Leo Durocher
American baseball player and coach
Leo Durocher
Leo Ernest Durocher (July 27, 1905 – October 7, 1991), nicknamed Leo the Lip, was an American infielder and manager in Major League Baseball. Upon his retirement, he ranked fifth all-time among managers with 2,009 career victories, second only to John McGraw in National League history. Durocher still ranks tenth in career wins by a manager.
Biography
Leo Durocher's personal information overview.
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Sunday's LL championship game brings back fond memories - TheRecordLive.com
Google News - over 5 years
After that regional win we were feted at a banquet in Albany, the site of the Regional Tournament, and received congratulatory telegrams from Stan Musial, Stan Hack, Pee Wee Reese, Ralph Kiner, Casey Stengel and Leo Durocher
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Third annual Larracey Bowl Friday - Boston Globe (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the
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40th anniversary: Ron Santo's explosion - Hardball Times (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Longtime manager Leo Durocher said it was the angriest he ever saw a player in his life. No one threw any punches, but it came close. On Aug. 23, 1971, just before a Cubs-Reds game, Ron Santo exploded in the home team clubhouse at Wrigley Field
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Victor Martinez: Everything Detroit Tigers Thought He Would Be - Bleacher Report
Google News - over 5 years
Yes, I've shamelessly lifted from the old quote uttered by manager Leo Durocher, about the pesky second baseman Eddie Stanky, circa the 1950s. To think there was a time when some in the Tigers fanbase wanted the team to sign slugger Adam Dunn instead
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Lance Lahnert: My 2 Cents - Amarillo.com
Google News - over 5 years
Jim Thome: Leo Durocher was wrong. Nice guys do finish first. I just loved Thome's refreshing interviews after becoming the eighth player in MLB history to hit 600 homers. Is he a Hall of Famer? No doubt about it. 3. I Lassoed Lance: It's that time of
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Leo Durocher Finished First Bluntly - Investor's Business Daily
Google News - over 5 years
By VANCE CARIAGA, INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY Posted 01:39 PM ET Leo Durocher in 1972 as manager of the Chicago Cubs, who almost gave him a title three years before. AP View Enlarged Image In one ear, his manager, Miller Huggins, was screaming at him to
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Reserved is one thing Manusky ain't - SignOnSanDiego.com
Google News - over 5 years
It seems that if Chargers fans had their way, the team's coaching staff would include Vince Lombardi, Woody Hayes, Mike Ditka, Bo Schembechler, Bob Knight, Mel Gibson, Leo Durocher, Billy Martin and Al Capone. Maybe it's because we think the rest of
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Don't Suspend A-Rod if He Didn't Break the Law - FanGraphs (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
There have been three major gambling incidents in baseball worth mentioning: the Black Sox scandal, the yearlong Leo Durocher suspension, and the lifetime ban of Pete Rose. Each involved a relatively new commissioner who felt that he needed to make a
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FROM THE BROOKLYN AERIE - Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Google News - over 5 years
As a player, Burleigh Grimes, who was the manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers before Leo Durocher, was the last pitcher in the major leagues allowed legally to throw a spitball. One of the notable moments in the history of Farrell's Bar and Grill in
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Frank Bodani: Baseball 'took his sight, but gave him life' - York Daily Record
Google News - over 5 years
His mother also wrote to Giants' manager Leo Durocher, who reached out to the boy and made him a part of the team, so to speak. Even more importantly, Yankee infielder Phil Rizzuto found out about Lucas' situation, and the two became lifelong friends
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Is Winning Really Most Important Thing in Life? - Jewish Exponent
Google News - over 5 years
To quote baseball manager Leo Durocher, "Nice guys finish last." Since nobody wants to be last, what, therefore, is the advantage to being nice, let alone honest or just? The final sections of Numbers describe the Israelites' preparations to enter the
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Why isn't Ron Santo in the Baseball Hall of Fame?: Fan's opinion - Yahoo! Sports
Google News - over 5 years
The Leo Durocher Chicago Cubs had lots of winning seasons. And the 1969 Cubs are one of the most famous baseball teams in history. But this Cubs team already has three players in the Baseball Hall of Fame (Ernie Banks, Ferguson Jenkins and Billy
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And the winner is... Geelong - The Age
Google News - over 5 years
IT WAS legendary American baseball manager Leo Durocher who coined the line ''nice guys finish last''. It has proved a remarkably durable aphorism, too. But one he might have been forced to revisit had he still been around and familiar with AFL
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Larry Crowne: An ode to the common man - Illinois Times
Google News - over 5 years
Baseball manager Leo Durocher once said, “Nice guys finish last.” Well don't tell that to Larry Crowne. He has his share of troubles but he never fails to approach each day with a smile and a positive attitude
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Cubs Three-Game Winning Streak Drought Reaches a New Benchmark: Cubs Fan - Yahoo! Sports
Google News - over 5 years
But it was actually Leo Durocher's first year in Chicago that witnessed a longer time span without three straight wins. The 1966 Chicago Cubs did not attain a three-game winning streak until August 6! In 1966, Chicago went 59-103
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Leo Durocher
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1991
    Age 85
    Leo Durocher died in 1991 in Palm Springs, California at the age of 86, and is buried in Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles.
    More Details Hide Details He was posthumously inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1994.
  • 1976
    Age 70
    He made a brief comeback in 1976 in the Japanese Pacific League with the Taiheiyo Club Lions, but he retired due to illness (hepatitis) before the beginning of the season.
    More Details Hide Details Durocher finished his managerial career with a 2008–1709 record for a .540 winning percentage. He posted a winning record with each of the four teams he led, and was the first manager to win 500 games with three different clubs. Durocher, with Ed Linn, wrote a memoir titled Nice Guys Finish Last, a book that was recently re-published by the University of Chicago Press.
  • 1972
    Age 66
    Durocher managed the Houston Astros for the final 31 games of the 1972 season and the entire 1973 season before retiring.
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    He was fired midway through the 1972 season, later stating that his greatest regret in baseball was not being able to win a pennant for longtime Cubs owner P.K. Wrigley.
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  • 1969
    Age 63
    His fourth wife was Lynne Walker Goldblatt, to whom he was married from 1969 to 1980.
    More Details Hide Details With Ruby Hartley, Durocher had a daughter named Barbara. He adopted two children with Day, daughter Melinda Michele (1944–2012) and son Chris (born 1945). In the 2013 film 42, Durocher is played by Christopher Meloni. In 1965, Season 1 of The Munsters, he played himself in Episode 29 "Herman the Rookie" In 1963, Season 4 of Mister Ed, he played himself in Episode 81 "Leo Durocher Meets Mister Ed"
    The team steadily improved, but in 1969, Durocher suffered one of his most remembered failures.
    More Details Hide Details The Cubs started the season on a tear, and led the newly created National League East for 105 days. By mid-August they had a seemingly insurmountable 9-game cushion, and they appeared to be a shoo-in for their first postseason appearance in 25 years. However, they floundered down the stretch, and finished eight games behind the "Miracle Mets" (who were 9½ games back in mid-August). In a mid-July series against the Mets, the Cubs were beaten in the first two games at Shea Stadium, but finally managed to salvage the third game, after which Durocher was asked if those were the real Cubs. '"No", Durocher answered, "those are the real Mets." While with the Cubs, Durocher encountered a difficult dilemma in regard to aging superstar Ernie Banks. While Banks' bad knees made him a liability, his legendary status made benching him impossible. Durocher also nearly came to blows with Cubs star Ron Santo during an infamous clubhouse near-riot. The problems were symbolic of Durocher's difficulty in managing the new breed of wealthier, more outspoken players who had come up during his long career.
  • 1966
    Age 60
    Durocher returned to the managerial ranks in 1966 with the Chicago Cubs.
    More Details Hide Details In several previous seasons, the Cubs had tried an experiment called the "College of Coaches", in which they were led by a "head coach" rather than a manager. However, at his first press conference, Durocher formally announced an end to the experiment by saying: If no announcement has been made about what my title is, I'm making it here and now. I'm the manager. I'm not a head coach. I'm the manager. At the same press conference, Durocher declared, "I am not the manager of an eighth place team." He was right; the Cubs finished tenth in his first season, becoming the first team to finish behind the previously hapless New York Mets. In 1967, however, the Cubs started strongly and had only their second winning season since 1946.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1965
    Age 59
    In an episode of The Munsters titled "Herman the Rookie," on April 8, 1965, Durocher believes Herman (Fred Gwynne) is the next Mickey Mantle when he sees the towering Munster hit long home runs.
    More Details Hide Details Football great Elroy Hirsch also appears with Durocher. Three years earlier, he also appeared as himself in an episode of Mr. Ed, when the talking horse gave batting tips to the Los Angeles Dodgers, helping them win the pennant. Durocher also appeared on television in the early 1950s on the syndicated What's My Line? twice as a mystery guest (January 28, 1951 and May 31, 1953).
  • 1963
    Age 57
    In an April 10, 1963 airing of The Beverly Hillbillies, Durocher plays golf with Jed Clampett (Buddy Ebsen) and Jethro Bodine (Max Baer, Jr.) and tries to sign Jethro to a baseball contract after discovering Jethro has a strong pitching arm.
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  • 1961
    Age 55
    He later served as a coach for the Dodgers, by then relocated to Los Angeles, from 1961 to 1964.
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  • FORTIES
  • 1955
    Age 49
    After leaving the Giants following the 1955 season, Durocher worked at NBC, where he was a color commentator on the Major League Baseball on NBC and host of The NBC Comedy Hour and Jackpot Bowling.
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  • 1954
    Age 48
    Later with the Giants in 1954, Durocher won his only World Series championship as a manager by sweeping the heavily favored Cleveland Indians, who posted the highest American League winning percentage of all time (111–43) during the regular season.
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  • 1951
    Age 45
    He enjoyed perhaps his greatest success with the Giants, and possibly a measure of sweet revenge against the Dodgers, as the Giants won the 1951 NL pennant in a playoff against Brooklyn, ultimately triumphing on Bobby Thomson's historic game-winning "Shot 'Heard 'Round The World" home run.
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  • 1948
    Age 42
    Durocher returned for the 1948 season, but his outspoken personality and poor results on the field again caused friction with Rickey, and on July 16 Durocher, Rickey and New York Giants owner Horace Stoneham negotiated a deal whereby Durocher was let out of his Brooklyn contract to take over the Dodgers' cross-town rivals.
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  • 1947
    Age 41
    In 1947 he married actress Laraine Day, and they divorced in 1960.
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    Before being suspended, however, Durocher played a noteworthy role in erasing baseball's color line. In the spring of 1947, he let it be known that he would not tolerate the dissent of those players on the team who opposed Jackie Robinson's joining the club, saying:
    More Details Hide Details He greatly admired Robinson for his hustle and aggression, calling him "a Durocher with talent." While Durocher sat out his suspension, the Dodgers went on to win the NL pennant under an interim skipper, scout Burt Shotton. They then went on to lose the 1947 World Series to MacPhail's Yankees in seven games.
    Chandler was pressured by MacPhail, a close friend who was pivotal in having him appointed Commissioner, but the commissioner also discovered Durocher and Raft might have run a rigged crap game that took an active ballplayer for a large sum of money. (The player's identity was never confirmed officially, but a former Detroit Tiger pitcher, Elden Auker, wrote in his 2002 memoir that it was a then-current Tiger pitcher, Dizzy Trout.) Chandler suspended Durocher for the 1947 season for "association with known gamblers".
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    The two later eloped and married in Texas in 1947.
    More Details Hide Details In the 1950s, Day hosted a radio program called Day with the Giants, and later authored a book by the same title describing the life of a manager's wife.
  • 1946
    Age 40
    The Yankee boss had hired away two coaches from Durocher's 1946 staff (Chuck Dressen and Red Corriden) during the off-season, causing friction.
    More Details Hide Details Then, matters got worse. In person, Durocher and MacPhail exchanged a series of accusations and counter-accusations, with each suggesting the other invited gamblers into their clubhouses. In the press, a ghostwritten article appeared under Durocher's name in the Brooklyn Eagle, seeking to stir the rivalry between their respective clubs and accusing baseball of a double standard for Chandler's warning him against his associations but not MacPhail or other baseball executives.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1945
    Age 39
    Durocher also clashed regularly with Commissioner Albert "Happy" Chandler. Chandler, who had been named to the post in 1945, warned Durocher to stay away from some of his old friends who were gamblers, bookmakers, or had mob connections, and who had a free rein at Ebbets Field.
    More Details Hide Details Durocher was particularly close with actor George Raft, with whom he shared a Los Angeles house, and he admitted to a nodding acquaintance with Bugsy Siegel. Durocher, who encouraged and participated in card schools within the clubhouse, was something of a pool shark himself and a friend to many pool hustlers. He also followed horse racing closely. Matters came to a head when Durocher's affair with married actress Laraine Day became public knowledge, drawing criticism from Brooklyn's influential Catholic Youth Organization.
  • 1943
    Age 37
    During this period, Durocher, who had made his screen debut in the 1943 Red Skelton comedy Whistling in Brooklyn, played himself in many television shows.
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  • 1942
    Age 36
    Finally, at the end of the 1942 season, MacPhail's tenure with the Dodgers came to an end when he resigned to rejoin the United States Army.
    More Details Hide Details His replacement, former Cardinal boss Branch Rickey, retained Durocher as skipper. Durocher managed the Dodgers continuously through 1946 (having ceased as a player during the 1945 season), and led Brooklyn to the first postseason NL playoff series in history, where they lost to the Cardinals, two games to none.
  • 1941
    Age 35
    In 1941, his third season as manager, he led the Dodgers to a 100–54 record and the National League pennant, their first in 21 years.
    More Details Hide Details In the 1941 World Series the Dodgers lost to the Yankees in five games. They bettered their record in 1942, winning 104 games but just missing out on winning a second consecutive pennant. Despite all the success of his first three years, Durocher and MacPhail had a tempestuous relationship. MacPhail was a notorious drinker, and he was as hot-tempered as his manager. He often fired Durocher in the midst of a night of drinking. The following morning, however, MacPhail inevitably hired Durocher back.
  • 1939
    Age 33
    In 1939 the Dodgers were coming off six straight losing seasons, but Durocher led a quick turnaround.
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  • 1938
    Age 32
    After the 1938 season — Durocher's first year as Brooklyn's starting shortstop — he was appointed player-manager by the Dodgers' new president and general manager, Larry MacPhail.
    More Details Hide Details The two were a successful and combustible combination. MacPhail spared no expense in purchasing and trading for useful players (and sometimes outright stars), such as Dolph Camilli, Billy Herman and Kirby Higbe. He also purchased shortstop Pee Wee Reese from the Boston Red Sox, who impressed Durocher enough that he gave up his spot as the regular shortstop so Reese could get a chance to play. Other major purchases by MacPhail included another young star, Pete Reiser, when he was ruled a free agent from the Cardinals' farm system; and MacPhail found stalwarts such as American League veterans Dixie Walker and Whitlow Wyatt off the waiver wire. In his first season as player-manager, Durocher came into his own. The most enduring image of Durocher is of him standing toe-to-toe with an umpire, vehemently arguing his case until his inevitable ejection from the game. Durocher's fiery temper and willingness to scrap came to epitomize the position for which he was to become most famous. As manager he valued these same traits in his players. His philosophy was best expressed in the phrase for which he is best, albeit inaccurately, remembered: "Nice guys finish last" (Durocher's actual phrasing "Nice guys, finish last" was a pair of clause fragments describing a team). Durocher once said, "Look at Mel Ott over there. He's a nice guy, and he finishes second. Now look at the Brat (Eddie Stanky).
    In 1938 he made history of a sort by making the final out in Johnny Vander Meer's second consecutive no-hitter.
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  • 1937
    Age 31
    Durocher remained with the Cardinals through the 1937 season, captaining the team and winning the 1934 World Series (their third title in nine years) before being traded to the Brooklyn Dodgers.
    More Details Hide Details Primarily a shortstop, Durocher played through 1945, though his last year as a regular was 1939; after that year he never played more than 42 games in a season. He was known as a solid fielder but a poor hitter. In 5,350 career at bats, he batted .247, hit 24 home runs and had 567 runs batted in. He was named to the NL's All-Star team three times, once with St. Louis and twice with the Dodgers.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1934
    Age 28
    He was married to St. Louis socialite Grace Dozier from 1934 to 1943.
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  • 1933
    Age 27
    Durocher spent the remainder of his professional career in the National League. After three years with the Cincinnati Reds, he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals in mid-1933.
    More Details Hide Details Upon joining the Cardinals he was assigned uniform number 2, which he wore for the rest of his career, as player, coach and manager. That team, whose famous nickname "Gashouse Gang" was supposedly inspired by Durocher, were a far more appropriate match for him; in St. Louis, Durocher's characteristics as a fiery player and vicious bench jockey were given full rein.
  • 1930
    Age 24
    Durocher was married four times. He was married to Ruby Hartley from 1930 to 1934.
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    He demanded a raise and he was sold to the Cincinnati Reds in 1930.
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  • 1928
    Age 22
    Durocher helped the team win their second consecutive World Series title in 1928.
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    Durocher rejoined the Yankees in 1928.
    More Details Hide Details A regular player, he was nicknamed "The All-American Out" by Babe Ruth. Durocher was a favorite of Yankee manager Miller Huggins, who saw in him the seeds of a great manager — the competitiveness, the passion, the ego, the facility for remembering situations. Durocher's outspokenness did not endear him to Yankee ownership, however, and his habit of passing bad checks to finance his expensive tastes in clothes and nightlife annoyed Yankee general manager Ed Barrow.
  • 1926
    Age 20
    Durocher spent two more seasons in the minors, playing for the Atlanta Crackers of the Southern Association in 1926 and St. Paul Saints of the American Association in 1927.
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  • TEENAGE
  • 1925
    Age 19
    After being scouted by the New York Yankees, he broke into professional baseball with the Hartford Senators of the Eastern League in 1925.
    More Details Hide Details He was called up to the Yankees and played in two games.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1905
    Born
    Leo Durocher was born in West Springfield, Massachusetts, on July 27, 1905, the youngest of four sons born to French Canadian parents.
    More Details Hide Details He was educated locally and became a prominent semi-professional athlete, with several employers competing to have him play on their company teams.
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