Dallas Green (baseball)

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This article is about the American baseball player. For the Canadian musician, see Dallas Green (musician).
Dallas Green
Dallas Green 2009.jpg
Green in 2009.
Pitcher
Born: (1934-08-04) August 4, 1934 (age 79)
Newport, Delaware
Batted: Left Threw: Right
MLB debut
June 18, 1960 for the Philadelphia Phillies
Last MLB appearance
September 12, 1967 for the Philadelphia Phillies
Career statistics
Record 20-22
ERA 4.26
Strikeouts 268
Teams

As Player

As Manager

As General Manager

Career highlights and awards

George Dallas Green (born August 4, 1934) is a former pitcher, manager, and executive in Major League Baseball. After playing for the Philadelphia Phillies and two other teams, he went on to manage the Phillies, the New York Yankees, and the New York Mets, and managed the Phillies when they won their first World Series title in franchise history in 1980. Green had a losing record both as a pitcher and as a manager. Nonetheless, in 1983, he was inducted into the Delaware Sports Museum and Hall of Fame. He achieved notoriety for his blunt manner.

Early life[edit]

Green was born in Newport, Delaware. A 1952 graduate of Conrad High School his nickname was Spider. After attending the University of Delaware, he was signed by the Phillies as an amateur free agent by scout Jocko Collins.

Manner[edit]

As a manager, Green was known for his gruff manner. "I'm a screamer, a yeller and a cusser. I never hold back", he said.[1] He was notorious for his use of profanity.[2]

An example of the way that Green had of speaking to the press about ballplayers was his comment about Scott Rolen in 2001: "Scotty's satisfied with being a so-so player. I think he can be greater, but his personality won't let him."[3] Rolen has since been elected to the All Star team 6 times, although his career has been riddled with injury since that comment.

Front office[edit]

After his playing days ended, Green joined the Phillies front office. In 1979, he was appointed manager of the Phillies, replacing Danny Ozark.[4] His difficult manner led to clashes with many of the team's star players, such as slugger Greg Luzinski (who likened him to the Gestapo) and shortstop Larry Bowa and catcher Bob Boone, both Gold Glove winners. He even came to blows with relief pitcher Ron Reed. Still, in 1980 the team won the World Series.

After the Tribune Company bought the Chicago Cubs from the Wrigley family in 1981, the company hired Green away from the Phillies after the 1981 season as executive vice president and general manager. His presence was quickly felt in the organization, as his slogan "Building a New Tradition" was a jab at the Cubs' history of losing. He hired a number of coaches and scouts away from the Phillies, such as Lee Elia (Green's first manager and college roommate at Delaware), John Vukovich (who remained on the Cubs' staff throughout Green's tenure), and Gordon Goldsberry (the team's director of player development). Green also made some trades with the Phillies, acquiring players such as Keith Moreland, Dan Larson, and Dickie Noles. His best trade came during that first offseason when Green sent Iván DeJesús to the Phillies for shortstop Larry Bowa and a minor league infielder named Ryne Sandberg. It proved to be one of the most one-sided trades in baseball history. Bowa was the Cubs starting shortstop for three seasons, and Sandberg blossomed into a star, being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005.

Green continued to build the Cubs between the 1982 and 1987 seasons. After acquiring left fielder Gary Matthews and center fielder Bob Dernier from Philadelphia before the 1984 season, Green's Cubs became serious contenders for the first time in more than a decade. During the 1984 season, Green made a few more moves, most notably acquiring right-handed pitcher Dennis Eckersley from the Boston Red Sox for popular first baseman Bill Buckner in late May, and sending Cubs' prospects Mel Hall and Joe Carter to the Cleveland Indians for relief pitcher George Frazier, backup catcher Ron Hassey and right-handed pitcher Rick Sutcliffe in mid-June. Sutcliffe went 16-1 with the Cubs that season to lead the Cubs to the National League East title—their first postseason appearance of any kind since the 1945 World Series. Because Green neglected to renew waivers on Hall and Carter, the status of the trade was in doubt for a while, and the two did not play for a week. Green's first-year manager Jim Frey (who managed the Kansas City Royals against Green in 1980) won NL Manager of the Year, Sutcliffe won the NL Cy Young Award, and Sandberg won the NL Most Valuable Player Award. Green captured Executive of the Year honors. The Cubs' strong season was enough for Green to win a power struggle within the Cubs front office; he was promoted to team president, replacing Jim Finks, who resigned to take a job with the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League.

The Cubs struggled in 1985 and 1986, and they finished last in 1987. In 1987, Green fired manager Gene Michael over Labor Day weekend, blasted his team for quitting in an interview with the Chicago Tribune, and then resigned as general manager and president of the Cubs in October 1987 citing "philosophical differences" with Tribune Company executives.

Green was the first Cubs executive to clash with the City of Chicago over lights in Wrigley Field. Green was a strong proponent of lights from the start of his tenure, but a city ordinance prohibited the Cubs from installing lights in the residential Lakeview neighborhood, where Wrigley Field was located. As Green saw it, the issue wasn't lights or no lights, but Wrigley Field or move to the suburbs. Bluntly stating that "if there are no lights in Wrigley Field, there will be no Wrigley Field," he threatened to move the Cubs to a new stadium in northwest suburban Schaumburg or Arlington Heights. He also seriously considered shutting down Wrigley Field for a year and playing at Comiskey Park as tenants of the White Sox, in hopes that the loss of revenue would temper or eliminate neighborhood opposition. Green's stance changed the context of the debate, as even the staunchest opponents of installing lights did not want to be held responsible for the Cubs leaving town. Shortly before Green's departure, the Chicago City Council and Mayor Harold Washington (who died a week later) approved a change to the ordinance, allowing the Cubs to install lights in 1988.

Green also rebuilt the Cubs' farm system with Goldsberry, developing stars like Shawon Dunston, Greg Maddux, Rafael Palmeiro, Jamie Moyer, and Mark Grace. The Cubs won a division title in 1989.

Managerial career[edit]

His managerial record is 454–478, a .487 WP.

With the Phillies (1979–81), he was over .500 with a record of 169–130. The team won the World Series in 1980, but the team fell to the 3rd best record in the division the following season. Pat Corrales replaced Green for the 1982 season.

With the Yankees (1989), he was also under .500 at 56–65 (.463). The team had finished 9 games over .500 the prior year, but fell to 9 games under .500 during Green's tenure. Green insulted George Steinbrenner by referring to him as "Manager George." [1]

With the Mets (1993–96), he was under .500 at 229–283 (.447). Bobby Valentine replaced Green in 1996.

Currently, he is a Senior Advisor to the General Manager for the Phillies.

Personal[edit]

Green's nine-year-old granddaughter, Christina-Taylor Green, was killed in the 2011 Tucson shooting that critically wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Her interest in government prompted a neighbor to take her to the event with the congresswoman. Green, after receiving the news of his granddaughter's death, said that this was the worst thing that has ever happened to his family.[5][6]

His son, John Green, is a supervisor of amateur scouts (east coast) and is currently working for the Los Angeles Dodgers.[7][8]

References[edit]

External links[edit]