July 11, 1893|
|Died: July 16, 1977
Fairhope, Alabama, U.S.
|September 29, 1913, for the New York Giants|
|Last MLB appearance|
|April 16, 1926, for the Brooklyn Robins|
|Career highlights and awards|
Milton Joseph Stock (July 11, 1893 – July 16, 1977) was an American third baseman in Major League Baseball from 1913 through 1926. The Chicago native played for the New York Giants, Philadelphia Phillies, Brooklyn Robins and St. Louis Cardinals. Over 14 MLB seasons, he played in 1,628 games and amassed 1,806 hits, with a .289 lifetime batting average and 155 stolen bases. Stock stood 5 feet 8 inches (1.73 m) tall, weighed 154 pounds (70 kg) and threw and batted right-handed.
Stock is believed to be the only Major League player to get four hits in each of four consecutive games. (Rafael Furcal of the Los Angeles Dodgers was last with three consecutive four-hit games in 2007). Stock was seriously injured in a collision with Lou Gehrig in spring training in 1926, and retired early in season.
Minor league manager, Major League coach
He remained in the game, however, as a minor league manager and executive. Then, from 1944 through 1952, Stock coached in the National League for the Chicago Cubs (1944–48), Brooklyn Dodgers (1949–50) and Pittsburgh Pirates (1951–52).
His tenure as third-base coach in Brooklyn ended in controversy when Stock was blamed for sending home baserunner Cal Abrams with the potential winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning of the final game of the 1950 National League season. The Dodgers trailed the Phillies by one game in the standings and needed to win the season's last game, against Philadelphia at Ebbets Field on October 1, to force a best-of-three playoff series.
With the score tied at one in the bottom of the ninth, Abrams was on second base with none out when Duke Snider singled sharply to center field. Stock was criticized for not holding Abrams at third base on the hit. Instead, Abrams was easily thrown out at home by Phils' centerfielder Richie Ashburn. Had Abrams (or any Dodger) scored, Brooklyn would have had a "walk-off" victory and forced the playoff. But the Dodgers squandered their scoring opportunity, the game went into extra innings, and Philadelphia won the game and the National League championship in the tenth inning on a three-run home run by Dick Sisler.
In the weeks following that season-ending game, Dodger manager Burt Shotton was fired and Stock moved on to the Pirates, where he coached two more seasons.
Stock settled in the Mobile, Alabama, area after playing minor league baseball there in 1913. He was the father-in-law of Eddie Stanky, the longtime MLB second baseman and manager and college baseball coach, who played under Stock in the Cub farm system. He died in Fairhope, Alabama, at the age of 84.
- Bell, Christopher, Scapegoats: Baseballers Whose Careers Are Marked by One Fateful Play. Jefferson, N.C.: Macfarland & Co., 2002, p. 44