Bob Brenly

Bob Brenly

Bob Brenly
Catcher / Manager
Born: (1954-02-25) February 25, 1954
Coshocton, Ohio
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
August 14, 1981, for the San Francisco Giants
Last MLB appearance
October 1, 1989, for the San Francisco Giants
MLB statistics
Batting average .247
Home runs 91
Runs batted in 333
Games managed 565
Win–loss record 303–262
Winning % .536

As player

As manager

Career highlights and awards

Robert Earl Brenly (born February 25, 1954) is an American baseball sportscaster and a former baseball player, coach and manager in Major League Baseball.[1] He played the majority of his career as a catcher with the San Francisco Giants.[1] After retiring as a player, he worked as a broadcaster with the Chicago Cubs, then as a coach with the Giants, then as a broadcaster for Fox. He was hired to manage the Arizona Diamondbacks for the 2001 season, and won the franchise's only championship his first year. In 2004, he was fired by the Diamondbacks and again became a broadcaster with the Cubs until 2012. He now serves as a color commentator for Diamondbacks broadcasts.


  • Biography 1
    • Early life 1.1
    • Major League baseball career 1.2
    • Career statistics 1.3
    • Managing and coaching career 1.4
    • Broadcasting career 1.5
    • Personal life 1.6
    • Managerial records 1.7
  • References 2
  • External links 3


Early life

Brenly attended Ohio University in Athens, Ohio and was a member of the Bobcat baseball team. By the time Brenly graduated in 1976, he had earned All-America honors and matched Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt's school-record 10 home runs in a single season.

Bob Brenly's only curtain call in baseball occurred during a minor league game (teams and date unknown). Brenly's team was on the road, and the home team's fans designated him as the game's "Beer Batter," where if the player struck out, beer in the stadium would be sold at half price for the rest of the inning. Brenly struck out three times that game, and the fans stood on their feet and cheered for him after the third time as he came back out from the dugout and acknowledged the crowd.

Major League baseball career

Brenly was drafted as an amateur free agent by the San Francisco Giants in 1976.[1] He made his major league debut in 1981 at the age of 27.[1] He replaced Milt May as the Giants starting catcher in 1983 and posted a .224 batting average along with 7 home runs and 34 runs batted in.[1] Brenly had his best season offensively in 1984 when, he was hitting for a .318 batting average at mid-season to earn a spot as a reserve player on the National League All-Star Team.[2][3] He finished the season with a career-high .291 batting average with 20 home runs and 80 runs batted in.[1] Brenly won the 1984 Willie Mac Award for his spirit and leadership.[4]

In 1986, Brenly led National League catchers with a .995 fielding percentage, committing only 3 errors as a catcher in 101 games as the Giants improved from last place the previous season to finish third in the National League Western Division.[5][6] Also in 1986, Brenly broke up a perfect game attempt by pitcher Don Carman on August 20 by leading off the ninth inning with a double.[7]

Although Brenly was a good defensive catcher, he also has the dubious distinction of committing 4 errors in one inning while playing as a third baseman during a game on September 14, 1986, against the Atlanta Braves.[8] Three of the errors were on ground balls and one on a throw, with the throwing error coming on the same play as one of the ground ball errors.[8] Brenly atoned for his mistakes by hitting a fifth-inning home run.[8] He then hit a two-out, two-run single in the seventh inning to tie the game and finally hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to win the game.[8][9] Brenly also was playing first base during a Giants-Mets game on September 3, 1986 when Keith Hernandez hit a sharp grounder to pitcher Terry Mulholland. The ball got stuck in Mulholland's glove so Mulholland tossed the glove with the baseball to Brenly for the out.

Brenly batting for the Giants in 1985

Brenly led National League catchers in 1987 with 83 assists and posted a .267 batting average with 18 home runs and 51 runs batted in as, the Giants won the National League Western Division title.[1][10][11] In the only post-season appearance of his career in the 1987 National League Championship Series, Brenly hit .235 with 1 home run and 2 runs batted in as the Giants were defeated by the St. Louis Cardinals in a seven-game series.[12]

During the 1988 season, Brenly caught only 69 games and would be released at the end of the season.[1] In 1989, Brenly became a free agent and signed a contract to play for the Toronto Blue Jays.[1] After half a season with the Blue Jays, he was released on July 18 and, re-signed to play for the Giants.[1] After 12 games with the Giants, he retired at the end of the 1989 season at the age of 35.[1]

Career statistics

In a 9-year career, Brenly played in 871 games, accumulating 647 hits in 2615 at bats for a .247 career batting average along with 91 home runs and 333 runs batted in.[1] He ended his career with a .984 fielding percentage as a catcher.[1]

Managing and coaching career

Brenly served as a coach for the Giants under manager Roger Craig and then stayed on when Dusty Baker replaced Craig as manager. He replaced Buck Showalter as manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks after the 2000 season, and led the Diamondbacks to the 2001 World Series title in his first season as a manager.[13] Although the team repeated as Western Division champions in 2002, a slide which left the team in last place in mid-2004 led to Brenly's dismissal.[13]

Broadcasting career

He later returned to being a baseball analyst for Fox (where Brenly had worked from 1996 to 2000). He was then hired in November 2004 to replace Steve Stone as a color analyst for televised Chicago Cubs games. Brenly teamed with play-by-play announcer Len Kasper. He had previously teamed with Harry Caray, Thom Brennaman, and Ron Santo during the 1990 and 1991 seasons on radio. He often jokes about his mediocre playing career. Brenly is often referred to by his nickname, "BB" and was rumored to be in the running for several managerial positions for the 2008 season, though nothing materialized. Brenly was in the running for the 2009 Milwaukee Brewers managerial position and was said to be the favorite, but the job went to Ken Macha instead.[14][15]

In 2007, Brenly served as a game analyst during postseason broadcasts on the TBS cable television network. He covered the Yankees–Indians series in the ALDS and the Rockies–Diamondbacks series in the NLCS. On September 13, 2008, Brenly signed a four-year extension worth 3.5 million dollars to continue his role as color analyst for Cubs games.[16]

Brenly again worked Division Series post-season coverage for TBS in 2009-2012 with Dick Stockton as his play-by-play partner each year.[17]

He opted out of an extension to his contract with the Cubs and WGN television on October 17, 2012. He looks to further his broadcast career in baseball. He will leave his Emmy award winning broadcast partner Len Kasper who signed an extension with WGN and Cubs last season.[18]

On October 18, 2012, he signed a five-year deal as the TV color commentator for the Arizona Diamondbacks.[19]

Personal life

Bob Brenly is married to Joan Brenly. Their son Michael Brenly was drafted by the Cubs in 2004 (out of high school) and 2008 (out of

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Steve Stone
Chicago Cubs Television Color Commentator
Succeeded by
Jim Deshaies
  • Chicago Cubs Broadcasters at
  • Ask Len and Bob at
  • Chicago Cubs Broadcasters at
  • Len & Bob's baseball blog at WGN

External links

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Bob Brenly". Baseball Reference. Retrieved October 19, 2010. 
  2. ^ "1984 Bob Brenly Batting Log". Baseball Reference. Retrieved October 19, 2010. 
  3. ^ "1984 All-Star Game". Baseball Reference. Retrieved October 19, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Willie Mac Award Winners". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved October 19, 2010. 
  5. ^ "1986 National League Fielding Leaders". Baseball Reference. Retrieved October 19, 2010. 
  6. ^ "1986 National League Team Statistics and Standings". Baseball Reference. Retrieved October 19, 2010. 
  7. ^ Robbins, Michael (2004). Ninety Feet from Fame: Close Calls with Baseball Immortality. New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers. p. 244. 
  8. ^ a b c d "September 14, 1986 Braves-Giants box score". Baseball Reference. Retrieved October 19, 2010. 
  9. ^ Willis, Ken (2010-07-10). "4 errors in 1 inning? Brenly did it".  
  10. ^ "1987 National League Fielding Leaders". Baseball Reference. Retrieved October 19, 2010. 
  11. ^ "1987 National League Team Statistics and Standings". Baseball Reference. Retrieved October 19, 2010. 
  12. ^ "1987 National League Championship Series". Baseball Reference. Retrieved October 19, 2010. 
  13. ^ a b "Bob Brenly Manager Record". Baseball Reference. Retrieved October 19, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Brenly to be interviewed by Brewers". 2008-10-22. Retrieved 2008-10-31. 
  15. ^ "Brenly staying with Cubs". Chicago Tribune. 2008-10-30. Retrieved 2008-10-31. 
  16. ^ Rozner, Barry (2008-09-14). "Brenly gets deal to stay with Cubs".  
  17. ^ "MLB, TBS announce playoff schedules, announcers". USA Today. 2011-09-29. Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
  18. ^ ESPN Chicago web site story Retrieved October 17, 2012.
  19. ^ [2]
  20. ^ Cuevas, De La Cruz spark Sea Dogs past Mets. Portland Press Herald. Retrieved on May 7, 2015.


Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Won Lost Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
ARI 2001 92 70 .586 1st in NL West 11 6 .647 Won World Series over NYY
ARI 2002 98 64 .605 1st in NL West 0 3 .000 Lost NLDS to STL
ARI 2003 84 78 .519 3rd in NL West
ARI 2004 29 50 .367 5th in NL West (fired)
Total 303 262 .536 11 9 .555

Managerial records