Invited to the party
Valentine finally earns first career postseason appearance
Posted: Monday October 18, 1999 08:46 PM
By Ryan Hunt, CNN/SI
For New York Mets manager Bobby Valentine, Monday's 5-0 win over Cincinnati went long way toward wiping out 12 years of disappointment.
Valentine managed 1,704 regular-season games before finally earning his first playoff invitation.
And he had to do it the hard way. The Mets had to the win the season's final three games and then a one-game playoff with Cincinnati to earn the wild card.
But it's fitting for a manager that has taken so long to get to the postseason. Only three others -- Jimmy Dykes, Clark Griffith and Paul Richards -- have managed longer without advancing to the postseason.
Dykes managed the White Sox, Athletics, Orioles, Reds, Tigers and Indians from 1934-61. Richards was with the White Sox and Orioles in his 12-year managing career.
In 1901, Griffith's White Sox finished first in the American League but there was no World Series that year. He would never again reach the postseason in his 2,918 career games as a major league manager.
Valentine, though, had the second-highest career winning percentage of the top-five managers with the most games and no postseason appearance. Valentine, who led the Mets to 97 wins this season, has a career winning percentage of .510.
Griffith had a .522 career winning percentage. Dykes had a .477 career winning percentage. Richards was at .506.
Valentine spent eight seasons in Texas, the best of which was a second-place finish in 1986. He also led the Mets to a second-place showing last season, and just missed out on the NL wildcard.