08 December 2014

a memorial patch for chuck tanner

chuck tanner spent 8 years in the major leagues as an outfielder for the braves, cubs, and angels before embarking on a managerial career.  he managed in the angels' farm system from 1963-1970, leading their triple-a club to a 98-48 record in 1970, before he was hired by the white sox to manage in the majors.  tanner led the chisox through the 1975 season, and then managed the oakland a's in 1976.  he was actually traded by a's owner charlie finley to the pirates for manny sanguillen prior to the 1977 campaign, and for nine seasons, tanner managed the bucs.  

when he passed away in february of 2011, the team decided to add a memorial patch to their uniform - a black circle with a yellow 'stargell star' and tanner's number 7 inside.  you can see the patch on neil walker's 2012 topps opening day card
here is is again on andrew mccutchen's sleeve on chase d'arnaud's 2011 topps update card
and it's there on brandon wood's 2011 topps update cognac parallel

since the walker card is in my double play binder, i've got this 2011 topps update card of former dodger xavier paul
representing the memorial in my collection. i think that's josh harrison that is also sporting the patch.

tanner, of course, was the manager of the 1979 world champion pirates.  that was the only team of tanner's that advanced to the postseason, although his clubs finished in second place in their division four times, including those 1976 a's and his first two pirate teams.  following a 104-loss season in 1985, tanner was fired, and so he finished his pirates' tenure highlighted by the world series win over the orioles in 1979 but tarnished by the drug trials that cast a bad light on his clubhouse with a 711-685 record.  he managed the braves in 1986, 1987, and part of 1988, and eventually returned to the pirates as an advisor to their general manager not too long before he passed away at the age of 82

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