Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Danny Ozark, former Phillies manager, dies

While going through my week's worth of New York Times, I came across the obit of former Philadelphia Phillies manager Danny Ozark...

As a kid, I remember Ozark always leading the Phillies to the playoffs and losing to the Los Angeles Dodgers...the Phillies had Steve Carlton, Larry Christenson, Randy Lerch on the mound...Greg Luzinski, Bake McBride, Mike Schmidt, Larry Bowa, and Garry Maddox patrolled the field for those teams...

This is what was written in the obit...
Danny Ozark, the manager who led the Philadelphia Phillies to three consecutive National League East titles but fell short of the World Series each time, died Thursday at his home in Vero Beach, Fla. He was 85.

His death was announced by team officials.

Ozark, whose streak of three consecutive N.L. East titles in the late 1970s is unmatched in team history, twice led the Phillies to more than 100 victories, with back-to-back 101-61 records in 1976 and 1977. The Phillies went 90-72 under him in 1978 for their third straight division title, but lost again in the National League Championship Series.

Ozark was fired late in the 1979 season as the Phillies stood at 65-67. They went on to finish 84-78 and rebounded under Dallas Green in 1980 to win the World Series.

The Phillies’ current chairman, Bill Giles, said, “His patience with some of the Phillies’ young players in 1973-75, particularly with Mike Schmidt, really paid off as the Phillies got to the postseason in 1976, 1977 and 1978 and eventually won the World Series in 1980 after he left.”

Schmidt, a Hall of Fame third baseman, reached the majors under Ozark’s watch.

Ozark was named Associated Press Manager of the Year in 1976 and finished with a 594-510 record in seven seasons with the Phillies. His 594 wins are the third most in team history.

Ozark is survived by his wife, Ginny, two children and three grandchildren.

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