|Bobby Bragan: A life remembered|
Bobby Bragan - a man whose love for baseball was overshadowed only by his love of God and his fellow man - died Jan. 21, 2010 at his Fort Worth home at the age of 92.
Bragan was born and raised in Birmingham and began his professional baseball career in the Alabama-Florida League with Panama City in 1937. Bragan came up as a shortstop and played for the Phillies from 1940-1942. In 1942, the team was strapped for catching help because of injuries and military call-ups, and Bobby offered to learn the job.
Dodger general manager Branch Rickey liked the youngster’s dedication and obtained Bragan in a trade for Tex Kraus. He was a backup catcher for the Dodgers during the next two seasons. After spending two years in the military as a 2nd Lieutenant, Infantry, Bragan returned in time for the 1947 season. The Dodgers would play the New York Yankees that year in the World Series and Bobby recorded a pinch-hit double as the Yankees beat the Dodgers 4-games-to-3. That would be his only at bat in World Series play. He joined a select list of players who had a 1.000 batting average in the fall classic.
Bragan was without a doubt one of the most unique and colorful characters who ever wore a Cats’ uniform. He did so as the player/manager of the Cats from 1948-1952 and Fort Worth was never the same.
Click "Read More" for more on Bobby's life and how baseball remembered one of its most beloved storytellers.
Bragan would go on to manage in the majors for the Pirates, Indians and Braves. He was the manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1956 and 1957. Bobby was the skipper of the Cleveland Indians for half a season in ’58. The always upbeat manager landed in Milwaukee in 1963 and led the Braves until they departed for Atlanta after the ’65 season. Bobby made the move to Atlanta and was the first manager of the Atlanta braves. He managed future Hall of Famers Roberto Clemente, Hank Aaron, Eddie Mathews, Warren Spahn and Bob Lemon.
In 1992, his autobiography “You Can’t Hit the Ball with the Bat on Your Shoulder: The Life and Times of Bobby Bragan” was released. It chronicled many of the highlights of his baseball career. Many long-time baseball observers admit Bragan was in a class by himself. He built a reputation on intelligence and creative approaches to the game. That might be the understatement of the decade.
Bragan grabbed headlines in 2005 when he managed the Cats for one game, thus becoming the oldest individual to serve as manager in a professional game. Bragan was eight days older than Connie Mack, who managed his last game in 1950.
From 1992 until his death, Bragan served as the CEO/Chairman of the Bobby Bragan Youth Foundation, which provides college scholarships to students from public schools across the Dallas/Fort Worth metorplex. Every year, 8th grade students are offered the opportunity to compete for these $2,500 scholarships, which are redeemed once the recipient has graduated from high school and enrolled in college.
Baseball Remembers Bobby Bragan
Bobby Bragan remembered at service as 'man with 10,000 friends' - Ray Buck, Star-Telegram
Bragan remembered fondly at memorial - TR Sullivan -texasrangers.com
Bobby Bragan, Ex-Baseball Manager and Executive, Dies at 92 - New York Times
Minor League Baseball's Tribute Page for Bobby Bragan
Atlanta Braves first skipper remembered- Atlanta Journal Constitution
Bragan was a treasure who touched so many - Randy Galloway, Star-Telegram
Bobby Bragan's life is a story worth telling - Ray Buck, Star-Telegram
Goodbye, Mr. Baseball - from Friday's Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Jim Reeves remembers Bobby Bragan
Texas Rangers remember Bragan
Baseball's Bragan had plenty to say - from Kevin Sherrington/Dallas Morning News
Commissioner Bud Selig's statement regarding Bragan's passing
Broadcaster Greg Lucas remembers Bragan