George Stallings

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George Stallings
George Stallings.jpg
Catcher / Manager
Born: (1867-11-17)November 17, 1867
Augusta, Georgia
Died: May 13, 1929(1929-05-13) (aged 61)
Haddock, Georgia
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
May 22, 1890, for the Brooklyn Bridegrooms
Last MLB appearance
August 28, 1898, for the Philadelphia Phillies
MLB statistics
Batting average.100
Home runs0
Runs batted in0
Games managed1,813
Managerial record879–898
Winning %.495
Teams
As player

As manager

Career highlights and awards

George Tweedy Stallings (November 17, 1867 – May 13, 1929) was an American manager and (briefly) player in Major League Baseball. His most famous achievement – leading the 1914 Boston Braves from last place in mid-July to the National League championship and a World Series sweep of the powerful Philadelphia Athletics – resulted in a nickname he would bear for the rest of his life: "The Miracle Man."[1]

Playing career[edit]

Stallings was born on November 17, 1867 in Augusta, Georgia. Stallings graduated from the Virginia Military Institute in 1886. He entered medical school, but was instead offered a contract by Harry Wright, manager of the Philadelphia Phillies. He was cut in spring training. Stallings was a mediocre player: he appeared in only seven major league games as a catcher, first baseman and outfielder with Brooklyn (1890) and the Phillies (1897–98) and had only two hits in 20 at-bats, hitting a weak .100.

Managerial career[edit]

As a manager, he had a mixed major league resume prior to 1914: a poor record with the Phillies (1897–98), then mild successes in the American League with the Detroit Tigers (1901) and New York Highlanders (1909–10). In the minor leagues, he managed the 1895 Nashville Seraphs to win the Southern League pennant; he also played an infield position on the team.[2] He also managed Detroit before it became a major league team in part of 1896 and from the end of 1898 through its becoming a charter member of the American League.

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.[3] 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.[4] They then defeated the heavily favored Philadelphia Athletics in four straight games to earn the nickname "Miracle Braves."[5][6]

Stallings in 1914

Stallings is credited with being the first manager to use platooning to good effect.[7] 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 responsible for bringing professional baseball back to the city of Montreal, Quebec. In 1928, his partnership with Montreal lawyer and politician Athanase David and businessman Ernest Savard resurrected the Montreal Royals as part of the International League. They built the modern new Delorimier Stadium in downtown Montreal.

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." He was buried in Riverside Cemetery in Macon, Georgia.[7]

Managerial record[edit]

Team Year Regular season Postseason
Games Won Lost Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
PHI 1897 134 57 77 .425 10th in NL
PHI 1898 46 19 27 .413 fired
PHI total 178 74 104 .416 0 0
DET 1901 135 74 61 .548 3rd in AL
DET total 135 74 61 .548 0 0
NYH 1909 151 74 77 .490 5th in AL
NYH 1910 137 78 59 .569 fired
NYH total 288 152 136 .528 0 0
BOB 1913 151 69 82 .457 5th in NL
BOB 1914 153 94 59 .614 1st in NL 4 0 1.000 Won World Series (PHA)
BOB 1915 152 83 69 .546 2nd in NL
BOB 1916 152 89 63 .586 3rd in NL
BOB 1917 153 72 81 .471 6th in NL
BOB 1918 124 53 71 .427 7th in NL
BOB 1919 139 57 82 .410 6th in NL
BOB 1920 152 62 90 .408 7th in NL
BOB total 1176 579 597 .492 4 0 1.000
Total 1777 879 898 .495 4 0 1.000

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The "Miracle Man" of baseball". The Independent. Oct 26, 1914. Retrieved July 24, 2012.
  2. ^ Traughber, Bill. "Looking Back: Seraphs Win 1895 Championship." Nashville Sounds. 10 May 2004. 22 March 2008.
  3. ^ How Losing an Exhibition Sparked Miracle Braves, by Joseph M. Overfield, Baseball Digest, May 1961, Vol. 20, No. 4, ISSN [https://www.worldcat.org/search?fq=x0:jrnl&q=n2:0005-609X 0005-609X]
  4. ^ The 1914 Boston Braves at www.thisgreatgame.com Archived July 17, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ 1914 World Series at Baseball Reference
  6. ^ "Down To The Wire; Six Greatest Stretch Runs For The Pennant" by George Vass, Baseball Digest, Sep 2001, Vol. 60, No. 9, ISSN 0005-609X
  7. ^ a b Kohout, Martin. "George Stallings". Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved April 27, 2017.

External links[edit]