Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The San Francisco Giants created some major news in the baseball world when they announced manager Gabe Kapler was relieved of his duties at the start of their final series of the season against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
With the firing of Kapler, the Giants named Kai Correa to be their interim manager for the remainder of the season. Correa, who was previously the Giants bench coach, is a native of Hawaii with Portuguese and Japanese descent.
His first test as a skipper came against Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who is the son of a Japanese mother and African-American father.
With the two facing off, Roberts and Correa became the first managers or head coaches of Asian descent to manage against each other in the big four professional sports history, which includes MLB, the NBA, NFL and NHL.
Roberts said on SportsNet LA that he is happy for Correa and what it meant for the sport to manage in the same game:
“It was great. Obviously he’s heavy-hearted right now. He and Gabe have a good relationship, but for me, as an Asian-American, to be able to exchange lineup cards with Kai, I’m proud of him, and what he’s done and what he’s doing. Got a lot of respect for him. It’s good for the game in the sense that someone that didn’t play professional baseball, big league baseball, has reached the heights that he has. And it’s good for people that look like us. He’s blazing trails too.”
Roberts also discussed when he found out about the historical significance of the two facing off and exchanging lineup cards:
“Scott Akasaki let me know that. I didn’t really pay much attention to it and didn’t know. But when you step back for a second and realize the significance, it’s big. In all sports this hasn’t happened. For me, I don’t really look at myself in that vain, but when you step back and you see history was made, it’s pretty special.”
Roberts previously became the first manager of Asian heritage to lead a team to the World Series in 2017, and then he became the first manager of Asian heritage to win a World Series three years later in 2020.
That also made him the first African-American manager of a World Series team since Cito Gaston accomplished it in 1993.
Dodgers spoil Kai Correa’s debut
Unfortunately for Correa, his Giants were defeated by the Roberts and the Dodgers, 6-2, in his managerial debut. The win was the 752nd of Roberts’ career and put him one win away from reaching the 100 win mark for the fourth consecutive full season.
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