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Who was the best third base coach of all time?

Updated: 9/27/2023
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15y ago

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There is no consensus as to whom is the best third-base coach in Baseball history, as the job of a third-base coach, while easy to define, is very difficult to rate. Basically the responsibilities of the position are to relay signals from the manager to the batter at the plate and to tell a runner coming from second base whether he should stop at third or continue to home plate. Needless to say, there are no statistics for either category, but there are some anecdotes and testimonials to bring to bear on the question.

Among the candidates for best third-base coach of all time, based on what reports we have, are Preston Gomez (suggested by Reggie Jackson in a 1982 Sports Illustrated article), Billy Martin (according to longtime Minnesota sportswriter Sid Hartman), Eddie Mayo (quoting future American League president Joe Cronin), John Vukovich (per manager Ozzie Guillen) and Manny Acta (according to ex-player and current Mets executive Tony Bernazard). A 2005 ESPN.com poll of players rated Ron Washington the best in the major leagues.

All of the above men later served as managers in the majors. Because of their responsibilities and the closeness to the manager that they entail, being a third-base coach is often a stepping stone to a managerial post. (Current major league managers who used to coach third include Acta, Washington, Jim Leyland, Charlie Manuel and John Russell.) Before 1910, when managers began to hire full-time coaches, it was usually the skipper himself who coached third base; this practice continued well into the 1950s.

Other third-base coaches that could be considered among the all-time greats include Joey Amalfitano, Billy Hunter and Jim Davenport (all of who managed in the bigs as well). More recently, George King III of the New York Post declared the Dodgers' Larry Bowa the best third-base coach in baseball, while Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle has made a similar claim for the Giants' Tim Flannery.

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15y ago
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11y ago

The following Mets coaches were also on the Yankees:

Sandy Alomar Sr (played for Mets (1967) and Yankees (1974-76)) (coached Mets (bench (2004-05, 08), first base 2005-07, third base 2007-08))

Yogi Berra (catcher for Yankees (1946-63) and Mets (1965)) (manager for Yankees (1964, 84-85) and Mets (1972-73)) (coached Yankees (first base (1963, 79, 83), bench 1976-82))

Joe Torre (played for Mets (1975-77)) (managed Mets (1977-81) and Yankees (1996-07)

Willie Randolph (played for Mets (1992) (coach for Yankees (third base 1994-03, bench 2004)) (managed Mets (2005-08)

Rickey Henderson (played on Yankees (1985-89) and Mets (1999-00)) (coach for Mets (special instructor 2006-07, first base 2007)

Casey Stengel (managed Yankees (1949-60) and Mets (1962-65))

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13y ago

Charlie Lau was the best hitting coach of all time. He established constants and fundamental rules to advance his techniques and style.

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15y ago

Dave Duncan.

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11y ago

Chris Bosio

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