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Bruce Bochy, Bob Melvin add new chapter to long history with SF Giants’ series vs. Rangers


ARLINGTON, Texas — Watching Bob Melvin jump from one National League West team to another this winter, Bruce Bochy shared the same observation made by many Giants fans who remembered their beloved former skipper make the same move a decade prior.

“He may have mentioned that I’m following some of the places that he’s gone,” Melvin said Friday before his Giants opened their series against Bochy’s new club, the Texas Rangers, sharing some of the words his predecessor had for him when he took the job in November.

“More than anything it was just, ‘Hey, I’m happy for you that you’re back home. Go get ‘em.’”

Bochy left the Padres in 2006 and the next year begun a 13-year reign in San Francisco, where he won three World Series championships. After years of managing on the other side of the Bay, Melvin took over the Padres in 2021 and just two years later was charting the same path as Bochy up the coast.

It wasn’t the first time the pair of baseball lifers had taken parallel paths, but typically it had placed them in opposite dugouts.

Facing off this weekend at Globe Life Field, Melvin, 62, and Bochy, 69, added yet another venue and another pair of uniforms to their vast history.

“A lot of history over the years of Bob and I managing against each other,” Bochy said. “We’ve been around a long time.”

“I managed against him all the way back in the Arizona days. I might’ve even seen him in Seattle, somewhere,” Melvin said, sensing a theme. “So we’ve been doing this a long time together.”

Bochy began his managerial career in San Diego in 1995, when he was 40 years old. Melvin was 41 when he was named the first-year manager of the Mariners in 2003. Still around multiple decades later, the two men now occupy the top two spots on the leaderboard of the winningest active managers.

Bochy’s 2,123 wins places him seventh all-time; Melvin’s 1,547 rank 25th. Next on the list, also hailing from the NL West, is Bud Black, more than 400 shy of Melvin.

Discounting their playing days, when both were backup catchers for NL West rivals, the two most veteran managers in the sport have faced off 154 times in the regular season entering this weekend. They have been interleague rivals twice, intradivision foes twice and regular old opponents numerous times along the way.

Over their 18 years sharing two of the 30 manager’s chairs around the majors, Melvin has gotten the best of Bochy, 84-70, including a 28-25 advantage over 10 years of facing off in the annual Bay Bridge series.

“It’s always cool to be on the same field as him, opposing dugouts,” Melvin said. “But I try not to say, OK, I’m managing against him. I try not to face him. I try to do my thing with our team. What was cool was it was the A’s and the Giants and in the Bay Area that always had a little more oomph to it.”

Asked whether this year’s meeting carried any extra meeting, coming against his former club, Bochy demurred.

Most of the memories from his time in San Francisco he took care of last year, when he made his first return visit.

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