The schools and community of Longview, Washington have long supported the development of outstanding individuals whose contributions have enriched the city, state, nation, and world. We would like to take some time to highlight some of these notable individuals and the nurturing community from which they came. These bright spots in the Longview community exemplify the values that the Longview School District aims to instill in all of its students and serve as beacons of integrity, passion, and brilliance. Here, we introduce the next of many notable Longview Luminaries.
A 2016 headline in the Denver Post describes Mark Morris graduate Bud Black as a “baseball gentleman, fiery competitor.”
The personality profile that follows introduces the 1975 Mark Morris High School graduate as the Colorado Rockies’ new manager, sharing his varied experiences in baseball—as player, coach, front office special assistant, coach and manager.
The beginnings of Black’s career are in Longview. At Mark Morris he excelled at baseball and basketball, and at Lower Columbia College he still holds school records from the two seasons he played as a left-handed pitcher. Black then took on the wider world, transferring to San Diego State University where, the story goes, he got a scholarship to play after slipping a note under the coach’s door asking for a spot on the team.
That determination paid off. After two successful seasons at SDSU, where Black earned a bachelor’s degree in finance and was later inducted into the SDSU Aztec Hall of Fame, he played 15 seasons in the major leagues—Seattle, Cleveland, Toronto, San Francisco and the Kansas City Royals, when they won the 1985 World Series.
Since retiring from playing, Black has spent some time working in the front offices of the Cleveland Indians and the Los Angeles Angels, but has found his place closer to the game. He served as pitching coach for the Angels, including the team’s 2002 World Series championship, and was manager for the San Diego Padres for eight seasons. He received the National League Manager of the Year award in 2010, after guiding the Padres to a second-place finish in the National League West.
In 2017, Black led the Rockies to their first postseason appearance since 2009 and was a National League Manager of the Year finalist.
Bud Black’s career reflects the hardworking, tenacious spirit he exhibited while a Longview student and that shines through many successful Longview graduates.