Teams: Washington Senators, 1924-1928; 1935-1942; 1950-1954; Detroit Tigers, 1929-1933; 1955-1956; Boston Red Sox, 1934; Philadelphia Phillies, 1943; New York Yankees, 1947-1948
Bucky Harris earned his fame early, as “The Boy Manager” of the Washington Senators, and earned his Cooperstown credentials as one of the longest-running management acts in history. He won 2,157 games and guided five teams during his 29-year career.
Stanley Raymond Harris (1896-1977) was raised in Pittson, Pennsylvania. His father, Thomas, was a semipro baseball player and former teammate of Hughie Jennings. Jennings, a Scranton resident, was impressed when he saw young Bucky play baseball and got him a tryout with the Tigers in 1916, but Harris failed to impress and was jettisoned to the minors.
After several unsatisfactory seasons, Bucky hit .282 with Buffalo of the International League. Washington owner Clark Griffith saw Harris and signed him. Bucky broke in with the Senators in 1919, becoming a glove wizard and an annual double-play champ.
Washington went nowhere under a succession of managers. In 1924, Griffith installed Harris as manager, and with young star Goose Goslin and seasoned veteran Walter Johnson, the Senators pulled away from the Yankees with a great stretch drive. Harris and the Senators were the talk of baseball and were going against John McGraw’s New York Giants.
In Game 7, Harris started righty hurler Curly Ogden and replaced him with left-hander George Mogridge after two batters, forcing McGraw to start young star lefty hitter Bill Terry and then replace him in the sixth. Harris hit a pebble-ball that bounced over Giants third baseman Fred Lindstrom’s head, as the Senators won their only World Series.
The Senators won another pennant in 1925 -- though they lost the Series to the Pirates -- and Harris continued to play for and manage the team until 1928. Harris then began his managerial travels in 1929, managing in Detroit, Boston, back in Washington, and in Philadelphia in the next 15 seasons, only twice finishing as high as fourth.
As a manager, Harris was a hard man. He only had one taste of success after his first years in Washington. In 1947, he took over the Yankees and promptly won his second World Series. When the team finished third in 1948, Harris was sacked. He managed for seven more years in Washington and Detroit, never finishing higher than fifth.
Despite his losing record, Harris drew praise for his management. His clubs generally lacked talent, and he got the best out of them by inspiring intense loyalty. Goose Goslin called Bucky “the best manager I ever played for.” Harris was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 1975.
Here are Bucky Harris's major league totals:
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