Notes about Chuck Tanner

You may have heard about the passing of Chuck Tanner.  A major league manager who won a World Series with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1979.  There is a tie between Appleton baseball history and Chuck Tanner.  More on that in a moment.

First, check out this story at Big League Stew about the his hometown of Newcastle, Pennsylvania paying their respects.

Meet Tanner and Hayden Zissis. They’re both fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates and both were on hand to pay their respects to Chuck Tanner in Newcastle, Pa., at his wake on Tuesday. As you might be able to guess, Tanner is named after the manager of the world championship 1979 squad, even though he was born 22 years after the accomplishment. Both Tanner and his brother wore their Chuck Tanner jerseys, his trademark bucket hats and gold stars with his No. 7 emblazoned in the middle. That’s a nice tribute for Chuck Tanner, who passed away last week at age 82.

There is a link within that post that leads to this story in the Detroit Free Press.

Jim Leyland was a close friend of Chuck Tanner, the longtime major league manager. Tanner lived near Pittsburgh, not far from Leyland.

Tanner, whose health had been failing for some time, died Friday. When Leyland spoke to Tanner’s son Bruce later in the day, Bruce relayed a message his father had recently given him.

As Leyland explained:

“He told Bruce, ‘You tell Jim Leyland to get his *** to spring training and don’t even think about coming up here for the service.’ “

Bruce Tanner is one of the Appleton ties to Chuck Tanner.

The elder Tanner was the manager of the Chicago White Sox from 1970-1975.  At that time, the Appleton Foxes were the Midwest League affiliate of the team from the south side of Chicago.

The Sox picked Bruce Tanner in the fourth round of the 1983 draft.  Bruce appeared in a few games for the Foxes in 1983.  In 1984, Bruce Tanner had a pretty good year for the Foxes.  The younger Tanner was 12-4 in 37 games (nine starts) and tossed 123-2/3 innings to help the Foxes to their third straight Midwest League Championship.

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