Bill Rigney

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Bill Rigney.jpg

William Joseph Rigney
(Specs or The Cricket)

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Biographical Information[edit]

Bill Rigney played eight seasons in the majors and managed for eighteen. He was a broadcaster for the San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics. He also scouted and was briefly in the front office for the A's.

Before his major league days he played for a semi-pro team sponsored by his family, and then later for the Oakland Oaks. Rigney's entire playing career in the majors was with the New York Giants. He was the same age as outfielder Sid Gordon. Bill didn't come to the majors until age 28, mainly because he missed 1943-1945 while serving his country in the Coast Guard during World War II.

Rigney played a lot of middle infield, appearing at second base a bit more often than at shortstop or third base.

He was named to the All-Star team in 1948 and appeared in the 1951 World Series.

He was managing the Giants by the time he was age 38, and went with them to San Francisco in 1958. He was manager when Orlando Cepeda, Willie McCovey, and Juan Marichal broke in. Later, he managed the expansion Los Angeles Angels for their first nine years (1961-1969). His only championship was a division winner with the Minnesota Twins in 1970, a team which featured Rod Carew, Harmon Killebrew, Tony Oliva, Jim Kaat, and Bert Blyleven.

Notable Achievements[edit]

Preceded by
Leo Durocher
New York/San Francisco Giants Manager
Succeeded by
Tom Sheehan
Preceded by
Los Angeles/California Angels Manager
Succeeded by
Lefty Phillips
Preceded by
Billy Martin
Minnesota Twins Manager
Succeeded by
Frank Quilici
Preceded by
Wes Westrum
San Francisco Giants Manager
Succeeded by
Joe Altobelli
Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
1954 Minneapolis Millers American Association 78-73 3rd New York Giants Lost in 1st round
1955 Minneapolis Millers American Association 92-62 1st New York Giants League Champs
1956 New York Giants National League 67-87 6th New York Giants
1957 New York Giants National League 69-85 6th New York Giants
1958 San Francisco Giants National League 80-74 3rd San Francisco Giants
1959 San Francisco Giants National League 83-71 3rd San Francisco Giants
1960 San Francisco Giants National League 33-25 -- San Francisco Giants replaced by Tom Sheehan on June 18
1961 Los Angeles Angels American League 70-91 8th Los Angeles Angels
1962 Los Angeles Angels American League 86-76 3rd Los Angeles Angels
1963 Los Angeles Angels American League 70-91 9th Los Angeles Angels
1964 Los Angeles Angels American League 82-80 5th Los Angeles Angels
1965 California Angels American League 75-87 7th California Angels
1966 California Angels American League 80-82 6th California Angels
1967 California Angels American League 84-77 5th California Angels
1968 California Angels American League 67-95 8th California Angels
1969 California Angels American League 11-28 -- California Angels replaced by Lefty Phillips on May 27
1970 Minnesota Twins American League 98-64 1st Minnesota Twins Lost ALCS
1971 Minnesota Twins American League 74-86 5th Minnesota Twins
1972 Minnesota Twins American League 36-34 -- Minnesota Twins replaced by Frank Quilici on July 7
1976 San Francisco Giants National League 74-88 4th San Francisco Giants

Further Reading[edit]

  • Bill Rigney (as told to George Vass): "The Game I'll Never Forget", Baseball Digest, October 1975, pp. 75-79. [1]
  • Fay Vincent: "Bill Rigney", in We Would Have Played For Nothing, Simon & Schuster, New York, NY, 2008, pp. 37-49.

Related Sites[edit]