Ed Short

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Edwin G. Short (1919–1984) was an American professional baseball front office executive. Short worked for the Chicago White Sox of Major League Baseball for over 20 years, including nine seasons as the team's general manager—from August 26, 1961, through September 2, 1970.[1] The White Sox were frequent contenders for the American League pennant during the first six seasons of his administration, but the last three years of Short's tenure saw the team lose 95, 98 and 106 games and play some of its home games in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, because of falling attendance at Comiskey Park.

After attending Roosevelt High School in Chicago, Short served in the United States Army during World War II, attaining the rank of captain, and was a radio broadcaster after the war, serving as sports director of WJJD-AM, Chicago.[2] He joined the White Sox in 1950 as publicity director, and later was named the club's traveling secretary. Despite his having served in administrative positions, rather than in baseball operations, he was promoted to succeed Hank Greenberg as the Chisox' general manager late in the 1961 season. But, as a GM, Short was noted for his bold moves.

Rebuilding the White Sox[edit]

In his first off-season, he traded aging White Sox stars Billy Pierce, Minnie Miñoso and Roy Sievers to the National League for younger players. After the 1962 campaign, Short swung one of the biggest deals of the off-season, sending future Baseball Hall of Fame shortstop Luis Aparicio and outfielder Al Smith to the Baltimore Orioles for Aparicio's Baltimore counterpart, Ron Hansen, young third baseman Pete Ward, power-hitting outfielder Dave Nicholson and future Hall of Fame knuckleball pitcher Hoyt Wilhelm. Hansen, Ward and Nicholson became regulars in 1963. Wilhelm would be Chicago's bullpen ace for six seasons (1963–68) and compile an earned run average of 1.92 in 361 games and 675⅔ innings pitched in a White Sox uniform. Short also would trade another veteran star and future Hall of Famer, Nellie Fox, after the 1963 campaign. The White Sox were serious pennant contenders in 1963, 1964, 1965 and 1967.

However, Short believed that the best trade he ever made happened in January 1965, a three-way deal also involving the Kansas City Athletics and Cleveland Indians.[3] In that transaction, the White Sox acquired ace left-handed starting pitcher Tommy John and centerfielder Tommie Agee.

Swift decline after 1967 pennant race[edit]

The White Sox of the mid-1960s relied on pitching, speed and defense. In addition to Wilhelm, and, later, John, the team's pitchers also included starters Gary Peters, Juan Pizarro and Joel Horlen. But after competing for the 1967 pennant into the last week of the season, the 1968 White Sox started poorly and signaled the beginning of three years of desperate struggle at the gate and on the field. In 1968 and 1969, the White Sox played one game against every other AL opponent at Milwaukee County Stadium, which was wooing an expansion or relocated MLB team —such as the White Sox — at the time. At Comiskey, the Chisox drew an average of only 7,493 (1968), 6,633 (1969) and 6,115 (1970) fans per game.[4] Finally, in early September 1970, after an ownership transition between two brothers, Arthur and John Allyn, Short was released in a general housecleaning of White Sox management.

In his final job in professional sports, Short served as general manager of the Chicago Cougars of the World Hockey Association.

He died in Skokie, Illinois, aged 64, on July 16, 1984.

References[edit]

Preceded by
Hank Greenberg
Chicago White Sox General Manager
19611970
Succeeded by
Stuart Holcomb