Back on last Friday night, the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 1-0 in 13 innings, giving manager Clint Hurdle his 900th victory as a major league baseball manager. A long-time, decorated 28 year career that many would dream of has made him into one of the best guys you will ever see on a baseball field. Comparing him to Bobby Cox in this regard, as he has shaped himself as a players manager and will do anything to help his players and team succeed.
Over the years, Hurdle took on great risks, while tackling new challenges that set his teams up for success later on. In 2007 he was able to lead his new-aged Colorado Rockies to an improbable World Series run against the Boston Red Sox. Even though the end result came in a losing cause, from then on, you knew he had the IT factor as a manager. The ability to put players in the best situations possible, while getting them to believe they could win. In 2011, when taking the reigns of a rather beleaguered Pirates franchise that hadn’t seen October baseball in 21 years.
He galvanized the franchise into having brought back a winning mentality to the Steel City. By breaking the dreaded playoff curse in 2013, leading to a wild-card game victory over the Cincinnati Reds. Months followed, and Hurdle was awarded the Manager of the Year award for his great work, by pumping the love for baseball back into Pittsburgh. Again in 2014, the Pirates were able to ride the momentum as they reached the playoffs once again, though unfortunately like all of the other teams, they ran into the “Madison Bumgarner buzz saw”. Nevertheless, he was responsible for guiding the Pirates franchise to back-to-back playoff appearances for the first time in two decades. Currently, the constant success the Pirates are having has a lot to do with Hurdle’s attitude and the leadership he brings to the ballpark every single day.
Clint Hurdle is one of the most underrated managers in the game today. Whether he provides enlightenment for young, burgeoning stars like Andrew McCutchen or Jordy Mercer. Much of the reason why Pittsburgh has been able to turn their 2015 season around is by his patience and longevity. Hurdle is a guy that does not like the spotlight, yet deserves every ounce of praise that has come his way.
Congratulations on number 900 and many more!