Bucky Harris

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For the cricketer and footballer, see Stanley Harris (footballer).
Bucky Harris
Bucky Harris dugout.jpg
Second Baseman/Manager/Executive
Born: November 8, 1896
Port Jervis, New York
Died: November 8, 1977(1977-11-08) (aged 81)
Bethesda, Maryland
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
August 28, 1919 for the Washington Senators
Last MLB appearance
June 12, 1931 for the Detroit Tigers
Career statistics
Batting average .274
Hits 1297
Runs batted in 506
Games Managed 4,410
Managerial record 2,158-2,219
Winning Percentage .493
Teams

As Player

As Manager

Career highlights and awards
Induction 1975
Election Method Veteran's Committee

Stanley Raymond "Bucky" Harris (November 8, 1896 – November 8, 1977) was a Major League Baseball player, manager and executive. In 1975, the Veterans Committee elected Harris, as a manager, to the Baseball Hall of Fame.[1]

Biography[edit]

Harris was born in Port Jervis, New York and raised mostly in Pittston, Pennsylvania. He was discovered by baseball promoter Joe Engel, who led the Chattanooga Lookouts at Engel Stadium. In 1919, at the age of 22, he came up to the Washington Senators but was unimpressive at first,[2] batting a meager .214 and getting into only eight games that first season. Despite this poor showing, owner-manager Clark Griffith made him Washington's regular second baseman in 1920, and before long Harris was batting .300 and making a mark for himself as a tough competitor, standing up to even ferocious superstar Ty Cobb, who threatened Harris when he tagged Cobb in their first encounter.[2]

Harris spent most of his playing career as a second baseman with the Washington Senators (1919–28). In 1924, he was named player-manager of the Senators; at the age of 27 he was the youngest manager in the majors.[2] He led the Senators to their only World Series title in Washington in his rookie season. He won a second consecutive American League pennant in 1925, but the Senators lost the 1925 World Series in Pittsburgh in the late innings of Game 7 after leading 3-1 in the Series.[3] Baseball historian William C. Kashatus wrote of his dominant play in the 1924 World Series:[4] "Not only did he set records for chances accepted, double plays and put-outs in the exciting seven-game affair, but he batted .333 and hit two home runs".[4]

His initial departure from the Senators in 1928 (he would twice return to manage them again from 1935 to 1942 and 1950 to 1954) came as a trade to the Detroit Tigers as player-manager.[1] However, for all intents and purposes, 1928 was his last year as a full-time player. He only made 11 cameo appearances in the Tigers lineup—seven in 1929 and four in 1931. He managed the Tigers twice (1929–33, 1955–56), Boston Red Sox (1934), Philadelphia Phillies (briefly known as the Blue Jays, 1943) and the 1947 World Champion New York Yankees, staying on in 1948, when they finished a close third to Cleveland and Boston.[1] He closed his 29-year managing career with the 1956 Tigers,[1] rejoined the Red Sox as assistant general manager in 1957–58 and succeeded Joe Cronin as Boston's GM in January 1959, serving two seasons in that post before being let go in September 1960. On his watch, the Bosox finally broke their own baseball color line by promoting Pumpsie Green from Triple-A on July 21, 1959, the next-to-last MLB team to do so except for the Tigers (in 1961), more than twelve years after Jackie Robinson's debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers. He ended his long MLB career as a scout for the Chicago White Sox and special assistant for the new expansion Washington Senators franchise that played in D.C. from 1961 to 1971 before moving on to Arlington, Texas.

He died in Bethesda, Maryland, on his 81st birthday, and was buried at St. Peter's Lutheran Church (in Hughestown, Pennsylvania).

During his 29-season managerial career, Harris presided over two world championships and three pennants.[1] He is sixth in MLB manager career wins with 2,157 wins to his name.[1]

He was mentioned in one of Abbott & Costello's renowned Who's on First? segments.

Parents: Thomas Harris, born c. 1867 in England or Wales, and Catherine (Rupp) Harris, born in Hughestown, Pennsylvania; brother: Merle Harris, born somewhere in Pennsylvania.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Kashatus (2002), p. 76.
  2. ^ a b c Kashatus (2002), p. 74.
  3. ^ Kashatus (2002), pp. 74–76.
  4. ^ a b Kashatus (2002), p. 75.

References[edit]

  • Kashatus, William C. (2002). Diamonds in the Coalfields: 21 Remarkable Baseball Players, Managers, and Umpires from Northeast Pennsylvania. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company. ISBN 978-0-7864-1176-4.

External links[edit]