RIP to Joe Camacho, a minor-league infielder who served as a bench coach for Ted Williams during his tenure managing the Washington Senators/Texas Rangers. He died on December 27, 2018 in Fairhaven, Mass. after a long illness. He was 90 years old.
Camacho, according to this story on South Coast Today, was a high school baseball star who could hit and pitch. He signed with the St. Louis Browns prior to the 1948 season and spent three years in the organization. By 1950, he had moved up to the Ogdensburg Maples of the Border League and had a .311 average with 10 home runs.
Ccamacho was drafted into the Army in 1951 and served in Germany. His Army team, the Rhine Military Post, won the Army World Series Europe in 1951, and Camachho was the MVP of the Series. He was discharged and returned to baseball in 1953, playing until 1957. In his 8 seasons in the minors, Camacho hit .285 with 833 career hits and 52 home runs.
Camacho worked as the director of baseball at the Ted Williams Baseball Camp in Lakeville, Mass from 1962-68. During his time there, he became close friends with Williams, and when Williams was named manager of the Washington Senators in 1969, he chose Camacho to be his bench coach. Camacho’s obituary states that he was the first bench coach in the history of Major League Baseball. Camacho remained with the team when the Senators became the Texas Rangers in 1972, but Williams and his coaching staff were dismissed following the ’72 season.
Camacho returned to his native Massachusetts and continued a career in education. During his time at the Ted Williams Baseball Camp, he worked at several elementary schools. He was the principal of Ottiwell Elementary School from 1965-69 and then the principal at Campbell Elementary School from 1973 until his retirement in 1986.