Clint Courtney

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Clinton Dawson Courtney
(Scrap Iron or The Toy Bulldog)

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Biographical Information[edit]

Clint Courtney played eleven seasons in the major leagues. Often the center of controversy, he was nicknamed "Scrap Iron" because of his tough, gritty approach. A furious competitor, he was often in fights. He frequently received fines. One of the original Baltimore Orioles of 1954, he spent three tours of duty with the O's during his career.

Courtney started playing baseball as a youth in rural Louisiana (articles from his early career mistakenly say his start came while in the Army as a young man). He started professionally in the Arizona-Texas League and then moved to the Texas League where his manager was Rogers Hornsby. Hornsby recommended that the St. Louis Browns obtain him from the New York Yankees, for whom Clint played briefly in 1951.

He came very close to winning the 1952 American League Rookie of the Year Award for the Browns.

After his playing career ended, Courtney was a Houston Astros coach in 1965. He was managing for Richmond in 1975 when he died suddenly, and the previous year he had been one of the top candidates to take over the reins of the Atlanta Braves, a job which went to Clyde King instead. He had managed three other farm teams for the Braves prior to Richmond: the Shreveport Braves in 1970; the Western Carolinas League champion Greenwood Braves in 1971; and the Savannah Braves in 1972 and the first part of 1973 before taking over the Richmond managerial duties. In June 1975 the Braves traveled to Rochester, NY for a series with the Rochester Red Wings. On Father's Day 1975, Courtney was playing table tennis with several of his players at the team hotel when he suffered a heart attack. He died at the hospital the next morning. Clint Courtney was just 48 years old.

He was most likely the first catcher in the majors to wear glasses behind the plate, something which is rare for a catcher.

Year-By-Year Minor League Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
1970 Shreveport Braves Texas League 55-67 7th Atlanta Braves replaced Lou Fitzgerald (3-9) on May 3
1971 Greenwood Braves Western Carolinas League 85-38 1st Atlanta Braves none League Champs
1972 Savannah Braves Southern League 80-59 2nd Atlanta Braves
1973 Savannah Braves Southern League 34-23 -- Atlanta Braves -- replaced by Tommie Aaron (37-45)
Richmond Braves International League 35-50 8th Atlanta Braves replaced Bobby Hofman (18-43) on June 15
1974 Richmond Braves International League 75-65 3rd Atlanta Braves Lost in 1st round
1975 Richmond Braves International League 29-30 -- Atlanta Braves -- replaced by Bob Lemon on June 16

Related Sites[edit]