William Reginald Armour (September 3, 1869 – December 2, 1922) was a professional baseball player and manager. He was the manager of the Cleveland Bronchos in 1902 when they signed Nap Lajoie to the most lucrative contract in baseball history and the manager of the Detroit Tigers when they acquired Ty Cobb in 1905.
Armour played professional baseball from 1891 to 1896 as a center fielder and right fielder for several minor teams. He earned a reputation for his fielding abilities. He also had excellent speed and stole 43 bases in 69 games in 1891 and 52 bases in 126 games in 1896. Armour began his managerial career with the Dayton, Ohio baseball club, of which he was also the principal owner. He managed the Dayton club from 1897 to 1901.
From 1902 to 1904, he was the manager of the Cleveland Bronchos/Naps. Armour took over a Cleveland team with a losing record, and during his three years there, the team's record improved each year, reaching 86-65 in 1904. From 1905 to 1906, he was the manager of the Detroit Tigers. In his first year in Detroit, the team improved by 17 games over the prior year. With the signing of Ty Cobb, the Tigers set the table for three consecutive American League pennants that followed from 1907 to 1909. From 1907 to 1911, Armour served as the president and co-owner of the Toledo Mud Hens. He served as a scout for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1912 and next became business manager of the Milwaukee baseball club. He subsequently opened a restaurant in Minneapolis where he died in 1922 at age 53.
Armour as Detroit manager, 1905
|Outfielder / Manager|
|Born: September 3, 1869|
|Died: December 2, 1922 (aged 53)|
Armour played professional baseball for several years before he began his career as a manager. In 1891, at age 21, he appeared in 69 games, principally as a right fielder, for the Bradford, Pennsylvania club in the New York–Pennsylvania League. By May 1891, Armour was drawing for his fielding ability. The manager of the Meadville team wrote to the Sporting Life that his team might have one at least one game against Bradford "had not that great fielder, Armour, been playing. In the tenth inning of the first game, with one out and Lyons on second, he caught a line hit foul on which he doubled up Lyons and put an end to what, at that stage of the game, looked like a Meadville victory. It was the finest catch on the grounds this season." Armour compiled a .269 batting average and stole 43 bases for Bradford.
In 1892, Armour appeared in 52 games, principally in right field, for the Toledo Black Pirates of the Western League. His batting average dropped by 124 points to .144 over his performance the prior year with Bradford.
In 1893, Armour played for the Kansas City Blues in the Western Association and saw his batting average jump to .280 with 22 runs scored and 14 stolen bases in only 20 games. Armour also returned to Bradford in 1893 to play in 20 games, including the game that won the Monongahela League pennant for Braddock. The use of Armour, a Western Association player, in the game prompted a protest by the Duquesne club that Braddock's pennant be forfeited. The pennant was ultimately awarded to Braddock.
Armour signed to play with Buffalo in January 1894, but was badly injured in a coasting accident at his hometown of Homestead in February 1894. Initial reports indicated that physicians did not believe Armour could recover. The following month, Armour was recuperating, and a Buffalo correspondent wrote to the Sporting Life expressing hope for his recovery, as "Armour is highly thought of as a fielder and is expected to greatly strengthen our out field." In mid-April 1894, Armour announced that the injury, which had nearly broken his back, would prevent him from playing baseball for six weeks to two months. Official records reflect Armour playing only three games in 1894. After being released by Buffalo, he played in one game each for three Pennsylvania State League teams -- Easton, Scranton, and Altoona.
By 1895, Armour was fully recovered from his injuries. He began the season as the center fielder for the Montgomery Grays of the Southern Association. In March 1885, a Montgomery correspondent wrote to the Sporting Life on Armour's progress: "Your correspondent was out to the park seeing the boys limber up this afternoon, and they are certainly all right. Armour is a race horse in the field, and there is no fear but what centre will be taken care of in A No. 1 style." In June 1895, the Sporting Life reported: "Armour can get to first quicker than any player in the South." In July, the Sporting Life reported that Armour "made two phenomenal running in catches of line hits over the infield which robbed [the opposing team] of two 'sure' safe hits."
In 1896, Armour played center field for the Paterson Silk Weavers in the Atlantic League. He compiled a .268 batting average at Paterson with 115 runs scored, 52 stolen bases and 24 extra base hits in 126 games. He also continued to play well in the outfield, with a Paterson correspondent writing to the Sporting Life in late June that Armour was "head and shoulders" above anything previously seen in center field and that he was playing his position in a manner that has brought forth the greatest praise from the patrons of the game."
In 1897, Armour began his managerial career at age 27 as player-manager for the Dayton Old Soldiers in the Interstate League. He also became the principal owner of the Dayton baseball club. In mid-August 1897, Armour had led Dayton to 14 wins in 17 games, and the Dayton correspondent to the Sporting Life wrote that it was "one of the best teams that ever represented Dayton" and that Armour was "getting very good work out of the boys, who are all satisfied with his management."
Armour continued to manage the Dayton club, renamed the Veterans in 1899 and 1900, for five years from 1897 to 1901.
In 1902, Armour was hired as the manager of the Cleveland Bronchos in the American League. The team had finished the 1901 season in seventh place with a 54-82 record. In the team's first season under Armour, the team opened the season by losing 24 of its first 35 games. However, the team gained momentum and compiled a 69-67 record—a 15-game improvement over the prior year's finish.
On May 31, 1902, during Armour's first season at Cleveland, the club signed future Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Nap Lajoie as a free agent; Lajoie compiled a .379 batting average for Cleveland in 1902. Armour announced that Lajoie would be paid the largest salary ever paid to a baseball player: "For his services with our club he will receive $28,000 for four years, every cent of which he will he paid, play or not, as the courts may direct. This is the largest salary ever paid a base ball player, and beats by $3000 the figure paid by Boston several years for pitcher Clarkson." Armour also engineered the mid-season acquisition of pitcher Bill Bernhard, who Armour called "the best pitcher in present day baseball." Bernhard ended up with a 17-5 record for Cleveland in 1902 (and a 23-13 record in 1904).
In Armour's second year in Cleveland, the team continued to improve, finishing in third place with a 77-63 record. Lajoie won the American League batting crown with a .344 average.
In Armour's third year in Cleveland, the team again improved, compiling an 86-65 record as Lajoie won his second consecutive American League batting crown.
Despite the steady improvement each year during Armour's tenure with Cleveland, friction had developed between Armour and the team's star and captain, Nap Lajoie. By the last half of the 1904 season, the two were reportedly "not on speaking terms." On September 8, 1904, Armour announced his resignation as manager of the Cleveland club, effective at the end of the season. The Cleveland Plain Dealer praised Armour's efforts in that city: "No better judge of a ball player's ability than Bill Armour lives, and not a small point necessary to win games escapes him. But the ability of the players to carry out his plans has, oftimes, been lacking."
In late September 1904, Armour was hired as the manager of the Detroit Tigers for the 1905 season. In October 1904, he rented a suite at the Pasadena Apartments in on Detroit's Jefferson Avenue.
Accordubg to Bill James' "Historical Baseball Abstract" Armour quite likely was the inventor of platooning while with Detroit in his use of catcher Boss Schmidt.
In 1905, Armour led the Tigers to third place in the American League with a 79-74 record. The finish represented a 17-game improvement over the prior year's seventh-place finish and 62-90 record. Armour's greatest contribution during the 1905 season was the discovery and signing of Ty Cobb. Armour paid the Augusta club for Cobb's early release, and Cobb joined the Tigers in August 1905. Cobb later wrote:
"To Manager Armour, my first big league boss, I cannot give too much thanks for his kindly action and his personal attention to me, my work and my welfare. He is an ideal man for any young baseball player to 'break in' under. He seems to feel just how a recruit feels when he is starting his Major League career, and his record of developing young diamond pastimers will bear me out."
The 1906 Tigers were also plagued by numerous injuries, including the loss of second baseman Germany Schaefer, and the team's record slid in 1906 to 71-78. On September 17, 1906, Armour announced he would not be returning to Detroit in 1907 and that he would be succeeded by Hughie Jennings. Paul H. Bruske in Sporting Life wrote that "wherever William Armour goes he will always make firm friends and, had his hands been left free in Detroit, his team would undoubtedly have worked much better, for that is the sort of a man Armour is — to put ginger and steam into all that he does."
On September 25, 1906, Armour was assaulted with blows to the face by Washington catcher Jack Warner under the grandstand in Detroit after a game between Detroit and Washington. Warner had played for the Tigers in 1905 and 1906 but was sold to Washington in August 1906. Warner stated that Armour had "branded him falsely as a disturber," and Armour blamed the failure of the 1906 Detroit team to Warner. After the season ended, team owner Frank Navin alleged that Armour had been "too lenient with the players."
In November 1906, Armour purchased the Toledo Mud Hens and became the club's president. He also served as the team's manager in 1907 and 1908. The club was a financial success in the first three years under Armour. However, attendance declined after Swayne field was sold, and the team was required to play its games at a less convenient location during the 1910 and 1911 seasons. In November 1911, Armour resigned as the club's president, citing the inability to turn the club into a profitable enterprise. Armour also sold his one-third interest in the club at that time.
In November 1911, Armour purchased the Lancaster club in the Ohio State League and took over as the team's manager. However, Armour opted not to manager the Lancaster team and instead accepted a position as a scout for the St. Louis Cardinals during the 1912 season. In an interview with the Detroit Free Press, Armour explained his rationale for giving up managing:
"I really believe that I would have been a dead man now had I tried to keep up managing a ball club. I proved one of the hardest losers in the game . . . I couldn't forget after the game what had happened during the battle. I worried so much that I couldn't eat. The result was that I found myself moping about during the evening, apparently sore at myself, the world and everything else and then decided that if I wanted to have any pleasure in life I would have to give up trying to manage a ball club."
On March 27, 1901, Armour was married to Ida Fulton at the home of the bride's parents in Homestead, Pennsylvania. In his later years, Armour was engaged in the restaurant business in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In December 1922, he died suddenly in Minneapolis from "a stroke of apoplexy" at age 53.
The 1902 Cleveland Bluebirds season was a season in American baseball. The team, unofficially known during this season as the Bronchos (or Broncos), finished in fifth place in the American League with a record of 69–67, 14 games behind the Philadelphia Athletics.1902 Major League Baseball season
The 1902 Major League Baseball season, involved the Milwaukee Brewers moving to St. Louis and becoming the St. Louis Browns, and the Chicago Orphans were renamed as the Cubs.1903 Cleveland Naps season
The 1903 Cleveland Naps season was the third Major League Baseball season for the Cleveland American League team. After two seasons as the Bluebirds – unofficially known as the Blues in 1901 and the Bronchos (or Broncos) in 1902 – the team was renamed for the 1903 season in honor of star second baseman Nap Lajoie. The team finished third in the league with a record of 77–63, 15 games behind the Boston Americans.1903 Major League Baseball season
The 1903 Major League Baseball season, saw the relocation of the original Baltimore Orioles to New York City, and become the Highlanders, the last relocation in MLB until 1953, when the Boston Braves moved to Milwaukee, along with the playing of the first modern World Series with the Boston Americans defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates.1904 Cleveland Naps season
The 1904 Cleveland Naps season was a season in American baseball. The team finished fourth in the American League with a record of 86–65, 7½ games behind the Boston Americans.1904 Major League Baseball season
The 1904 Major League Baseball season. No World Series was held this season.
The St. Louis Browns played eleven consecutive games against the Detroit Tigers at Bennett Park in Detroit — the longest regular season homestand in Major League history.1905 Detroit Tigers season
1905 was the fifth year for the Detroit Tigers in the American League. The team finished in third place with a record of 79–74 (.516), 15½ games behind the Philadelphia Athletics.1905 Major League Baseball season
The 1905 Major League Baseball season, had the second modern World Series. The New York Giants defeated the Philadelphia Athletics to win the World Series.1906 Detroit Tigers season
1906 was the sixth year for the Detroit Tigers in the American League. The team finished in sixth place with a record of 71–78 (.477), 21 games behind the Chicago White Sox.1906 Major League Baseball season
The 1906 Major League Baseball season.Bob Allen (shortstop)
Robert Gilman Allen (July 10, 1867 – May 14, 1943) was an American shortstop for the Philadelphia Phillies, the Boston Beaneaters and the Cincinnati Reds, as well as a manager for two brief stints with the Phillies and Reds. He was born in Marion, Ohio, and as a youth, played baseball with future president Warren G. Harding. Allen made his NL debut in 1890 with the Phillies, and in his day was considered a power hitter, hitting a career high eight home runs in 1893. When Allen's contract was up, he took a three-year hiatus from baseball, but he later joined the Beaneaters. His playing time diminished and he walked away from baseball again after the 1897 season. In 1900, he was hired as manager of the Reds, occasionally inserting himself into the game as a shortstop. He finished 62–77 and in seventh place. He was fired after one season at the helm.
He died in Little Rock, Arkansas at age 75.Con Strouthers
Cornelius "Con" Strouthers was a baseball manager in the late 19th century and early 20th century. From 1895 to 1896, he was the third manager of the Detroit Tigers during their time in the Western League before they became a major league team in 1901. In 1904 he was the manager of the Augusta Tourists of the South Atlantic League or "Sally League" when he invited Ty Cobb, who would go on to a Hall of Fame career with the Tigers, to join the club.Frank Dwyer
John Francis Dwyer (March 25, 1868 – February 4, 1943) was an American right-handed pitcher and manager in Major League Baseball with the Chicago White Stockings (1888–1889), Chicago Pirates (1890), Cincinnati Kelly's Killers (1891), Milwaukee Brewers (1891), St. Louis Browns (1892) and Cincinnati Reds (1892–1899).John Macnab
John Macnab is a novel by John Buchan, published in 1925.List of Cleveland Indians managers
The Cleveland Indians are a professional baseball franchise based in Cleveland, Ohio that formed in 1901. They are members of the Central division of Major League Baseball's American League. The current manager of the Indians is Terry Francona, who replaced Manny Acta after the end of the 2012 season.
The Indians have had 46 managers in their history. Jimmy McAleer became the first manager of the then Cleveland Blues in 1901, serving for one season. In 1901, McAleer was replaced with Bill Armour. The Indians made their first playoff appearance under Tris Speaker in 1920. Out of the six managers that have led the Indians into the postseason, only Speaker and Lou Boudreau have led the Indians to World Series championships, doing so in 1920 and 1948, respectively. Al López (1954), Mike Hargrove (1995 and 1997) and Terry Francona (2016) have also appeared in World Series with the Indians. The highest winning percentage of any manager who managed at least one season was Lopez, with a percentage of .617. The lowest percentage was Johnny Lipon's .305 in 1971, although he managed for only 59 games. The lowest percentage of a manager with at least one season with the Indians was McAleer's .397 in 1901.
Armour became the first manager who held the title of manager for the Indians for more than one season. Boudreau has managed more games (1383) than any other Indians manager, closely followed by Hargrove (1364). Charlie Manuel, Eric Wedge, Speaker, Boudreau, Lopez, and Hargrove are the only managers to have led the Indians into the playoffs. Speaker, Boudreau, Lopez, Walter Johnson, Joe Gordon, Nap Lajoie and Frank Robinson are the seven members of the Baseball Hall of Fame who are also former managers of this club. Of those seven, Lopez is the only one inducted as a manager.The highest win–loss total for an Indians manager is held by Boudreau, with 728 wins and 649 losses. Wedge became the first Indians manager to win the Manager of the Year award, in 2007.List of Detroit Tigers managers
The Detroit Tigers are a professional baseball team based in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers are members of the American League Central Division in Major League Baseball. In baseball, the head coach of a team is called the manager, or more formally, the field manager. The duties of the team manager include team strategy and leadership on and off the field. The team initially began in the now defunct Western League in 1894, and later became one of the American League's eight charter franchises in 1901. Since the inception of the team in 1894, it has employed 47 different managers. The Tigers' current manager is Ron Gardenhire, who was hired for the 2018 season.The franchise's first manager after the team's arrival in the American League was George Stallings, who managed the team for one season. Hall of Famer Hughie Jennings, who managed the team from 1907 to 1920, led the team to three American League championships. Jennings however was unable to win the World Series, losing to the Chicago Cubs in 1907 and 1908 and the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1909. The Detroit Tigers did not win their first World Series until 1935 under the leadership of player-manager Mickey Cochrane. Steve O'Neill later led the Tigers to another World Series victory again in 1945. The Tigers would not win another World Series until 1968 World Series when the Tigers, led by Mayo Smith, defeated the St. Louis Cardinals. Sparky Anderson's 1984 Detroit Tigers team was the franchise's last World Series victory, and marked the first time in Major League Baseball history that a manager won the World Series in both leagues. In total, the Tigers have won the American League pennant 10 times, and the World Series 4 times.
The longest tenured Tiger manager was Sparky Anderson. Anderson managed the team for 2,579 games from 1979 to 1995. Hughie Jennings, Bucky Harris and Jim Leyland are the only other Detroit Tiger managers who have managed the team for more than 1,000 games. Anderson's 1331 wins and 1248 losses also lead all Tiger managers, while Cochrane's winning percentage of .582 is the highest of any Tiger manager who has managed at least one full-season. Seven Hall of Famers have managed the Tigers: Ed Barrow, Jennings, Ty Cobb, Cochrane, Joe Gordon, Bucky Harris and Anderson. Barrow was elected as an executive, Jennings and Anderson were elected as managers; the others were elected as players.Manta Foxbat
The Manta Foxbat is an American ultralight aircraft that was designed by Bill Armour and produced by Manta Products Inc of Oakland, California. The aircraft was supplied as a kit for amateur construction.Red Rolfe
Robert Abial "Red" Rolfe (October 17, 1908 – July 8, 1969) was an American third baseman, manager and front-office executive in Major League Baseball. A graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy, Rolfe also was an Ivy Leaguer: a graduate, then long-time athletic director of Dartmouth College, and (from 1943–46) baseball and basketball coach at Yale University.
Rolfe was a native of Penacook, New Hampshire. He batted left-handed, threw right-handed, and was listed as 5 feet 11 inches (1.80 m) tall and 170 pounds (77 kg).Steve O'Neill
Stephen Francis O'Neill (July 6, 1891 – January 26, 1962) was an American professional baseball player and manager. He played in Major League Baseball as a catcher, most notably with the Cleveland Indians. As a manager, he led the 1945 Detroit Tigers to the World Series championship,