buzzy bavasi, 1977 padres special events card #1

Player: Bavasi, Buzzie

Card: 1977 Padres Special Events Card #1

Position: GM/Baseball Executive

Born in Manhattan, NY in 1914, Emil Joseph “Buzzie” Bavasi was an MLB executive who played a major role in the operation of three franchises from the late 1940s through the mid-1980s.

He was best known as the general manager of the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers from 1951 to 1968, during which time the team captured eight National League pennants and its first four World Series titles. He was previously a key figure in the integration of minor league baseball in the late 1940s while working for the Dodgers organization. He went on to become the first president of the San Diego Padres (1968–77); then, between 1977 and 1984, as general manager, he assembled the California Angels teams that made the franchise’s first two postseason appearances. His sons Peter Bavasi and Bill Bavasi have also served as big league general managers.

In WWII, Buzzie fought through Italy as a machine gunner, earning a Bronze Star for rescuing a wounded soldier from the battlefield.

After his discharge in 1946, the Dodgers assigned Bavasi to Nashua, New Hampshire, as general manager of the Class-B club, with Walter Alston as manager. Branch Rickey had signed Jackie Robinson for the Triple-A Montreal farm team and two other black players, catcher Roy Campanella and pitcher Don Newcombe, who would start at a lower level. When Rickey asked Bavasi to take them, his only question was, “Can they play?”

Newcombe said they ran into few problems as the first black players in the New England League, but the manager of the Lynn, Massachusetts, team abused them with racial slurs throughout one game. Bavasi challenged him to fight. The manager backed off. Newcombe and his wife named their first daughter for Buzzie’s wife, Evit Bavasi.

You can read more about Buzzie’s time as GM for the Dodgers and his friendship with player Al “The Bull” Ferrara in “Buzzie and the Bull” by Ken Lazebnik.

(excerpted from Wikipedia, BR Bullpen, and SABR)


Buzzie is part of the New York City Born Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop


Buzzie is also part of the LA/Brooklyn Dodgers Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop


See all (one) of Buzzie’s baseball cards at TCDB


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