June 30 marked a momentous day for Tucson Saguaros manager Bill Moore. Along with earning his 250th win in the Pecos League, the 73-year-old earned his 1,400th career win.
Of course, that’s only counting games as a head coach. Moore thinks he’s taken part in about 45,000 games in all parts of the coaching staff throughout his career.
“They’ve all helped,” Moore said of his athletes. “Honestly, they won all the games, I just sit over here (in the dugout). I’ve never had an at-bat as a head coach, or thrown a pitch or gone after a ground ball.”
Moore was aware of the upcoming milestone a week before the June 30 game against High Desert, where the Saguaros went on to win a competitive back-and-forth game 10-8.
First baseman Willie Ethington, who played for Moore last year in Bakersfield, said he had no idea his coach was so close to reaching the milestone, but was glad the team was able to give him such a great game to celebrate.
Although this is third baseman Kevin Baron’s first season under Moore’s leadership, he’s proud to have been part of such an achievement.
“I think, most importantly for us, it’s cool to be there and experience it with him,” Baron said. “1,400 wins is a lot at any level, especially at the professional level. It’s something to hang your hat on. I think he loved it.”
After taking one game of a doubleheader Monday, Wednesday’s 9-7 win over the Ruidoso Osos bumped Moore’s win total to 1,402. The Saguaros were set to play the Osos again Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
While Moore said he doesn’t personally know any other coaches with the same amount of wins, he’s certain there have been plenty others to reach the milestone. But he’s going to keep chugging along toward 1,500 because he can’t see a life without coaching baseball.
“I’m on a roll. I’ll get it done in two years,” Moore said. “No, it’ll be three years — let’s be realistic.”
“I just can’t imagine sitting in that easy chair and dying,” Moore added.
Both Baron and Ethington said they believe Moore has it in him to reach 1,500 wins.
“That man’s going to be around forever,” Baron said. “I don’t think he’s ever going to do anything other than baseball at this point. You can definitely tell he’s in it for the long haul and I don’t think there’s anything that can take him off the field.”
The Tucson Saguaros moved the remainder of their home schedule from Reid Park to Cherry Field and bumped playing times back to 7 p.m. The move was prompted by high rent fees and lack of stadium lights.