Hugh Ambrose “Hughie” Jennings
Born: April 2, 1869 - Pittston, PA
Died: February 1, 1928 - Scranton, PA
Career BA: .312
Managerial Record: 1,184–995
Louisville Colonels AA/NL (April 2, 1869 - February 1, 1928)
Baltimore Orioles NL (1893–1899)
Brooklyn Superbas NL (1899–1900, 1903)
Philadelphia Phillies NL (1901–1902)
Detroit Tigers AL (player-manager: 1907, 1909, 1912, 1918; manager: 1907–1920)
New York Giants NL (manager: 1924–1925)
Hughie “Ee-Yah” Jennings goes down as one of the most colorful players and managers who ever stepped onto the field. As a player, Jennings was an outstanding shortstop who had some incredible offensive seasons with the Orioles. He batted over .300 five straight seasons from 1894 to 1898, posting a sensational .401 BA in 1896. That year the tough-as-they-come Jennings was hit by pitches 51 times, setting a National League record. Willing to do whatever it took to get on base, he led the league in HBP five seasons in a row, and his career 287 plunkings are still a Major League record. Also known for his speed, Jennings swiped 70 bases in 1896. Great with the glove, Jennings led the league in putouts on four occasions.
As a manager of the Tigers, he was known for his antics while coaching at third base, and his famous shouts of “Ee-Yah” which soon became his nickname. Hughie Jennings was considered near or at the top of the list as a strategist and great teacher of fundamentals. He led the Tigers to the American League pennant three consecutive seasons from 1907 to 1909, but also had the challenging task of keeping the fiery Ty Cobb in check and running interference between Cobb and his archenemy and teammate, Sam Crawford. After 13 seasons in Detroit, Jennings moved on to coach and manage for John McGraw’s Giants, winning the pennant in 1924.
During the offseason, Jennings was a practicing attorney. He had attended Cornell University and, although he never finished, he passed the bar exam and went into practice in 1905. After winning over 1,184 games as a manager, Jennings concentrated his attention on his thriving law practice. In 1926, Jennings was diagnosed with tuberculosis. He died in 1928 at age 58, just months after he was diagnosed with meningitis. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1945.
– Tom and Ellen Zappala, The Cracker Jack Collection: Baseball's Prized Players. For more information on their book and/or to order a copy at a special PSA discount, visit http://crackerjackplayers.com/PSA_order.html