Biography

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Bobby Valentine was born and raised in Stamford, the son of Joseph and Grace. Bobby attended Ryle Elementary, Cloonan Middle School, and Rippowam High School, where he was elected student body president and became the only three-time All-State football player in Connecticut history.

Bobby received a scholarship to the University of Southern California and was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1968.  

 

After 10 seasons as a professional baseball player, Bobby made his major league managerial debut in 1985 with the Texas Rangers. He was the American League Manager of the Year in 1986 and went onto become the winningest manager in Rangers history. Bobby began managing the New York Mets in 1996 and led the team to back-to-back postseasons, including a 2000 World Series appearance.  He also won the 2005 Japan Series Championship while managing the Chiba Lotte Marines.

In 1980, he opened his first business, Bobby Valentine's Sports Cafe in Stamford. The highly successful restaurant ignited a multi-decade transformation of the downtown business district.  Bobby Valentine's Sports Academy continues to thrive in Stamford, serving thousands of area athletes.

In 2013, Bobby become the Executive Director of Athletics at Sacred Heart University.  His leadership of a program with almost 1000 student athletes and 90 coaches has significantly improved the school's standing.

Bobby has always been a passionate advocate for Stamford and the other communities where he has served the public interest.  In 2001, he worked tirelessly to lead an emergency staging area at Shea Stadium for families impacted by the events of 9/11.  He was awarded the 2002 Branch Rickey Award for his extraordinary contributions to the relief effort.

In addition to his easy smile and charismatic personality, Bobby has consistently been recognized for his leadership and generosity of spirit:

  • MS (multiple sclerosis) National Man of the Year Award, 1997

  • American Cancer Society, Man of the Year, 1999 

  • Humanitarian of the Year Award, 2001 

  • Thurman Munson Award, 2001

  • Man of the Year, Grand Marshall, Columbus Day Parade, 2002

  • March of Dimes, Man of the Year, 2002

  • Fairfield County Sports Hall of Fame, 2006

  • The Matsutaro Shoriki Award, 2006 (Bobby was the first-ever American to ever receive this award)

  • Boy and Girl Scouts of America Man of the Year, 2007

  • ​City of Stamford "Citizen of the Year" Award, 2011​

  • Japanese Society Humanitarian Award, 2011

  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Hearts of the Community, Good Samaritan of Stamford, 2011

  • American Legion Alumni of the Year Award, 2014

  • American Cancer Society of Fairfield County Man of the Year, 2015

  • Recipient of the Tommy Lasorda Award and Latino Hall of Fame, 2015

  • ECAC Administrator of the Year, 2016

  • Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette recipient from the Emperor of Japan, 2018

  • Armenian-American Sports Hall of Fame

  • Italian-American National Hall of Fame

  • CT and Fairfield County Hall of Fame 

  • Connecticut Gold Key Award from Connecticut Sports Writers Association

  • New York Sports Writers Association Good Guy Award