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Parke Carroll (October 17, 1904 – February 4, 1961) was an American front-office executive in minor league and Major League Baseball who was perhaps best known, in baseball circles, for his two-year stint as the general manager of the Kansas City Athletics, from 1959–1960.
During those two years, he engineered trades that sent key players to the New York Yankees, such as Bob Cerv and Ralph Terry, but his most notable deal came on December 11, 1959, in which Carroll sent 25-year-old outfielder Roger Maris to the Yankees along with two other players for Don Larsen (author of a World Series perfect game three years earlier), Marv Throneberry, Hank Bauer and Norm Siebern. With the aid of the short right-field porch in Yankee Stadium, Maris set a single-season record with 61 home runs in 1961, just two years after leaving the A's. Only Siebern would pay dividends for the A's, however, as their regular first baseman from 1960–1963 and a two-time American League All-Star.
Carroll's dealings with the Yankees were controversial because the Athletics, under owner Arnold Johnson, sent many top players to New York in apparently one-sided trades during the mid-to-late-1950s. Johnson and the team's director of player personnel, George Selkirk, had previously traded quality players such as Bobby Shantz, Clete Boyer, Harry "Suitcase" Simpson and Ryne Duren to the Yanks. Johnson also had business ties with Yankee partner Del Webb and owned Yankee Stadium in the Bronx prior to purchasing the Philadelphia Athletics and moving them to Kansas City. All these factors led to charges from fans, writers and other teams that Johnson and Carroll ran the Athletics as a Yankee farm team at the Major League level.
Carroll came to the Athletics directly after working in the Yankee organization as business manager for the Bombers' two top farm clubs, the Newark Bears of the International League, and the Athletics' immediate predecessors, the Kansas City Blues of the American Association.
A former sportswriter and sports editor of the Kansas City Journal Post, Carroll entered baseball as business manager of the Minneapolis Millers of the American Association when the Journal Post ceased publication during World War II. Carroll joined the Athletics in their first season in Kansas City in 1955 as vice president and business manager, and was promoted to general manager by Johnson after the end of the 1958 season. Johnson previously had not handed the general manager title to a specific executive, preferring to divide the GM responsibilities among himself, Selkirk and Carroll.
However, Johnson died suddenly from a cerebral hemorrhage during 1960 spring training. His unexpected death forced the sale of the club to insurance executive Charlie Finley, who fired Carroll at the end of the 1960 season, replacing him with former Cleveland Indians GM Frank "Trader" Lane. Ironically, only months later, Carroll also died suddenly — of a heart attack in Kansas City, on February 4, 1961, at age 56.
- Baseball America Executive Database
- Retrosheet.org - The Transactions for the 1959 Kansas City Athletics
- Retrosheet.org - The Transactions for the 1960 Kansas City Athletics
- Hardball Times - Mid-Season Blockbusters: June (Part Two: 1949-1969)
- Time.com: Friday, Feb. 17, 1961
- Obituary, The New York Times, February 5, 1961.
|Kansas City Athletics General Manager