William Joseph Rigney
Los Angeles Angels
Born: January 29, 1918, Alameda, CA
Acquired: Traded by Oakland (PCL) to the New York Giants for Dolph Camilli
Major League Teams: New York Giants 1946-1953
As a Manager: New York Giants 1956-1957; San Francisco Giants 1958-1960; Los Angeles Angels 1961-1964; California Angels 1966-1969; Minnesota Twins 1970-1972; San Francisco Giants 1976
Died: February 20, 2001, Walnut Creek, CA (age 83)
Bill Rigney was the first manager in Angels' history, leading the team throughout the 1960s to a 625-707 record during a time when the team finished mostly in the second division in the A.L. Prior to taking the job with the Angels, Rigney was the last manager of the New York Giants and the first manager of the San Francisco Giants following their move west in 1958. His sole postseason experience as a manager came in 1970 when he guided the Twins to a first place finish in the A.L. West, only to be swept in the ALCS by the A.L. East winner Orioles. With the Giants, Angels and Twins he managed for 18 seasons and had a lifetime record of 1,239-1,321. After leaving the Giants organization, Rigney latched on with the Oakland A's where he served as a front office consultant and occasional broadcaster throughout the 1980s and up until his death in 2001.
As a player, Rigney was an infielder with the Giants for eight seasons between 1946 and 1953. The start of his big league career was delayed until 1946 as Rigney missed the 1943 through 1945 seasons while serving in the Navy. He had his best seasons in the late 1940s, reaching career highs in home runs (17) and RBIs (59) in 1947 and being named to the N.L. All-Star team in 1948.
|The late January 2020 eBay winnings from Greg Morris Cards|
January 25, 2020 from Los Angeles, CA - Card #47
Some January days are longer than others, and on a particularly long January day at work a few months ago, I decided I needed a few more 1965 Topps cards for our set. I've been familiar with Greg Morris Cards for a while now, as I've been using a lot of the images of old Topps cards scanned for their eBay auction listings in these posts and within the posts over at my 1956 Topps blog. The images are always centered and clear and for all the help Greg Morris has indirectly provided me, I thought I'd browse his eBay store.
Rigney looks to be a hundred years old in this photo, and I wasn't thrilled to learn he was the same age I am now when this photo was taken. The World Series games referenced on the back of the card were during the 1951 World Series against the Yankees. The Giants lost four games to two, with Rigney appearing in four games as a pinch-hitter and going 1 for 4. He drove in the sole Giants run in Game 2 with a sacrifice fly to score Monte Irvin.
Angels Team Set
Rigney was in the middle of his tenure as Angels manager in 1965, managing his fifth season at the helm of what would ultimately be a nine-season run. The Angels went 75-87, finishing in seventh place in the A.L., and changing their official designation from the Los Angeles Angels to the California Angels in September. The team's high water mark came on May 9th when they were a half game behind the White Sox for the top spot in the league, and they were six games over .500. It was all downhill from there.
First Mainstream Card: 1948 Bowman #32
Topps Flagship Set Appearances (14): 1952, 1960-1972
Most Recent Mainstream Card: 1991 Topps Archives 1953 #328
72 - Rigney non-parallel baseball cards in the Beckett online database as of 2/9/20.
The Trading Card Database
In some cases, the first and last cards listed above are subjective and chosen by me if multiple cards were released within the same year. Most recent mainstream card may also be subjective and does not include extremely low serial numbered cards, buybacks or cut autograph cards.