Buzzie Bavasi

From BR Bullpen

Emil Joseph Bavasi

Biographical Information[edit]

Buzzie Bavasi was General Manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers/Los Angeles Dodgers from 1951 to 1968. He then moved south to become the original GM of the expansion San Diego Padres. Bavasi was GM of the Padres from 1969 to 1972 and president from 1973 to 1976. He was GM of the California Angels from 1977 to 1984.

Bavasi's nickname came from his childhood; his family gave him the name became he was always moving around.

Prior to working at the major league level, Bavasi was business manager of the Americus Pioneers (1940), Valdosta Trojans (1941-1942) and Durham Bulls (1943) [1]. He entered the service and was a machine gunner in the Army from late 1943 [2] to 1946, being discharged as a staff sergeant. Bavasi was GM of the Nashua Dodgers in 1946-1947 and the Montreal Royals 1948-1950. While with Nashua, he aided Don Newcombe and Roy Campanella while they were helping to integrate the minor leagues.

Bavasi took over the GM role of the Dodgers when Branch Rickey left the team. Bavasi guided the team to its first World Series title, in 1955. Bavasi was famous for being a tough negotiator and won a 1966 standoff with Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale, working them down to a combined $235,000 bonus from the $1.05 million they had sought.

In 2000, Bavasi commented on the large contract given to Alex Rodriguez by the New York Yankees: "The guy makes $25 million a year and he gets another $100,000 for making the All-Star team? If I was paying a guy $25 million a year, he sure as hell better make the All-Star team."

His sons Peter and Bill also went on to become major league General Managers.

Preceded by
Branch Rickey

(Team President)

Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers General Manager
Succeeded by
Fresco Thompson
Preceded by
San Diego Padres General Manager
Succeeded by
Peter Bavasi
Preceded by
Harry Dalton
California Angels General Manager
Succeeded by
Mike Port

Further Reading[edit]

  • Buzzie Bavasi with Jack Olsen: "The Dodger Story - Part I: The Great Holdout", Sports Illustrated, Volume 26, Issue 20, May 15, 1967, p. 78.[3]
  • Buzzie Bavasi with Jack Olsen: "The Dodger Story - Part II: Money Makes the Player Go", Sports Illustrated, Volume 26, Issue 21, May 22, 1967, p. 44.[4]
  • Buzzie Bavasi with Jack Olsen: "The Dodger Story - Part III: The Real Secret of Trading", Sports Illustrated, Volume 26, Issue 23, June 5, 1967, p. 47.[5]
  • Buzzie Bavasi with John Strege: Off the Record, Contemporary Books, Chicago, IL, 1987. [6]
  • Ken LaZebnik: Buzzie and the Bull: A GM, a Clubhouse Favorite, and the Dodgers’ 1965 Championship Season, University of Nebraska Press, 2020. ISBN 978-1-4962-1317-4

Related Sites[edit]