The 2010 season marks Bobby Cox's 29th as a Major League manager and his 25th at the helm of the Braves. Atlanta finished with an 86-76 record and a third-place finish in the National League East Division. On June 8, Cox posted his 2,000th Braves victory, making him just the fourth skipper in big-league history to claim 2,000 wins with one team, joining Connie Mack (Athletics), John McGraw (Giants) and Walter Alston (Dodgers).
On September 23, 2009, the Braves announced that Cox had agreed to a contract extension for the 2010 season, and Cox himself announced that he will retire from managing at the conclusion of the 2010 campaign, thus bringing to an end one of the greatest managerial careers in the history of the game. As part of Cox's contract extension, he was given a five-year consulting agreement, from 2011 to 2015, where he will advise and consult in all areas of Baseball Operations, including the Major League Club, spring training, minor league operations and scouting. In addition, Cox will work with the office of the president on special business projects.
Cox's 2,413 wins rank fourth all-time and include a franchise-best 2,058 victories with the Braves and 355 with the Toronto Blue Jays. Cox owns an overall career record of 2,413-1,930-3 (.557). The Braves have won more games (1,752) in the 19-season span since 1991 than any other team in baseball (the New York Yankees rank second with 1,749). Cox has won 15 division crowns in his career, including 14 in Atlanta that have led to five pennants (1991, 1992, 1995, 1996 and 1999) and one World Championship (1995).
Cox led the Braves to an 84-78 record in 2007, but Atlanta's 2006 record of 79-83 snapped Cox's string of 15 consecutive winning seasons, tying him with Al Lopez and Earl Weaver for third place all-time behind Joe McCarthy (20) and Sparky Anderson (17). He was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in May 2006.
The 2005 season was one that many observers considered the finest of Cox's long and storied career, as he led the injury-riddled Braves to their 14th consecutive division title. Despite extended injuries to such stars as Chipper Jones and Johnny Estrada, as well as lengthy absences by three-fifths of the starting rotation (Mike Hampton, Tim Hudson and John Thomson), Cox again worked his magic, utilizing the services of 18 different rookies, 12 of whom made their Major League debut. The Braves' 2005 firstplace finish was the 15th in a row for Cox in seasons in which he managed from the outset, including his final year in Toronto in 1985. The '05 campaign was Cox's 14th with 90 or more wins, placing him third all-time in 90-win seasons behind Hall of Famer skippers John McGraw (16) and Joe McCarthy (15). Cox was voted the National League Manager of the Year by the Baseball Writers Association of America for the second consecutive season, and fourth overall, as well as being named Manager of the Year by Sporting News, Baseball America and Sports Weekly. The Sporting News, in a poll of his peers, honored Cox as the NL's top skipper for the fourth straight season, marking the seventh time he received the honor with the Braves and the eighth time overall. No other manager has won the Sporting News award more than three times since the magazine started the balloting in 1936.
In 2004, Cox was voted the NL Manager of the Year by the BBWAA, as well as Sporting News, Baseball America and Sports Weekly. Despite the off-season departures of such players as Gary Sheffield, Javy Lopez, Vinny Castilla and Greg Maddux, Cox proved the prognosticators wrong and led the club to a 96-66 record, winning the NL East by 10 games. On September 29, 2004, in the season's final home game, Cox earned his 2,000th career victory with a 6-4 decision over the New York Mets. He became just the ninth skipper in big-league history to reach that lofty milestone.
The Sporting News named Cox the NL manager of the year in 2003 as he moved past Casey Stengel into ninth place on the all-time managerial win list. He joined the Yankees' Joe McCarthy as the only managers in major league history to guide their teams to 100 or more wins in a season six times. The Braves, with their 101-61 record, utilized a record-setting offense and quality pitching, finishing 10 games ahead of the Florida Marlins in the NL East. With the Braves' 101st win on the last day of the 2003 season, a 5-2 victory at Philadelphia, Cox reached 1,906 career victories, one more than Stengel.
Cox earned the Sporting News award for the fifth time in 2002, when the Braves won their 12th consecutive division title despite a mostly unheralded bullpen and injuries to key personnel.
Cox brought the city of Atlanta its first major professional sports world championship in 1995 when the Braves defeated the Cleveland Indians, four games to two, in the World Series. The victory also marked the first time a franchise had won a World Series in three different cities.
In 1993, the Braves won 104 games and became the first National League West team to win three straight division titles. The Braves' 400 Club honored Cox with its Mr. Baseball Award that season.
The Braves' performance in 1991, when they went from worst-to-first and participated in one of the most dramatic World Series in history, earned Cox several postseason honors. Among others, the Associated Press named him Major League Manager of the Year. Cox became the first manager to earn that honor in both leagues, having also won it while with the Blue Jays in 1985.
Cox managed the Braves from 1978 to '81, compiling a 266-323 record and laying the groundwork for the club's National League West title in 1982. He began a four-year tenure as Toronto's manager in 1982, lifting a habitual last-place team to within one game of attaining a World Series berth in 1985.
In 1982, Cox led the Blue Jays to a 78-84 mark, the best record in their six-year existence. Toronto improved to 89-73 each of the next two seasons and then won the American League East crown by finishing 99-62 in 1985. For his efforts that year, Cox was named Major League Manager of the Year by the Baseball Writers Association of America, the Associated Press and the Sporting News.
Cox returned to the Braves as general manager in October 1985 and oversaw a farm system which set the foundation for great success. He added the field managing responsibilities on June 22, 1990, then devoted all his time to those duties when the Braves named John Schuerholz General Manager in October of that year.
Cox spent five years in the Dodgers' farm system before being selected by the Chicago Cubs in the November 1964 Minor League Draft. He was acquired by the Braves in a 1966 trade that sent outfielder Billy Cowan to the Cubs. After playing for Triple-A Richmond in 1967, he was traded to the New York Yankees and beat out Mike Ferraro, the Yankees' outstanding spring training rookie, for the third base job in 1968. Cox made the Topps Rookie All-Star team in 1968, but lost his job to roommate Bobby Murcer in '69.
Bad knees forced Cox to retire as a player at the age of 30. He was appointed manager of the Yankees' Class-A Fort Lauderdale club in 1971. He won the Eastern League pennant and championship with West Haven in 1972 and placed second twice and third twice in four years at Syracuse, winning the International League's Governor's Cup in 1976. He served as the Yankees' first base coach in 1977.
Born May 21, 1941, in Tulsa, Okla., Cox graduated from Selma (Calif.) High School in 1959 and attended Reedley Junior College. He and his wife Pam, and three daughters, Keisha, Kami and Skyla, live in Marietta, Ga. He has five other children: Debbie, Bobby Jr., Connie, Shelly and Randy.