Notes on the 86 Managers in the Hall of Fame

As of the end of 2012, there had been 676 managers of MLB teams, so slightly more than one-eighth of those men have joined the Hall of Fame. Only four of the 86 people in the Hall of Fame who managed in MLB didn’t play in MLB. They are: Frank Selee, Ed Barrow, Joe McCarthy, Earl Weaver.

The best players to manage include Charlie Comiskey, Pud Galvin, Cap Anson, Kid Nichols, Cy Young, Nap Lajoie, Three Finger Brown, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson, George Sisler, Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, John McGraw, Walter Johnson, Mickey Cochrane, Gabby Hartnett, Bill Dickey, Joe Cronin, Ted Lyons, Mel Ott, Rogers Hornsby, Joe Gordon, Ted Williams, Eddie Mathews, Yogi Berra, Frank Robinson. 61 of the 86 managers in the HOF spent at least one game as a player-manager.

29 of the 86 won at least 1000 games, 7 won at least 2000, and one, Connie Mack, won at least 3000.

Six of the 86 have managed after 1989, although in coming years, we can expect Tony La Russa, Joe Torre, Bobby Cox, and others to join the Hall of Fame.

Only two of those six, Tony Perez and Frank Robinson, got into the Hall of Fame primarily as players. Two other HOFers, Bob Lemon and Yogi Berra, got into the Hall of Fame as players and managed in the ’80s.

This compares to 11 men who got into the Hall of Fame as players and managers active before 1900, and 18 men who got into the Hall of Fame as players and managers active in the 1900s decade. It is less likely now for an extremely good player to go on to a lengthy managing career than it was in baseball’s early decades, which is probably an example of the tendency for a profession to become more specialized as it develops, becomes more complex, and gets bigger. For example, the last player-manager was Pete Rose, close to 30 years ago, but player-managers were commonplace in the early 1900s.

I have no great summation here; these are just a few notes.

Published in: Uncategorized on June 14, 2013 at 11:59 am  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. 86 managers? Seriously? That strikes me as over-representation. That’s about 12 1/2%. Aren’t the number of players in The Hall somewhere around one to two percent of all the players who ever played?
    Interesting data.

  2. I think 1 in 8 stems mainly from a lot of players who were the best or second best on the team being given the player-manager role in the first decades of MLB. Young, Sisler, Cobb, Wagner, Speaker: all I believe managed little or not at all once their playing days ended. In the last few decades, Rose is the only player-manager, and most managers have been no more than decent big league players. The ratio of HOF managers from 1980 onward will probably wind up being more like 1 in 15.

    Also, it’s very rare for a manager to manage only <30 games, whereas lots of players spend only a month in the bigs, so the pool of players is much bigger.

  3. Well, that definitely clarifies things quite a bit. I thought it had to be something like that, otherwise Dallas Green might have a shot at The Hall someday.
    Interesting topic,

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