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Casey Stengel

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Charles Dillon Stengel (The Old Perfessor)

  • Bats Left, Throws Left
  • Height 5' 11", Weight 175 lb.

Inducted into Hall of Fame in 1966

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Contents

[edit] Biographical Information

"I had many years that I was not so successful as a ballplayer, as it is a game of skill." - Casey Stengel

[edit] As ballplayer

Casey Stengel was an above-average ballplayer who later became a great manager. He was also famous for his quotations (some of which appear below).

As a player, Stengel played for five teams in a 14-year career. Although he became famous later in life as an American League manager, his whole career as a player was spent in the National League. He broke in with the Brooklyn Dodgers, and greatly admired teammate Zack Wheat's ability. He was three years younger than Wheat. Jake Daubert was also on the team.

Stengel's best year in baseball was 1914 with Brooklyn, when he was fifth in the league in batting, first in on-base percentage, and seventh in slugging. He had spent the spring of 1914 as the baseball coach at the University of Mississippi. In 1916, Brooklyn won the pennant, but lost the World Series 4 games to 1. In Brooklyn's only win of the Series, Stengel batted third in the lineup, behind Daubert and ahead of Wheat.

In 1918, he left Brooklyn, and although he was to play eight more years, in only two of those eight years did he play in 100+ games. He was with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies first, but landed with John McGraw's New York Giants towards the end of the 1921 season.

As a part-time player, he played on the Giants teams that won the World Series in 1921 and 1922, and continued to win the National League pennant in 1923. While not appearing in the Series in 1921, he hit over .400 in both the 1922 and 1923 Series. He hit game-winning home runs (one inside-the-park) to win the 2 games that the Giants won in the 1923 Series. He holds the distinction of hitting the first World Series home run ever hit in Yankee Stadium, which opened in 1923.

In 1924, he was a regular player again with the Boston Braves of the National League, and then played until May 19 in 1925 as his major league playing career ended. When the Braves bought the Worcester Panthers of the Eastern League on May 22, Stengel was sent to the team as president and manager, beginning the managing phase of his career.

[edit] Transition

Stengel was a player/manager for the Worcester Panthers for most of 1925. He then spent 1926-1931 in the same role with the Toledo Mud Hens. The 1927 team finished first in the American Association.

In 1932-1933, Stengel was a coach for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

[edit] As manager

Although he is most famous for managing the New York Yankees, he actually started his major league managing career with two of his old teams, Brooklyn (1934-1936) and Boston (1938-1943), never finishing higher than 5th in the league, before coming to the Yankees in 1949. Stengel also managed for years in the minors, mostly in Toledo (his team won the Junior World Series in 1927) but also in Milwaukee and Worcester - and, most famously, in Oakland.

Immediately prior to managing the Yankees, he was manager of the minor league Oakland Oaks in their legendary 1948 season. That was the year that the "Nine Old Men", including Ernie Lombardi and Nick Etten, won the league championship and the Governor's Cup. In 2008 he was elected to the Pacific Coast League Hall of Fame.

140 pix

He won the World Series in each of the first five years (1949 to 1953) while he managed the Yankees, an all-time record for both managers and players. Although he is best known as the manager of Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, and Yogi Berra, he had a constantly changing roster other than his few core players, and even Mantle and Ford were not on the team when he first won the Series in 1949.

Stengel (left) with Eddie Sawyer before the 1950 World Series.

Oddly enough, his winningest year as a manager was in 1954 when the Yankees won 103 games, but finished 8 games behind the great 1954 Cleveland Indians team of that year.

Stengel also holds the major league record for most wins (37) and games (64) managed in World Series play.

He finished his managerial career with the expansion New York Mets, and it was from that time when most of his quotations came. The Mets finished last each year for him and were historically dreadful in their maiden 1962 season. Stengel was forced to retire from the Mets' dugout in mid-year in 1965 after he broke his hip in a fall. He was 76 at the time. The next year, Stengel was elected to the Hall of Fame as the Hall created a rule known as the Casey Stengel Rule, allowing him to be elected immediately because of his age.

He used his baseball earnings to buy a bank, and served late in life as the bank president, deciding on loans and other banking matters.

[edit] Quotations

Stengel was famous for his quotations, which often featured convoluted and obfuscating language reporters dubbed "Stengelese":

"Being with a woman all night never hurt no professional baseball player. It's staying up all night looking for a woman that does him in."

"Can't anybody here play this game?"

"No, even my players aren't players."

" The secret of managing is to keep the guys who hate you away from the guys who are undecided."

"We are in such a slump that even the ones that aren't drinkin' aren't hittin'."

[edit] Notable Achievements


Preceded by
Max Carey
Brooklyn Dodgers Manager
1934-1936
Succeeded by
Burleigh Grimes
Preceded by
Bill McKechnie
Boston Bees-Braves Manager
1938-1942
Succeeded by
Bob Coleman
Preceded by
Bob Coleman
Boston Braves Manager
1943
Succeeded by
Bob Coleman
Preceded by
Bucky Harris
New York Yankees Manager
1949-1960
Succeeded by
Ralph Houk
Preceded by
N/A
New York Mets Manager
1961-1965
Succeeded by
Wes Westrum

[edit] Year-By-Year Managerial Record

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
1925 Worcester Panthers Eastern League 70-55 3rd none none replaced Eddie Eayrs (10-17) May 22
1926 Toledo Mud Hens American Association 87-77 4th none
1927 Toledo Mud Hens American Association 101-67 1st none none League Champs
1928 Toledo Mud Hens American Association 79-88 6th none
1929 Toledo Mud Hens American Association 67-100 8th none
1930 Toledo Mud Hens American Association 88-66 3rd none
1931 Toledo Mud Hens American Association 68-100 8th none
1934 Brooklyn Dodgers National League 71-81 6th Brooklyn Dodgers
1935 Brooklyn Dodgers National League 70-83 5th Brooklyn Dodgers
1936 Brooklyn Dodgers National League 67-87 7th Brooklyn Dodgers
1938 Boston Bees National League 77-75 5th Boston Bees
1939 Boston Bees National League 63-88 7th Boston Bees
1940 Boston Bees National League 65-87 7th Boston Bees
1941 Boston Braves National League 62-92 7th Boston Braves
1942 Boston Braves National League 59-89 7th Boston Braves
1943 Boston Braves National League 47-60 6th Boston Braves replaced Bob Coleman (21-25) on June 18
1944 Milwaukee Brewers American Association 91-49 1st none Lost in 1st round replaced Charlie Grimm (11-2)
1945 Kansas City Blues American Association 65-86 7th New York Yankees
1946 Oakland Oaks Pacific Coast League 111-72 2nd none Lost League Finals
1947 Oakland Oaks Pacific Coast League 96-90 4th none Lost League Finals
1948 Oakland Oaks Pacific Coast League 114-74 1st none League Champs
1949 New York Yankees American League 97-57 1st New York Yankees World Series Champs
1950 New York Yankees American League 98-56 1st New York Yankees World Series Champs
1951 New York Yankees American League 98-56 1st New York Yankees World Series Champs
1952 New York Yankees American League 95-59 1st New York Yankees World Series Champs
1953 New York Yankees American League 99-52 1st New York Yankees World Series Champs
1954 New York Yankees American League 103-51 2nd New York Yankees
1955 New York Yankees American League 96-58 1st New York Yankees Lost World Series
1956 New York Yankees American League 97-57 1st New York Yankees World Series Champs
1957 New York Yankees American League 98-56 1st New York Yankees Lost World Series
1958 New York Yankees American League 92-62 1st New York Yankees World Series Champs
1959 New York Yankees American League 79-75 3rd New York Yankees
1960 New York Yankees American League 97-57 1st New York Yankees Lost World Series
1962 New York Mets National League 40-120 10th New York Mets
1963 New York Mets National League 51-111 10th New York Mets
1964 New York Mets National League 53-109 10th New York Mets
1965 New York Mets National League 31-64 -- New York Mets replaced by Wes Westrum on July 25

[edit] Further Reading

  • Robert Creamer: Stengel: His Life and Time, Fireside Books, New York, NY, 1990 (originally published in 1984).
  • Steven Goldman: Forging Genius: The Making of Casey Stengel, Potomac Books, Dulles, VA, 2005.
  • Michael Shapiro: Bottom of the Ninth: Branch Rickey, Casey Stengel and the daring scheme to save baseball from itself, Times Books, Macmillan, New York, NY, 2009.

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