SD 2023 162 82 80 .506 3rd in NL West - -
SD total 324 171 153 .528 6 6 .500
SF 2024 77 36 41 .468 - -
SF total 77 36 41 .468 0 0
Total [64] 3,019 1,553 1,466 .514 16 23 .410

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Coach Bio," Archived August 7, 2018, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b AJ Cassavell. "San Diego the place to be for skipper Melvin".
  3. ^ a b Malcolm Allen. "Bob Melvin". Society for American Baseball Research.
  4. ^ a b c d Ron Kroichick. "Bob Melvin's confidence has deep roots," The San Francisco Chronicle.
  5. ^ "Judith Melvin Obituary (1938 - 2017) - Menlo Park, CA - San Francisco Chronicle". Retrieved November 30, 2023.
  6. ^ a b Peter S. Horvitz (2001). The Big Book of Jewish Baseball. SP Books. ISBN 9781561719730. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
  7. ^ a b Mark Pattison, David Raglin (2002). Detroit Tigers Lists and More: Runs, Hits, and Eras. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0814330401. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
  8. ^ a b Martin Abramowitz (March 30, 2007). "The boys of summer and seder: Baseball, Passover share openers". Jweekly. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
  9. ^ Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and the American Culture. Meckler. 1990. ISBN 9780887367359. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
  10. ^ Hillel Kuttler (November 9, 2013). "For Brad Ausmus, Road to Detroit Tigers Job Ran Through Israel". The Forward. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
  11. ^ Bill Madden (November 9, 2013). "Yankees face stiff competition for free agents this year". New York Daily News. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
  12. ^ Taub, David (April 22, 2024). "Melvin and Matzah: Giants Manager Recalls Childhood Passover". GV Wire. Retrieved May 5, 2024.
  13. ^ Harrison, Donald (May 15, 2022). "Before Melvin, Padres had 11 players, 2 coaches with at least one Jewish parent". San Diego Jewish World. Retrieved May 15, 2022.
  14. ^ a b Ryan Lawrence (October 31, 2017). "Who is Gabe Kapler? A Dozen Fun Facts about the new Phillies manager," PhillyVoice.
  15. ^ "Deaths". J. March 9, 2007.
  16. ^ Bob McManaman. "Melvin hopes to lead D-Backs back to glory," The Spokesman-Review.
  17. ^ Gwen Knapp (June 22, 2011). "Bob Melvin visits his winter home in Manhattan". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
  18. ^ a b Gwen Knapp (June 22, 2011). "Bob Melvin visits his winter home in Manhattan". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved September 19, 2014.
  19. ^ "Manager and Coaches". Oakland Athletics. Archived from the original on November 29, 2018. Retrieved September 19, 2014.
  20. ^ "Former Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin begins duties as scout for New York Mets". New York Daily News. March 3, 2010. Retrieved September 19, 2014.
  21. ^ "A's serve root beer floats for good cause". Oakland Athletics. Archived from the original on March 15, 2014. Retrieved September 19, 2014.
  22. ^ a b "Bob Melvin's friends reflect on his achievement after he's named manager of Seattle Mariners", The Almanac, January 1, 2003.
  23. ^ a b "Melvin not forgotten by people that knew him years ago," The Mercury News.
  24. ^ a b c "Melvin has been around the block, and then some,"
  25. ^ a b c d "Bob Melvin Managerial Record,"
  26. ^ a b c d "Bob Melvin Stats," Baseball-Reference.
  27. ^ "x". The San Francisco Chronicle.
  28. ^ Billy Witz (October 3, 2018). "Athletics' Bob Melvin Is Rooted in Oakland but Was Refined in New York". The New York Times. Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  29. ^ Gaines, Cork. "How Manny Ramirez's Cheating Got Bob Melvin Fired ... Twice". Business Insider.
  30. ^ a b "Bob Melvin". Baseball Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved December 20, 2014.
  31. ^ "D'backs backtrack on Backman, hire Melvin". Sports Illustrated. November 6, 2004. Archived from the original on October 20, 2012. Retrieved July 29, 2012.
  32. ^ Billy Frijoles. "The "Closer by Committee" Needs a Nickname," Athletics Nation.
  33. ^ "Bob Melvin to be replaced as Diamondbacks manager". KTAR. Retrieved July 29, 2012.
  34. ^ McTaggart, Brian. "Melvin, Acta interview with Astros" Archived November 11, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved August 21, 2012.
  35. ^ McTaggart, Brian. "Mills named Astros manager" Archived October 3, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved August 21, 2012.
  36. ^ Craig Calcaterra (October 31, 2010). "Bobby Valentine the "front runner" for the Brewers' job | HardballTalk". NBC Sports. Retrieved July 29, 2012.
  37. ^ "Roenicke kept impressing the Brewers".
  38. ^ Saracevic, Al (June 9, 2011). "Oakland A's fire Bob Geren, replaces him with Bob Melvin". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved July 29, 2012.
  39. ^ "Athletics give Bob Melvin contract". ESPN. September 21, 2011. Retrieved November 3, 2017.
  40. ^ "2011 American League Managers".
  41. ^ "2012 American League Managers".
  42. ^ Group, John Hickey | Bay Area News (October 10, 2013). "Oakland A's lose to Detroit Tigers 3-0 in deciding game of ALDS".((cite web)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  43. ^ "Platooning and position-sharing here to stay," Archived April 4, 2018, at the Wayback Machine
  44. ^ Anthony Castrovince. "'King of platoons' Bob Melvin back at it in Oakland". Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  45. ^ "2015 American League Managers".
  46. ^ "A's extend Bob Melvin one year through 2019". NBC Sports Bay Area. September 28, 2017. Retrieved November 3, 2017.
  47. ^ "2017 American League Managers".
  48. ^ "A's extend EVP of Baseball Ops Beane, GM Forst, manager Melvin". October 29, 2018. Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  49. ^ a b "Athletics' Bob Melvin nabs AL Manager of the Year honors" ESPN.
  50. ^ "2019 American League Managers".
  51. ^ "2021 American League Managers".
  52. ^ "Billy Beane Wants Bob Melvin to Manage A's Rest of His Coaching Career," NBC Bay Area.
  53. ^ "San Diego Padres hire Oakland Athletics' Bob Melvin as new manager". ESPN. October 29, 2021.
  54. ^ Cassavell, AJ (November 1, 2021). "Padres make Bob Melvin next skipper". MLB. Retrieved November 2, 2021.
  55. ^ "San Diego Padres clinch second playoff berth since 2006". ESPN. October 2, 2022. Retrieved October 10, 2022.
  56. ^ Lacques, Gabe (October 9, 2022). "Padres knock out Mets, advance to NLDS as Joe Musgrove's ears become point of contention". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved October 10, 2022.
  57. ^ Gonzalez, Alden (October 16, 2022). "Padres eliminate Dodgers, advance to NLCS for 1st time since 1998". ESPN. Retrieved October 16, 2022.
  58. ^ "2022 National League Managers".
  59. ^ "Bob Melvin Managerial Record".
  60. ^ a b "Giants introduce Melvin as next manager".
  62. ^ "Major League Managers".
  63. ^ Guardado, Maria (October 25, 2023). "Giants officially name Melvin next manager". Retrieved October 25, 2023.
  64. ^ "Bob Melvin". Baseball Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved October 1, 2020.