Melvin, Oates, Elster Honored
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) _ General manager Doug Melvin, the architect behind the first division title in Texas Rangers history, was named major league executive of the year by The Sporting News on Monday.
Johnny Oates was the publication’s pick for AL manager of the year and shortstop Kevin Elster was chosen the league’s comeback player of the year. Each winner was picked by his peers.
The Rangers went 90-72 and led the AL West for all but four days this season. They beat New York in the opener of the playoff series, then were eliminated Saturday after blowing leads in three straight games.
Melvin became a GM for the first time in October 1994, taking over a Rangers team that led the AL West when the strike hit but had been only 52-62. His first move was to fire manager Kevin Kennedy and replace him with Oates, himself recently dumped by the Orioles.
Oates called this season the most special in his 30 years of professional baseball. He also chooses to see the ending as motivation for next season and has invited back his entire coaching staff.
Elster resurrected his once-promising career with career highs in 1996 for home runs (24) and RBIs (99) after playing only 49 major league games the last three seasons.