Richard John Down was named the New York Mets hitting coach on November 26, 2004. In 2004, he was the minor league batting instructor with the New York Yankees. Served two separate tours of duty as the Yankees batting coach from 1993-1995 and from 2002-2003.
In 2002, the Yankees hit 223 home runs, second most in the American League and second highest single season total in franchise history. The Yankees led the majors in batting average in each of his first two seasons as a hitting coach (1993-1994)…In 1994, the team’s batting average of .290 was the highest Yankees’ average since 1936 (.300) and the highest in the majors since Boston hit .302 in 1950.
After leaving the Yankees in 1994, he was the hitting coach with the Baltimore Orioles (1995-1998), the Los Angeles Dodgers (1999-200) and the Boston Red Sox (2001). Helped guide the 2000 Dodgers to a franchise record 211 home runs. Led the 1996 Orioles to a then major league record 251 home runs in his first season with the club. Spent the 1993 off-season managing the Aragua Tigers in the Venezuelan Winter League.
From 1990-1992, he served as the Manager of the Yankees’ Columbus (AAA) team of the International League…Led the 1992 club to a 95-49 record and a Governors’ Cup Championship…The 95 victories were a franchise record and were the most wins in the IL since 1960 when Toronto went 100-54. In three seasons at Columbus, he directed the Clippers to three straight International League West Division titles and two straight Governors’ Cups…In three years he won 242 games and had a winning percentage of .619.
In 1990, he was the Manager of the Yankees’ Albany (AA) team of the Eastern League. Began the 1989 season as the Yankees’ Minor League Roving Instructor before he was called to manage Columbus the first 16 games of the season after Bucky Dent was promoted to New York. Began his coaching career with West Palm Bach (A) of the Florida State League.
Managed at Bellingham (A) of the Northwest League in 1977 and Stockton (A) of the California League in 1978. Left professional baseball to coach at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas from 1979-1984. Returned to the professional ranks from 1985-1988 when he served in the California Angels organization as a special assignments coach and roving hitting instructor. Compiled a 371-273 record (.576 percentage) in six years as a minor league manager.
Was selected by the Montreal Expos in the 74th round of the June, 1969 Free Agent Draft. Spent seven seasons in the minors as a third baseman…Hit .257 with 33 home runs, 247 RBI and 54 stolen bases in 745 games…Was placed on Montreal’s major league roster on September 30, 1971. Was All-State in football as a wide receiver and a baseball standout at Southgate High School in Detroit…Signed a letter of intent to attend Tulsa University on a football scholarship. In the off-season, he runs a baseball clinic in Las Vegas for high school coaches from all areas of the country