I have always been kind of infatuated with Jeff Manto. Not sure why. I think it has something to do with all the teams he played for him his career:
- California Angels (1985-1990)
- Cleveland Indians (1990–1991)
- Atlanta Braves (1992)
- Philadelphia Phillies (1993)
- Baltimore Orioles (1995)
- New York Mets (1995)
- Yomiuri Giants (1996)
- Boston Red Sox (1996)
- Seattle Mariners (1996)
- Cleveland Indians (1997–1998)
- Detroit Tigers (1998)
- Cleveland Indians (1998–1999)
- New York Yankees (1999)
- Colorado Rockies (2000)
And these are just the big league clubs. I won’t even list all the different affiliates he played on.
He was a decent prospect early on if maybe a bit of a late bloomer. He spent three seasons in A-ball before really finding his stroke, showing both power and plate disciple.
He made the majors in 1990, with the Cleveland Indians, and did not embarrass himself. But he was 25, which is a little old for a rookie, and they would release him in 1991.
The closest Manto would ever get to a full-time job in the Majors was with Baltimore in 1995. He would get 254 at-bats with the big league club, hitting .256/.325/.492 with 17 HR. But it would not be enough to stick with the team: he was purchased by the Yomiura Giants (Japan Central) in January 1996.
Manto might not have made a huge impact in the majors, but he was a great minor league player. He is a bit of a legend with the Buffalo Bisons, who retired his number #30 after he hit 79 HR over a four year period (1997 to 2000).
I really wish there was a way to see how many MiLB All-Star teams he was selected to, but I do know that during his career he won four minor league MVP trophies and, in 2014, was selected to the International League Hall of Fame. He is also in both the Temple University Athletic Hall of Fame and the Buffalo Baseball Hall of Fame. That is a lot of Hall of Fames for guy who never got more than 255 at bats in the majors.