Callaway Joins Elite Company in #MLBRebs Coaching Ties
Oct. 27, 2017


By Davis McCool, OleMissSports.com

OXFORD, Miss. – The New York Mets recently tabbed Ole Miss baseball alum Mickey Callaway to be their next manager, and he will join an array of former Rebel standouts to coach at the highest level.

Callaway, a three-year letterwinner at Ole Miss from 1994-96, finished his career at Ole Miss with a 20-18 record in 61 appearances, including 36 starts. Callaway was drafted in the seventh round of the 1996 MLB Draft by the Tampa Bay Rays, and spent his professional career pitching for the Rays, the Anaheim Angels, and the Texas Rangers.

He joined the Cleveland Indians staff as the pitching coach in 2013, and helped the team produce league-leading numbers in ERA and pitching strikeouts. On Oct. 23, 2017, the 42-year-old was selected to be the next manager for the Mets, replacing Terry Collins.

Callaway will join the likes of other Ole Miss baseball greats who coached in the majors, including Casey Stengel, Don Kessinger, and Jake Gibbs, all household names to those familiar with the program.

Kessinger, a name synonymous with Rebel baseball, earned his start at Ole Miss as a multi-sport athlete, and was an All-American shortstop by 1964. To this day, he still holds the highest career batting average for a Rebel with an impressive .400 clip. He spent most of his professional days with the Chicago Cubs, but after retirement, became the manager of the Chicago White Sox for the 1979 season.

Kessinger also returned to the Rebels and helped guide them to prosperous years in the early ‘90s as the head coach. He was named an SEC Baseball Legend in 2017 for his work as both a player and a coach.

Many years earlier, Stengel represented Ole Miss in the major leagues by wrapping up his career as one of the most decorated managers in MLB history. Stengel's association with the University of Mississippi dates back to 1914, when he served as manager of the baseball team while getting in shape to report to Brooklyn. It was then where he earned the famous nickname "The Old Perfessor."

"Yes sir, when they call me the Professor, they ain't kidding. There's a good reason," Stengel told the Forrest City, Arkansas, Times-Herald back in the 1960s.

“The Old Perfessor,” carried the New York Yankees to seven world series titles, still tied for the most in managerial history, and cruised to 37 individual fall classic games won, a record that still stands by a large margin. Stengel is the only manager in MLB history to win five consecutive world series titles. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966, and entered the history books as one of the best managers of his time.

Gibbs, another multi-sport standout at Ole Miss, penciled his name into Rebel lore as a student-athlete in the late ‘50s, when he carried both the baseball and football teams to very successful seasons. Though he never managed professionally, Gibbs had a ten-year MLB career, followed by brief stints as the Yankees’ Class A manager as well as a New York bullpen catcher. Most notably, he ended his coaching career at Ole Miss, where he led the baseball team to 485 wins, a school record until it was surpassed by Mike Bianco in 2013.

All three men made names for themselves as Ole Miss standouts, and solidified themselves as baseball legends with stints as MLB coaches and managers.

As Callaway begins his tenure with the Mets, he will surely try to replicate the success of the Ole Miss greats before him, and ultimately end up in the same conversation with Don Kessinger, Casey Stengel, and Jake Gibbs.

For all Ole Miss Baseball news and information, visit the official athletics site OleMissSports.com. For more social media updates, follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissBSB, on Facebook at Ole Miss Baseball and on Instagram at olemissbsb.


 

 

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