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Phil Garner

Second baseman / Third Baseman / Manager
Born: April 30, 1949 (1949-04-30) (age 60)
Jefferson City, Tennessee
Batted: Right Threw: Right 
MLB debut
September 10, 1973 for the Oakland Athletics
Last MLB appearance
October 2, 1988 for the San Francisco Giants
Career statistics
Batting average     .260
Home runs     109
Runs batted in     738

As player

As manager

Career highlights and awards

Philip Mason Garner (born April 30, 1949, in Jefferson City, Tennessee) is a former infielder in Major League Baseball for the Oakland Athletics, Pittsburgh Pirates, Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers, and San Francisco Giants from 1973 to 1988. He was manager of the Astros from July 14 2004 to August 27 2007, leading Houston to a World Series appearance in 2005.


MLB career

Nicknamed "Scrap-Iron" due to his gritty style of play, Garner's best year as a player was 1979, when he was a member of the World Series champion Pirates, batting .417 in the NL Championship Series and .500 (12 for 24) in the World Series. His icon at the time was the scrappy, similarly-mustachioed cartoon hero Yosemite Sam.

Garner later became a manager for the Milwaukee Brewers, Detroit Tigers and Houston Astros, leading the Astros to the franchise's first ever World Series in 2005.

In 1992, Garner replaced Tom Trebelhorn as manager of the Brewers. He quickly installed a running-focussed style of play as every starter that year stole at least 10 bases. Standing out were 1992 AL Rookie of the Year Pat Listach who stole 54 bases, veteran Paul Molitor stealing 31, and outfielder Darryl Hamilton stealing 41. This gave the 1992 Brewers a 2nd place finish in the competitive AL East but Garner's teams in later seasons in both Milwaukee and Detroit would not finish at .500.

The 2004 season was different for Garner. After a slow start under then manager Jimy Williams, Garner was brought in mid-season to replace Williams and led the Astros to a National League Wild Card berth, eventually losing to St. Louis in the National League Championship Series in seven games. The team experienced another slow start in 2005 but made a run once again late in the season and came back to win another National League Wild Card. This time, Houston would beat The St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Championship Series in six games and win the pennant only to be swept by the Chicago White Sox in the World Series.

Under his leadership in the last 12 games of the 2006 season, the Astros won 10 and lost 2 putting them a game and half behind the Division winners. Garner's contract was extended through the end of the 2008 season by the Astros. As manager of a pennant winning team the year before, Garner managed the 2006 National League All-Star Team in Pittsburgh on July 11 2006. Garner cites Chuck Tanner, his manager during his time with the Pirates, as one of his biggest coaching influences [1].

Garner is a strong advocate of having six relief pitchers on the roster as opposed to an extra hitter on the bench.

On August 27 2007, Phil Garner was released from the position of Manager from the Astros, along with General Manager Tim Purpura. Cecil Cooper was named interim manager for the remainder of the season [1].


Year League Division Team Age Games Won Lost Win% Finish Playoff Record Playoff Result
1992 AL East Milwaukee 43 162 92 70 .568 2nd - -
1993 44 162 69 93 .426 7th - -
1994 Central 45 115 53 62 .461 5th - -
1995 46 144 65 79 .451 4th - -
1996 47 163 80 82 .494 3rd - -
1997 48 161 78 83 .484 3rd - -
1998 NL Central 49 162 74 88 .457 5th - -
1999 50 112 52 60 .464 5th - (fired)
2000 AL Central Detroit 51 162 79 83 .488 3rd - -
2001 52 162 66 96 .407 4th - -
2002 53 6 0 6 .000 5th - (fired)
2004 NL Central Houston 55 74 48 26 .649 2nd 6-6 Lose in NLCS
2005 56 163 89 73 .549 2nd 7-7 Lose World Series
2006 57 162 82 80 .506 2nd - -
2007 58 131 58 73 .443 5th - (fired)
Totals 1877 903 974 .481


  • Garner was involved in the two longest post-season games in the history of baseball, played almost 20 years apart. He was the Astros' manager in the 18-inning victory over the Atlanta Braves on October 9, 2005. In the 16-inning loss to the New York Mets on October 15, 1986, Garner was the starting third baseman for the Astros, going 1-for-3, before being replaced by a pinch-hitter. Both games had the final score of 7-6. Interestingly, he also managed the Astros for the longest World Series game in length of time (five hours and forty-one minutes). The Chicago White Sox won the game, 7-5 in the 14th inning (tied for longest by innings).


See also

External links

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