Lou Piniella’s baseball journey takes him to Cooperstown’s doorstep
He wears his feelings on his sleeve, and you know exactly how he feels. All of that is what makes Lou a good manager: His passion, his refusal to pull punches.
After two more seasons with the Reds, Piniella joined the Mariners – a team that had experienced only one winning season in its 16 years in the American League. By 1995, Piniella had the Mariners in the Postseason – where they defeated the Yankees in a thrilling Division Series matchup. For his efforts, Piniella received his first Manager of the Year Award.
Piniella guided the Mariners to another American League West title in 1997 and a Wild Card berth in 2000. Then in 2001, Piniella and the Mariners tied one of the game’s oldest records by winning 116 games, matching the 1906 Cubs and setting a new AL standard. Once again, Piniella was named Manager of the Year.
“I’ve always been able to get along with players,” said Piniella upon learning that he won his second Manager of the Year Award. “I respect players.”
After 10 seasons in Seattle, Piniella took over the Devil Rays in 2003 – the only one of his five stops where he did not post a winning record. After three seasons, he moved onto the Cubs in 2007, leading Chicago to back-to-back Postseason berths for the first time since 1908 and winning the National League Manager of the Year Award in 2008.
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Craig Muder is the director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum