Leo Durocher

Leo Ernest Durocher (/dəˈroʊ.ʃər/; July 27, 1905 – October 7, 1991), nicknamed Leo the Lip and Lippy, was an American professional baseball player, manager and coach. He played in Major League Baseball as an infielder. Upon his retirement, he ranked fifth all-time among managers with 2,009 career victories, second only to John McGraw in National League history. Durocher still ranks tenth in career wins by a manager. A controversial and outspoken character, Durocher had a stormy career dogged by clashes with authority, the baseball commissioner, umpires (his 95 career ejections as a manager trailed only McGraw when he retired, and still rank fourth on the all-time list), and the press.

Durocher was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1994.

Leo Durocher
Leo Durocher
Durocher in 1948
Shortstop / Manager
Born: July 27, 1905
West Springfield, Massachusetts
Died: October 7, 1991 (aged 86)
Palm Springs, California
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
October 2, 1925, for the New York Yankees
Last MLB appearance
April 18, 1945, for the Brooklyn Dodgers
MLB statistics
Batting average.247
Home runs24
Runs batted in567
Managerial record2,008–1,709
Winning %.540
Teams
As player

As manager

Career highlights and awards
Member of the National
Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
Induction1994
Election MethodVeterans Committee

Early life

Leo Durocher was born in West Springfield, Massachusetts, on July 27, 1905, the youngest of four sons born to French Canadian parents. He was educated locally and became a prominent semi-professional athlete, with several employers competing to have him play on their company teams.[1]

Playing career

After being scouted by the New York Yankees, Durocher broke into professional baseball with the Hartford Senators of the Eastern League in 1925. He was called up to the Yankees and played in two games. Durocher spent two more seasons in the minors, playing for the Atlanta Crackers of the Southern Association in 1926 and St. Paul Saints of the American Association in 1927.[2]

Durocher rejoined the Yankees in 1928. A regular player, he was nicknamed "The All-American Out" by Babe Ruth.[3] Durocher was a favorite of Yankee manager Miller Huggins, who saw in him the seeds of a great manager — the competitiveness, the passion, the ego, the facility for remembering situations. Durocher's outspokenness did not endear him to Yankee ownership, however, and his habit of passing bad checks to finance his expensive tastes in clothes and nightlife annoyed Yankee general manager Ed Barrow.

LeoDurocherGoudeycard
Durocher's 1933 Goudey baseball card

Durocher helped the team win their second consecutive World Series title in 1928 then demanded a raise and was later sold to the Cincinnati Reds on February 5, 1930. Durocher spent the remainder of his professional career in the National League.

After playing three seasons with the Reds, Durocher was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals in mid-1933. Upon joining the Cardinals he was assigned uniform number 2,[4] which he wore for the rest of his career, as player, coach and manager. That team, whose famous nickname "Gashouse Gang" was supposedly inspired by Durocher, were a far more appropriate match for him; in St. Louis, Durocher's characteristics as a fiery player and vicious bench jockey were given full rein. Durocher remained with the Cardinals through the 1937 season, captaining the team and winning the 1934 World Series (their third title in nine years) before being traded to the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Primarily a shortstop, Durocher played through 1945, though his last year as a regular was 1939; after that year he never played more than 62 games in a season. He was known as a solid fielder but a poor hitter. In 5,350 career at bats, he batted .247, hit 24 home runs and had 567 runs batted in.

Durocher was named to the NL's All-Star team three times, once with St. Louis and twice with the Dodgers. In the 1938 game in Cincinnati, Durocher hit the only Little League Home Run in All-Star Game history.[5]

Also in 1938, Durocher made history of a sort by making the final out in Johnny Vander Meer's second consecutive no-hitter.[6]

Managing

Managerial career

After the 1938 season — Durocher's first year as Brooklyn's starting shortstop — he was appointed player-manager by the Dodgers' new president and general manager, Larry MacPhail. The two were a successful and combustible combination. MacPhail spared no expense in purchasing and trading for useful players (and sometimes outright stars), such as Dolph Camilli, Billy Herman and Kirby Higbe. He also purchased shortstop Pee Wee Reese from the Boston Red Sox. By the end of the 1941 season, Reese impressed Durocher enough that he gave up his spot as the regular shortstop so Reese could get a chance to play, though Durocher would make "cameo" appearances in the lineup in 1943 and 1945. Other major purchases by MacPhail included another young star, Pete Reiser, when he was ruled a free agent from the Cardinals' farm system; and MacPhail found stalwarts such as American League veterans Dixie Walker and Whitlow Wyatt off the waiver wire.

In his first season as player-manager, Durocher came into his own. The most enduring image of Durocher is of him standing toe-to-toe with an umpire, vehemently arguing his case until his inevitable ejection from the game. Durocher's fiery temper and willingness to scrap came to epitomize the position for which he was to become most famous. As manager he valued these same traits in his players. His philosophy was best expressed in the phrase for which he is best, albeit inaccurately, remembered: "Nice guys finish last" (Durocher's actual phrasing "Nice guys, finish last" was a pair of clause fragments describing a team). Durocher once said, "Look at Mel Ott over there. He's a nice guy, and he finishes second. Now look at the Brat (Eddie Stanky). He can't hit, can't run, can't field. He's no nice guy, but all the little son-of-a-bitch can do is win."

Durocher was also notorious for ordering his pitchers to hit batters. Whenever he wanted a batter hit, he would yell, "Stick it in his ear!"

In 1939 the Dodgers were coming off six straight losing seasons, but Durocher led a quick turnaround. In 1941, his third season as manager, he led the Dodgers to a 100–54 record and the National League pennant, their first in 21 years. In the 1941 World Series the Dodgers lost to the Yankees in five games. They bettered their record in 1942, winning 104 games but just missing out on winning a second consecutive pennant.

Despite all the success of his first three years, Durocher and MacPhail had a tempestuous relationship. MacPhail was a notorious drinker, and he was as hot-tempered as his manager. He often fired Durocher in the midst of a night of drinking. The following morning, however, MacPhail inevitably hired Durocher back. Finally, at the end of the 1942 season, MacPhail's tenure with the Dodgers came to an end when he resigned to rejoin the United States Army. His replacement, former Cardinal boss Branch Rickey, retained Durocher as skipper. Durocher managed the Dodgers continuously through 1946 (having ceased as a player during the 1945 season), and led Brooklyn to the first postseason NL playoff series in history, where they lost to the Cardinals, two games to none.

Durocher also clashed regularly with Commissioner Albert "Happy" Chandler. Chandler, who had been named to the post in 1945, warned Durocher to stay away from some of his old friends who were gamblers, bookmakers, or had mob connections, and who had a free rein at Ebbets Field. Durocher was particularly close with actor George Raft, with whom he shared a Los Angeles house, and he admitted to a nodding acquaintance with Bugsy Siegel.

Durocher, who encouraged and participated in card schools within the clubhouse, was something of a pool shark himself and a friend to many pool hustlers. He also followed horse racing closely. Matters came to a head when Durocher's affair with married actress Laraine Day became public knowledge, drawing criticism from Brooklyn's influential Catholic Youth Organization.[7] The two later eloped and married in Texas in 1947.[8] In the 1950s, Day hosted a radio program called Day with the Giants, and later authored a book by the same title describing the life of a manager's wife.

Managerial record

Team From To Regular season record Post–season record Ref.
W L Win % W L Win %
Brooklyn Dodgers 1939 1946 703 528 .571 1 4 .200 [9]
Brooklyn Dodgers 1948 1948 35 37 .486 [9]
New York Giants 1948 1955 637 523 .549 6 4 .600 [9]
Chicago Cubs 1966 1972 535 526 .504 [9]
Houston Astros 1972 1973 98 95 .508 [9]
Total 2008 1709 .540 7 8 .467

Nice guys finish last

The saying "nice guys finish last" is a condensation by journalists of a quotation by Durocher[10]—he did not originally say this form himself, though it has often been attributed to him, and he did appropriate it as his own. The original quotation was "The nice guys are all over there, in seventh place" (July 6, 1946)[11][12] about the 1946 New York Giants—seventh place was next to last place in the National League. This was shortly afterwards rendered as "'Nice Guys' Wind Up in Last Place, Scoffs Lippy",[13] thence its present form.[12] Durocher is also credited with popularizing the metaphorical use of the phrase "capture lightning in a bottle" in a baseball context—it had previously been used to literally refer to Benjamin Franklin's kite experiment.

In his autobiography, Nice Guys Finish Last (1975), Durocher quoted himself incorrectly, 29 years afterward, as his sayings were contradicted by the contemporary records (see references above), although they show his philosophy, as epitomized in this maxim:

The Giants, led by Mel Ott, began to come out of their dugout to take their warm-up. Without missing a beat, I said, "Take a look at that Number Four there. A nicer guy never drew breath than that man there." I called off his players' names as they came marching up the steps behind him, "Walker Cooper, Mize, Marshall, Kerr, Gordon, Thomson. Take a look at them. All nice guys. They'll finish last. Nice guys. Finish last." I said, "They lose a ball game, they go home, they have a nice dinner, they put their heads down on the pillow and go to sleep. Poor Mel Ott, he can't sleep at night. He wants to win, he's got a job to do for the owner of the ball club. But that doesn't concern the players, they're all getting good money." I said, "you surround yourself with this type of player, they're real nice guys, sure—'Howarya, Howarya' and you're going to finish down in the cellar with them. Because they think they're giving you one hundred percent on the ball field and they're not. Give me some scratching, diving, hungry ballplayers who come to kill you. Now, Stanky's the nicest gentleman who ever drew breath, but when the bell rings you're his mortal enemy. That's the kind of a guy I want playing for me." That was the context. To explain why Eddie Stanky was so valuable to me by comparing him to a group of far more talented players who were—in fact—in last place. Frankie Graham did write it up that way. In that respect, Graham was the most remarkable reporter I ever met. He would sit there and never take a note, and then you'd pick up the paper and find yourself quoted word for word. But the other writers who picked it up ran two sentences together to make it sound as if I were saying that you couldn't be a decent person and succeed.

Suspension

During spring training 1947, Durocher became involved in an unseemly feud with Larry MacPhail, who had become a new co-owner of the Yankees. The Yankee boss had hired away two coaches from Durocher's 1946 staff (Chuck Dressen and Red Corriden) during the off-season, causing friction. Then, matters got worse.

In person, Durocher and MacPhail exchanged a series of accusations and counter-accusations, with each suggesting the other invited gamblers into their clubhouses. In the press, a ghostwritten article appeared under Durocher's name in the Brooklyn Eagle, seeking to stir the rivalry between their respective clubs and accusing baseball of a double standard for Chandler's warning him against his associations but not MacPhail or other baseball executives.

Baseball. Durocher BAnQ P48S1P12826
Durocher in the dressing room of Delorimier Stadium in Montreal in July 1946.

Chandler was pressured by MacPhail, a close friend who was pivotal in having him appointed Commissioner, but the commissioner also discovered Durocher and Raft might have run a rigged crap game that took an active ballplayer for a large sum of money. (The player's identity was never confirmed officially, but a former Detroit Tiger pitcher, Elden Auker, wrote in his 2002 memoir that it was a then-current Tiger pitcher, Dizzy Trout.) Chandler suspended Durocher for the 1947 season for "association with known gamblers".[14]

Before being suspended, however, Durocher played a noteworthy role in erasing baseball's color line. In the spring of 1947, he let it be known that he would not tolerate the dissent of those players on the team who opposed Jackie Robinson's joining the club, saying:

I do not care if the guy is yellow or black, or if he has stripes like a fuckin' zebra. I'm the manager of this team, and I say he plays. What's more, I say he can make us all rich. And if any of you cannot use the money, I will see that you are all traded.

He greatly admired Robinson for his hustle and aggression, calling him "a Durocher with talent."

While Durocher sat out his suspension, the Dodgers went on to win the NL pennant under an interim skipper, scout Burt Shotton. They then went on to lose the 1947 World Series to MacPhail's Yankees in seven games.

Move to New York Giants

Leo Durocher 1948
Durocher with the Giants in 1948.

Durocher returned for the 1948 season, but his outspoken personality and poor results on the field again caused friction with Rickey, and on July 16 Durocher, Rickey and New York Giants owner Horace Stoneham negotiated a deal whereby Durocher was let out of his Brooklyn contract to take over the Dodgers' cross-town rivals. He enjoyed perhaps his greatest success with the Giants, and possibly a measure of sweet revenge against the Dodgers, as the Giants won the 1951 NL pennant in a playoff against Brooklyn, ultimately triumphing on Bobby Thomson's historic game-winning "Shot 'Heard 'Round The World" home run.

Later with the Giants in 1954, Durocher won his only World Series championship as a manager by sweeping the heavily favored Cleveland Indians, who posted the highest American League winning percentage of all time (111–43) during the regular season.

After leaving the Giants following the 1955 season, Durocher worked at NBC, where he was a color commentator on the Major League Baseball on NBC and host of The NBC Comedy Hour and Jackpot Bowling. He later served as a coach for the Dodgers, by then relocated to Los Angeles, from 1961 to 1964.

During this period, Durocher, who had made his screen debut in the 1943 Red Skelton comedy Whistling in Brooklyn, played himself in many television shows. In an April 10, 1963 airing of The Beverly Hillbillies, Durocher plays golf with Jed Clampett (Buddy Ebsen) and Jethro Bodine (Max Baer, Jr.) and tries to sign Jethro to a baseball contract after discovering Jethro has a strong pitching arm. In an episode of The Munsters titled "Herman the Rookie," on April 8, 1965, Durocher believes Herman (Fred Gwynne) is the next Mickey Mantle when he sees the towering Munster hit long home runs. Football great Elroy Hirsch also appears with Durocher. Three years earlier, he also appeared as himself in an episode of Mr. Ed, when the talking horse gave batting tips to the Los Angeles Dodgers, helping them win the pennant. Durocher also appeared on television in the early 1950s on the CBS game show What's My Line? twice as a mystery guest (January 28, 1951 and May 31, 1953), the latter when his wife Day was a guest panelist.

Chicago Cubs

Durocher returned to the managerial ranks in 1966 with the Chicago Cubs. In several previous seasons, the Cubs had tried an experiment called the "College of Coaches", in which they were led by a "head coach" rather than a manager. However, at his first press conference, Durocher formally announced an end to the experiment by saying:

If no announcement has been made about what my title is, I'm making it here and now. I'm the manager. I'm not a head coach. I'm the manager.[15]

At the same press conference, Durocher declared, "I am not the manager of an eighth place team." He was right; the Cubs finished tenth in his first season, becoming the first team to finish behind the previously hapless New York Mets. In 1967, however, the Cubs started strongly and had only their second winning season since 1946. The team steadily improved, but in 1969, Durocher suffered one of his most remembered failures. The Cubs started the season on a tear, and led the newly created National League East for 105 days. By mid-August they had a seemingly insurmountable 9-game cushion, and they appeared to be a shoo-in for their first postseason appearance in 25 years. However, they floundered down the stretch, and finished eight games behind the "Miracle Mets" (who were 9½ games back in mid-August).

In a mid-July series against the Mets, the Cubs were beaten in the first two games at Shea Stadium,[16] but finally managed to salvage the third game, after which Durocher was asked if those were the real Cubs.

'"No", Durocher answered, "those are the real Mets."

While with the Cubs, Durocher encountered a difficult dilemma in regard to aging superstar Ernie Banks. While Banks' bad knees made him a liability, his legendary status made benching him impossible. Durocher also nearly came to blows with Cubs star Ron Santo during an infamous clubhouse near-riot. The problems were symbolic of Durocher's difficulty in managing the new breed of wealthier, more outspoken players who had come up during his long career. With the team threading along at 46-44, Durocher was fired midway through the 1972 season, later stating that his greatest regret in baseball was not being able to win a pennant for longtime Cubs owner P.K. Wrigley.

Houston Astros and beyond

Durocher managed the Houston Astros for the final 31 games of the 1972 season (posting a 16–15 record in that span) and the entire 1973 season (posting an 82–80 record) before retiring.

He made a brief comeback in 1976 in the Japanese Pacific League with the Taiheiyo Club Lions, but he retired due to illness (hepatitis) before the beginning of the season.[17]

Retirement

Durocher finished his managerial career with a 2,008–1,709 record for a .540 winning percentage. He posted a winning record with each of the four teams he led, and was the first manager to win 500 games with three different clubs.

Durocher, with Ed Linn, wrote a memoir titled Nice Guys Finish Last, a book that was recently re-published by the University of Chicago Press.

Leo Durocher died in 1991 in Palm Springs, California at the age of 86, and is buried in Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles. He was posthumously inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1994.

Personal life

Durocher was married four times. He was married to Ruby Hartley from 1930 to 1934. He was married to St. Louis socialite Grace Dozier from 1934 to 1943. In 1947 he married actress Laraine Day, and they divorced in 1960. His fourth wife was Lynne Walker Goldblatt, to whom he was married from 1969 to 1980.[18][19]

With Ruby Hartley, Durocher had a daughter named Barbara (born 1931).[20]

He adopted two children with Day, daughter Melinda Michele (1944–2012)[21] and son Chris (born 1945).[22][23]

Durocher had real comedic talent, and portrayed himself on episodes of The Munsters, The Joey Bishop Show, Mister Ed, The Beverly Hillbillies, Screen Directors Playhouse, and other shows.[24] In the 2013 film 42, Durocher is played by Christopher Meloni.[25]

See also

Bibliography

  • Nice Guys Finish Last, by Leo Durocher with Ed Linn. Durocher's forthright autobiography was recently re-published by the University of Chicago Press (ISBN 9780226173887).
  • Bums: An Oral History of the Brooklyn Dodgers, by Peter Golenbock
  • Prager, Joshua. (2006). The Echoing Green: The Untold Story of Bobby Thomson, Ralph Branca and the Shot Heard Round the World. New York: Random House.
  • Dickson, Paul: Leo Durocher: Baseball's Prodigal Son (2017) Bloomsbury USA

References

  1. ^ Spatz, Lyle, ed. (2012). The Team That Forever Changed Baseball and America: The 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers. Lincoln, Neb.: University of Nebraska Press and the Society for American Baseball Research. p. 23. ISBN 978-0-8032-3992-0. Retrieved March 5, 2016.
  2. ^ H. W. Wilson Company, Current Biography Yearbook, 1968, page 266
  3. ^ Joe Niese, Burleigh Grimes: Baseball's Last Legal Spitballer, 2013, page 189
  4. ^ "Leo Durocher Baseball Stats, facts, biography, images and video". The Baseball Page. Retrieved December 3, 2013.
  5. ^ "Little League Home Runs Database". SABR. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  6. ^ Banks, Kerry (2010). "Baseball's Top 100: The Game's Greatest Records". Vancouver, BC: Greystone Books. p. 55. ISBN 978-1-55365-507-7.
  7. ^ "Catholics Quit Dodgers Knothole Club In Protest Over the Conduct of Durocher". New York Times. March 1, 1947. p. 17. Retrieved March 4, 2016.
  8. ^ "Laraine Day and Durocher Are Married In El Paso After She Gets Mexican Divorce". New York Times. Associated Press. January 22, 1947. p. 25. Retrieved March 4, 2016.
  9. ^ a b c d e "Leo Durocher". Baseball Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved September 25, 2015.
  10. ^ Robinson, Ray (April 4, 1993). "A Bad Guy Who Finished First". The New York Times.
  11. ^ N.Y. Journal American, 1946 July 7
  12. ^ a b The Yale Book of Quotations, Fred R. Shapiro, Yale University Press, 2006, p. 221
  13. ^ Sporting News, 1946 July 17
  14. ^ Effrat, Louis (April 10, 1947). "Chandler Bars Durocher For 1947 Baseball Season". New York Times. p. 1. Retrieved March 4, 2016.
  15. ^ Munzel, Edgar. "Bruins Give 3-Year Pact to Durocher." The Sporting News, 1965-11-06.
  16. ^ "The 1969 Chicago Cubs Game Log". Retrosheet.org. Retrieved December 3, 2013.
  17. ^ Markus, Robert. "Feisty Baseball Legend Leo Durocher Dead At 86: Ex-player, Manager Lived Life On Own Terms," Chicago Tribune (October 8, 1991).
  18. ^ "Durocher, 62, Is Married To Prominent Chicagoan, 40". The New York Times. United Press International. June 20, 1969. p. 46. Retrieved March 5, 2016.
  19. ^ Oxford University Press, American National Biography: Dubuque-Fishbein, 1999, page 158.
  20. ^ Doug Feldmann, Dizzy and the Gas House Gang: The 1934 St. Louis Cardinals and Depression-Era Baseball, 2000, page 51
  21. ^ Coeur d'Alene Press, Obituary, Melinda Michele Thompson-Durocher, May 30, 2012
  22. ^ LIFE Magazine, Lippy's Loaded, April 2, 1951, page 45
  23. ^ Tim McCarver, Tim McCarver's Diamond Gems, 2008
  24. ^ "Leo Durocher". IMDb. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  25. ^ Fretts, Bruce (April 12, 2013). "Christopher Meloni channels his inner loudmouth as Dodgers skipper Leo Durocher in '42'". New York Daily News.

External links

Preceded by
First
Lead color commentator, Major League Baseball on NBC
1957–1959
Succeeded by
Fred Haney
1928 New York Yankees season

The New York Yankees' 1928 season was their 26th season. The team finished with a record of 101–53, winning their sixth pennant, finishing 2.5 games ahead of the Philadelphia Athletics. New York was managed by Miller Huggins. The Yankees played at Yankee Stadium. In the World Series, they swept the St. Louis Cardinals. Pitcher Urban Shocker died in September due to complications from pneumonia.

1938 Brooklyn Dodgers season

The 1938 Brooklyn Dodgers season was their 55th season. The team finished with a record of 69–80, finishing in seventh place in the National League. The 1938 season saw Babe Ruth hired as the first base coach, and lights installed by the team at Ebbets Field on June 15.

1939 Brooklyn Dodgers season

The 1939 Brooklyn Dodgers started the year with a new manager, Leo Durocher, who became both the team's manager and starting shortstop. They also became the first New York NL team to have a regular radio broadcast, with Red Barber handing the announcers job, and the first team to have a television broadcast (during their August 26 home game doubleheaders against the Reds, both of which WNBT covered for the NBC network). The team finished in third place, showing some improvement over the previous seasons.

1940 Brooklyn Dodgers season

The 1940 Brooklyn Dodgers finished the season in second place. It was their best finish in 16 years.

1941 Brooklyn Dodgers season

The 1941 Brooklyn Dodgers, led by manager Leo Durocher, won their first pennant in 21 years, edging the St. Louis Cardinals by 2.5 games. They went on to lose to the New York Yankees in the World Series.

In The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, this team was referenced as one of "The Greatest Teams That Never Was", due to the quality of its starting lineup. Dolph Camilli was the slugging star with 34 home runs and 120 RBI. He was voted the National League's Most Valuable Player. Pete Reiser, a 22-year-old rookie, led the league in batting average, slugging percentage, and runs scored. Other regulars included Hall of Famers Billy Herman, Joe Medwick, Pee Wee Reese, and Dixie Walker. Not surprisingly, the Dodgers scored the most runs of any NL team (800).

The pitching staff featured a pair of 22-game winners, Kirby Higbe and Whitlow Wyatt, having their best pro seasons.

1943 Brooklyn Dodgers season

With the roster depleted by players leaving for service in World War II, the 1943 Brooklyn Dodgers finished the season in third place.

The team featured five future Hall of Famers: second baseman Billy Herman, shortstop Arky Vaughan, outfielders Paul Waner, and Joe Medwick, and manager Leo Durocher.

Herman finished fourth in MVP voting, after hitting .330 with 100 runs batted in. Vaughan led the league in runs scored and stolen bases.

1945 Brooklyn Dodgers season

As World War II was drawing to a close, the 1945 Brooklyn Dodgers finished 11 games back in third place in the National League race.

1948 Brooklyn Dodgers season

Leo Durocher returned as manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers to start the 1948 season but was fired in mid-season. He was replaced first by team coach Ray Blades and then by Burt Shotton, who had managed the team to the 1947 pennant. The Dodgers finished third in the National League after this tumultuous season.

The 1948 Dodgers were very much a work in progress, beginning to coalesce into the classic "Boys of Summer" teams of the 1950s. Gil Hodges was in the opening day lineup, but as a catcher. He would only be shifted to first base after the emergence of Roy Campanella. Jackie Robinson started the season at second base—Eddie Stanky had been traded just before the start of the season to make room for Robinson at his natural position; he had played first base during his 1947 rookie season. Pee Wee Reese was the only "Boys of summer" regular to already be ensconced at his position, shortstop. Billy Cox had been acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates during the offseason, but as one of nine players who would see time at third for the team that year, he only played 70 games at the position. Carl Furillo was already a regular, but in center field. Duke Snider was brought up to the team in mid-season, and it was not until 1949 that Furillo moved to right field and Snider became the regular center fielder.

Preacher Roe and Ralph Branca were in the starting rotation, but Carl Erskine only appeared in a handful of games, and Don Newcombe would not join the staff until the following year.

1954 World Series

The 1954 World Series matched the National League champion New York Giants against the American League champion Cleveland Indians. The Giants swept the Series in four games to win their first championship since 1933, defeating the heavily favored Indians, who had won an AL-record 111 games in the regular season (a record since broken by the 1998 New York Yankees with 114 and again by the 2001 Seattle Mariners with 116, tying the 1906 Chicago Cubs for the most wins in a season). The Series is perhaps best-remembered for "The Catch", a sensational running catch made by Giants center fielder Willie Mays in Game 1, snaring a long drive by Vic Wertz near the outfield wall with his back to the infield. It is also remembered for utility player Dusty Rhodes' clutch hitting in three of the four games, including his pinch walk-off "Chinese home run" that won Game 1, barely clearing the 258-foot (79 m) right-field fence at the Polo Grounds. Giants manager Leo Durocher, who had managed teams to three National League championships, won his first and only World Series title as a manager. The Giants, who would move west to become the San Francisco Giants, would not win a World Series again until the 2010 season.

This was the first time that the Indians had been swept in a World Series and the first time that the Giants had swept an opponent in four games (their 1922 World Series sweep included a controversial tie game). Game 2 was the last World Series and playoff game at the Polo Grounds, and Game 4 was the last World Series and playoff game at Cleveland Stadium. The Indians would be kept out of the World Series until 1995, a year after Jacobs Field opened.

1969 St. Louis Cardinals season

The 1969 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 88th season in St. Louis, Missouri and its 78th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 87–75 during the season and finished fourth in the newly established National League East, 13 games behind the eventual NL pennant and World Series champion New York Mets.

The resurgent Chicago Cubs, featuring players such as Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, and Billy Williams and helmed by fiery manager Leo Durocher, led the newly formed NL East for much of the summer before faltering. The Cardinals put on a mid-season surge, as their famous announcer Harry Caray (in what would prove to be his final season of 25 doing Cardinals broadcasts) began singing, "The Cardinals are coming, tra-la, tra-la". However, to the surprise of both Chicago and St. Louis, the Miracle Mets would ultimately win the division, as well as the league championship and the World Series.

1994 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1994 followed the system in place since 1978.

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

elected Steve Carlton.

The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions to consider older major league players as well as managers, umpires, executives, and figures from the Negro Leagues.

It selected two, Leo Durocher and Phil Rizzuto.

Allyn Stout

Allyn McClelland Stout (October 31, 1904 – December 22, 1974) was a pitcher in Major League Baseball. He played for the St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds, New York Giants, and Boston Braves. On May 7, 1933, he was involved in the trade that brought future Hall of Famer Leo Durocher to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Dixie Walker

Fred E. "Dixie" Walker (September 24, 1910 – May 17, 1982) was an outfielder, primarily a right fielder, in Major League Baseball, playing for the New York Yankees (1931, 1933–36), Chicago White Sox (1936–37), Detroit Tigers (1938–39), Brooklyn Dodgers (1939–47) and Pittsburgh Pirates (1948–49). In 11 years in the National League, Walker posted a .310 batting average (in nine seasons in the American League, an average of .295), with 105 total home runs and 1,023 RBIs in 1,905 games.Walker's popularity with the Ebbets Field fans in the 1940s brought him the nickname "The People's Cherce" (so-called, and spelled, because "Choice" in the "Brooklynese" of the mid-20th century frequently was pronounced that way). He was an All-Star in five consecutive years (1943–47) and the 1944 National League batting champion. Walker may be best known for his reluctance to play on the same team as Jackie Robinson in 1947.From the MLB Network special “Jackie Robinson:” ”A very popular player, a charming fellow, [Dixie Walker] prepared a petition [for Brooklyn Dodgers manager Leo Durocher] saying, ‘If you promote a black man [Jackie Robinson], we will not play.’ Branch Rickey [president and general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers] contacted Durocher and said, ‘Stomp this fire out right now because we can’t let it spread.’ Durocher, hearing about it, called a meeting of the players and said, ‘I’ll tell you what you can do with your petition: If a guy can win games for me, I don’t care if he’s white, or black, or striped, or green, he’s going to play for me.’ Dixie Walker left a note for Branch Rickey, asking to be traded. Leeds, Alabama, is where Dixie Walker had his hardware store. He had to go home and answer to his customers, to his friends [who asked], ‘Do you mean you shower with this guy? Do you eat with this guy? We don’t do that.’ Branch Rickey explored trading Walker, but he couldn’t afford to lose his star outfielder, and he continued to rely on Leo Durocher to keep the team in line.”

Donald Young (baseball)

Donald Wayne Young (born October 18, 1945 in Houston, Texas) is a former professional baseball player. He played two seasons in Major League Baseball in 1965 and 1969, primarily as a center fielder.

Young was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals as an amateur free agent in 1963. In his first major league at bat, he popped up to become the first out in Sandy Koufax's 1965 perfect game. He played only 11 games in 1965, and then spent three years in the minors before coming up to the Cubs again, playing 101 games in the tumultuous 1969 season.In the ninth inning of a game against the New York Mets on July 8, 1969 playing centerfield Young failed to catch balls hit by Ken Boswell and Donn Clendenon. Both were ruled doubles. Young had the Clendenon ball in his mitt before crashing into the wall; with Boswell stopping at third thinking the ball was caught. A Cleon Jones double followed that tied the game. After an intentional walk to Art Shamsky a single by Ed Kranepool plated Jones with the winning run. The line score in the 9th was 3 runs on 4 hits with two left on with no errors. Ferguson Jenkins went the distance in the loss. After the game manager Leo Durocher blamed Young for the loss. Among other things, Durocher said, ``My 3-year-old could have caught those balls.``Teammate Ron Santo loudly criticized Young in the clubhouse accusing him of letting his concern about hitting influence his fielding. The next day Santo apologized to Young and called a press conference to make a public apology. The Cubs, who had a nine-game lead as late as Aug. 16, went on to lose the pennant by eight games to the Mets. Don Young was blamed by many for the Cubs collapse. The Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract and the book Baseball Hall of Shame 2 both state a greater factor was manager Leo Durocher not resting his regular players who played all their home games in Wrigley Field, before it installed lights, under the Chicago sun.

Young played two more partial seasons in the minor leagues before leaving organized baseball.

Jocko Conlan

John Bertrand "Jocko" Conlan (December 6, 1899 – April 16, 1989) was an American baseball umpire who worked in the National League (NL) from 1941 to 1965. He had a brief career as an outfielder with the Chicago White Sox before entering umpiring. He umpired in five World Series and six All-Star Games. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974 by the Veterans Committee.

List of Houston Astros managers

The Houston Astros are a professional baseball franchise based in Houston, Texas. They are a member of the American League (AL) West in Major League Baseball (MLB). The team joined MLB in 1962 as an expansion team named the Houston Colt .45s and changed their name to the Houston Astros in 1965. The team won their first NL Championship in 2005. Having first played in Colt Stadium (1962–1964), and later in The Astrodome, now known as the Reliant Astrodome (1965–1999), the Astros have played their home games at Minute Maid Park, which was first named The Ballpark at Union Station, since 2000. The franchise is owned by Jim Crane, and Jeff Luhnow is their general manager.There have been 23 managers for the Astros franchise. The team's first manager was Harry Craft, who managed for three seasons. Bill Virdon is the franchise's all-time leader for the most regular-season games managed (1066), and the most regular-season game wins (544); Phil Garner holds the record for most playoff games managed with the Astros with 26 while A. J. Hinch holds the record for most all-time playoff wins (14). Salty Parker is the Astros' all-time leader for the highest regular-season winning percentage, as he has only managed one game, which he won. Of the managers who have managed a minimum of 162 games (one season), Larry Dierker has the highest regular-season winning percentage with .556. Garner is the franchise's all-time leader for the highest playoff winning percentage with .500. Leo Durocher is the only Astros manager to have been elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Garner and Hinch are the only managers to have won an league pennant with the Astros, winning one in the National League in 2005 and one in the American League in 2017. Larry Dierker is the only Astros manager to have had his uniform number retired by the Astros, with his uniform number 49 retired by the Astros in 2002. Dierker is also the sixth manager in MLB history to win a division championship in his first season for the Astros in 1997. Lanier and Dierker are the only managers to have won a Manager of the Year Award with the Astros, winning it in 1986 and 1998 respectively. Grady Hatton, Lanier, Dierker, and Cooper have spent their entire managing careers with the Astros.

List of Major League Baseball All-Star Game managers

The following is a list of individuals who have managed the Major League Baseball All-Star Game over the years (except 1945), since its inauguration in 1933. Chosen managers and winning pennant managers manage teams including American and National Leagues.

No official MLB All-Star Game was held in 1945 (cancelled April 24, 1945) including the official MLB selection of that season's All-Stars (Associated Press All-Star Game; game was not played). MLB played two All-Star Games from 1959 through 1962.

Main Street to Broadway

Main Street to Broadway is a 1953 light drama-comedy film by independent producer Lester Cowan, his final credit, in collaboration with The Council of the Living Theatre, which provided tie-up with a number of well-known Broadway names. Release was by MGM. The backstage story features Tom Morton as an aspiring playwright who hopes to stage a Broadway production, Mary Murphy, as a young lady from Indiana, and radio-TV humorist Herb Shriner in a rare acting role as a hardware store owner.

Tallulah Bankhead is featured in a parody sequence of herself. The list of Broadway luminaries also playing themselves, in smaller cameos, includes Ethel Barrymore, Lionel Barrymore (in his last film), Shirley Booth, Louis Calhern, Faye Emerson, Rex Harrison, Helen Hayes, Mary Martin, Lilli Palmer, John Van Druten and Cornel Wilde. Included is New York baseball manager Leo Durocher. Many others are unidentified, such as Vivian Blaine, glimpsed in a theater lobby.

In one scene, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II create a new song, "There's Music in You", then perform it for their friends, with Rodgers at the piano and Hammerstein singing the vocals. Mary Martin is later seen rehearsing the song for director Joshua Logan.

The black-and-white film, which has a running time of 97 minutes, was directed by Tay Garnett, screenplay by Samson Raphaelson, based on a story Robert E. Sherwood, and photographed by James Wong Howe. Sequences were filmed in New York, with shots at the Martin Beck and old Empire theaters(The Empire was set to be demolished the year the film was released). Others as story characters include Gertrude Berg, as a landlady, Agnes Moorehead, Rosemary de Camp, Arthur Shields, and, in a fantasy sequence, Florence Bates, Madge Kennedy, Carl Benton Reid, Frank Ferguson, and Robert Bray.

Whistling in Brooklyn

Whistling in Brooklyn is a 1943 film directed by S. Sylvan Simon and starring Red Skelton, Ann Rutherford, and Jean Rogers. It is the third and last film starring Skelton as radio personality and amateur detective Wally "The Fox" Benton, following Whistling in the Dark and Whistling in Dixie. Wally prepares to marry his girlfriend, but gets sidetracked when he is mistaken for a serial murderer. Leo Durocher made his screen debut, playing himself, and Hilda Chester, the Brooklyn Dodgers' "superfan" also made a brief appearance, playing herself.

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