Jim Manning (baseball)
January 31, 1862|
Fall River, Massachusetts
|Died: October 22, 1929
|May 18, 1884, for the Boston Beaneaters|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 13, 1889, for the Kansas City Cowboys (AA)|
|Runs batted in||149|
James Henry Manning (January 31, 1862 – October 22, 1929) was an American professional baseball player, manager, executive and team owner. He played five seasons in Major League Baseball, primarily as an outfielder (261 games), but also as a second baseman (72 games), shortstop (35 games), and third baseman (four games). He played four years in the National League with the Boston Beaneaters (1884–85) and the Detroit Wolverines (1885–87). He also played professional baseball in Kansas City, Missouri, primarily as a second baseman, from 1887 to 1892 and 1894 to 1897, including one year in the American Association with the Kansas City Cowboys.
Manning was one of the three principal organizers of the Western League in 1893 and was the owner and manager of the Kansas City Cowboys/Blues from 1894 to 1900. He was also one of the principal organizers of the American League and the first owner and manager of the Washington Senators when his Kansas City club moved to Washington, D.C. in 1901. He was also the player-manager of the Birmingham Grays in 1892, the owner, manager and second baseman of the Savannah, Georgia baseball club in 1893, and the owner and president of the Kansas City club in the Western League from 1902 to 1903.
Manning was born in Fall River, Massachusetts, in 1862. His parents, Thomas and Catherine Manning, were immigrants from Ireland. His father worked as a common laborer. Manning had three younger sisters, Julia, Elizabeth and Mary.
Professional baseball player
Manning made his debut in professional baseball playing for the Springfield, Massachusetts, club in 1883. He made his major league debut for the Boston Beaneaters in May 1884. At age 22, he appeared in 89 games for the Beaneaters, 73 as an outfielder, nine each at second base and shortstop, and three at third base. He compiled a .241 batting average in 345 at bats, and totaled 52 runs, 83 hits and 35 RBIs in 89 games. In 1885, Manning appeared in 84 games for Boston, 83 of them as an outfielder. His batting average dropped to .206 in 306 at bats.
In September 1885, the Detroit Wolverines purchased Manning from the Beaneaters for $500. Manning appeared in 20 games, all at shortstop, for the 1885 Wolverines. The following year, he served as a backup outfielder for the 1886 Wolverines, appearing in 25 games at the position. After batting .269 in 1885 for Detroit, his batting average dropped 83 points to .186 in 1886.
Manning began the 1887 season in Detroit, but the team was loaded with talent, and Manning faced the prospect of again being a backup player. The Sporting Life opined in February 1887, "Jimmy Manning ought not be a substitute in any nine. He is too good a ball player to be idle most of the time." In May 1887, the Wolverines sent their "extra men" (Manning and Knowlton) to the Kansas City Cowboys in order to relieve the club of salary obligations for players it did not need. Manning played in Kansas City for the next two months of the 1887 season, but Detroit reclaimed Manning in July, after an injury to second baseman Fred Dunlap. Manning appeared in only 13 games for the 1887 Wolverines, 10 in the outfield and three at shortstop, compiling a .192 batting average. In late July 1887, The Sporting News reported that Manning was "troubled with malaria" that he had contracted in Kansas City.
Kansas City, Part I
Manning spent all or parts of six seasons with the Kansas City Cowboys from 1887 to 1892. He was acquired from Detroit in the middle of May 1887, and by the middle of July, Manning was referred to in The Sporting Life as "the best and most popular player that ever wore a Kansas City uniform." He was reclaimed by Detroit for 13 games in July, but then returned to Kansas City in the middle of August. Manning compiled a career high .433 batting average in 381 at bats for the 1887 Cowboys. He played at shortstop for the Cowboys in 1887 and performed well defensively, the Kansas City correspondent to The Sporting Life calling him "the greatest of shortstops at short field."
In 1888, Kansas City had two rival baseball teams, both called the Cowboys, with one playing in the American Association, and the other playing in the Western Association. Manning was player-manager of the Cowboys in the Western Association during the 1888 season. He hit .289 and stole 101 bases in 116 games.
During the 1889 season, Manning joined the Cowboys of the American Association, considered a major league. Manning appeared in 132 games, 69 in the outfield and 63 at second base, and compiled a .204 batting average in 506 at bats. According to baseball historian David Nemec, Manning's .204 batting average was the lowest recorded up to that time by a major league player with at least 500 at bats in a season. Germany Schaefer broke Manning's record in 1891 with a .201 average in 512 at bats. In fact, Manning was not the offensive liability that his batting average might suggest; he drew 54 bases on balls and was hit by pitch 13 times to boost his on-base percentage to .297, and he also stole 58 bases during the 1889 season.
During the winter of 1888–89, Manning traveled to Hawaii, Australia, Ceylon, Arabia, Egypt, Europe, and the British Isles as part of Albert Spalding's "Around the World Baseball Tour". Baseball games were held between the Chicago White Stockings and a picked team called the "All-Americans"; Manning played for the "All-Americans".
In 1890, the Cowboys left the American Association and rejoined the Western Association. In July 1890, Manning took over as the manager of the Cowboys, returning to the player-manager role he had filled in 1888. Manning had the best base-stealing record in organized baseball during the 1890 season, stealing 96 bases in only 111 games.
In February 1892, Manning signed with Kansas City to again manage the team and play second base. The Kansas City correspondent to The Sporting Life wrote at the time: "The news that Manning is to be with us again was hailed with satisfaction by his great army of friends, who have learned to admire him as a player and a gentleman during his many years' service in Kansas City. It may be put down as certain that no club in the Western League will have a better manager or as good a second baseman as Jimmy Manning." During the first half of the 1892 season, Manning hit .303 with 30 stolen bases in 62 games.
Baseball manager and owner
In late July 1892, Manning left Kansas City to become player-manager for the Birmingham Grays of the Southern League. He compiled a .268 batting average in 38 games for Birmingham, and assembled a team that was in competition for the Southern League pennant.
In 1893, Manning was a player-manager and owner of the Savannah, Georgia club in the 12-team Southern Base Ball League. He played second base for the team and compiled a .290 batting average in 89 games. However, the team and the league disbanded in mid-August 1893. Despite the league's failure, the Savannah club made money and paid its bills on time, and Manning left in late August with a profit estimated at $4,000. The Savannah correspondent to The Sporting Life wrote that Manning left the city "with the well-wishes of everybody in Savannah" in appreciation for the way he conducted the club: "There was no kicking, no fighting or no tough ball playing allowed, and it was a pleasure to see the game played. . . . If ever a man deserved to make money he did. He came here a stranger to every one in the city, but by his gentlemanly conduct and courteous treatment of every one he came in contact with, he soon made a host of friends."
Kansas City, Part II
In the fall of 1893, Manning was one of the three principal organizers, along with Charlie Cushman and John S. Barnes, of the new Western League (a league that was later renamed the American League in 1900). In September 1893, he visited Kansas City to lay the groundwork for establishing a new baseball club there, including securing an option for the Exposition baseball grounds. The Kansas City Journal at the time called Manning "the most popular ball player who ever wore a Kansas City uniform." Manning told the press in Kansas City, "I spent six years here. Kansas City is like home to me ... If I put a new team here next year, as I hope to, it will be a winner, for that is what this town wants and what it demands."
In November 1893, the league was formally established with Manning as the owner of the Kansas City club. Manning expressed enthusiasm at the new league's prospects and said that the organizational meeting in Indianapolis had been "a complete and unqualified success." Manning also stated that he would staff the new Kansas City Cowboys teams largely with the players who he had managed in Savannah in 1892.
During the 1895 season, Manning and his wife lived at the Centropolis Hotel in Kansas City, as Manning continued as owner and manager of the Kansas City Cowboys. He also appeared in 121 games as the team's second baseman and compiled a .359 batting average with 44 extra base hits and 39 stolen bases in 1895. Manning's team finished in second place in Western League in 1895. He reported that his team made profits of $18,000 in 1894 and $12,000 in 1895, the decline in 1895 resulting from "five wet Sundays and a bad fourth of July", with Sunday and holiday games generating profits of $1,000 on average.
Manning continued to serve as team owner, manager and second baseman in 1896. Although he did not continue as a player after the 1897 season, he continued as the owner and manager of the Kansas City club through the 1900 season.
During Manning's seven years as manager and owner of the Kansas City Blues, the team's record was as follows:
Manning was also one of the organizers of the American League as a competing major league. The organizational meeting was held at Chicago in late November 1900, with Manning attending as the representative of the proposed club in Washington, D.C., along with Charles Comiskey of Chicago, John McGraw of Baltimore, James D. Burns of Detroit and Henry Killilea of Milwaukee. At the meeting, it was decided that the new league would not have a team in Kansas City, and Manning was assigned responsibility for the proposed new club in Washington, D.C. Afterward, Manning stated: "I am reconciled to the idea of moving into Washington. I will take my team there bodily, will add a couple of National Leaguers and will show them that American League ball is a long way faster than they imagine."
In late 1900, Manning became president of the new American League club proposed for Washington, D.C. In December 1900, he secured a 10-year option on two ballparks in Washington and planned his move from Kansas City to Washington. In March 1901, the new team, named the Washington Senators, was incorporated by Manning, Fred Postal, Bob Needham, John J. Hogan and William F. Hart.
In 1901, Manning served as the first manager of the Senators, leading team to a 61–73 record. In November 1901, Manning sold his interest in the Senators to Fred Postal and also resigned as the team's manager. Later reports attributed Manning's departure to differences with co-owner Postal, who was not satisfied with Manning's business management, though Manning's defenders noted that Manning had "never posed as an expert book keeper, and was not originally engaged for business roles, and that point would have no bearing upon his re-engagement as team manager."
Kansas City, Part III
In January 1902, after selling his interest in the Senators, Manning and Kid Nichols became partners and co-owners in a new Kansas City baseball club in the Western League. He also worked as the western agent for a new explosive. Through the 1902 and 1903 seasons, Manning served as the club's president and Nichols the manager. Manning's club faced stiff competition from the Kansas City baseball club in the American Association during the 1902 and 1903 season and folded after the 1903 season.
Family and later years
Through his baseball career, Manning had returned home to Fall River, Massachusetts, where he worked as a druggist in a store operated by Will Smith. Smith died suddenly in September 1894, and The Sporting News wrote at the time: "For years Manager Manning has had that blessing that comes to so few -- a true friend. This friend, Mr. Will Smith, of Fall River, Mass., has been the sharer of all his hopes, his joy and his reverses. It was with him Manning made his first start in life, and every fall since he has been a devotee of the diamond he has returned home to again take up his work with Mr. Smith."
- "Jim Manning Statistics and History". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
- Birth record for James Manning, born Jan. 31, 1862, Fall River, Mass. January 31, 1862 City of Fall River Birth Record from Family Search.org, Massachusetts Births, 1841-1915
- 1870 U.S. Census entry for Thomas Manning and family. Son James, age 8, born in Mass., attending school. Census Place: Fall River Ward 1, Bristol, Massachusetts; Roll: M593_604; Page: 315A; Image: 118; Family History Library Film: 552103. Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census [database on-line].
- "Notes and Comments" (PDF). The Sporting Life. February 2, 1887. p. 3.
- "From Detroit: About the Club's Extra Players" (PDF). The Sporting Life. May 18, 1887. p. 9.
- "Kansas City in a Plight" (PDF). The Sporting Life. July 13, 1887. p. 1.
- "Notes and Comments" (PDF). The Sporting Life. July 27, 1887. p. 5.
- "Notes and Comments" (PDF). The Sporting Life. August 17, 1887. p. 5.("Manning rejoined the Kansas Citys last week.")
- "Jim Manning Minor League Statistics". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
- "Menges' Tactics" (PDF). The Sporting Life. November 23, 1887. p. 3.
- "The Rival Cowboys: The Battle to be Fought Out in Court" (PDF). The Sporting Life. March 14, 1888. p. 1.
- David Nemec (2006). The Great Encyclopedia of Nineteenth-Century Major League Baseball. University of Alabama Press. p. 484. ISBN 0817314997.
- "Notes and Gossip" (PDF). The Sporting Life. July 12, 1890. p. 4.
- "St. Paul Pickings" (PDF). The Sporting Life. April 18, 1891. p. 9.
- Freeman (March 7, 1891). "Bustling Kansas City: Manager Manning on Hand for Business" (PDF). The Sporting Life. p. 5.
- "Kansas City Briefs: Jimmy Manning Re-Engaged as Manager of the Local Club" (PDF). The Sporting Life. March 5, 1892. p. 11.
- "Condensed Despatches" (PDF). The Sporting Life. July 30, 1892. p. 1.
- "Birmingham's Team: Manning's Men Held High in Local Estimation" (PDF). The Sporting Life. August 27, 1892. p. 12.
- "Wants a Ball Club Here: James H. Manning in the City with a Project; He Wants a Club Here Next Year" (PDF). The Kansas City Journal. September 7, 1893. p. 2.
- "Southern Echoes: Financial Matters All Settled to General Satisfaction" (PDF). The Sporting Life. August 26, 1893. p. 1.
- "Dead to the World: The Inglorious End of the Once Powerful Southern League" (PDF). The Sporting Life. August 19, 1893. p. 1.
- "Sad Savannah: Manning's Men Leave for Their Respective Homes" (PDF). The Sporting Life. August 19, 1893. p. 1.
- H.H.H. (August 26, 1893). "Savannah Sayings: A Tribute to Ex-Manager Manning" (PDF). The Sporting Life. p. 1.
- "Western Echoes: Some Comment Upon the Recent Meeting in Indianapolis" (PDF). The Sporting Life. December 9, 1883. p. 1.
- "Manning's Move: Working to Secure the Kansas City Franchise in the New Western League" (PDF). The Sporting Life. September 16, 1893. p. 1.
- "Kansas City Stirred Up: Manning Secures an Option on a Ball Park for '94" (PDF). The Sporting Life. September 23, 1893. p. 1.
- "Mention by Manning: He Says He Will Give Kansas City a Strong Team" (PDF). The Sporting Life. December 2, 1893. p. 1.
- "Comment and News" (PDF). The Sporting Life. January 13, 1894. p. 2.
- Halpin (September 15, 1894). "Manning's Men: Have Some Exciting and Variable Experiences; Jimmy Manning Receives a Shock" (PDF). The Sporting Life. p. 9.
- "Western League: What Is Going On Among Ban Johnson's Constituents" (PDF). The Sporting Life. March 9, 1895. p. 10.
- "Manning's Moves: Rapidly Getting His Kansas City Team Under Cover" (PDF). The Sporting Life. December 14, 1895. p. 2.
- "Piling on Agony: Those Kansas City Profits Steadily Gaining" (PDF). The Sporting Life. December 28, 1895. p. 1.
- "Base Ball for Australia: Managers Manning and Selee Are Planning a Tour" (PDF). The Sporting Life. December 7, 1895. p. 1.
- "New York News: A Chat with Jimmy Manning, Etc." (PDF). The Sporting Life. August 1, 1896. p. 8.
- "Kansas City Briefs: Manning Not Worried Over John T. Brush's Moves" (PDF). The Sporting Life. October 10, 1896. p. 3.
- "Jimmie Manning Coming: New Base Ball Magnate for This City Will Arrive Here Monday Morning". The Evening Star (Washington, D.C.). December 1, 1900. p. 7.
- "Bosses' Caucus: A Secret Caucus of the Men Who Run the Machine at Which Things Are Fixed" (PDF). The Sporting Life. December 1, 1900. p. 5.
- "Manning's Move: The Alien Has About Decided to Desert the City That Fostered Him So Long" (PDF). The Sporting Life. December 1, 1900. p. 5.
- "Manning's Chance: To Enter His City in a Real Major League" (PDF). The Sporting Life. October 27, 1900. p. 2.
- "Manning's Moves: Claims to Have Options on Two Sites in Washington, But Wants No War" (PDF). The Sporting Life. December 29, 1900. p. 3.
- "Washington Way: The Team Made up and Ground Being Rapidly Built" (PDF). The Sporting Life. March 23, 1901. p. 4.
- "Manning's Men: The Make-up of the Washington Team Formally Given" (PDF). The Sporting Life. April 6, 1901. p. 4.
- "1901 Washington Senators". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
- "Turn of Base Ball Wheel: It Brings About Several Important Changes in Big Leagues; Jimmy Manning Out of Washington". The Omaha Daily Bee. November 1901. p. 3.
- Paul W. Eaton (January 2, 1904). "From the Capital" (PDF). The Sporting Life. p. 3.
- "War to the Knife Is the Decision of Whitfield's Western League" (PDF). The Sporting Life. January 25, 1902. p. 10.
- "On the Kaw: The Factions Are Still Scheming to Do Each Other — Whitfield on a Mission — Tebeau's Local Holdings, Etc." (PDF). The Sporting Life. February 22, 1902.
- "From the Capital Comes a Strange Report About Ex-Manager Manning: The Popular "Jimmy's" Arrival in Washington Starts a Story That He Will be at the Head of a National League Club There Next Year" (PDF). The Sporting Life. September 6, 1902. p. 4.
- "Official Directory of Base Ball Leagues". The Sporting Life. July 4, 1903. p. 18.
- "From the Capital" (PDF). The Sporting Life. March 10, 1906. p. 4.
- "American League Notes" (PDF). The Sporting Life. February 23, 1907. p. 6.
- "Caught on the Fly". October 31, 1929. p. 7.("Jimmy Manning, and old-time ball player who managed and later owned the Kansas City team when it was in the Western League in the late '90s, died in Mercedes, Tex. He was a second baseman in his playing days.")
- "James H. "Jim" Manning". Find a Grave. Retrieved July 24, 2014.