Futures Game Teams In Good Hands

The roster of Hall of Famers who have managed Futures Game squads grows to 11 this year with Dave Winfield and Juan Marichal at the helm the U.S. and World teams for the ninth-annual game.

The Futures Game will be played in San Francisco’s AT&T Park, the same site as the big league All-Star Game, on Sunday, July 8. Baseball America helps select the players who will populate the U.S. and World rosters.

Drafted in three professional sports out of the University of Minnesota, Winfield made the right choice in playing baseball, as his career culminated in his selection to the Hall of Fame in 2001. While the Padres made Winfield the fourth overall selection in the 1973 draft and jumped him straight to the big leagues, the 6-foot-6 Golden Gophers’ standout also was drafted in the ABA, NBA and NFL.

As hard as it is to believe for a hitter who amassed 3,110 big league hits and 465 home runs, Winfield was better known as a pitcher as an amateur, and he batted and pitched his way to Most Outstanding Player honors of the 1973 College World Series. But the Padres chose to make use of his five-tool talents as an outfielder, and by slugging 20 homers in his second season, Winfield quickly erased any residual notion of him taking the mound.

Winfield is one of seven hitters, including Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Stan Musial, Eddie Murray, Cal Ripken and Rafael Palmeiro, with 3,000 hits and 400 home runs, but his list of career achievements did not end there. He made 12 consecutive all-star teams from 1977 to 1988, and he also brought home seven Gold Glove and six Silver Slugger awards.

Though Winfield did not win an MVP award, he placed in the top five on three occasions: in 1979 when he hit .308/.395/.558 with 34 homers and a league-leading 118 RBIs for the Padres; in 1988 when he hit .322/.398/.530 for the Yankees; and 1992 when he hit .290/.377/.491 at age 40 to help the Blue Jays to their first World Series title. His two-run double in the 11th inning of Game 6 provided Toronto with the Series-clinching runs.

Winfield batted .283/.353/.475 in a 22-year career spent with the Padres, Yankees, Angels, Blue Jays, Twins and Indians.

Marichal wasn’t the only overlooked National League pitcher of the 1960s, but he might have been the best. Pitching at time when Sandy Koufax, Tom Seaver and Bob Gibson were turning in some of the best pitching performances ever’"and Ferguson Jenkins, Gaylord Perry and Don Drysdale weren’t all that far behind’"Marichal carved out a career as a durable strike-thrower, and winner, for the Giants.

A high leg kick that concealed the ball until the last second and pinpoint control of a lively fastball combined to make Marichal, the Dominican Dandy, one of the most feared pitchers of his time. Six times the righthander won 20 or more games, and in three of those seasons Marichal exceeded 25 wins.

Marichal’s 243 career wins and 3,507 1/3 innings are the most ever by a pitcher from the Dominican Republic, and he’s also the Hall of Fame’s only representative from that country.

Marichal ranks in the top 20 all time in two crucial categories: strikeouts-to-walks, where his 3.25 ratio ranks 19th all time, and walks-plus-hits per inning (WHIP), where his 1.10 figure is the 17th best in history. Factor in nine all-star game selections and a no-hitter’"on June 15, 1963’"and Marichal was an easy choice for the Hall of Fame, though he wasn’t elected until 1983, his third year on the ballot.

In four seasons from 1965 to 1968, Marichal finished in the top 10 for MVP voting three times, finishing as high as fifth in 1968. He went 22-13, 2.13 with 240 strikeouts and 46 walks in 295 1/3 innings in 1965; then 25-6, 2.23 with 222 strikeouts and 36 walks in 307 1/3 innings in 1966; and 26-9, 2.43 with 218 strikeouts and 46 walks in 326 innings in 1968.

For his career, Marichal went 243-142 (.631) with a 2.89 ERA in 16 seasons spent mostly with the Giants. He also pitched in 13 games combined for the Red Sox and Dodgers.

Past Futures Game managers with year of Hall of Fame induction:

United States
1999’"Lou Brock (1985)
2000’"Jim Rice
2001’"Gaylord Perry (1991)
2002’"Paul Molitor (2004)
2003’"Carlton Fisk (2000)
2004’"Goose Gossage
2005’"George Brett (1999)
2006’"Gary Carter (2003)

1999’"Luis Aparicio (1984)
2000’"Tony Perez (2000)
2001’"Minnie Minoso
2002’"Davey Concepcion
2003’"Tony Oliva
2004’"Fernando Valenzuela
2005’"Guillermo Hernandez
2006’"Ferguson Jenkins (1991)