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Owen Friend

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Owen Lacey Friend
(Red)

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[edit] Biographical Information

Before the 1944 season Owen Friend was signed by the St. Louis Browns as an amateur free agent. The 6'1" seventeen-year-old infielder was assigned to the Newark Moundsmen of the class D Ohio State League where he appeared in 129 games and hit .281. In 1945 Owen was with the Raleigh Capitals of the class C Carolina League, hitting .281 again and spent the last 8 games of the year with the Memphis Chickasaws hitting at a .345 clip.

The infielder played until 1949 before getting his chance in the major leagues. There was some ill-advised comparison of Owen to Rogers Hornsby at the time, and in a late-season recall to the Browns in 1949 he was 3 for 8 at the plate for a .375 average, but comparisons to Hornsby soon faded when he hit .237 for the Browns in 1950 in his first full season in the majors.

After spending two years with the United States Military during the Korean War, he went from team to team playing for the Detroit Tigers, Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs from 1953 to 1956, in between trips to the minor leagues, finishing his major league career in a very un-Hornsby-like .227.

Owen, or "Red" as he was sometimes called, spent a few more years in the minors finishing up his last full-time active year with the Wenatchee Chiefs of the class B Northwest League in 1960. Friend spent 15 active seasons in the minors as a player, appearing in 1,450 contests, going to bat 5,067 times, banging out 1,285 base hits. including 139 home runs for a .253 minor league career batting average.

He also scouted for the Houston Astros (1966) and Baltimore Orioles (1967-1968) before returning to the majors for a season as a coach for the expansion Kansas City Royals in 1969. He then scouted for the Royals (1970-1972) and managed in the minors through 1975.

Friend resided in Wichita, KS, where he was employed with the Boeing Company before his death on October 14, 2007, at eighty years of age.

[edit] Sources

Baseball-Reference.com
Baseball Players of the 1950s
SABR MILB Database:page

[edit] Year-by-Year Managerial Record

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
1960 Wenatchee Chiefs Northwest League 48-78 6th none none replaced Dick Wilson (2-13) on May 13
1961 Billings Mustangs Pioneer League 43-55 -- St. Louis Cardinals -- replaced by Grover Resinger (12-18) on July 28
Winnipeg Goldeyes Northern League 9-31 6th St. Louis Cardinals replaced Grover Resinger (37-46) on July 28
1962 Brunswick Cardinals Georgia-Florida League 47-70 3rd St. Louis Cardinals none
1963 Geneva Senators New York-Penn League 59-71 5th Washington Senators
1964 Rocky Mount Senators Carolina League 61-77 8th Washington Senators
1965 Burlington Senators Carolina League 63-81 9th Washington Senators
1967 Aberdeen Pheasants Northern League 34-36 4th Baltimore Orioles none
1970 Kingsport Royals Appalachian League 26-33 6th Kansas City Royals none
1971 Kingsport Royals Appalachian League 38-30 2nd Kansas City Royals none
1973 Marion Mets Appalachian League 36-33 5th New York Mets none
1974 Anderson Mets Western Carolinas League 61-72 5th New York Mets none
1975 Wausau Mets Midwest League 51-77 8th New York Mets

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