Harry Malmberg

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Harry William Malmberg

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Biographical Information[edit]

Harry Malmberg was an infielder (shortstop moved to second base) 16 years (1947-1962), one in the Majors (1955) and 16 in the minors (1947-1962). He graduated from high school in 1944 at age 18 and was drafted into the U.S. Army shortly thereafter. Discharged in late 1946 (BN), he was signed by scout Willis Butler with the Cleveland Indians as an amateur free agent before the 1947 season and broke into Organized Baseball at age 20 with the Bakersfield Indians in the California League. He played for Bakersfield (1947-1948) and married Janice Kambic on February 12, 1949. He played for the Harrisburg Senators in the Interstate League (1949); the Oklahoma City Indians in the Texas League (1950); the San Diego Padres in the Pacific Coast League (PCL) (1951); and the Indianapolis Indians in the American Association (AA) (1952-1954).

Around April 8, 1955 he was purchased by the Detroit Tigers from Cleveland and he made his big league debut on April 12th with Detroit He played for Detroit for the full 1955 season and played his final major league game on September 11th, at age 29. He returned to the minors with the Charleston Senators (AA) in 1956. In 1956, his best year in the minors, he had 160 hits, 69 runs, 33 doubles, 3 triples, 6 home runs, and 54 RBI and hit .293 in 139 games. He then moved on to the San Francisco Seals (PCL) (1957); the Minneapolis Millers (AA) (1958); and the Seattle Rainiers in the PCL (1959-1962); ending his baseball playing career at age 35.

He was a coach for the Boston Red Sox in 1963 and 1964 and then managed in the minors until 1973 when he ended his baseball career at age 47.

In 1970 and 1971, he managed the Elmira Royals in the Eastern League and despite having limited talent in a league heavily stocked with future stars like Mike Schmidt, Greg Luzinski, Dave Parker, Bill Madlock, Bob Boone and many others, with only a few guys who'd had a "cup of coffee" in the majors (e.g., Norm Angelini, Monty Montgomery, Scott Northey), won the Eastern League championship despite having a team batting average in the .230s and being last in the league in home runs. He concentrated on pitching and defense and the team rallied from behind often and won 55 games by one run. He managed the Omaha Royals (AA) in 1973.

He was a car salesman in Antioch, CA for 29 years. He had brown hair and hazel eyes, his ancestry was German-Swedish and his principal hobbies were hunting and fishing. He died at age 51 in a Veterans Administration Hospital in Martinez, CA from pancreatic cancer on October 29, 1976 and is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Antioch.

Career Highlights[edit]

  • Led California League shortstops in Games Played (140), Putouts (305), Assists (413) and Fielding Average (.929), 1947
  • Led California League in Games Played (141), 1948
  • Led Interstate League shortstops in Putouts (298), Assists (510) and Fielding Average (.949), 1949
  • Led Texas League shortstops in Putouts (299), 1950
  • Led American Association shortstops in Assists (426) , 1952
  • Led American Association second basemen in Fielding Average (.975), 1953
  • Led American Association second basemen in Fielding Average (.977), 1958
  • Led Pacific Coast League second basemen in Fielding Average (.984), 1960

Year-by-Year Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs
1965 Stockton Ports California League 83-57 1st Baltimore Orioles League Champs
1966 Stockton Ports California League 57-83 8th Baltimore Orioles
1967 Stockton Ports California League 58-81 7th Baltimore Orioles
1968 Miami Marlins Florida State League 87-55 1st Baltimore Orioles Lost League Finals
1969 High Point-Thomasville Royals Carolina League 69-74 7th Kansas City Royals Lost 1st round
1970 Elmira Pioneers Eastern League 55-84 6th Kansas City Royals/San Diego Padres none
1971 Elmira Royals Eastern League 78-61 2nd Kansas City Royals League Champs
1972 San Jose Bees California League 76-64 3rd Kansas City Royals
1973 Omaha Royals American Association 62-73 6th Kansas City Royals
1974 Omaha Royals American Association 54-82 8th Kansas City Royals
1975 Birmingham A's Southern League 65-69 2nd Oakland A's


Principal sources for Harry Malmberg include newspaper obituaries (OB), government Veteran records (VA,CM,CW), Stars & Stripes (S&S), Sporting Life (SL), The Sporting News (TSN), The Sports Encyclopedia:Baseball 2006 by David Neft & Richard Cohen (N&C), old Who's Who in Baseballs (1956) (WW), old Baseball Registers (1955;1963-1964) (BR) , old Daguerreotypes by TSN (none) (DAG), Stars&Stripes (S&S), The Baseball Necrology by Bill Lee (BN), Pat Doyle's Professional Ballplayer DataBase (PD), The Baseball Library (BL), Baseball in World War II Europe by Gary Bedingfield (GB) and The Pacific Coast League: A Statistical History, 1903-1957 by Dennis Snelling and independent research by Walter Kephart (WK) and Frank Russo (FR) and others.

Related Sites[edit]