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Henry Emmett Manush
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 1", Weight 200 lb.
- High School Massey Military Academy
- Debut April 20, 1923
- Final Game May 22, 1939
- Born July 20, 1901 in Tuscumbia, AL USA
- Died May 12, 1971 in Sarasota, FL USA
"Don't you believe it that old ballplayers don't care whether they get in or stay out of the Hall of Fame. It's the perfect climax to the perfect way to live - playing baseball." - Heinie Manush
Heinie Manush was a Hall of Fame outfielder who played seventeen years in the big leagues, finishing with a lifetime batting average of .330. Never an MVP, he was solid enough to finish as a bridesmaid for the Award while playing with the St. Louis Browns in 1928 and place third in 1932 and 1933 with the Washington Senators. With his debut in left on the Detroit Tigers in 1923, he completed what would become an all-Hall of Fame outfield of superstars Ty Cobb in center and Harry Heilmann in right.
Between the three, a Tiger won the AL batting championship all but four times in the twenty-one year span between 1907 and 1927, a remarkable streak built on the strength of Cobb's twelve, Heilmann's four, and Manush's single title.
Not in the same orbit as those teammates, Manush was perhaps most famous for a couple of close batting races. His .378 average in 1926 beat Babe Ruth, whom he trailed going into the season finale but bested by six percentage points after a big day in a doubleheader. He lost the 1928 title by one point to Goose Goslin, for whom he would later be traded. He was also second to Jimmie Foxx in 1933, and third behind Lew Fonseca in 1929 and Lou Gehrig in 1934.
Professional playing career
Manush broke into the majors at 21, starting more games in left than veterans Bobby Veach and Bob Fothergill, both of whom hit at least .315. In 1924, Veach, a highly productive anchor at the position for a decade before Manush's arrival, was gone and the youngster had the regular job.
After the 1927 season Manush was traded to the St. Louis Browns, where he had a career year in 1928, tying his personal best (.378) in batting while leading the American League in doubles (47) and hits (241). He slipped slightly to .355 in 1929 and was off to a more modest .328 start in 1920 before being dealt in mid-season to the Washington Senators for Goslin, a rare swap of future Hall of Famers in their primes. Manush spent five and one-half years with the Senators, appearing in the 1933 World Series and being named to the second All-Star Game ever in 1934.
Hall of Fame
Manush was selected by the Veterans Committee for the Hall of Fame in 1964. While he is often regarded as one of the lower-tier members there, and indeed is ranked 31st on the list of best left fielders by modern statistically-based JAWS standings, nine of the ten players on his similarity scores list are in Cooperstown. The closest is contemporary NL enshrinee Kiki Cuyler, another high average, big doubles and triples-hitting outfielder who broke into the majors in the early 1920s and lasted through the late 1930s.
After his major league playing career ended, Manush was a minor league player-manager in the Boston Red Sox chain from 1940 to 1944, managing the Rocky Mount Red Sox (1940), the Greensboro Red Sox (1941-42), the Roanoke Red Sox (1943), and the Scranton Miners (1944). In 1945, he managed the Philadelphia Athletics' Class C team, the Martinsville A's in the Carolina League.
- AL All-Star (1934)
- AL Batting Average Leader (1926)
- 2-time AL Hits Leader (1928 & 1933)
- 3-time AL Singles Leader (1928, 1932 & 1933)
- 2-time AL Doubles Leader (1928 & 1929)
- AL Triples Leader (1933)
- 100 RBI Seasons: 2 (1928 & 1932)
- 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 6 (1927, 1928 & 1930-1933)
- 200 Hits Seasons: 4 (1928, 1929, 1932 & 1933)
- Baseball Hall of Fame: Class of 1964
- Dan D'Addona: In Cobb's Shadow: The Hall of Fame Careers of Sam Crawford, Harry Heilmann and Heinie Manush, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2015. ISBN 978-0-7864-9716-4