Marty Marion

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Martin Whiteford Marion
(Slats, The Octopus or Mr. Shortstop)

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Biographical Information[edit]

Marty Marion and Ned Garver in the dugout at Sportsman's Park, unknown date

"I did everything in baseball -- played, coached, managed and even owned a a team, the Houston Buffs." - Marion

Shortstop Marty Marion was a major star during the 1940s and made the National League All-Star team in eight straight seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals. He was considered a defensive whiz, leading the league several times in defensive categories. Later, he managed for several years in the majors.

Signed by the Cardinals in 1936, Marion spent four years in the minors before reaching the big leagues as the team's Opening Day shortstop in 1940. He led the NL with 38 doubles in 1942, and St. Louis went on to win the World Series that season, defeating the New York Yankees. They faced the Yankees in the World Series again in 1943, and despite Marion hitting .357, his club fell to New York in five games.

Marion hit .267 with 26 doubles, 50 runs scored, and 63 RBIs in 1944 to go along with stellar defense and captured the Most Valuable Player Award as his team won another World Series crown, this time against their co-tenants at Sportsman's Park, the St. Louis Browns. He reached the World Series for a fourth and final time in 1946, with the Cards coming out victorious in seven games against the Boston Red Sox.

Marion did not play in 1951 due to a back injury, but he was named manager of the Cardinals, leading the club to a third-place finish. Relieved up his managerial duties and released by the team following the season, he moved to the Browns as a player/coach for 1952. Midway through that campaign, he replaced Rogers Hornsby as the team's skipper, a job he held for a year and a half. He joined the Chicago White Sox coaching staff in 1954 and then replaced Paul Richards as manager late in the season. He resigned after the 1956 season when he learned that the Sox were in talks with Al Lopez to replace him. He later went on to own the Houston Buffs of the American Association.

During his playing days, Marion earned a pair of nicknames: "Slats" and "The Octopus." The former was due to his thin build; the latter from his long arms and defensive range.

"You look at his stats and everything, he should be in the Hall of Fame. He never ever tried to say that he belonged in the Hall of Fame. He liked baseball. That's why he played it." - Red Schoendienst

Marion played on the same team for many years with Stan Musial, Enos Slaughter, Terry Moore, Red Schoendienst, Joe Garagiola, and Whitey Kurowski. After his retirement, he received as much as 40% of the Hall of Fame vote by the BBWAA. For years, he was frequently mentioned as one of the main names under consideration by the Veterans Committee. His name was on the 2013 Hall of Fame ballot in which the Veterans Committee examined candidates from the pre-integration era.

Marion's brother, Red Marion, also played in the majors. Another brother, Roy Marion, was a star with the great 1939 Sanford Lookouts.

Notable Achievements[edit]

1943 1944 1945
Stan Musial Marty Marion Phil Cavarretta

Preceded by
Eddie Dyer
St. Louis Cardinals Manager
Succeeded by
Eddie Stanky
Preceded by
Rogers Hornsby
St. Louis Browns Manager
Succeeded by
Jimmy Dykes
Preceded by
Paul Richards
Chicago White Sox Manager
Succeeded by
Al Lopez

Year-By-Year Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
1951 St. Louis Cardinals National League 81-73 3rd St. Louis Cardinals
1952 St. Louis Browns American League 42-61 7th St. Louis Browns replaced Rogers Hornsby (22-29) on June 10
1953 St. Louis Browns American League 54-100 8th St. Louis Browns
1954 Chicago White Sox American League 3-6 3rd Chicago White Sox replaced Paul Richards (91-54) on September 14
1955 Chicago White Sox American League 91-63 3rd Chicago White Sox
1956 Chicago White Sox American League 85-69 3rd Chicago White Sox

Further Reading[edit]

  • Howard Megdal: "Humble shortstop Marty Marion should be in Hall contention", USA Today Sports, August 20, 2014. [1]

Related Sites[edit]