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Tony Peña

Peña as first base coach for the New York Yankees in 2008
Catcher / Manager
Born: June 4, 1957 (1957-06-04) (age 52)
Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic
Batted: Right Threw: Right 
MLB debut
September 1, 1980 for the Pittsburgh Pirates
Last MLB appearance
September 28, 1997 for the Houston Astros
Career statistics
Batting average     .260
Home runs     107
Runs batted in     708
Teams

As player

As manager

Career highlights and awards

Antonio Francisco Peña Padilla, widely known as Tony Peña [PAY-nyah] (born June 4, 1957, in Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic) is a former Major League Baseball catcher.

He was the manager of the Kansas City Royals between 2002 and 2005. He currently is the bench coach for the New York Yankees. He is the father of Tony Peña, Jr. who currently is a free agent.

Contents

Playing career

As a player, Peña was known for his defensive skills with the Pirates, Cardinals, Red Sox, Indians, White Sox, and Astros. He won four Gold Glove Awards and was a five-time All-Star. He was known for his habit of sitting on the ground when there were no runners on base, one leg splayed out to the side, in an arrangement some call the hurdler's position. He did this in order to help his pitchers keep their pitches low in the strike zone.

For the National League Championship Series and World Series in 1987, he hit 17-for-43 in that postseason, with 4 RBIs in the WS.

While playing for the Indians in the opening game of the 1995 American League Division Series, he hit a game-winning homer against his former team, the Boston Red Sox.

In his career, he was a .260 batter with 107 home runs and 708 RBIs in 1,988 games. He had 1687 hits in 6,489 at bats.

Coaching and managerial career

Peña led Águilas Cibaeñas, a professional baseball team in his native Dominican Republic's winter league, to two domestic championships (1998 and 2000) and a 2001 Caribbean World Series title.

Hired by the Royals in 2002 to replace Tony Muser (John Mizerock had served as interim manager), Peña took fans for a ride in 2003, taking a 7-game lead by the All-Star break before settling into a third-place finish in the American League Central Division, with a record of 83–79. It was their first season with a winning record since the strike-shortened 1994 season, and Peña was rewarded with the American League Manager of the Year trophy.

Peña's Royals were less successful in 2004, finishing in last place in the Central Division of the American League with 104 losses. He resigned as manager of the Royals after a loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on May 10, 2005, as the Royals had the worst record in the American League at 8–25.[1] He was replaced by interim manager Bob Schaefer.

On November 3, 2005, Peña was named first base coach of the New York Yankees. On October 21, 2007, the Yankees announced that Peña would interview to replace Joe Torre as manager.[2] However, the Yankees chose to hire former catcher Joe Girardi to manage the team instead. [3]

He is the father of pitcher Tony Francisco Peña (mistakenly known as "Tony, Jr."), as well as New York Mets minor league player Francisco Peña, a prospect for the New York Mets.[4]

Trivia

  • Married to Amaris and has 3 Children: Tony, Jr., Francisco Antonio and Jennifer Amaris.
  • Peña was the MVP of the 1986 Major League Baseball Japan All-Star Series.
  • During a game against the Toronto Blue Jays on August 7, 2007, Alex Rodriguez was hit by a pitch by Blue Jays pitcher Josh Towers. After the benches cleared for the first time, Towers heard Tony Peña "chirping" him, which led to the benches clearing again. After the game Towers called Peña a "quitter," referring to his resignation as the Kansas City Royals' manager in 2005, and said he is not in a position to run his mouth. Towers lost the game and was moved later in the week to the bullpen. (In an interesting twist, Towers is currently in the Yankees organization.)
  • Peña's daughter Jennifer Amaris won Miss RD USA 2007 and represented the Dominican Community in the USA in Miss Dominican Republic 2008 and came in 6th place[5]. A beauty pageant in 2007 his brother, Ramon, pitched with the Detroit Tigers organization.

See also

References

External links

Awards
Preceded by
Mike Scioscia
American League Manager of the Year
2003
Succeeded by
Buck Showalter
Sporting positions
Preceded by
John Mizerock
Kansas City Royals Manager
2002-2005
Succeeded by
Bob Schaefer
Preceded by
Roy White
New York Yankees First Base Coach
2006-2008
Succeeded by
Mick Kelleher
Preceded by
Rob Thomson
New York Yankees Bench Coach
2009-
Succeeded by
current
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