Bucky Harris

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Stanley Raymond Harris

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 9½", Weight 156 lb.

Inducted into Hall of Fame in 1975

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Biographjcal Information[edit]

"If you can't play for Bucky, you don't belong in the major leagues." Joe DiMaggio

Second baseman Bucky Harris spent more than a half a century in baseball, playing a dozen seasons in the majors and twice winning World Series titles as a manager.

The son of a coal miner, Harris dropped out of school at age 13 to work in a mine and played baseball in his spare time. After being discovered by Hughie Jennings, he began his pro career with the Muskegon Reds of the Central League in 1916. While playing for the Buffalo Bisons in 1919, he was scouted by Clark Griffith of the Washington Senators, who brought him to the big leagues late that season.

In his first full major league campaign of 1920, Harris hit .300, which would prove to be a career-high. Although not a particularly strong hitter, he had an ability to get hit by the pitch, to get sacrifice hits, and to steal bases. He was regarded as a strong fielder, leading American League second basemen in fielding percentage once, putouts four times, and double plays on five occasions.

Bucky Harris.jpg

In 1924, the 27-year-old Harris was named Senators manager by Griffith. Despite his inexperience, he led the club to an AL pennant that year, and the team went on to defeat the New York Giants in the World Series. The following season, 1925, the club repeated as American League champions but fell to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the postseason. However, the Senators' performance declined during the next several years, and after falling to below .500 in 1928, Harris was traded to the Detroit Tigers for Jack Warner and replaced George Moriarty as the team's skipper.

By the time he joined Detroit, Harris played sparingly, appearing in just a handful of games in 1929 and 1931. After not finishing above fifth in nearly five years as the team's manager, he resigned late in the 1933 season. After spending 1934 as skipper of the Boston Red Sox, he returned to the Senators for the next eight seasons but only once finished above .500 in that time. After leaving Washington, he managed the Philadelphia Phillies for part of the 1943 season before being fired and replaced by Freddie Fitzsimmons.

Harris joined the Buffalo Bisons of the International League in 1944 and served two seasons as the club's manager before spending time as the team's General Manager. He returned to the majors in 1947 with the New York Yankees. In his first season in New York, he won another World Series title, but after falling to third place in 1948, he was fired.

Photograph of President Truman shaking hands with Washington manager Ossie Bluege and New York Yankees manager Bucky Harris at Washington's Griffith Stadium, on opening day of the baseball season, Apr. 18, 1947

After managing the San Diego Padres of the Pacific Coast League in 1949, he came back to the Senators for a third stint at the helm of the club. Following five years with Washington, he managed the Tigers for two more seasons in 1955 and 1956. He ended his major league managerial career with a pair of World Championships, but his 2,218 lifetime losses are second only to Connie Mack.

Harris went on to serve as GM of the Red Sox in 1959 and 1960. He then was a scout for the Chicago White Sox and Senators from 1962 to 1971. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1975.

After suffering from Parkinson's Disease, Harris died at age 81. He is one of three Hall of Famers to die on his birthday.

Harris gained some secondary fame by appearing on a scarcely printed Fleer baseball picture card "Ted Signs" in the 1959 set (#68). He was also the son-in-law of Senator Howard Sutherland of West Virginia.

Notable Achievements[edit]

Preceded by
Donie Bush
Washington Senators Manager
Succeeded by
Walter Johnson
Preceded by
George Moriarty
Detroit Tigers Manager
Succeeded by
Mickey Cochrane
Preceded by
Marty McManus
Boston Red Sox Manager
Succeeded by
Joe Cronin
Preceded by
Joe Cronin
Washington Senators Manager
Succeeded by
Ossie Bluege
Preceded by
Hans Lobert
Philadelphia Phillies Manager
Succeeded by
Freddie Fitzsimmons
Preceded by
Johnny Neun
New York Yankees Manager
Succeeded by
Casey Stengel
Preceded by
Joe Kuhel
Washington Senators Manager
Succeeded by
Chuck Dressen
Preceded by
Fred Hutchinson
Detroit Tigers Manager
Succeeded by
Jack Tighe
Preceded by
Joe Cronin
Boston Red Sox General Manager
Succeeded by
Dick O'Connell

Year-By-Year Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
1924 Washington Senators American League 92-62 1st Washington Senators Won World Series
1925 Washington Senators American League 96-55 1st Washington Senators Lost World Series
1926 Washington Senators American League 81-69 4th Washington Senators
1927 Washington Senators American League 85-69 3rd Washington Senators
1928 Washington Senators American League 75-79 4th Washington Senators
1929 Detroit Tigers American League 70-84 6th Detroit Tigers
1930 Detroit Tigers American League 75-79 5th Detroit Tigers
1931 Detroit Tigers American League 61-93 7th Detroit Tigers
1932 Detroit Tigers American League 76-75 5th Detroit Tigers
1933 Detroit Tigers American League 73-79 5th Detroit Tigers
1934 Boston Red Sox American League 76-76 4th Boston Red Sox
1935 Washington Senators American League 67-86 6th Washington Senators
1936 Washington Senators American League 82-71 4th Washington Senators
1937 Washington Senators American League 73-80 6th Washington Senators
1938 Washington Senators American League 75-76 5th Washington Senators
1939 Washington Senators American League 65-87 6th Washington Senators
1940 Washington Senators American League 64-90 7th Washington Senators
1941 Washington Senators American League 70-84 6th Washington Senators
1942 Washington Senators American League 62-89 7th Washington Senators
1943 Philadelphia Blue Jays National League 38-52 -- Philadelphia Blue Jays replaced by Freddie Fitzsimmons on July 27
1944 Buffalo Bisons International League 78-76 4th Detroit Tigers Lost in 1st round
1945 Buffalo Bisons International League 64-89 6th Detroit Tigers
1947 New York Yankees American League 97-57 1st New York Yankees Won World Series
1948 New York Yankees American League 94-60 3rd New York Yankees
1949 San Diego Padres Pacific Coast League 96-92 4th Cleveland Indians Lost League Finals
1950 Washington Senators American League 67-87 5th Washington Senators
1951 Washington Senators American League 62-92 7th Washington Senators
1952 Washington Senators American League 78-76 5th Washington Senators
1953 Washington Senators American League 76-76 5th Washington Senators
1954 Washington Senators American League 66-88 6th Washington Senators
1955 Detroit Tigers American League 79-75 5th Detroit Tigers
1956 Detroit Tigers American League 82-72 5th Detroit Tigers

Further Reading[edit]

  • Kevin Cook: Electric October: Seven World Series Games, Six Lives, Five Minutes of Fame That Lasted Forever, Henry Holt and Co., Macmillan, New York, NY, 2017. ISBN 9781250116567
  • Jack Smiles: Bucky Harris: A Biography of Baseball's Boy Wonder, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2011.

Related Sites[edit]