Alfred Manuel “Billy” Martin, Jr. (May 16, 1928 - December 25, 1989) played second base and as a utility infielder for 11 seasons, but made his true mark on Major League Baseball as a manager for 20 years and six different teams. Billy began his career in 1950 with the New York Yankees and became an everyday player in 1952. He played for the Yankees (1950-1953, 1955-1957), the Kansas City Athletics (1957), the Detroit Tigers (1958), the Cleveland Indians (1959), the Cincinnati Reds (1960), the Milwaukee Braves (1961) and the Minnesota twins (1961). He was a member of five American League championship Yankees teams and won the World Series four times (1951-1953, 1956). In 1956, Billy batted .296 in the postseason with two home runs and three RBI earning the 1953 Babe Ruth Award as the “player with the best performance in the postseason.” He was also named to the 1956 MLB All-Star Game. Billy Martin finished his playing career after the 1961 season with a .257 career batting average, had 877 hits including 137 doubles and 64 home runs, scored 425 runs and drove in 333 RBI. In 1969, Billy was hired to manage the Minnesota Twins and took the team from seventh to first in one season. He had a knack for turning teams around, but also had a knack for getting fired. In his 19-year managerial career, he led the Twins (1969), the Tigers (1971-1973), the Texas Rangers (1973-1975), the Oakland Athletics (1980-1982) and the New York Yankees on five separate occasions over a ten-year span (1975-1978, 1979, 1983, 1985, 1988). Billy’s volatile relationship with Yankees’ owner George Steinbrenner and Yankees’ Hall of Fame slugger Reggie Jackson were legendary and will forever be remembered among New York fans. Billy Martin compiled a 1,253-1,013 record in 2,267 games over 16 years as a Major League manager, won two American League pennants (1976, 1977) and one World Series (1977). (Credit: PSA/DNA)
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