Wednesday, July 29, 2015

#576 Leo Durocher

Known as the Leo the Lip…of French Canadian ancestry…caustic with the press and management and certain players…tumultuous personal life, married multiple times …Took his bumps as the new Cubs manager in 1966….Northsiders made a 28 game improvement next year….guided the team to also ran contender status for next 4 seasons….according to a preview guide it was somewhat surprising he was retained after 1971 season…all before that he was known as a competitive, great fielding, fair hitting infielder…Legendary fixture in New York starting with a brief stint with the Yankees 1927, the Dodgers in 1939….During that year he was a regular player in the field….Skippered the Bums thru the war years…was suspended for the year of Jackie Robinson’s debut but was candid in his support of him….Returned the following year but he had already lost favor….a below .500 record resulted in his dismissal....Quickly hired by NY Giants….Spent  8 years in the Polo grounds capturing 2 pennants and WS Championship in 1954….Let go after 1955, Leo starts a series of high profile, yet odd jobs….returns to baseball in 1961 as Dodger coach….After the Cubs let him go midseason 1972, took a gig with Houston for the remainder of the year and the whole of 1973….Enshrined in the Hall of Fame 3 years after his death in 1991.


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