MWLguide.com‘s manager profiles are assembly projects. I typically begin the project by backtracking through the Minor League Encyclopedia, the BA Almanacs, and/or the TSN Guides. I check those against Jerry Jackson’s manager list, and drop him a line when our research disagrees. Then I fill in the gaps–usually these guys had coaching jobs–from Blue Books, BA’s Directories, the Web, and old MWL programs. The playing career data typically comes from Pat Doyle’s Professional Baseball Player Database, which might be supplemented from other sources. Sporting News back issues, which are available at Paper of Record, are sometimes helpful, I’ve been known to ask the SABR community of baseball experts for information. Since some of these managers are quite familiar to me, I may know things which aren’t easily found elsewhere. And occasionally the profile subjects, themselves, send me notes. All in all, there’s no single source for this information; that’s part of what makes the project interesting.
Rick Patterson was South Bend’s manager in the first Midwest League game I ever saw, in April of 1990. My main memory of the game is the novelty of the ballpark; I really don’t recall anything about the managers.
I first built Rick Patterson’s profile page in February of 2000, and while I’ve updated it several times since, today’s look at his career was my first since the initial project.
Today’s first research question was When did Patterson play pro ball, and was he drafted by someone? Doyle’s database has a Richard Patterson who played in the extremely low minors in the early 80s (might be our guy), and a Dick Patterson from the late ’40s (who probably isn’t). A web check finds an interview with Patterson (2006 Mets roving instructor, which agrees with information already in the profile) where we learn that neither is the right guy; Rick played in the Mets organization in the 1970s. Back to Doyle, where I find W.O. Ricky Patterson who played for Wausau and Lynchburg in 1975 and 1976 (folks with names like that vastly complicate this stuff). Our guy, even though the article claims a three-year playing career. The BA Draft Almanac doesn’t list him as a Mets draftee in 1974 or 75, so he was most likely a free agent signing. We’ll go with that.
The same interview fills in a long gap in Patterson’s career: He managed at Bishop State CC (wherever that is–turns out to be Mobile) for (it says) eight years. If I assume Patterson managed both at Bishop and in the Heartland League in 1997, this fits well, though it suggests he had a rather busy June that summer.
Another online interview discusses Patterson’s relationship with Eddie Stanky, for whom he played at South Alabama. (Aha! A biographical factoid!) Apparently he also coached under the Brat, presumably during that gap after his playing career. Not enough details, here; file away for further research.
That’s all that’s useful on the web. There’s nothing in the BR Bullpen, nor in Wikipedia. Since Jeff (in the Bullpen), several Wikipedians, and I are investigating the same careers, we borrow pretty heavily from each other. This time, though, I’m the guy who got there first, so no joy.
So, where are we? We still need to fill in the gap between his playing career and his managerial career (that one will be hard unless I find the information in a South Bend program), and there are a couple one-year gaps where he was likely on some team’s coaching staff (I can usually solve those). The pitching coach stint looks like I miscopied something, which has happened before. Loose ends: Was he working in baseball this summer? Did Patterson really play in the minors for three years; if so, where and when? And I need a couple biographical details: What do those initials stand for? When and where was he born? (I’m betting on Mobile, probably in 1955 or thereabouts.) Finally, we still need won/lost records for the partial season at Greensboro, his collegiate teams, and the winter league stints; that will be some other year’s project, methinks.
So it goes….
David Malamut got to the ’89 South Bend program before I did, & found:
Patterson’s third playing season was 1977, as a player/coach at Wausau (I don’t have that year’s Wausau program, unfortunately). Following up on that, I discover that the W. initial stands for William. I’ve sent a note about this to Pat Doyle, who will fix his database. Still don’t have a birthdate, or place, though he lived in Eight Mile, AL, when he managed SB.
He managed at Livingston University (now known as the University of West Alabama) in 1986 & 87.
Patterson, according to the SB biography, managed and scouted (whatever that might mean) for South Alabama for five (unspecified) years. Still not enough detail; it might mean he succeeded the Brat as Head Coach after Stanky retired (1983 looks like Eddie’s last year).
Gaining on this one, anyway.
David tracked down Rick’s birthdate (8/15/53) on a South Bend trading card. Still gaining, and still no birthplace….
This sort of collaborative effort is by no means unusual.
Birthplace is Thomasville, Alabama
My wife saw this, and I thought I would fill in some of your blanks. I was born in Andalusia, AL. I’ll try to cut and paste my resume here.
EnFuego Baseball Mobile, AL
OUTFIELD AND BASERUNNING COORDINATOR 2004-2006
New York Mets New York, NY
BENCH COACH Winter 2005
Venezuelan Professional Baseball Acarigua, Venezuela
HEAD BASEBALL COACH 1997-2004
Bishop State Community College Mobile, AL
CONSULTANT/HOLLAND OLYMPIC TEAM 1996
New York Yankees Amsterdam, Holland
MANAGER, South Atlantic League 1996
New York Yankees Greensboro, NC
COORDINATOR, Heartland Independent League 1995
Heartland Independent League Gastonia, NC
MANAGER, Iowa Cubs, AAA 1994
Chicago Cubs Des Moines, IW
MINOR LEAGUE COORDINATOR/INSTRUCTOR 1993
Chicago Cubs Chicago, IL
MANAGER, Caribes 1992 Venezuelan Professional Baseball Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela
MANAGER, Sarasota White Sox, A 1991-92
Chicago White Sox Sarasota, FL
PITCHING COACH, Playoffs 1991
Dominican Professional Baseball Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic
MANAGER, La Guaira 1991
Venezuelan Professional Baseball Caracas, Venezuela
MANAGER, South Bend White Sox, A 1989-90
Chicago White Sox South Bend, IN
MANAGER, Utica Blue Sox, A 1988
Chicago White Sox Utica, NY
HEAD BASEBALL COACH 1986-87
University of West Alabama Livingston, AL
ASSISTANT BASEBALL COACH 1980-85
University of South Alabama Mobile, AL
New York Mets Wausau, WS
MASTER OF HEALTH AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION 1980-81
University of South Alabama Mobile, AL
BACHELOR OF ARTS AND SCIENCES 1973-75
University of South Alabama Mobile, AL
ASSOCIATE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES 1971-73
Faulkner State Community College Bay Minette, AL
Played, coached and scouted for Eddie Stanky, University of South Alabama
Signed Lance Johnson, Luis Gonzalez, Mike Maksudian, Turner Ward, Johnny Ruffin
Inductee Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame as manager of South Bend White Sox
Inductee Mississippi Semi-Pro Hall of Fame as a player and coach
1992 Manager of the Year by Baseball America
1992 Manager of the Year by Florida State League
1992 Manager of Florida State League All Stars
1991 Coach in Florida State League All Star Game
1990 Manager of the Year by the Chicago White Sox Organization
1989 Manager of Midwest League All Stars
I signed as a free agent the summer of ’75 and went to Wausau, played in Lynchburg in ’76 and went back to Wausau as a player/coach in ’77. I was graduate assistant at South Alabama in ’79-’80 for Stanky, and he then hired me as assistant coach from ’80-’85.
I wish I had kept up with my record everywhere I’ve been, but I didn’t. Jack Hubbard with the Yankees hired me in Jan. ’96, and then he was fired during spring training, so I thought I was the next to go. I was, but not until two months later while managing in Greensboro. We were playing over .500 at the time but I don’t remember our record.
I was hired at Bishop State in Sept. of ’97. The Heartland Independent League was in 1995.
The best time I ever had was managing in South Bend. I would love to come back and win a championship for Notre Dame.
Hope this helps. Feel free to email me.
Thanks! Much appreciated.