‘Moneyball’ subject Beane played for Mud HensWritten by Duane Ramsey | | firstname.lastname@example.org
William “Billy” Beane, subject of the new baseball movie “Moneyball,” played for the Toledo Mud Hens and Detroit Tigers during his six-year baseball playing career.
Beane played in 110 games, hitting .235 as an outfielder for the Mud Hens in 1988 when the team was the AAA affiliate of the Detroit Tigers. He played in six games for the Tigers that season, getting one hit in six at bats, according to team statistics.
Beane was not available for comment about his playing career in Toledo and Detroit or the film “Moneyball.” Oakland A’s spokesman Bob Rose said Beane was inundated with requests for interviews following the film’s debut Sept. 19 and could not respond until after baseball season.
Beane’s philosophy for baseball success was the subject of the best-selling book, “Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game,” by Michael Lewis.
Beane is often asked to speak to companies about his management approach of identifying and using undervalued assets to create a competitive edge.
The movie “Moneyball” focuses on Beane’s success with the small-market Oakland Athletics in 2002, which included a 20-game winning streak. Unfortunately, Oakland lost in the first round of the playoffs that year and has not advanced to the World Series under Beane’s leadership.
Beane considers “Moneyball” a success for the simple fact that Brad Pitt played him in the film, reported the Associated Press.
“Listen, it’s Brad doing it. How am I going to complain?” Beane said in an interview with the AP.
Beane and Pitt were filmed at the Oakland Coliseum Sept. 19 holding an outdoor news conference where they talked about the film’s premiere in Oakland that night. Beane attended the local premier with coaches and players on that off-day for the team.
However, the A’s lack of a World Series championship left the movie, based on the true story of the team’s success, without a dramatic ending.
Since the A’s are no longer winning Beane’s philosophy, based on economics and baseball statistics, there is speculation that he could leave Oakland to replace general manager Jim Hendry for the Chicago Cubs.
Beane with an ‘e’
John Husman, team historian for the Mud Hens, said he had one personal recollection of Beane — the oddity that he played with another player named Billy Bean (spelled without the “e” at the end of his last name) in Toledo in 1988.
The two players with the same first and last names posed a problem for Mud Hens radio broadcaster Jim Weber.
“I approached them both hoping one of them would deviate from being called Billy. Both said the only name they would go by was Billy and not Bill because they had never been called anything else. So, I spent the whole season saying ‘Billy Beane with the ‘e’ or ‘Billy Bean without the ‘e’ during the broadcasts,” Weber told Toledo Free Press. “A few years ago, there was an Oakland scout at the stadium who was working for Beane and the A’s at the time. I mentioned Beane’s time with us and he said Beane was going to call him in a few minutes.
“When he called, the scout told him I was there and handed me the phone. We had a neat five-minute conversation and laughed about the double Billy Beane situation in 1988,” Weber said.
Beane also played 32 games hitting .294 for the Mud Hens in 1986 when the team was affiliated with the Minnesota Twins. He played in 80 games for the Twins that season, batting .213 with three HRs and 15 RBIs in 194 at bats.
Beane was drafted by the New York Mets as the 23rd pick of the 1980 amateur draft. He played in 13 games with the Mets in 1984 and 1985, making his MLB debut on Sept. 13, 1984.
Born March 19, 1962, he attended Mount Carmel High School in Rancho Bernadino, Calif., and University of California-San Diego.
Beane finished his major league career playing for the Oakland A’s in 1989. He retired in the spring of 1990 having played in 148 games with a career batting average of .219, three home runs and 29 RBIs in 315 at bats in his MLB career.
Beane joined the A’s front office in 1990 as major league advance scout for the team. He was promoted to assistant general manager in 1993 by A’s former president and general manager Sandy Alderson.
Alderson handed his general manager’s duties to Beane on Oct. 17, 1997. He is considered by many as one of the most progressive and talented baseball executives in the game today.
Under his watch, the A’s have compiled a .548 record with 976 wins and 804 losses during the past 11 seasons, which is third best in the American League and fifth best in MLB.
The A’s won four AL West titles in 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2006 and one AL wild-card spot in 2001, posting 90 or more wins in six of the last nine years. O
The Associated Press contributed to this report.