Billy Martin

Former Twins player, scout, coach, and manager Billy Martin was born in Berkeley, CA on May 16, 1928.

Martin won four World Series rings as a member of the 1950s New York Yankees. He was traded to the Twins by the Milwaukee Braves for infielder Billy Consolo on June 1, 1961. Martin hit .246 over 108 games with Minnesota in his 11th and final major league season. He hit six home runs, including one off future Twin Jim Perry on September 27, and his 64th and final career home run off Hall of Famer Jim Bunning on September 29.

Martin served as a Twins scout from 1962 to ’64, and rejoined the major league team as third base coach in 1965. He was a fan-favorite in Minnesota, and instrumental in the development of several players, including César Tovar and Rod Carew.

He was sent down to manage the Triple-A Denver Bear midway through the 1968 season, and succeeded Cal Ermer as the fourth manager in Twins history in 1969. Despite winning the AL West pennant, Calvin Griffith fired Martin immediately after being swept out of the American League Championship Series by the Baltimore Orioles. The Twins won the AL West again in 1970, and were again swept by Baltimore in the ALCS.

Martin had a famously hot temper. He bloodied the nose of team travelling secretary Howard Fox in the lobby of a Washington, D.C. hotel on July 19, 1966. Twins pitcher Dave Boswell was sent to the hospital for 20 stitches after being punched by Martin on August 6, 1969.

While managing the Yankees, Martin was involved in a famous brawl with a marshmallow salesman at the bar at Chez Collette at Hotel Sofitel in Bloomington on October 23, 1979.

Martin managed for 16 seasons altogether, including five separate stints with the Yankees. He was killed in a single-car crash on Christmas Day 1989 near his home north of Binghamton, New York. He was just 61 years old.



Back to Top