There aren’t many people to contribute to the game as much and in as varied a manner as Clark Griffith. The Old Fox began his big league pitching career in 1891 and didn’t throw his last major league pitch until 1914. All told, he pitched for the St. Louis Browns and Boston Reds of the American Association. Then he moved to the Chicago Orphans, Chicago White Sox, New York Highlanders, Cincinnati Reds, and Washington Senators. While with the White Sox, he got his first managerial job. Then he led the Highlanders, Reds, and Senators when he reached those stops. His managerial career ended in Washington in 1920. But his time as an owner was just beginning. The Senators’ home park was renamed Griffith Stadium for him, and he owned the team until his death in 1955.
Several months ago, we discussed the idea of electing combination players. Griffith is the first one. As a player, we was outstanding. There are more than 200 players in the HoME, and Griffith is 162nd in career WAR, at least until Robinson Cano catches him. By that measure, we could put him in as a player, though we didn’t. And in the dugout, he was a standout too. He won 1491 games, which is good for 22nd all-time, at least until Mike Scioscia catches him. And since there are 22 managers in the HoME, he’s a reasonable candidate in that regard as well. His Senators won the 1924 World Series and went two other times, but his teams were more often in the second division than the first. Even so, the one title and the 36 years help to contribute to his legacy.
And now Clark Griffith is the 20th man inducted into the Pioneer/Executive wing of the Hall of Miller and Eric.