George Tweedy Stallings
Born: November 17, 1867 - Augusta, GA
Died: May 13, 1929 - Haddock, GA
Career BA: .100
Managerial Record: 879–898
Brooklyn Bridegrooms NL (1890)
Philadelphia Phillies NL (player-manager: 1897–1898)
Detroit Tigers AL (manager: 1901)
New York Highlanders AL (manager: 1909–1910)
Boston Braves NL (manager: 1913–1920)
George Stallings was a catcher, first baseman and rightfielder who played a total of seven Major League games, first with the Brooklyn Bridegrooms in 1890 and then as player-manager with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1897 and 1898. Stallings had 20 career at-bats, two hits and a .100 average. His meager stats as a player, however, do not tell the full story. Stallings managed in the Major Leagues for 13 seasons and had some decent ball clubs along the way, but it was one team and one season that stamped his legacy.
In 1914, Stallings was in his second season as manager of the Boston Braves. He had already had managerial stops with the Phillies, Tigers and New York Highlanders, never winning more than 78 games in a season. “Gentlemen George,” as he was known around the game, was all too gentlemanly to opponents, finishing as high as second place just once. In his first season in Boston, the Braves went 69–82, good—or bad—for fifth in the National League, 31.5 games behind the Giants. Not a single starter hit higher than .281, and one of their two 16-game winners, Lefty Tyler, also lost 17 games.
As the 1914 season began, there was no real cause for optimism. Things got worse as the team found itself in last place at midseason, but Stallings persevered and guided Boston to an astounding 94 wins and the National League pennant. The Braves were led by Joe Connolly and future Hall of Famers Johnny Evers and Rabbit Maranville. They also had two 26-game winners, Dick Rudolph and Bill James. In the World Series, Stallings’ club faced the heavily favored Philadelphia Athletics. Manager Connie Mack had won 99 games and his lineup featured the likes of Eddie Collins, Home Run Baker and Stuffy McInnis, all .300 hitters. Incredibly, Boston swept the A’s in four games. Stallings was the toast of Beantown, and while he would eventually settle back into mediocrity, for one brief shining season, he lived up to his Augusta, Georgia, roots and was, indeed, a managerial master.
– 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