"First in war, first in peace, and last in the American League," ran the old saw about Washington, but in 1924 the perennial AL tail-ender Senators were World Champions. In his first season at the helm was 27-year-old Bucky Harris, the youngest regular ML manager and the team's second baseman. Under Harris, the Senators repeated as AL champs in 1925, but lost a hard-fought seven-game Series to the Pirates. After suffering his first losing season in 1928, he was traded to, and named manager of, the Tigers. Except for a few appearances at second base, Harris was a bench manager from then on.
Harris went on to become one of seven managers to win 2,000 games - the others are:
Connie Mack ------ 3,731
John McGraw ------ 2,763
Sparky Anderson --- 2,194
Bucky Harris ------- 2,157
Joe McCarthy ------ 2,125
Walter Alston ------ 2,040
Leo Durocher ------ 2,008
An exceptional fielder, he topped AL second basemen in putouts four times and in double plays a record five straight times (1921-25). An adequate hitter with base stealing ability, Harris had a knack for being hit by pitches. An outstanding basketball player, he played professionally with local Pennsylvania teams during the off-season, until concerned Washington officials ordered him to cease.
He spent five unsuccessful seasons directing the Tigers, one with the Red Sox, and then eight more with the Senators, never finishing higher than fourth. Despite the many losing campaigns, Harris was regarded as a knowledgeable manager and was extremely popular with his players. His patient, gentlemanly manner inspired such loyalty that when the Phillies fired Harris in mid-1943, his players threatened to strike.
He remains to this day the youngest manager to win a World Series.
Picture from National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc.
|BASEBALL: Scores / Schedules | Standings | Stats | Transactions | Injuries|