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10/27/2006 11:54 AM ET
Giants hire two-time Manager-of-the-Year Bruce Bochy as manager
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SAN FRANCISCO -- In signing one of baseball's most qualified and experienced managers, the San Francisco Giants have hired two-time Manager-of-the-Year Bruce Bochy as its skipper, club Senior Vice President and General Manager Brian Sabean announced today. The Giants' 37th manager, 15th in San Francisco annals, agreed to a three-year contract.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

The winningest manager in San Diego history is coming off back-to-back National League West championships, the first club to claim consecutive division flags in the west since Arizona in 2001-02. In fact, Bochy led the Padres to winning records each of the last three seasons, marking the first time that's happened in Friar history.

"Bruce is someone who we have admired from across the field for the last 12 years and I'm excited that he's on our side now," said Sabean. "His Padres teams have been well prepared and played the game the right way. He's the right man to lead the Giants into the future."

In 12 years at the helm of the Padres, Bochy compiled a 951-975 career ledger while leading his club to the post season four times and five winning campaigns. In fact, the Giants' new head man is seventh among active big league managers in wins, and 57th on the all-time list. His four playoff appearances are tied for seventh among current Major League skippers, trailing only Bobby Cox (15), Tony La Russa (12), Joe Torre (11), Mike Hargrove (five), Jim Leyland (five) and Lou Piniella (five).

The 51-year-old manager was named the National League Manager of the Year by the BBWAA in 1996 and was honored as the league's top skipper by The Sporting News in both 1996 and 1998. Bochy guided the Padres to the National League West title in 1996, '98, 2005 and '06, while leading his 1998 charges to a club-record 98 victories, a National League pennant and a berth in the World Series against the Yankees.

"The Giants are the only team that could have gotten me to leave San Diego and I'm ecstatic to be here in San Francisco and be a part of the organization," said Bochy. "I have admired the Giants from afar for many years while I was with the Padres, and I can't tell you how exciting it will be to play in front of a full house at this beautiful ballpark."

With his hiring, Bochy leaves the Padres organization after a 24-year affiliation. The former catcher was the only Friar manager to have played for the club. He also served as San Diego's third base coach in 1993 and 1994, before matriculating to the manager's chair on Oct. 21, 1994. The Poway, CA resident was the only uniformed person to be a part of all five of the Padres post season appearances, including as a player in 1984 and as the manager in 1996, '98, 2005 and '06.

The Landes de Boussac, France native becomes just the fourth Giants manager to be born outside of the United States, joining Jack Doyle (Ireland) in 1895, Arthur Irwin (Canada) in 1896 and Felipe Alou (Dominican Republic) in 2003. Bochy's father was an officer in the U.S. Army who was stationed in France at the time of the Giants manager's birth. In fact, there are only two foreign-born managers in Major League history who have more wins than Bochy, Alou (1,033) and Harry Wright (England - 1,000 wins).

Next season will mark Bochy's 13th consecutive year that he has managed a big league club, the fourth longest stint by an active manager. Only La Russa (29 years), Cox and Torre (both 18) have longer current streaks.

The Florida State University product spent parts of nine seasons in the majors as a catcher with the Astros, Mets and Padres. He hit .239 with 26 home runs and 93 RBI in 358 games. Bochy was a post season participant twice as a player, appearing with the 1980 Astros and 1984 Padres. He enjoyed his best season as a big leaguer in 1986 for San Diego, setting personal bests in home runs (eight), RBI (22), games (63) and starts behind the plate (29).

He becomes the sixth manager in Giants franchise annals who was primarily a catcher during their career, joining John Clapp (1883), Buck Ewing (1900), Herman Franks (1965-68), Charlie Fox (1970-74) and Wes Westrum (1974-75). In fact, Bochy is one of eight current Major League managers who were backstops in their big league careers. The other catchers-turned-managers include: Torre, Mike Scioscia, Eric Wedge, Bob Melvin, Ned Yost, Jerry Narron, John Gibbons and Clint Hurdle (22 games). Jim Leyland, Grady Little, Joe Maddon and Fredi Gonzalez all were minor league catchers prior to becoming coaches and eventually managers.

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