Saturday, January 23, 2010

Bobby Bragan, 1917-2010. R.I.P.

Former MLB player and manager Bobby Bragan has died. He was 92.

Bragan played parts of seven seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies and the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1940s as a back up catcher.He was amongst a group of Dodgers who opposed the inclusion of Jackie Robinson. But once Bragan judged Robinson by the content of his character he overcame his prejudice.

Branch Rickey, the man who signed Robinson, would take Bragan under his wing and gave him an opportunity as a minor league manager. Bragan would manage in the big leagues with the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Cleveland Indians and finally as the last manager of the Milwaukee Braves and the first manager of the Atlanta Braves. Bragan would later serve as President of the Texas League before being put in charge of all of minor league baseball. In more recent years he worked in the front office of the Texas Rangers.

In 2005, at the age of 87, Bragan became the oldest man to manage a professional team when he managed the Fort Worth Cats for three innings before being ejected from the game. Bragan had come full circle as his first managerial assignment was with the Cats back in 1948.

Perhaps his greatest legacy is the Bobby Bragan Youth Foundation. Established in 1991, the foundation awards scholarships to eighth graders residing in Texas. These scholarships are used towards paying tuition for their first year of college. As Ronald Reagan would have said, "Not bad. Not bad at all."

No comments: