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William Joseph Rigney (January 29, 1918 - February 20, 2001) was an American infielder and manager in Major League Baseball. A native of Alameda, California, he batted and threw right-handed.

A 26-season major league veteran, Rigney played for the New York Giants from 1946 through 1953. His most productive season came in 1947, when he collected career-highs in home runs (17), RBI (59), runs (84), hits (142), doubles (24) and games played (130). An All-Star in 1948, he was a .259 career hitter with 41 home runs and 212 RBI in 654 games.

Following his playing career, Rigney served as the Giants manager from 1956-60, leading the club in its first season after moving from New York to San Francisco in 1958. He then became the expansion Los Angeles Angels' first manager in 1961, moved with them to Anaheim, and remained until the 1969 season, winning the AL Manager of the Year Award in 1962.

With a disappointing 11-28 record and mired in a ten-game losing streak, Rigney was fired by the Angels on May 27, 1969, and succeeded by Lefty Phillips. Later in 1969, Rigney joined the San Francisco Giants' radio broadcast team to close out the season; coincidentally, both KSFO, the Giants flagship station, and the Angels were owned at that time by Gene Autry and Robert O. Reynolds.

Returning to the field the next year, Rigney led the Minnesota Twins to the 1970 AL West championship before being replaced midway through the 1972 season.

After serving as a scout for the Padres and Angels (1973-74), Rigney had a second managerial stint with the Giants in 1976.

In an 18-season managerial career, Rigney posted a 1239-1321 record (.484) in 2561 games. After that, he served as a front-office consultant and a radio and TV broadcaster for the Oakland Athletics in the 1980s.

Rigney died in Walnut Creek, California at age of 83.

Quotation

  • Rigney took the reins of the Giants in 1956, succeeding Leo Durocher, for whom he had played from 1948 to 1953. "I learned a lot from Leo Durocher", he said. "I learned about the hit-and-run, about gambling and going against the percentages. You can't play it the same all the time." – Norman L. Macht, at Baseball Library [1]

External links

Preceded by
Leo Durocher
New York/San Francisco Giants Manager
1956–1960
Succeeded by
Tom Sheehan
Preceded by
First Manager
Los Angeles/California Angels Manager
1961-1969
Succeeded by
Lefty Phillips
Preceded by
Billy Martin
Minnesota Twins Manager
1970-1972
Succeeded by
Frank Quilici
Preceded by
Wes Westrum
San Francisco Giants Manager
1976
Succeeded by
Joe Altobelli
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