There is quite a good number of former professional baseball players who have launched careers as broadcasters for Major League Baseball (MLB). Rick Manning falls into this distinguished category as the former longtime Cleveland Indians outfielder, who is widely recognized for his defensive prowess as he won the American League Gold Glove Award in 1976, has been a color commentator for the side since 1990. From time to time, he also occasionally provides color commentary on regional broadcasts for Fox Major League Baseball. All these contributed to endearing the New York native to MLB fans. However, we still have a lot to learn from the baseball icon’s life.
Rick Manning Was Born in a Town Named After The Famed Niagara Falls
A New Yorker, Richard Eugene Manning was born on September 2, 1954. While not much is known to the public about his early life, it is public knowledge that his place of birth is the town that is named after the world famous Niagara Falls.
Manning was educated at LaSalle High School where he began playing his favorite sport of baseball. His prowess on the field did not go unnoticed as he was LaSalle High School’s standout player during his time there. His golden chance to make it as a professional came in June 1972 when he was drafted with the second overall pick by the Cleveland Indians. Manning’s contract with the MLB side made history at the time as he was the first Western New York athlete to get a deal that had the largest salary and bonus package ever.
Highlights of His Baseball Career
After getting drafted in 1972, it took Rick Manning a few years before he was able to make his major league debut which later came in 1975. Between that time and 1983, Arch, as he was fondly called, made certain his team got their money’s worth from him during the eight years he spent with them before he was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers. Rick went on to spend four years with the Brewers before retiring from active play.
During his MLB career which lasted over 13 seasons, Manning was known for his breath-taking catches, defensive prowess, and speed. More so, he recorded remarkable success on the field and was a fan favorite in Cleveland for many seasons. To date, Rick Manning is considered one of the most enduring MLB contributors from Western New York.
One of the most remarkable moments in the former Cleveland Indians center fielder’s career happened on the 15th of May 1981 when he caught Ernie Whitt’s fly ball which was the final from Len Barker’s perfect game. The Indians ended up defeating the Toronto Blue Jays 3-0.
Rick Manning’s prowess on the field further earned him recognition and awards in the course of his MLB career. Among others, he is a 1976 recipient of the Gold Glove Award, making a mark as the fourth outfielder from the Tribe to receive the honor. Manning was also named one of the 100 Greatest Cleveland Indians Players ever.
Manning’s Transition to Broadcasting
It is obvious that Rick Manning’s retirement from active play did not take him far from the game he loves. His present career can be best described as switching places; as instead of sweating it out on the field, he now talks it out in the stands as a commentator/broadcaster for the league. Manning is no longer part of the action, but he is responsible for bringing the details of the game to the public arena.
Rick has held this role since 1990 when he became a color commentator for the Cleveland Indians’ telecasts on SportsTime Ohio in collaboration with Matt Underwood, as well as on WKYC- TV. Manning’s almost three-decade-long tenure with the club makes history as the second-longest in franchise history.
Occasionally, Rick Manning works with Major League Baseball on Fox, providing color commentary on regional broadcasts. However, this mainly happens when FOX shows an Indians game.
Rick Manning is a Husband, Father, and Grandfather
During and after his long major league career, Rick Manning has kept details of his personal life private. Thus, there is little or no information readily available about his love life and dating history. However, it is common knowledge that the former athlete is a married man with children and even grandchildren. He is happily married to Sue Manning, a woman who has also maintained a low profile over the years.
Details regarding the couple’s romance from the outset, their wedding date, and marital journey have not been disclosed. Regardless, it is no secret that Rick and Sue’s union produced two children, Jessica and Kyle Manning, and no less than six grandchildren.
The Sordid Details About Rick Manning and Dennis Eckersley’s Former Wife
As earlier hinted, there was little or nothing much known to the public regarding Rick Manning’s love life until recently. During a live broadcast in 2018, Manning’s former teammate turned broadcaster, Dennis ‘Eck’ Eckersley, shocked many when he revealed that Manning ‘stole’ his wife.
Manning and Eckersley launched their MLB careers together in 1975 on the Cleveland team and eventually became close friends. But in 1978, when Eck was traded to the Boston Red Sox, he was surprised to discover that his wife Denise no longer loved him as she was having an affair with his friend and teammate, Rick Manning. The Cleveland outfielder and Denise eventually married but their union later ended in a divorce.
Rick Manning is Still Earning The Big Bucks From His Broadcasting Career
Although Manning never disclosed his exact earnings during his active years as with the MLB, he amassed a sizeable fortune as a professional baseball player and sportscaster and can afford a comfortable lifestyle with a net worth that is currently estimated at about $2 million.
A breakdown of how Rick Manning made his fortune shows that a lion’s share of his total wealth emanated from playing baseball at a professional level. All his income at that time came to $1,565,000 in total, from his salary to signing bonus and deferred compensation. However, his basic remuneration as a broadcaster is reported to be around $30,000.