Cal Ermer

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Cal Ermer
Manager
Born: (1923-11-10)November 10, 1923
Baltimore, Maryland
Died: August 8, 2009(2009-08-08) (aged 85)
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 26, 1947, for the Washington Senators
Last MLB appearance
September 26, 1947, for the Washington Senators
MLB statistics
Batting average .000
At bats 3
Hits 0
Managerial record 145–129 (.529)
Teams

As player

As manager

Career highlights and awards

Calvin Coolidge Ermer (November 10, 1923 – August 8, 2009) was an American second baseman, manager, coach and scout in Major League Baseball. He was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and served in the United States Marine Corps during World War II. He was the youngest of seven children (six boys and one girl). Some of his brothers names were John, Charles, Henry and William. As a player, Ermer threw and batted right-handed, stood 6 feet (1.8 m) tall and weighed 175 pounds (79 kg).

Infielder Ermer played in the minor leagues from 1942 to 1951 with two years—1943–1945 gone to military service in World War II. As a minor league player he never played above A level, except for 1947 when he went to the Washington Senators and was in one major league game.

Longtime employee of Senators and Twins[edit]

Most of Ermer's 60-plus-year career in baseball was spent as an employee of the Minnesota Twins and its predecessor franchise (before 1961), the Washington Senators. His only Major League game as a player, on September 26, 1947, came with Washington; he was hitless in three at bats and handled seven fielding chances flawlessly as a second baseman. Ermer also played and managed in the club's farm system, handling Senators/Twins farm clubs over five different decades: Charlotte, North Carolina 1947; Orlando, Florida, 1950; Charlotte, 51; Chattanooga, Tennessee, 52–57; Denver Bears, 1965–67; Tacoma, WA, 1974–76; Toledo, Ohio, 1978–85.

During his managing career, he also served as a skipper in the minor league systems of the Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Yankees, and in 1958 won The Sporting News Minor League Manager of the Year award while with the Birmingham Barons, then a farm team of the Detroit Tigers. His minor league teams won championships in 1947 and 1958.

Major League manager[edit]

On June 9, 1967, Ermer was promoted from the Twins' Triple-A affiliate, the Denver Bears of the Pacific Coast League, to replace Minnesota manager Sam Mele.[1] Under Ermer, the Twins won 66 of 112 games and jumping into a four-team American League pennant race (with the Tigers, Boston Red Sox and Chicago White Sox) that went down to the season's final weekend. Needing only one win in two games at Boston's Fenway Park to clinch a tie for the championship, the Twins lost both contests to the Red Sox, who became improbable league champions.

Ermer was brought back for 1968, but a big off-season trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers backfired, Baseball Hall of Fame slugger Harmon Killebrew suffered a serious hamstring injury during the 1968 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, nearly ending his career, and the Twins tumbled to 79–83 and a seventh-place finish. At season's end, Ermer was fired[2] and replaced by his former coach Billy Martin. It was Martin's first big-league managing job.

Late career[edit]

The Twins' job (his final record: 145–129, .529) was his only Major League managerial opportunity, but Ermer also served as an MLB coach for the Baltimore Orioles (1962), Milwaukee Brewers (1970–72) and Oakland Athletics (1977). He ultimately returned to the Twins to manage their Triple-A farm club, then the Toledo Mud Hens, in 1978–85 before spending many years as a Minnesota scout. As a minor league pilot, Ermer won 1,906 games, losing 1,728 (.524) over 26 seasons.

Cal Ermer died at age 85 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on August 8, 2009.[3] Almost a year before, on August 30, 2008, the Chattanooga Lookouts (where he managed in 1952–57 and won the 1952 pennant) dedicated their press box to Ermer. He had met and married Gloria Williams (Miss Chattanooga and Miss Tennessee of 1952) and lived in Chattanooga for 57 years. Ermer was also soccer coach for the University of Baltimore and managed baseball teams in the winter leagues. He was buried in Chattanooga's National Cemetery.

References[edit]

External links[edit]