Full Name: Robert Earl Brenly
Height: 6'2" Weight: 210 lbs.
Born: February 25, 1954 in Coshocton, OH
Major League Career: 1981 to 1989
Managerial Debut: April 2000
Brenly was the Giants' starting catcher from 1984 to 1987, averaging 18 home runs per season and providing steady defense. The burly righthander was signed as a third baseman out of Ohio University (where he tied Mike Schmidt's single-season HR record), then switched to catcher in 1979, his fourth pro season. He continued to fill in at third or first base when necessary in the ML, and played 45 games at third in 1986.
Brenly won the Giants' starting catching job in 1984, hitting .291 with 20 HR and 80 RBI. He would never hit better than .267 again but he remained a consistent power threat. In Game Four of the 1987 NLCS he homered off the Cardinals' Danny Cox.
On September 14, 1986 against the Braves, in the fourth inning, Brenly tied a ML record with four errors at third base, booting three grounders and throwing wildly once to allow four unearned runs. In the fifth inning he hit a solo home run, and in the seventh he added a two-run single to tie the score, 6-6. In the bottom of the ninth with two out and the count full, he homered to win the game.
Brenly was released by the Giants after hitting only .189 in 1988. The Blue Jays signed him but released him in mid-1989. Popular in San Francisco, he was signed for their stretch drive, and after his retirement became a Giants coach under Roger Craig and Dusty Baker.
Brenly had two stints in the broadcast booth, first working Cubs games on WGN Radio and most recently working Diamondbacks games and FOX national broadcasts alongside play-by-play partner Thom Brennaman. Brenly used that experience to his advantage when he was hired to replace Buck Showalter as manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks in October 2000.
His experience paid off in 2001 when the Diamondbacks took the National League crown and then beat the Yankees in the World Series. This was Bob Brenly's first year as a manager.
The 2002 season was again successful for Brenly as Arizona captured the National League West Division but was beaten by the St. Louis Cardinals in the Divisional Playoffs. Brenly had a winning record (84-78) in 2003 but it was only good enough for a 3rd place finish in the NL West as Arizona was plagued with injuries to key players. After just 79 games in 2004 with a dismal 29-50 record, Bob Brenly was fired.