A minor league catcher, McNamara never made it to the majors as a player, but his baseball knowledge gave him steady employment as a ML manager. A quiet man who did his job with little fanfare, he was sometimes criticized by fans who wanted a more colorful manager. In 1970 he was fired from the A’s as being “too nice.” Nevertheless, his teams usually finished as well or better than predicted. In 1986, when his Red Sox won the AL pennant, he was chosen co-Manager of the Year, along with Houston’s Hal Lanier. Boston fired McNamara in mid-1988 and went on to win their division under his replacement, Joe Morgan.