George Joseph Moriarty
Born: July 7, 1885 - Chicago, IL
Died: April 8, 1964 - Miami, FL
Career BA: .251
Managerial Record: 150–157
Chicago Cubs NL (July 7, 1884 - April 8, 1964)
New York Highlanders AL (1906–1908)
Detroit Tigers AL (1909–1915; manager: 1927–1928)
Chicago White Sox AL (1916)
One of the most colorful characters in the annals of baseball history, George “The Man Who Won't Die on Third” Moriarty did it all. A solid ballplayer, manager, respected umpire, newspaper columnist, poet and songwriter, Moriarty was a popular individual over his four decades in baseball. As a player, he was a demon on the basepaths, swiping 251 bases over his career, and stealing home 11 times. Used as a utility player early on, he excelled as a third baseman due to his strong arm and accuracy. As captain of the Tigers from 1911 through 1915, Moriarty was acting manager for Hughie Jennings on several occasions.
After his playing days, he went on to umpire in the big leagues for 22 years, participating in five World Series as well as the 1934 All-Star Game. A respected no-nonsense umpire, Moriarty stood his ground with players and managers. Known as a brawler as a player, he continued the brawling as umpire. In 1932, at age 47, Moriarty fought four White Sox players at the same time for taking exception to his calls. He is famous for ejecting three Cubs players from Game 3 of the 1935 World Series for heckling Detroit star Hank Greenberg with anti-Semitic remarks. Moriarty took a two-year break in umpiring to manage the Tigers in 1927 and 1928, and later scouted for the Tigers in the 1940s and 1950s.
Known for his hot temper and brawling, Moriarty had a softer side off the field. He wrote poetry and columns for several newspapers and actually penned the lyrics to three popular songs written by famous songwriter Richard Whiting. Not bad considering he never finished grammar school. Considered one of the best umpires of the era, George Moriarty was truly loved and respected until his death in 1964. Interestingly enough, his grandson, actor Michael Moriarty, starred in the 1973 baseball movie “Bang the Drum Slowly.”
– 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