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Jay Ward

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John Francis Ward

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 1", Weight 185 lb.

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[edit] Biographical Information

Jay Ward signed his first professional contract with the New York Yankees in 1956, making his debut for the Kearney Yankees of the Nebraska State League. On June 30 of that year, he hit grand slams in consecutive innings for Kearney. He moved from organization to organization over his minor league career before making his major league debut for the Minnesota Twins in 1963. He also played for the team in 1964, but he was really a minor league lifer, playing over 1800 games as an infielder and outfielder in the minors and hitting over 20 home runs in a season five times. He spent one season in Nippon Pro Baseball in 1966 with the Chunichi Dragons. He hit .238/.320/.427 in 107 games. The team's primary third baseman, he had the fewest hits of any of their starting position players, though he was 4th on the team with 14 HR.

Back in the USA in 1967, he had some of his best seasons as a third baseman in the Pacific Coast League in the late 1960s, including 1969 when he led the league with 35 doubles. He got another brief shot at the major leagues with the Cincinnati Reds in 1970, but failed to stick. Overall, he hit only .163 in his three shots at the big leagues. He retired as a player after the 1971 season and managed for one year in the Twins organization before leaving the game for a decade. He was married with four children and needed a steadier source of income to support his family.

Ward came back to baseball in 1983 as manager of the Bend Phillies in the Class-A Northwest League. In 1986, he won the Eastern League championship with the Vermont Reds. He was rewarded with a job as a coach with the New York Yankees in 1987 under Lou Piniella. He returned to managing in the minors in 1988, then was hired as the Montreal Expos' minor league hitting instructor in 1990. When Tom Runnells was replaced as Expos manager by coach Felipe Alou early in the 1991 season, Ward was promoted as the major league team's hitting coach, staying on for the 1992 season as well.

In later years, he was the manager of various teams in independent leagues.

[edit] Year-by-Year Managerial Record

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
1972 Wisconsin Rapids Twins Midwest League 70-56 4th Minnesota Twins lost in 1st round
1983 Bend Phillies Northwest League 32-37 6th Philadelphia Phillies
1984 Spartanburg Suns South Atlantic League 70-70 6th Philadelphia Phillies
1985 Cedar Rapids Reds Midwest League 78-61 4th Cincinnati Reds
1986 Vermont Reds Eastern League 77-62 2nd Cincinnati Reds League Champs
1988 Salem Buccaneers Carolina League 73-66 4th Pittsburgh Pirates lost in 1st round
1989 Williamsport Bills Eastern League 63-77 7th Seattle Mariners
1996 Thunder Bay Whiskey Jacks Northern League 23-34 7th Independent Leagues replaced Jason Felice (10-17)
1997 Thunder Bay Whiskey Jacks Northern League 36-48 6th Independent Leagues
1998 Thunder Bay Whiskey Jacks Northern League 40-45 3rd Independent Leagues lost in 1st round
1999 Les Capitales de Québec Northern League East 43-43 5th (t) Independent Leagues
2000 Les Capitales de Québec Northern League East 48-37 1st (t) Independent Leagues lost in 1st round
2001 Les Capitales de Québec Northern League East 44-47 4th Independent Leagues

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