Rangers History Today: A Managerial Carousel

On this day, the Rangers started a period in which they had four managers in a week. Yep, four managers in a week.
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On this date in franchise history, the Texas Rangers’ first one-day managerial stint took place.

The day, June 22, 1977, started with the replacement of manager Frank Lucchesi, who guided the Rangers to a 31-31 start, but got into a fight with Lenny Randle during spring training. The job then fell to Eddie Stanky. The new manager once played 10 years in the Major League and was on the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, the year that Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier.

He later carved out a managerial career with St. Louis and with the Chicago White Sox in the 1950s and 1960s. By 1977, he was with the Rangers as an assistant coach. So, when Lucchesi was fired, Stanky stepped in.

Stanky’s first game with the Rangers went well, as Texas won, 10-8, beating the Minnesota Twins.

Turns out that was enough for Stanky, who resigned the next day. Quit while you’re ahead right?

So, Connie Ryan took over. Who is Connie Ryan? Well, he played and coached, for the most part, with Atlanta (and in Boston and Milwaukee before that). He did one interim stint with Atlanta in 1975, going 9-18.

With the Rangers, Ryan managed six games, with the Rangers going 2-4. That ended Ryan’s managerial career with an overall record of 11-22.

Yep, six games later, the Rangers had their fourth manager in a week, as they lured Billy Hunter from Baltimore, where he was serving as a bench coach. Hunter led the Rangers to a winning record the rest of the way (60-33).

If you’re counting, that’s four managers in a week. And amid all this discombobulation, the Rangers finished 94-68, good for second place in the American League West. At the time, those 94 wins were the most in a single season in Rangers history.

As for Hunter? Well, he lasted until the last game of the 1978 season before he was fired. Hunter had a chance to sign a five-year contract, which was offered to him during the season by team owner Brad Corbett. Hunter turned it down. Boy, that was a mistake. Manager’s contracts are usually guaranteed.

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