On This Day in Baseball: Wayne Terwilliger Oldest Manager in MiLB
Minor League Baseball, it's a mystical place where players are competing for an opportunity to live out their boyhood dreams of playing in the show, the big leagues.
You don't hear a lot coming from the Minors simply because, it's not the Majors, it's not the best of the best. You could be the all-time home run leader in all of Minor League Baseball and people still wouldn't know or care that much because it just meant you were great at being just not good enough to make it to the Majors.
However, on this day history was made in the Minors and it had nothing to do with a player but with a manager named Wayne Terwilliger.
We don't have to venture too far back for this one, just 17 years as on this day Terwilliger would become the oldest manager in Minor League Baseball history at age seventy-seven. In addition, he wouldn't stop there he joined some elite company just a couple of years later in 2005 when he led the Fort Worth Cats to the Central Baseball League Championship.
Now, winning the championship wasn't the historical feat it was managing at 80 years old and by doing so he and legendary managers Connie Mack and Jack McKeon became the only managers in baseball history to lead a team at 80 years old. (According to Sabr and Baseball-Reference)
However, where these three gentlemen differed was that Terwilliger was the only one to win a championship at age 80.
That plays right back into where I began this, you know the names Connie Mack and Jack McKeon because they were very successful Major League managers and I doubt you've ever heard of Wayne Terwilliger before, I know I hadn't.
Before his time as a manager, Terwilliger played nine years of big-league ball from 1949-1960 as he didn't play in 1952 or 1957.
He played for five different teams including, the Chicago Cubs (3 years), Washington Senators (2 years), New York Giants (2 years), Kansas City Athletics (2 years), and the Brooklyn Dodgers (1 year). He was a career .240 hitter with 271 runs scored, 162 RBI, 22 home runs, and a .323 OBP as a second baseman.