It was quite a relief last election when we finally put our first manager to the Hall of Miller and Eric. One down and twenty-one to go. Well, apparently we’re gaining some momentum because this election we’re inducting our second. More on John McGraw below.
First, one of our skippers this time around, Hall of Famer Wilbert Robinson, will continue to the second phase of our project. He’s not in yet, but he’ll make the short list, just twelve so far, of managers getting to our second phase.
Jim Mutrie Harry Wright Charlie Comiskey Cap Anson Frank Selee Ned Hanlon Fred Clarke Clark Griffith George Stallings Frank Chance Hughie Jennings Wilbert Robinson
We’ve reviewed the cases of 37 managers in our five elections, so there are 63 we’ve yet to consider. Overall there are 75 remaining for our final 20 spots in the HoME. With eight elections to go before we reach our second phase, it will be interesting, at least for me, to see how many managers make in this first phase and how many others we’ll consider for the remaining spots.
Remaining Remaining Year Nominees Elected Obituaries Continuing to Consider to Elect ================================================================================= 1940 4 1 2 1 75 20 1930 6 1 3 2 78 21 1920 7 0 4 3 82 22 1910 7 0 5 2 86 22 1900 13 0 9 4 91 22
Hall of Miller and Eric
Some would call John McGraw the best manager ever, and while I think that’s wrong, I’m not sure. What’s for sure is that he’s one of the few guys who is even in the conversation. He was a man who controlled everything from the bench. And sometimes when he couldn’t control what was happening, he took his proverbial ball and went home, as in the would-be 1904 World Series. McGraw refused to play because of his disdain for American League teams. Given his personality type, he relied on younger players more than many managers, those who would put up with his demeanor. But he also relied on younger players because he was so good at seeing the holes on his club years before they truly manifested themselves. He needed young players ready to fill those holes. The Birnbaum Database, created by sabermetrician Phil Birnbaum, is a collection of statistics that basically shows how managers over-perform or under-perform expectations. McGraw is one of nine managers who’s in the top-20 all-time in terms of what he got out of his hitters and his pitchers. He is one of six in the top-20 all-time both in what Chris Jaffe terms his coaching and his in-game strategy. He’s one of six managers to win four consecutive pennants, and he won ten overall. Add to that three World Series titles and the second most regular season wins ever, and you have a man clearly deserving of a spot in the HoME.
Gabby Street, known as Old Sarge, managed the St. Louis Cardinals to the 1930 pennant and the 1931 World Series title. He caught a ball tossed off the Washington Monument too. But he only won 365 games overall and won’t move on in our HoME manager competition.
Though HoMEr Mickey Cochrane was one of the best catchers ever, though he won a pennant in his first year, and though he won the World Series in his second, 1935, he’s not HoME worthy. In fact, 1934 and 1935 were the only two full seasons he managed. Perhaps he was held back by a nervous breakdown in 1936 or a beanball from Bump Hadley in 1937. Or maybe he just wasn’t that great of a manager. He won’t get his second HoME plaque.
Our 1940 election is now in the books. Our 1950 candidates will be revealed on Monday. And one week from today we’ll have another results post.