Though player-managers were a common occurrence during the early part of the century, they became an endangered species after the early 1950s and have been extinct since 1986. Pete Rose was the last to do it, managing the Reds for the last three years of his career. He played terribly at first base during all three years, but maneuvered a last place team into second place in ‘85 and ’86. He stayed at the Reds’ helm after his retirement, until he was forever banned from baseball in 1989.
Joe Torre is most famous for leading the Yankees to four championships in five years, but he got his managerial start while playing 26 games for the Mets in 1977. His 49-68 record that year was a portent of things to come; he never finished higher than fifth place in his five years with the Mets.
Hall of Famer Frank Robinson gave himself only limited playing time as skipper of the Cleveland Indians. In 1975-76, he played in less than 100 games total while leading the team to a near-.500 record both seasons.
Hank Bauer also played in a limited capacity while beginning his equally limited time as manager of the Kansas City Athletics. He won only 35 of 102 games in 1961, and was not much better the next year. He was subsequently booted.
Solly Hemus‘s managerial career closely resembled his playing career – short and fairly mediocre. As a shortstop, Hemus was a good on-base guy with little power, as a manager with the Cardinals he finished 190-192. 1959 was his only year as both.