George Stallings

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George Tweedy Stallings
(Gentleman George)

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Biographical Information[edit]

George Stallings managed pro ball for 34 years, including 13 in the majors. He is best remembered as the skipper of the 1914 "Miracle Braves". He also had a long minor-league playing career but had only 20 at-bats in the majors.

George Stallings.jpg

Stallings reached the big leagues as a player in 1890, going hitless in four games with the Brooklyn Bridegrooms. He was soon back in the minors and began his managing career with the Augusta Electricians of the Southern League in 1893. He was also the head coach at Mercer University from 1893 to 1896 [1]. He became the Philadelphia Phillies manager in 1897 and also appeared in two games as the club finished in tenth place in the National League. He played in one game with the team the next summer but was replaced by Bill Shettsline at the helm on June 18th. After managing the Detroit Tigers of the minor league Western League in 1898 and 1899, he became co-owner of the team alongside saloon owner James D. Burns in March of 1900 when George Vanderbeck was unable to make alimony payments to his former wife and was forced to sell the team, just as the Western League was renaming itself the "American League" with the aim of becoming a second major league, which happened in 1901.

Stallings led the Detroit Tigers to a third place finish in 1901 and then found success with the Buffalo Bisons, leading the club to two Eastern League titles. With the New York Highlanders in 1910, the team was in second place late in the season before he resigned in September and was replaced by Hal Chase.

After two more seasons back in the Eastern League with Buffalo, Stallings became manager of the Boston Braves in 1913, and he took the club from last place to a pennant the next summer. The "Miracle Braves", as the 1914 squad was known, were in last place for much of the first part of the season and as late as July 18th. On August 4th, they had climbed to fourth place, but they didn't reach first until August 25th. They dropped back into second, but by September 5th they were atop the standings for good and finished ten games in front of their nearest rivals. They went on to sweep the Philadelphia Athletics in the World Series.

In both 1913 and 1914, Stallings introduced a novel strategy - platooning. Faced with a group of not very productive outfielders, he decided to alternate them by ensuring that lefthanded batters would get the bulk of the starts against rightanded pitchers, and vice-versa. Thus, his best hitter, Joe Connolly, who was lefthanded, was always in the starting line-up when a righty was on the mound, but sat when the team was facing a lefty. He would also made in-game substitutions to maintain that "platoon advantage" whenever his opponents moved from a righthanded pitcher to a lefty or the opposite. The strategy was no new it did not have a name at the time, and reporters did not fully understand it (they just saw that he seemed to extract more production out of his underwhelming group of outfielders than anyone expected), but the strategy was soon adapted by many opponents.

Under Stallings' leadership, the Braves finished in second in 1915, and he continued to manage the team through 1920. Stallings was managing the Montreal Royals in 1928, when on June 7 he collapsed in the team hotel in Toronto. He was diagnosed with a heart attack and at the end of June retired to his home in Georgia.

In 1959, Stallings was elected to the International League Hall of Fame.

Stallings was the uncle of Art Bues.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • NL Pennants: 1 (1914)
  • Managed one World Series Champion with the Boston Braves in 1914

Preceded by
Billy Nash
Philadelphia Phillies Manager
Succeeded by
Bill Shettsline
Preceded by
Detroit Tigers Manager
Succeeded by
Frank Dwyer
Preceded by
Kid Elberfeld
New York Highlanders Manager
Succeeded by
Hal Chase
Preceded by
Johnny Kling
Boston Braves Manager
Succeeded by
Fred Mitchell

Year-by-Year Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
1893 Augusta Electricians Southern League 51-39 6th none none
1894 Nashville Tigers Southern League 30-37 4th none none
1895 Nashville Seraphs Southern League 69-38 2nd none none
1896 Detroit Tigers Western League 3rd none replaced J.C. "Con" Strothers
1897 Philadelphia Phillies National League 55-77 10th Philadelphia Phillies
1898 Philadelphia Phillies National League 19-27 -- Philadelphia Phillies replaced by Bill Shettsline on June 18
Detroit Tigers Western League none replaced Frank Graves, Ollie Beard and Tony Mullane
1899 Detroit Tigers Western League 64-60 3rd none none
1900 Detroit Tigers American League 71-67 4th none none
1901 Detroit Tigers American League 74-61 3rd Detroit Tigers
1902 Buffalo Bisons Eastern League 88-45 1st (t) none none
1903 Buffalo Bisons Eastern League 79-43 3rd none none
1904 Buffalo Bisons Eastern League 88-46 1st none none League Champs
1905 Buffalo Bisons Eastern League 63-74 5th none none
1906 Buffalo Bisons Eastern League 85-55 1st none none League Champs
1908 Newark Indians Eastern League 79-58 3rd none none
1909 New York Highlanders American League 74-77 5th New York Highlanders
1910 New York Highlanders American League 78-59 -- New York Highlanders replaced by Hal Chase on September 21
1911 Buffalo Bisons Eastern League 74-75 4th none none
1912 Buffalo Bisons Eastern League 71-78 5th none none
1913 Boston Braves National League 69-82 5th Boston Braves
1914 Boston Braves National League 94-59 1st Boston Braves World Series Champs
1915 Boston Braves National League 83-69 2nd Boston Braves
1916 Boston Braves National League 89=63 3rd Boston Braves
1917 Boston Braves National League 72-81 6th Boston Braves
1918 Boston Braves National League 53-71 7th Boston Braves
1919 Boston Braves National League 57-82 6th Boston Braves
1920 Boston Braves National League 62-90 7th Boston Braves
1921 Rochester Colts International League 100-68 2nd none none
1922 Rochester Tribe International League 105-62 2nd none none
1923 Rochester Tribe International League 101-65 2nd none none
1924 Rochester Tribe International League 83-84 4th none none
1925 Rochester Tribe International League 83-77 3rd none none
1926 Rochester Tribe International League 81-83 5th none none
1927 Rochester Tribe International League 27-26 -- none -- replaced by George Mogridge on June 10
1928 Montreal Royals International League 21-16 -- none -- replaced by Ed Holly (76-68) on June 7

Further Reading[edit]

  • Martin Kohout: "George Stallings", in Bill Nowlin, ed.: The Miracle Braves of 1914: Boston's Original Worst-to-First World Series Champions, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2014, pp. 187-189. ISBN 978-1-933599-69-4
  • Bryan Soderholm-Difatte: "The 1914 Stallings Platoon: Assessing Execution, Impact, and Strategic Philosophy", The Baseball Research Journal, Vol. 43, Number 2 (Fall 2014), pp. 18-28.
  • Bryan Soderholm-Difatte: "The Stallings Platoon: The 1913 Prequel", The Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Volume 45, Number 2 (Fall 2016), pp. 15-25.
  • George Stallings: "The Story of the 1914 Braves", in Bill Nowlin, ed.: The Miracle Braves of 1914: Boston's Original Worst-to-First World Series Champions, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2014, pp. 336-378. ISBN 978-1-933599-69-4

Related Sites[edit]