(Born September 2, 1954) -- At least by one standard, Rick Manning might be the most celebrated high school baseball player from Western New York in the modern era.
Manning came out of La Salle High School in Niagara Falls. He was taken second in the major league draft in 1972. That’s rather tough to top. Manning also picked up the largest bonus in local sports history.
The outfielder spent the rest of 1972 and all of 1973 in Class-A Reno. Then it was up to Oklahoma City for a little more than a year when he was called up to the major leagues for good.
Manning wasn’t a power hitter, but in his first two years he posted averages of .285 and .292 and played a smooth outfield. In fact, he won the only Gold Glove of his career in 1976. Manning stayed with the Indians until 1983, when he moved to the Brewers. Manning retired at the end of the 1987 season after a 13-year career.
He wasn’t done with baseball, though. Manning started working on the Indians’ telecasts in 1990, and is still on the job. That’s longer than any announcer has worked on the Cleveland broadcasts in team history.
--- Budd Bailey
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