|A Veteran Rookie
New manager Bobby Winkles came to the California Angels in 1973 as college baseball royalty. The two-time NCAA Coach of the Year, he piloted Arizona State University from 1959-71. His teams won three college world series crowns.
Although he wasn’t a major league coach in 1965, the newly-instituted college draft reminded Winkles that he was in competition with major league baseball. His players faced pro baseball’s yearly temptation.
“The 1965 draft — college coaches weren’t affected too much. NCAA rule — college players could sign at the end of their sophomore year. Later chanced to end of junior year. A high draft pick was more likely to sign because big money was hard to turn down for an 18 year old and his family. I lost Rick Monday, Reggie Jackson and Skip Handcock as sophomores. That hurt our program.”
That second player mentioned? Yep. Winkles knew Mister October long before the majors did.
“Reggie had unlimited tools. He worked hard. There was no doubt in my mind he would play in the M.L. No college coach could predict the Hall of Fame for a player. He had all the tools and he made the best of them.”
Tomorrow: Winkles grows up in the shadow of a Hall of Famer.