PDA

View Full Version : Which Hall of Famers Played for a Succession of Lousy Managers?


cards press box
01-23-2011, 12:56 AM
This question occurred to me today: have there been Hall of Fame caliber players who just played for a succession of awful managers in their careers?

A lot of Hall of Famers, I am sure, played for good and bad managers. Frank Thomas, for example, played for Jeff Torborg and Ozzie Guillen, who I would classify as good managers. Big Frank played for Gene Lamont who was so-so and also for Terry Bevington who was awful and Jerry Manuel who was pretty bad, too.

Not to pick on the Cubs but Billy Williams is an example of a ballplayer who played for a string of pretty bad managers. From 1960-1965, Williams played for Lou Boudreau, the College of Coaches (Vedie Himsl, Harry Craft, El Tappe, Lou Klein and Charlie Metro), Bob Kennedy and Lou Klein again. Wow, this is not a distinguished collection of managers. From 1966-1972, Williams did play for Leo Durocher who, to be fair, was an all-time great manager. Unfortunately, Durocher did not change with the times. By the late '60's, Durocher had become somewhat of a caricature of himself and was not nearly on top of his game.

From 1972-1976, Williams played for Whitey Lockman, Jim Marshall, Alvin Dark and Chuck Tanner. Lockman and Marshall had little success with the Cubs. Dark had some good years with the two good teams he managed (the S.F. Giants of the early '60's and the A's of the mid '70's) and might well be the best manager that Williams ever had. As for Chuck Tanner, he had his ups and downs with the Sox, A's and Pirates. I was never that big a fan of Tanner, though.

Summing up, Williams played for a lot of lousy managers, an over-the-hill Leo Durocher and a couple of better managers in the twilight of his career in Oakland. The bad managers didn't stop him from having a great career but I suspect that the grind of serving under poor field generals must have been aggravating.

LITTLE NELL
01-23-2011, 07:03 AM
This question occurred to me today: have there been Hall of Fame caliber players who just played for a succession of awful managers in their careers?

A lot of Hall of Famers, I am sure, played for good and bad managers. Frank Thomas, for example, played for Jeff Torborg and Ozzie Guillen, who I would classify as good managers. Big Frank played for Gene Lamont who was so-so and also for Terry Bevington who was awful and Jerry Manuel who was pretty bad, too.

Not to pick on the Cubs but Billy Williams is an example of a ballplayer who played for a string of pretty bad managers. From 1960-1965, Williams played for Lou Boudreau, the College of Coaches (Vedie Himsl, Harry Craft, El Tappe, Lou Klein and Charlie Metro), Bob Kennedy and Lou Klein again. Wow, this is not a distinguished collection of managers. From 1966-1972, Williams did play for Leo Durocher who, to be fair, was an all-time great manager. Unfortunately, Durocher did not change with the times. By the late '60's, Durocher had become somewhat of a caricature of himself and was not nearly on top of his game.

From 1972-1976, Williams played for Whitey Lockman, Jim Marshall, Alvin Dark and Chuck Tanner. Lockman and Marshall had little success with the Cubs. Dark had some good years with the two good teams he managed (the S.F. Giants of the early '60's and the A's of the mid '70's) and might well be the best manager that Williams ever had. As for Chuck Tanner, he had his ups and downs with the Sox, A's and Pirates. I was never that big a fan of Tanner, though.

Summing up, Williams played for a lot of lousy managers, an over-the-hill Leo Durocher and a couple of better managers in the twilight of his career in Oakland. The bad managers didn't stop him from having a great career but I suspect that the grind of serving under poor field generals must have been aggravating.

Ernie Banks, 19+ years with the Flubs, only 5 winning seasons and not one post season. Had to be the managers.

doublem23
01-23-2011, 07:38 AM
Frank Thomas spent 1995-2005 under the tutelage of Terry Bevington, Jerry Manuel, and Ozzie Guillen. That's a pretty brutal three-some, even if you think Ozzie's all right.

TommyJohn
01-23-2011, 07:50 AM
How about Luke Appling? Broke in under one of the all-time worst, Donie Bush, then put up with 2 years of Lew Fonseca. Then he had Jimmie Dykes, who I think was a good manager with bad teams, then Ted Lyons (all-time great turned awful manager) and Jack Onslow.

eastchicagosoxfan
01-23-2011, 09:11 AM
This is a tough question to answer. I thought of the Phillies in the 1930's and '40's, and Chuck Klein. He came up in 1928, and was managed by Burt Shotton. Under Shotton, in six seasons, the Phils never finished better than fourth, and Shotton compiled a dismal 370-549 record. He moved on, and a few years later managed the Dodgers to two pennants. Klein spent two years with the Cubs, under Charlie Grimm, who was a pretty good manager. After that brief hiatus, it was back to the City of Brotherly Love, and Klein played for Jimmie Wilson, who by most accounts was the bad manager of a bad team. Wilson compiled a 280-477 record in just under five seasons. Klein's last season of any substantial playing time was 1940 (he appeared in games until 1944) when the legendary Doc Prothro, who won 138 games in three years at the helm. He lost more than twice that amount.

Mel Ott played under John McGraw, but towards the end of McGraw's great career. By that time McGraw was a real *******, and difficult to get along with. His team's records were decent, but he never returned to the post season. Bill Terry replaced McGraw in 1932, and was a good manager, and they won it all in 1933, and made two more October appearances in 1936-37. Terry's methods were questioned, and his teams fell apart. Ott was then managed by Mel Ott. In seven seasons, his teams had one first division finish.

DumpJerry
01-23-2011, 09:22 AM
Ernie Banks, 19+ years with the Flubs, only 5 winning seasons and not one post season. Had to be the managers.
Nope. Dead goat.

eastchicagosoxfan
01-23-2011, 10:19 AM
Ernie Banks, 19+ years with the Flubs, only 5 winning seasons and not one post season. Had to be the managers.
I guess an easy way to look at the question is to see what teams had more than one HOF'er, and who managed those teams. The Cubs of the 1960's had three HOF'ers in their primes, (Jenkins, Williams and Banks) and one guy whose credentials are debated ad nauseum. Nothing to show for it other than an epic collapse and a black cat story.

The Pirates of the 1930's boasted four HOF'ers, and had zero pennants. Their managers were ho-um to bad. Led by Pie Traynor, Arky Vaughn and the Waner brothers, the team had plenty of fire power, but zero post season appearances. They were managed by Donnie Bush in 1927, and were swept by the Yanks. Throughout the 1930's, they had a couple of second place finishes under George Gibson (I know nothing about him), but usually finished in the second division. Pie Traynor was the player-manager, and never led the team, despite aplenty of talent to a flag.

Railsplitter
01-23-2011, 05:59 PM
Charter HoFer Walter Johnson. He broke in with the Washington Senators in 1907, didn't play for a pennant winner until 1924.

gobears1987
01-23-2011, 06:12 PM
Frank Thomas spent 1995-2005 under the tutelage of Terry Bevington, Jerry Manuel, and Ozzie Guillen. That's a pretty brutal three-some, even if you think Ozzie's all right.

Yeah, that 2005 campaign under Ozzie was rough with the World Series title and all. :rolleyes:

From 1995-2003, you have a point. I feel that Jerry Manuel really hurt Frank during his years as manager. It's a shame Frank was injured during both of his years under Ozzie. I think that if he and Maggs were healthy in 2004, the Sox could've done some real damage. The lack of a 5th starter wouldn't have mattered once they got into the postseason.

eastchicagosoxfan
01-23-2011, 07:01 PM
Charter HoFer Walter Johnson. He broke in with the Washington Senators in 1907, didn't play for a pennant winner until 1924.

Along those same lines, but in the opposite direction, there's Ty Cobb. He played for Hughie Jennings, who was John McGraw's good friend from their Oriole days. Three straight pennants in Cobb's first few seasons. Nothing after that. Cobb played in the 1909 Series, and retired after the 1928 season without another appearance. After Jennings was fired, Cobb replaced him and the results were a little better, but no flags. Cobb ended his career with the A's and Connie Mack. Cobb called Mack the best manager he ever played for. That 1928 A's team boasts seven HOF'ers. Cobb, Speaker, Cochrane, Simmons, Foxx, Collins, and Grove, are enshrined in Cooperstown, as is manager Connie Mack.

RKMeibalane
01-23-2011, 08:28 PM
Frank Thomas spent 1995-2005 under the tutelage of Terry Bevington, Jerry Manuel, and Ozzie Guillen. That's a pretty brutal three-some, even if you think Ozzie's all right.

You beat me to it, as this is almost exactly what I was going to say. I'll add that I wasn't a huge fan of Gene LaMont, though his teams were successful.