GENE MAUCH Biography - Writers


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Gene William Mauch (born November 18, 1925 in Salina, Kansas) is an American former Major League Baseball player and manager, and the holder of the record for most seasons managed without a pennant (breaking the record formerly held by Jimmy Dykes). He managed the Philadelphia Phillies (1960-68), the Montreal Expos (1969-75), the Minnesota Twins (1976-80), and the California Angels (1981-82, 1985-87).


He was a strong advocate of “little ball", or an emphasis on basic fundamentals such as bunting, sacrifice plays, and other ways of advancing runners, as opposed to trying to score runs primarily through slugging. His teams generally played in ballparks which were not friendly to home run hitters, which increased the effectiveness of this approach. While his teams occasionally featured power hitters such as Dick Allen, Rusty Staub and Reggie Jackson, they depended just as heavily on hitters adept at getting on base through contact hitting and patience at the plate, such as Rod Carew, and on strong defensive play by such stars as Bobby Grich and Bob Boone.


Mauch came excruciatingly close to the World Series on three occasions. In 1964, his Phillies had a large lead in the National League, but faded in the last weeks of the season to finish one game out of first place. In 1982, his Angels team won the American League’s Western Division, and won the first two games in a best-of-5 series against the Milwaukee Brewers; but Milwaukee came back to win three straight games and the AL pennant. And in 1986, the Angels again won the Western title, and led in the fifth game against the Boston Red Sox, just one strike away from the Fall Classic - but Boston’s Dave Henderson hit a home run to win the game and the series, denying Mauch in his last real chance to win a pennant.


Mauch also played parts of nine seasons from 1944 to 1957 with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Cubs, Boston Braves, St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Red Sox. In 304 games and 737 at-bats, Mauch hit .239, with 5 home runs and 62 RBIs, striking out 82 times.