Robert John “Bobby” Valentine
Field Manager, Chiba Lotte Marines 1995, 2004 – present
Born:May 13, 1950 in Stamford, Connecticut
Family: wife, Mary (married January 8, 1977); son, Robert John “Bobby” Jr. (born: April 25, 1983).
Subject of 90-minute documentary “The Zen of Bobby V,” which premiered on ESPN sports TV in America on May 13, 2008 (coincidentally, his birthday)
In 2007, led Marines to within one game of reaching the Nippon Series.
In 2005, led Marines to one of greatest seasons in Japanese professional baseball history:
First Nippon Series championship for franchise in 31 years
Asia Series championship (inaugural year of event)
Interleague Series championship (inaugural year of event)
In 2005 became:
First foreign manager to win Nippon Series
First (and still only) manager in world baseball history to lead a team to the NPB Nippon Series and the MLB World Series (his 2000 New York Mets lost to the Yankees)
First (and still only) foreigner to win prestigious “Shoriki Award,” which is named for the founder of Yomiuri Giants and so-called “father of Japanese pro baseball.” It is presented annually to one person making great contributions to Japanese baseball
Lotte Marines annual attendance and revenue have increased 400 percent since Bobby returned to the club in 2004.
Awarded a key to New York City after his extraordinary relief efforts following the 9/11 terrorist attacks; one of dozens of citations for his humanitarian/charity efforts.
Played 10 years of Major League Baseball. Retired at age 29 and began professional coaching career in 1980.
Hired as Texas Rangers manager in 1985, at age 35 (younger than some of his players), and still holds the club record for most victories.
Leisure activities include fine dining, reading (history and literature), music, traveling, downhill skiing and physical fitness. He also studies Japanese one hour per day and has learned more than 2,000 kanji characters.
Bobby and Mary Valentine own and train four championship-caliber competition Collie dogs at their home in Connecticut. One of them is named after the legendary American baseball figure Tommy Lasorda, Bobby’s first minor league manager.
A high school star in baseball, football, basketball and track at Rippowam High School in Stamford, Connecticut, Bobby was also an international ballroom dance champion and performed during the opening ceremonies for the US Pavilion in the 1964 World’s Fair.