Francis Raymond Blades
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 7½", Weight 163 lb.
- Debut August 19, 1922
- Final Game September 25, 1932
- Born August 6, 1896 in Mount Vernon, IL USA
- Died May 18, 1979 in Lincoln, IL USA
Ray Blades played ten seasons in the majors, all with the St. Louis Cardinals, and was an above average hitter with a .301 career average, albeit in an offense-inflated era. In 1924, Ray had double digits in each of the extra base hits (21 doubles, 13 triples and 11 home runs) en route to batting .311. The following year, he scored a career high 112 runs with 57 extra base hits (37 doubles) in batting a career best .342/.423/.535. He appeared in three World Series with the Cards (losing efforts in 1928 and 1930 while winning in 1931) but did not play in the celebrated 1926 Fall Classic where the Cards triumphed over the Yankees, having suffered a serious knee injury in August. Ray also played six years in the minors and had a career as a minor league and major league manager.
From 1930 to 1932, Blades was a player/coach for the Cards. In 1933, he went down to the Cards' affiliate, the Columbus Red Birds and managed there through 1935, winning league titles in 1933 and 1934. In 1936, Blades moved over to the Rochester Red Wings of the International League, where he managed for three years. In 1939, he managed the Cardinals to a 92-61 record. He was replaced in 1940 with the Cardinals off to a 14-24 start. In 1941, Blades managed the New Orleans Pelicans, the Cards' affiliate in the Southern Association.
In 1942, Ray left the Cardinals organization, coaching for the Cincinnati Reds. In 1943, Blades found himself managing New Orleans again, this time for the Brooklyn Dodgers. He managed the St. Paul Saints from 1944 to 1946, and became a coach for the Dodgers in 1947 and 1948. He was one of the prime candidates to succeed Leo Durocher as Brooklyn manager when Durocher was suspended by Commissioner Happy Chandler at the end of spring training in 1947, but Dodgers GM Branch Rickey chose Burt Shotton instead. Blades won his only game as interim manager in 1948, after Durocher had returned at the start of the year, only to be dismissed in mid-July after the team got off to a poor start. Once again, it was Shotton who got to succeed "The Lip" as skipper. Blades then coached for the Cardinals again (1951) and the Chicago Cubs (1953-1956). Overall, Blades' teams went 107-85 in 1+ season in the majors and 909-755 in 11 minor league seasons.
- 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 1 (1925)
- Won two World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals (1926 & 1931) (he did not play in the 1926 World Series)
|St. Louis Cardinals Manager
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