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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jeff Torborg
Torborg with the Yankees in 1982
Catcher / Manager
Born: (1941-11-26) November 26, 1941 (age 82)
Plainfield, New Jersey, U.S.
Batted: Right
Threw: Right
MLB debut
May 10, 1964, for the Los Angeles Dodgers
Last MLB appearance
September 29, 1973, for the California Angels
MLB statistics
Batting average.214
Home runs8
Runs batted in101
Managerial record634–718
Winning %.469
Teams
As player

As manager

As coach

Career highlights and awards
Torborg with the Dodgers in 1964

Jeffrey Allen Torborg (born November 26, 1941) is an American former catcher and manager in Major League Baseball. Torborg was signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers as an amateur free agent in 1963. On September 9, 1965, Torborg caught Sandy Koufax's perfect game. On July 20, 1970, he was the catcher receiving Bill Singer's no-hitter,[1][2] and on May 15, 1973, Torborg also caught the first of Nolan Ryan's seven no-hitters.

College

Torborg grew up in Westfield, New Jersey, where he was the catcher on the Westfield High School baseball team.[3] He caught at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He was a 1963 All-American, setting the school record for season batting average; his .537 batting average was the highest for 100 at-bats and under. His .537 average was the highest ever recorded up to that time and since then, only two college players have hit for a better average. His slugging percentage that year (1.032) is also a single-season standard. He led the team with 21 RBI and six home runs. In his three-year career from 1961–63, the Torborg batted .390. His number (#10) was retired in 1992. He still holds the career slugging percentage mark of .684. During his career, the Knights were 15–4–1, 14–4 and 11–5 for a three-year mark of 40–13–1 (.741 winning percentage).

Playing career

As a player, he was signed as an amateur free agent by Los Angeles Dodgers in 1963. On March 13, 1971, his contract was sold by the Dodgers to the California Angels. He was traded from the Angels to the St. Louis Cardinals for John Andrews at the Winter Meetings on December 6, 1973.[4] On March 25, 1974, he was released by St. Louis Cardinals.

Coaching, managing, and broadcasting career

After a successful ten-year career as a catcher with the Dodgers and Angels, Torborg switched to coaching. In 1977, he became the manager of the Cleveland Indians (a position he held for three years). He was a coach on the New York Yankees from 1979 to 1988. In 1989, Torborg left the Yankees to become the manager of the Chicago White Sox. A year after he took the helm, the White Sox won 94 games, which was a 25-game improvement from the team's 1989 season. For his efforts with the 1990 White Sox, Torborg won the American League Manager of the Year Award. Torborg would stay with the White Sox for one more year before moving to the New York Mets on a four year deal of $1.7 million that dwarfed his previous deal of $250,000 a year.[5]

Torborg wasn't as successful with the Mets as he was with the White Sox. A year after leading the White Sox to an 87–75 record, Torborg's 1992 New York Mets posted a 70–92 record. After starting the 1993 season with a 13–25 record, the Mets fired Torborg and replaced him with Dallas Green.[6]

For the rest of the 1990s, Torborg kept busy working as a sportscaster for the likes of CBS Radio and Fox. At CBS Radio, Torborg served as a color commentator for three World Series (19951997) alongside Vin Scully. While at Fox, Torborg served as a color commentator from 1996–2000.

Torborg returned to managing in May of 2001 to replace Felipe Alou with a three-year deal.[7] When Jeffrey Loria (who had owned the Expos) bought the Florida Marlins in 2002, he brought his friend Torborg to serve as manager to replace Tony Perez. Torborg also had his son Dale serve in the organization, as he was hired to serve as strength and conditioning director. The team went 79-83 that year. In 2003, Torborg was fired from the  Marlins after only 38 games following mounting criticism over the handling of the starting pitching, which saw injuries to three pitchers (A. J. Burnett, Josh Beckett and Mark Redman) in the span of two weeks. Following a loss to Colorado, which dropped them to 16-22 with their seventh loss in the past eight games, general manager Larry Beinfest informed Toborg of his firing, while stating to the press that "This is a better team than we've played. The fans here in South Florida deserve to have hope this summer. There is enough time left to turn it around and get back in it."[8] Both of the Torborgs were let go along with pitching coach Brad Arnsberg. Jack McKeon was hired to replace him and led the team to a 2003 World Series victory. Torborg expressed no bitterness for the firing, noting that due to the fact that he his wife were at the Jersey Shore because of the firing, he happened to be present when one of his neighbors (a two-year-old boy) fell off a dock; Torborg and a young man helped the boy out of the water before a nearby nurse saved the boy.[9]

Torborg then returned to broadcasting for Fox. He served as the color commentator for Atlanta Braves games on FSN South and Turner South in 2006, where he was partnered with Bob Rathbun. However, neither Torborg nor Rathbun was retained for the 2007 season.[10]

Managerial record

Team Year Regular season Postseason
Games Won Lost Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
CLE 1977 104 45 59 .433 5th in AL East
CLE 1978 159 69 90 .434 6th in AL East
CLE 1979 95 43 52 .453 fired
CLE total 358 157 201 .439 0 0
CWS 1989 161 69 92 .429 7th in AL West
CWS 1990 162 94 68 .580 2nd in AL West
CWS 1991 162 87 75 .537 2nd in AL West
CWS total 485 250 235 .515 0 0
NYM 1992 162 72 90 .444 5th in NL East
NYM 1993 38 13 25 .342 fired
NYM total 200 85 115 .425 0 0
MON 2001 109 47 62 .431 5th in NL East
MON total 109 47 62 .431 0 0
FLA 2002 162 79 83 .488 4th in NL East
FLA 2003 38 16 22 .421 fired
FLA total 200 95 105 .475 0 0
Total[11] 1352 634 718 .469 0 0

Personal life

Torborg is of Danish descent. His son, Dale, is a former professional wrestler and his daughter-in-law, Christi Wolf, is a bodybuilder and former professional wrestler.

For more than 25 years, Torborg lived with his family in a home in Mountainside, New Jersey.[12]

Torborg has Parkinson's disease and no longer signs autographs.[13]

References

  1. ^ "Jeff Torborg". baseballbiography.com. Retrieved July 1, 2009.
  2. ^ "Baseball Slate – May 2008 – Most No-Hitters Caught (As of 5–19–08)". Archived from the original on May 22, 2008.
  3. ^ Merkin, Scott. "Ozzie takes fine in stride" Archived June 29, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, Major League Baseball, May 30, 2010. Accessed March 5, 2011. "Torborg was a three-year starting catcher at Westfield High School and an All-American at Rutgers."
  4. ^ Rappoport, Ken. "National League Tentatively Agrees to Move Padres to Washington, D.C." The Associated Press (AP), Friday, December 7, 1973. Retrieved December 23, 2022.
  5. ^ "'INSECURE' TORBORG LEAVES SOX". Chicago Tribune. October 11, 1991. Retrieved July 18, 2023.
  6. ^ "Mets fire Torborg; name Dallas Green replacement - UPI Archives". UPI. Retrieved July 18, 2023.
  7. ^ "Expos replace manager Alou with Torborg". chron.com. May 31, 2001. Retrieved August 15, 2023.
  8. ^ "Torborg fired as Marlins skipper". The Star Banner. Retrieved July 18, 2023.
  9. ^ Chass, Murray (March 7, 2004). "On Baseball; Simple Twist of Fate Changed Torborg's Life, and It Helped Save the Life of a Little Boy". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 18, 2023.
  10. ^ [1][dead link]
  11. ^ "Jeff Torborg". Baseball Reference. Sports Reference. Archived from the original on August 31, 2017. Retrieved April 28, 2017.
  12. ^ Vecsey, George. "Sports of The Times; Torborgs Aren't Selling The House" Archived August 26, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, The New York Times, October 12, 1991. Accessed August 15, 2016. "They built the house. Well, not with their own hands, but they had it built for them, and that is nearly the same thing, after 26 years.... The home in Mountainside is not far from Westfield, the New Jersey town where Jeff Torborg was born."
  13. ^ "SCF Through the Mail Manager". Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved December 6, 2015.

External links

Preceded by World Series network radio color commentator
1995-1997
Succeeded by
This page was last edited on 29 October 2023, at 16:22
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