Full Name: William Nathaniel Showalter
Birthdate: May 23, 1956
Birthplace: DeFuniak Springs, FL
Playing Career: Showalter played college ball at Mississippi State University, graduating as an All-American in 1977. No doubt the .459 batting average helped him get drafted in the fifth round by the New York Yankees following college. After seven years as a first baseman in the Yankees’ farm system, Showalter’s playing career ended in 1983, never making it to the majors.
Managerial Career: Showalter’s managerial career began almost immediately after his playing career ended in ‘83. From 1985 to 1989 he managed various minor league teams in the Yankees’ system, capping off his time there with Minor League Manager of the Year honors as skipper of the Yankees’ Double-A affiliate in ‘89.
By 1990 he was promoted to the big club’s coaching staff and eventually became the team’s manager in 1992. After four years as the skipper in New York, he became the first manager of the expansion Arizona Diamondbacks, where he would spend another three years of his managerial career.
Following his stint in Arizona, Showalter spend two years with ESPN before returning to the dugout - this time in Texas - in 2003. He then spent four years with the Rangers before his final season at the helm of a big league club in 2006.
Since that time, Showalter has spent time in the Cleveland Indians’ front office and again with ESPN.
Showalter joins the Orioles with a career 882-833 record as a manager. He was twice named AL Manager of the Year (1994 with the Yankees and 2004 with the Rangers) and served as the American League Manager in the 1995 All-Star Game.
Perspective: An April 2010 Baseball Prospectus article asked Showalter how the game of baseball has changed - from a managerial perspective - over the years? Showalter told the article’s author, David Laurila:
“There are certain absolutes in baseball, but you’re always trying to win the war. You don’t want to win the battle and lose the war. You always have to keep your eye on the end game -- what you’re trying to accomplish. I don’t think the game itself has changed all that much. The important things are still important, but maybe it’s harder to find buttons on players...
“You know, people talk about how things have changed, and how different it is, but I don’t really see it, to be honest with you. That’s the beauty of our game. It is still 90 feet and 60 feet six inches -- the distances are perfect. What it takes to be successful are still the same things. “