On this day in 1945 Rene Lachemann was born in Los Angeles, California. He was 20 when he made his major league debut as a catcher for the 1965 Kansas City A's, but was only 23 when he played the last of his 118 major league games in 1968.
Lachemann was only 36 but had already managed at multiple levels in the minors when the Mariners hired him to take over for fired skipper Maury Wills during the 1981 season. The Mariners went 140-180 under his tutelage before he was let go in 1983, and in 1984 the Brewers hired him to replace Harvey Kuenn.
Unfortunately, Lachemann's lone year with the Brewers was not a successful one. Despite having future Hall of Famers Robin Yount, Paul Molitor, Don Sutton and Rollie Fingers on the roster (although Molitor and Fingers missed much of the year) the Brewers went just 67-94 two years after reaching the World Series. The team lost ten games in a row at one point in the second half and finished the year just 29-51 away from County Stadium.
Lachemann was replaced following the season by returning manager George Bamberger. After several more years of coaching in the majors, he earned another claim to fame by being the first manager of the Florida Marlins. His brother Marcel also managed for three years in the majors with the 1990's Angels.
Thanks to the B-Ref Play Index for reminding me that Lachemann turns 68 today. We'd also like to wish a happy birthday to:
- 2004 Brewer Ben Grieve, who turns 37.
- 1999 Brewer Robinson Cancel, who turns 37.
- 2003 Brewer Eddie Perez, who turns 45.
- 1975 Brewer Pat Osburn, who turns 64.