Welcome to The Shrine to Charlie Hough: Archive. This page was launched on 10/06/2001 to house overflow information from The Shrine to Charlie Hough.
UPDATE 3/11/2005: Additional information has been added to this page from the main Shrine to Charlie Hough page. The formatting of this page has also been updated.
UPDATE 10/06/2001: This paged is launched. Information about Hough's coaching stint with the Dodgers has been archived here.
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[7/28/98]: Charlie Hough has been named the pitching coach of the Los Angeles Dodgers, amidst a series of other Dodgers coaching staff changes. Since 1996, Hough had been the pitching coach of the Single-A Dodgers affiliate San Bernardino Stampede.
The Los Angeles Dodgers today [6/24/98] have named... Charlie Hough pitching coach... announced Dodgers’ Vice President and General Manager Tommy Lasorda.
"We gave [new manager] Glenn [Hoffman] the authority to pick and choose his staff and these are the moves he feels will help the team get to the next level," said Lasorda... I am excited about the return of Mickey, T-Bone (John) and Charlie to Dodger Stadium. They are going to be outstanding for this team and new manager, and will bring a new level of energy to our great fans."...
Hough has served the Dodgers as the pitching coach at San Bernardino since 1996. The knuckleball pitcher played 25 seasons in the major leagues with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers, Chicago White Sox and Florida Marlins and compiled a 216-216 record.
--from Dodgers Media Information
"I don't think you can fix things real quick. It's a slow process. Right now, I'm just trying to learn how to spell [Dave] Mlicki."
-- Charlie Hough on the challenges that await him as the Dodgers' new pitching coach
DODGERS NAME JOHNSON MANAGER; SET COACHING STAFF:
Davey Johnson became the 23rd manager in Dodger franchise history when he signed a three-year contract on October 23... The Dodgers announced on October 27 that Glenn Hoffman, Charlie Hough and Manny Mota will return to the Dodgers’ 1999 coaching staff and be joined by Rick Dempsey, Rick Down and Jim Tracy.
[6/17/99]: On 5/26/99, the Dodgers fired pitching coach Charlie Hough and replaced him with Claude Osteen, formerly the pitching coach of Triple-A Albuquerque, in another set of Dodgers coaching staff changes. The Dodgers said Hough would be offered another position within the organization, probably as a minor league coach or consultant, but word is Hough would be unlikely to accept and would not remain with the Dodgers organization.
After becoming the Dodgers' pitching coach in June 1998, Charlie Hough led the Dodger pitchers to 11 complete games and a 3.68 ERA. At the time Hough was fired, Dodger pitchers had slipped to a 4.47 ERA for 1999, but this still was the sixth best staff ERA in the National League. While the bullpen had a horrid 5.08 ERA [fourteenth in the NL], Los Angeles starters had gone 19-16 with a 4.19 ERA- fourth best in the league.
Many of the Dodgers were sad to see Hough go. Manager Davey Johnson called the day of Hough's firing "The toughest day I've had in this game- I'm including the days when I was [fired]." Johnson also realized that the sole responsibility for the Dodgers' futility did not belong with Charlie Hough, as he said "I didn't blame Charlie; I blamed everyone in the room [the Dodger clubhouse]."
The players echoed Johnson's sentiments. Secondbaseman Eric Young revealed that the Dodgers "all realize it's not Charlie's fault." Reliever Alan Mills felt "bad for Charlie because he didn't throw any pitches. He didn't do anything to warrant his fate."
Staff ace Kevin Brown was disappointed over Hough's dismissal, saying "It's just a shame that a guy as good as Charlie is, as a person and as a coach, winds up getting fired because of how we pitched. It's a situation where we failed Charlie. It's embarrassing. It really is, to play that bad to get a guy like that fired. I have the utmost respect for Charlie. We failed Charlie Hough. Charlie Hough didn't fail us."
Fellow starter Darren Dreifort agreed with Brown. "Charlie didn't need us, we needed him, that's why he was here," Dreifort said. "I hear people say Charlie can't be a good pitching coach because he's a knuckleball pitcher. Charlie Hough is a great pitching coach. Charlie Hough has 30 years in the big leagues. He's seen every situation and he's been through everything. His knowledge of pitching is unbelievable. He has a game plan for everything. You can go up to Charlie at any time and ask him anything. It's not Charlie's fault that I've got a 5.00 ERA [4.98]. It's not his fault that Chan Ho [Park] is doing what he's doing and Carlos [Perez] is doing what he's doing. [Brown] is the only one who has pitched consistently. Atlanta has a ton of Cy Young Award winners who are getting [pounded]. You don't see the Braves firing [pitching coach] Leo Mazzone."
Dreifort appears to have been refuting the claim of Dodgers broadcaster and former reliever Rob Dibble that Hough shouldn't be the Dodgers pitching coach since Hough was a knuckleballer while none of LA's starters are. Dibble made this comment just a day before Hough was fired.
According to the LA Times, Dodgers management was concerned about Hough's "flawed" pitching strategy this year, poor communication between pitchers and Dodger catcher Todd Hundley, and the inability of pitchers to get out of trouble on the field. However, if Hough was not the right man for the job, why did Dodgers general manager Kevin Malone and manager Johnson have Charlie Hough return to the Dodgers for 1999? (Hough had been hired by interim GM Tom Lasorda in 1998.)
Johnson said that Hough "said the thing that hurt the worst is he felt we were going to win here and he wanted to be part of it." After being fired, Hough revealed that he "was looking at the starting pitchers the other night and I think we're now third [actually fourth] in the [NL] in ERA, so it's just one of those things. We didn't do well . . . you're going to make some changes; corporate stuff. It's the game. I replaced a guy [Glenn Gregson] last year."
Hough provided a few insights into his future. "I'll be fine," Hough said. "I'm going to play some golf and watch the baseball season unfold. Maybe I'll go get Maddux and Glavine [of the Braves] straightened out-- and all the other teams behind us [in starters' ERA]."
1999 was Hough's 33rd pro season. He is still owed the remainder of his one year, $90,000 contract with the Dodgers.
[Archived 3/11/2005]: Since his retirement, Hough has tutored young knuckleballers such as the Padres' Mattson, was on the 1996 Florida Marlins Fantasy
Camp Staff, and was pitching coach of the San Bernardino Stampede from 1996-1998. The Stampede are a single A affiliate of the
Los Angeles Dodgers. They won the California League title in 1996, their first year of affiliation with the Dodgers. After retiring as a
player following the 1994 season with the Marlins, Charlie Hough was honored by the team on August 29, 1995. Picture from
Hough's Retirement Ceremony
Charlie Hough was pitching coach of the Los Angeles Dodgers from June 24, 1998 to May 26, 1999.
Charlie Hough was named the pitching coach of the New York Mets on December 19, 2000 as one of four new coaches on the Mets staff. In 2001,
Hough went to the All-Star Game in Seattle as a coach for National League Manager Bobby Valentine.
Charlie Hough has "decided to pursue other interests" and will not return as Mets
pitching coach for the 2003 season, according to an
article on the official Mets website. Hough was pitching coach for the Mets in 2001 and 2002. In 2002, the Mets compiled a team ERA
of 3.89 under Hough, fifth best in the sixteen team National League.
In May 2003, Charlie Hough became pitching coach of the Lake Elsinore Storm,
the San Diego Padres' A-ball California League affiliate. However, with a new Storm manager named, the North County Times
reports Padres farm director Tye Waller as unsure what would happen with Charlie Hough... "Charlie has not been dismissed,"
Waller said. "We're trying to find the right role for him. He's in a unique situation where he likes being near home."
In August 2003, Charlie Hough was inducted into the Texas Rangers Baseball Hall
of Fame, as part of its inaugural class, along with Nolan Ryan, Jim Sundberg, and Johnny Oates.
Knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm, a mentor to Charlie Hough,
died this summer.
The article tells how Charlie Hough learned the knuckler from Dodgers scout Goldie Holt in the Fall
Instructional League, after Hough had injured his arm in 1969. Hough mentions how Wilhelm helped him with the knuckleball.
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