Q&A With Former MLB Catcher, Manager and Coach Rene Lachemann

 Pro Perspective: Rene Lachemann

Rene Lachemann with the A's

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Former MLB Catcher

Rene Lachemann is truly a Baseball man. His life has been filled with it for decades.

He was born in Los Angeles in 1945, and was signed by the Kansas City Athletics in 1964, at the tender age of 19.

Rene briefly played under coach and hall of fame catcher Gabby Hartnett, who said after seeing him at spring training: “That Lachemann, what an arm he has!”

He made his major league debut with the A’s in 1965, only one year after he was signed. Rene played 92 games in the majors that year, and 7 games in 1966.

Lachemann spent the 1967 season with the AAA Vancouver Mounties and made it back to the majors with the now Oakland Athletics in 1968, appearing in 19 games.

For the next four years, Lachemann spent time only in the minors. Recognizing that his chances to make it back to the big leagues were slim, he transitioned into his coaching career in 1973. That year, he managed the A’s class A team, the Burlington Bees.

Check out Memorabilia of Rene

Transition to Coaching and Managing

Rene quickly worked his way up the minor league ladder and found himself back in the big leagues in 1981, when he was named Manager of the Seattle Mariners.

He managed the Mariners through the 1983 season, followed by a managerial stint with the Milwaukee Brewers in 1984.

Lachemann spent the 1985 – 1992 seasons as either the first of third base coach for the Boston Red Sox and Oakland Athletics, where he was a part of 4 World Series teams (winning it in 1989).

In 1993, he was named Manager of the brand new, inaugural Florida Marlins franchise. His brother, Marcel Lachemann (who himself played for the A’s), served as his pitching coach.

Rene Lachemann and Andrew Dawson, Florida Marlins

Rene led the Marlins for three and a half seasons, through July of 1996 when he was let go after a slow start to the season.

He ended up re-joining the coaching staff of Hall of Famer Tony La Russa in 1997, this time with the St. Louis Cardinals. Rene stayed with the Cardinals through 1999, moving to the Chicago Cubs in 2000.

Lachemann then spent the next 16 or so years coaching for the Cubs, the Seattle Mariners, the Oakland Athletics, and finally, the Colorado Rockies. Rene served as the Rockies’ first base coach (and also a catching coach/defensive coordinator) through the 2016 season, and then retired.

Rene Lachemann with the Rockies

A Coach of Legends

Rene had an amazing career in professional Baseball, spending all or parts of every season in the major or minor leagues from 1964 to 2016.

Over this time he has been a part of the following major league organizations: Kansas City/Oakland Athletics; Seattle Mariners; Milwaukee Brewers; Boston Red Sox; Florida Marlins; St. Louis Cardinals; Chicago Cubs; and Colorado Rockies.

Lachemann has managed or coached the following Hall of Fame players:

He has also managed or coached other famous names such as Terry Pendleton, Gary Sheffield, Sammy Sosa, Fred McGriff, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, Todd Helton, DJ LeMahieu, and Troy Tulowitzki – just to name a few.

Q&A with Rene

It’s safe to say that Rene knows Baseball inside and out, and combined with his experience as a pro catcher, I knew that he would have some good insight to share.

I wrote a letter to Rene a few weeks back, and he graciously took time to sign a card of mine and answer a few questions.

Rene Lachemann signed card

I wanted to share these responses with the readers of Catchers Home as I believe his answers are helpful, especially for younger catchers. 

Here are his responses to my questions:

Question 1: What is your favorite memory from playing in the majors?

Answer: First hit was a home run. (My commentary: His first hit and HR came on May 13, 1965 against the Chicago White Sox. He hit it off of Gary Peters, an all star pitcher)

Question 2: What do you think is the most important skill that a catcher should have?

Answer: Great work ethic

Question 3: If you could give only one piece of advice to catchers hoping to make it to the next level, what would it be?

Answer: Work hard on all areas, receiving, throwing, blocking, call(ing) a game. 

Q&A with Rene Lachemann

There you have it! Great advice from a longtime Baseball man. The common theme is to work hard - don't give up.

Thanks for Reading

We hope to share more Pro Perspectives with you in the coming weeks and months. Keep on the lookout for them!