As we approach the end of our manager project – just two more to induct after today – we see the same thing that we saw with the players. As most people could predict, those who get in don’t have tremendously better cases than those who are out. And with managers, we don’t have numbers, debatable as they may be, that we trust as much as our numbers for players. Offensive WAR is fairly easy to trust. And even if defensive WAR isn’t, managers present different challenges. Was the manager himself great, did he just have great players, or did he find a way to get greatness out of only good talent? For us anyway, that’s harder to figure.
In any case, we’re almost there. Today we add Ned Hanlon to the Hall of Miller and Eric. And we’ll also present one obituary. As with Clark Griffith as a player, Clark Griffith as a manager falls just short. If the HoME were 10% larger than the Hall, perhaps he’d be in both wings. Alas.
As always, here are your updates.
Walter Alston Miller Huggins Frank Selee Sparky Anderson Tony La Russa Billy Southworth Cap Anson Al Lopez Casey Stengel Fred Clarke Connie Mack Joe Torre Bobby Cox Joe McCarthy Earl Weaver Leo Durocher John McGraw Dick Williams Ned Hanlon Bill McKechnie
Two spots left, and there are just six managers we’re still considering. For those who are especially observant, you’ll notice Pat Moran is again under consideration. The winner of the 1915 pennant with Philadelphia and the 1919 World Series with Cincinnati, maybe, possibly, was let go too soon. Among players we wrote an obituary for Roy Campanella but later decided to enshrine him. Perhaps we’ll do the same for Moran? Time will tell.
G> WS Flags Yrs From W L % .500 Won Won Teams =================================================================================== Frank Chance 11 1905-1923 946 648 .593 298 2 4 3 Whitey Herzog 18 1973-1990 1281 1125 .532 156 1 3 4 Tommy Lasorda 21 1976-1996 1599 1439 .526 160 2 4 1 Billy Martin 16 1969-1988 1253 1013 .553 240 1 2 5 Pat Moran 9 1915-1923 323 257 .557 66 1 2 2 Harry Wright 23 1871-1893 1225 885 .581 340 0 6 4
Hall of Miller and Eric
Sometimes referred to as “The Father of Modern Baseball” Ned Hanlon led five teams over nineteen seasons, gaining his most fame with the National League’s Baltimore Orioles and Brooklyn Superbas. He brought innovations like the hit-and-run and Baltimore Chop into prominence and put tremendous pressure on his opponents. A more appropriate nickname for Hanlon might be “The Father of All Managers”. John McGraw, Connie Mack, and Miller Huggins all played for him. And HoMErs Casey Stengel, Billy Southworth, Bill McKechnie, Leo Durocher, Joe Torre, Tony La Russa, Dick Williams, Earl Weaver, and Bobby Cox all have their managerial family trees trace back to Hanlon. The Baltimore Orioles finished eighth in his first season there; then they won three straight pennants. After moving to Brooklyn, Hanlon immediately turned that team around. The 1898 Bridegrooms won 54 games and finished tenth. When Hanlon got their, their name and their fortunes changes. The Superbas won 101 games and their first of two NL pennants under Hanlon. Overall Hanlon won 1313 games, five pennants, and posted a .530 winning percentage. Clearly he’s one of the greatest managers ever to grace the dugout.
My highest ranked player who is eligible for, but not in, the HoME is Clark Griffith. So I was very excited to see that he has an impressive managerial record as well. Over 20 seasons, he won 1491 games at a .522 rate. He’s 22nd all-time in wins, and only twelve managers can say that they topped Griffith in both wins and winning percentage. Further, almost no other pitcher ever served as a player/manager. Griffith was unique. His leadership skills are unquestioned. As one of the main organizers of the American League, convincing many NL greats to jump to the new Junior Circuit. Unfortunately for Griffith’s HoME case, he just didn’t win much. After an AL pennant in his first year managing, 1901 with the White Sox, Griffith never finished first again for the White Sox, Highlanders, Reds, or Senators. Maybe Griffith’s HoME chances aren’t over though. As the only person ever in the game to act as a player, a manager, and an owner for at least 20 seasons, there’s a chance we find a way to elect him as a combination candidate. But that day is not today.
Twenty down and just two managers to go. Next week we’ll get within one.