Ever since their season ended, the San Francisco Giants have searched vigorously for their new manager. For weeks, numerous names have popped up in the media, with each bringing speculation about what they bring to the table. As of this writing, the media has strongly suggested that the Giants are ready to announce Padres manager Bob Melvin as their new skipper. This begs the question: who is Bob Melvin?
The Early Years
Robert "Bob" Paul Melvin was born on October 28, 1961 in Palo Alto, California. Growing up around sports, he took all sorts of athletics. He starred at forward in basketball, catcher in baseball and on the golf course at Menlo-Atherton High School. Alas, despite a preposterous .529 batting average as a senior in 1979, his high school baseball team never made the playoffs. his basketball team did though, losing in the first-round of the 1979 CCS playoffs to Saratoga.
After graduation, he accepted a scholarship to Cal-Berkeley. In his one year as a Golden Bear, Melvin helped the team to the College World Series where they lost in the semi-final to the Arizona Wildcats. He transferred to Cañada College in Redwood City, playing well enough for the Colts to garner the attention of the major leagues after just one year. He was drafted second overall in the secondary phase of the 1981 MLB Draft by the Detroit Tigers.
After four years toiling in the minors, Bob Melvin made his major league debut in 1985, playing in 41 games for the defending World Series champions. After that debut, he spent three yeras in San Francisco where his bat came alive, hitting a career high 24 home runs in three years. He would never have a better stretch.
He left the Giants after 1988 to the Orioles, playing in Baltimore from 1989 through 1991. After that stint, he played for the Royals (1992) the Red Sox (1993) and the Yankees and the White Sox in the strike-shortened 1994 season before retiring as a player. Having grown weary chasing a childhood dream that was slowly loosing its gleam, Bob Melvin entered the coaching world.
As a young coach, Bob Melvin was kind of like baseball's Forrest Gump. After coaching the Brewers in 1999, he coached the Tigers the year after they left the creaky, cavernous confines of tiger Stadium. A year later, he was on the field when the Diamondbacks stunned the three-time defending World Series champion Yankees in Game 7 of the Fall Classic. After one more year inhaling in the fumes of the sport's ultimate victory, Bob Melvin became the manager of the Seattle Mariners in 2003.
His time in the Crescent City was short-lived, ending after a 99-loss 2004, but he picked up work quickly in the desert, taking over the Diamondbacks after they fired their recent hire Wally Backman due to past arrest, financial woes and potentially bad publicity. It was in the desert where Melvin sharpened his managerial skills and became someone that team's could look to for institutional stability. In five years as the Diamondbacks' manager, Bob Melvin went to one postseason, losing to the Colorado Rockies in the 2007 NLCS.
Fired early in 2009, Bob Melvin worked as a scout for the Mets in 2010 and in the front office for the Diamondbacks in 2011 before taking over in the interim for the A's in the middle of 2011. At the time, the movie Moneyball had just come out, drawing many curious onlookers curious about the organization's processes. Of course, working under the venerable Billy Beane meant that Melvin got a crash course in analytics, deepening his knowledge of the game that he loved.
Between 2011 until his firing in 2021, despite limited funds far below the league standard for contenders, Bob Melvin's Oakland A's teams won the AL West three times and went to the playoffs six time total, never getting past the divisional round. After he was let go, he was hired as the Padres manager in 2022 where his men took down the mighty Dodgers in the divisional round before losing to the Phillies in the NLCS. Two years later, he back where it all began.