Titan Alum Bruce Bochy Has Giants In World Series – Again
By Mark DeCotis, Eastern Florida State College // October 21, 2014
space coast sports hall of fame member
ABOVE VIDEO: Following high school at Mel-High, Bochy went on to suit up for Brevard Community College as a catcher and was honored with selection to the All-America team for the 1975 Titans team that won a state championship under coach Jack Kenworthy. He was drafted in the first round of the 1975 Major League Draft as the 24th overall pick by the Houston Astros.
GIANTS TAKE ON ROYALS IN SERIES
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – For the third time in five seasons former Brevard Community College baseball player and All-American Bruce Bochy and his San Francisco Giants are in Major League Baseball’s World Series.
Those who know Giants manager Bochy well aren’t surprised.
“He knows how to manage his players from superstars down to the 25th man and his 23rd, 24th and 25th man have won some games for him,” said former 29-year BCC baseball manager Ernie Rosseau.
The World Series began Tuesday when the Giants met the Kansas City Royals in the opener of the best-of-seven showdown.
EFSC’s Melbourne Campus baseball field is named after Bochy. BCC was renamed Eastern Florida State College on July 1, 2013 due to the addition of four-year degrees.
Rosseau and Bochy first met when Rosseau served as assistant to then BCC head coach Jack Kenworthy in 1974-75, Bochy’s final year with the Titans.
“He was a quiet leader,” Rosseau said. ‘He could hit. He hit .320 with a wood bat, hit six home runs with wood, led the club in all offensive categories expect stolen bases.
“He could catch and throw and shut down a running game. He also was an excellent base runner. He was slow but he could run the bases.”
Bochy, who graduated from Melbourne High School, was an All-American catcher at BCC in 1975, leading the Titans to a state championship under Kenworthy.
Bochy played nine years in the big leagues and is in his 14th year as a manager. He was the 1996 Manager of the Year when he took the San Diego Padres to the World Series. He has four National League Championships to his credit along with two World Series championships with the Giants.
“(Former big league catcher) Mike Piazza said in his book that Bochy was the best manager he ever played for,” Rosseau said.
Bochy has earned a reputation as a calm presence in the dugout and has shown an ability to make the right decisions in the most crucial situations.
Rosseau attributed that to Bochy’s nine years of experience (1978-1987) as a back-up Major League catcher, appearing in 358 games and having the opportunity to see the entire game in front of him.
“He has a gut feel for the game,” Rosseau said. “It’s fascinating to watch him.”
Kenworthy, who served as head baseball coach for 14 seasons managing both Bochy and Rosseau, had similar recollections.
“As a player, he was a ‘young’ college freshman, graduating high school from high school at age 16,” Kenworthy said.
“He displayed potential with his throwing arm and power as a hitter. He had big feet and he was slow afoot. Also he had a large head. We had to special-order a batting helmet just for him.
“I couldn’t project him to have all of this managerial success then. But, as I look back, the ingredients for leadership were in their early stages. So I am not that surprised.”
Kenworthy also praised Bochy’s ability to manage his players.
“Bruce has established a close family relationship with his players, and he has confidence in their abilities. I feel the players realize this and want to perform for him.
“He has always been even-keeled. He was our team captain, and his teammates would turn to Bruce to see how he would react to various situations.”
The same atmosphere exists with the Giants today and the results are evident.