Man Claims 'Oldest Manager' Title, and Is Ejected

In Fort Worth, Texas, Monday night, Bobby Bragan made history as the oldest man to have managed a professional baseball game. He was ejected in the early innings for arguing balls and strikes with the plate umpire.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

In Ft. Worth, Texas, last night, Bobby Bragan made history. The former manager of baseball's Pittsburgh Pirates, Cleveland Indians and, as they were in those days, the Milwaukee and then later the Atlanta Braves managed a game for the minor-league Ft. Worth Cats. And the distinction he achieved: Mr. Bragan is now believed to be the oldest man to have managed a professional baseball game.

Bobby Bragan, how old are you?

Mr. BOBBY BRAGAN (Baseball Manager): Eighty-seven.

SIEGEL: Eighty-seven years old.

Mr. BRAGAN: Close to heaven.

SIEGEL: Now Connie Mack, the legendary manager of, as they were then, the Philadelphia Athletics, managed in the big leagues to the age of 87. You're older than he was?

Mr. BRAGAN: I'm just one week older than he.

SIEGEL: Take us back to the moment that really made history interesting yesterday, the third inning of the game. Ft. Worth--first of all, who was Ft. Worth playing?

Mr. BRAGAN: Coastal Bend, a little town close to Corpus Christi.

SIEGEL: And your Ft. Worth shortstop had just struck out. He had protested and he'd been ejected by the home plate umpire.

Mr. BRAGAN: Immediately. Before he even got out of the batter's box he was ejected and I--you know, I couldn't understand, so I walked out to the plate. I said to him, `That was the quickest ejection I've ever seen. Did he curse you?' He said, `No.' I said, `Well, did he use any profanity?' He said, `No.' I said, `Well, what did he say?' `He said I was calling a lousy game, a crummy game.' I said, `Well, I have to agree with him.'

SIEGEL: (Laughs)

Mr. BRAGAN: And that got the heave-ho.

SIEGEL: And the umpire said, `That's enough for you, Mr. Bragan.'

Mr. BRAGAN: Exactly.

SIEGEL: Now you know protesting the way the home plate umpire is calling balls and strikes is supposed to get you thrown out of the game.

Mr. BRAGAN: I know it, but I have--it wasn't anything new for me.

SIEGEL: You've been thrown out of better ballparks than that, eh?

Mr. BRAGAN: Exactly.

SIEGEL: How are the Ft. Worth Cats doing?

Mr. BRAGAN: The Cats won the first half and last night was the one game they needed to cinch the second half.

SIEGEL: And they made history to boot?

Mr. BRAGAN: Yes, sir.

SIEGEL: Well, thank you very much for describing your return to the game last night.

Mr. BRAGAN: Thank you for calling.

SIEGEL: OK. Bobby Bragan, former major-league manager who last night became, in the minor leagues, the oldest man ever--we think, ever to manage in a professional baseball game and simultaneously the oldest person ever to be thrown out of a professional baseball game.

MICHELE NORRIS (Host): You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

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