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William Nathaniel “Buck” Showalter III is one of just seven Major League Baseball managers to have won Manager of the Year honors at least three times, aside from the likes of Baseball Hall of Famers Tony La Russa and Bobby Cox and managing legends Jim Leyland and Joe Maddon.
The DeFuniak Springs, Florida native took home the hardware with the New York Yankees in 1994 after a first-place finish in a strike-shortened season; in 2004 while leading Alex Rodriguez and the Texas Rangers; and most recently in 2014 with the Baltimore Orioles. Between 1992 and 2018 Showalter’s teams won a combined 1,551 games, the third most among active managers behind only San Francisco’s Bruce Bochy and Cleveland’s Terry Francona, and his win total is 24th on the all-time managerial leaderboard.
Before cutting his teeth as a leader, Showalter played seven seasons in the Yankees minor league system from 1977 to 1983 where he compiled a .294 career batting average. Showalter managed in the Yankees minor league ranks from 1985 to 1989, amassing a record of 360 wins and 207 wins. He also took home Eastern League Manager of the Year honors in 1989 after he led the Double-A Albany-Colonie Yankees to a league-best 92-48 record and the league championship.
Showalter kicked off his major league managing career in 1992 in the shadow of legendary Yankees owner George Steinbrenner and, by 1995, under his leadership, the Yankees returned to the playoffs for the first time in 14 seasons. His tenure with the Yankees came to a close after the ’95 season and one year later the Yankees won the World Series, kicking off a run of four championships in five seasons for the Bronx Bombers.
Showalter then undertook a building process with the then-expansion Arizona Diamondbacks, helping to develop their roster beginning in 1996 before managing the club from 1998 to 2000. Showalter led Arizona to a National League West-best 100 wins in 1999 but after a subpar season the third season at their helm he was let go – and the Diamondbacks went on to win their first World Series in franchise history the very next season.
Following a four-year tenure in Arlington, Texas that included just one winning season as Rangers skipper, Showalter was hired by the Orioles midway through the 2010 season and enjoyed a nine-season run with the club that included 669 regular season wins, the second-most in the franchise’s history behind only Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver, along with a pair of playoff appearances and in 2014 the club’s first American League East division crown since 1997. Showalter’s Orioles career came to a close following the 2018 season as the team began a rebuilding process.
He and his wife, Angela, currently reside in the Dallas, Texas area.
An Evening with Buck Showalter