Lipon in about 1953.
November 10, 1922|
Martins Ferry, Ohio
|Died: August 17, 1998
|Batted: Right||Threw: Right|
|August 16, 1942 for the Detroit Tigers|
|Last MLB appearance|
|April 25, 1954 for the Cincinnati Redlegs|
John Joseph Lipon (November 10, 1922 – August 17, 1998) was an American Major League Baseball shortstop for the Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox, St. Louis Browns and Cincinnati Reds over the course of 12 seasons (1942–1954). He was born in Martins Ferry, Ohio.
Like many at his position, Lipon was never known for his power, but he wasn't an exceptional fielder, either. One of the most memorable moments of his playing career was in 1951, when Bob Feller of the Indians threw his third career no-hitter, but lost the shutout when Lipon reached on an error, stole second base, advanced to third on an errant pickoff throw, and scored on a sacrifice fly.
In 1952, Lipon was part of a trade to the Red Sox that included longtime star Johnny Pesky going to the Tigers. His playing time diminished, and in the 1953 season, he was sold to the St. Louis Browns. In 1954, the Browns moved east to Baltimore, but Lipon was quickly traded to the Chicago White Sox. Before playing a game for the White Sox, however, he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds. He had one National League at-bat before he was farmed to the new Havana Sugar Kings of the International League. He played in the high minors several years, evolving into a player/coach.
In 1959, Lipon moved to the minors as a manager, beginning at the Class D level with Selma of the Alabama-Florida League. Lipon spent 30 of the next 34 years as a manager in the Cleveland, Detroit and Pittsburgh Pirates farm systems, winning 2,185 games and losing 1,987 (.524). In 1961, he managed the Toronto Maple Leafs of the International League. His success as skipper of the AAA Portland Beavers in the mid-1960s earned him a promotion to the Indians' coaching staff, where he served from 1968 to 1971.
Many expected Lipon to be a manager at the major league level, but his only chance came during the 1971 season, when Cleveland fired Alvin Dark with 59 games left. But the Indians went only 18–41 (.305) under Lipon, good for last place in the American League East, 43 games behind the Baltimore Orioles. He returned to managing the next season, with the Toledo Mud Hens of the AAA International League. He retired from managing after the 1992 season. His last club, the Lakeland Tigers of the Florida State League, won its division's second-half championship. In 1992 he was presented with the King of Baseball award given by Minor League Baseball.
Lipon died in Houston, Texas at the age of 75.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference