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Harry Craft

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Harry Francis Craft
(Wildfire)

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[edit] Biographical Information

Harry Craft played centerfield with pretty good range for six years with the Cincinnati Reds. He was part of the pennant-winning teams of 1939 and 1940.

His best year with the bat was 1938, however, before the pennant-winning seasons, when he hit 15 home runs and had 83 RBI, both in the top ten in the National League. On June 15th, he caught the final out of Johnny Vander Meer's second consecutive no-hitter ([1]). He went on to play for the Kansas City Blues from 1942 to 1948, missing the 1944 and 1945 seasons due to military service.

After his playing career ended, he became a manager in the New York Yankees system, managing Mickey Mantle in his first years of pro ball. Craft managed the Independence Yankees (1949), Joplin Miners (1950), Beaumont Roughnecks (1951-1952), and Kansas City Blues (1953-1954).

Craft joined the Kansas City Athletics coaching staff in 1955 and replaced Lou Boudreau as the team's manager in 1957. He remained with the team through the 1959 season and became a Chicago Cubs coach in 1960. He managed the Cubs in 1961 as a member of the club's College of Coaches. He left the Cubs the next season to manage the expansion Houston Colt .45s. Craft was fired as skipper near the end of the 1964 season. He remained in the game as a scout for the Yankees (1967-1972), Houston Astros (1975-1977), Yankees again (1978-1982), and the San Francisco Giants (1983-1991), and farm system official retiring in 1991.

[edit] Notable Achievement


Preceded by
Lou Boudreau
Kansas City Athletics Manager
1957-1959
Succeeded by
Bob Elliott
Preceded by
N/A
Houston Colt .45s Manager
1962-1964
Succeeded by
Lum Harris


[edit] Year-by-Year Managerial Record

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
1949 Independence Yankees Kansas-Oklahoma-Missouri League 71-53 1st New York Yankees League Champs
1950 Joplin Miners Western Association 90-46 1st New York Yankees Lost in 1st round
1951 Beaumont Roughnecks Texas League 84-77 4th (t) New York Yankees Lost in 1st round
1952 Beaumont Roughnecks Texas League 77-84 7th New York Yankees
1953 Kansas City Blues American Association 88-66 2nd New York Yankees League Champs
1954 Kansas City Blues American Association 74-80 6th New York Yankees
1957 Kansas City Athletics American League 23-37 7th Kansas City Athletics replaced Lou Boudreau (36-67) on August 6
1958 Kansas City Athletics American League 73-81 7th Kansas City Athletics
1959 Kansas City Athletics American League 66-88 7th Kansas City Athletics
1961 Chicago Cubs National League 7-9 -- Chicago Cubs replaced Vedie Himsl (5-6) on April 26/
replaced by Vedie Himsl on May 12
replaced El Tappe on June 2/
replaced by Vedie Himsl on June 5
1961 San Antonio Missions Texas League -- Chicago Cubs -- replaced Ripper Collins on May 13 /
replaced by Bobby Adams on May 31
Houston Buffs American Association 4th Chicago Cubs Lost League Finals replaced Lou Klein on July 16
1962 Houston Colt .45s National League 64-96 8th Houston Colt .45s
1963 Houston Colt .45s National League 66-96 9th Houston Colt .45s
1964 Houston Colt .45s National League 61-88 -- Houston Colt .45s -- replaced by Lum Harris (5-8) on September 19

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