Rene George Lachemann (born May 4, 1945) is a retired American professional baseball coach, catcher and manager. He spent 33 years in Major League Baseball, including service as the manager of the Seattle Mariners (1981–83), Milwaukee Brewers (1984), and expansion Florida Marlins (1993–96). Lachemann's on-field professional career extended for 53 seasons, from 1964 through 2016, a record for a consecutive years in uniform on a full-time basis.
Lachemann as a first base coach for the Colorado Rockies in 2013
|Catcher / Manager|
|Born: May 4, 1945|
Los Angeles, California
|May 4, 1965, for the Kansas City Athletics|
|Last MLB appearance|
|June 8, 1968, for the Oakland Athletics|
|Runs batted in||33|
Early connections with LaRussa, DuncanEdit
Born in Los Angeles and the son of a hotel chef, he is the youngest of three brothers to enjoy long careers in professional baseball: Marcel Lachemann is a member of the Los Angeles Angels' front office and a former pitcher, coach and manager in the Major Leagues, and Bill is a longtime manager and instructor in the Angels' farm system. Rene served as a batboy for the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1959 to 1962, graduated from Dorsey High School, and attended the University of Southern California. He signed a bonus contract with the Kansas City Athletics in 1964, where he joined other young players such as Tony La Russa and Dave Duncan, with whom he would have a lasting professional association.
Lachemann, a 6-foot (1.83 m), 198 lb (90 kg) right-handed hitter, played only one full season in the major leagues, batting .227 in 1965 with nine home runs and 29 runs batted in and appearing in 92 games. He played briefly—in 26 total games—for the A's in 1966 and 1968, but spent the rest of his playing career in minor league baseball. His major league batting average was .210 in 281 at bats. His initial appearance in the big leagues resulted in getting picked off second base.
Manager in Seattle and MilwaukeeEdit
Lachemann began managing in the Oakland Athletics' farm system in 1973, and switched to the Seattle organization five years later. On May 6, 1981, Lachemann was promoted from Triple-A Spokane to succeed Maury Wills as the M's manager. But during the equivalent of almost two full seasons, Seattle was 140–180 (.438) and in the midst of an eight-game losing streak when Lachemann was fired on June 25, 1983, and replaced by Del Crandall. He returned the following year as manager of the contending Milwaukee Brewers, but the club collapsed to 67–94 (.416), last in the American League East, and he was fired with three games remaining to be played, though he was allowed to complete the season with the Brewers.
Lachemann was a major league coach for the next eight seasons, under John McNamara with the Boston Red Sox (1985–86) and La Russa with the Oakland Athletics (1987–92). He was the third-base coach with Boston's 1986 American League champions and the Athletics during their three consecutive (1988–90) American League pennants, and their 1989 World Series championship. Lachemann was a key member of La Russa's highly regarded staff.
First Marlins' managerEdit
Due to his success with the Athletics, on October 23, 1992, he became the expansion Marlins’ first manager when they entered the National League at the outset of the 1993 season. He was chosen over candidates such as former major league managers Bill Virdon and Jimy Williams, and also was a finalist for the managerial job with the Texas Rangers, who hired Kevin Kennedy.
The Marlins were 64–98 (.395) in their inaugural season, good for sixth place in the NL East while being five games better than the New York Mets. In the strike shortened season of 1994, they went 51–64 (.443) for a fifth place finish. Florida improved to 67–76 (.469) and a fourth-place ranking the following year. For 1996, the team was playing slightly below average, being 39–47 (.453) by the time of the All-Star break. On July 7, Lachemann and hitting coach Jose Morales) were fired. Lachemann was replaced by John Boles, a front-office executive for the Marlins at the time. (Cookie Rojas was the interim manager for one game.) General manager Dave Dombrowski described the move as an "extremely difficult decision to make at this time," citing the team's play as the reason for the change. Lachemann described his biggest regret that he would not be around to see the team win. As the Marlins' manager, Lachemann compiled a 221–285 (.437) record. The next year, the Marlins won the World Series.
Later coaching careerEdit
He returned to the coaching ranks the following season, on La Russa's staff with the St. Louis Cardinals, then coached for the Chicago Cubs and the Mariners, before returning to Oakland in 2005 for three years as bench coach and third base coach. His contract was not renewed after 2007 and he joined the Colorado Rockies' organization in 2008. Lachemann served through 2012 as hitting coach for their Triple-A affiliate Colorado Springs, then was added to the Rockies' MLB staff in 2013 by manager Walt Weiss, a former Oakland shortstop. He worked under Weiss for four seasons, until the Rockies changed managers at the close of 2016.
Including a one-game stint as interim manager of the 2002 Cubs, Lachemann's major league managing record was 428 wins, 560 losses (.433).
|Team||From||To||Regular season record||Post–season record|
|W||L||Win %||W||L||Win %|
- Seattle Mariners 1982 Organization Book, Boston: Howe News Bureau, 1982
- Blanchette, John (May 7, 1981). "Wills fired; M's turn to 'Lach'". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. 25.
- "A shake-up in Seattle". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. June 26, 1983. p. D1.
- "Seattle fires Lachemann, drops Perry and Cruz". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). wire services. June 26, 1983. p. 7C.
- Kaplan, Jim (April 16, 1984). "Not a happy homecoming". Sports Illustrated. p. 56.
- "Milwaukee Brewers fire Lachemann". Spokane Chronicle. (Washington). Associated Press. September 27, 1984. p. 29.
- "Marlins name Lachemann manager". Wilmington Morning Star. (North Carolina). wire service reports. October 24, 1992. p. 4C.
- "Slumping Marlins fire Lachemann". Wilmington Morning Star. (North Carolina). Associated Press. July 8, 1996. p. 5B.
- The Denver Post, 2012-11-15
- "Rene Lachemann". Baseball Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved October 5, 2015.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Rene Lachemann managerial career statistics at Baseball-Reference.com
- Venezuelan Professional Baseball League