While many know about Martin, few remember Murtaugh, who from the years of 1957 to 1976 managed the Pittsburgh Pirates on four separate occasions. The major difference was that all of Murtaugh's exits from Pittsburgh were the decision of the manager himself. He managed the Pirates from 1957 to 1964, winning the World Series in 1960 over the Yankees who, by that time, no longer had the services of Martin as a player- traded to Kansas City in the middle of the 1957 season. Murtaugh retired after the 1964 season citing health reasons. General manager Joe Brown pressed Murtaugh to return during the 1967 season after Harry Walker was fired. After the season, he returned to the front office, where he served after his first retirement.
Other than the multiple terms as manager of the same team, the other major similarity between the two is how they were unexpectedly put back into service as manager. Everybody knows how Martin resigned during the 1978 season only to be rehired for the 1980 season a little while later at Yankees Old Timers Day. (Of course, Martin would replace Bob Lemon during the 1979 season, after the death of star catcher Thurman Munson.) Murtaugh sought interest in returning to the Pirates when a new group of young players such as Willie Stargell were making their way to the big leagues. When he was named manager before the 1970 season it was unexpected. This shocked former Pirates 3B Don Hoak, (who had played on the 1960 WS Champion Pirates team) and allegedly led to a heart attack which killed Hoak only a couple of days later. Some have said Hoak was expecting to be named the next Pirates manager after leading their top farm team. After leaving again after the 1971 season (winning two division titles and the 1971 World Series, he took over at the end of the 1973 season, replacing his hand picked successor, Bill Verdon. He stayed on until the conclusion of the 1976 season where both he and general manager Brown announced their retirements.
While reports out of New York in 1989 were that Martin and Steinbrenner had agreed to the former planning to return to the Yankees for the 1990 season, Murtaugh never got to reconsider his latest retirement announcement. He died of a stroke only two months after his retirement. Of course Martin died in a car accident on Christmas Day in 1989. Though they may have been different managers who had different journeys, its hard not to notice the similar parallels to their careers which were both worthy of a hall of fame nomination. Maybe some day, they'll have their moment, of course posthumously.