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Number 32 and Number 30
2007-11-01 21:35
by Bob Timmermann

According to Jack Curry in the New York Times, Joe Girardi is being billed as “The 32nd Manager of the New York Yankees.” And as long as you don’t count the two seasons when the Yankees were in Baltimore and you don’t use Grover Cleveland style counting that is the correct total. Leaving out the Baltimore years leaves two Hall of Famers off the list of Yankee managers: John McGraw and Wilbert Robinson.

And by my count (and’s), Joe Torre is the Dodgers 30th manager in franchise history, including all the Brooklyn years and the years the team played in the American Association. Of course, the Dodgers don't count the American Association years and say that Torre is 26th. (See, Tony Jackson in the Daily News). But I'm right. They're wrong. Why? Because I say so.


Time for a roll call for each team, starting with the Yankees:

  1. Clark Griffith (1903 through the first 57 games of 1908) – The New York Highlanders first manager, he had two second place finishes, but left amidst a great deal of discord.
  2. Kid Elberfield (Final 98 games of 1908) – The “Tabasco Kid” had a nickname that was not ironic. Nobody liked him and his personality was hot and irritable. His team went 27-71 under his leadership.
  3. George Stallings (1909 and first 142 games of 1910) – Stallings and the Highlander players did not get along well. It didn’t help that his first baseman, Hal Chase, was likely throwing games.
  4. Hal Chase (Final 14 games of 1910 and 1911) – Chase may have been the first major league player to find a way to throw games and cheat bettors on both side.
  5. Harry Wolverton (1912) – In his only year at the helm, New York went 50-102.
  6. Frank Chance (1913 and first 137 games of 1914) – Chance was a big success in Chicago, but his Yankee teams lacked something that his Cubs teams had. That something was talent.
  7. Roger Peckinpaugh (last 20 games of 1914) – Peckinpaugh was baseball’s youngest ever manager. He was just 23 when he took over for Chance.
  8. Bill Donovan (1915 through 1917) – Donovan was a pretty good pitcher for the Dodgers and Tigers. But he never finished higher than fourth place in three years as Yankee manager.
  9. Miller Huggins (1918 through first 143 games of 1929 season) – Huggins did OK. Six pennants, three World Series. Passed away near the end of the 1929 season of erysipelas.
  10. Art Fletcher (final 11 games of 1929) – Fletcher just kept the Yankees going as they played out the string.
  11. Bob Shawkey (1930) – In his only year as a major league manager, the Yankees finished third despite the team scoring 1062 runs. The 4.66 team ERA probably didn’t help.
  12. Joe McCarthy (1931 through first 35 games of 1946 season) – Let’s see. Eight pennants, seven World Series wins. But what have you done for me lately?
  13. Bill Dickey (105 games of the 1946 season) – Dickey replaced McCarthy after he resigned. Lost his job when he said he wasn’t interested in the job fulltime.
  14. Johnny Neun (last 14 games of the 1946 season) – Succeeded in keeping Larry McPhail from firing him before the season ended.
  15. Bucky Harris (1947-48) – Won the World Series his first year and didn’t make it there in the second. And out he went.
  16. Casey Stengel (1949-60) – Unsuccessful managing in the majors anywhere else, Stengel’s teams in the Bronx won 10 pennants, seven World Series, and never finished lower than third.
  17. Ralph Houk (1961-63, last 140 games of 1966 through 1973) – Houk’s teams won the pennant in each of his first three years as Yankee manager, then he went upstairs and then came back in 1966 and never finished better than second.
  18. Yogi Berra (1964, 1984 and first 16 games of 1985) – Won a pennant in his first year and was fired. Came back and got fired again except without the winning a pennant part.
  19. Johnny Keane (1965 and first 20 games of 1966) – Was supposed to be better than Berra, but the Yankees declined sharply and a 4-16 start in 1966 was enough to send him packing.
  20. Bill Virdon (1974 and first 104 games of 1975) – Virdon led the Shea Stadium version of the Yankees to a second place finish in 1974 and then was fired in 1975 when Billy Martin became available.
  21. Billy Martin (final 56 games of 1975, 1976-77, first 50 games of 1978, last 95 games of 1979, 1983, last 145 games of 1985, first 60 games of 1988) – I’ve heard of this guy.
  22. Dick Howser (1 game in 1978, 1980) – Interim manager at first and then led the Yankees to the AL East title and 103 wins. And was fired.
  23. Bob Lemon (last 68 games of 1978, first 65 games of 1979, final 25 games in 1981, first 14 games of 1982) – Lemon won a World Series in 1978 and lost one in 1981 despite never managing a full season.
  24. Gene Michael (first 82 games of 1981 season, 86 games in 1982) – Led the Yankees to a first half win in 1981 and was later fired. He hung out for a while in 1982.
  25. Clyde King (last 62 games of 1982 season) – Well, somebody had to manage the team.
  26. Lou Piniella (1986-87 and final 93 games of 1988 season) – Piniella got his start as a manger with the Yankees. Never finished first in New York.
  27. Dallas Green (121 games in 1989) – Green likely leaves this job off of his resume.
  28. Bucky Dent (Last 40 games of 1989 and first 49 games of 1990) – Won 36 games!
  29. Stump Merrill (Last 113 games of 1990 and entire 1991 season) – The 1990s version of Johnny Keane.
  30. Buck Showalter (1992-95) – Got the Yankees back into the playoffs in 1995 for the first time in 14 years. Got fired.
  31. Joe Torre (1996-2007) – Made the playoffs in every year. Won six pennants and four World Series. Only Yankee manager that was born in New York City.
  32. Joe Girardi (2008-???) - I predict he will fare better than Kid Elberfield.

The Dodgers 30 managers

  1. George Taylor (1884) – More of a business manager than a field manager, his team went 40-64.
  2. Charlie Hackett (First 37 games of 1885) – He apparently had something better to do as Brooklyn started out 15-22.
  3. Charlie Byrne (Last 75 games of 1885, 1886-87) – Got the team to finish third in 1886.
  4. Bill McGunnigle (1888-90) – In three years, McGunnigle’s team won two pennants in two leagues (American Association and National League) and finished second the other year. He wasn’t asked back after winning his second consecutive pennant. This would happen again in Brooklyn.
  5. John Ward (1891-92) – One of the most famous players of his day, he couldn’t duplicate McGunnigle’s success and then left to go manage the Giants.
  6. Dave Foutz (1893-96) – Foutz pitched, played the outfield and first base during his playing career. He had three mediocre years as manager and one bad one and was either fired after finishing tenth or was not asked back because he passed away in 1897.
  7. Billy Barnie (1897 and first 35 games of 1898) – His nickname was “Baid Billy.” Other than that, I’ve got nothing.
  8. Mike Griffin (4 games in 1898) – At least he got one win.
  9. Charlie Ebbets (Last 110 games in 1898) – He liked the job so much, he bought the company!
  10. Ned Hanlon (1899-1905) – His first team went 101-47 and won the pennant. His last team went 48-104.
  11. Patsy Donovan (1906-08) – His 1908 Dodgers team batted .213. They weren’t very good.
  12. Harry Lumley (1909) – He went 55-98 in his only year on the job.
  13. Bill Dahlen (1910-13) – One of the greatest shortstops of his era, he managed four really bad Brooklyn teams.
  14. Wilbert Robinson (1914-31) – Brought respectability to the Dodgers and led them to two pennants (1916 and 1920), but toward the end of his tenure, the Dodgers went back to punch line status.
  15. Max Carey (1932-33) – After an 81-73 first season, Carey’s Dodgers went 65-88 and he was sent packing.
  16. Casey Stengel (1934-36) – His principal accomplishment in three years running the Dodgers was eliminating the Giants from contention in 1934.
  17. Burleigh Grimes (1937-38) – His W-L record as a pitcher was .560. As a manager, it was .434.
  18. Leo Durocher (1939-46, first 73 games of 1948) – Made the Dodgers contenders right away and won a pennant in 1941, won 104 games in 1942 and finished second, and lost a playoff in 1946. But he was suspended for the 1947 season and wore out his welcome in 1948.
  19. Clyde Sukeforth (First 2 games of 1947) – Agreed to fill in until the permanent manager showed up, he never lost a game and he also was the first manager to write Jackie Robinson’s name on a major league lineup card.
  20. Burt Shotton (final 153 games of 1947, last 81 games of 1948, 1949-50) – Dubbed KOBS (Kindly Old Burt Shotton), this friend of Branch Rickey led the Dodgers to pennants in 1947 and 1949 and a second place finish in 1950.
  21. Ray Blades (1 game in 1948) – The Dodgers had great success with interim managers in the 20th Century.
  22. Chuck Dressen (1951-53) – Lost a playoff in 1951 and then won pennants in 1952 and 1953. Dressen asked for a multiyear contract after a 105-49 season and was told not to come back.
  23. Walter Alston (1954 through first 158 games of 1976 season) – Greatest manager in Dodgers history with seven pennants and four World Series wins. My favorite Walter Alston fact: he ordered just nine intentional walks in the 1974 season.
  24. Tommy Lasorda (Last 4 games of 1976 through first 76 games of 1996 season) – Lasorda has kept a low profile since stepping down as a Dodger manager.
  25. Bill Russell (Last 86 games of 1996 through first 74 games of 1998) – Barry Bonds ruined his managerial career after turning a pirouette after hitting a home run in 1997.
  26. Glenn Hoffman (Last 88 games of 1998 season) – Only Dodgers manager to come from Southern California.
  27. Davey Johnson (1999-2000) – Robinson Checo’s biggest fan.
  28. Jim Tracy (2001-2005) –Was he a good manager? Well, that depends what you think is a measure of success. Would a team that won a divisional title once be considered a success? That depends.
  29. Grady Little (2006-07) – Flying high in 2006, shot down in 2007.
  30. Joe Torre (2008-????) -


2007-11-02 05:56:55
1.   NJYankee41
Nice job, I'm impressed with these lists. So, if you count Wilbert Robinson, Joe Torre is the 3rd person to manage both teams. I would have thought that between 2 such storied franchises more paths would have crossed. I guess that can be attributed to 43 straight seasons of Walt Alston and Tommy Lasorda.
2007-11-02 06:06:50
2.   Johnny Nucleo
Lasorda has kept a low profile since stepping down as a Dodger manager.

Belly laugh.

2007-11-02 08:55:47
3.   BruceR
2 The belly is the low part of the profile.

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