Bobby Valentine Returns to ESPN as Baseball Tonight Analyst
Regular Contributor to ESPNNewYork.com and 1050 ESPN Radio in New York
Former manager Bobby Valentine will return to ESPN as a Baseball Tonight analyst. Valentine, who most recently managed the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan’s Pacific League, will make his season debut during the 2009 League Championship Series and World Series. Valentine previously worked for ESPN in 2003.
Valentine, who led the New York Mets to the World Series in 2000, will assume a larger role throughout the 2010 season including frequent appearances on Baseball Tonight and contributions to ESPNNewYork.com, the local sports site launching in 2010, and 1050 ESPN Radio in New York. He will also provide analysis for Division Series games on ESPN Radio next season.
“Bobby’s global knowledge of the game and dynamic personality make him a great addition to our baseball franchise,” said Norby Williamson, executive vice president, production. “We’re thrilled to welcome him back to ESPN.”
“I’ve had a remarkable experience in Japan the last six years, and I’m excited about returning to ESPN,” said Bobby Valentine. “I’ve been following Major League Baseball closely from afar, and look forward to delving back into those conversations across the company’s multimedia platforms.”
Valentine managed the Chiba Lotte Marines from 2004-09, leading them to a Japan Series victory in 2005, the team’s first championship since 1974. Prior to working with ESPN in 2003, he managed the New York Mets from 1996 -2002. Valentine guided the Mets to the postseason in consecutive years for the first time in club history in 1999 and 2000. In 1999, he was honored as Manager of the Year by the New York Athletic Club. As manager of the Texas Rangers (1985-1992), Valentine won more games than any other manager in team history.
Valentine played 10 seasons of Major League Baseball (Los Angeles Dodgers, 1969, 1971-72; California Angels, 1973-75; San Diego Padres, 1975-77; New York Mets, 1977-78; and Seattle Mariners, 1979). A high school star in baseball and football, Valentine was voted as the eighth best athlete of the 20th century from Connecticut in a poll by Sports Illustrated.
Off the field, Valentine has been recognized for his contributions to the community. He was presented with the Good Guy Award by the New York Press Photographers Association and by the New Jersey sportswriters in 1998; he received the same award from the New York chapter of the Baseball Writers Association in 2001. Valentine received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Bobby Bragan Youth Foundation in 2001 and the Joan Payson Award for humanitarian services in 2002.
Valentine has been in the restaurant business for 29 years owning “Bobby Valentine’s Sports Gallery Café” in Stamford, Conn., and Arlington, Tex. He is also an accomplished ballroom dancer.
Valentine and his wife, Mary, the daughter of former Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Ralph Branca, reside in Connecticut.