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Gene Mauch, 79; Manager of Angels, Other Major League Baseball Teams

August 09, 2005|Tim Brown | Times Staff Writer

It was Mauch's conviction that led to what many believed to be his signature events as a manager. He started pitchers on short rest in the final weeks of 1964, leading to the collapse of the Phillies. And Angel fans still debate the merit of Mauch's replacing starter Mike Witt in the ninth inning against the Red Sox, despite clear signs of Witt's weariness. He eventually brought in Moore, who surrendered a go-ahead home run to Henderson. The Angels lost in 11 innings, then lost twice more in Boston.

Mauch carried on, and many in baseball consider him one of the great baseball minds ever.

"If they were to hold a managerial clinic, and just have the managers there, I would say Gene Mauch should run the clinic," former manager Dick Williams once said of Mauch. "That's how good a manager he was."

Besides, Mauch once said, the failures were not without their lessons.

"If it's true you learn from adversity," he said, "then I must be the smartest SOB in the world."

Mauch was born in Salina, Kan., on Nov. 18, 1925, and moved with his family to Los Angeles when he was 12. He attended Fremont High School, where he was an All-City infielder. He was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1943 and was the Dodgers' Opening Day shortstop in 1944.

He is survived by his wife, Jodie, and daughter Leeanne.

Funeral services are pending.

Times staff writer Bill Shaikin contributed to this story.

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