Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Clarence Edwin "Cito" Gaston (born March 17, 1944 in San Antonio, Texas) is a former outfielder and manager in Major League Baseball best known for managing the Toronto Blue Jays to their first World Series championships in 1992 and 1993. He was the first African American manager to win the Series.
Primarily a center fielder, Gaston began his decade-long playing career in 1967 with the Atlanta Braves, appearing in 9 games. The following year he was selected by the San Diego Padres in the expansion draft, first playing for them in 1969. He had his best individual season in 1970 when he batted .318 with 29 home runs, 92 runs and 93 RBI (all career highs) and was selected to the National League All-Star team. The rest of Gaston's career was marred by unfulfilled potential, never hitting more than 17 home runs or knocking in more than 61 runs in any season with the Padres (until 1974) or the Braves (from 1975 until 1978).
Gaston became the hitting coach for the Toronto Blue Jays in 1982, a position he held until mid-season 1989 when he took over managerial duties from Jimy Williams. Under the new leadership, Toronto transformed from a sub-.500 team to the eventual division winners, going 91-71 (77-49 under Gaston). Toronto's success under Gaston was not shortlived, as they finished 2nd in the division behind Boston the following year, and won the division again in 1991, 1992 and 1993. Toronto won their first franchise World Series championships in 1992 and 1993.
Gaston's success, however, faded after the championship years and he was fired during the last week of the 1997 season having failed to lead the team to a winning record since 1993. Gaston rejoined the team as a hitting coach after the 1999 season but was fired again after a disappointing 2001 campaign.
- Baseball-Reference.com - managing record and playing statistics
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