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Friday, April 9, 2010

Jeff Manto, Retired Number - 467

Check out the revisited Jeff Manto feature from October 2012: Jeff Manto, Streak Hitter 

Jeff Manto was good enough to play in 326 major league games over 11 seasons, but never good enough to stick for long at any one time.

His last four seasons were spent largely at AAA Buffalo, where he recorded 79 home runs. He also earned the honor - and it was an honor - of being the Greatest Living Bison. The the team saw fit to retire his number, 30, in 2001.

"I've said it privately to the front office people here about what it means to me," Manto, back in town for a hitting clinic told The Buffalo News this past January. "They retired my number. Think about that. You retired my number. For me, there comes a responsibility with that. If they ask me to do things, I should do them."

Manto started his long career taken out of Temple by the Angels in the 14th round of the 1985 draft. He made AA Midland in 1988 and AAA Edmonton in 1989. Picked up by the Indians in an off-season trade, Manto started 1990 at AAA Colorado Springs. By June, he was in Cleveland.

Manto played in 30 games with the Indians that year, 47 the next. Then 8 more over the next three. His best year was in 1995, where he played 89 games with the Orioles, hitting 17 big league home runs, four of them on consecutive at bats.

That year he also hit more than half of his total major league home runs, of 31.

After a stint in Japan with the Yomiuri Giants, Manto returned stateside. He earned the Indians opening day 1998 first basemen's job, but only played 30 games for the Indians that year.

His playing career over, Manto became hitting coach and then manager for the Lakewood Blue Claws in 2001 and 2002. He became hitting coach for the Pirates in 2006, returning for 2007. He's currently a coach in the White Sox system.

With his number retired by the Bisons in 2001, Manto was inducted into the Buffalo Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003.
1990 CMC Tally
Cards Reviewed:
103/880 - 11.7%
Made the Majors: 64 - 62%
Never Made the Majors: 39 - 38%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 25
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 37

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