A three-time all star, Garner spent 16 seasons playing in the majors. He broke in with the Oakland A’s in 1973 and had his first all-star season in 1976. Oakland dealt him to the Pittsburgh Pirates the following year and Garner responded with what was probably the best offensive season of his career. He hit .260 in 1977 with 99 runs scored, 17 home runs, 77 RBIs and 32 stolen bases. All of these numbers were close to his career highs. Ironically, he did not make the all-star team that season. He did get back to the All-Star Game in 1980 and 1981 while still playing for the Pirates. Pittsburgh dealt him to the Houston Astros in the middle of the 1981 campaign and Garner became a mainstay for Houston for the next six years. The Astros eventually traded him to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1987. He finished his career in 1988 with the San Francisco Giants.
Garner finished his career with 1594 hits, 109 home runs and 225 stolen bases. As he mentions on his survey, he was part of the 1979 Pirates’ team that beat Baltimore in the World Series. Garner had a fantastic series, hitting .500 with five RBI and four runs scored. Following his playing career, Garner was the manager of the Milwaukee Brewers, Detroit Tigers and Astros. He skippered Houston to the 2005 World Series where they lost to the Chicago White Sox.
Phil Garner – career stats