|Outfielder / Manager|
July 30, 1890|
Kansas City, Missouri
|Died: September 29, 1975
|Batted: Left||Threw: Left|
|September 17, 1912 for the Brooklyn Dodgers|
|Last MLB appearance|
|May 19, 1925 for the Boston Braves|
|Runs batted in||535|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Member of the National|
|Baseball Hall of Fame|
|Election Method||Veteran's Committee|
Charles Dillon "Casey" Stengel (//; July 30, 1890 – September 29, 1975), nicknamed "The Old Perfessor", was an American Major League Baseball outfielder and manager. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966.
Stengel was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and originally nicknamed "Dutch", a common nickname at that time for Americans of German ancestry. After his major league career began, he acquired the nickname "Casey", which originally came from the initials of his hometown ("K. C."), which evolved into "Casey", influenced by the wide popularity of the poem Casey at the Bat. In the 1950s, sportswriters dubbed him with yet another nickname, "The Old Professor" (or "Perfessor"), for his sharp wit and his ability to talk at length on anything baseball-related.
Although his baseball career spanned a number of teams and cities, he is primarily associated with clubs in New York City. Between playing and managing, he is the only man to have worn four of New York's major league clubs' uniforms. He was the first of four men (through the 2012 season) to manage both the New York Yankees and New York Mets; Yogi Berra, Dallas Green, and Joe Torre are the others. Like Torre, he also managed the Braves and the Dodgers. He ended his baseball career as the beloved manager for the then expansion New York Mets, which won over the hearts of New York partly due to the unique character of their veteran leader.
Early career 
Stengel was athletically inclined and played various sports in grade school and high school, including baseball, football and basketball. He had no particular vision of sports as a long-term profession, but, rather, had aspirations of a career in dentistry. As described in his autobiography, on pages 58 and 75-76, he saved enough money from his early minor league experience in 1910-1911 to train to become a dentist. He had some problems due to the lack of left-handed instruments and the training was a struggle. Meanwhile, his minor league career picked up, as he was drafted by the Brooklyn Dodgers and spent most of the 1912 season playing for the Montgomery, Alabama, club in the Southern Association. He had "a pretty good year" with Montgomery, batting .290 with a reputation as a good base stealer. He was brought up to the Dodgers late in the season, and baseball soon became his primary occupation.
In 1914 he got in touch with his baseball and football coach from Kansas City, Bill Driver, who was the football and basketball coach at the University of Mississippi. Stengel coached the Ole Miss baseball team to a 13-9 record. This is where he earned the nickname "The Old Perfessor".
Playing career 
Stengel was an outfielder on several teams in the National League beginning on September 17, 1912: the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1912-17; the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1918 and 1919; the Philadelphia Phillies in 1920 and part of 1921; the New York Giants from 1921 to 1923; and the Boston Braves in 1924 and 1925. He played in three World Series: in 1916 for the Dodgers and in 1922 and 1923 for the Giants.
He threw left-handed and batted left-handed. His batting average was .284 over 14 major league seasons.
He was a competent player, but by no means a superstar. On July 8, 1958, discussing his career before the United States Senate's Estes Kefauver committee on baseball's antitrust status, he made this observation: "I had many years that I was not so successful as a ballplayer, as it is a game of skill."
Nonetheless he had a good World Series in a losing cause in 1923, hitting two home runs (one of which was the first World Series home run in old Yankee Stadium) to win the two games the Giants won in that Series. He was traded to the perennial second-division-dwelling Boston Braves during the offseason with Dave Bancroft and Bill Cunningham for Joe Oeschger and Billy Southworth after the 1924 season. This trade apparently stung him. Years later he made the pithy comment "It's lucky I didn't hit three home runs in three games, or [John] McGraw would have traded me to the Three-I League."
In 1919, Stengel of the Pittsburgh Pirates was being taunted mercilessly by fans of the Brooklyn Dodgers, his old team. Somehow Casey got hold of a sparrow and used it to turn the crowd in his favor. With the bird tucked gently beneath his cap, Casey strutted to the plate amidst a chorus of boos and catcalls. He turned to the crowd, tipped his hat and out flew the sparrow. The jeers turned to cheers, and Stengel became an instant favorite.
Managerial career 
Stengel's first managerial positions were with the Brooklyn Dodgers (1934–1936) and Boston Braves (1938–1943), for whom he never finished better than fifth in an eight-team league. As he said in 1958, "I became a major league manager in several cities and was discharged. We call it discharged because there is no question I had to leave."
Stengel demonstrated he could be successful as a manager of a team having worthy talent. In 1944, Stengel was hired as the manager of the minor league Milwaukee Brewers, over the strenuous objections of club owner Bill Veeck (who was serving in the South Pacific in the Marines at the time, and therefore unable to prevent the hiring). Stengel led the Brewers to the American Association pennant that year. In 1948 Stengel managed the Oakland Oaks to the Pacific Coast League championship. This caught the attention of the New York Yankees, who were looking for a new manager.
Despite a good deal of initial skepticism in the press, Stengel was hired as the skipper of the Yankees in 1949, and finally had a chance for success at the major league level. When he took the reins of the Yankees, he made this observation: "There is less wrong with this team than any team I have ever managed."
He and the Yankees proceeded to win record numbers of championships. Stengel became the only person to manage a team to five consecutive World Series championships (1949–1953). After the streak ended with the Yankees failing to win the American League pennant in 1954, Stengel and the Yanks continued their dominance, going on to win two more World Championships (1956 and 1958), and five more American League pennants (1955–1958, 1960). As manager of the Yankees, Stengel gained a reputation as one of the game's sharpest tacticians: he platooned left and right-handed hitters extensively (which had become a lost art by the late 1940s), was keen to bring in situational pitchers as evidenced in game 7 of the 1952 world series with Bob Kuzava to retire the Dodgers with bases loaded in the 7th on a famous diving infield catch, off the bat of Jackie Robinson, by Billy Martin. He also sometimes pinch hit for his starting pitcher in early innings if he felt a timely hit would break the game open.
In the spring of 1953, after the Yankees had won four straight World Series victories, he made the following observation, which could just as easily have been made by The Professor's prize pupil, Yogi Berra (who would also become famous with many laughably quotable statements): "If we're going to win the pennant, we've got to start thinking we're not as smart as we think we are."
Although Stengel benefited from the Yankees' deep pockets and ability to sign players, he was a hands-on manager: The 1949 Yankees were riddled by injuries, and Stengel's platooning abilities played a major role in their championship run. Platooning also played a major role in the 1951 team's World Series run. With Joe DiMaggio declining rapidly and Mickey Mantle yet to become a powerhouse, Stengel, leaving his solid pitching alone, moved players in and out of the line-up, putting good hitters in the line-up in the early innings and benching them for superior fielders later. The Yankees beat the Cleveland Indians for the pennant and took the Series from the New York Giants four games to two.
After losing to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1960 World Series after a ninth-inning game-winning home run by Bill Mazeroski, Stengel was involuntarily retired from the Yankees, because he was believed to be too old to manage. As reported in Ken Burns' PBS documentary series, Baseball, Stengel remarked that he had been fired for turning 70, and that he would "never make that mistake again."
New York Mets 
Stengel was talked out of retirement after one season to manage the New York Mets, at the time an expansion team with no chance of winning many games. Mocking his well-publicized advanced age, when he was hired he said, "It's a great honor to be joining the Knickerbockers", a New York baseball team that had seen its last game around the time of the Civil War.
The Mets proved to be so incompetent that they gave Stengel plenty of fresh Stengelese material for the New York City newspaper writers. "Come see my "Amazin' Mets," Stengel said. "I've been in this game a hundred years, but I see new ways to lose I never knew existed before." On his three catchers: "I got one that can throw but can't catch, one that can catch but can't throw, and one who can hit but can't do either." Referring to the rookies Ed Kranepool and Greg Goossen in 1965, Stengel observed, "See that fellow over there? He's 20 years old. In 10 years he has a chance to be a star. Now, that fellow over there, he's 20, too. In 10 years he has a chance to be 30." Kranepool never quite became a star, but he did have an 18-year major league career, retiring in 1979 after playing his entire career with the Mets and becoming their all-time hits leader. (Goossen did in fact turn 30 in 1975, five years after leaving the majors.)
However, one of his most famous comments was actually a misquote. After an exasperating loss, he complained, "Can't anybody play this here game?" This colloquial expression was altered and later became the title of Jimmy Breslin's book about the first-year Mets, Can't Anybody Here Play This Game?."
Though his "Amazin'" Mets finished last in a ten-team league all four years managed by him, Stengel was a popular figure nonetheless, not least due to his personal charisma. The Mets themselves somehow attained a "lovable loser" charm that followed the team around in those days. Fans packed the old Polo Grounds (prior to Shea Stadium being built), many of them bringing along colorful placards and signs with all sorts of sayings on them. Warren Spahn, who had briefly played under Stengel for the 1942 Braves and for the 1965 Mets, commented: "I'm probably the only guy who worked for Stengel before and after he was a genius."
Stengel announced his retirement from the Mets on August 30, 1965, a month after he broke his hip while falling off of a bar stool. (Source: Ken Burns Baseball).
|Casey Stengel's number 37 was retired by the New York Yankees in 1970.|
|Casey Stengel's number 37 was retired by the New York Mets in 1965.|
His uniform number 37 has been retired by both the Yankees and the Mets. It is the only number ever to have been issued only once by the Mets. The Yankees retired the number on August 8, 1970, and dedicated a plaque in Yankee Stadium's Monument Park in his memory on July 30, 1976. The plaque reads "Brightened baseball for over 50 years; with spirit of eternal youth; Yankee manager 1949 - 1960 winning 10 pennants and 7 world championships including a record 5 consecutive, 1949 - 1953." In addition to his election to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966, he was inducted into the New York Mets Hall of Fame in 1981. Stengel is the first person in MLB history to have had his number retired by more than one team based solely upon his managerial accomplishments (Sparky Anderson became the second in 2011).
Stengel is the only person to have worn the uniform (as player or manager) of all four Major League Baseball teams in New York City in the 20th century: The New York Giants (as a player), the Brooklyn Dodgers (as both a player and a manager), the New York Yankees (as a manager), and the New York Mets (also as a manager). As Stengel often said, "You can look it up."
In 2009, in an awards segment on the MLB Network titled "The Prime 9," Stengel was named "The Greatest Character of The Game." He received this award not only for his colorful personality and antics on the field, but also his off-field contributions to the community.
Stengel was always friendly to the media and photographers, who were willing to take a picture of him.  Stengel was a master publicist and promoter, especially for his teams. He became as much of a public figure as many of his star players, such as Mickey Mantle. He appeared on the cover of national, non-sports, magazines such as Time. His apparently stream-of-consciousness monologues on all facets of baseball history and tactics became known as "Stengelese" to sportswriters. They also earned him the nickname "The Old Professor".
According to Dave Egan of the The Boston Record, Stengel was a "funny guy at somebody else expense".  He was considered cruel in his own way to his players, and some of his players most notably Joe DiMaggio hated his personality.  DiMaggio called Stengel the most "bewildered guy" he ever met. He was considered to be a comedian who could mimic other people. Zach Wheat once said of Stengel "There was never a day around Casey that I didn't laugh".
Managing Style 
Stengel was considered to have a "prodigious memory", remembering every relevant detail of an event. His managing style was described as "intuitive", which according to Creamer was likely derived from Stengel's long experience in the game. His American League rival Al Lopez, who played for Stengel with the Dodgers and the Braves once said of Stengel "I swear I don't understand some of the things he does when he manages".
Casey was admitted to Glendale Memorial Hospital in Glendale, California on September 14, 1975 after feeling ill. It was there that he learned he had cancer of the lymph glands. He died there of cancer 15 days later on September 29, 1975. Stengel was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery, Glendale, California. His wife, Edna, who he had married in 1924, died three years later and was interred adjacent to him. A plaque at the cemetery reads in part "For over sixty years one of America’s folk heroes who contributed immensely to the lore and language of our country’s national pastime, baseball".
- Einstein, Charles (1968). The Third Fireside Book of Baseball. New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 434.
- The Milwaukee Sentinel - Google News Archive Search
- Cataneo, David (2003). Casey Stengel: Baseball's Old Professor. Cumberland House Publishing. p. 82. ISBN 1-58182-327-4.
- McGee, Bob (2005). The greatest ballpark ever: Ebbets Field and the story of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Rutgers University Press. p. 85. ISBN 0-8135-3600-6.
- Ira Berkow and Jim Kaplan. The Gospel According to Casey. New York; St. Martin's Press, 1992, p.120
- Creamer, Robert W. (1984). Stengel: His Life and Times. New York: Simon and Schuster. pp. 227–249.
- Ira Berkow and Jim Kaplan. The Gospel According to Casey. New York; St. Martin's Press, 1992, p.15
- Ira Berkow and Jim Kaplan. The Gospel According to Casey. New York; St. Martin's Press, 1992, p.21
- Ira Berkow and Jim Kaplan. The Gospel According to Casey. New York; St. Martin's Press, 1992, p.x
- Cramer, p. 12
- Cramer, p. 13
- Crammer, p. 221
- Cramer, p. 17
- Crammer, p. 14
- Crammer, p. 15
Other references 
- Baseball: The Biographical Encyclopedia, by David Pietrusza, Matthew Silverman and Michael Gershman, ed. (2000). Total/Sports Illustrated.
- Casey at the Bat: The Story of My Life in Baseball, by Casey Stengel and Harry T. Paxton, Random House, 1962.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Casey Stengel|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Casey Stengel|
- Casey Stengel at the Baseball Hall of Fame
- Casey Stengel managerial career statistics at Baseball-Reference.com
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Stengel's testimony at Kefauver hearings