Del Crandall

Delmar Wesley Crandall (born March 5, 1930 in Ontario, California[1]) is an American former professional baseball player and manager. He played as a catcher in Major League Baseball and played most of his career with the Boston & Milwaukee Braves.[1][2] Considered one of the National League's top catchers during the 1950s and early 1960s, he led the league in assists a record-tying six times, in fielding percentage four times and in putouts three times.[1][3][4]

Del Crandall
Del Crandall 1955
Crandall in 1955.
Catcher / Manager
Born: March 5, 1930 (age 89)
Ontario, California
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
June 17, 1949, for the Boston Braves
Last MLB appearance
September 14, 1966, for the Cleveland Indians
MLB statistics
Batting average.254
Home runs179
Runs batted in657
Managerial record364–469
Winning %.437
As player

As manager

Career highlights and awards

Professional career

Playing career (1949–1966)

Crandall was signed as an amateur free agent by the Braves in 1948.[5] He was only 19 when he first played in a major league game with the 1949 Boston Braves.[1] He appeared in 146 games for Boston in 1949-1950 before entering military service during the Korean War. When his two-year hitch was over in March 1953, the Braves departed Boston for Milwaukee, where – benefitting from a powerful offense featuring Hank Aaron, Eddie Mathews and Joe Adcock – they soon became both successful on the field and phenomenally popular off it. Crandall seized the regular catcher's job from veteran Walker Cooper in 1953 and held it for eight years, handling star Braves pitchers such as left-hander Warren Spahn and right-handers Lew Burdette and Bob Buhl.[1][6] As a testament to Crandall's pitch calling skills, between 1953 and 1959, the Braves' pitching staff finished either first or second in the National League in team earned run average every year except 1955. Burdette credited Crandall for some of his success saying, "I never- well hardly ever- have to shake him off. He knows the job like no one else, and you can have faith in his judgment".[7] On September 11, 1955, with the Braves trailing the Philadelphia Phillies 4-1 with two outs and a 3-2 count in the ninth inning, Crandall hit a dramatic grand slam home run to win the game.[8] The Braves won National League pennants in 1957 and 1958,[9][10] also finishing in second place five times between 1953 and 1960, and captured the 1957 World Series championship – the franchise's first title since 1914.[11] Although he only batted .211 in the 1957 Series against the New York Yankees, Crandall had a solo home run for the Braves' last tally in a 5-0 win in the deciding Game 7.[12][13]

Though rarely among the league leaders in offensive categories, he finished 10th in the 1958 Most Valuable Player Award voting after hitting .272, tying his best mark to that point, with career highs in doubles and walks;[14] he also led the league in putouts, assists and fielding average, and won his first Gold Glove. In the 1958 World Series, again against the Yankees, he hit .240; he slugged another Game 7 solo homer, tying the score 2-2 in the 6th inning, though the Yankees went on to score four more runs to win the game and the Series.[12][15]

Crandall averaged 125 games caught during the peak of his career, and he paid the price, missing most of the 1961 season due to shoulder trouble,[16] which gave Joe Torre his opportunity to break in. While Crandall did come back to catch 90 games in 1962 – hitting a career-high .297, making his final National League All-Star squad and winning his last Gold Glove – he was soon replaced by Torre as the Braves' regular catcher. In 1962 he also moved ahead of Roy Campanella, setting the National League record for career fielding percentage; however, Johnny Roseboro would edge ahead of him before his career ended. After 1963, he was traded by the Braves to the San Francisco Giants in a seven-player deal;[5] he played a backup role in his final three major league seasons with the Giants (1964), Pittsburgh Pirates (1965), and Cleveland Indians (1966).

Career statistics

In 1,573 games over 16 seasons, he finished with a batting average of .254 with 179 home runs; his 175 HRs in the National League trailed only Campanella (242), Gabby Hartnett (236) and Ernie Lombardi (190) among the league's catchers. His 1,430 games caught in the National League trailed only Al López, Hartnett and Lombardi. He won four of the first five Gold Glove Awards given to a National League catcher, and tied another record by catching three no-hitters.[17][18] He retired with the fourth most home runs by a National League catcher, and his career .404 slugging average also placed him among the league's top ten receivers. He ended his career among the major league career leaders in putouts (4th, 7352), total chances (8th, 8200) and fielding percentage (5th, .989) behind the plate, and ranked fourth in National League history in games caught. Crandall was a superb defensive player with a strong arm; he threw out 45.44% of the base runners who tried steal a base on him, ranking him 8th on the all-time list.[19] He was selected as an All-Star eight times during his career: 1953–1956, 1958–1960, 1962.[1] A powerful right-handed hitter, he topped the 20 home run mark three times.[1] After having caught Jim Wilson's no-hitter on June 12, 1954, he added another pair in 1960 – by Burdette on August 18, and by Spahn a month later on September 16;[20][21][22] amazingly, all three were against the Philadelphia Phillies. Richard Kendall of the Society for American Baseball Research devised an unscientific study that ranked Crandall as the fourth most dominating fielding catcher in major league history.[23]

Managing and broadcasting career (1972–1997)

Crandall eventually turned to managing, and piloted two American League clubs, the Milwaukee Brewers (1972–75) and the Seattle Mariners (1983–84).[24] In each case he was hired to try to right a losing team in mid-season, but he never enjoyed a winning campaign with either team and finished with a managing record of 364-469 (.437). In between those American League stints, he was a highly successful manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers' top farm club, the Albuquerque Dukes of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, and also managed the Class A San Bernardino Stampede from 1995 to 1997.[25] He remained in the Dodger organization as a special catching instructor well into his 60s. He also worked as a sports announcer with the Chicago White Sox radio team from 1985 through 1988 and with the Brewers from 1992-94.[16]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Del Crandall at Baseball Reference
  2. ^ Del Crandall at Baseball Almanac
  3. ^ Fielding Leaders, Baseball Digest, July 2001, Vol. 60, No. 7, ISSN 0005-609X
  4. ^ Del Crandal in Baseball Digest, August 1999, Vol. 58, No. 8, ISSN 0005-609X
  5. ^ a b Del Crandall Trades and Transactions at Baseball Almanac
  6. ^ Orange-Topped Catcher, by Charles Dexter, Baseball Digest, August 1953, Vol. 12, No. 8, ISSN 0005-609X
  7. ^ The Nitro-glistenin' Kid by Al Jonas, Baseball Digest, pp 9, May 1954, Vol. 13, No. 4, ISSN 0005-609X
  8. ^ September 11, 1955 Phillies-Braves box score at Retrosheet
  9. ^ 1957 National League Team Statistics and Standings at Baseball Reference
  10. ^ 1958 National League Team Statistics and Standings at Baseball Reference
  11. ^ 1957 World Series at Baseball Reference
  12. ^ a b Del Crandall post-season statistics at Baseball Reference
  13. ^ 1957 World Series Game 7 box score at Baseball Reference
  14. ^ 1958 Most Valuable Player Award voting results at Baseball Reference
  15. ^ 1958 World Series Game 7 box score at Baseball Reference
  16. ^ a b Del Crandall at The Baseball Library Archived 2012-02-09 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ National League Gold Glove Award winners at Baseball Reference
  18. ^ No-hitters caught at The Encyclopedia of Catchers
  19. ^ 100 Best Catcher CS% Totals at The Encyclopedia of Baseball Catchers
  20. ^ June 12, 1954 Phillies-Braves box score at Baseball Reference
  21. ^ August 18, 1960 Phillies-Braves box score at Baseball Reference
  22. ^ September 16, 1960 Phillies-Braves box score at Baseball Reference
  23. ^ Dominating Fielding Catchers at The Encyclopedia of Baseball Catchers
  24. ^ Del Crandall Major League manager statistics at Baseball Reference
  25. ^ Del Crandall Minor league manager statistics at Baseball Reference

External links

1953 Milwaukee Braves season

The 1953 Milwaukee Braves season was the 83rd season of the franchise. It saw the return of Major League Baseball to Milwaukee for the first time since 1901, when the original Milwaukee Brewers played before moving to St. Louis and becoming the Browns. With attendance and interest in Boston very low, team owner Lou Perini moved the team to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, during spring training, just weeks before the start of the season.

In their first season in the Badger State, the Braves finished in second place in the National League standings, with a 92–62 (.597) record, thirteen games behind the NL Champion Brooklyn Dodgers.

At the new County Stadium, the Braves drew a then-NL record 1.82 million fans. The previous year in Boston, the home attendance for the season was under 282,000.

1955 Milwaukee Braves season

The 1955 Milwaukee Braves season was the third in Milwaukee and the 85th overall season of the franchise.

1957 Milwaukee Braves season

The 1957 Milwaukee Braves season was the fifth in Milwaukee and the 87th overall season of the franchise. It was the year that the team won its first and only World Series championship while based in Milwaukee. The Braves won 95 games and lost 59 to win the National League pennant by eight games over the second-place St. Louis Cardinals.

The club went on to the 1957 World Series, where they faced the New York Yankees. Pitcher Lew Burdette was the star and Most Valuable Player, winning three games, including the crucial seventh game played in New York City.

1957 World Series

The 1957 World Series featured the defending champions, the New York Yankees (American League), playing against the Milwaukee Braves (National League). After finishing just one game behind the N.L. Champion Brooklyn Dodgers in 1956, the Braves came back in 1957 to win their first pennant since moving from Boston in 1953. The Braves won the Series in seven games, behind Lew Burdette's three complete game victories. The Braves would be the only team besides the Yankees, Dodgers, or Giants to win a World Series title in the 1950s.

The Yankees had home field advantage in the series. Games 1, 2, 6, and 7 were played at Yankee Stadium, while Milwaukee County Stadium hosted Games 3, 4, and 5. This was the first time since 1946 that the Series included scheduled off days after Games 2 and 5.

Of the previous ten World Series, the Yankees had participated in eight of them and won seven. This was also the first World Series since 1948 that a team from New York did not win.

This is the first of four Yankees-Braves matchups, and the only Series that was won by the Braves; they lost in 1958, 1996 and 1999, with the last two instances occurring with the Braves based in Atlanta.

Hank Aaron led all regulars with a .393 average and eleven hits, including a triple, three home runs and seven RBI.

As of April 2015, four original television broadcasts from this Series (Games 1, 3, 5 and 6) had been released on DVD.

1958 Milwaukee Braves season

The 1958 Milwaukee Braves season was the sixth in Milwaukee and the 88th overall season of the franchise. The Braves finished first in the National League with a 92–62 record and returned to the World Series for the second consecutive year, losing to the New York Yankees in seven games. The Braves set a Major League record which still stands for the fewest players caught stealing in a season, with 8.

1958 World Series

The 1958 World Series was a rematch of the 1957 World Series, with the New York Yankees beating the defending champion Milwaukee Braves in seven games for their 18th title, and their seventh in 10 years. With that victory, the Yankees became only the second team in Major League Baseball history to come back from a 3–1 deficit to win a best-of-seven World Series; the first was the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1925. (The 1903 Boston Red Sox came back from a 3–1 deficit in a best-of-nine affair.) These teams would meet again in the fall classic thirty-eight years later—by that time, the Braves had moved to Atlanta. As of 2019, this is the most recent World Series featuring the two previous Series winning teams.

1959 Major League Baseball All-Star Game (first game)

The 1959 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 26th playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues composing Major League Baseball. The game was played on July 7, 1959, at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates of the NL. The game resulted in a 5–4 victory for the National League. An unprecedented second game was scheduled for later in the season in Los Angeles, California.

1959 Major League Baseball All-Star Game (second game)

The 1959 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 27th playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues composing Major League Baseball. The game was played on August 3, 1959, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California, home of the Los Angeles Dodgers of the NL. The game resulted in a 5–3 victory for the American League. This was the second of two All-Star Games played in 1959, the first game having been played on July 7 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The first Midsummer Classic to be played on the West Coast, this was also one of only two All-Star Games to be played outside the month of July, the other being in 1981.

1960 Major League Baseball All-Star Game (first game)

The 1960 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 28th playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 11, 1960, at Municipal Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri the home of the Kansas City Athletics of the American League. The game resulted in the National League defeating the American League 5–3.

A second all-star game was played two days later on July 13 at Yankee Stadium in New York City.

1960 Major League Baseball All-Star Game (second game)

The second 1960 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 29th playing of Major League Baseball's annual midsummer exhibition game. The game took place at Yankee Stadium in New York City, home of the American League's New York Yankees. The National League won the game by a score of 6–0. The National League hit four home runs, tying an All-Star Game record.

1972 Milwaukee Brewers season

The 1972 Milwaukee Brewers season involved the Brewers' finishing sixth in the American League East with a record of 65 wins and 91 losses. Because of the move of the Washington Senators to Texas, the Brewers shifted from the AL West to the AL East.

1976 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1976 followed the system in place since 1971.

The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players and

elected two, Bob Lemon and Robin Roberts.

The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions to consider executives, managers, umpires, and earlier major league players.

It selected three players: Roger Connor, Cal Hubbard, and Freddie Lindstrom.

The Negro Leagues Committee also met in person and selected Oscar Charleston.

1983 Seattle Mariners season

The Seattle Mariners 1983 season was their seventh since the franchise creation, and were 7th (last) in the American League West at 60–102 (.370), 39 games behind.

In his third season as the Mariners' manager, Rene Lachemann was fired in late June, succeeded by Del Crandall. At the time, the Mariners were 26–47 (.356), on an eight-game losing streak, and had the worst record in the majors.

Bob Sheldon

Bob Mitchell Sheldon is a former Major League Baseball second baseman. He was drafted out of Loyola Marymount University in the 22nd round of the 1972 baseball draft by the Milwaukee Brewers. He played parts of three seasons, 1974, 1975 and 1977, for the Milwaukee Brewers. The majority of his major league games came in 1975, when he started in 45 games for the Brewers at either second base or designated hitter, and had a batting average of .287. In a 2011 interview, Sheldon said that the firing of Del Crandall in 1975 and his replacement as manager with Alex Grammas as Brewers manager hurt his major league career, and that he voluntarily retired at the age of 27 after the 1977 season.

Chuck Cottier

Charles Keith Cottier (born January 8, 1936) is a former second baseman, manager, coach and scout in American Major League Baseball.Born in Delta, Colorado, Cottier graduated from Grand Junction High School, where he lettered in four sports – baseball, basketball, football and wrestling. He was a good-fielding, light-hitting infielder during his nine-year big league playing career. He appeared in 580 games and compiled a lifetime batting average of .220 with 19 home runs with the Milwaukee Braves (1959–60), Detroit Tigers (1961), Washington Senators (1961–65), and California Angels (1968–69). Cottier batted and threw right-handed, standing 5 feet 11 inches (1.8 m) tall and weighing 178 pounds (81 kg). His playing career ended in May 1969 when he sustained an Achilles tendon injury as a member of the Angels. He began his minor league managing career in 1971.

Cottier was in his third season as the third-base coach of the Seattle Mariners when he was chosen to replace Del Crandall as Seattle's manager with 27 games left in the 1984 campaign. He led the team through the entire 1985 season and into the first 28 games of 1986. With the M's in sixth place in May 1986 with a record of 9–19, Cottier was fired and succeeded by interim manager Marty Martínez for one game before Dick Williams took over. His career major record as a Major League manager was 98–119 (.452).Cottier also was a coach for the New York Mets (1979–81), Chicago Cubs (1988–94), Baltimore Orioles (1995) and Philadelphia Phillies (1997–2000) and served as a Major League scout for the New York Yankees and a special assistant to the general manager for the Washington Nationals.

Inland Empire 66ers

The Inland Empire 66ers of San Bernardino are a minor league baseball team in San Bernardino, California. They are the Class A Advanced affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels and play in the California League. The 66ers play home games at San Manuel Stadium.

List of Seattle Mariners managers

There have been 20 managers in the history of the Seattle Mariners Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise. The Mariners franchise was formed in 1977 as a member of the American League. Darrell Johnson was hired as the first Mariners manager, serving for just over three seasons before being replaced during the 1980 season. In terms of tenure, Lou Piniella has managed more games and seasons than any other coach in their franchise history. He managed the Mariners to four playoff berths (1995, 1997, 2000 and 2001), led the team to the American League Championship Series in 1995, 2000 and 2001, and won the Manager of the Year award in 1995 and 2001. Piniella is the only manager in Mariners history to lead a team into the playoffs, with one of those times after a 116-win season, tying the record for most wins in a season. None of the previous managers had made it to the playoffs before. Piniella, however, managed the team in 34 playoff games, winning 15, and losing 19. Dick Williams is the only Mariners manager to have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

There have been nine interim managers in Mariners history. In 1980, manager Darrell Johnson was replaced by Maury Wills. In 1981, manager Rene Lachemann replaced Maury Wills. In 1983, Lachemann was relieved by Del Crandall. Crandall did not last a full season either, as Chuck Cottier took over his job in 1984. By 1986, Cottier was replaced with a temporary manager, Marty Martinez. After one game, the Mariners found Dick Williams to take over the role of manager. He in turn was replaced by Jim Snyder in 1988. In 2007, manager Mike Hargrove resigned in a surprise move amidst a winning streak, citing increased difficulty in putting forth the same effort he demanded of his players. Hargrove was replaced with bench coach John McLaren midseason. A year later, in 2008, the Mariners front office decided McLaren was not performing by their standards, and was fired and replaced by interim manager Jim Riggleman. New general manager Jack Zduriencik hired Don Wakamatsu as skipper for the 2009 season; after finishing the season with a .525 winning percentage, the team's poor performance coupled with off-field issues led to Wakamatsu's firing on August 9, 2010. Daren Brown, who was the manager of the Mariners' Triple-A affiliate, the Tacoma Rainiers, managed the Mariners for the remainder of the 2010 season. Eric Wedge was hired to manage the team for the 2011 to 2013 seasons. Lloyd McClendon was hired as the Mariners' manager on November 7, 2013.

Roy McMillan

Roy David McMillan (July 17, 1929 – November 2, 1997) was a shortstop, coach and manager in Major League Baseball. From 1951 through 1966, McMillan played for the Cincinnati Reds, Milwaukee Braves, and New York Mets. He batted and threw right-handed. Following his retirement as a player, McMillan managed the Milwaukee Brewers and New York Mets. He was born in Bonham, Texas.

In a 16-season career, McMillan posted a .243 batting average with 68 home runs and 594 runs batted in in 2,093 games played.

McMillan, who spent 10 seasons with the Cincinnati Reds, was his team's glue between the infield and outfield in the 1950s. He won the first three Gold Gloves for the shortstop position (1957 in MLB, 1958-59 in the National League), and in 1954, he set a since-surpassed major league record of 129 double plays.

Twice named to the NL All-Star team (1956–57), McMillan also played with the Milwaukee Braves and New York Mets and finished his career in 1966. In 1970 he returned to Milwaukee as first-base coach with the Brewers, served as interim skipper in 1972 between Dave Bristol and Del Crandall, then coached for the New York Mets. In 1975, he replaced Yogi Berra as the Mets' interim manager. Late in his career, he was a scout for the Montreal Expos based in Bonham.

McMillan was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame in 1971. He died in Bonham in 1997.

Milwaukee Brewers managers

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