A minor league infielder for 20 years, Garcia never played in a ML game. After managing in the minors and coaching for the Padres, Indians, and Angels, he became California manager in July 1977 and held that position until May of the next season. He rejoined the Indians as a coach in 1979 and was named manager later that season. In four full seasons, he finished as high as fifth only once. Garcia was liked for his fairness and decency, but he was sometimes criticized for lacking the toughness to inspire his players.