Martin Whiteford Marion
(Slats or The Octopus)
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 170 lb.
- School Georgia Institute of Technology
- High School Tech High School (Atlanta)
- Debut April 16, 1940
- Final Game July 6, 1953
- Born December 1, 1916 in Richburg, SC USA
- Died March 15, 2011 in Ladue, MO USA
"I did everything in baseball -- played, coached, managed and even owned a a team, the Houston Buffs." - Marion
Shortstop Marty Marion was a major star during the 1940s and made the National League All-Star team in eight straight seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals. He was considered a defensive whiz, leading the league several times in defensive categories. Later, he managed for several years in the majors.
Signed by the Cardinals in 1936, Marion spent four years in the minors before reaching the big leagues as the team's Opening Day shortstop in 1940. He led the NL with 38 doubles in 1942, and St. Louis went on to win the World Series that season, defeating the New York Yankees. They faced the Yankees in the World Series again in 1943, and despite Marion hitting .357, his club fell to New York in five games.
Marion hit .267 with 26 doubles, 50 runs scored, and 63 RBIs in 1944 to go along with stellar defense and captured the Most Valuable Player Award as his team won another World Series crown, this time against their co-tenants at Sportsman's Park, the St. Louis Browns. He reached the World Series for a fourth and final time in 1946, with the Cards coming out victorious in seven games against the Boston Red Sox.
Marion did not play in 1951 due to a back injury, but he was named manager of the Cardinals, leading the club to a third-place finish. Relieved up his managerial duties and released by the team following the season, he moved to the Browns as a player/coach for 1952. Midway through that campaign, he replaced Rogers Hornsby as the team's skipper, a job he held for a year and a half. He joined the Chicago White Sox coaching staff in 1954 and then replaced Paul Richards as manager late in the season. He resigned after the 1956 season when he learned that the Sox were in talks with Al Lopez to replace him. He later went on to own the Houston Buffs of the American Association.
During his playing days, Marion earned a pair of nicknames: "Slats" and "The Octopus." The former was due to his thin build; the latter from his long arms and defensive range.
"You look at his stats and everything, he should be in the Hall of Fame. He never ever tried to say that he belonged in the Hall of Fame. He liked baseball. That's why he played it." - Red Schoendienst
Marion played on the same team for many years with Stan Musial, Enos Slaughter, Terry Moore, Red Schoendienst, Joe Garagiola, and Whitey Kurowski. After his retirement, he received as much as 40% of the Hall of Fame vote by the BBWAA. For years, he was frequently mentioned as one of the main names under consideration by the Veterans Committee. His name was on the 2013 Hall of Fame ballot in which the Veterans Committee examined candidates from the pre-integration era.
- 8-time NL All-Star (1943-1950)
- NL MVP (1944)
- NL Doubles Leader (1942)
- Won three World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals (1942, 1944 & 1946)
|Stan Musial||Marty Marion||Phil Cavarretta|
|St. Louis Cardinals Manager
|St. Louis Browns Manager
|Chicago White Sox Manager
Year-By-Year Managerial Record
|1951||St. Louis Cardinals||National League||81-73||3rd||St. Louis Cardinals|
|1952||St. Louis Browns||American League||42-61||7th||St. Louis Browns||replaced Rogers Hornsby (22-29) on June 10|
|1953||St. Louis Browns||American League||54-100||8th||St. Louis Browns|
|1954||Chicago White Sox||American League||3-6||3rd||Chicago White Sox||replaced Paul Richards (91-54) on September 14|
|1955||Chicago White Sox||American League||91-63||3rd||Chicago White Sox|
|1956||Chicago White Sox||American League||85-69||3rd||Chicago White Sox|
- Howard Megdal: "Humble shortstop Marty Marion should be in Hall contention", USA Today Sports, August 20, 2014.