Bobby Valentine is near the top of the list of guys who have managed the most major league games without ever finishing in first place. Could Valentine eventually climb to the very top of the list? It’s hard to imagine his being allowed to manage the additional five full seasons he would need without finishing first at least once. Unless he wins a World Series as a wild card, which is certainly within the realm of possibility. Bobby will presumably pass Frank Robinson for number 2 on this list around the end of May of this upcoming season, and with Jack McKeon and Jim Riggleman out of the current managing ranks, Bobby will have that #2 spot to himself for a long time — unless he can get off the list entirely with an AL East championship. The “leaders” in this category are listed after the jump.

Most MLB Games Managed Without a First Place Regular Season Finish:
1. Jimmy Dykes 2,962 games managed
2. Frank Robinson 2,241
3. Bobby Valentine 2,189
4. Jack McKeon 2,042 (McKeon does have a World Series championship, despite no first place finishes)
5. Phil Garner 2,040
6. Paul Richards 1,837
7. Jimmy McAleer 1,658
8. Patsy Donovan 1,597
9. Lee Fohl 1,521
10. Jim Riggleman 1,486 (Mr. Contract Extension Demand)
11. Bill Barnie 1,480
12. Birdie Tebetts 1,455
13. Dave Bristol 1,424
14. Gus Schmelz 1,357
15. Jeff Torborg 1,352
16. Clint Hurdle 1, 321 (likely to move up on the list this season)
17. Don Baylor 1,316
18. Branch Rickey 1,277 (more successful executive than field manager)
19. Ned Yost 1,248 (likely to move up on the list this season)
20. Buddy Bell 1,243

Should Bobby V. find himself forever stuck at number #2 on this list — well, it will be just another missed first place.

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