Can a manager play in the MLB?

Can a Manager Play in the MLB?

Baseball is one of America’s oldest and most beloved pastimes, and it is no surprise that many people dream of one day playing in the Major League Baseball (MLB). But can a manager actually play in the MLB? The answer is yes, and while it is not common, it has been done before.

Managers who have played in the MLB have typically been former players who have gone on to become coaches and managers, or players who had a multi-faceted role in the team. These players often have a great understanding of the game, and are able to impart their knowledge to the team in the form of strategy, advice, and leadership.

History of Managers Playing in the MLB

The earliest record of a manager playing in the MLB dates back to the 1880s, when Harry Wright, the manager of the Boston Red Stockings, was also the team’s starting center fielder. Since then, there have been a handful of other managers who have played in the MLB, including Leo Durocher, who managed the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1940s and also played in the outfield.

More recently, in 2013, former MLB pitcher Kirk Gibson managed the Arizona Diamondbacks and also played in 24 games as a pinch hitter. While Gibson’s playing time was limited, he still helped the team by providing a veteran presence and veteran insight.

The Pros and Cons of a Manager Playing in the MLB

For a manager to be able to play in the MLB can be a great asset for a team. Having a manager who understands the game and has experience playing can be a great asset to a team. He can provide valuable insight and advice to the players and coaches, as well as provide leadership and direction.

On the other hand, it can also be a distraction for a manager to be playing in the MLB. Managing a team is a full-time job and it can be difficult for a manager to juggle both roles. Additionally, if a manager is not playing well, it can reflect poorly on the team and distract from the team’s overall performance.

Skills Required to Play in the MLB

Playing in the MLB is an incredibly difficult task and requires a great deal of skill and talent. A player must have excellent physical skills, including speed, strength, and coordination, as well as mental skills, such as strategy and decision-making.

In addition to physical and mental skills, a player must also possess a great deal of discipline and dedication. Baseball is a grueling and demanding sport, and in order to be successful, a player must have the dedication and determination to train and practice every day.

The Process of Becoming a Manager and Player

A manager must first become a player before he can become a manager. A player must first be drafted by an MLB team, or sign a contract with a team as a free agent. After being drafted or signed, the player must then prove himself in the minor leagues before he is promoted to the major leagues.

Once a player has proven himself in the minor leagues, he can then become a manager. To become a manager, the player must first gain experience in the coaching ranks, usually as a minor league coach or manager. After gaining experience, the player can then be considered for a managerial position in the major leagues.

The Challenges of Being a Player and Manager

Being a player and a manager is no easy task. A player must be able to balance the demands of playing and managing, which can be difficult. Additionally, a player must also be able to handle the pressure of both jobs, as well as the media scrutiny that comes with it.

A player must also be able to manage his time effectively, as he will have to juggle both roles. The player must also be able to handle the criticism that comes with being a player and a manager, as well as the expectations of both roles.

Notable Managers Who Have Played in the MLB

There have been a handful of notable managers who have also played in the MLB, including:

  • Harry Wright (Boston Red Stockings, 1880s)
  • Leo Durocher (Brooklyn Dodgers, 1940s)
  • Kirk Gibson (Arizona Diamondbacks, 2013)
  • Don Mattingly (Los Angeles Dodgers, 2008-2015)
  • Terry Francona (Cleveland Indians, 2013-2019)

The Future of Managers Playing in the MLB

While it is not common, managers playing in the MLB has been done before, and it is likely to be done again in the future. Managers who are former players can provide valuable insight and leadership to their team, as well as provide a veteran presence.

With the increasing use of analytics and technology in baseball, managers who have a multi-faceted role may become even more valuable. Managers who can provide insight into both the traditional and modern aspects of the game may be even more valuable to teams in the future.


In conclusion, a manager can play in the MLB and it has been done before. While it is not common, it is possible for a manager to also be a player, and this can be a great asset for a team. A manager who also has experience playing in the MLB can provide valuable insight and leadership to the team, as well as provide a veteran presence.