Teams: St. Louis Browns, 1891; Boston Reds, 1891; Chicago Colts (Orphans), 1893-1900; Chicago White Stockings, 1901-1902; New York Highlanders, 1903-1907; Cincinnati Reds, 1909-1910; Washington Nationals, 1912-1914
Manager: Chicago White Stockings, 1901-1902; New York Highlanders, 1903-1908; Cincinnati Reds, 1909-1911; Washington Nationals, 1912-1920
Although he lived to be 85 years old, Clark Griffith was given his nickname "The Old Fox" while in his 20s.
Clark Griffith used trickery, such as
scuffing up baseballs, to make
the most of his modest talent.
One of the last players to be born in a log cabin, Clark Calvin Griffith (1869-1955) joined his hometown Bloomington, Illinois, team in the Central Interstate League in 1887. Four years later, he reached the majors with St. Louis of the American Association. Sold to the Boston Association team late in the 1891 season, he came down with a sore arm and was released.
Griffith then returned to the minors for 11/2 years. By 1894, he had become a mainstay of the Chicago White Stockings mound staff. He won 20 or more games six years in a row and led the NL with a 1.88 ERA in 1898.
When the American League declared itself a major circuit in 1901, Griffith was one of the first stars to jump to the new loop, joining the Chicago entry as a pitcher-manager and signaling the start of hostilities between the two leagues. In his very first season with Chicago, he bagged 24 victories and became the only pitcher in this century to win a pennant while functioning as a player-manager.
Griffith left Chicago in 1903 to manage the new AL New York entry. Still a pitcher and a manager, he became predominantly a pilot after the 1906 season. Although in later years he occasionally hurled a few innings, he never added to his 240 career wins.
Griffith quit the Highlanders during the 1908 season, managed the Cincinnati Reds for three years, and then became the manager and part owner of the Washington Nationals in 1912. After nine years in the dual role, Griffith devoted himself entirely to front office duties.
A crafty and, at times, daring owner for many years, The Old Fox helped bring the nation's capital three pennant winners. During the last two decades he ran the club, however, he grew increasingly nepotistic and unimaginative. By the time he died on October 27, 1955, the Senators had become the most moribund franchise in the majors. Griffith was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1946.
Here are Clark Griffith's major league managing totals:
Here are Clark Griffith's major league totals:
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