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Friday, November 12, 2021

Tim Blackwell had plenty of experiences in majors, relayed them as minors manager

As he took the helm of the single-A Clinton Giants in April 1985, newly minted minor league manager Tim Blackwell explained his approach to The Quad City Times.

"I'll be the first to admit I don't know everything about the game of baseball," Blackwell told The Times. "But I feel I have plenty of experiences, both in the minor and major leagues, that I can pass on to these young guys."

Blackwell's experiences to that point included a decade spent in the majors and 15 campaigns spent in baseball overall. He went on to have plenty more experiences in the game over the next two decades-plus, as a minor leaguer manager and as an instructor, passing it all along to the young players he oversaw.

Blackwell's career in baseball began in 1970, taken by the Red Sox in the 13th round of the draft out of Crawford High School in San Diego.

Blackwell started with the Red Sox at short-season Jamestown. He made AA Bristol in 1974 and then AAA Pawtucket and Boston in 1974.

Blackwell saw 44 games for the Red Sox in 1974 and hit .246. He then saw 59 more in 1975, before seeing four with the Phillies in 1976 and 17 between the Phillies and Expos in 1977.

He arrived with the Cubs for 1978 and found some regular playing time. He saw 49 games that year and 63 the next, then 103 in 1980. He hit .272, with five home runs in 1980.

Blackwell started the 1980 campaign as the club's backup catcher, then moved up to full time due to injuries. He also had success throwing out runners. In one August stretch, he threw out eight of 10 runners who tried to steal on him, The Chicago Tribune wrote.

"Blackwell's been doing a great job," Cubs manager Joey Amalfitano told The Tribune.

Blackwell then finished out his big league career with 58 games with the Cubs in 1981, 23 with the Expos in 1982 and six more with the Expos in 1983.

By 1984, he started coaching, with the Giants at AAA Phoenix. He then managed at single-A Clinton in 1985 and single-A Fresno in 1986.

He moved to the Mets system and short-season Pittsfield for 1989, then high-A St. Lucie for 1990. 

In 1993, Blackwell turned to independent St. Paul as manager. The Minneapolis Star Tribune gave a glimpse at one of his practices that June, noting one player called for the ball by yelling "Me, me!

"This isn't an opera! Blackwell responded, The Star Tribune wrote. "Say, 'I got it!'"

Blackwell returned to affiliated ball by 1995 at high-A High Desert. He managed at AA Bowie in 1996, then AA New Haven in 1998.

Most recently, Blackwell is credited as managing at high-A Winston-Salem in 2008.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,780
Made the Majors:1,276-33.8%
Never Made Majors:2,504-66.2%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:525
10+ Seasons in the Minors:313

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