Burton Edwin Shotton
Born: October 18, 1884 - Brownheim, OH
Died: July 29, 1962 - Lake Wales, FL
Career BA: .271
Managerial Record: 697–764
St. Louis Browns AL (October 18, 1884 - July 29, 1962)
Washington Senators AL (1918)
St. Louis Cardinals NL (1919–1923)
Philadelphia Phillies NL (manager: 1928–1933)
Brooklyn Dodgers NL (manager: 1947–1950)
Burt “Barney” Shotton was a skilled outfielder and overall was a pretty good manager. As a player in the American League, the mild-mannered Shotton had some very solid seasons. In 1916 he batted .283 and led the league in plate appearances, at-bats and walks. Nicknamed after famous race car driver Barney Oldfield, Shotton was pretty fast himself, swiping 293 bases over his 14-year career.
He got his feet wet as a manager while playing for the Cards when Branch Rickey, a fanatic about observing the Sabbath, used Shotton as his replacement for every Sunday game. As he honed his managerial skills, Shotton still produced well as a player. After his playing days, he coached for a few seasons in the Cardinals organization. In 1928, Shotton got his first real shot at managing, when he took over the helm for the Philadelphia Phillies. Although he stayed on as skipper until 1933, his Philly tenure was not terribly successful and he twice lost at least 100 games. Once he was relieved as manager, Shotton coached in the Reds and Indians systems.
His big break came at age 62, when his old friend Branch Rickey brought him on board to replace the fiery Leo Durocher who had been suspended by the Dodgers in 1947. Shotton won two pennants with the Dodgers (1947, 1949) who were led by the likes of Pee Wee Reese, Carl Furillo, Dixie Walker and their brilliant rookie, Jackie Robinson. Some people attribute Shotton’s success directly to the pool of talent he inherited, but many believe that his calming influence had a positive impact on his younger players. No matter how you look at it, Barney Shotton’s Dodgers won two pennants. When the Dodgers fell two games short of first place in 1950, scribes and fans alike felt that Shotton’s passive demeanor kept the team from winning another pennant. Shotton was relieved of his duties after that fateful season but dabbled in baseball until 1960 in various capacities, and passed away at age 77 in 1962.
– 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