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View Full Version : RIP Chuck Tanner


TheCommander
02-11-2011, 02:52 PM
Link (http://mlb.fanhouse.com/2011/02/11/chuck-tanner-former-pirates-manager-reportedly-dies/)

LITTLE NELL
02-11-2011, 03:00 PM
Did a great job for a few years in bringing the club back from one of its lowest points in the history of the franchise. Actually saw him play for the Braves and Cubs back in the 50s.
RIP Chuck.

veeter
02-11-2011, 03:01 PM
He was the first manager I knew. The whole package of Tanner and his coaching staff, Dick Allen, Orta, Harry Caray, those awesome red pinstripes, etc., were a big joy of my youth. R.I.P. Chuck, those memories will never leave me.

Red Barchetta
02-11-2011, 03:03 PM
He was the first manager I knew. The whole package of Tanner and his coaching staff, Dick Allen, Orta, Harry Caray, those awesome red pinstripes, etc., were a big joy of my youth. R.I.P. Chuck, those memories will never leave me.

I agree. He was the manager when I first remember going to SOX games and becoming a SOX fan.

Bucky F. Dent
02-11-2011, 03:07 PM
He was the first manager I knew. The whole package of Tanner and his coaching staff, Dick Allen, Orta, Harry Caray, those awesome red pinstripes, etc., were a big joy of my youth. R.I.P. Chuck, those memories will never leave me.


I share your sentiments completely.

Rest in peace, Coach.

TomBradley72
02-11-2011, 03:43 PM
I was 8 years old when I became a Sox fan in 1971- Chuck Tanner was a big part of it- he was the first example I saw of the power of positive thinking/reinforcement, optimism, etc.

What a great guy.

RIP.

palehosepub
02-11-2011, 03:44 PM
He was the first manager I knew. The whole package of Tanner and his coaching staff, Dick Allen, Orta, Harry Caray, those awesome red pinstripes, etc., were a big joy of my youth. R.I.P. Chuck, those memories will never leave me.

Same for me, I starting watch the Sox in 1969 bu the first manager I remember was Tanner and I love the red pinstripe era of 1971-1975. Chuck was Mr. Postive and always kept a smile on his face. Met him once at a autograph show, he was very warm & receptive. Obviously made a bigger impact with the Pirates World chamionship in 1979 but he will always be a White Sox to me. He had a son who was a pitcher and had a cup of coffee in the majors if I remember correctly.

Hitmen77
02-11-2011, 04:49 PM
More on his passing from the Tribune:

http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/2011/02/former-sox-manager-chuck-tanner-dies-at-81.html

102605
02-11-2011, 04:52 PM
Am I the only one who likes these???

Lamp81
02-11-2011, 05:00 PM
He had a son who was a pitcher and had a cup of coffee in the majors if I remember correctly.

Bruce Tanner, who pitched 10 games for the Sox in 1985. I thought he was supposed to be a top prospect of the Sox, but maybe he was just hyped because of his father.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/t/tannebr01.shtml

Medford Bobby
02-11-2011, 05:10 PM
He was the first manager I knew. The whole package of Tanner and his coaching staff, Dick Allen, Orta, Harry Caray, those awesome red pinstripes, etc., were a big joy of my youth. R.I.P. Chuck, those memories will never leave me.

Well said...that started my White Sox love and later the 1977 Southside Hitman cemented it forever!!

TDog
02-11-2011, 06:41 PM
Well said...that started my White Sox love and later the 1977 Southside Hitman cemented it forever!!

Chuck Tanner's 1972 team was better than the 1977 team. The 1973 team would have been better still if Dick Allen and Carlos May hadn't gone down with injuries early in the season.

My favorite Chuck Tanner moment might have come in 1974, though, when fans were losing faith in him. Stan Bahnsen, aka Stanley Struggle, was pitching a very good game one overcast Sunday afternoon. He got into a little trouble late with the game on the line, and Tanner walked to the mound to take him out. Bahnsen got a huge ovation from the crowd as he headed back to the dugout. When Tanner headed toward the dugout, he was loudly booed. But when he tipped his hat, the boos changed spontaneously to cheers. I had never seen anything like it. It was like Tanner was telling the fans he respected the fact that they disagreed with him, but I'm going to do what I think is best for the team.

Tanner, however, will best be remembered as the last manager to lead the Pirates to a World Series, and I'm guessing that will be the case long after his death.

LITTLE NELL
02-11-2011, 06:55 PM
[QUOTE=TDog;2693450]Chuck Tanner's 1972 team was better than the 1977 team. The 1973 team would have been better still if Dick Allen and Carlos May hadn't gone down with injuries early in the season.

If Bill Melton had not hurt his back in 72 I think we would have won the division.

JNS
02-11-2011, 09:18 PM
I had the honor of having a chat with Rollie Hemond at Soxfest a few weeks ago and introducing my kid to him. I said "This is the man who saved the White Sox by bringing Dick Allen and generally keeping them competitive in the 70s and again in the early 80s with minuscule budgets. You would not have a chance to be a Sox fan if it wasn't for Mr. Hemond."

Hemond, forever classy and decent said "don't forget Tanner - he got the most out of those guys for a long time and had them playing over their heads. He did a great job."

Both statements are true. I had friends who ended up being terminally annoyed at Tanner for his sunny attitude with the Sox sucked. But these same guys loved Tanner when he led the motley Pittsburgh crew to a WS title against the dreaded Birds of Baltimore.

Whatever one's opinion of Tanner as a manager, he was a decent man, had a pretty good record with the Sox - better than the talent on the rosters he managed - and never had a bad thing to say about anyone.

Back in 1971 when the Sox were starting to come back from near oblivion, Tanner and Hemond were seen as a team. Whether this is the case or not, they both saved the Sox; I'm sure they would have ended up somewhere else - Seattle, Danver, wherever - if it hadn't been for the players Roland brought in and the managing that Chuck did. RIP Chuck, you are a good guy.

JNS
02-11-2011, 09:20 PM
[QUOTE=TDog;2693450]Chuck Tanner's 1972 team was better than the 1977 team. The 1973 team would have been better still if Dick Allen and Carlos May hadn't gone down with injuries early in the season.

If Bill Melton had not hurt his back in 72 I think we would have won the division.

I think that is true- we really gave the A's a run for their money. And the A's were the class of MLB in those days - a great team by any measure.

Allen's 1972 MVP season was one of the most exciting and impressive seasons I have ever seen a player have.

Noneck
02-11-2011, 09:27 PM
A good man he was and he loved those ponies as did his star player Dick Allen. Hope hes catching some winners upstairs.

JNS
02-11-2011, 09:46 PM
A good man he was and he loved those ponies as did his star player Dick Allen. Hope hes catching some winners upstairs.

Well put. :smile:

Fenway
02-11-2011, 10:09 PM
Cmd93qdAfxM

DumpJerry
02-11-2011, 10:24 PM
R.I.P. He was my first Sox Manager, I remember him well.

thomas35forever
02-12-2011, 12:05 AM
RIP to one of my dad's favorite managers.

Falstaff
02-12-2011, 12:48 AM
ya, I have lots of Tanner memories from 72 onward.
My dad loved the way Mr. Niceguy would get into the umpire's
face on occasion, and throw down quality rant to the point of
(intentionally) getting booted from the game. My dad kept the
camera handy and actually started a collection of photos off the
(channel 44) TV of Tanner in that classic in the umpire face pose, much
like the Norman Rockwell painting of that subject.
RIP. And ya, he usually left Bahnsen in a little too long.

cards press box
02-12-2011, 03:58 AM
If Bill Melton had not hurt his back in 72 I think we would have won the division.

I agree but would go one step farther. With a healthy Melton, I think the Sox beat Detroit and go to the World Series. How fun would that have been?

:sockem

soxinem1
02-12-2011, 07:48 AM
ya, I have lots of Tanner memories from 72 onward.
My dad loved the way Mr. Niceguy would get into the umpire's
face on occasion, and throw down quality rant to the point of
(intentionally) getting booted from the game. My dad kept the
camera handy and actually started a collection of photos off the
(channel 44) TV of Tanner in that classic in the umpire face pose, much
like the Norman Rockwell painting of that subject.
RIP. And ya, he usually left Bahnsen in a little too long.

Chuck Tanner was rarely blessed with a solid roster except when he was in PIT, but in his prime as a manager he always got the most out of his team.

Tanner was also from the school of sending his starting pitchers out there often, and other than a guy like Wilbur Wood, not over-work them. He never used a five man rotation in his five seasons in Chicago.

In fact, IIRC, he was one of the (if not the) last managers to not utilize a five man starting rotation. In 1972 three guys accounted for nearly 130 starts. That team actually had a 3 1/2 man rotation. Amazing then, and unheard of today.

I agree with many who believe that 1972 team could have won the AL West with just one more solid bat.

RIP Chuck, and thanks for helping keep the White Sox in Chicago.

TomBradley72
02-12-2011, 09:11 AM
Chuck Tanner was rarely blessed with a solid roster except when he was in PIT, but in his prime as a manager he always got the most out of his team.

Tanner was also from the school of sending his starting pitchers out there often, and other than a guy like Wilbur Wood, not over-work them. He never used a five man rotation in his five seasons in Chicago.

In fact, IIRC, he was one of the (if not the) last managers to not utilize a five man starting rotation. In 1972 three guys accounted for nearly 130 starts. That team actually had a 3 1/2 man rotation. Amazing then, and unheard of today.

I agree with many who believe that 1972 team could have won the AL West with just one more solid bat.

RIP Chuck, and thanks for helping keep the White Sox in Chicago.

I remember the "3 man rotation" where the 4th guy was more or less like the #5 guy today- pretty incredible- with Wood as a knuckleballer, you could see it- but that Bahnsen and Bradley were part of that- still a little mind boggling. Johnny Sain was a hell of a pitching coach.

Dan H
02-12-2011, 10:17 AM
I think Chuck Tanner was the perfect hire the White Sox in 1971. The team was coming off one of its worst seasons and interest was at all time low. He was an aggressive salesperson; something the team desperately needed at that time. I recall him being interviewed by the side of the Chicago River with the city skyline in the background a day before the home opener in '71. He looked like he had been part of the city for a long time. He helped revive the team and he will have a special place in White Sox history as a result.

SI1020
02-12-2011, 10:29 AM
I met Chuck Tanner in 1974 through a friend. He was one of those rare persons that made you feel uplifted in his presence, that you were important to him. He also knew a hell of a lot about baseball. The fates were not kind to him in Chicago after that exciting roller coaster ride 1972 season. I can't think of a team more star crossed than the 1973 Chicago White Sox. Thankfully Chuck got a chance to show his mettle in 79 against the legendary Earl Weaver and his talented Orioles. It was a great World Series, one of the best ever. A lot of us Sox fans were very happy for Chuck Tanner that year.

Lip Man 1
02-12-2011, 10:32 AM
I am shocked and sad over his passing. I didn't know that he was very sick. I knew he had some heart issues.

Just a great guy, spoken about highly by just about everybody in the game (with the exception of Ron Santo...) I absolutely loved calling him from time to time just to talk baseball.

Like Dan said he was the perfect fit at the right time. My sincere condolances to his family and the White Sox. I have lost a friend.

Here is the link to my interview with him for WSI. One of the best interviews I've ever done. It was pure Chuck with the bark off:

www.whitesoxinteractive.com/rwas/index.php?category=11&id=3056

Lip

TDog
02-12-2011, 01:35 PM
I remember the "3 man rotation" where the 4th guy was more or less like the #5 guy today- pretty incredible- with Wood as a knuckleballer, you could see it- but that Bahnsen and Bradley were part of that- still a little mind boggling. Johnny Sain was a hell of a pitching coach.

Tanner brought Johnny Sain with him when he broke into major league managing with the White Sox. Both Tanner and Hemond were hired from the Angels system. Sain was a controversial unemployed pitching coach. Tanner loved Johnny Sain, although Sain was gone from the Braves by the time the Braves signed him as a player in the 1950s.

Of course, Wilbur Wood had the knuckleball, but Jim Kaat thrived on two-days rest. The White Sox essentially had a three-man rotation much of the time with frequent doubleheaders requiring spot starters. Kaat loved Sain, who had first coached hm with with Twins. Stan Bahnsen and Steve Stone don't speak as highly about the way Tanner and Sain handled their pitchers. Indeed, late in Tanner's White Sox tenure, the Sain's views on pitching became a flash points in the media and with the fans. The White Sox replaced Tanner with Paul Richards who believed in a five-man rotation at a time when baseball people believed it didn't give starters enough work to remain effective and put less qualified pitchers into the starting role.

When Tanner went to manage the A's, they made it clear Johnny Sain wasn't coming with him.

Tanner's White Sox hitting coach wasn't as controversial, although under the current landscape of White Sox-fan discourse it might be. To coach hitting, who looked to someone who hit a home run in his first major league at bat. Tanner served as his own hitting coach in Chicago.

The contrast between Chuck Tanner and Don Gutteridge, who he replaced, was extreme. The contrast between Tanner and Leo Durocher, the Cubs manager at the time, probably helped build the popularity of the White Sox from a low point in the team's history.

Medford Bobby
02-12-2011, 01:44 PM
Chuck Tanner's 1972 team was better than the 1977 team. The 1973 team would have been better still if Dick Allen and Carlos May hadn't gone down with injuries early in the season.

My favorite Chuck Tanner moment might have come in 1974, though, when fans were losing faith in him. Stan Bahnsen, aka Stanley Struggle, was pitching a very good game one overcast Sunday afternoon. He got into a little trouble late with the game on the line, and Tanner walked to the mound to take him out. Bahnsen got a huge ovation from the crowd as he headed back to the dugout. When Tanner headed toward the dugout, he was loudly booed. But when he tipped his hat, the boos changed spontaneously to cheers. I had never seen anything like it. It was like Tanner was telling the fans he respected the fact that they disagreed with him, but I'm going to do what I think is best for the team.

Tanner, however, will best be remembered as the last manager to lead the Pirates to a World Series, and I'm guessing that will be the case long after his death.
After the Tanner era ended, the rest of the Sox 70's would have been lost if not for the "fun" of Summer of '77.:o:

asindc
02-12-2011, 03:10 PM
One of my all-time favorite Sox managers. Rest in Peace, Mr. Tanner.

Wsoxmike59
02-12-2011, 04:56 PM
Chuck Tanner's 1972 team was better than the 1977 team. The 1973 team would have been better still if Dick Allen and Carlos May (Ken Henderson) hadn't gone down with injuries early in the season.



Great post TDog, but I think it was Ken Henderson along with Allen who had season ending injuries, thus extinguishing any hopes the Sox had at contending against the Oakland juggernaut that would eventually Three-peat.

Carlos May actually had a pretty good season in '73 reaching career highs in HR's and RBI's, and I can recall an interview May gave in subsequent years saying he sacrificed batting average and went more for HR-RBI that year after Allen went down.

P.S. I was at the game when Dick Allen tried to come back in '73 after suffering the broken leg in Anaheim. I remember it was against KC (or maybe Minnesota) and Allen went 3 for 3 all singles and he ran to first like he still had a cast on his right leg. He kind of stiff legged it and gutted it out. Tanner took him out for a pinch runner and made him call it a season.

Fenway
02-12-2011, 05:00 PM
Nice column in the Pittsburgh paper

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11043/1125016-63.stm

gogosox675
02-12-2011, 08:15 PM
I met Chuck Tanner in 1974 through a friend. He was one of those rare persons that made you feel uplifted in his presence, that you were important to him. He also knew a hell of a lot about baseball. The fates were not kind to him in Chicago after that exciting roller coaster ride 1972 season. I can't think of a team more star crossed than the 1973 Chicago White Sox. Thankfully Chuck got a chance to show his mettle in 79 against the legendary Earl Weaver and his talented Orioles. It was a great World Series, one of the best ever. A lot of us Sox fans were very happy for Chuck Tanner that year.
He managed game five the same day that his mom passed away. I couldn't even imagine managing a World Series game the same day my mom passed away. On top of that, the Pirates would have been eliminated if they lost. Incredible.

TDog
02-12-2011, 08:21 PM
Great post TDog, but I think it was Ken Henderson along with Allen who had season ending injuries, thus extinguishing any hopes the Sox had at contending against the Oakland juggernaut that would eventually Three-peat.

Carlos May actually had a pretty good season in '73 reaching career highs in HR's and RBI's, and I can recall an interview May gave in subsequent years saying he sacrificed batting average and went more for HR-RBI that year after Allen went down.

P.S. I was at the game when Dick Allen tried to come back in '73 after suffering the broken leg in Anaheim. I remember it was against KC (or maybe Minnesota) and Allen went 3 for 3 all singles and he ran to first like he still had a cast on his right leg. He kind of stiff legged it and gutted it out. Tanner took him out for a pinch runner and made him call it a season.

There were a bunch of injuries to the 1973 team. Allen's was the biggest. May's was the first. May was only out about a week after injuring his leg running out a hit in Anaheim in May, but he was never the same. He was hitting about .300 before the injury. When he came back, he wasn't the same. When Allen went down during the next trip to Anaheim in June, May was barely hitting .240. Before May hurt his leg, the White Sox were 18-6, five games up on the A's. Going into the game where Allen was lost about six weeks later, the White Sox were in fourth place, four games above .500 in a division where only the Rangers were below .500.

Carlos is one of my favorite people. I'm not disputing his memory of how he approached the season. But after hitting .307 in 1972 and getting off to a solid start with a team that looked like it could be dominant in 1973, his batting average began falling a month before Allen was taken out of the lineup.

palehosepub
02-13-2011, 07:49 PM
Chuck Tanners 1972 Road Game Jersey

6933

6934

Lip Man 1
02-13-2011, 09:19 PM
Henderson tore up his knee in a collision at home plate in a late May game with the Indians... it started a run unlike any seen in franchise history as the Sox would use the disabled list a staggering total of 38 times.

Lip

MikeW
02-14-2011, 07:32 PM
I too am saddened by the passing of Chuck Tanner. He and Roland Hemond turned the franchise around after that nightmarish 1970 season. He was a good guy and that 1972 season is one I will always treasure. Unfortunately money was always an issue in those days and the Sox just didn't have the depth that Oakland had. Money cost us Rick Reichardt,Jay Johnstone,Mike Andrews and Tom Egan. Plus there never was enough pitching,especially after we traded Tom Bradley to get Henderson.

Lip Man 1
02-14-2011, 08:50 PM
Mike:

It also cost the Sox Ed Spezio. It got so bad that grade A idiot Stu Holcomb ordered Roland Hemond to waive Stan Bahnsen when Stan rejected the club's offer. Hemond and Tanner marched themselves into John Allen's office and basically said, "it's him or us..."

Allen announced that Hemond was "retiring." :D:

Lip

chisox77
02-14-2011, 09:36 PM
I was always proud to say, and to recall, that Chuck Tanner managed the White Sox. May he rest in peace.