George Bevan Strickland
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 180 lb.
- High School S.J. Peters High School
- Debut May 7, 1950
- Final Game July 23, 1960
- Born January 10, 1926 in New Orleans, LA USA
- Died February 21, 2010 in New Orleans, LA USA
Seventeen-year-old George Strickland was signed as an amateur free agent by the Brooklyn Dodgers before the 1943 season. The youngster appeared in only three games with his hometown team, the New Orleans Pelicans, getting to the plate only eight times with two base hits. George was drafted into the United States Navy in March of 1944, serving in the Pacific Theater of Operations, during World War II, mustering out in May of 1946. After being picked up by the Boston Red Sox in an unknown transaction in 1946, he reported back to the New Orleans Pelicans, where he hit .242 in 78 games. He would spend the next three seasons (1947-49) sharpening his game in the minors and hitting .261 for the Birmingham Barons in 1949 was his ticket to the major leagues.
On November 17, 1949 Strickland was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates from the Red Sox in the 1949 Rule V Draft. A light-hitting but excellent fielding shortstop, George first appeared with the Pirates in 1950. He was traded to the Cleveland Indians late in the 1952 season and solidified the Indians' defense by replacing Ray Boone, who had ailing knees.
George led American League shortstops in double plays in 1953 and fielding in 1955. George was the regular shortstop on the 1954 pennant-winning Indians but his season was cut short when on July 23, he broke his jaw in a game at Yankee Stadium when he was hit by a throw by pitcher Marlin Stuart while sliding into third base. George healed in time to make it into three games in the World Series, and had nine plate appearances, but failed to hit and the New York Giants swept the series in four games.
George was the regular Cleveland shortstop until Chico Carrasquel came in 1956. Thereafter he played more games at third base than at shortstop. George wound down his ten-year major league career in 1960 with a .224 batting average and a .963 fielding percentage. Strickland had also spent five active seasons in the minors where he hit at a career .240 average. Only once did he hit more than .238 during his M.L. career. Strickland once said, "I was lucky to get traded to Cleveland in '52. Ted Wilks and I went over for Johnny Berardino and cash. 1953 was my best year, I hit .284 and had a fielding percentage of .974. They said I was brittle, but I lasted ten years in the majors and that's something I'm proud of."
Following his playing days Strickland coached for the Indians, Minnesota Twins and Kansas City Royals through the early 1970s. George managed the Indians in the final weeks of the 1966 season after the firing of Birdie Tebbetts. After baseball, George was a mutual ticket manager at the Fairgrounds and Jefferson race tracks in New Orleans, LA where he resided until his death in 2010.
|Cleveland Indians Manager
|Cleveland Indians Manager
Year-By-Year Managerial Record
|1964||Cleveland Indians||American League||33-39||--||Cleveland Indians||replaced by Birdie Tebbetts on July 3|
|1966||Cleveland Indians||American League||15-24||5th||Cleveland Indians||replaced Birdie Tebbetts (66-57) on August 20|
See also: Baseball Players of the 1950s