Woody Woodward

William Frederick "Woody" Woodward (born September 23, 1942) is an American former professional baseball player, college baseball coach, and general manager. He played in Major League Baseball, primarily as a shortstop from 1963 to 1971 for the Atlanta Braves and the Cincinnati Reds. Woodward is better known for his tenure as general manager of the Seattle Mariners.

Woody Woodward
Shortstop / Second baseman
Born: (1942-09-23) September 23, 1942
Miami, Florida
Batted: Right
Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 9, 1963, for the Milwaukee Braves
Last MLB appearance
September 28, 1971, for the Cincinnati Reds
MLB statistics
Batting average.236
Home runs1
Runs batted in148

Playing career

Woodward played baseball at Coral Gables Senior High School and led the team to the 1960 Class AA state title.[1] He attended Florida State University, where he played for the Florida State Seminoles baseball team. In 1963 he was named third-team All-American and was named to the College World Series all-tournament squad.[2]

During his Major League Baseball career, Woodward played for the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves (1963–68) and the Cincinnati Reds (1968–71). A shortstop and second baseman, Woodward appeared in 880 games with 517 hits. He had a career .236 batting average with one home run and 148 runs batted in. He was acquired along with Tony Cloninger and Clay Carroll by the Reds from the Atlanta Braves for Milt Pappas, Bob Johnson and Ted Davidson on June 11, 1968.[3]

On July 10, 1970, Woodward hit his only major league home run in 2,423 plate appearances, a two-run shot off Ron Reed against the Atlanta Braves.[4] Afterwards Woodward was quoted as saying, "If I hit one home run per every seven seasons, it will take me 4,998 seasons to catch Babe Ruth."[5] He played in four games of the 1970 World Series, which the Reds lost to the Baltimore Orioles in five games, with Woodward totaling one hit in five at bats.[6]

Woodward was involved in a bizarre incident on September 4, 1971. During a game against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium, a sack of flour fell out of the sky and landed approximately 10 feet from where Woodward was standing.[7]

Post-playing career

After a brief stint as Reds TV commentator, Woodward returned to FSU from 1975 to 1978 as head baseball coach, where his teams earned three NCAA tournament bids and one College World Series bid.[2] After working as an assistant general manager for both the Cincinnati Reds and New York Yankees, Woodward was named the general manager of the New York Yankees in October 1986. His resignation at the end of the 1987 season led to a flurry of moves as then-manager Lou Piniella was promoted to general manager, and (for the fifth time) Billy Martin was named Yankees manager.

The Philadelphia Phillies hired Woodward as general manager in October 1987, and fired him in June 1988.[8] Phillies president Bill Giles refused to cite a reason for the termination after just six months. "It was a philosophical difference and that was the bottom line," said Woodward, who said he was 'shocked and disappointed' by his dismissal.[8]

The next month, in July 1988, he became the general manager of the Seattle Mariners, working there until his retirement at the end of 1999. During his tenure, the Mariners made the playoffs in 1995 and 1997. His draft picks included Alex Rodriguez, Jason Varitek, Derek Lowe, Bret Boone and Raúl Ibañez. Perhaps his most notable trade was in 1989, acquiring Randy Johnson from the Montreal Expos (or trading away David Ortiz).[9] In January 2009 the Mariners hired him to work as a part-time scout.[10]

He is a 1981 inductee of the Florida State University Athletic Hall of Fame.[2]


  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2020-05-21. Retrieved 2013-07-26.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2020-05-21. Retrieved 2013-07-26.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. "Pappas Traded in Big Deal for Atlanta Pitcher," The Cincinnati Enquirer, June 12, 1968. Retrieved April 30, 2020
  4. "Cincinnati Reds at Atlanta Braves Box Score, July 10, 1970". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 13 November 2021.
  5. "Says Slugger Woody: Just 713 to Go". News.google.com. Retrieved 13 November 2021.
  6. "Woody Woodward Stats". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 13 November 2021.
  7. "The Press-Courier - Google News Archive Search". News.google.com. Retrieved 13 November 2021.
  8. Cialini, Joe (June 7, 1988). "Woodward, Baumer out as Phillies VPs". UPI. Retrieved 2022-04-20.
  9. "David Ortiz to get Seattle send-off from only team to ever trade him". ESPN.com. 3 August 2016. Retrieved 13 November 2021.
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