Both World Series teams managed by ex-MWL skippers

Terry Francona (left) and Joe Maddon shake hands during batting practice before an Indians-Rays game in 2013. (Photo by Chris Zuppa/Tampa Bay Times)

Terry Francona (left) and Joe Maddon shake hands during batting practice before an Indians-Rays game in 2013. (Photo by Chris Zuppa/Tampa Bay Times)

This year’s World Series pits two former Midwest League managers against each other — Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon and Cleveland Indians skipper Terry Francona.

Maddon made his managerial debut in 1981, two years after finishing a four-year playing career that included the 1976 season with the Quad Cities Angels. Maddon managed short-season Angels affiliates for three years before taking the helm of the Peoria Chiefs in 1984.

Maddon’s Chiefs team finished with a 66-73 record, good for second place in the Southern Division. (At that time, the Midwest League had three divisions: Southern, Central and Northern. Playoff teams were the three division winners and a wild card.)

Francona’s first managerial job was in the Midwest League, as skipper of the 1992 South Bend White Sox (73-64). The most notable players on that South Bend team were future big-leaguers James Baldwin II and Mike Cameron.

Then-White Sox catcher Carlton Fisk did a one-game rehab stint with South Bend that year. The future Hall-of-Famer homered in his first of three at-bats at Coveleski Stadium (now Four Winds Field), hitting the ball so far it struck a synagogue down the left-field line. That building is now the South Bend Cubs’ team store, and there is a plaque commemorating the Fisk shot on a nearby fence.

Carlton Fisk (right) is congratulated by Terry Francona after hitting a long home run during his short rehab stint in South Bend. (Photo by Ron Ryback/South Bend Tribune)

Carlton Fisk (right) is congratulated by Terry Francona after hitting a long home run during his short rehab stint in South Bend. (Photo by Ron Ryback/South Bend Tribune)

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This entry was posted in Baseball Hall of Fame, Midwest League, Peoria Chiefs, Quad Cities River Bandits, South Bend Silver Hawks. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Both World Series teams managed by ex-MWL skippers

  1. joeldinda says:

    Yeah, Cameron & Baldwin were there, but we all rooted for Gas Burton and Charlie Poe. (Couldn’t resist. Francona’s SB Sox weren’t the first MWL team I saw, but they were the first I knew. We had SB ticket packages–Section 100 row 2–for several years.)

    Like

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