If there’s an unfamiliar quotation by an American hero, you should always guess Mark Twain. If Twain is wrong, maybe go with Will Rogers. If it’s a quotation about baseball that’s unfamiliar, you should guess Yogi Berra. And your backup guess should almost certainly be Casey Stengel.
- All right everybody, line up alphabetically according to height.
- If you don’t have a catcher, you’re going to have a lot of passed balls.
- The secret of successful managing is to keep the five guys who hate you away from the four who haven’t made up their minds.
- There comes a time in every man’s life. And I’ve had plenty of them.
- Good pitching will always stop good hitting, and vice-versa.
Ah, Casey. What a guy. There will be more on him in a moment when we add a fifth manager into the Hall of Miller and Eric.
But first, let’s discuss those who will be moving to our next phase. Actually, there’s just one, Al Lopez. The 19-year backstop and 17-year manager is now one of 19 who will join us for our project’s second phase. Here’s the complete list.
Jim Mutrie Harry Wright Charlie Comiskey Cap Anson Frank Selee Ned Hanlon Fred Clarke Clark Griffith George Stallings Frank Chance Hughie Jennings Wilbert Robinson Bill Terry Bill McKechnie Billy Southworth Steve O'Neill Bucky Harris Charlie Grimm Al Lopez
As for Casey, he becomes the fifth manager elected in our first phase, joining Huggins, McGraw, Mack, and McCarthy. Overall, we have 17 more to elect and 60 of the original 100 still to consider.
Remaining Remaining Year Nominees Elected Obituaries Continuing to Consider to Elect ================================================================================= 1970 8 1 6 1 60 17 1960 8 0 4 4 67 18 1950 6 2 2 2 71 18 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
Unique may be too weak a word to describe Casey Stengel. As you likely noted by his series of interesting quotations, Stengel was a weird dude. For our purposes, of course, it’s not necessary to know much more about the Old Perfessor than he won ten pennants, seven World Series, and 1905 games overall. His ten pennants are tied with John McGraw for the most ever, and his seven titles tie him for the top spot with Joe McCarthy. The wins are only 11th best today, but they were 5th at the time he retired. Also, he’s one of six managers to win four straight pennants. He leveraged his best pitchers a great deal, particularly Whitey Ford, who at his Stengel-peak, faced the best non-Yankee teams of the time far more than the league’s lesser-lights. In fact, it could be said, and has by Chris Jaffe, that his 1954 Yankees squad leveraged more than any team ever. Another one of his strengths was helping to bring back platooning from a multi-decade hiatus. Plus, he helped to popularize the fireman with Joe Page. And on both a professional and personal note, he wasn’t very loyal. As Hank Bauer, Billy Martin, Phil Rizzuto, Ed Lopat, Joe Page, and Allie Reynolds learned, if you couldn’t perform, Casey wouldn’t let you try. Overall, Casey isn’t so respected in some areas as he could be, perhaps because of his idiosyncrasies, perhaps because of his time with the Mets when he was far past his prime, and perhaps because his early-career with in Brooklyn and Boston isn’t given the respect it deserved. Whatever the level of respect, Casey Stengel is now a HoMEr.
While Casey is in, there are six others who won’t move on to our second phase.
Jimmy Dykes managed six teams over 21 seasons, though he only led the Chicago White Sox for more than three. And with three of his teams, the Redlegs, Tigers, and Indians, he never managed a full season. On the plus side, he won 1406 games, good for 26th in history. On the minus side, he finished with a .477 winning percentage and never went to the post-season. Heck, he never even finished second or got within 16 games of first. Dykes is done.
Best known today because of MLB’s Hutch Award, which goes to the player who best exemplifies Fred Hutchinson’s “fighting spirit and competitive desire,” Fred Hutchinson managed three teams over twelve seasons, reaching the playoffs once. And he’s the last player/manager to pitch. Toward the end of his career and toward the end of his life he managed the Reds. By 1964 he had malignant tumors in his lungs, chest, and neck. He managed through June 27, was hospitalized for a spell, came back on August 4, but lasted only nine more days. He resigned on October 19 and died three weeks later. While Hutch won’t move on at the HoME, he’ll always be remembered by Jon Lester, who underwent chemotherapy for his anaplastic large cell lymphoma at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington.
Chuck Dressen was largely a successful manager. He ran five teams, though none for more than four years, and he brought two pennants to Brooklyn in his three years there. His 1008 wins rank him 59th all-time. But it’s possible Dressen could be looked at differently today if his personality were somewhat different. He actually thought he was responsible for his teams winning, not the players. He thought he was better than he was. As the story goes, the Dodgers won 105 games and the NL pennant in 1953. Dressen asked for a three-year deal. Dodger President Walter O’Mally wouldn’t even give him a two-year contract. So Dressen basically quit. Walter Alston took his place, signed 23 one-year contracts, and the rest is history. Also, Dressen is HoME history.
The man in charge of the 1964 World Series winning Cardinals, Johnny Keane, managed for only six years. Actually, it was four full and parts of two others. Still, his story is somewhat interesting. In ’64 St. Louis owner Gussie Busch cleared out, either because of firings or resignations, nearly every senior member in the front office. Keane stayed, but there were rumors Busch was looking elsewhere. Then Keane won the World Series. And then he resigned, doing so with a letter he had written in September. Four days later, the Yankees hired the guy who had just beaten them in the World Series. Interesting? Yes. HoMEr? No.
As a player, Hank Bauer is known as the guy with a record 17-game World Series hitting streak. As a manager, he’s the guy who led the Baltimore Orioles to victory in the 1966 Fall Classic. He’s also the guy who preceded Earl Weaver in Baltimore. Overall he won 594 games, which isn’t enough for a plaque in the HoME.
Mayo Smith isn’t a guy who creates objects out of mayonnaise. Or maybe he is, but that’s not important. He’s a guy who managed three teams over nine years to 662 wins. His best season at the helm was with the 1968 Tigers, the World Series champs. During that season the Tigers lost Al Kaline for about three months. When the right fielder returned, there wasn’t space for him because Willie Horton, Jim Northrup, and Mickey Stanley were all performing well. But there had to be a place for Al Kaline! Smith found one when he moved Gold Glover Mickey Stanley from center field to shortstop even though he had never played the position before ’68. Stanley started every game in the World Series, the Tigers won, and the rest is history. So is Mayo Smith.