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Danny Ozark, a veteran minor league manager and former third base coach of the Los Angeles Dodgers, was named Wednesday as manager of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Ozark was the surprise choice of Phillies' general manager Paul Owens, who has acted as the club's field manager since he fired Frank Lucchesi last July.
Owens said he wanted a man with major league managing experience to lead the Phillies out of its low position among major league baseball clubs.
Ozark has managed at such stops as Wichita Falls, Cedar Rapids, Macon, St. Paul, Omaha and Spokane. A first baseman, he never advanced beyond Triple A as a player.
He had been mentioned in some quarters as the heir apparent to Walter Alston when the Dodgers' veteran manager decides to call it a career.
As late as the recent World Series, Owens said his number one choice for Phillies manager was Dave Bristol, former Cincinnati and Milwaukee skipper. Other candidates given serious consideration were Phillies' stars Jim Bunning and Richie Ashburn, and present Phillies' pitching coach Ray Rippelmeyer. Ozark's name had been excluded from the list of candidates.
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