Sunday, November 22, 2009

1976 Topps #275 - Rick Manning

  • Rick Manning played for two clubs from 1975-1987. This card and his cover shot in Baseball Digest in June 1976 made me think he was a great "Pete Rose" type of player. Manning was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 1972 draft (2nd overall pick) when he was still 17 years old. Rick played in the minors from 1972-1975 and was promoted to the Indians after batting .316 in 30 games for AAA Oklahoma City in 1975.
  • Manning had a good rookie season in '75. He batted .285 in 120 games and stole 19 bases. He didn't receive Rookie of the Year consideration since a couple of guys named Fred Lynn and Jim Rice were also rookies that year. Here is a September 1, 1975 Sports Illustrated article about Rick and the Cleveland Indians. Here is a November 1975 Baseball Digest article.
  • Rick's best season was probably 1976. He batted .292 in 138 games and won the Gold Glove Award. Manning was a center fielder for most of his career and usually had fielding percentages above the league average.
  • Manning missed a good chunk of time from mid June through August. He played in only 68 games and batted .226.
  • From 1978-1982 Manning played CF in most of the Indians' games, usually batting in the mid-.200s. He didn't have a lot of power and didn't walk all that much either. In 1983 Rick started with the Indians and was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers on June 15 for Gorman Thomas and two others. He finished the '83 season as the Brewers' starting CF and was also the regular in 1984. During the last three years of his career Rick was a fourth outfielder. He retired after the 1987 season. One highlight of his career was catching the final out of Len Barker's perfect game in 1981.
  • In the late 1980s Rick (along with Ralph Bruno) popularized the "Cheese Head" thing that is worn by many Green Bay Packer fans.
  • Manning has been broadcasting for the Indians for almost 20 years.
  • Liked to face: Mike Torrez (.358 in 58 AB); Larry Gura (.314 in 51 AB); Dennis Eckersley (.364 in 44 AB) -- I wonder if Eck knocked Manning down a few times.
  • Hated to face: Dennis Leonard (.186 in 59 AB); Dave Stieb (.156 in 45 AB); Ron Guidry (.075 in 40 AB)


  1. He looked like a sure star. Nice career, but not quite stardom. Maybe it was because we were star-starved in the midwest.

  2. Your comment about Eckersley is interesting since it was Manning who stole Eck's wife while they were best friends.