Stanley Raymond "Bucky" Harris (November 8, 1896 – November 8, 1977) was an American Major League Baseball player, manager and executive. In 1975, the Veterans Committee elected Harris, as a manager, to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Harris in 1924
|Second baseman / Manager|
|Born: November 8, 1896|
Port Jervis, New York
|Died: November 8, 1977 (aged 81)|
|August 28, 1919, for the Washington Senators|
|Last MLB appearance|
|June 12, 1931, for the Detroit Tigers|
|Runs batted in||508|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Member of the National|
|Baseball Hall of Fame|
|Election Method||Veteran's Committee|
Of Swiss and Welsh descent, Harris was born in Port Jervis, New York, and raised after the age of six in Pittston, Pennsylvania. His father, Thomas, had emigrated from Wales, while his mother, Catherine (Rupp), hailed from Hughestown, near Pittston. His elder brother, Merle, was a minor league second baseman. Bucky Harris left school at age 13 to work at a local colliery, the Butler Mine, as an office boy and, later, a weigh master. In his spare time, Harris played basketball for the Pittston YMCA team as well as sandlot baseball.
Harris was listed as 5 feet 9 inches (1.75 m) tall and 156 pounds (71 kg); he threw and batted right-handed. In 1916, when Harris was 19, Pittston native and future Hall of Famer Hughie Jennings, then the manager of the Detroit Tigers, signed him to his first contract and farmed him to the Class B Muskegon Reds of the Central League, where he struggled as a batsman and was released. Harris then caught on with the Scranton Miners, Norfolk Tars and Reading Pretzels through 1917, before reaching the highest level of minor league baseball with the 1918–19 Buffalo Bisons of the International League. Harris improved his batting skills during the latter season with the Bisons, making 126 hits and raising his average to .282.
He then was recommended to the Washington Senators by baseball promoter Joe Engel, who led the Chattanooga Lookouts at Engel Stadium. In August 1919, at the age of 22, he came up to Washington but was unimpressive at first, batting a meager .214 and getting into only eight games that first season. Despite this poor showing, owner-manager Clark Griffith made him Washington's regular second baseman in 1920, and before long Harris was batting .300 and making a mark for himself as a tough competitor, standing up to even ferocious superstar Ty Cobb, who threatened Harris when he tagged Cobb in their first encounter.
Harris spent most of his playing career as a second baseman with the Senators (1919–28). In 1924, he was named player-manager; at the age of 27 he was the youngest manager in the Majors. He proceeded to lead the Senators to their only World Series title in Washington in his rookie season, and was nicknamed "The Boy Wonder." He won a second consecutive American League pennant in 1925, but the Senators lost the 1925 World Series in Pittsburgh in the late innings of Game 7 after leading 3-1 in the Series. Baseball historian William C. Kashatus wrote of his dominant play in the 1924 World Series: "Not only did he set records for chances accepted, double plays and put-outs in the exciting seven-game affair, but he batted .333 and hit two home runs"– including an important roundtripper in Game 7 which opened the scoring and gave Washington a 1-0 lead in the 4th inning. These feats are even more impressive considering that the light-hitting Harris only hit 9 home runs in his entire career.
His initial departure from the Senators in 1928 (he would twice return to manage them again from 1935–42 and 1950–54) came in a trade to the Tigers as player-manager. However, for all intents and purposes, 1928 was his last year as a full-time player. He only made 11 cameo appearances in the Tiger lineup—seven in 1929 and four in 1931. In all, he appeared in 1,263 games played, and collected 1,297 hits, with 224 doubles, 64 triples, nine home runs, 472 bases on balls and 167 stolen bases. He batted .274 lifetime with 508 career runs batted in.
In addition to his three separate terms as field leader of the Senators, Harris also managed the Tigers twice (1929–33 and 1955–56), Boston Red Sox (1934), Philadelphia Phillies (briefly known as the Blue Jays, 1943) and New York Yankees (1947–48).
After his back-to-back pennants in 1924–25, Harris was able to keep the Senators in the first division for the next three seasons, but their win totals declined, from 96 (1925) to 81 (1926), 85 (1927) and then only 75 (against 79 losses, 1928), leading Griffith to trade Harris and change managers, with Hall of Fame pitcher Walter Johnson named as Harris's successor. The 1928 Tigers had won only 68 games, and Harris's 1929 edition offered only a slight improvement, winning 70. In five full seasons as the Tigers' manager, Harris produced only one winning year, 1932, when Detroit went 76–75 and finished fifth and 29½ games behind the Yankees. In the waning days of 1933, Harris stepped down. His eventual successor, Mickey Cochrane, a future Hall-of-Fame catcher who was acquired from the Philadelphia Athletics, would lead the Tigers as a player-manager to back-to-back pennants in 1934–35 (and their first-ever world championship in the latter year).
Harris signed as manager of the Red Sox for 1934. The Red Sox were then a habitual tail-ender in the American League, and had registered 15 consecutive losing seasons since their 1918 world championship. The 1933 Red Sox had won only 63 games and finished seventh in the eight-team AL under Marty McManus, but their wealthy new owner, Tom Yawkey, had begun a major rebuilding of both the ball club and Fenway Park. Yawkey jettisoned McManus and personally selected Harris as his new manager, and his 1934 Red Sox, despite an injury-riddled season by newly purchased ace left-handed pitcher Lefty Grove, broke the losing-season streak, finishing at .500 (76–76). But Harris's stay in the Boston dugout lasted only one season. He and Eddie Collins, the Red Sox' general manager, had feuded since their playing days and Yawkey may have hired Harris without consulting Collins. When Joe Cronin, the hard-hitting, 28-year-old playing manager of the Senators, became available on the trade market, Yawkey and Collins moved quickly, sending shortstop Lyn Lary and $225,000 to Washington on October 26, 1934, for Cronin, and then naming him manager for 1935. Harris then took Cronin's old job, returning to Clark Griffith and the Senators.
Harris's second term in Washington lasted for eight seasons (1935–42), his longest tenure as a skipper, but produced no repeats of 1924–25. Only one of Harris's teams, the 1936 Senators, had a winning record (82–71) and first-division finish. Harris kept the club out of the American League basement, but three consecutive seventh-place finishes (1940–42) led to his departure and his only season in the National League as skipper of the 1943 Phillies.
Perhaps the worst team (42–109, .278) in baseball in 1942, the Phillies had just been sold to lumberman William D. Cox. Under Harris, the 1943 edition improved to play .424 baseball (39–53), but on July 27, the manager was abruptly fired. Harris then played a role in Cox' banishment from professional baseball for betting on games. Harris's friends, outraged at his firing, informed Commissioner of Baseball Kenesaw Mountain Landis that Cox was violating baseball's anti-gambling mandate. Landis then summoned Harris to his office to testify in person about Cox' behavior; the owner was suspended indefinitely three months later, and the Phillies were sold to R. R. M. Carpenter in November 1943.
Harris then spent three seasons out of the Major Leagues as general manager (from 1944–46) and field manager (in 1944–45) of the Buffalo Bisons, his old team in the International League. In August 1946, the Yankees' co-owner and GM, Larry MacPhail, appointed Harris to a front-office position.
The tumultuous 1946 season saw MacPhail employ three managers—Joe McCarthy, Bill Dickey and Johnny Neun—and finish third, 17 games in arrears of the pennant-winning Red Sox. At the close of the season, MacPhail named Harris the Bombers' 1947 manager, and he led them to his third American League pennant, and the Yankees' 15th league title.
Behind Most Valuable Player Joe DiMaggio and newly acquired starting pitcher Allie Reynolds, the 1947 Yanks won 97 games and prevailed over the Tigers by a 12-game margin. Then they won Harris's second World Series championship when they defeated the Jackie Robinson-led Brooklyn Dodgers in a thrilling, seven-game Fall Classic.
Although MacPhail sold his stake in the Yankees and left baseball immediately after the 1947 Series, Harris returned for a second season as manager. His 1948 Yankees won 94 games to finish a close third in a hectic pennant race, two games behind the Cleveland Indians and Red Sox, who ended the regular season in a tie for first place. But the result dissatisfied the Yankees' post-MacPhail ownership team, Dan Topping and Del Webb, and their new general manager, George Weiss, and they replaced Harris with Casey Stengel. Stengel would lead New York to ten American League pennants and seven World Series titles in the next 12 seasons.
Harris returned to the minor leagues in 1949 as manager of the San Diego Padres of the Pacific Coast League before launching his third stint as skipper of the Senators, coming off a 104-loss 1949 season. His first campaign, 1950, saw a 17-game improvement for Washington, then he led the Senators to a winning (78–76) mark in 1952, but the team could not escape the second division in Harris's five-year, final term as Washington's manager.
Nevertheless, the Tigers chose Harris to replace Fred Hutchinson as their manager for 1955, and in the first season of his second term in Detroit, Harris again produced a turnaround. The 1955 Tigers won 79 games (eleven more than 1954's edition) and had their first above-.500 season since 1950, then Detroit won 82 games in 1956. But the Tigers finished fifth each season, and were experiencing turmoil in their front office: outspoken owner Walter Briggs, Jr., was harshly critical of Harris and his coaches during the season and was in the process of selling the team. Fired by new owner Fred Knorr, Harris closed out his 29-year MLB managing career with a win-loss record of 2,158–2,219 (.493). As of 2014, Harris ranked seventh in MLB manager career wins.
|Team||From||To||Regular season record||Post–season record||Ref.|
|W||L||Win %||W||L||Win %|
|Boston Red Sox||1934||1934||76||76||.500|||
|New York Yankees||1947||1948||191||117||.620||4||3||.571|||
In 1957, at 60, Harris rejoined the Red Sox in a front office capacity. He was assistant general manager to Joe Cronin for two seasons, and then, when Cronin was named president of the American League, succeeded him as GM in January 1959, 24 years after Cronin had displaced Harris as Boston's field manager. Harris served for two losing seasons as general manager of the Red Sox before his firing in late September 1960. On his watch, the Bosox finally broke the baseball color line by promoting Pumpsie Green from Triple-A on July 21, 1959, more than a dozen years after Robinson's debut with the Dodgers. They were the last of the 16 pre-expansion teams to integrate.
But the Red Sox went 75–79 in 1959 and fell into the second division, beginning a streak of eight straight losing seasons. Then, in 1960, Hall of Famer Ted Williams's final season, they won only 65 games and finished seventh in the eight-team league. Rightfielder Jackie Jensen, still productive at age 33 — he was 1958's American League MVP and the AL's 1959 runs batted in leader — sat out the entire 1960 campaign in retirement due to his fear of flying.
Harris made a flurry of minor trades in an attempt to shake up his faltering team. His two highest-profile transactions, which occurred during the 1959–60 offseason, saw him send left-handed pitcher and former bonus baby Frank Baumann to the Chicago White Sox and veteran starting catcher Sammy White to the Indians. But Baumann led the AL in earned run average with the 1960 Chisox (while the player Harris obtained, first baseman Ron Jackson, struggled through only ten games with Boston before being traded away again) and White abruptly retired rather than report to Cleveland, canceling his trade. Harris also ran afoul of Yawkey when he fired Yawkey associate Pinky Higgins as manager and replaced him with Billy Jurges, a Senators' coach, on July 3, 1959, without consulting the owner. Jurges lasted less than a calendar year as the Red Sox' pilot before his firing in June 1960 — and replacement by Higgins. Harris's dismissal followed not quite four months later.
Harris ended his long MLB career as a scout for the White Sox (1961–62) and special assistant for the new expansion Washington Senators franchise that played in D.C. from 1961 to 1971 before moving on to Arlington, Texas. He died in Bethesda, Maryland, on his 81st birthday, and was buried at St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Hughestown.
| Buffalo Bisons manager
| San Diego Padres (PCL) manager
The 1924 Washington Senators won 92 games, lost 62, and finished in first place in the American League. Fueled by the excitement of winning their first AL pennant, the Senators won the World Series in dramatic fashion, a 12-inning game 7 victory.1924 World Series
In the 1924 World Series, the Washington Senators beat the New York Giants in seven games. The Giants became the first team to play in four consecutive World Series, winning in 1921–1922 and losing in 1923–1924. Their long-time manager, John McGraw, made his ninth and final World Series appearance in 1924. The contest concluded with the second World Series-deciding game which ran to extra innings (the first had occurred in 1912). Later, the Senators would reorganize as the Minnesota Twins, again winning the World Series in a game which ran to extra innings in 1991.
Walter Johnson, after pitching his first 20-victory season (23) since 1919, was making his first World Series appearance, at the age of 36, while nearing the end of his career with the Senators. He lost his two starts, but the Senators battled back to force a Game 7, giving Johnson a chance to redeem himself when he came on in relief in that game. Johnson held on to get the win and give Washington its first and only championship. The seventh game is widely considered to be one of the most dramatic games in Series history.
Johnson struck out twelve Giants batters in Game 1 in a losing cause. Although that total matched Ed Walsh's number in the 1906 World Series, it came in twelve innings. Johnson only struck out nine in the first nine innings.
In Game 7, with the Senators behind 3–1 in the eighth, Bucky Harris hit a routine ground ball to third which hit a pebble and took a bad hop over Giants third baseman Freddie Lindstrom. Two runners scored on the play, tying the score at three. Walter Johnson then came in to pitch the ninth, and held the Giants scoreless into extra innings. With the score still 3–3, Washington came up in the twelfth. With one out, and runners on first and second, Earl McNeely hit another grounder at Lindstrom, and again the ball took a bad hop, scoring Muddy Ruel with the Series-winning run.
This was the only World Series championship victory during the franchise's time in Washington. As the Minnesota Twins, the team won the World Series in 1987 and 1991.1926 Washington Senators season
The 1926 Washington Senators won 81 games, lost 69, and finished in fourth place in the American League. They were managed by Bucky Harris and played home games at Griffith Stadium.1927 Washington Senators season
The 1927 Washington Senators won 85 games, lost 69, and finished in third place in the American League. They were managed by Bucky Harris and played home games at Griffith Stadium.1928 Washington Senators season
The 1928 Washington Senators won 75 games, lost 79, and finished in fourth place in the American League. They were managed by Bucky Harris and played home games at Griffith Stadium.1935 Washington Senators season
The 1935 Washington Senators won 67 games, lost 86, and finished in sixth place in the American League. They were managed by Bucky Harris and played home games at Griffith Stadium.1936 Washington Senators season
The 1936 Washington Senators won 82 games, lost 71, and finished in third place in the American League. They were managed by Bucky Harris and played home games at Griffith Stadium.1937 Washington Senators season
The 1937 Washington Senators won 73 games, lost 80, and finished in sixth place in the American League. They were managed by Bucky Harris and played home games at Griffith Stadium.1938 Washington Senators season
The 1938 Washington Senators won 75 games, lost 76, and finished in fifth place in the American League. They were managed by Bucky Harris and played home games at Griffith Stadium.1939 Washington Senators season
The 1939 Washington Senators won 65 games, lost 87, and finished in sixth place in the American League. They were managed by Bucky Harris and played home games at Griffith Stadium.1940 Washington Senators season
The 1940 Washington Senators won 64 games, lost 90, and finished in seventh place in the American League. They were managed by Bucky Harris and played home games at Griffith Stadium.1941 Washington Senators season
The 1941 Washington Senators won 70 games, lost 84, and finished in sixth place in the American League. They were managed by Bucky Harris and played home games at Griffith Stadium.1942 Washington Senators season
The 1942 Washington Senators won 62 games, lost 89, and finished in seventh place in the American League. They were managed by Bucky Harris and played home games at Griffith Stadium.1948 New York Yankees season
The 1948 New York Yankees season was the team's 46th season in New York and its 48th overall. The team finished with a record of 94–60, finishing 2.5 games behind the Cleveland Indians and 1.5 games behind the second-place Boston Red Sox. New York was managed by Bucky Harris. The Yankees played their home games at Yankee Stadium.
The fractional games-behind came about due to the frenzied pennant race, which saw the Yankees, Red Sox and Indians all battling it out to the end. The Yankees fell just a little short, and the Red Sox and Indians finished in a tie for first at 96–58. They held a one-game playoff, which counted as part of the regular season, so the Indians' victory raised their record to 97–58, and dropped the Red Sox to 96–59.
The Yankees did not renew Bucky Harris' contract after the season, opting instead to hire Casey Stengel starting in 1949. This move raised some eyebrows, but Stengel had just led the Oakland Oaks to the Pacific Coast League pennant in 1948, demonstrating that with good talent, he had a good chance to succeed. The Yankees were about to begin the most dominating stretch of their long dynasty.1951 Washington Senators season
The 1951 Washington Senators won 62 games, lost 92, and finished in seventh place in the American League. They were managed by Bucky Harris and played home games at Griffith Stadium.1952 Washington Senators season
The 1952 Washington Senators won 78 games, lost 76, and finished in fifth place in the American League. They were managed by Bucky Harris and played home games at Griffith Stadium.1953 Washington Senators season
The 1953 Washington Senators won 76 games, lost 76, and finished in fifth place in the American League. They were managed by Bucky Harris and played home games at Griffith Stadium. This was their last winning season until 1962.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.List of Minnesota Twins managers
In its 108-year history, the Minnesota Twins baseball franchise of Major League Baseball's American League has employed 31 managers. The duties of the manager include team strategy and leadership on and off the field. Eight of these team managers have been "player-managers", all during the Washington Senators era; specifically, they managed the team while still playing for it.The Minnesota franchise began its life as the Washington Senators in Washington, D. C., where they played from their inception in 1901 to 1960. In the early twentieth century, the Senators were managed consecutively by three future members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, bookended by Bucky Harris, who managed the team from 1924 to 1928 and again from 1935 to 1942. Walter Johnson managed the team for four seasons from 1929 to 1932, and he was followed by Joe Cronin, who led for the next two seasons (1933–1934). In 1960, the American League awarded an expansion franchise to Minneapolis, Minnesota; however, owner Calvin Griffith moved his team to Minnesota, and Washington was awarded the expansion team instead. Thus, the Minnesota Twins began play at Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, Minnesota the following year, during the tenure of manager Cookie Lavagetto, and played at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis from 1982 to 2009. Under manager Ron Gardenhire, the team moved to Target Field beginning in the 2010 season.
Seven managers have taken the franchise to the postseason, with Gardenhire leading them to five playoff appearances, the most in their franchise history. Two managers have won World Series championships with the franchise: Bucky Harris, in the 1924 World Series against the New York Giants; and Tom Kelly, in the 1987 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals and 1991 against the Atlanta Braves. Harris is also the longest-tenured manager in their franchise history, with 2,776 games of service in parts of 18 seasons between 1924 and 1954; he is followed by Kelly, who managed 2,386 games over 16 seasons from 1986 to 2001. The manager with the highest winning percentage in team history is Billy Martin, who managed the team in 1969 and achieved a record of 97–65 (.599). Conversely, the manager with the lowest winning percentage is Malachi Kittridge, whose winning percentage of .059 was achieved with a record of 1–16 in the first half of 1904. Kittridge's tenure is also the shortest in team history.
|Culture and lore|
|Division titles (10)|
|Wild Card titles (1)|
|Minor league affiliates|
|Negro League Committee|
|J. G. Taylor Spink Award|
Italics denotes players who have been voted in but not yet inducted.
|Inducted as a Phillie|
|Inductees who played for the Phillies|
|Inductees in Yankees cap|
|Inductees who played|
for the Yankees