George Tweedy Stallings
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 187 lb.
- School Virginia Military Institute
- Debut May 22, 1890
- Final Game May 25, 1898
- Born November 17, 1867 in Augusta, GA USA
- Died May 13, 1929 in Haddock, GA USA
George Stallings managed pro ball for 34 years, including 13 in the majors. He is best remembered as the skipper of the 1914 "Miracle Braves". He also had a long minor-league playing career but had only 20 at-bats in the majors.
Stallings reached the big leagues as a player in 1890, going hitless in four games with the Brooklyn Bridegrooms. He was soon back in the minors and began his managing career with the Augusta Electricians of the Southern League in 1893. He was also the head coach at Mercer University from 1893 to 1896 . He became the Philadelphia Phillies manager in 1897 and also appeared in two games as the club finished in tenth place in the National League. He played in one game with the team the next summer but was replaced by Bill Shettsline at the helm on June 18th.
Stallings led the Detroit Tigers to a third place finish in 1901 and then found success with the Buffalo Bisons, leading the club to two Eastern League titles. With the New York Highlanders in 1910, the team was in second place late in the season before he resigned in September and was replaced by Hal Chase.
After two more seasons back in the Eastern League with Buffalo, Stallings became manager of the Boston Braves in 1913, and he took the club from last place to a pennant the next summer. The "Miracle Braves", as the 1914 squad was known, were in last place for much of the first part of the season and as late as July 18th. On August 4th, they had climbed to fourth place, but they didn't reach first until August 25th. They dropped back into second, but by September 5th they were atop the standings for good and finished ten games in front of their nearest rivals. They went on to sweep the Philadelphia Athletics in the World Series.
In both 1913 and 1914, Stallings introduced a novel strategy - platooning. Faced with a group of not very productive outfielders, he decided to alternate them by ensuring that lefthanded batters would get the bulk of the starts against rightanded pitchers, and vice-versa. Thus, his best hitter, Joe Connolly, who was lefthanded, was always in the starting line-up when a righty was on the mound, but sat when the team was facing a lefty. He would also made in-game substitutions to maintain that "platoon advantage" whenever his opponents moved from a righthanded pitcher to a lefty or the opposite. The strategy was no new it did not have a name at the time, and reporters did not fully understand it (they just saw that he seemed to extract more production out of his underwhelming group of outfielders than anyone expected), but the strategy was soon adapted by many opponents.
In 1959, Stallings was elected to the International League Hall of Fame.
Stallings was the uncle of Art Bues.
|Philadelphia Phillies Manager
|Detroit Tigers Manager
|New York Highlanders Manager
|Boston Braves Manager
Year-by-Year Managerial Record
- Martin Kohout: "George Stallings", in Bill Nowlin, ed.: The Miracle Braves of 1914: Boston's Original Worst-to-First World Series Champions, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2014, pp. 187-189. ISBN 978-1-933599-69-4
- Bryan Soderholm-Difatte: "The 1914 Stallings Platoon: Assessing Execution, Impact, and Strategic Philosophy", The Baseball Research Journal, Vol. 43, Number 2 (Fall 2014), pp. 18-28.
- Bryan Soderholm-Difatte: "The Stallings Platoon: The 1913 Prequel", The Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Volume 45, Number 2 (Fall 2016), pp. 15-25.
- George Stallings: "The Story of the 1914 Braves", in Bill Nowlin, ed.: The Miracle Braves of 1914: Boston's Original Worst-to-First World Series Champions, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2014, pp. 336-378. ISBN 978-1-933599-69-4