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Bobby Cox

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Bobby Cox

A photo of Bobby Cox.

Robert Joe "Bobby" Cox (born May 21 1941 in Tulsa, Oklahoma) is the current manager of the Atlanta Braves, and a former third baseman in Major League Baseball. He first led the Braves from 1978 to 1981, and then managed the Toronto Blue Jays from 1982 to 1985. He later rejoined the Braves in 1985 as a general manager. He moved back to the manager's role during the 1990 season; as of 2007, Cox is the manager with the longest current tenure in Major League Baseball. He led the Atlanta Braves to the World Series championship in 1995. He currently holds the all-time record for ejections in Major League Baseball with 141, a record previously held by John McGraw.

He presently ranks 4th on the Baseball All-time Managerial Wins list.

Playing careerEdit

As a player, Cox originally signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but was never able to make the Dodger varsity. Eventually he was acquired by the Braves, but never appeared in an MLB game for them either. Instead, he was traded to the New York Yankees on December 7, 1967. Cox played two seasons, mostly at third base, for the Yanks. Because of bad knees, Cox became the second in a string of four stopgap players between Clete Boyer and Graig Nettles. He played with fellow Oklahoman Mickey Mantle during Mantle's final season in 1968 and with Thurman Munson during his debut season in 1969.

Managerial careerEdit

Cox began his managerial career in the Yankees farm system. In 1976, he led the Syracuse Chiefs to the Governor's Cup title. This team featured such future major leaguers as Ron Guidry, Mickey Klutts, Terry Whitfield and Juan Bernhardt.

Cox replaced Dave Bristol as the manager of the Atlanta Braves prior to the 1978 season, inheriting a team that had finished last in the league during the previous two seasons and had compiled a worse record than the two expansion teams, Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners, in 1977. Building from the ground up, the Braves finished last in both 1978 and 1979. Entering 1980, Cox made one of the unusual moves for which he is known, moving power-hitting first baseman-catcher Dale Murphy, who had developed a throwing block as a catcher that hindered his ability to play, to center field. Murphy later won two National League Most Valuable Player Awards and five Gold Gloves, and became one of the premier players of the 1980s.[1] In 1980 the Braves finished fourth with their first record above .500 since 1972. However, Cox was undone by the 1981 baseball strike when the Braves finished fifth and owner Ted Turner fired him. Asked at a press conference who was on his short list for manager, Turner replied, "It would be Bobby Cox if I hadn't just fired him. We need someone like him around here." The Braves won the National League West division title in 1982, and finished second in both 1983 and 1984.

Cox joined the Toronto Blue Jays in 1982, who steadily improved over the four years of his management. In 1985, Cox's fourth season with the club, the Blue Jays finished first place in the American League East. That season, the American League Championship Series was expanded to a best-of-seven format after sixteen seasons of a best-of-five format. That difference ultimately made the difference when Cox's Blue Jays became only the fifth team to lose a playoff series after leading 3 games to 1 to the Kansas City Royals. After their elimination, Cox returned to the Braves as general manager. After going through two managers over the course of less than five years with disastrous results in attendance and outlook, Cox fired Russ Nixon in June 1990, and appointed himself as the manager. Cox had spent the prior four seasons accumulating talent players, including Ron Gant, Tom Glavine, Steve Avery, Pete Smith, and David Justice. He was also responsible for drafting Chipper Jones with the first overall pick in the 1990 draft.[2]

In 1991, the Braves, along with the Minnesota Twins, became the first team to go from last place in one season to first place the next. The two teams met in the 1991 World Series. Although the Braves lost, they continued to win division titles for a total of fourteen consecutive seasons. Cox's 15 division titles is a Major League record for a manager. On five separate occasions, the Braves have won the National League pennant and played in the World Series, including four in a six-season stretch (1991, 1992, 1995, and 1996).

In 1992, Cox's Braves held a 3-1 lead in the National League Championship Series against the Pittsburgh Pirates before losing games 5 and 6, although they did win Game 7 on Francisco Cabrera's ninth-inning, two-out, pinch-hit, two-run single. In 1993, the Braves had the best record in baseball after a pennant race where the Braves overcame a ten-game deficit in August to beat the San Francisco Giants by going 51-17 over the last two and a half months of the season to win the division by one game. However, they lost the National League Championship Series in six games to the Philadelphia Phillies.

In 1995, the Atlanta Braves won Cox's only World Series championship to date over the Cleveland Indians.

In 1996, the Braves again won the division title. After sweeping the Los Angeles Dodgers in the division series, the Braves' pitching fell behind the St. Louis Cardinals, three games to one. Facing elimination, the Braves offense outscored the Cardinals 33-1 over the final three games and won the pennant. Cox became the only manager in history to lose a series leading three games to one and win a series trailing three games to one.[3] The scoring continued into the first two games against the New York Yankees as the Braves took a two games to none lead by winning with scores of 12-1 and 4-0. In game four, the Braves led 6-0 in the fourth inning, but the Yankees came from behind. Jim Leyritz homered to tie the game, and the Yankees tied the series with a win in eleven innings, 8-6. Following the loss, the Braves lost to the Florida Marlins in 1997 and the San Diego Padres in 1998 in the NLCS. The Braves made it back to the 1999 World Series, but lost to the defending World Series Champion New York Yankees in four straight games.

Cox's 2001 team won the division title and upset the favored Houston Astros in three straight games in the division series. However, the Arizona Diamondbacks defeated the Braves in five games in the NLCS.

Cox's Braves have not advanced past the first round each of the last four seasons in which they made the playoffs. In 2002, the Braves won over 100 games and led the wild card San Francisco Giants two games to one before dropping the last two. In 2003, the Braves pushed the Chicago Cubs to the fifth game before falling. The following year, the Braves lost in the best-of-five Division Series for the third straight year. In 2005, the Braves lost to the Astros, with the finale taking eighteen innings to decide.


Cox has been named Manager of the Year four times (1985, 1991, 2004, and 2005) and is one of only three managers to have won the award in both the American and National League. He is also the only person to have won the award in consecutive years. Cox has also been named Manager of the Year by The Sporting News eight times (1985, 1991, 1993, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005).

On May 12, 2007, Cox passed Sparky Anderson to become the fourth-winningest manager in major league history, with a record of 2,195 wins and 1,698 losses. He led the Braves to a division title every season from 1991 to 2005, excluding the strike-shortened 1994 season; the Braves have competed in the National League East since 1994 and competed in the National League West prior to that. He won a World Series Championship in 1995. In 2001, he took sole possession of first place for most wins as a manager in Braves history.[4] Cox's .561 winning percentage is fourteenth in all-time among managers with at least 1,000 games managed, and is the second highest among those who managed the majority of their career after the creation of divisions within each league in 1969.

On July 20, 2008, Cox was ejected for the 141st time during the 3rd inning in a Braves game against the Washington Nationals; he currently holds the all-time record for most ejections (set on August 14, 2007 with his 132nd), previously held by John McGraw.[5] Cox is also the only person among all players and managers to be ejected from two World Series games (1992 and 1996). He was ejected in the ninth inning of game three of the 1992 World Series for throwing a batting helmet onto the field at the Toronto Skydome. Cox was trying to slam the helmet against the lip of the dugout and missed, throwing it onto the field. [6] Cox was tossed again in the final game of the 1996 World Series after protesting an out call of Marquis Grissom attempting to take second base on a passed ball. Although video replays appeared to show Grissom as safe, umpire Terry Tata called him out, and Cox was tossed in an ensuing argument. [6]

Personal lifeEdit

In May 1995, police were called to the home of Bobby and Pamela Cox in northwest Atlanta, Georgia. Pamela Cox told the police that her husband struck her. Bobby Cox was charged under Georgia's Domestic Violence Act[7] with simple battery. He was accused of punching his wife and pulling her hair.[8] In a court settlement, Pamela Cox was instructed by the judge to attend a battered women's program and Bobby Cox was told to complete violence counseling and an alcohol evaluation.[9] The criminal charges against Bobby Cox were dismissed, and he was not punished by Major League Baseball or the Atlanta Braves for the incident.

Managerial recordEdit

(updated through July 28, 2008)

TeamYearRegular SeasonPostseason
GamesWonLostWin %FinishWonLost Win %Result
Atlanta Braves1978162 6993.4266th in NL West - - - -
1979160 6694.4126th in NL West - - - -
1980161 8180.5034th in NL West - - - -
1981106 5056.4724th in NL West (1st Half)
5th in NL West (2nd Half)
- - - -
Toronto Blue Jays1982162 7884.4816th in AL East - - - -
1983162 8973.5494th in AL East - - - -
1984162 8973.5492nd in AL East - - - -
1985161 9962.6151st in AL East 34.429Lost ALCS.
Atlanta Braves199097 4057.4126th in NL West - - - -
1991162 9468.5801st in NL West 77.500 Lost World Series.
1992162 9864.6051st in NL West 67.462 Lost World Series.
1993162 10458.6421st in NL West24.333 Lost NLCS.
1994114 6846.5962nd in NL East[10] - - - Strike Year
1995144 9054.6251st in NL East 112.846 Won World Series.
1996162 9666.5931st in NL East 97.563 Lost World Series.
1997162 10161.6231st in NL East 54.556 Lost NLCS.
1998162 10656.6541st in NL East 54.556Lost NLCS
1999162 10359.6361st in NL East 76.538 Lost World Series.
2000162 9567.5861st in NL East 03.000 Lost NLDS
2001162 8874.5431st in NL East 44.500 Lost NLCS.
2002160 10159.6311st in NL East 23.400 Lost NLDS.
2003162 10161.6231st in NL East 23.400 Lost NLDS.
2004162 9666.5931st in NL East 23.400 Lost NLDS
2005162 9072.5561st in NL East 13.250 Lost NLDS.
2006162 7983.4883rd in NL East - - - -
2007162 8478.5193rd in NL East - - - -
2008  105 4956.467 (incl. in Totals below) - - - -
Toronto Blue Jays Total648
(incl. 1 tie)
355292.5491 Division Championship34.429
(Atlanta Braves Total)
(1978 to 1981)
  (589  266  323.452) - - - - -
Atlanta Braves Total
1990 to Present
2,8781,6791,199.58314 Division Championships
(1,679-1,199 incl. 45-50 in 2008)
6360.5121 World Series Championship
Atlanta Braves Total
(incl. 2 ties)
1,9451,522.56114 Division Championships
( 1,945-1,522 incl. 45-50 in 2008)
6360.5121 World Series Championship
(incl. 3 ties)
2,3001,814.559 (2,300-1,814 incl. 45-50 in 2008) 6664.508Won 1 World Series

See alsoEdit


  1. Dale Murphy. Sports Reference, Inc. Retrieved on 2007-04-05.
  2. Chipper Jones. Sports Reference, Inc. Retrieved on 2007-04-05.
  3. World Series History: Recaps and Results. MLB Advanced Media, L.P.. Retrieved on 2007-04-06.
  4. Atlanta Braves Managers. Baseball Almanac. Retrieved on 2007-04-05.
  5. Baseball Managers. Baseball Almanac. Retrieved on 2007-04-05.
  6. 6.0 6.1 World Series Ejections. Baseball Almanac. Retrieved on 2007-04-05.
  7. O.C.G.A. § 19-13-1
  8. Chass, Murray. "On Baseball: Reality Again Intrudes On Men and Games", The New York Times, 1995-05-09. Retrieved on 2008-04-13.
  9. Battery Charges Against Cox Dismissed. The New York Times. Associated Press (1995-09-02). Retrieved on 2008-04-13.
  10. Standings as of the end of the shortened season.

External linksEdit

Preceded by:
Sparky Anderson
American League Manager of the Year
Succeeded by:
John McNamara
Preceded by:
Jim Leyland
Jack McKeon
National League Manager of the Year
2004, 2005
Succeeded by:
Jim Leyland
Joe Girardi
Preceded by:
Dave Bristol
Russ Nixon
Atlanta Braves Manager
Succeeded by:
Joe Torre
Preceded by:
Bobby Mattick
Toronto Blue Jays Manager
Succeeded by:
Jimy Williams
Preceded by:
John Mullen
Atlanta Braves General Manager
1985 - 1990
Succeeded by:
John Schuerholz

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