Robert Ralph Skinner (born October 3, 1931) is a retired American outfielder-first baseman, manager, coach and scout in Major League Baseball. Skinner, who spent over 50 years in the game, is the father of former MLB catcher and coach Joel Skinner.
Bob Skinner, a left-handed hitter who threw right-handed, played most of his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates (1954; 1956–63). He spent his last 3½ years as a pinch hitter and backup outfielder for the Cincinnati Reds (1963–64) and St. Louis Cardinals (1964–66). During his best season, 1962 with the Pirates, he batted .302 and hit 20 home runs. Over his 12-year career, he batted .277 with 103 homers. Skinner played for two World Series champions in two tries. Although he hit only .200 for Pittsburgh as a regular during the 1960 World Series, as a pinch hitter for St. Louis during the 1964 World Series, Skinner hit safely in two of three at-bats for a .667 average.
In 1967, Skinner retired from playing and became manager of his hometown team, the San Diego Padres of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, the top farm club of the Philadelphia Phillies. He led San Diego to an 85–63 record and the 1967 PCL championship, winning Minor League Manager of the Year honors from The Sporting News. In 1968, he began the year at San Diego but was soon called to the Phillies to replace Gene Mauch as manager with the Phils in fifth place with a record of 27–27. It was a disastrous move for the Phils; under Skinner, the team plunged to eighth place, with a 48–59 record, and when they performed even worse in 1969, at 44–64, and in fifth place in the new NL East Division, Skinner was replaced by his third-base coach, George Myatt.
He remained in the game, however, as a coach for the National League Padres, who came into being in 1969, Pirates, California Angels and Atlanta Braves. He also managed the Houston Astros' Tucson Toros PCL franchise from 1989–92 before becoming a Houston scout.
His career record as a manager, including a one-game interim stint with the 1977 Padres, was 93–123 (.431).
In 1976, Skinner was also inducted by the San Diego Hall of Champions into the Breitbard Hall of Fame honoring San Diego's finest athletes both on and off the playing surface.
By Dean Hanley
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