Named manager of the last-place Braves after the 1912 season, Stallings raised Boston to fifth place in the NL in his first season, 1913, but the Braves were sunk at the bottom of the eight-team league and 11½ games from the frontrunning New York Giants on July 15, 1914 when they began their meteoric rise. With Stallings expertly handling a roster of light hitters (Boston hit only .251 as a team) and relying on pitchers Dick Rudolph and Bill James (who each won 26 games), the Braves won 52 of their final 66 contests to overtake the other seven National League teams and finish 10½ games in front of the second-place Giants. They then defeated the heavily favored Philadelphia Athletics in four straight games to earn the nickname "Miracle Braves."
George Tweedy Stallings in 1914
Stallings is credited with being the first manager to use platooning to good effect. It was not strictly left/right hand platooning (there were then relatively few southpaw pitchers), but he did change his lineup significantly when the Braves played a team starting a left-handed pitcher. Bill James credits him with being the first major league manager to use platooning as a weapon, rather than to cover a hitter's weaknesses.
The 1914 championship was the only World Series title earned by the Braves during their tenure in Boston, which lasted through March 1953. It also was Stallings’ first and only big league championship. He managed the Braves through 1920, but posted no winning season after 1916. His career major league managing record was 879 wins, 898 losses (.495) over 13 years.
Stallings was famous for his superstitions, and for his nervousness on the bench. He has been described as both "distinguished" and salty-tongued. He died in Haddock, Georgia at age 61 of heart disease. According to legend, when asked by his physician why he had a bad heart, Stallings replied, "Bases on balls, doc ... those damned bases on balls."