- For the musician, Charley Wagner, see Youngblood Brass Band
|Born: December 3, 1912
|Died: August 31, 2006 (aged 93)
|April 19, 1938, for the Boston Red Sox|
|Last MLB appearance|
|August 8, 1946, for the Boston Red Sox|
|Earned run average||3.91|
Charles Thomas Wagner (December 3, 1912 – August 31, 2006) was an American right-handed pitcher and coach in Major League Baseball who played his entire career for the Boston Red Sox (1938–42, 1946). Nicknamed "Broadway," he went on to a 50-year career as a scout and minor league instructor. His professional relationship with the Red Sox lasted a record 73 years.
Born in Reading, Pennsylvania, Wagner signed with the Red Sox in 1935 and made his MLB pitching debut on April 19, 1938. After being used in both starting and relief duties, he enjoyed his first full season as a starter in 1941. He was the second in a pitching rotation that included Dick Newsome, Mickey Harris and Lefty Grove. Wagner finished with a 12–8 record and three shutouts, and his 3.07 earned run average was the best on the Boston pitching staff and the third best in the American League, being surpassed only by Thornton Lee (2.37) and Al Benton (2.97), and over Marius Russo (3.09).
In 1942, Wagner compiled career-highs in victories (14, eight in AL), starts (26), complete games (17, seventh in AL), strikeouts (52), innings pitched (205 1⁄3), and had a 3.29 ERA. After the season, he left his team to serve in the Navy during World War II. Wagner returned to the Red Sox in 1946, along with teammates Ted Williams, Dom DiMaggio, Bobby Doerr, Johnny Pesky, Tex Hughson and Joe Dobson. He pitched his final game on August 8, 1946, ending with a 1–0 mark in 30 2⁄3 innings.
In a six-season career, Wagner posted a 32–23 record with 157 strikeouts and a 3.91 earned run average in 527 2⁄3 innings pitched.
Following his retirement as a player, Wagner became the Red Sox' assistant director of minor league operations from 1947 to 1960. He then scouted for Boston from 1961 to 1969 and from 1971 to 1992. He was the Red Sox' Major League pitching coach for the 1970 season, on the staff of first-year manager Eddie Kasko. He later worked as a special assignment instructor in the Red Sox minor league system, and was still consulted about the organization's prospects into his 90s. He was a staple for years at Reading Phillies games in his hometown, where the press box was named in his honor in 2000. He was crowned as the inaugural "King of Baseballtown" by Reading club in 2003 as he entered the Reading Baseball Hall of Fame in 1992.
Wagner appeared before the Boston faithful on Opening Day 2006. He spoke to the crowd, "Let's Play Ball." Wagner died just five months later in 2006 at age 93 after suffering a heart attack in his car following a Reading Phillies game.
- Wagner and Ted Williams were roommates as members of the Boston Red Sox.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Reading Eagle obituary[permanent dead link]
|Boston Red Sox pitching coach